Beta was the fifth and final development stage before the official release of Minecraft 1.0. It was preceded by Alpha, announced on Notch's blog on December 11, 2010, and released nine days later on December 20, 2010. When Minecraft entered this stage, the game saw a 50% price increase (to $19.50), therefore making the game cost 25% off of the full price.
- New Minecraft logo and launcher
- New animated background for main menu
- Achievements and statistics
- Server-side inventory
- Weather: Rain and snow
- Rewritten biome codes
- More variety in trees
- New lighting mechanics
- Void particles, explosions, water bubbles, an improved sunrise/sunset, and other new graphical effects
- Naturally generated structures such as Strongholds, Abandoned Mineshafts, and Villages
- New mobs, including Squid, Endermen, Silverfish, Cave Spiders, and Wolves
- New health mechanic using hunger and stackable food items
- New combat mechanics such as critical hits, charged bows, experience, and sprinting
- New mechanisms: Sticky Pistons, Pistons, Trapdoors, and more
- New blocks and recipes, such as sandstone and Lapis Lazuli Blocks
- New farming elements: Melons and Pumpkins
- Beds for skipping through the night and resetting spawn point
- Wool dyes
- There existed a debug version of Beta 1.3 where the player spawned with 64 torches, 64 beds, a diamond axe, a diamond pickaxe, and a diamond shovel upon creating a new world. The version is unofficially called "Beta 1.3a".
- The first time Notch released Beta 1.1, fonts.txt was missing and he realized that he needed to make an update faster and sooner, and about 20 minutes later, Beta 1.1_01 and Beta 1.1_02 was released to fix the bug.
- The first version of Xbox 360 Edition was the same as Beta 1.6.6.
- If a world that was saved sometime between Beta 1.0 and 1.12 is loaded into the current game environment, the biomes will change to plains, taiga, or other biomes, the leaves and saplings will turn into different species and the player inventory will be cleared.
- Some sound effects in Beta will no longer play the old sound effect, instead playing the newer sounds because sounds are not stored in the .jar file.