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The 15 best Minecraft texture packs

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The 15 best Minecraft texture packs

Minecraft's low-fi charms were predictably the first thing modders took to 'fixing'. The ruddy textures, while distinctive, are an obvious target for an upgrade if you stare at them long enough. I confess that when I found a texture pack I loved I've never gone back to the original look: I'm going to start off with that one and then explore the the rather vibrant world of Minecraft Texture packs. There's nothing too crazy in here: those packs tend to be part of larger mods that fundamentally change the game, and that's another article entirely.

But what we do have here is a fantastic selection of textures that bring all sorts of style to the game, from the ultra-realistic to the cartoonish to far out sci fi. There’s even an animated textures included, a feature supported since development snapshot 13w02a was released, although they’re not yet implemented in the main game. Not sure how to grab and install one of these snapshots? Don’t worry, I can help you with that too. Click through to be delighted by the variety and vibrancy of Minecraft’s many texture packs.

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Mojang shows off the best of its Minecraft scariest screenshot competition

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Mojang shows off the best of its Minecraft scariest screenshot competitionI'm a sucker for anything the Minecraft community does and, if I'm honest, I sometimes find myself more excited by what they've been up to than what Mojang themselves have been doing. Then again, I don't think I'd be wrong to say Mojang are pretty enthusiastic about their fans, too, giving them any excuse to let loose. While Hallowe'en's now long past, the Minecraft community are still making the most of the Pretty Scary Update and today Mojang announced the winner of their seasonal scariest screenshot competition, which included entries like the one above. Click through to see the most excellent winner and for a link back to the rest.

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Minecraft video demonstrates sinister yet effective witch farming technique

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Minecraft video demonstrates sinister yet effective witch farming techniqueYep, since those witches were introduced in the Pretty Scary Update, players have started finding uses for them. Since witches drop all sorts of useful items, including bottles, Glowstone dust, gunpowder, Redstone and sugar, some players are beginning to farm them just as they would sheep and pigs. Battery farm them, actually. Ughh. Click through for heartless barbarism.

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Minecraft 1.4: The Pretty Scary Update is out today; better mob AI, zombie infections and rideable pigs

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Minecraft 1.4: The Pretty Scary Update is out today; better mob AI, zombie infections and rideable pigsThe Pretty Scary Update we’ve been keeping a wary, roving eye on for some time is actually more of a Pretty/Scary update, it transpires. It’s out today, and its features are an even split of decorative niceness and horrible new mobs - but the scary wins out thanks to improved monster AI that will see you slain by your own sword.

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Minecraft 1.4 release delayed until Thursday October 25th, 1.4.1 pre-release out now

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Minecraft 1.4 release delayed until Thursday October 25th, 1.4.1 pre-release out nowHold on to your temporal tuning fork as I attempt to explain what’s going on here. Minecraft 1.4, the Pretty Scary Update, was due tomorrow. Its pre-release build has been available for testing since Friday, however - long enough for Mojang to identify a hilarious but major issue, necessitating another update. That update is named 1.4.1, and it now has a pre-release build. Minecraft 1.4 meanwhile, the Pretty Scary Update proper, has been delayed until Thursday to incorporate the new update.

Oh, the hilarious but major issue? Just mobs suffocating and falling through wooden floors. Nothing to concern yourself with.

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Mineways: Minecraft structures meet 3D printing, look gorgeous, drain your wallet

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Mineways: Minecraft structures meet 3D printing, look gorgeous, drain your walletI'll be honest with you, I don't completely understand 3D printing. I don't get how the process works and I don't know how we end up with the solid objects that we do but, blimey, it can be impressive. Now, a program called Mineways allows you to export anything from your Minecraft world and (for a price) see it brought to life by the 3D printers at Shapeways with some quite beautiful results. Our readers on the other side of the pond might be interested to know that the team behind Mineways are running a competition for Minecraft players in the US and Canada to win a $300 Shapeways voucher and one of those Xbox 360 things. Click through for details and for some more lovely models.

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Creeping up on you: The best Minecraft references in video games

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Creeping up on you: The best Minecraft references in video gamesOver the last couple of days, you might well have noticed a couple of new games have been giving a tip of the hat to Minecraft. That’s jolly friendly of them, but it’s hardly anything new. Minecraft is one of the most referenced video games ever, a testament to its popularity. Here are its most famous appearances.

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Minecraft 1.4: The Pretty Scary Update - everything we know

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Minecraft 1.4: The Pretty Scary Update - everything we know

Alongside the usual technical tweaks and bug fixes, Minecraft 1.4 is set to introduce some clever and curious new features, many of which you can see for yourself if you fancy downloading the latest developer snapshot. Be aware that, of course, this is a work in progress and not representative of everything 1.4 will offer, but here's some of what we can expect.

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The latest Minecraft snapshot showcases the Wither skeleton

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The latest Minecraft snapshot showcases the Wither skeleton

While it doesn't have a very catchy name, Minecraft snapshot 12w36a features quite a few interesting additions. Take this fellow, for example. The Wither skeleton has a sword, instead of the usual bow, and he's so excited to show you his new toy. Should his weapon make contact, your health bar will turn black and your life will drain away like so much bath water down a plughole. Lovely stuff.

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