Minecraft Advancements 101
Advancements are trophies that clearly mark the barrier between the casual player and the intense gamer. For some, they are just notifications which pop up on your screen every now and then. For others, they add a whole new dimension to the game. In the case of Minecraft advancements, they can be ignored or pursued vigorously.
Mojang overhauled the Java Edition’s achievement system in March 2017, with the release of 1.12. The old mechanic was relatively simple, serving as a way to introduce new players to various aspects of gameplay, represented by a tree of possible achievements. Now, with advancements, this purpose lives on with the added intricacy of five different categories (represented as tabs) of accomplishments: Minecraft, Adventure, Nether, The End, and Husbandry.
Each tab contains a tree, and while each advancement can be earned independently of those before it, you have to unlock the advancement before it to view later advancements on the tree. You will notice that there are three different types of advancements which comprise each tree: normal (square icon), goal (ellipses icon), and challenges (the fancy square icon). Challenge advancements will reward you with varying amounts of experience points when completed.
There are a few dozen Minecraft advancements to complete, but here I’ll be listing off what I believe to be the four hardest challenge advancements to earn in a survival world.