What caused the Minecraft Outlands to spawn?

What caused the Minecraft Outlands to spawn?

The Far Lands is a now infamous terrain generation bug well known among veterans of the Minecraft community. It is known for its weird and pointless terrain generation and for being almost inaccessible to average players due to how far away the Outlands start to spawn.

These generational problems gave rise to the iconic and characteristic terrain of the Outlands, which often appears stretched out and stretched out with strangely imposing cave systems carved into its flat walls.


What were Minecraft Outlands and why did they happen?

Outlands Bedrock

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While the development of the Bedrock Edition came substantially later than most other versions, the terrain generation has had its own set of problems, manifested in Bedrock Far Lands. Visually distinct and completely different from the Java versions of Far Lands, Bedrock Far Lands has the same generational distance of just over 12.5 million blocks away.

One of the most significant differences between the versions is that sand and gravel do not drop when spawned in Bedrock Far Lands, which results in much more stable performance, as there are no gravity calculations always running.


distant lands of java

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Java Far Lands are the iconic Far Lands that most people will refer to when they talk about Minecraft’s Far Lands. There are three different versions of Java Far Lands, depending on the version of the game.

The original Far Lands is from versions of the game prior to Infdev 2010-03-25. This early version of Far Lands is very different from all the others.

Beyond the 33.5 million blocks in a world right now, every generated block would be solid stone, stretching to the 32-bit limit, stretching vertically from the bottom of the world to the top.

The middle Far Lands is the version that covers game versions from Infdev 2010-03-27 to Beta 1.7.3. This is the version of the distant lands that YouTuber KilloCrazyMan managed to reach in less than nine months of walking, archived in its entirety on his channel. This is the first documented time the Outlands have been reached in survivable without mods.

There is also, technically, Far Lands after Beta 1.8. It is the most controversial version of Far Lands, as while Far Lands can be activated via in-game mods, the spawn bugs that cause Far Lands to occur in the base game have been fixed.


Why did the Far Lands spawn

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The way Minecraft generated terrain at the time was through the use of a noise generator, specifically Perlin 3D noise. This would generate random shapes which, when viewed as a topographical map, with different colors representing different heights, could be used to generate the slope of the landscape.

However, instead of each pixel in the noise map representing an in-game block, each 171,103 pixels represents an in-game block. This is why the Outlands occur in roughly 12.5 million blocks instead of the 32-bit limit of 2.1 billion. Due to this interaction, the terrain generation formula completely broke down at 12.5 million blocks.

The 32-bit integer limit of 2,147,483,648 divided by the unit size of 171,103 results in a distance of 12,550,824 blocks. This means that any terrain beyond this point will use the newly broken spawn methods.

There’s a lot more depth to the math, but this is a basic, simplified version of why the Outlands were created in the first place. Due to this distance and apparent unattainability, they became something of a legend to the game’s player base and are still fondly remembered to this day.


References in other media

The Far Lands, as seen in Minecraft: Story Mode (Image via vg247.com)
The Far Lands, as seen in Minecraft: Story Mode (Image via vg247.com)

As prolific as they are to the original Minecraft community, the Outlands are no longer accessible in-game. However, they have been mentioned and used in other media related to the game.

The Far Lands, for example, is an important location for the plot of Minecraft: Story Mode. Also, the name of Steve’s classic mode in Super Smash Brother’s Ultimate is “Journey to the Far Lands”.


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