In Minecraft, presumably the world is finite. What happens when you reach the edge of the world? Or will the world become too large to reasonably deal with before this happens?
From Notch's Tumblr:
As of Beta 1.8 [source]:
A few patches ago the world was practically infinite (couple of million kilometers) but with the later updates problems occur closer to the 0 point (around 8000 kilometers)
As seen in the video (not mine) bounding boxes will be located differently from the cubes themselves, movement stutters and various other problems come up (going even further renders the game completely unplayable).
This still leaves you with around (2*8000)*(2*8000) = 256000000 square kilometers of playable surfaces area (the distances only matter on 1 axes for the most part so its a roughly square surface, its also times two cause you can go 8000 kilometers both north and south)
Notch himself wrote a blog post about Minecraft's world generation.
Short answer: The maps are infinite (until your hard drive fills up), but will become buggier the bigger they are.
The map is pretty much infinite. The Far Lands do get quite weird over time, because, as Notch stated, problems in the map generator produce some weird effects.
As close as 500,000 blocks away from your spawn point, the frame rate starts to slow down. As you get further and further away, the framerate keeps on slowing down to the point where you cannot move at all. Then Minecraft crashes.
The point in which the Far Lands really begin, however, is at X/Z 12,550,821. The terrain generator starts going crazy, producing amazingly tall and smooth floating structures that keep on going to infinity. The Far Lands are monster magnets, because the spaces between one structure and another are pitch black, so they are able to spawn.
At X/Z 32,000,000, the terrain generator goes out of control. The structures don't change, however now there is no lighting, trees, monsters or animals. You will have to use a mod to fly now, because now the block positioning system is out of control too. If you are not flying, you will fall through the blocks into the Void (yes, even the Bedrock goes crazy). While you are flying, try to break a block at the top of the Far Lands. First you will find out that it is very hard to do so. Second, when you have done it, the hole in the block shakes from side to side.
At X/Z of ±2,147,483,648, positions of items, mob pathfinding and other things using 32-bit integers will overflow and act weird, usually resulting in Minecraft crashing.
Finally, at the hard limit which is at about X/Z ±34,359,738,368 (if you convert that to meters, is is one-quarter of the way from the Earth to the Sun), blocks and chunks will simply stop generating.
protected by Community♦ Dec 12 '12 at 22:35
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?