The Minecraft Java 1.14 Village and Pillage Update is right around the corner! Literally, it could be dropping as soon as the next few hours, and we’ve even already got the first Pre-Release of the Spigot server jar available to start testing.

This is all great news, but how should we prepare our worlds and servers for this update? While 1.14 isn’t quite the behemoth of an update that 1.13 was, and there won’t be as many game-breaking changes to the core (like all of the entity/item/block names getting reworked), the Village and Pillage update still does make some significant changes to enough mechanics that you should take a moment to prepare your worlds before updating.

We’ve gone through version updates before, and if you’ve had the experience you know that sometimes things can get messy. Not just for you as a server owner, but also your players who are active in your community. Let’s go ahead and dive into a few tips that can give you a leg up when the release finally drops.

There are 5 Tips in this article which you can browse through below:

  1. Server Owner Expectations
  2. Trimming Your World’s Chunks
  3. Keeping Your Villager Trades
  4. Stopping Pillagers From Destroying Everything
  5. Learning ALL THE THINGS

Tip 1: Server Owners Need To Set Clear Expectations

The new buildings still don’t look amazing, but that just leaves room for us to get creative and redesign later

There’s no doubt that if you run a Minecraft server you have already heard your players asking about if you’ll update to 1.14. When the release arrives, those questions will keep coming, and you’ll probably be tempted to update as soon as possible and make your players happy.

The problem, of course, is that you run the risk of trading a stable server that players enjoy in 1.13 for an unstable server with broken plugins, new game mechanics, and potentially corrupt worlds on a 1.14 server that’s barely playable. Each time there is a major version update to Minecraft there is a process that server software and plugins have to go through before they’re ready for prime-time.

Yes, Bukkit, Spigot, and other server jars are already in the works to have a 1.14 release, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be here on the same day that Minecraft Java 1.14 is released. Paper, Forge, Sponge, and other server jars take even longer to update because of the nature of those systems and we have no idea when they’ll be ready. Forge hasn’t even officially and fully been updated to support 1.13.2 yet (though it’s close), so if you’re running a modded server or world then you’re just going to need to wait a little longer.

Even if all of the base libraries, APIs, and server environments were updated to support 1.14 tomorrow (and they won’t be), that’s still nothing to really do with all of the thousands of mods and plugins that would need to be updated as well. Again, some of the most popular plugins are only just now getting support for 1.13, so we can’t expect them to be ready to go right out of the gate.

Server owners should therefore communicate, very clearly, the expectations that players should have about when their server will be updated. If you say, “We’ll be updating ASAP.” then they may expect you to upgrade immediately after 1.14 releases officially, and that’s not entirely possible based on what we know about the update process. Instead, let your players know you are looking into the update, watching the plugins careful for full support, and testing the new mechanics before pushing it through to the production server.

In the meantime, this could be a great opportunity to teach yourself and your players about all of the new mechanics coming in 1.14 (read the wiki!), and follow the rest of the tips on this list to prepare your worlds.

By the way, some of the things we’re going to cover in this article were also mentioned in Pixlriff’s video he uploaded today about preparing your single-player worlds. You should check it out while you browse through our comments below.

Tip 2: Trim/Fill Your Worlds and Clean Up Borders

Village and Pillage is bringing a whole new biome (Bamboo Jungle) and a revamp on an existing biome (Taiga) to our worlds, and that means that world generation overall is about to change. If you have any worlds where players can explore freely, or if you just have a long-lasting single-player world, you’re probably going to want to trim the chunks along the borders to try and prevent so many chunk generation errors from showing. You know what I’m referring to….¬†

Image Source: How-To Geek

Most players are pretty familiar with chunks that look like the above image, but that’s not necessarily a good excuse for not taking the time to clean up the borders in preparation for the update. Unfortunately, a lot of tools for re-creating, merging, and blending chunks before and after an update do not yet support 1.13 (and definitely not 1.14), so this tip is a little less exciting to try out. The number one rule if you are going to trim your worlds: MAKE BACKUPS.

What does it mean to “trim your world”?

Trimming your Minecraft world is all about deleting excess chunks so that you can generate new ones in their place. You can use this to clear out large sections of chunks that are unused that you want to have an opportunity to see new 1.14 chunks in, or you can clean up the borders to remove jagged edges where you or your players traveled further out.

Similarly, you can fill your world and generate chunks in areas where you haven’t already been in order to create those same clean borders. Whether you’re filling chunks or trimming them, the result is the same: your world will have cleaner transitions from 1.13 generated chunks to 1.14.¬†By using both fill and trim concepts together, you can prepare your worlds for the most drastic chunk errors to be less jarring.

That said, trimming your 1.13 world is able to be done a couple of different ways. You can use built-in tools and concepts (and math) to find and trim specific chunks you want to remove, or if you’re running a Bukkit or Spigot server, you can use a plugin like WorldBorder to do the work for you.

Pixlriffs has a great tutorial uploaded just this week on his Minecraft Survival Guide series where he explains in detail how to find and delete chunks to trim your world down as needed. Rather than explaining ourselves, here’s his video:

Using WorldBorder follows a different process, however, and will require you to have either a beefy server that can handle the intense resource usage of the plugin in running these commands, or you’ll want to take the server offline for a bit so your players don’t experience crashes or heavy lag. Some server hosts also prefer NOT to use the fill or trim commands, as they can cause the entire hosting machine to slow down (even if you’re on a VPS). Therefore, use WorldBorder fill and trim commands at your own risk.

If you want to try the WorldBorder method, check out the documentation they’ve already written for the Fill and Trim commands.

WARNING: Be careful not to delete chunks in the world where your players might have important builds. You don’t want your good intentions to turn into a bad series of events where people are mad at you because you deleted something they worked hard on. Just like with Tip 1, communicate your intentions and plans clearly and make sure you don’t do anything that breaks expectations and makes your players upset. AND MAKE BACKUPS.

One other quick note: MCEdit has not been updated for 1.13 and can’t be used to fill/trim in 1.13 worlds. The team behind that software has actually moved over to an entirely new project called Amulet Editor. We’ll do a writeup about this in the future, but for now click the link to check it out.

Tip 3: Check Your Villager Trades

1.14 isn’t called the Village and Pillage Update for nothing. Village and Villager mechanics are getting a major overhaul, and that means that the prized Villagers you have safely tucked away for emergency use may just lose the trades that you’ve come to love them for.

It doesn’t matter how much you love the new trading GUI, you’re gonna be mad if you lose your Mending Villager for a Farmer.

With the new Villager trading mechanics, and the new job sites that exist thanks to blocks like the Cartography Table and Lectern, there is a chance that your most beloved Villagers will be changed to an entirely different type when you update to 1.14. It’s been mentioned that most trades will persist, but it’s still possible that your Villagers will trade jobs, so it’s best to take the safe route and prepare however you can.

Luckily, we can do a couple of things to reduce the number of potential surprises, though it will take a bit of work to get done. The trick is to isolate your Villagers now (in 1.13) and put signs down so that you can remember the job-type you want that Villager to have (Cartographer, Librarian, Blacksmith, etc…). Once that’s done, there’s really not much else that you can do but wait to update to 1.14. But when you do make the jump to the new version, things get interesting.

To quote the Minecraft wiki:

“An unemployed villager acquires a profession and a job by claiming the first unclaimed workplace block it can find…. A novice level villager (one who only has its first tier trades unlocked) can claim any workplace block and will change its profession along with acquiring a new job.”

A workplace block is any of the new crafting blocks which you can find in the new Villages spawning naturally, or which you can craft. There are 12 of them, and they include all of the following matched with their respective jobs:

  • Armorer¬† ¬†—¬† Blast Furnace
  • Butcher¬† ¬†—¬† Smoker
  • Cartographer¬† ¬†—¬† Cartography Table
  • Cleric¬† ¬†—¬† Brewing Stand
  • Farmer¬† —¬† Composter‚ÄĆ
  • Fisherman¬† ¬†—¬† Barrel
  • Fletcher¬† ¬†—¬† Fletching Table
  • Leatherworker¬† ¬†—¬† Cauldron
  • Librarian¬† ¬†—¬† Lectern
  • Shepherd¬† ¬†—¬† Loom
  • Stone Mason ‚ÄƬ† —¬† Stonecutter
  • Tool Smith¬† ¬†—¬† Smithing table
  • Weapon Smith¬† ¬†—¬† Grindstone

New Village Blocks and Job Sites

With your Villagers safely separated, you can now place the appropriate workplace block near them so that they can claim that job. If your Villagers are too close together, there’s a chance that the wrong Villager will claim that job site instead of the one you intended, potentially losing important trades in the process. You should also take care to not destroy the job site after the job claim is made, as this will actually make the Villager mad (which can harm your ability to trade with them) and they may also look for a new job site to claim.

If you plan appropriately, though, then your update to 1.14 should go without a hitch and you won’t lose any progress. At least, not as long as the Pillagers don’t show up….

Tip 4. Protect Your Villagers From Pillagers

Pillagers are the newest enemy of Villages across the land, and they bring some nasty new tricks that can really mess up any plans you have.

Some people just want to watch the world burn….

Pillagers have three different ways of spawning in the world, and each will pose a unique threat to your humble Villagers. Yes, even the ones you have set up in a trading hall. They also come with Crossbows, which are ranged attack weapons which can shoot your Villagers that have, up until now, been safely nestled behind a 1.5 block tall wall, and Ravager Beasts, which will charge at Villagers, destroy some blocks (read the wiki for the list), and stretch out their heads to do a devastating blow to the innocent.

Pillager Outposts – Low Risk

Pillager Outposts are less of a threat due to the nature of how they generate. They’ll rarely spawn in new chunks in your world, not existing ones, and will generally only be found in the same biomes where Villages themselves will spawn. However, these do generally pop up at a safe distance from Villages, though that’s not always the case, being between 100 and 1500 blocks away from a Village. So, there’s not much of a risk that those Pillagers will come into a Village to do damage.

Pillager Raids – Medium Risk

Pillager Raids are also not a huge risk because they are triggered by the player taking specific steps, but because they could potentially be accidentally triggered (or intentionally in order to grief someone else), and because of the difficulty of a Raid overall, they’re a higher risk for killing your prized Villagers than the Outposts are. To start a Raid, a player must first find a Pillager Commander and kill it, giving them the Bad Omen Effect. If they enter a registered Village while the Bad Omen Effect is still active, a Raid will immediately begin.

Raids are quite an feature-rich mechanic that really should get their own article explaining in the future. For now if you’d like to know how Raids work in detail, check the wiki or watch this video from Wattles where he takes on a max-level Raid with just Leather Armor.

You may want to have some Milk on-hand, since drinking it will remove the Bad Omen Effect from you.

GRIEFER DANGER: A naughty player could get the Bad Omen Effect on themselves and enter another player’s Village in order to kill all of the Villagers there and do a lot of damage. As there are no preventative methods for this from plugins at this time (see Tip 1 for why), you’ll want to talk through ideas for stopping griefers or protecting Villages in other ways with your staff and players.

Read the “Meet The Pillagers” article on Minecraft.net

Pillager Patrols – High Risk

Pillager Patrols present the highest risk to Villages by far. They spawn in the world naturally like other mobs (though at a decreased rate), and roam around the world looking for Villages to… umm… Pillage. If in range, they will also enter Villager trading halls and breeders built by players, and will use their Crossbows to deal damage over fences and small walls. Since these Patrols can also spawn with a Pillager Commander, killing the Patrol outright is not always the best idea, because that could immediately trigger a Raid to occur which brings even more Pillagers into the area.

Pillager Patrols will spawn on Grass or Sand anywhere in the world as long as there is sky access and a 0 – 8 block light level (sky light level needs to be 10 – 15). They’ll spawn between 24 and 48 blocks away from a player, meaning if you’re AFK in your Village, you could be asking for trouble. Yes, Pillager Patrols CAN spawn INSIDE of a Village if the other conditions are met.

The best method to prepare and protect your Villagers is to LOCK THEM DOWN before you update to 1.14. Put them behind full walls and doors with no gaps so that Crossbows can’t be fired through. Fences alone will not protect your Villagers because of those Crossbows, and you’ll want to make sure that the area is well lit with torches, lanterns, or other light-emitting blocks so that the block light level around the Village is above 8. Or you could just remove all grass and sand from nearby.

It’s very likely that there will be plugins and mods created right away after 1.14 is fully released that will disable the Bad Omen Effect or remove Pillagers entirely from your world. That’s something that we’ll have to explore in the future as more options are made available.

Tip 5. Learn As Much As You Can

Minecraft Java 1.14 comes with so many features that it would be hard to cover them all in just one article. This list shows what we believe are some of the biggest game-changers that are going to arrive, but between all the new (amazing) building blocks (new slabs/stairs/walls, Scaffolding, etc…), peaceful mobs (Cats, Pandas, Foxes), commands, and a plethora of small changes, 1.14 is a MASSIVE update to the game.

With the new Villages, Biomes, and mobs, your players will likely be rushing to find all of the new secrets in the worlds you create. Your worlds will expand in size as people explore. Villages will be raided and left in ruins. Bamboo Jungles will be stripped clean of all foliage. Someone will hoard all the Cats. Did you know that Iron Farms are probably not going to work the same way anymore? Disaster truly is on the horizon if we aren’t careful. By learning more about the game’s changes and getting ideas for how YOU might play with the update, you’ll get some insight into how your players will react as well, and that’s the best preparation of all.

These are exciting times, and a lot of people are creating great content to explore all of the new features and changes that are coming. Read the Minecraft Wiki, search for new YouTube channels to subscribe to, and of course, join the SnapshotMC Discord Server and Forums so that you can join along with us as we explore everything new that’s coming. The more that you know, and the more you share with your fellow gamers and players, the more successful your update to 1.14 is going to be.

One last note: You should join the SnapshotMC 1.14 Vanilla Server! Server owners, YouTubers, Builders, and Developers are already actively testing out new ideas together and sharing our experiences. It’s whitelisted and there’s a short process to getting accepted (you have to be a member of our Discord server), but if you’re interested you can learn right along side us as we prepare our servers for a whole new adventure.