Minecraft Wiki
This article is about the thin cover caused by snowfall. For the full block, see Snow Block. For the weather condition, see Snowfall. For the projectile, see Snowball. For other uses, see Snow (disambiguation).

Snow, known as Top Snow in Bedrock Edition, is a ground cover block found on the surface in snowy biomes, and can be replenished during snowfall.



In Java Edition, destroying snow with a non-Silk-Touch shovel yields one snowball per layer. Explosions by TNT or creepers also cause snow to yield a snowball. Snow drops one item of itself per layer when mined using a shovel enchanted with Silk Touch, except for 8 layers of snow, which drops a snow block.[1] Any other tool, even if enchanted with Silk Touch, destroys the snow and drops nothing.

In Bedrock Edition, destroying top snow with a shovel yields 1-4 snowballs. The number of snowballs dropped is as follows: 1 snowball for 1-3 layers, 2 snowballs for snow 4-5 layers, 3 snowballs for 6-7 layers, and 4 snowballs for 8 layers. Unlike Java Edition, shovels enchanted with Silk Touch cause top snow to drop snowballs.[2] Top snow can also be removed by using a shovel on it if there is no block directly above the snow layer, yielding 1-4 snowballs. One snowball is dropped&emdash;regardless of the number of layers&emdash;if top snow falls into an invalid block space after its support block is destroyed.

Block Snow
Hardness 0.1
Breaking time[A]
Default 0.5
Wooden 0.1
Stone 0.05
Iron 0.05
Diamond 0.05
Netherite 0.05
Golden 0.05
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools as wielded by players with no status effects, measured in seconds. For more information, see Breaking § Speed.

Natural generation[]

Snow naturally generates in snowy biomes, cold biomes, and other biomes depending on the elevation and temperature. Only blocks with direct access to the sky can generate snow layers naturally (with the exception of some buildings in snowy villages, which generate extra snow in areas inaccessible to the sky).[3]

Top snow generates where there is sky access atop buildings in snowy taiga villages.‌[Bedrock Edition only]

Snow generates as piles and in multiple layers as part of many snowy plains village structures.

By default, snow generates exclusively in single layers in Java Edition. Top snow can generate in multiple layers in Bedrock Edition.

Snow also generates in ancient cities.


Ingredients Crafting recipe
Snow Block




In snowy biomes or in cold biomes at higher altitudes, the weather can produce snow instead of rain. In snowy weather, snow generates on random blocks with a complete solid top surface at integer y-values, with a block light level of 9 or less, with the exception of ice and packed ice. The rate at which snow forms is affected by the game rule randomTickSpeed.

Below are the altitudes at which rain ends and snow begins, depending on the biome. The exact height of the snow line is randomized. In taiga, for example, the lowest possible snow layer forms at y level 153, and the lowest height where snow forms at all locations is y=168, with snow lines ranging between y levels 153 and 168 across different locations.

Biome Layer
y -64 (All altitudes)
y 113–128
y 153–168
y 193–208
Above y 320 (not possible)
Depends on location

In Bedrock Edition, up to two layers of top snow can build up during snowfall. In Java Edition, snowfall creates one layer of snow by default, and the number of layers that can accumulate can be altered by the game rule snowAccumulationHeight: the default value being 1, while setting it to 0 makes no snow form at all, and setting it to 8 or above lets snow form up to the level of a full block.

Snow layers do not generate if the game rule doWeatherCycle has been set to false.‌[Bedrock Edition only]

Snow golems[]

Snow golems generate a trail of snow in snowy, cold, and some medium biomes, or any non-dry biome in Bedrock Edition.



Various thicknesses of snow.

Snow can be placed only on a solid block that is not ice. In Java Edition, snow breaks if its support block is removed. In Bedrock Edition, snow is affected by gravity and falls if it becomes unsupported, and breaks if it falls onto an unsuitable block. A player can jump up 1 block and 3 snow layers.


Snowy Grass Block

Snow covered grass block, mycelium or podzol.

If the snow is on a grass block (or mycelium or podzol in Java Edition[6]) the ground cover turns white on the top and around the sides. Snow does not damage tilled and hydrated field areas – it cannot be placed on farmland. A gravity-affected block like sand or gravel does not fall if snow covers the block below it, but the gravity-affected block does replace a snow layer when falling onto it. The texture of the grass block changes to snowy when a single layer of snow is placed on top.[7][8] Thicker layers of snow causes the grass block to revert to plain dirt when the block receives a random tick, similar to regular grass when covered by an opaque block. A plain dirt block with a single layer of snow on top gains a snowy texture if grass spreads to it.

In Bedrock Edition, if leaves are topped with a layer of snow, particles of snow appear to fall through the leaves from the snow layer.

In Bedrock Edition, snow layers can occupy the same space as one-block flowers, mushrooms, and one-block ferns and grass, (however two-block tall plants do not work)[9] and can be layered and mined normally. Placing snow on already-existing plant blocks causes snow to appear around them, but placing plants into an area where there is snow removes the snow.[10]

Snow layers can be used to kill nylium.[11]


Redstone Lamp melt pattern

Powered redstone lamps melting nearby snow.

Snow melts if there is a heat block,‌[BE & edu only] or block light level of 12 or more. In Bedrock Edition, it also melts in dry biomes, regardless of block light or daylight level. If there are multiple layers, layers melt gradually in Bedrock Edition, but they melt all at once in Java.

Some light sources can melt snow but many cannot. The melt radius is taxicab distance.

Item Melt radius
Beacon 3
Campfire 3
Soul Campfire -
Conduit 3
Glow Lichen -
Glowstone 3
Jack o'Lantern 3
Lantern 3
Soul Lantern -
Lava 3
Redstone Lamp 3
Respawn Anchor 1/4 Charge -
Respawn Anchor 2/4 Charge -
Respawn Anchor 3/4 Charge -
Respawn Anchor 4/4 Charge 3
1 Sea Pickle -
2 Sea Pickles -
3 Sea Pickles -
4 Sea Pickles 3
Shroomlight 3
Froglight 3
End Rod 2
Torch 2
Soul Torch -
Redstone Torch -
Ender Chest -
Furnace 1
Blast Furnace 1
Smoker 1
Crying Obsidian -
Magma Block -
Brewing Stand -
Brown Mushroom -
Dragon Egg -
Redstone Ore -
End Portal Frame -
Fire 3
Soul Fire -
Nether Portal -
Sea Lantern 3


When a fox gets stuck in the snow after missing an attack on prey, it emits particles as it emerges from the snow.


Java Edition:

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Block brokenBlocksOnce the block has brokenblock.snow.breaksubtitles.block.generic.break1.00.816
Block placedBlocksWhen the block is placedblock.snow.placesubtitles.block.generic.place1.00.816
Block breakingBlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenblock.snow.hitsubtitles.block.generic.hit0.250.516
None[sound 1]Entity-DependentFalling on the block with fall damageblock.snow.fallNone[sound 1]0.50.7516
FootstepsEntity-DependentWalking on the blockblock.snow.stepsubtitles.block.generic.footsteps0.151.016
  1. a b MC-177082

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
BlocksOnce the block has brokendig.snow1.00.8-1.0
BlocksWhen the block is placeddig.snow1.00.8-1.0
BlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenhit.snow0.350.5
PlayersFalling on the block with fall damagefall.snow0.41.0
PlayersWalking on the blockstep.snow0.31.0
PlayersJumping from the blockjump.snow0.121.0
PlayersFalling on the block without fall damageland.snow0.221.0

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierFormBlock tagsTranslation key
SnowsnowBlock & Iteminside_step_sound_blocks

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID FormItem ID[i 1]Translation key
Top Snowsnow_layer78Block & Giveable Item[i 2]Identical[i 3]tile.snow_layer.name
  1. ID of block's direct item form, which is used in savegame files and addons.
  2. Available with /give command.
  3. The block's direct item form has the same id as the block.

Block states[]

See also: Block states

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
The number of layers thick.
Each layer adds two pixels to the block height, and each layer after the first adds two pixels to the collision box.

Bedrock Edition:

NameMetadata Bits Default value Allowed valuesValues for
Metadata Bits
The number of layers in addition to the bottom layer.
True if the snow is covering a plant.


Missing Model JE3
This page would benefit from the addition of more images. 
Please remove this notice once you've added suitable images to the article.
The specific instructions are: Appearance when affected by MC-50254
Java Edition Classic
May 20, 2009Notch briefly mentioned, "Winter is an awesome idea. I can see snow and tiles slowly getting covered in a layer of snow. Also, ice on lakes. :D"
May 21, 2009Notch reveals that snow "on top of topmost tiles" was on his to-do list.
Java Edition Alpha
v1.0.4Snow (layers 1) JE1 BE1 Snowfall has been added to maps only in winter mode. When creating a new save, a map has a 1/4 chance of having worldwide snowfall. When falling on exposed land, a thin snow layer is created.
Snow can not fall onto any non solid blocks, and instead falls through them. The exception to this is leaves.
v1.0.5Disturbing a snow layer by any means other than replacing it now causes a snowball to drop. This includes melting and mining snow or the block under it.
A player can now easily harvest snow by placing a block of water. By doing so, the player receives a large amount of snowballs with little effort.
Snow can now fall onto many non solid blocks including glass, stairs, slabs, doors, signs, and pressure plates.
v1.0.5_01Snowballs can now be harvested from snow only by using with shovels.
v1.0.17Snow can no longer fall on non solid blocks, including leaves. Any snow on top of non solid blocks break given a block update.
v1.2.0previewWith the removal of Winter Mode, snow can no longer regenerate.
Java Edition Beta
1.5Snow (layers 2) JE1 Snow (layers 3) JE1 Snow (layers 4) JE1 Snow (layers 5) JE1 Snow (layers 6) JE1 Snow (layers 7) JE1 Snow (layers 8) JE1 BE1 Stacked snow layers have been added. They do not generate naturally and cannot be placed. Layers 1-3 have no collision, while 4-8 all have a half block collision.
Snow regeneration has now returned as part of the new weather features.[12]
Snow can now occur in arctic biomes.
1.7Snow (layers 1) JE2 BE2 Snow (layers 2) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 3) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 4) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 5) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 6) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 7) JE2 BE1 The side textures of snow layers 1-7 are now aligned to the bottom of the block instead of the top.
1.8Pre-releaseSnow biomes have been temporarily removed as Notch is currently trying to improve them.
Dropped snow layer items no longer appear larger than normal blocks.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 PrereleaseSnow biomes have been re-added.
Snow now occurs in tundra biomes, as well as arctic biomes.
Added snow golems, which leave a trail of snow behind them, making snow easier to farm.
1.3.112w21aSnow has been made available in the creative inventory.
1.513w05aSnow can now be crafted and is obtainable in Survival mode.
Stacked snow layers now have correct collisions, and can be placed.
?Single snow layers now have collision. Walking on top of them is equivalent to walking atop a full block below them.
?Single snow layers no longer have collision.
1.814w28bThe number of snowballs dropped from snow has been increased from 1-8 to 2-9, depending on thickness.
1.1317w47aThe ID of snow has been changed from snow_layer to snow.
Prior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 78.
Layer 1 snow now has empty collision instead of solid collision of height 0, allowing entities to once again pass through it.
17w48aSnow now drops itself when mined with a Silk Touch shovel.[13]
?Mining 8 layers of snow with a Silk Touch shovel now drops a snow block.[1]
1.1418w43aSnow (layers 1) JE3 BE3 Snow (layers 2) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 3) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 4) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 5) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 6) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 7) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 8) JE2 BE2 The texture of snow has been changed.
18w49aSnow now generate in the updated snowy tundra villages.
19w03cSeven layer high snow now uses correct cullface arguments.
1.1922w13aSnow now generate as part of ancient cities.
1.19.322w44aAdded the game rule snowAccumulationHeight.
1.20.223w31aThe rate of snow accumulation is now affected by the game rule randomTickSpeed.
Pocket Edition Alpha
Pre-releaseSnow (layers 1) JE1 BE1 Added snow to the world generation.
v0.4.0Snow (layers 1) JE2 BE2 The model of snow has been changed.
v0.8.0build 1Added snow to the Creative mode inventory.
v0.12.1build 1Snow (layers 2) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 3) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 4) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 5) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 6) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 7) JE2 BE1 Snow (layers 8) JE1 BE1 Stacked snow layers have been added. They can be placed. Layers 1-3 have no collision, while 4-8 all have a half block collision.
Snow is now affected by gravity, so that unsupported snow layers show falling dust particles.
Snow can now be placed inside flowers, mushrooms and tall grass.
Snow is now obtained by using a shovel on it. Previously, snow was mined like any dirt-type block.
Snow now melts in any non-snowy biome.
?Snow now only melts in dry/hot biomes.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0?Snow layers can now generate in extreme hills biomes.
1.10.0beta (layers 1) JE3 BE3 Snow (layers 2) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 3) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 4) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 5) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 6) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 7) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 8) JE2 BE2 The texture of snow has been changed.
1.16.0beta now drops itself when mined with a Silk Touch shovel.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU1 1.0 Patch 11.0.1Snow (layers 1) JE1 BE1 Added snow.
TU54CU44 1.52 Patch 241.0.4Snow can now be placed on top of upside-down stairs.
TU69CU57 1.76 Patch 38Snow is now affected by gravity.
1.90 Snow (layers 1) JE3 BE3 Snow (layers 2) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 3) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 4) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 5) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 6) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 7) JE3 BE2 Snow (layers 8) JE2 BE2 The texture of snow has been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Snow (layers 1) JE2 BE2 Added snow.


Issues relating to "Snow", "Snow layer", or "Top snow" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • Snow can be stacked to a full block beside a cactus without destroying the cactus.
  • Snow layers of 2 to 7 thickness prevent hostile mobs from spawning.
  • In Spectator mode, a player positioned at the correct height can see the snowy texture of the top of the grass blocks.


Java Edition[]

Bedrock Edition[]



  1. a b MC-134408 — Breaking 8-level snow layer with Silk Touch drops snow block
  2. MCPE-59729 — Snow layers don't drop themselves when mined with a silk touch enchanted shovel
  3. MC-198006 — resolved as "Works As Intended".
  4. MC-240697 — It snows in the stony shore biomes from Y = 118 and above
  5. MCPE-142225 — Dripstone Caves biome temperature is too cold
  6. MCPE-12277
  7. MC-1483
  8. MCPE-32637
  9. MCPE-21688
  10. MCPE-29695
  11. MC-174639
  12. "Minecraft Beta 1.5, and some thoughts on this blog" – Notch, Tumblr
  13. MC-1875 — " Snow layers don't drop themselves when harvested with a silk touch tool" — resolved as "Fixed".