Minecraft’s new snapshot showcases the Warden, Swift Sneak, Darkness effect

Thanks to the Warden, Minecraft is now a horror game.

Screengrab via Mojang

The latest Minecraft snapshot, 22W12A, is bringing the Warden’s arrival and functionality to the game alongside a slew of other exciting new features.

These features are huge and sure to massively affect all Minecraft gameplay once they’re officially released. Here’s a rundown of what this snapshot introduces.

The Warden

Screengrab via Mojang

The terrifying creature of the Deep Dark has officially arrived. This formidable foe is blind but can use vibrations, smell, and proximity to hunt you down. Even though you can’t see them, Wardens lurk beneath the surface of the Deep Dark and are always there waiting for Sculk Shriekers to awaken them by notifying them of your presence.

The more vibrations you make through noisy and bold activities, the more upset the Warden will become. A Warden’s chest will beat more quickly the angrier it becomes. If it is pushed beyond its threshold for anger, it will turn to face the target of its anger, roar, and then charge at it.

Players who successfully avoid being noticed by the Warden or angering it for 60 seconds will get a chance to escape since it will retreat back underground. Warden’s don’t drop any loot, can easily disable shields, and are incredibly difficult to kill, so sneaking away or around them is always going to be the best method for survival.

Sculk Shrieker functionality

Screengrab via Mojang

The Sculk Shrieker’s located around the Deep Dark now function with Sculk Sensors and the Warden. When a Sculk Sensor detects vibrations, the Sculk Shrieker will then send out a warning signal to the Warden. Stepping directly on a Sculk Shrieker will also send out a call for the Warden.

The Warden might not instantly arrive, however, since the Sculk Shrieker’s signal is more of a warning call at first that will cause players to hear the Warden moving toward them nearby. Once the Warden has moved close enough to the Sculk Shrieker, it will then fully be summoned and appear on the surface nearby.

Swift Sneak enchantment

Screengrab via Mojang

The new Swift Sneak enchantment will be critical to players’ success against the almighty Warden. It makes sneaking around much quicker, which will allow players to move quietly enough that it will be hard for the Warden to sense them but still efficiently enough to possibly escape.

Swift Sneak has three different levels and the speed of sneaking increases with each level. It allows players to move as fast as they can while walking and is the first enchantment exclusively available for leggings.

Darkness effect

Screengrab via Mojang

The Darkness effect makes players’ view, even with torches or other light sources nearby, incredibly dark in flickering increments. It is applied to players by the Warden and Sculk Shriekers when you are in their vicinity.

Boat with a chest

Screengrab via Mojang

Players can now place a chest in any boat, making travel and world exploration much easier. Bringing items with you on trips and transporting anything new you find back to your home base is now much more doable.

A full list of all of the new features within snapshot 22W12A, alongside the many bug fixes, is available below, courtesy of Mojang.

New features in 22W12A

  • Added Darkness mob effect
  • Added Sculk Shrieker functionality
  • Added the Warden mob
  • Added boat with chest
  • Added the Swift Sneak enchantment

Sculk Shrieker

  • Added functionality to the Sculk Shrieker: Notable for its boney appendages, this block responds to Sculk Sensors detecting vibrations by sending out a warning call to distant Wardens.
    • Watch out when stepping on them, as they will feel that too and send out a call.
  • Initially it may take some time for a Warden to arrive, but you’ll hear it responding in the distance…
  • Once it’s close enough, a call from the Sculk Shrieker will summon the Warden nearby – be prepared.


The horror of the Deep Dark. A creature with no eyes, roughly resembling the Sculk that can be found throughout the Deep Dark, the Warden is an unstoppable force of nature that inhabits this biome.

  • Just like Sculk Sensors, these terrifying creatures use vibrations as a means to navigate their environment.
  • When vibrations aren’t enough, they will also use a sense of smell to track down their prey – you can observe them sniffing their surroundings to get closer to unsuspecting players and mobs.
  • To add to their myriad of ways to detect you, try not to get too close. If you collide with a Warden, it will notice you.
  • In the Deep Dark, Wardens are everywhere – you just can’t see them. They slumber beneath your feet, and only dig out when enough Sculk Shriekers have alerted them of your presence.
  • Watch your step: the more vibrations a Warden detects, the angrier it will get. You can hear and see this from how fast the souls in its chest are beating.
  • Once a mob has pushed beyond the Warden’s anger threshold, it will face its prey and roar before charging.
  • If, however, you keep the Warden from noticing you or getting angry for 60 seconds, it will dig back underground and despawn.
  • They have a special interaction with thrown projectiles:
    • If the Warden receives two projectile vibrations within five seconds of one another, it will grow angrier at the shooter.
    • If the Warden receives a projectile vibration more than five seconds from the last projectile, it will not grow angrier at the shooter.
    • This allows you to strategically distract the Warden without it getting angry while you take loot from nearby chests.
  • Unfortunately for all players, Wardens will also disable shields when they hit them with their fists.
  • They do not drop any loot.
  • Wardens are powerful creatures, and it is often better to sneak around one that has emerged instead of taking it head on – you’ve been warned.


  • A new mob effect unique to the Warden and Sculk Shrieker, which will afflict you with it when nearby.
  • Lowers the gamma down at an equivalent of “Moody” while having this effect.
  • In periodic pulses, will lower the overall brightness of the world so that the darkness creeps up against light sources.
  • When the Warden is around, torches will be more important than ever.
  • A new Accessibility slider has been added in your Options menu called “Darkness Pulsing.”
    • Controls how dark the Darkness effect gets when a Warden or Sculk Shrieker gives it to you, but will not affect the fog distance.

Boat with chest

  • Lets you bring more stuff on your boat adventures.
  • If you are in the boat, press the open inventory key to access the chest contents.
  • If you are not in the boat, shift-right click to access the chest contents.
  • If you break the boat the chest contents will spill out, like with other chests.
  • Also works with hoppers, droppers, and other blocks that interact with chests.
  • Like other chests, opening a boat chest or breaking the boat will anger piglins, since they think all chests belong to them.

Swift sneak

Imbue your leggings with this shiny new enchantment to move as fast while crouching as you would normally walk.

  • When applied, it will increase your movement speed while sneaking.
  • Has three different levels with different speed increases.
  • It is the first enchantment unique to leggings equipment.

Changes in 22W12A

  • The Deep Dark biome is now less flooded than surrounding areas.
  • Leaves are now waterloggable.
  • Removed debug hotkey cycling render distance.

Fixed bugs in 22W12A

  • MC-149805 – While editing a book, you cannot use Ctrl+Home or Ctrl+End to jump to the beginning or end of the text
  • MC-165503 – Fence gates (between walls) aren’t affected by ambient occlusion/smooth lighting
  • MC-176081 – Striders with NoAI still get cold
  • MC-177321 – Soul sand doesn’t have smooth lighting / ambient occlusion
  • MC-179916 – Foxes path towards origin (0,0) during a thunderstorm
  • MC-190661 – Pressing Esc or using the Cancel button in the “Experimental Settings” warning returns to main menu
  • MC-197854 – Cannot use Ctrl+Backspace to delete entire words in Edit sign GUI
  • MC-236149 – You cannot use CTRL+BACKSPACE to delete words in the book and quill GUI
  • MC-236212 – You cannot use CTRL+ARROW KEY to navigate the cursor between words in the book and quill GUI
  • MC-238009 – Some end cities can generate floating above the ground
  • MC-239019 – /locatebiome command doesn’t consistently locate the nearest cave biome
  • MC-248621 – TagKey creation leads to memory leak
  • MC-249073 – Mangrove Fence Gate & Mangrove Fence are in the wrong tab in the creative inventory
  • MC-249081 – Placing water inside the mangrove propagule breaks it
  • MC-249098 – Mud brick slabs use generic stone sound
  • MC-249112 – Ender dragon fight is not triggered upon entering the End
  • MC-249134 – Subtitle “Frog hatches” should be “Tadpole hatches”
  • MC-249143 – Mud, Mangrove Roots, and their variants are too loud in comparison with other blocks
  • MC-249171 – Map color for mangrove log is incorrect
  • MC-249172 – Map color for mangrove slab is incorrect
  • MC-249173 – Map color for mangrove trapdoor is incorrect
  • MC-249174 – Map color for mud bricks, mud brick stairs, and mud brick walls is incorrect
  • MC-249181 – Powered rail / activator rail update order is reversed
  • MC-249184 – The mangrove fence recipe is not grouped with the fence recipes of other wood types
  • MC-249195 – Some Mangrove Propagules float after leaves decayed
  • MC-249253 – Bee tries to pollinate a waterlogged mangrove propagule and dies
  • MC-249270 – Mangrove leaves do not have a hoe as their preferred tool
  • MC-249303 – Mangrove Leaves cannot be composted
  • MC-249312 – Mud Brick Slab has a slower mining speed then other mud bricks
  • MC-249316 – Mangrove fence, fence gate and boat cannot be used for fuel