A biome is a region in a world with distinct geographical features, flora, temperatures, humidities, and sky, water, fog, grass and foliage colors. Biomes separate every generated world into different environments, such as forests, deserts and taigas. The biome of a location is determined during world generation rather than current environment. Even if the player completely changes all the blocks in a large area to imitate the terrain of other biomes, the biomes in this area will not be affected.
The term biome is analogous to its scientific usage on Earth. A biome is climatically and geographically defined by distinctive communities of plants, animals and soil organisms supported by similar climatic conditions. They are often referred to as ecosystems.
These are the biomes featured in the overworld.
The plains biome was the first released biome in Minecraft and covered the entire land. It consisted of mainly grass and dirt. Trees were added later in the game, then the release of ore blocks. Villages will also spawn here. Plains are the most basic of all lands, and the easiest to obtain food due to grass (seeds) and the spawning of farm animals, which are more abundant than in other biomes. Now plains have a chance to spawn bees and ruined nether portals.
Subtype: Sunflower Plains. Sunflower plains are plains that produce a naturally occurring abundance of sunflowers. They were added in 1.8 - The Bountiful Update.
Forest are a common biome with many oak and birch trees and a fair amount of tall grass, mushrooms and flowers. This is one of the most preferred biomes to start out in, due to the abundance of wood. Like in taigas, wolves are found.
Subtype: Birch Forest This biome only includes birch trees, though some oak trees will appear in it. It also looks much like a forest biome, although none of the birch trees can be large like their oak variants. However, if the terrain happens to be hilly, the birch trees can be extra tall.
Subtype: Flower Forest Flower forests are forests with oak trees but have a variety of species of flowers scattered throughout the biome. Bees are able to spawn in this biome. There are barely any farm animals.
Subtype: Cherry Grove Cherry groves are grasslands with a lot of grass, tall grass and, besides the traditional dandelions and poppies flowers, there are pink petals. The main environmental feature of the cherry grove are cherry trees identified by their striking pink color. Their leaves drop petal particles. The cherry trees may generate densely enough create a cover of leaves. The cherry grove biome is good for surviving.
Dark Forest The dark forest biome features dark oak trees and huge mushrooms. The roofed forest biome is a very dangerous biome for players, as there are many dark places in the forest where hostile mobs are likely to spawn. However, it's more common than the mushroom fields, which makes it an easier place to find giant mushrooms. This is also where a woodland mansion can generate, though this is very rare. Prior to 1.13, dark forests were called roofed forests but were renamed to dark forests in this update.
Swamp wamp biomes feature shallow bodies of discolored water and discolored grass, with oak trees covered in vines. Slimes and witch huts can be found in swamps. Swamp biomes are the only natural source for lily pads which generate in water. This is also the only biome that has naturally-occurring blue orchids. This is one of the easiest biomes to harvest clay in due to the large volume of shallow water, which is where a player will most frequently find clay. In Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, giant mushrooms will spawn in this biome as of the update 0.10.0., and the water tends to be dark and murky
Subtype: Mangrove Swamp The mangrove swamp is a variant of the swamp biome that generates in warmer regions, usually next to jungles and deserts. The floor is mainly composed of mud blocks with occasional grass block or dirt disks. In Java Edition, unlike most of overworld biomes, mushrooms do not generate here. The grass has the same color as the normal swamp but leaves and vines have a unique light green tint and the water is teal rather than gray. Warm frogs and tropical fish are the only passive animals that spawn in this biome. Swamp huts do not generate here.
Jungle A dense forested biome. It features ferns and large jungle trees that can reach up to 31 blocks tall with 2×2 thick trunks. Oak trees are also common though. The landscape is lush green, leaves cover much of the forest floor—these "bush trees" have single-blocks of jungle wood for trunks, surrounded by oak or jungle leaves. Vines are found alongside most blocks and may cover the surface of caves. Ocelots, pyramids, melons, cocoa, pandas and parrots exclusively generate in this biome. Melons generate in patches, similar to pumpkins, but are common.
The bamboo jungle is a variant with dense bamboos. Oak trees, jungle trees, and jungle bushes are much less dense in this variant than in the regular jungle, and more dense to the sparse jungle, but boasts countless amounts of bamboo across its landscape. Patched melons are as common as in regular variants. Some swaths of grass blocks are replaced with podzol, similarly to old growth taigas. Cocoa beans cannot be found here, since they generate only on small jungle trees. All jungle-exclusive mobs spawn here. Pandas have a higher spawn rate in bamboo jungle than in regular jungle. Jungle pyramids may spawn here in Java Edition, whereas there are no jungle pyramids in Bedrock Edition.
Taiga The taiga is a biome with densely-filled spruce trees and dull grey-blue grass. Hills are common, and wolves may be found in this biome more frequently than in others. Spruce trees cover the landscape and in the colder variants, water will freeze into ice. Sugar cane can spawn here, but it may break down due to the freezing of the water. The main difference between a taiga biome and a tundra biome is the number of trees (there are more in a taiga than in a tundra) and the amount of snow (there is more in a tundra than a taiga). The grass in the taiga is sand-green, much like in the extreme hills. As of update 1.14, foxes can be found here.
Giant Tree Taiga
The giant tree taiga biome is a subtype of the taiga biome with a mega spruce taiga variant. It contains various blocks, including podzol, a variant of dirt. Also featured are 2x2 spruce trees, along with ferns, mushrooms, and dead bushes. This biome also features boulders made of mossy cobblestone that serve as a decorative purpose. Prior to 1.13, the giant tree taiga biome was called mega taiga but was renamed to giant tree taiga in this update.
Snowy taigas are similar to regular taiga, featuring large numbers of spruce trees, ferns, rabbits, white-coated foxes and wolves. Sweet berry bushes are less common compared to regular taiga. Dandelions and poppies[Java Edition only] can also still be found. The main distinction are the snow layers that cover almost the entire landscape, save for the ground protected by the leaves of spruce trees. The gelid temperature of the snowy taiga means that any exposed water freezes into ice, though lakes that generate within the taiga are often partially protected by the leaves of the trees, meaning lakes aren't usually completely frozen.