Flying in survival Minecraft may sound like something out of a mod, but snapshot 15w41a introduced a new item that may do just that: the Elytra. This item, a set of wings like a bug’s (Elytra are the fore wings of beetles), allows player to glide through the world, opening up all new possibilities for Minecraft players.
Last Tuesday, Jeb posted a gif to twitter of the Elytra in use and an image of the Elytra equipped:
The Elytra will use the texture of the cape a player has equipped. The image on the left shows the Elytra unequipped; an image of the Elytra equipped is on the right.
Flying in Minecraft!?
The Elytra won’t allow the player to fly – not exactly. More accurately, it’s a glider. When equipped in the chestplate armor slot, the wings will automatically deploy after the player falls a few blocks. The Elytra will slow a player’s descent, allowing them a safe landing.
The Elytra are controlled using the mouse. Moving the mouse to the side will angle the player to the side. Moving the mouse up will tilt the player up; moving the mouse down will tilt the player down. Be careful while going downwards, though. A simple descent can quickly turn into a full-speed nose dive, and from the right height, that can be lethal!
The Elytra will take damage as time passes, so they’ll need to be repaired with either another Elytra, or a piece of leather. Once the item reaches 1 durability, it will lose its function, but it will not break. An enchanted book with Unbreaking can also be applied to the Elytra.
Obtaining the Elytra
Currently, the Elytra aren’t craftable. They can only be found in the End Ships, introduced in an earlier snapshot. After fighting off Shulkers and Endermen, a single pair of Elytra sit in an item frame in the hull, waiting to be taken as a trophy.
End Ships are also the only way to obtain the Ender Dragon’s head, which is located at the bow of the ship. The ships can also contain gems, enchanted items, and other valuables, so they’re worth exploring fully. Escaping the ship after you’ve obtained the Elytra is really easy – just jump off!
Bonus: Boats are (finally) fixed!
No more joking that Mojang can’t fix boats. Along with introducing the Elytra, 15w41a finally fixed them. Boats now come in six types, one for each color of wood, and need oars (which are just wooden shovels). In addition, boats can now carry mobs!
Boats are controlled by oars now, and each oar is controlled by a different key. The ‘a’ key controls the left oar, and the ‘d’ key controls the right one. The ‘w’ key, unlike all previous versions, does not have any function. In addition, players can only look 90 degrees in any direction.
Interested in trying out the snapshot for yourself? Download it from the Minecraft launcher. The official patch notes for the snapshot can be found on the Mojang website.