Minecraft 1.18 update – Caves and Cliffs part 2 features

Everything you need to know about the new biomes, features, and mobs that are now in Minecraft as of part two of the Caves and Cliffs update

A look at the Lush Caves in the Minecraft 1.18 update.

Want to know everything that’s coming in the Minecraft 1.18 update? The Caves and Cliffs update has been split into two halves: the first part has already been released with the Minecraft 1.17 update. This means we have plenty of new Minecraft mobs to get acquainted with such as goats, glow squid, and axolotls, as well as the brand new amethyst blocks.

However, the 1.18 update is where all the world-changing features will arrive. These include all new biomes, a fearsome new enemy mob in the form of the Minecraft Warden, and new blocks that enable wireless Redstone for the first time in Minecraft. It’s all very exciting stuff and if you can’t wait until the official release date to experience it for yourself, you should probably check out the Minecraft snapshot betas.

So without further ado, this is a roundup of everything that we currently know about the Minecraft 1.18 update, otherwise known as part 2 of the Caves & Cliffs update. We’ll also include all of the announcements that Mojang has made regarding any confirmed features coming after the 1.18 update.

Minecraft 1.18 update release date

The Minecraft 1.18 release date is out now. Mojang revealed the official Minecraft 1.18 launch date via a tweet a few weeks after the Minecraft Live 2021 stream.

Minecraft 1.18 update Caves & Cliffs biomes

Noise caves

Noise caves are new types of caves that generate underground – they come in two varieties: cheese and spaghetti. Cheese caves have wide-open areas filled with stone pillars, and spaghetti caves are long, narrow, and winding. Caves can also contain aquifers, flooded cave systems with an abundance of ores within.

The Lush Caves are home to several plants, including berries growing on vines and large pink flowers that emit particles from the ceiling.

Lush Caves

The Lush Caves biome is now discoverable in Minecraft as of the 21w37a snapshot. This cave system is filled 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 Lush Caves are covered in new flora. The aforementioned Azalea plants come in flowering and non-flowering forms, turning the dirt into rooted dirt. This is important as rooted dirt has a chance to spawn hanging roots underneath them, which you can harvest.

Lots of glow berries light the way through this dark cave. The cave has small pools of water in it.

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 you can move the Spore Blossoms to ceilings elsewhere. Moss also grows in the Lush Caves, and is available in block form or as tiles.

Some vines grow within the Lush Caves with orange berries. These are glow berries you can be pick and eat, filling a small amount of the hunger meter. However, it’s possibly better to leave them on vines as they provide a natural light on their own. Also, as the vines grow, there is a small chance that they will grow a glow berry on the next segment down.

A swimmer and a fleet of Axolotls are destroying an enemy underwater.

The last new plant is the Dripleaf plant. They’re found in clay pools and could be handy for those wanting to construct a jungle-themed obstacle course. You can jump on their leaves, 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.

You can only plant the small dripleaf plants on clay or dirt that is underwater. Once they’re fully grown (either naturally or using bone meal to speed up the process), you can harvest the big dripleaves that you can place anywhere.

Finally, when the Lush Caves are officially in the game, the watery areas will be where you can find the axolotls, rather than their current location of underground rivers.

Minecraft dripstone caves

Dripstone Caves and the Deep Dark biome

Dripstone Caves are now in Minecraft as of the 21w37a snapshot. Though the stalagmites and stalactites did make it into 1.17, they’re also what will make the Dripstone Caves stand out. Destroying the blocks at the top of the stalactites will drop the rest from above. On the other hand, 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.

You can combine multiple stalagmites and stalactites to make them as long as you can imagine. Stalactites will not only drip water, but they can also drip lava, which you can collect in a cauldron placed below it, just in case you need it for later. It’s also worth noting that the dripstone will break if you throw a trident at a pointed dripstone. You can also find more copper ore here than in normal caves.

Changes to Minecraft mob spawns

In the first Minecraft 1.18 experimental snapshot, there’s a natural terrain variation that is separate from how the biomes work. The patch notes state an example of this, suggesting that “forests and deserts could form up on a hill without needing a special biome just for that”. Mobs that spawn in the dark will now only spawn in complete darkness, so dimly lit areas are safer. However, a subsequent experimental snapshot makes zombies, spiders, and skeletons spawn at light level 11, so multiple torches are needed to ward away those monsters.

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Changes to Minecraft terrain limits

As of Minecraft snapshot 21w37a, all of the terrain changes and ore distribution updates are now here. You can get a full list of these changes at the official site, but here are some highlights of the new changes to mountains, rivers, and caves.

It would not be easy to implement with the current terrain height limitations, so these are changing to allow for the underground biomes. You may have heard Y=0, this refers to the coordinates you can enable in the options menu, and the Y axis shows the vertical distance. The lowest Y axis block distance limit will change to -64 in the upcoming update, giving you a large number of blocks to dig into. This is where you’ll encounter Deepslate blocks, including new varieties of Minecraft copper, iron, and gemstone blocks.

The same can be said for the maximum height, as the new highest Y axis block distance limit is 255, and this means there are new snowy biomes to explore:

  • Mountain Meadow: Found in Y-level 100 to 140 in mountains, this biome has sweet berry bushes, cornflowers, and dandelions growing in the soil. No trees will naturally grow here.
  • Mountain Grove: Found on the lower slopes of mountains if they’re between Y-level 110 and 140, this biome has polar bears and rabbits running around a forest of spruce trees. You’ll also find snow, snow blocks, and powder snow on the ground.
  • Snowy Slopes: If the mountain still goes up between Y-level 140 to 170, you’ll soon see lots of snow and ice, but no plants. This is also the biome where Minecraft goats spawn.
  • Lofty Peaks: Any set of mountain blocks above Y-level 170 results in a Lofty Peak biome or Snow Capped Peaks, depending on temperature. There is no life here.
  • Stony Peaks: Introduced in the third experimental snapshot, Stony Peaks replaces the snow and ice with stone and gravel. Appears from Y-level 170 and reaches as high as Y-level 260. Goats also spawn here.
  • Snow Capped Peaks: Just like Lofty Peaks, this biome appears above Y-level 170, but it has to be extremely cold for the Snow Capped Peaks to form. The only real differences are that there’s more snow and ice blocks, and it’s the only place you can see naturally forming Packed Ice.

The inventory screen, showing off bundles. This bundle has many types of flowers.

Changes not coming in Minecraft 1.18

Some previously announced features have been pushed back with the Minecraft Live 2021 stream announcing the Minecraft 1.19 update, otherwise known as the Wild update.

Bundles

Bundles are for those who need a little 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. You can store bundles in chests and you can mix-and-match.

A large amount of Sculk. It's a black and teal coloured substance that acts a lot like redstone, but can be activated remotely with special Sculk Sensor blocks.

The Deep Dark biome, Sculk blocks, and wireless Redstone

One of the Deep Dark biome’s characteristics is that it’s where you can normally find Sculk Growths. These growths a new Redstone-like power source 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. You can use these to operate gadgets without a trail of Redstone connecting the two.

You can use wool to prevent the signal from passing through too, meaning that you can ensure that the trigger only activates the signal between Sculk signals and contraptions. So the possibilities for wireless Redstone in constructing city builds or colossal Minecraft castles are nigh-on endless!

The Warden is charging towards the player. It has a horned helmet, a sad-looking expression on its visor, and a glowing orb in its torso. The orb indicates that it knows where the player is.

Warden

This new mob aims to take players back to their first night in Minecraft when everything was scary. The Warden lives 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, thrown objects, and alerts from the shriekers – a new block that makes a loud noise whenever you get too close. 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 against it.

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Archaeology

Sadly, this is the one announced feature coming after the Minecraft 1.18 update that may not even make the Wild update. We say ‘sadly’ because 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 for you to unearth them. 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

Once found, you can use ceramic shards 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’s everything we currently know about the Minecraft 1.18 update, and beyond. Suppose you’re looking to enhance your Minecraft experience a little. In that case, we have plenty of guides for experimenting with the best Minecraft mods, the best looking Minecraft shaders, and some excellent Minecraft servers to play.

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