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This article is about the sounds that play semi-randomly in the background of gameplay. For the sound produced by flowing water called "water ambience", see Water § Sounds. For the ambient-genre music that plays in-game, see Music.

Ambience (also called ambience sounds or ambient sounds) are sounds that can be heard in specific conditions. They were created by C418 and Samuel Åberg. Currently, there are 167 different ambience sounds.

Ambience is divided into groups of ambience sounds that play under same condition/s. Currently, there are "cave", "underwater" and "Nether" ambiences.

The volume of ambient sounds can be changed individually through "Music & Sounds" in the Options menu by changing the "Ambient/Environment" bar. However, this also affects the sounds of firework rockets and such.

All ambience can be played using the /playsound minecraft:<code name> command. All ambiences' code names start with ambient.<unique code name>.

Note that the player needs to put into the command more variables than just the name of the sounds. See playsound for more info.

Cave ambience[]

Cave ambience (also known as cave sounds, or eerie noises according to the subtitles) are sounds that occasionally play when the player is underground or in a dark area, based on the mood algorithm.

Cave ambience sounds can play in all biomes except the Nether biomes, as long as there is a cave or a dark enough area present.

The code name for cave ambience is ambient.cave. There are 19 different cave ambience sounds in total.

Name Sound Description
Cave 1 An echoing steam train whistle
Cave 2 Humming
Cave 3 An eerie orchestra of very low notes
Cave 4 Wind echoing through a hollow tunnel
Cave 5 Ambient spine-chilling ringing sounds
Cave 6 A car's engine passing by
Cave 7 A gong ringing quietly
Cave 8 A blaze breathing
Cave 9 An airplane flying overhead
Cave 10 An echoing bang and a screeching violin
Cave 11 A subway train racing at a very high speed
Cave 12 A very loud bell
Cave 13 Creepy heavy breath noise/growling
Cave 14 Robotic glitching noises

This audio file resembles the image of a Creeper face if put into a spectrogram

Cave 15 Possibly a distorted train whistle
Cave 16 Metallic banging/Possibly a minecart tumbling down a tunnel
Cave 17 An iron door slamming shut followed by a bell ringing with dark ambient whooshing sounds in the background.
Cave 18 A minecart tumbling downhill/Something banging on wood with keys
Cave 19 An echoing unorganized piano-like chord layered with a snarling noise

Underwater ambience[]

Information icon.svg
This feature is exclusive to Java Edition. 
Not to be confused with the sound produced by flowing water.

Underwater ambience plays while the player's head is underwater. There are 22 different underwater ambience sounds in total.

They can be heard within a body of water of any size and in any dimension.

Underwater ambience is divided into two groups: "Loop" and "Loop Additions". Both of these play independently of each other while player is underwater. Additionally, "Loop Additions" are divided into 3 more groups.

Its code name is ambient.underwater.<group code name>

Note that Rare Loop Addition's and Ultra Rare Loop Addition's rarity is exaggerated in their name. Their names are derived from their in-game code names.
Group Info Code Name
Loop Plays in never-ending loop for as long as player is underwater ambient.underwater.loop
Loop Additions Plays commonly while player is underwater ambient.underwater.loop.additions
Rare Loop Additions Plays uncommonly while player is underwater ambient.underwater.loop.additions.rare
Ultra Rare Loop Additions Plays rarely while player is underwater ambient.underwater.loop.additions.ultra_rare
Name Sound Group
Underwater Ambience Loop
Bubbles 1 Loop Additions
Bubbles 2
Bubbles 3
Bubbles 4
Bubbles 5
Bubbles 6
Water 1
Water 2
Animal 1 Rare Loop Additions
Bass Whale 1
Bass Whale 2
Crackles 1
Crackles 2
Driplets 1
Driplets 2
Earth Crack
Animal 2 Ultra Rare Loop Additions
Dark 1
Dark 2
Dark 3
Dark 4

Nether ambience[]

Nether ambience plays while the player is in the Nether. Each biome has its own unique ambience. There are 126 different nether ambience sounds in total.

Nether ambience is divided into three groups: "Loop", "Loop Additions", and "Mood", all of which play independently of each other while the player is in the Nether.

Its code name is ambient.<biome>.<group code name>

Group Info Code Name
Loop Plays in never-ending loop for as long as player is in the biome ambient.<biome>.loop
Loop Additions Plays commonly while the player is in the biome ambient.<biome>.additions
Mood Plays once at least every 6000 ticks while the player is in the biome, based on the mood algorithm ambient.<biome>.mood

Basalt Deltas ambience[]

Name Sound Group
Basalt Deltas Ambience Loop
Basalt deltas active 1 Loop Additions
Basalt deltas active 2
Basalt deltas active 3
Basalt deltas active 4
Basalt Deltas Basalt Ground 1
Basalt Deltas Basalt Ground 2
Basalt Deltas Basalt Ground 3
Basalt Deltas Basalt Ground 4
Basalt Deltas Click 1
Basalt Deltas Click 2
Basalt Deltas Click 3
Basalt Deltas Click 4
Basalt Deltas Click 5
Basalt Deltas Click 6
Basalt Deltas Click 7
Basalt Deltas Click 8
Basalt Deltas Debris 1
Basalt Deltas Debris 2
Basalt Deltas Debris 3
Basalt Deltas Heavy Click 1
Basalt Deltas Heavy Click 2
Basalt Deltas Long Debris 1
Basalt Deltas Long Debris 2
Basalt Deltas Plode 1
Basalt Deltas Plode 2
Basalt Deltas Plode 3
Basalt Deltas Twist 1
Basalt Deltas Twist 2
Basalt Deltas Twist 3
Basalt Deltas Twist 4

Crimson Forest ambience[]

Name Sound Group
Crimson Forest Ambience Loop
Crimson Forest Addition 1 Loop Additions
Crimson Forest Addition 2
Crimson Forest Addition 3
Crimson Forest Particles 1
Crimson Forest Particles 2
Crimson Forest Particles 3
Crimson Forest Shine 1
Crimson Forest Shine 2
Crimson Forest Shine 3
Crimson Forest Shroom 1
Crimson Forest Shroom 2
Crimson Forest Shroom 3
Crimson Forest Twang 1
Crimson Forest Voom 1
Crimson Forest Voom 2
Crimson Forest Mood 1 Mood
Crimson Forest Mood 2
Crimson Forest Mood 3
Crimson Forest Mood 4

Nether Wastes ambience[]

Name Sound Group
Nether Wastes Ambience Loop
Nether Wastes Addition 1 Loop Additions
Nether Wastes Addition 2
Nether Wastes Addition 3
Nether Wastes Addition 4
Nether Wastes Addition 5
Nether Wastes Addition 6
Nether Wastes Addition 7
Nether Wastes Addition 8
Nether Wastes Dark 1
Nether Wastes Dark 2
Nether Wastes Ground 1
Nether Wastes Ground 2
Nether Wastes Ground 3
Nether Wastes Ground 4
Nether Wastes Mood 1 Mood
Nether Wastes Mood 2
Nether Wastes Mood 3
Nether Wastes Mood 4
Nether Wastes Mood 5

Soul Sand Valley ambience[]

Name Sound Group
Soulsand Valley Ambience Loop
Soulsand Valley Sand 1 Loop Additions
Soulsand Valley Sand 2
Soulsand Valley Sand 3
Soulsand Valley Voices 1
Soulsand Valley Voices 2
Soulsand Valley Voices 3
Soulsand Valley Voices 4
Soulsand Valley Voices 5
Soulsand Valley Whisper 1
Soulsand Valley Whisper 2
Soulsand Valley Whisper 3
Soulsand Valley Whisper 4
Soulsand Valley Whisper 5
Soulsand Valley Whisper 6
Soulsand Valley Whisper 7
Soulsand Valley Whisper 8
Soulsand Valley Wind 1
Soulsand Valley Wind 2
Soulsand Valley Wind 3
Soulsand Valley Wind 4
Soulsand Valley With 1
Soulsand Valley Mood 1 Mood
Soulsand Valley Mood 2
Soulsand Valley Mood 3
Soulsand Valley Mood 4

Warped Forest ambience[]

Name Sound Group
Warped Forest Ambience Loop
Warped Forest Addition 1 Loop Additions
Warped Forest Addition 2
Warped Forest Addition 3
Warped Forest Addition 4
Warped Forest Addition 5
Warped Forest Addition 6
Warped Forest Enish 1
Warped Forest Enish 2
Warped Forest Enish 3
Warped Forest Help 1
Warped Forest Help 2
Warped Forest Here 1
Warped Forest Here 2
Warped Forest Here 3
Warped Forest Mood 1 Mood
Warped Forest Mood 2
Warped Forest Mood 3
Warped Forest Mood 4
Warped Forest Mood 5
Warped Forest Mood 6
Warped Forest Mood 7
Warped Forest Mood 8
Warped Forest Mood 9
Warped Forest Creak 1
Warped Forest Creak 2
Warped Forest Creak 3
Warped Forest Creak 4
Warped Forest Creak 5

Mood algorithm[]

Mood ambience sounds occur based on a "mood" percent value between 0–100. The mood increases when the player is in a cave or in a dark place, and decreases otherwise. When the mood reaches 100%, one of the sounds plays randomly, resetting the mood to 0% and thus restarting the cycle. The darker it is, and the more non-transparent blocks there are, the quicker the mood increases. in Java Edition, the current mood value appears on the debug screen.

This is the simplified algorithm for computing this value in pseudocode:

    tickDelay = 6000
    maxLightLevel = 15
    block = select a random block in a 17×17×17 block cube centered around the player
    skyLight = block.getSkyLightLevel()

    if (skyLight > 0):
        mood = mood - (skyLight / maxLightLevel) * 0.015
        blockLight = block.getBlockLightLevel()
        mood = mood - (blockLight - 1) / tickDelay
    if (mood ≥ 1.0):
        mood = 0.0
    else if (mood < 0):
        mood = 0.0

This method is called once every tick. It selects a random block in a 17×17×17 area centered around the player's eye position, and alters the mood value accordingly:

  • If the selected block has sky light, it decreases the mood by 11000 per sky light level.
  • If it has a block light level above 1, it decreases the mood value by (block light level - 1)6000.
  • If the block light level is 0, it increases the mood value by 16000.

This means that if you are in complete darkness and there are no lit blocks around you, an ambient noise will play every 6000 ticks (5 minutes).

Since non-transparent blocks are considered to have a sky and block light level of 0, the mood value increases especially fast if you're in a cave.


Java Edition Alpha
v1.0.3Added 13 different cave ambient sounds.
Java Edition
1.2.112w07aThe map format was updated to the Anvil format, which now allows ambience to be heard in multiplayer.
Cave Ambience was known to play only in 3×3×3 spaces or larger, but it's been heard playing in spaces of smaller size.
1.915w43aAdded cave sound 14.
1.10pre2Added cave sounds 15 and 16.
1.1217w13aAdded cave sounds 17 and 18.
1.1318w02aAdded cave sound 19.
18w10aAdded 22 different underwater ambient sounds.
1.1620w10aAdded 95 different nether ambient sounds for the nether wastes, crimson forest, warped forest,and soul sand valley.
20w12aThere is now a new mood detection algorithm for cave ambience. Two factors increase the mood gradually: Being underground and being in low light levels. The mood works by increasing or decreasing the percentage between 0% and 100%, and when it reaches 100%, cave ambience plays. The percentage can be seen in the debug screen.
20w15aAdded 31 new ambient sounds for the basalt deltas. 9 more ambient sounds are reused.
Bedrock Edition
1.16.0beta cave and mood nether ambience.
beta frequency of cave and nether ambience has been tweaked.
1.16.210beta more nether ambience for the nether wastes, crimson forest, warped forest, basalt delta and soul sand valley.
Legacy Console Edition
TU12CU1 1.0 Patch 11.0.1Added 13 different cave ambient sounds.
TU25CU14 1.17 Added an option to disable or enable ambient cave sounds.
TU43CU33 1.36 Patch 13Added cave sounds 15 and 16.
TU46CU36 1.38 Patch 15Added cave sound 14.
TU54CU44 1.52 Patch 241.0.4Added cave sounds 17 and 18.
TU69 1.76 Patch 38Added cave sound 19.


Issues relating to "Ambience", "Cave ambience", "Underwater ambience", or "Nether ambience" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


Cave 14 viewed in a spectrogram.

  • When "Cave 14" is viewed in a spectrogram, it appears to show the face of a creeper.
  • Cave ambience is the only ambience that has subtitles.
  • "Basalt Deltas click" is likely based on the sound a Geiger counter makes when in the presence of radiation, despite neither Geiger counters nor radiation existing in vanilla Minecraft.
  • "Cave 1,5, and 13" can also be heard in lower pitches. The pitch can range from 0.65x to 1.00x.
  • "Cave 5 and 13" also sound a little similar, but they are played with different speeds. Also the sound for "Cave 5" sounds like a low-ringing bell while "Cave 13" sounds like an intense brush of wind.
  • Although the mood algorithm works in all vanilla dimensions since Java Edition 1.16, due to the mood system isn't programmed properly for the End ambience sounds to be played in the End, so the Overworld cave ambience sounds could be played in the end instead.[verify]
  • "Warped Forest Mood 9" is actually a slowed-down and reverberated idle sound of the witch.

See also[]