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How to play Minecraft snapshots – snapshot 24w14a

Minecraft snapshots allow you to play new features in Java edition before they’re fully rolled out to the vanilla game, so here’s how to install them.

Minecraft snapshots: Steve and Alex jump through a Nether Portal into a new world.

How do you install and play a Minecraft snapshot? These snapshots are the very first iteration of Minecraft updates, and are a way for Mojang to test out bug fixes, technical changes, and new mechanics before officially rolling them out. Anyone with the Java edition of the creative game can try these features without any risk to your current world, so let’s find out how to be the first to try the next big Minecraft update.

During Minecraft Live each year, the next big Minecraft update is revealed to the community. In past years, we’ve had the likes of the Caves and Cliffs update, The Wild Update, and the Trails and Tales update – each of them overhauling the base game with new Minecraft biomes, blocks, and mobs. Since these updates come with so much new content, they need to be tested out first, and that’s where Minecraft snapshots come in. Use them to test out new experimental features before anyone else, and feedback to Mojang if you have any issues. It’s a win-win situation.

The Minecraft Launcher, showing where and how to load and play a new Minecraft snapshot.

How to install a Minecraft snapshot

Play the latest Minecraft snapshot straight from the Minecraft Launcher. Simply click the installation dropdown to the left of the large, green ‘Play’ button and select ‘latest snapshot’ from the list. Hit play, and set up a new world as normal! You can load into existing worlds, but you should back them up first in case it gets corrupted.

If you load into an existing world, it’s worth remembering that some features won’t be available in loaded chunks, and you might need to explore the further reaches of your world.

How to turn on experimental features in Minecraft snapshots.

How to turn on experimental features

As standard, snapshots only include bug features and technical changes. To play with new experimental features, including future content changes, you must turn on experimental features. This should be done when you create the world, as they cannot be turned on or off later. To enable experimental features:

  • Go to create a new world as normal
  • On the main world creation page, click ‘Experimental Features’
  • Turn on any toggles you wish to see in your world, such as 1.21 features, or even long-awaited bundles!
  • Start your world

How to install a previous snapshot

You can also play old Minecraft snapshots, too. This requires a few extra steps and is the same as loading into old versions of Minecraft. To install and play an old Minecraft version or snapshot:

  • Open the Minecraft Launcher
  • Click the ‘Installations’ tab
  • For snapshots, ensure that the ‘snapshots’ box is checked
  • Click ‘New Installation’
  • Scroll down the dropdown list for your desired Minecraft version
  • Name your installation
  • Click ‘Create’
  • Select the ‘Play’ tab at the top of the Launcher
  • Find your installation in the dropdown
  • Hit ‘Play’!

Again, you should always back up any existing worlds you load into with this installation, just in case it crashes and you lose progress. There are probably not many reasons you would want to revisit an old snapshot unless it’s to test something that was changed or never made it to the game. If you are unsure which snapshot you’re looking for, there are full changelogs available at minecraft.net.

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What is in the 24w14a snapshot?

Minecraft 24w14a is a very small update, with just some technical changes and bug fixes. That said, it’s still the best snapshot to play with if you want to test the newest 1.21 features right now.

The huge changes from the last few snapshots are still available to test out in 24w14a, including the weapon, the first in over six years, and adorable wolf variations. The Mace is a killer new weapon that deals a massive attack when you drop from a height, and sends enemies flying – as long as you don’t miss your timing and die from fall damage.

This awesome new weapon is the first time anything like this has been added in years, so it’s an incredibly exciting addition to the game we know and love. You can only craft this special item with resources gathered from new Trail Chambers, giving you more reason to check out the underground structures.

Add this to last week’s new wolf variants, the Crafter, and new Minecraft mobs The Breeze, The Bogged, and the Minecraft Armadillo, and 1.21 is shaping up to be one of the biggest Minecraft updates yet. All of these new mechanics, and more, are available to test out in this most recent snapshot.

Can you get snapshots in Minecraft bedrock edition: The Minecraft Preview cover art, the way to test out new features on Minecraft Bedrock.

Can you get snapshots on Bedrock?

Because Bedrock and Java are separate, these snapshots cannot be accessed on Bedrock edition or on consoles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also test out new features on Bedrock! Rather than using snapshots, you must install Minecraft Preview, the separate ‘game’ that replaced Minecraft Beta. While it is a free add-on, Minecraft Preview is sadly only available to those who already own Minecraft or have a Game Pass subscription.

Now you know how to test the latest features with Minecraft snapshots, go and have fun with them! If you’d rather wait until the full release of these features and enjoy the experience as a whole, but are still looking for something new to do with your Minecraft world, why not try out some of our favorite Minecraft texture packs and Minecraft maps, check out some incredible Minecraft builds for some inspiration, or maybe even a completely new game like Minecraft – but do come back for the next update!

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