The last Minecraft Instant, 22W12A, brings the arrival and functionality of the Guardian to the game alongside a host of other exciting new features.

These features are huge and will certainly massively affect all Minecraft gameplay once they are officially released. Here’s a look at what this snapshot introduces.

The Guardian

Screenshot via Mojang

The terrifying creature from the Deep Dark has officially arrived. This fearsome enemy is blind but can use vibrations, smell and proximity to stalk you. Even if you can’t see them, the guardians hide beneath the surface of the Deep Dark and always wait for the Sculk Shriekers to wake them up by warning them of your presence.

The more vibrations you make through loud and bold activities, the more upset the keeper will be. A Guardian’s chest will beat faster the more angry they are. If pushed past its anger threshold, it will turn to face the target of its anger, roar, and then charge.

Players who manage to avoid being noticed by the Guardian or angering him for 60 seconds will have a chance to escape as he will retreat underground. Guardians don’t drop loot, can easily disable shields, and are incredibly hard to kill, so sneaking around or around them will always be the best method of survival.

Sculk Shrieker Feature

Screenshot via Mojang

Sculk Shriekers around the Deep Dark now work with Sculk Sensors and the Warden. When a Sculk sensor detects vibrations, the Sculk Shrieker then sends a warning signal to the Guardian. Stepping directly on a Sculk Shrieker will also send a call to the Guardian.

However, the Guardian may not arrive instantly, as the Sculk Shrieker’s signal is more of an early warning call that will cause players to hear the Guardian heading towards them nearby. Once the guardian has gotten close enough to the Sculk Shrieker, it will then be fully summoned and appear on the surface nearby.

Swift Sneak Enchantment

Screenshot via Mojang

The new Swift Sneak enchantment will be key to players’ success against the almighty Warden. This allows for much faster sneaking, which will allow players to move quietly enough to make it difficult for the Guardian to detect them, but still efficient enough to eventually escape.

Swift Sneak has three different levels and the stealth speed increases with each level. It allows players to move as fast as possible while walking and is the first enchantment exclusively available for leggings.

Darkness effect

Screenshot via Mojang

The Darkness effect makes players’ sight, even with nearby torches or other light sources, look incredibly dark in flickering increments. It is applied to players by the Wardens and Sculk Shriekers when you are nearby.

Boat with a trunk

Screenshot via Mojang

Players can now place a chest in any boat, making it much easier to travel and explore the world. Bringing items with you on trips and transporting anything you find back to your home base is now much more doable.

A full list of all the new features in the 22W12A snapshot, along with numerous bug fixes, is available below, courtesy of Mojang.

New features in 22W12A

  • Added Darkness Crowd Effect
  • Added Sculk Shrieker functionality
  • Added Warden mob
  • Added boat with chest
  • Added Swift Sneak enchantment

howl-tailor

  • Added functionality to Sculk Shrieker: Notable for its bony appendages, this block responds to vibration-detecting Sculk sensors by sending out a warning call to distant guardians.
    • Be careful when stepping on them, as they will smell it too and send out a call.
  • Initially, it may take a while for a Guardian to arrive, but you’ll hear them respond in the distance…
  • Once he’s close enough, a call from the Sculk Shrieker will summon the nearby Guardian – be ready.

Director

The horror of the Deep Dark. An eyeless creature, roughly resembling the Sculk that can be found throughout the Deep Dark, the Warden is an unstoppable force of nature that inhabits this biome.

  • Much like the Sculk Sensors, these terrifying creatures use vibrations as a way to navigate their surroundings.
  • When the vibrations aren’t enough, they also use their sense of smell to stalk prey – you can watch them sniff their surroundings to get closer to unsuspecting players and mobs.
  • To add to their myriad ways of detecting you, try not to get too close. If you collide with a Guardian, they will notice you.
  • In the Deep Dark, Guardians are everywhere – you just can’t see them. They slumber beneath your feet and only dig when enough Sculk Shriekers have alerted them to your presence.
  • Be careful where you step: the more vibrations a guardian detects, the angrier they get. You can hear and see this by how fast the souls in his chest are beating.
  • Once a mob has passed the Guardian’s Wrath Threshold, it will face its prey and roar before charging.
  • If, however, you keep the guardian from noticing you or getting angry for 60 seconds, it will return underground and disappear.
  • They have a special interaction with thrown projectiles:
    • If the Guardian receives two projectile vibrations within five seconds of each other, they will become more angry at the shooter.
    • If the guardian receives a projectile vibration more than five seconds after the last projectile, they will not become more angry at the shooter.
    • This allows you to strategically distract the Guardian without them getting angry while you grab loot from nearby chests.
  • Unfortunately for all players, Guardians will also disable shields when hitting them with their fists.
  • They do not drop any loot.
  • Guardians are powerful creatures, and it’s often better to sneak around the one that’s emerged than to take them head-on – you’ve been warned.

Darkness

  • A new mob effect unique to the Warden and Sculk Shrieker, which will afflict you when it’s nearby.
  • Reduces the gamma to an equivalent of “Moody” while still having this effect.
  • In periodic pulses, will lower the overall brightness of the world so that darkness creeps against sources of light.
  • When the guardian is here, the torches will be more important than ever.
  • A new accessibility slider has been added to your Options menu called “Darkness Pulsing”.
    • Controls the intensity of the Darkness effect when given to you by a Guardian or Sculk Shrieker, but will not affect the distance of the fog.

Boat with trunk

  • Allows you to bring more stuff on your boating adventures.
  • If you’re in the boat, press the open inventory key to access the contents of the chest.
  • If you are not in the boat, shift-right click to access the contents of the chest.
  • If you break the boat, the contents of the chest will spill out, as with other chests.
  • Also works with hoppers, droppers, and other blocks that interact with chests.
  • Like other chests, opening a boat chest or breaking the boat will irritate piglins, as they think all chests belong to them.

Sneak quickly

Imbue your leggings with this shiny new enchantment to move as fast while crouching as you normally would while walking.

  • When applied, it will increase your movement speed while sneaking.
  • Has three different levels with different speed boosts.
  • This is the first enchantment unique to equipping leggings.

Changes in 22W12A

  • The Deep Dark biome is now less flooded than surrounding areas.
  • The leaves are now floodable.
  • Removed render distance from debug hotkey cycle.

Fixed bugs in 22W12A

  • MC-149805 – When editing a book, you cannot use Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End to jump to the beginning or end of the text
  • MC-165503 – Fence doors (between walls) are not affected by ambient occlusion/soft lighting
  • MC-176081 – Striders with NoAI are always cold
  • MC-177321 – Soul sand has no soft lighting/ambient occlusion
  • MC-179916 – Foxes path to the origin (0,0) during a thunderstorm
  • MC-190661 – Pressing Esc or using the Cancel button in the “Experimental Settings” warning returns you to the main menu
  • MC-197854 – Unable to use Ctrl + Backspace to delete whole words in sign editing GUI
  • MC-236149 – You cannot use CTRL + BACKSPACE to delete words in book and pen GUI
  • MC-236212 – You cannot use CTRL+ARROW to navigate the cursor between the words in the book and the pen GUI
  • MC-238009 – Some final cities can generate floats above the ground
  • MC-239019 – The /locatebiome command does not always locate the nearest cave biome
  • MC-248621 – Creation of TagKey causes memory leak
  • MC-249073 – Mangrove Fence Gate & Mangrove Fence are in the wrong tab in creative inventory
  • MC-249081 – Place water inside the mangrove propagule the breeze
  • MC-249098 – Mud brick slabs use a generic stone sound
  • MC-249112 – Ender dragon fight is not triggered when entering the end
  • MC-249134 – The subtitle “Frog hatches” should be “Têtard hatches”
  • MC-249143 – Mud, Mangrove Roots and their variants are too loud compared to other blocks
  • MC-249171 – The map color for the mangrove log is incorrect
  • MC-249172 – The map color for the mangrove slab is incorrect
  • MC-249173 – The map color for the mangrove hatch is incorrect
  • MC-249174 – Map color for Mud Bricks, Mud Brick Stairs and Mud Brick Walls is incorrect
  • MC-249181 – Powered rail/enable rail update order reversed
  • MC-249184 – The mangrove fence recipe is not grouped with the fence recipes of other wood species
  • MC-249195 – Some mangrove propagules float after the leaves decay
  • MC-249253 – The bee tries to pollinate a waterlogged mangrove propagule and dies
  • MC-249270 – Mangrove leaves don’t have a hoe as their tool of choice
  • MC-249303 – Mangrove leaves cannot be composted
  • MC-249312 – Mud Brick Slab has slower mining speed than other Mud Bricks
  • MC-249316 – Mangrove fence, fence gate and boat cannot be used for fuel
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