Minecraft 1.20 release date speculation and new features

The Minecraft 1.20 release date is set for 2023, with the as-yet-unnamed update celebrating self-expression, representation, and making "Minecraft Minecraftier"

Minecraft 1.20 update: new characters and skins

Eager for the Minecraft 1.20 release date? So are we. The next major content update was announced during Minecraft Live on October 15, 2022, and while the update remains unnamed at this point, Mojang Studios has still revealed some of the new and exciting features we can expect to see, and we’ve already been given hands-on access to some of the new additions.

Based around representation and creativity, we know the next update will include new Minecraft skins, and a new mob in the form of the Minecraft camel – as well as the Sniffer. While the Sniffer is still waiting in the wings, the skins and the camel can be found in-game now.

The Minecraft 1.20 update announcement bucked the trend from previous years’ update announcements. Still revealed during Minecraft Live, we were told fewer details than in past years, due in some part to previously announced mechanics and additions never making it to the game, like fireflies, resulting in a backlash from fans. To avoid that happening again, Mojang has this year only confirmed features that are almost ready to go. On the plus side, this means we’ll be able to playtest these features much sooner than in previous years, with camels, bamboo wood, and other experimental features available in snapshots now.

Minecraft 1.20 release date speculation

As yet, there is no official release date for the Minecraft 1.20 update. This isn’t surprising, given that it has only recently been announced, and we usually have to wait months to see the new features in action. The plus side is that features are being rolled out in snapshots slowly, giving you the opportunity to try them before the full Minecraft 1.20 release date.

As for when that will be, we can at least speculate. The last four major updates, with the exception of 1.19, have all been released in the June of the year following their announcement. 1.19 was an exception as it was not a proper, scheduled update as such, and was instead the second part of the Caves and Cliffs update. As it seems 1.20 could be a significantly smaller update than, say, The Wild update (1.19) or The Nether Update (1.16), it would not be unreasonable to assume a June 2023 release date once again – if not sooner.

Minecraft bamboo wood: bamboo wood building in the jungle

Minecraft 1.20 features

Bamboo blocks and rafts

Of course a new Minecraft update has to come with new blocks – after all, blocks are quite literally what make the sandbox game what it is. For the Minecraft 1.20 update, those new blocks are bamboo, fitting somewhere between the wood block family, and bamboo itself.

This new block is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, it adds another use to the fast-growing bamboo plant, which before now was only used for feeding pandas and building scaffolding. The bamboo block can be crafted into most of the same items as wood, such as stairs, doors, slabs, and fences, and even comes with its own unique bamboo mosaic variant. However, the one item you can’t make with bamboo is a boat. Technically. The new raft replaces the boat when crafted with bamboo and functions in exactly the same way, it just looks that little bit cooler sailing away from your desert island or jungle-themed base.

Minecraft camels in the desert: a baby and adult camel

Camels

We already knew a new mob was coming to Minecraft soon, with the annual mob vote returning for another year. However, it has been confirmed that the winner, the sniffer, will join another new creature, the camel, in a future update.

Adding to the ever-growing roster of Minecraft mobs, the camel not only adds something new to oft-ignored desert biome, but will also provide a new and agile way of getting around the overworld. This cute new mob can be ridden by two players at a time, has a useful new dash mechanic, and its own adorable and realistic animations.

Minecraft 1.20 chiseled bookshelf: a trapdoor opens next to chiseled bookshelf

Chiseled bookshelves

Speaking of new items, and new wood types, there’s soon to be another wood item, useful for both builders and redstoners. The chiseled bookshelf is possibly one of the most interesting and exciting blocks to be added to Minecraft in a while thanks to its game-changing implications.

The chiseled bookshelf is a bookshelf you can interact with, a step up from the existing bookshelf, which may be decorative and useful in crafting recipes, but doesn’t actually function as a bookshelf. Now you can write notes and stories in a book, and store them safely in a chiseled bookshelf. Keep your precious enchanted books safe in a chiseled bookshelf. Even make secret doors with a chiseled bookshelf. Yes, the new block’s mechanics cause a redstone signal when a book is placed or removed, so your secret-castle-dungeon rooms can become a reality. Oh, and if you’ve got some spare, its sleek new wood design makes for a great floor.

Minecraft hanging signs used a bunting over a village

Hanging signs

With the addition of the new bamboo ‘wood’ type, and the chiseled bookshelf, there comes another new wood crafting recipe, making the most of every wood type. For some time now, we have been able to craft signs that can either be placed on the ground or flat against a wall. Creative players use them not just for storytelling or for messages to other players, but in builds, such as armchairs or beds. With 1.20, we will see the addition of the hanging sign, a cute option to make shops, streets, or other Minecraft builds even more lifelike. And artistic players have already started to find other uses for hanging signs, with the bunting-like display seen above showcased during Minecraft Live.

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New characters and skins

The eagle-eyed few who noticed new faces in recent Minecraft trailers got good news when it was announced that they are being added to Minecraft canon. These new characters are now official Minecraft skins, as Ario, Efe, Kai, Makena, Noor, Sunny, and Zuri join the well-known Steve and Alex. You can skin-up as one of the seven diverse new characters from both the Bedrock edition dressing room and the Java edition launcher already, so make sure you’re familiar with how to change your Minecraft skin.

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If you just can’t wait for the 1.20 snapshots to be released, why not take a look at some of the best Minecraft seeds. Find the best deserts and badlands to ride those camels, and familiarise yourself with two of the most underrated and under-used Minecraft biomes in preparation for the new update.