Mojang has officially released the Minecraft Patch 1.9 combat-centric update. This update brings a slew of new features to expand the game from the original which consisted of simply building. Previously, combat in the game consisted of furiously dealing as many attacks towards an enemy in the hopes that they succumb to damage before you did. Now the combat mechanics of the game have been updated, with an attack ‘cool-down’ delay added so players will need proper planning and timing to best utilize their attacks. This may be a disadvantage to the novice player but with a new item added, the shield, it enables the player to block any attacks coming towards them. To go along with the shield, the sword and axe both get special attacks to help with combat. This will completely change the dynamics of how you approach enemies both in groups and individually.

Another feature which will change the game is the ability to hold and use items in both hands at the same time. This means players can use the new shield along with a weapon when in combat to ruthlessly destroy any enemy. This won’t only be useful in combat, an ire of players is needing to place torches as they explore the dark reaches of the game and subsequently running into an enemy suddenly and being killed. For some players, this will speed up their building by providing two different blocks to use without the need to switch.

There are an assortment of new blocks added, an expansion of The End and igloos along with other changes. This has been the longest awaited patch in the games history, with the last update being in September 2014. This update is only for the PC, with the consoles lagging behind as usual.

The complete patch detail can be found below:

  • Added shields
  • Attacking now has a “cool-down” delay, making it more important to time your attacks
  • You can now hold items in both hands (default quick key to swap items is ‘F’)
  • Swords have a special sweep attack
  • Axes have a special crushing blow attack
  • Added the elytra
  • New mob: Shulker
  • Expanded The End
  • Added Chorus plants
  • New Purpur blocks
  • New End Rod block
  • Added dragon head block
  • Ender Dragon can be resummoned
  • Added beetroot and beetroot soup (from MC:PE)
  • Added grass path block
  • Added igloos
  • Armor protection values have been lowered
  • Added tipped arrows
  • Added spectral arrows
  • Added Frost Walker enchantment and frosted ice block
  • Added a whole bunch of new sound effects
  • Added sound effect subtitles
  • Brewing Stand now requires Blaze Powder to activate
  • Added skeleton riders
  • We believe we’ve fixed MC-10 and a whole bunch of other issues
  • Removed Herobrine