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Simulation Distance in Minecraft

Last modified on Apr 2, 2024 in General

mc head By Nathan Young

As you play Minecraft and explore various biomes, encounter mobs, and collect resources, many background operations are performed. These typically include rendering chunks, with one type meant to save memory. This is known as simulation distance, an operation that calculates ticks for entities, liquids, smelting, and more. It’s used in both Minecraft Java and Bedrock editions, as it plays crucial roles in the game. Players can edit the simulation distance to gain certain advantages or increase their machine’s performance. In cases where you want to do this for any particular reason, it’s important to understand what you’re doing. With this in mind, we’ve created this Apex Hosting guide to teach you all about this and how to change simulation distances in Minecraft.

What is Simulation Distance?

Breaking down what simulation distances are in Minecraft means we must start at the beginning. In Bedrock Edition, this controls mob spawning, despawning, and tick updates. It’s the maximum number of chunks that allows blocks, fluids, and entities to be ticked. Setting this too low might break your mob farms or disrupt furnaces from smelting, meaning simulation distance is extremely important in Minecraft. It’s the main background operation that works with ticks, which controls practically everything minus a few core features.

As for Java Edition, it’s essentially the same concept – but focuses more on entities being ticked. This applies to any mob, projectile, or dropped item. If the simulation distance is set too high, then your machine’s performance will be lowered. For example, having a render distance of 20 chunks with an equal amount of simulation means more background operations are happening, resulting in low FPS and memory stress. Whether you’re on singleplayer or dedicated servers, it’s still applied.

How to Change Simulation Distance

Minecraft Simulation Distance

The simulation distance in Minecraft can be changed on Java, Bedrock, and dedicated servers. It’s extremely straightforward, but some players might be unaware of the process. The subsections below will show you how to change this setting according to your setup. We strongly recommend having the simulation distance be lower than your render distance, anywhere between 8-14. It boils down to your machine’s performance, as some people have better hardware than others. Regardless, you can play around with the simulation distance until you find the sweet spot for yourself.

Java Edition

Players using Minecraft Java Edition can quickly change the simulation distance by navigating to the video settings area. This can be done in-game or from the main menu, so you always have the ability to tweak it. When you’re ready, review the instructions below to begin.

  1. Launch Minecraft and navigate to Options, then Video Settings.
    Minecraft Video Settings
  2. Proceed to change the Simulation Distance setting to your desired value.
    Minecraft Simulation Distance Setting
  3. Afterward, click the Done button and load into your world.


Bedrock Edition

Unlike Java, Bedrock Edition considers the simulation distance as a “world-creation” setting. This means that it can only be tweaked in the world options or creation menu. The steps below show you how to do this on an existing save file, but when creating a new one – the simulation distance is found in the advanced area.

  1. Open Minecraft Bedrock, then click Play and press the Edit icon for your existing world.
    Minecraft Bedrock World Options
  2. While in the Game settings, scroll down and change the Simulation Distance option.
    Minecraft Bedrock Simulation Distance
  3. Afterward, click Play at the top left corner and load into your world.


Dedicated Servers

If you already have a Minecraft server with us, then the following instructions will help you set the simulation distance for it. Otherwise, purchase one from our Pricing Area and review the information below to begin. The simulation distance on the server will determine it for everyone

  1. Head towards your Apex server panel, then click Config Files near the top left.
    Minecraft Server Config Files
  2. On the next page, find and select the Server Settings option.
    Minecraft Server Settings
  3. Proceed to edit the Simulation Distance setting to your desired amount.
    Minecraft Server Simulation Distance Setting
  4. When you’re finished, click Save at the bottom and restart the server.


Minecraft Simulation Distance

Whether you’re speedrunning Minecraft, farming for mobs, or wanting to increase your computer’s performance, the simulation distance comes in handy. This controls how entities are ticked, including liquids, spawning, despawning, and more. It’s similar to render distance, but only for background operations. Having this set too high can result in a laggy experience in-game, along with machine stress. That’s why understanding what simulation distance is and how to control it is important.

Simulation Distance FAQ

How important is Minecraft simulation distance?

The simulation distance in Minecraft is extremely important, as it plays critical roles in background operations, such as ticking mobs, items, or liquids. Without this feature, Minecraft becomes unplayable!

What is an optimized level for simulation distance?

Optimizing the simulation distance in Minecraft boils down to your computer’s hardware, but usually is best at 8-14 chunks. It’s encouraged to test what works best for your setup.

Why isn’t my Minecraft simulation distance working?

The simulation distance might not work if it’s too high compared to the render distance. Consider playing around with each of these values to get everything working properly.

Useful Links

Minecraft Server Optimization
How to Show Chunk Borders in Minecraft
How to Allocate More RAM to Minecraft
Becoming a Minecraft Server Operator

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