30 Dec 2013

Minecraft is one of the most popular video games of all time, and for good reason. The classic is packed with virtually endless amounts of gameplay, allows players to open up their imaginations to create almost any world they can dream up, and provides a framework for players to link up with friends in the same game. As social games continue to gain popularity, developers are increasingly looking to integrate multiplayer options and the ability to hook up with friends in game. The Minecraft seeds system is tool that allows the game to do just that.

Minecraft seeds are, most fundamentally, strings of letters or numbers that are assigned to a world generated in the game. The string can be a positive or negative integer or a series of letters. If you’ve played Minecraft, you know that every time you start a new game, a new world is created for you to explore, gather and build within. If left on its default settings, Minecraft will use a complex algorithm to come up with an environment that is completely new and random for the player. It does this by using a number based on the date and time, down to fractions of a second, to ensure that every time a world is generated is different from the last. When worlds are generated in this manner, they are also assigned their Minecraft seeds.

Every seed has a particular world that corresponds to it. On a PC, if you have generated worlds through the default automation process, you can see the Minecraft seeds for those worlds by typing “/seed” in the command box. The question you may be asking yourself now, of course is, “Who cares? What good are these random strings of numbers and letters?”

The answer to that question comes as a result of the non-default option present within the game which allows you to enter Minecraft seeds to start the game. Consequently, you can save a seed from a previous game, writing it down and storing it somewhere, that will allow you start the game over in the exact same world and in the exact same spawn location. This very clever Minecraft feature allows players to save specific worlds to use in different ways as they see fit.

When many players learn about Minecraft seeds they ask the question, “How can I create a seed that will give my world x property and y property?” Unfortunately, that’s not really how the game works. There are no patterns or correlations between the numbers of the seeds and the actual terrain and environmental features you see upon entering the world. While there are many popular Minecraft seeds that you as a player can use by finding them online and communicating with friends, these seeds were not “created” by anyone. Rather, they were discovered through trial and error; these popular worlds were just happened upon randomly. If a player finds a world with particularly desirable traits, all he or she has to do is record the seed from that game and share it with others.

Sometimes you may encounter popular Minecraft seeds that are actually real words, and you may wonder that this is inconsistent with the fact that the actual Minecraft seeds, the series of characters, does not have any predictable effect on the generated world. Do not be confused. These popular worlds with names that sound deliberate were only discovered randomly. Their discovery was only the result of players entering random words into the generator and happening to come up with a world that had cool or interesting attributes.

Minecraft seeds can be most useful if you particularly enjoy playing on a certain terrain type or with certain features, like dungeons. Most websites devoted to sharing Minecraft seeds are organized so that you can select worlds of the type you desire. Like islands in your environments? Just head to a site like minecraftseeds.us and select the islands category. Minecraft seeds can also be great for challenging and playing with friends. Start out in the same world by using a common seed and see who can come up with the best creations!

It should be noted that every version of Minecraft has its own algorithms for turning seeds into environments, so the seed that gives you a certain world on your PC won’t give you the same world on your Android phone, iPhone or other device. If you’re looking for seeds that are beloved by other players, make sure you are finding ones that are compatible with your version of Minecraft. Additionally, any time you start a new game, make sure you take note of the seed before you quit if you like the environment.

Now that you know all about Minecraft seeds, it’s time to get out there and see which ones are right for you. Good luck and happy hunting!