Modo Inverno era um tipo de mapa que ocorre ao acaso para Minecraft Alpha. Foi adicionado em 9 de julho de 2010 e foi o primeiro "bioma" a aparecer no Minecraft. Mapas com o tema Modo Inverno não poderiam ser convertidos de volta para mundos normais e vice-versa, sem a utilização de programas de terceiros. Os jogadores podiam, though, forçar seu save game a entrar ou sair do Modo Inverno pela ativação/desativação do parâmetro "SnowCovered" no arquivo "level.dat" usando um editor de mapas. A Halloween Update desativou o Modo Inverno pela introdução de biomas. Desde então, a neve aparecia em biomas de Taiga e Tundra. Although behaving somewhat like a present-day biome because it altered the environment, at least one important difference between Winter Mode and the post-Halloween Update snowy biomes occurred: While Winter Mode affected entire worlds, snowy biomes only affect small parts of it. The Halloween Update disabled the snowfall effect and made Winter Mode obsolete (although now they have re-implemented snowfall) because snow is now area-dependent, as one of many biomes.
Differences between Winter Mode and the normal map type
One of the differences was snowflakes, which fell constantly. There were four different kinds of snowflakes. These snowflakes would create snow tiles on any block that was directly exposed to the sky, provided that it was solid. Snow tiles which were hit by a light level of 12 or brighter (sunlight ignored) would melt. Snow could be broken by hand or with tools, and a shovel could be used to produce snowballs (at a rate of 1 per tile), which could then be thrown with a right-click or crafted into snow blocks. Snow would automatically disappear if a block was placed on it. It would also hover in the air if placed over a slab.
The second element unique to the Winter Mode was ice. When a map was generated, all exposed water blocks would be frozen into Ice, which is semi-transparent and slippery. Ice could be changed back to a water spring by breaking it by hand or tools, pickaxes being faster. Upon destruction, ice would not yield any item. Like snow, it could be melted by being hit with a light level of 12 or higher (sunlight ignored).
Also, animals would not spawn as much as in the normal world.