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Based on experience and general stability, would you say it is safe to play your main world on a snapshot build of Minecraft?

I am aware there's no guarantee of world integrity (but then again, neither is there any on the stable builds), but the question remains.

  • Have you encountered irrecoverable chunk errors?
  • Is upgrading to a stable build easily feasible?
  • Is upgrading to other snapshot builds easily feasible?
  • [When] should I backup my worlds?
  • Are there other concerns to be had?

The new features are promising, and I don't feel like waiting anymore.

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    you can always back your worlds, then it is perfectly safe. Jan 12, 2013 at 20:37
  • @joetheperson post that as an answer
    – Ender
    Jan 12, 2013 at 20:38
  • rule of thumb: if the latest snapshot is more than 2 days old and no-one is complaining about bugs then it is safe to play Jan 12, 2013 at 21:27
  • IMHO there are always bugs, i.e. playing on stable can still cause errors. Snapshots only have (much) more bugs than stable.
    – Alvin Wong
    Jan 13, 2013 at 5:07

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It is quite safe to play on these snapshots, because even popular multiplayer servers often upgrade to them.

It is no problem at all to upgrade to those snapshots: just download the minecraft.jar file and replace it in .minecraft/bin.

It is often good to wait a day or two after the first snapshot of a week (**w**a) has been released because they are often buggy and another snapshot (**w**b) can be released shortly afterwards.

I recommend to do backups regularly, maybe even as often as every 2 hours of playing, just to be safe. Making backups is easy: exit from world, compress the world folder to an archive and resume your game.

However, there are indeed some concerns:

  • You can't go back to a previous build (without losing progress). New items will disappear in best case, or even cause worse problems.

  • New additions can be unbalanced/overpowered. For example, Hoppers used to be crafted with Stone blocks, which are very cheap, but then were changed to use Iron. So you may feel uncomfortable about this...

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    Agree generally. An additional item for the list: Downgrading typically wipes out your achievements and statistics.
    – Kevin Reid
    Jan 13, 2013 at 17:20
  • @KevinReid Not anymore. That was changed in 13w04a.
    – BlaXpirit
    Jan 30, 2013 at 23:24

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