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Minecraft update fixes lag spikes and archaeological mistake

Minecraft Snapshot 23W16A tweaks Trail Ruins and Sculk blocks, adds a new Sniffer interaction, and renames Pottery Sherds following archaeological feedback.

Minecraft update snapshot 23W16A - a character in a red shirt carefully brushes sand away from a buried treasure in the sandbox game

Minecraft update Snapshot 23W16A is packed with plenty of changes to dig through, with changes to Trail Ruins and Sculk blocks, a new interaction for the adorable Sniffer, and a fix to one of the most frustrating lag spike issues in Minecraft. Perhaps the most fun improvement coming to the sandbox game, however, is a small but important name change to Pottery Shards used in Minecraft archaeology following feedback from a real-life archaeologist.

The latest Minecraft Snapshot reworks the game’s Trail Ruins, with additional variants to the possible structures, and changes to the amount of Gravel, Dirt, and Suspicious Gravel that appears within them. Sand, meanwhile, will no longer be generated there – a change that should prevent you wondering exactly where it might have come from, given that Trail Ruins typically appear in non-sandy biomes.

Pottery Shards are now called Pottery Sherds. It’s a small adjustment, but – as it turns out – a rather important one. As real-life archaeologist ‘ArchaeoPlays’ remarks in a YouTube video (via Comicbook Gaming), “We call pieces of pottery ‘potsherds,’ ‘sherds,’ or ‘pottery sherds,’ all with an e. Shards, in archaeology, are pieces of glass vessels or glass windows.” While they admit this is a relatively minor slip-up, they point to Minecraft’s place as a modern-day learning tool.

“If people are learning this term as associated with archaeology, it’d be great to use the actual term that archaeologists use.” As a relevant example, ArchaeoPlays recalls how, following the introduction of Minecraft Bees, children they were teaching stopped guessing that candles were made out of earwax and instead correctly assumed that they might be crafted from beeswax.

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Generally, though, ArchaeoPlays says they are very impressed by the implementation of archaeology in Minecraft. “These ruins are ruins, and they’re absolutely archaeologically accurate.” They remark on how the colours used closely resemble those often used by many ancient civilisations like the Greeks and Romans, and say that findings not being explicitly ‘useful’ to players is the right move: “The past does not exist to be useful to the present.”

Elsewhere in the Snapshot, Sculk Sensors and Sculk Shriekers have been altered slightly so that they stay queued until all adjacent chunks are loaded, preventing any vibration resonance setups from breaking. Sniffers can now be tempted using Torchflower seeds, and a new advancement trigger has been added that will activate when a recipe is crafted.

Among the many bug fixes listed in the full patch notes below, a fix for a “Lag spike when crossing certain chunk borders” has many players on the Minecraft Reddit jumping for joy. “Okay, this is huge,” remarks one of the top-voted comments, “Because whenever I move and chunks start to load I get lag spikes. But hopefully this won’t happen any more.” Others say they have even abandoned servers plagued by this particular issue, so here’s hoping this change puts an end to that one.

Minecraft Pottery Sherds - a scrap of pottery next to two fully-built large pots

Minecraft Snapshot 23W16A patch notes

Here are the patch notes for Minecraft Snapshot 23W16A:


  • All Pottery Shards has been renamed to Pottery Sherds.
  • If a vibration is scheduled to be received by a Sculk Sensor or Sculk Shrieker, they will stay queued until all adjacent chunks are loaded and ticking.
    • Prevents vibration resonance setups from breaking when unloading their chunks from a distance.
  • The game’s application icon has been updated.
    • This will be a Grass Block in release versions, and a Dirt Block in snapshot versions.
  • Sniffers can now be tempted by Torchflower seeds.

Trail Ruins

  • Reworked structures based on community feedback.
  • Added more structure variants.
  • Sand no longer generates within the structures.
  • Tweaked the amount of Gravel and Dirt.
  • Tweaked the amount of Suspicious Gravel.
  • Split the loot tables for the Suspicious Gravel within the structure. There is now a dedicated loot table for Rare loot items (e.g. Pottery Sherds, Smithing Templates), and a dedicated loot table for more common loot drops (e.g. Tinted Glass Pane, Tools, Candles, etc.).
  • Due to these changes you might see errors like ‘Failed to get element ResourceKey[minecraft:worldgen/processor_list / minecraft:trail_ruins_suspicious_sand]’ in an old snapshot world. These are harmless, but existing Trail Ruin structures that was not previously fully loaded might be missing parts of the structure.

Minecraft Trail Ruins - a scattered, broken ruin being uncovered

Technical Changes

  • The data pack version is now 14, accounting for item display orientation changes.
  • Added a ‘return’ command.
  • Added ‘recipe_crafted’ advancement trigger.
  • Added ‘villager_plantable_seeds’ tag to represent which kind of seeds Villagers can farm.
  • Added ‘maintains_farmland’ tag to represent which blocks will not cause farmland to be converted into dirt when placed on top of it.
  • ‘item_display’ items have been rotated 180 degrees around Y axis to better match transformation applied when rendering items on armor stand head and in item frames.
    • For reference, order of transformations applied to model (starting from innermost) is ‘item_transform’, rotate Y 180, ‘transformation’ field, entity orientation (billboard option + ‘Rotation’ field + ‘Pos’ field).

Bug Fixes

  • MC-162253 – Lag spike when crossing certain chunk borders.
  • MC-169498 – Empty top subchunks don’t update skylight in some cases.
  • MC-170010 – Sky-lightmaps not properly initialized.
  • MC-170012 – Lightmaps are missing for initial skylight.
  • MC-199752 – Polished Blackstone Button takes longer to break than other buttons.
  • MC-207251 – Sculk sensors and shriekers do not work correctly when cloned, generated on superflat worlds or placed with custom structures.
  • MC-249450 – Sculk shriekers placed with NBT don’t receive signals from nearby sculk sensors.
  • MC-252786 – SculkSensorBlockEntity and SculkShriekerBlockEntity leak VibrationListeners on update.
  • MC-254410 – /setidletimeout set to a timer longer than 35791 disconnects idle player immediately.
  • MC-257178 – Chiseled Bookshelf redstone behavior is inconsistent.
  • MC-260038 – Sniffer does not have smooth animation transitions for some of its animations, like sniffing.
  • MC-260219 – Sniffer eating sounds aren’t played when feeding them the last item of torchflower seeds within a stack.
  • MC-260221 – Sniffers can still dig when floated by levitation status effect.
  • MC-260237 – Sniffers can sniff while panicking.
  • MC-260466 – Torchflower doesn’t maintain farmland used to grow it.
  • MC-260849 – Sniffer can’t get into minecart.

Minecraft update - the Sniffer, a creature with a green back and yellow mouth with large nostrils

  • MC-261214 – Amethyst in calibrated sculk sensor is shaded and not stretched.
  • MC-261286 – Walking near liquids causes stone footstep sounds to play.
  • MC-261515 – You can’t brush blocks if a dropped item is between you and the block.
  • MC-261605 – Splash text sometimes covers several letters of “Java Edition.”
  • MC-261608 – Sculk sensors and calibrated sculk sensors lack a cooldown state.
  • MC-261620 – Crash when modifying age property of a pitcher crop.
  • MC-261625 – “Programmer Art” and “High contrast” built-in Resource Packs are incompatible.
  • MC-261643 – Villagers can’t plant torchflower seeds or pitcher plant pods, despite picking them up.
  • MC-261646 – Subtitle for Sniffers laying eggs is “Chicken plops.”
  • MC-261740 – Feeding a Sniffer while it is digging causes it to lay motionless for a while then dig again with no animation.
  • MC-261746 – Incorrect sound event ID spelling for “block.sniffer.egg_crack” and “block.sniffer.egg_hatch”.
  • MC-261804 – Expired Key preventing players from logging in on servers.
  • MC-261857 – Using the “/setblock”, “/fill”, or “/clone” commands to create little amounts of blocks in completely isolated areas causes large client-side stutters.

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