Looking forward to the release of Minecraft update 1.17? For years, Minecraft players have been asking for a big update to the rather bland underground areas – you may know them as caves. They’ve not really changed all that much since vanilla Minecraft launched over a decade ago, while new biomes have been added constantly to the game. So it was hugely exciting to get confirmation of the Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update.
While the cliffs do get new snow effects, powder snow blocks, and goats, the really fascinating stuff that’s being added is all found beneath the surface. All you’ll need to do to find these new areas is tunnel downwards. Three new underground biomes were discussed during this year’s Minecraft Live presentation, filled with new plants to harvest, new materials to gather, and new Minecraft mobs to encounter.
Yes, Minecraft Caves & Cliffs does add a terrifying-sounding monster, but it also gives players not one, but two potential best friend mobs that can help them take down pesky enemies. Here is everything you can look forward to when Minecraft 1.17 goes live.
Minecraft Caves & Cliffs release date
The Minecraft Caves & Cliffs release date is Summer 2021 and will be coming to both Windows 10 and Java Edition. It was first announced during this year’s Minecraft Live presentation.
Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update Biomes
Cave system with vines, fruit, and flowers that hang from the ceilings. They are inspired by paintings by swedish painter John Bauer, whose work regularly depicts people walking through huge woodland areas.
To find a Lush Cave, you can try to find Azalea trees on the surface. These can indicate that there are Lush Caves below that you can mine into and explore.
The caves are covered in new flora. Spore Blossoms are pink flowers on the roof and they drop particles. Mojang didn’t say if these particles do anything, but it did say that the Spore Blossoms can be moved to ceilings elsewhere.
There are also vines that grow within the Lush Caves with orange berries. These are Glow Berries which can be picked and eaten.
The last new plant is the Dripleaf plant and could be handy for those wanting to construct a jungle-themed obstacle course. Their leaves can be jumped on, but the leaf will droop the longer you stand on them. You will eventually fall through it, but thankfully this won’t cause any permanent damage to the plant as the leaves do recover fully. It’s not just new plants though, as there is also new fauna living within the Lush Cave’s pools of water.
Dripstone caves and the deep dark biome
Stalagmites and Stalactites are what make this new biome stand out. Destroy the blocks at the top of the stalactites to drop the rest from above. Stalagmites act like spikes and can hurt friends and foes alike. Stalactites also drip water, so you can use a bucket to collect the water. This gives you a renewable source of water.
Throughout the Minecraft Live presentation, Mojang has hinted at a third new biome called the “Deep Dark”, along with some of the items and mobs found within, but it hasn’t talked about the biome itself in depth.
Minecraft caves & Cliffs mobs
Found in the Lush Caves, Minecraft’s Axolotls are found underwater and, well, just look at them. They’re utterly adorable aren’t they? These are real creatures that are relatives of the cave salamander. They have the cutest yawns too.
In Minecraft, these vicious predators are your best friends for underwater adventures. Just scoop up as many as you can in buckets and deploy a large number of Axolotls to help with exploring underwater caves. They will attack enemies on sight, play dead to recover health, and overwhelm more powerful foes with sheer numbers, because why wouldn’t you want your own Axolotl army?
It’s not just caves that are getting new mobs. Goats appear in the cliff areas and jump really high, two full blocks to be precise! Goats are rather fickle beasts though and if you annoy them enough, they’ll bash into you and send you flying off the snowy mountains.
Mojang hasn’t talked too much about what you can do with goats, but we’ll update you when we know more about them.
This new mob aims to take players back to their first night in Minecraft, when everything was scary. The Minecraft Warden is found in the Deep Dark biome, and its only aim is to make you pee your pants. They can be found deep in the dark underground areas and are considered a hostile monster mob.
Wardens are completely blind, but they react to vibrations from footsteps and thrown objects. Snowballs can distract the warden as it detects the vibration of the snowball’s impact. They can make the screen go dark briefly when one is nearby, though Sculk Sensors – another new block type – also react to their presence.
Should you come across one, you can try to sneak around it, but you’ll need to be very careful. If it knows where you are, the light in the centre lights up when it’s chasing you, it’ll run quite quickly and can thump you for a lot of health. It’s worth noting that damage taken from the Warden ignores armour, so it’s best to go in prepared. Who knows, maybe the trident will be an effective weapon to use against it.
Minecraft Caves & Cliffs new blocks
Crystal and Amethyst geodes
In rare circumstances, caves can lead to Amethyst geodes. Walking on crystals emits a sound effect that sounds like a wind-chime.
You can break the crystal plants, but you can’t take the specific blocks that crystals grow on. The puzzle will be working out a network of harvesting the crystals at the source efficiently. Crystals have uses in making items, namely in making the new Telescope, which you can use to zoom in on details from far away.
Telescopes also require Copper, a new resource. They are similar to iron but have an orange hue to the ores. They are found in ore veins rather than blobs, can be used like Iron to make blocks and steps, and Copper ages over time as it is exposed to oxygen, taking on a turquoise colour instead of browny orange.
Copper can also be used to make lightning rods. These are used to direct lightning to the poles instead of more flammable materials. You’ll probably need to use a blast furnace to melt the copper ingots into usable materials.
Minecraft Caves & Cliffs new features
Finally, there are three awesome new features coming to Minecraft via the Caves & Cliffs update. One of these is the new bundles feature, which is designed to help with inventory management.
You’ll be able to create bags where you can place as many items inside as you can fit. Their overall capacity is unknown at this time, but it seems like it could be several full inventory slots full. Bundles can be stored in chests and you can mix-and-match.
Sculk blocks and wireless redstone
One of the Deep Dark biome’s characteristics is that it is where Sculk Growths are normally found. It’s a new redstone-like powersource, but is the key for finally introducing us to the wireless activation of redstone powered gadgets.
If a Sculk Sensor detects footsteps, or destroy/place a block, it will emit a new redstone signal. These can be used to operate gadgets without a trail of redstone connecting the two.
You can use wool to prevent the signal passing through too, meaning that you can ensure that the trigger only activates the signal between Sculk signals and contraptions. The possibilities for wireless redstone in constructing city builds or colossal Minecraft castles are nigh-on endless!
This is probably the coolest new addition. Around the surface, there are excavation sites that will appear. These have chests that contain brushes. You can then use the brushes within the dig sites themselves, or make them yourselves with certain materials, to brush away at certain blocks, like gravel and dirt.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Hidden treasures are just waiting to be found. But there is a big catch. If you are careless and don’t fully uncover the artefact before moving on, you’ll risk destroying it and losing it forever. If you are careful though, you can excavate priceless artefacts or rare blocks, such as a Blue Ceramic Shard with some art on it or a block of emerald.
Read more: Here are some cool Minecraft house ideas
Ceramic shards can be used to reconstruct pots by placing them on templates over fire pits. Once you’re happy with their design, you can fire up the pit underneath them with some flint and steel to complete the pot.
And that is everything we know about the upcoming Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update. Some exciting new areas to explore and one terrifying monster to face. It’s certainly best to come in prepared, even if Netherite weapons and armour don’t do much against wardens.