Steve Minecraft
Image: Microsoft

For the first time in over a decade, Mojang has updated Minecraft's character skins for both Steve and Alex and we are pleased to see a certain hairy chin chum making its long-awaited return.

As noted on Reddit (thanks Eurogamer), the updated character models now have certain 3D elements to their base blockiness — rolled sleeves! flowing hair! new shoes! — but the star of the show is the comeback of Steve's retro goatee.

Almost by definition, the Minecraft character skins have long been without, erm, definition, but if there is one thing that stood out about Steve, the game's longest-running avatar, it was his beard (or creepy upturned smile as this writer believed it to be for many years). However, in 2009 Mojang shaved Steve's beard off, and the ponytailed Alex was introduced as a player option in 2014.

Interestingly, while the beard remained absent from the main game, it has still made appearances over the past decade, notably coming along for the ride when Steve was added as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the grizzled look of a cuboid man about to beat Kirby to a pulp. The return of the beard changes Steve back from a clean-shaven explorer to a man who's seen some things.

We are not the only ones who are pleased to see the return of Steve's face fur. The beard bros. have been quick to Twitter to voice their excitement at the returning facial hair, sharing fan art and other posts of joy.

We were also pleased to see that we weren't the only ones who had mistaken the beard for an emotive smile. In a series of Twitter confessions, we discovered that many fans of the game had thought the same thing.

If Steve is back in his hairy phase, then our fingers are crossed for a moustache to make an appearance come November!

What do you make of the return of the goatee? Did you also think it was a smile? Let us know below.

Do you see a beard or a smile on Steve's face?

[source reddit.com, via eurogamer.net]