What is simulation distance in Minecraft? | Pink Army

What is simulation distance in Minecraft? | Pink Army

Minecraft has a ton of settings that can be confusing for those not elbow-deep in knowledge about the game’s engine or how it works, and simulation distance is one of them.

Put in layman’s terms, simulation distance is the distance that the game’s engine will load entities and apply changes to relative to the player. This isn’t the same as render distance, which merely loads in chunks and blocks to be seen.

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For example, if a Minecraft player has a farm five chunks away, and their simulation distance is at five chunks or higher, that farm will grow over time. As opposed to render distance, simulation distance dictates which blocks and chunks can interact with the world.

Minecraft: Other things to know about simulation distance

Image via Mojang

Minecraft’s simulation distance is primarily a world setting used on Minecraft Bedrock edition, as the Java edition calculates its simulation and interaction differently.

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The biggest interaction when it comes to simulation distance is between the player and nearby chunks. Based on Minecraft’s ticket/ticking system, when certain chunks receive a ticket, they are loaded into the game based on their proximity to a player.

Simulation distance is an extension of that, deciding which chunks are subject to other forces in Minecraft’s engine. This includes interaction not only with time, but also mobs and things like liquids or explosives.

The reason that simulation distance is important with regard to chunks is a hardware one. If Bedrock edition loaded the game’s chunks in and they were all interactible, the game’s processing load for the hardware of whatever platform was available would heavily increase.

This could result in sluggish or borderline unplayable gameplay. In order to amend that, the game’s render distance and simulation distance work in cohesion, allowing players to see faraway Minecraft chunks but not interact with them until they are close enough to.

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The settings themselves can be heady, but they are there for a very specific reason. With Bedrock edition having different hardware constraints compared to Java, Mojang had to take particular precautions to make sure that Minecraft runs smoothly on non-PC platforms.

It is a mechanic made to ensure optimal game experience, and most players typically aren’t even aware of its existence. But many parts of Minecraft’s engine go unnoticed, and that is what’s remarkable about the game. It appears simple, but is more complex than many fans are aware of.

Read More: Minecraft x Sonic the Hedgehog DLC has been officially released

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