Snowballs are obtained whenever snow is destroyed with a Shovel. Four snowballs can then be crafted into a Snow Block or can be thrown. If it's destroyed with anything other than a shovel, nothing is dropped. As of update 1.5, snow is able to be stacked in layers above the ground, causing snowbanks that a player may walk through. This gives the world a more realistic feel to it, but it can cause clutter when a player does not frequently visit a snowy area. These snow layers can be stacked up to 8, which it will then look like a normal snow block. Note that the layered snow will be destroyed if the water is poured on it, but snow blocks won't (making it good for secret messages). 3 snow blocks can be used to create snow slabs in survival, but one will still get snowballs after one lays them down.
Once the snow has been destroyed, the ground will remain clear, until such time as it snows again. This makes snow a renewable resource. Another reason why it is renewable is the fact that snow golems will leave behind a trail of snow when roaming around.
On multiplayer servers, many snowball fights are held in forts containing mazes of snowbanks that slow players down. Usually, the objective is to keep players from breaking a block in the fort they build, which is done by hitting them with snowballs to keep them out. The first team to break the block (usually dirt or for more difficulty, wood) wins.
Snow requires a shovel to harvest, otherwise, it will drop nothing.
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- Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.
- Prior to the Halloween Update (2010), snow could only be found on maps that were in winter mode. When creating a new save, a map had a 1⁄5 chance of having worldwide snowfall. Since Alpha 1.2, snow can occur in arctic biomes.
- Sometimes, snow can spawn on air blocks, usually over cave entrances or water pools. Walking on these blocks will make one fall through the snow.
- If one places a block near the floating snow, it will update itself, and disappear.
- Snow is a common block to be used as the flooring in a game of "Spleef" as it breaks almost instantly with a diamond shovel.
- You can use snow golems to make a snow farm by confining them in one space, and mining from the corner of the block with a shovel.
- Snow layers do not accumulate naturally during snowfall.
- In the Bedrock Edition, snow does not get destroyed when the block below is, it instead obeys physics.
- Snow layered on trees will emit particle effects that resemble snow falling from the leaves giving the snow a more natural look.