Minecraft update 1.3.1 arrives with emeralds and NPC trading

Minecraft update 1.3.1 has gone live, and we're going to level with you: it sounds pretty awesome. This is easily one of the biggest Minecraft updates we've had since the game officially launched back in November, adding a variety of new things and fixing a number of bugs. Though there's a lot of cool stuff to check out in this update, the biggest change by far is the merging of single player and multiplayer worlds.Mojang described this change last month, saying that single player mode was basically becoming a "shell on top of multiplayer" so modders would only have to make one version of their mod, and Mojang would only have to fix a bug once instead of twice. That may be the biggest change, but there's plenty more to tide over the die-hand Minecraft fan. For starters, emeralds have been added to the game, and players now have the ability to trade with NPCs.

Ender chests and "large biome" worlds have been added as well, and now players have the option of spawning a "bonus chest" when they start a new world. The bonus chest is aimed at getting you set up quickly, containing a number of items that make starting a new world a smoother experience. Temples can now be found in jungles in deserts, and Minecraft 1.3.1 also tosses writable books into the mix. Take a look at the full list of patch notes, straight from the Minecraft blog:

+ Single-player now runs a server internally

+ Publish the single-player instance to LAN

+ Automatically detect LAN worlds in multi-player screen

+ Added "cheats" option in single-player (enables commands)

+ Added "bonus chest" option to give players a quicker start in a new world

+ Added adventure mode (work in progress)

+ Added trading with villagers

+ Added emeralds, emerald blocks and emerald ore

+ Added cocoa beans to jungles

+ Added the Ender Chest

+ Added tripwires

+ Added new creative mode inventory with search functionality

+ Made it possible to gain enchantment orbs from mining ore and smelting

+ Added writeable books

+ Added "large biomes" world type

+ Added temples to jungles and deserts

+ Added chat settings

+ Added option to turn off and view snooper data

+ Added more information on the debug screen (F3)

+ New launcher with "Play Demo" button if not premium user

+ Added /seed command to see map seed

+ Added /defaultgamemode to set default game mode in a world (affects new players)

+ Added /debug command for profiling

+ Added SRV record lookup support

* Decreased max enchantment level from 50 to 30

* The /tp command can now send players to a specific coordinate

* Mobs can spawn on flat surfaces (such as up-side-down stairs)

* Updated language files

* Mobs are much less likely to glitch through blocks

* Server list can be reordered

* Nearby items in the world will auto-stack

* Stars are smaller and brighter

* Sky color in The End has been changed

* The "pick block" functionality has been improved

* Certain items that previously wasn't stackable can now be stacked

* Hill biomes are slightly taller

* Wooden log blocks can now be placed side-ways

* Wooden half-blocks now act as wood

* Water slowly drips through leaves during rain

* Minecarts and boats will be placed by dispensers, if possible

* Gravel texture has been modified

* Levers can be placed in the roof

* Creepers' explosions damage is now modified by difficulty

* Performance improvements

* Other bug fixes...

- Removed Herobrine

See? We told you that this update was massive. Booting up Minecraft and logging in will trigger the update prompt, and we highly suggest you say "yes" when asked if you want to update to 1.3.1. After all, it isn't every day that a new block type is introduced in Minecraft. Have a look at our story timeline below for more on Minecraft, and happy digging!