There are quite a few Minecraft slabs and stairs available in the game. Not every single block type can be crafted into a new shape—and boy, would it be nice to have a little more variety.
Minecraft is a game that's largely about building whatever you like. Whether you're making a cool mega construction in Creative Mode or trying to erect a sturdy castle in Survival Mode, there are countless possibilities at your disposal. One area of the game, however, is a little lacking—and that comes down to the blocks that are available for us to use.
Minecraft Slabs and Stairs, Explained
Pretty much every gamer on the planet is familiar with Minecraft on some level. On its face, it's "the game with the blocks," but there's a little more to those blocks than you might notice at first glance.
A portion of the blocks in Minecraft can be crafted into other types of blocks. The most common examples are slabs and stairs; a slab is a half-height block and stairs are exactly what it says on the tin.
First and foremost, these blocks have functional purposes. Stairs can be used to climb a slope more smoothly, and slabs can be used to create an even longer staircase. There are all kinds of other cool ways you can use them in designs (a slab, for example, can be used to keep some mobs from coming through a doorway).
There are other gameplay considerations, too; as a general rule, mobs cannot spawn on top of slabs or stairs, giving gamers a bit more freedom in their designs without having to worry too much about light.
Minecraft slabs and stairs have their practical purposes, but tons of people use them purely for decoration. Stairs, for example, make for excellent roofs or pyramids. Slabs, on the other hand, can add a little more variety to your builds.
Take the above two buildings as an example. On the left is a simple house that I'd commonly build at the start of a new game. It's a simple design, but it looks nice. On the right is a greenhouse for growing crops. I don't need to build these buildings this way, but I like to add a little style to my builds.
And that's kind of where the problem is: I'd love to use glass stairs for the greenhouse on the right. The only problem is that they don't exist in the game. In fact, there are tons of blocks that can't be crafted into slabs, stairs, fences, or any number of other objects—and I'd love to see that change for the better.
Modded Minecraft Slabs and Stairs Just Ain't the Same
Let's address the elephant in the room—couldn't you just find a Minecraft slabs and stairs mod to solve this problem? You could, but things get a little more complicated than "just install a mod."
Minecraft modding in general never keeps pace with the actual game. Some of the more complex mod packs are two or three versions behind the latest Minecraft release. Sure, Minecraft might be on version 1.16.5, but a mod might only be compatible with version 1.15.2 or something like that.
Modders need time to catch up to the latest additions and changes, and that can take some time. A simpler mod like this might be easier to maintain, but you're still going to be waiting a few days at least for an update—and that's if an update comes at all. Modders can and do abandon their projects.
I personally don't have much trouble modding, but some aspects can be a challenge for less technically apt gamers. The Vanilla Builders Extension mod (pictured above) only works with Minecraft 1.16.4 (so it's already one version behind), but it's pretty simple to install it overall. Now, compare that to the steps you need to take to install the similarly styled Extra Pieces Mod for Minecraft as highlighted on 9minecraft.net:
- Download and Install Minecraft Launcher Vanilla
- Download and Install Fabric Installer for Vanilla Launcher
- Run recently downloaded .jar file, choose the version you want and press “Install.”
- Run Minecraft, select the profile with Fabric installed and press Play
- Press Start on Desktop
- Choose Run
- Type %appdata% onto Run and press Enter.
- Goes into Roaming/.minecraft/mods
- Put the jar. Files onto the mod folder and run Minecraft.
That's not quite as easy as "click to install" with some modern mods, and this isn't all that unusual for some Minecraft mods or mods in general, really. I've certainly spent more hours than I'd like to admit trying to get Skyrim or Fallout: New Vegas mods working just right.
So what's the solution? Well, Mojang and Microsoft have one of the most popular games in the world and probably have a pile of cash that would make Scrooge McDuck blush. I'm sure there are technical challenges, but this is probably just an issue of doing the work—have someone make models for more block varieties and add them into the game.
Is this really necessary? Hardly—my game isn't ruined or something because I can't have a nice, smooth roof on my greenhouse. But man, wouldn't it be nice?