Seeds are pretty important in Minecraft—and not just because they’re the key to amassing a mighty army of virtual chickens. World seeds, the magical strings of numbers that generate the game’s terrain, are an excellent tool to help you kick-start your adventure. Bored of spawning into flat, uninspiring plains? Wearing out your blocky booties searching for a decent spot to set up shop? Get seeding, and take advantage of exotic locations filled with possibility.

Whether you’re after unique strongholds to loot, floating islands to build upon, extreme landmasses to scale, survival challenges to face or simply a cosy spot for your swanky new pad, our essential list has you covered.

It couldn’t be simpler. Step one: check that the seed version matches up with the version of Minecraft you’re running. Step two: plug those delicious digits into the seed field when creating your new world. Step three: enjoy some of the best Minecraft world seeds ever discovered. (Optional step four: move in that sinister chicken army of yours.)

1. Gorgeous Extreme Hills

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Hope you’re wearing your enchanted flip-flops and have a hankering to scale ridiculous terrain. It could well take you several Minecraft days to climb these Extreme Hills… but just look at the view you’ll be clocking on the way up. Waterfalls cascade through the air, enormous swathes of rock overhang verdant plains, and hollows in the mountain practically beg to be excavated and explored. Just imagine how awesome your base of operations would look built into this natural structure.

2. Flower Forest and Ice Plains,

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The Ice Plains Spikes biome is a rare variant of the Tundra biome, featuring huge sculptural pillars of Packed Ice and, er… not a lot else, actually. It doesn’t half make a lovely backdrop though—which is why this seed is so spectacular. You spawn in a picturesque flower forest, the ocean lapping at one side and a frigid paradise skirting the other. The perfect setting for an Adventure Time tribute build, perhaps.

3. Jungle Oasis,

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It’s worth uncorking this version 1.4 vintage for the chance to dip your toes in one of Minecraft’s most gorgeous natural pools. Jungle biomes are somewhat rare, and finding such an exquisite example of one as a randomly-generated archipelago rarer still. But this little looker is more than just a pretty place. It’s chock-a-block with animal life and rich in easily-accessible resources—a fine choice for playing Survival mode in style.

4. Giant Floating Island feat. Ominous Abyss

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Paradisiacal islands are all well and good, but if you fancy something a little more existential, why not try this highly improbable seed? A gigantic grassy landmass hovers in the air with a flagrant disregard for the laws of physics, overlooking the dark, hopeless maw of a perversely alluring ravine… But before you go flinging yourself in in search of treasure, we should mention there’s a jungle temple just across the river. Slightly less drastic.

5. Lava-filled Desert Mountain with Splash of Greenery

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Normally, I’d deem throwing all your favourite things into a blender and mixing them together madness (step away from your cat, please). With this particular seed, however, the Frankenstein fusion of biomes really works. A vast desert setting; an Extreme Hills mountain; a high-altitude forest; an inexplicably-lush base camp area; a village; a desert temple… It all comes together to produce endless potential for a variety of adventures.

6. Beautiful Mesa Forest

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As if layer upon fudgy layer of colourful clay wasn’t a tasty enough prospect for you, this mesa seed boasts several other interesting quirks. You start in a ravine where thick clusters of oak trees grow: a short stroll up onto the plateau, and you’ll notice a wide-ranging mesa forest with a lake inside a deep crater. Find the cave hidden around the rim of the crater, and you’ll drop right into an extensive system of underground tunnels.

7. Minimalist Survival Island

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As Gandhi once remarked, “To achieve true enlightenment, one must isolate themselves upon an unforgiving Minecraft survival island seed”. This pared-down setting might well inspire some soul-searching. Essential supplies are practically non-existent here, the nearby squid your only friends—not counting Mr. Grass, Mr. Sand and Señor Gravel. After some time you too may find yourself anthropomorphising inanimate blocks. Best survival seed ever; 10/10, would go mad there again.

8. Village Surrounded by Snow

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Best return to civilisation, eh? There’s no NPC village more scenic than this one, a diminutive hamlet nestled in a thawed patch of Cold Taiga biome. You’ve a friendly neighbourhood blacksmith, a quaint little farm for food, and there are even diamonds to, erm, borrow, if you poke about. If you’re after something to build a thriving metropolis off of, and are a sucker for a snowy backyard, this is the seed for you.

9. Landlocked Mushroom Biome

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Minecraft’s shroomy kingdoms are normally rather lonely affairs: tiny little landmasses far out to sea, with a few Mooshrooms sprinkled about for good measure. This seed, however, generates a uniquely landlocked Mushroom Biome. Upon spawning, you’re at liberty to leg it into the emerald wilderness, butarmed with just a wooden bowl and your wits, it's possible to craft a fungal abode and live on infinite mushroom stew. Going veggie has never been so simple.

10. Hollow Mountain, Hello Zombies

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Being an aspiring Minecraft supervillain in this day and age is no picnic. In fact, it’s a logistical nightmare. Where to find room to install an intimidatingly large lava wall? How to conceal your TNT-powered superweapons? And the bodies? Well, this seed has a solution: a 244-block-high hollow mountain practically made for housing all your dastardly designs. There’s even an exposed zombie dungeon at the summit for unlimited XP farming.

11. Seaside Mega-Taiga

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Live out all your wildest lumberjackin’ fantasies in this Mega Taiga seed, which contains an absolutely massive redwood forest. You’ll spawn by the cave seen at the bottom of this picture, so you can get your shelter or mineshaft started quickly, leaving more time to enjoy your surroundings. One of the two paths inside the cave leads to a dead end—but the other leads you to a gorgeous ocean vista.

12. Crazy Crater

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I'm not entirely sure how Steve survived the End Times, but this seed proves that it must take a whole lot more than a piddling shower of flaming meteors to kill him. A giant, perfectly-circular crater in the earth leads deep down into an underground network of caves, ravines, and mineshafts. There’s tons of ore to mine, including plenty of sparkly diamond goodness. The crater’s also a handy natural mutton-generating trap. Sorry, sheep.

13. Mountainous Snowy Island

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Not all islands have to be tropical, you know. The highest points of this Extreme Hills island are dusted with snow and covered with clouds. The downside is that there are no animals living on the island, so your lunchtime BLT ain’t happening here. It’s far from a hostile place, though: there’s tons of exposed coal in the cliffs, and plenty of trees and grass to get you up and running.

14. Ravine Stronghold/Library

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Don’t be fooled by your spawn point—that’s not the ravine you’re looking for. Want a glimpse of a true underground wonder? Head towards coordinates 236 68 -704. Peeking into the chasm, you’ll spot an oaken, open-plan (alright, it’s just missing a few walls. Let us play estate agent) library intersecting a stronghold. Ladders and bookshelves line the walls: you might need a few tomes to enchant your gear, seeing as though the end portal is nearby…

15. Witch Hut on Stilts

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You’re probably used to coming across the odd Witch Hut (then booking it in the other direction lest you’re poisoned to a sticky pulp). But a Witch Hut on stilts? Well, it’s possible. Mosey on over to coordinates 207, 66, 614 and take a gander at those long, loggy legs extending into the ground. Heading southwest from spawn brings you to a village: there’s a loot-filled abandoned mineshaft directly below it.

The best Minecraft seeds for beautiful, interesting worlds