Writing helpful bug reports for Minecraft

Last Updated: Jun 27, 2013 09:31PM CEST
Minecraft
So you've heard that there is now a Minecraft Bug Tracker and you'd like to help us out by reporting some bugs? Well, this guide will cover some important tips to take to heart when writing bug reports to make them as useful and helpful to the Minecraft team as possible. We'll also outline common mistakes people do that make their bug reports not as useful as they could be and how to avoid them, with clear examples.


 

Search before you report a bug or "But I don't have time to report a bug!"

Quick Search screenshot
This is very important: before you go ahead and write that bug report, try searching to see if someone else hasn't reported it already! To save yourself (and us) time and effort, try searching first to see if your bug is reported. That way, if you are unable to find it covered already, you can come back and submit a bug report when you do have time and you know that you won't be wasting your time.

Making the effort to keep the number of duplicate reports to a minimum is the best way to help the Minecraft team and bug tracker volunteers out. The fewer bugs we have to go through and mark as duplicates, the less time we'll need to spend cleaning up the bug tracker and more time we'll have to look into your bugs!

Tips for Searching:
Just like in the image above, start the search with MC then continue typing key words for your search, just like we searched for squid and ink because our bug is about squids not dropping ink sacs.


 

"Help! It's broken!"

When reporting a bug it is very important that you be as specific as possible. Try to avoid saying things like "it's broken!" because this doesn't tell us anything. Instead, try to keep the following questions in mind:
 
What's broken? (e.g. "Squids are dropping apples, not ink sacs like they should be.")
Summary field screenshot
The summary or title of the report should tell us what the problem is at a glance: avoid saying "Help!!!" or "I found a bug!!" and other things like this. Instead, be specific and tell us exactly what the problem is. Just try your best. Our mods will help you reword things to be helpful if you're having trouble :)
 
Next, try to explain to us in the bug report's description what is actually broken. Be as specific and detailed as possible in the description. Think about the question "what is actually broken?" and provide us with your answer.
 
 
How did you break it? Or what were you doing when it broke?
Description field screenshot
Knowing what actually broke is only one part of the issue. Another important thing for you to tell us is what you were doing when it broke, so we can try and figure out what caused the bug. If you can figure out and tell us, step by step, how you managed to cause the bug, you earn bonus points!

Example:
I was trying to gather ink sacs so I could make some black wool for my chessboard and when I killed one, it dropped apples instead. A chessboard is pretty useless without black tiles...

What I expected to happen was...:
When I killed a squid, it should have dropped an ink sac.
 
What actually happened was...:
Instead, it dropped an apple.
 
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Find a squid (though we all know how difficult they are to find when you *actually* want to find one).
2. Kill the squid.
3. Notice that it drops apples instead of ink sacs. How am I supposed to get black dye now?
 
What version of Minecraft are you running? (e.g. "Minecraft 1.4")
Affects Versions screenshot
Even if your bug report is really well written, knowing what version of Minecraft you're running is very important since we might have already fixed the bug in another version and we need to know what version we should run when trying to recreate your bug. When you start up Minecraft, you'll be able to see what version you are using. Simply take that, tell us what it says and we should be good!
 
Other useful information
Environment field screenshot
The more information you can provide us, the better! If you know what version of Java you are using and what operating system you are using (Windows 7, Windows Vista, OSX, for example), then please let us know in the "Environment" area of the page where you create a new bug report.


 

"This is broken and this is broken, and this..."

We know you're eager to get all of your bugs fixed, but if you stuff them all in one bug report, chances are they'll get lost or it will just make things more confusing. Try your best to make one bug report per bug, that way you can be as specific and detailed as possible and we can focus on one bug at a time.


 

"I've discovered a dupe or a security issue!"

If you've discovered an exploit or a security issue, please create a Private report that only yourself and Mojang will be able to see. Follow the same guidelines above, but make sure to set the bug report to Private when you create it.
 
Still need more help writing a bug report? Take a look at this example here of a bug report that makes us happy. Now that  you know how to write awesome bug reports for us, help us improve Minecraft by reporting bugs you find after you have made sure it hasn't been reported already!
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