Map seed

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In video games using procedural world generation, the map seed is a (relatively) short number or text string which is used to procedurally create the game world ("map"). This means that while the seed-unique generated map may be many megabytes in size (often generated incrementally and virtually unlimited in potential size), it is possible to reset to the unmodified map, or the unmodified map can be exchanged between players, just by specifying the map seed. Map seeds are a type of random seeds.

This is the "new game" screen in Factorio. In addition to specifying the map seed itself, Factorio can also encode all the map settings into a single map exchange string.

Games which use procedural generation and include support for setting the map seed include Ark: Survival Evolved, Minecraft, Factorio, SCP – Containment Breach, and the desktop version of Terraria. For Minecraft especially, there are websites[1][2][non-primary source needed] and articles,[3][4] dedicated to sharing seeds which have been found to generate interesting maps.

The effect of loading a map originally generated in Minecraft 1.6.4 in Minecraft 1.7.2. The map seed is unchanged, but the map generation algorithm has changed, leading to a discontinuity where new chunks are created beside old chunks.

The map seed only has meaning in the context of the algorithm used to generate the map (that algorithm is often,[5][6] based on Perlin noise). So if the map generation algorithm changes, the map generated by a given seed will also change. Such changes are particularly obvious in Minecraft, where they are handled (or rather, not handled) by simply generating any newly explored chunks of an existing map using the new algorithm, leading to obvious and jarring discontinuities after upgrading.

Favorable seeds can be used when speedrunning video games by specifying the map seed manually.


  1. ^ "Minecraft Seeds - The Best Minecraft Seed List!". Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Minecraft Seeds - Minecraft Seed HQ". Minecraft Seed HQ. Archived from the original on 2018-11-13. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  3. ^ Morton, Lauren (2021-11-30). "The best Minecraft seeds for beautiful, interesting worlds". Archived from the original on 2016-06-27. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  4. ^ "The best Minecraft seeds". PCGamesN. 2021-12-01. Archived from the original on 2021-11-23. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  5. ^ Kozelek, Tomáš (2015-11-13). "Friday Facts #112 - Better noise". Factorio. Archived from the original on 2021-06-19. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  6. ^ "How do games like Minecraft generate entire worlds from a seed number?". StackExchange. 2011-10-21. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2016-07-01.