Posted: Dec 7, 2020 in Minecraft
By Kevin Lott
So, you all probably know what a Minecraft seed is. That long number that represents your world, or something like that. Well, you probably have looked at that number and wondered to yourself, why is it so large? What does it actually mean? Basically, Minecraft Seeds are codes that are used to generate your world in all its glory. The biomes, caves, blocks, structures, and more are all determined by this numerical value. By doing the ‘/seed’ command in a world, you can see the world’s genetic code, so to speak. Today, you’ll be learning a lot about how many seeds there actually are, so strap up!
Well, you see, when a mommy seed and a daddy seed love each other very much… Basically, when a world is created, a seed is generated at random. When creating a world, there is the option to input your own seed.
If non-numerals are presented to the game, Java’s hashcode function is used to turn it into a number. This is why when you try to use the ‘/seed’ command in-game, you never got back exactly what you typed into the Seed bar. (assuming you typed in something with not strictly numerical) “But Dave!” I hear you beckon, “How does that work?” Well, let me explain.
When Minecraft is given any seed that isn’t strictly a number, it runs a math equation using a Java “formula” called Hash. For every character you type in on the keyboard, each character has a numerical value attached to it. For example, A may equal 1, while Y may equal 34.
The formula Minecraft uses to turn letters into numbers is fairly simple: X • 31 ^ Y
X is the numerical value of the letter you just typed.
Y is the character’s position that you typed in
Combinations of letters and numbers that would exceed the maximum 64-bit integer limit or lower than the negative 64-bit integer limit are converted into a string, and then it will run the conversion algorithm again. So basically, anything that doesn’t make sense to Minecraft because it is too large is just chopped up into something that does make sense.
Technically, there actually is a finite number of seeds in Minecraft, but there are so many that even if everyone on Earth made it their goal to burn through them all, they still could not manage. The number is so high, you would die before you could count to it.
There are an estimated 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 possible seeds in Minecraft. That’s over 18 QUINTILLION. This number includes the fact that there is a negative number for every possible positive number. Now, that’s a LOT of worlds. Like, too many. 18 quintillion? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of or seen a quintillion of anything! Regardless, that’s the hard number of how many Minecraft worlds there are.
If you included customization options, to which have been expanded upon with things like Superflat, big biomes, and more, there would definitely be an immeasurable number that most likely can’t be quantified by any computer currently available. So in a way, with all factors taken into consideration, Minecraft’s seeds are truly countless.
We’ve reached the end of the line, young one. Now, you should be a little bit wiser than when you first started reading this blog. Seeds are a pretty cool mechanic in Minecraft, and although most view them as just a number, I see it was a way to forever cement your memories. Some players spend hours trying to find the ideal seed with an awesome landscape, while others try to discover dangerous ones that lead to the most challenging circumstances. People like me see the seed as a way to immortalize the memories we make in our worlds, because the idea that nobody ever played in that world besides you is priceless.