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Another week, another Minecraft snapshot. This one is especially major, but it’s taught many of us a fact about archeology that seems strange to the uninitiated. On top of that, a few changes were made to 1.20 features like the Sniffer and Trail Ruins. Plus, the game’s application icon is changing a little to make the differences between official release versions and snapshots obvious.

We’ll take you through all of the changes made to the game in Minecraft Snapshot 23w16a, as the Trails & Tales update draws ever nearer.

Check out the recently released Minecraft spin-off with our Minecraft Legends walkthrough to get you started.

Pottery Sherds – Minecraft Snapshot 23w16a

Minecraft pot and brush

If you don’t know much about archeology (which we didn’t until today) then it may seem a strange decision to change the name of the game’s new Pottery Shards to instead be “Sherds”, but as it turns out, this is the correct archeological term.

Typically, “shard” is only used to refer to fragments of glass, while ceramic or pottery are instead “sherds”. It may not matter to most players, but it’s attention to details like this that make Minecraft a good tool for education.

New icon – Minecraft Snapshot 23w16a

Minecraft Java Edition launcher

The Minecraft Java Edition launcher has a bunch of different icons you can use to differentiate instances of the game. This is very useful if you play with mods, as it lets you identify at a glance which version of the game you’re loading up. To help with this, the classic Minecraft grass block icon will now only be applied to the official release versions of the game. From now on the snapshots will instead be a plain dirt block to represent their incomplete nature.

Sniffers – Minecraft Snapshot 23w16a

Minecraft Sniffer

These ancient dinosaurs are still lacking party of their functionality, but now you can lure them wherever you want with the Torchflower item. To get Torchflower you must get a Sniffer to dig up some ancient seeds for you.

Trail Ruins – Minecraft Snapshot 23w16a

Minecraft Trail Ruins

Now the Trail Ruins have been out for a few weeks, Mojang is starting to implement the player feedback on them. Most importantly, more variations of structures have been added, so finding them isn’t as dull as before. On top of that, sand no longer generates in the ruins, with the amount of dirt, gravel, and suspicious gravel being increased in its place. Finally, the loot table on suspicious gravel has been tweaked, with rare and common drops split into separate loot tables.