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I won't have to drown any more horses, thanks to the new Minecraft update

It’s finally here: the Minecraft update 1.19.50 has arrived, and it brings plenty of camel goodness and other great surprises. 

This update was promised to us back in October during Minecraft Live. We got the pleasure of seeing lead designers and spokespeople for Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons – Agnes Larsson, and Jens Bergensten – discuss their plans for the following year’s new content. 

Front and center was the update 1.19.50, which promised a new tone to the blocky adventure game. This time, however, instead of one coherent theme like those we’ve seen in previous years (including the cave update or the nature update), this update would be themeless. 

Instead of a restrictive structure, the team over at Mojang would add elements that they wanted to see in the game regardless of whether they fit together. That’s why the new auditions of bamboo blocks, interactive bookshelves, and camels may not seem cohesive – at least, not at first. 

Minecraft house - a luxury Minecraft house with a garden

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)


We equine enthusiasts should be happy for this new lease on life from the Mojang team. The addition of camels will save the lives of countless horses because, quite simply, camels can swim. 

Well, to be more specific, they can wade. But this is a game changer for exploring the world of Minecraft. The terrain is broken up by stretches of rivers, lakes, and oceans scattered as a constant throughout the ever-generating world, so it will be a relief to traverse these without having to resort to violence.

Before camels, horses were the go-to companion for speedy expeditions. However, their biggest fault was a lack of water safety skills. As you ride around, you would either have to avoid crossing rivers entirely or launch your horse into a river and watch them desperately flounder for air as they try to cross the shallow river bed. Although I have never drowned a horse, it wasn’t through a lack of trying.

Two characters on a hill with animals

(Image credit: Mojang)

Better for everyone 

However, this new update is a lifesaver for more than just horses. The decision to abandon the much-loved themed update was a hard pill to swallow, but ultimately it was necessary for the sanity and creativity of the Mojang team.

It was discussed in Minecraft Live 2022 that themes in previous years did more damage than good for the developers. In the end, the devs would end up being creatively cuffed by sticking to one specific theme, meaning they tended to promise more than they could produce.

In the past, Mojang has announced features they couldn’t deliver due to workload, stress, and time constraints. A good example of this can be found in the 1.17 cliffs update. There were many wonderful things to come out of this update, but Mojang had promised an archaeology feature that never came to fruition. 

Creators with sniffer mob

(Image credit: Mojang)

During Minecraft Live, developer Agnes Larsson said this year, “it is important that we learn from that and take action”. As a result, Mojang has promised only to announce features that are nearly finished to avoid disappointment and to abandon the themes entirely. This means that additions to Minecraft will be actually useful and not just a way to tick a thematic box.

So don’t feel down if you were expecting more from this update; as the year progresses, we will see more elements introduced. In the meantime, be thankful that after one month of waiting, we’ve already been provided with all the camels, bookshelves, and bamboo blocks that we could ever want. 

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