In Minecraft, I usually play by myself in the single player game mode. Now I had to disable the internet access on my laptop because of an overload on internet usage. When playing Minecraft I searched for some pigs and horses to bring back to my city, but after an hour of looking around I only found a few chickens (that I happily murdered).

Do animals spawn less frequently in offline mode or is this just sheer coincidence?

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    @BillyMailman Although it's a subset of that question, it's not a dupe. – fredley Aug 23 '13 at 11:44
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  • @Batphobia Dead chickens don't cluck. – SevenSidedDie Aug 24 '13 at 16:57
  • @SevenSidedDie Yes, but dead cows don't moo. – avestar101 Aug 24 '13 at 23:31
  • Thats some insiteful comments XD just wanted to mention.. if you find yourself in an area with few mobs, don't kill them > breed them – DCA- Aug 30 '13 at 11:56

Animal spawning is determined by your seed.

As a test, I used this seed: -9057352651117540831 which is known to produce a lot of horses near spawn. I generated the world twice, offline and online. The results were the same, not just for the horses, but for all passive mobs.

Offline: enter image description here

Online: enter image description here

The groups of animals are generated in both instances.

  • Animal spawning stops being based on seed after level generation, though, doesn't it? – Billy Mailman Aug 23 '13 at 11:58
  • @BillyMailman In the situation in the question only level-gen spawning is really a factor. – fredley Aug 23 '13 at 12:00
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    @BillyMailman The spawnrate for passive mobs is negligible anyway. Any attempts to calculate it would be lost in the random number generator. – Unionhawk Aug 23 '13 at 14:48
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    I notice a difference of 2 chickens between these images. – Batophobia Aug 23 '13 at 18:16
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    @Batophobia Animal groups are spawned, and the group size varies. It will always be at least one though (and I think there's another chicken out of frame) – fredley Aug 23 '13 at 18:24

I'd put it down to pure coincidence. The spawning algorithm is based (primarily) on a random number generator, meaning that any result is guaranteed to be random. (Well, pseudo-random. I'll come back to this).

Some things to consider that may be affecting your chances:

  • Animals do not spawn in desert or ocean biomes (except squid, but their spawning algorithm is different)
  • Animal spawning is determined by the world seed, meaning that if you use the same seed, then the same chunks will contain the same animals (This is where the 'pseudo-randomness' comes from).
  • Of newly generated chunks, 1/10 will contain mobs.
  • Animals usually spawn in groups of 1-4 of the same animal
  • They cannot spawn on transparent blocks.
  • Initially, the block doesn't need to be grass, or illuminated
    • When new animals spawn in already-generated chunks (which happens rarely), they need grass blocks with a light level of 9+.
    • The grass/light requirement holds true for animals spawned using mob spawners.
  • The only animals that can despawn are wild ocelots and hostile wolves.

Source: Minecraft Wiki


Animal spawning is guaranteed to be the same in both Survival Single Player and Survival Multiplayer. Mostly because "single player" mode is, and has been for a while, merely a local server running on your PC that only you can connect to.


This is coincidence. The animal spawning algorithm has been analysed in fine detail and no part of it mentions accessing the internet at all. You can find information on the minecraft wiki; animals are spawned in 1/10 of new chunks, but it's not evenly distributed, so sometimes you find a lot and sometimes very few.

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