Minecraft 1.21 update guide – vanilla update release date speculation

The next major Minecraft update has been revealed as the Vanilla Update, so the 1.21 update makes some major changes to the base game.

What is the Minecraft 1.21 Update? Each year, a new massive Minecraft update is announced. Thus, each year, we’re given a bunch of thrilling new additions and mechanics or significant changes that keep fans coming back to the sandbox game time and time again. In 2024, we’re looking forward to an update to the very foundations of Minecraft with the Vanilla update, which makes changes to crafting and adds something pretty special underground.

I don’t know how Mojang keeps coming up with these ideas, but they do, and we couldn’t be more excited for the Minecraft 1.21 update, also called the Vanilla Update. Minecraft remains one of the biggest selling games of all time, and it’s little wonder given the regular attention the devs make to the base game with free annual updates. The 1.21 Vanilla Update was revealed during the Minecraft Live broadcast on October 15, 2023, and we’ll spend the next six months or so experiencing all its new features before the full Minecraft Vanilla update release date. Here’s everything you need to know about Minecraft 1.21, including new Minecraft mobs, mechanics, and major changes for redstone engineers.

Two players experience a Minecraft Vanilla update trial chamber.

Minecraft Vanilla Update release date speculation

We expect the Minecraft 1.21 Vanilla Update sometime in the Summer of 2024, which follows the pattern of most recent Minecraft updates. However, some of the new features will be available in the next few weeks using the experimental features toggle in the game menu.

For the last few years, the major update has been released in the Summer, following its announcement during Minecraft Live in October. Therefore, we can safely assume that the 15th anniversary update will arrive in the Summer of 2024.

For the Trails and Tales update, new mechanics were rolled out in experimental mode just days after the Minecraft Live announcement. This was the first time this has happened, and Mojang is bringing this feature back for this year. During the stream, Agnes announced that players can test these first 1.21 update features in the next weeks, by jumping into Java snapshots or Minecraft Preview.

Minecraft Vanilla update new features

The Minecraft 1.21 update completely overhauls the base game, as you’d expect from its name. So far, we don’t know if it’s changing anything major, but we do know about some new experiences being added to the base survival experience.

The Crafter

Automated. Crafting. Yes, you read that right. If you’re a redstone engineer, or want to be, then this is the update for you. By placing resources into a crafter, you can activate it with a button or redstone circuit, so you can even automatically equip yourself with tools and armor on the way out of your base. The crafter has been made simple enough that it should be a welcome addition to both new redstone engineers and experts.

A birds-eye view of copper-walled trial chambers in the Minecraft vanilla update.

Trial chambers

You asked for changes to caves, so you’ve got them. After the Caves and Cliffs update which changed caves systems and added Ancient Cities, we’re now also getting new trial chambers. Another new, procedurally generated underground structure, we assume these chambers are similar to dungeons, in that you might stumble upon them underground as you mine.

These trial chambers give you a good place to practice your PvP and PvE skills, but they don’t come without risk. A new spawner and a new mob, about which we go into more detail below, pose a threat within these chambers, but it’s bound to make mining and caving more thrilling than ever. You can also find plenty of Minecraft copper resources in these chambers, as the halls are made of various copper blocks, as well as a new, detailed Tuff block set.

The Breeze

That new mob appearing in Minecraft trial chambers is The Breeze, which, first of all, just sounds really cool. The Breeze is similar to the Nether’s Blazes, but this overworld version shoots balls of wind energy that explode on impact with a player or entity. So, more explosions to run away from. Since this is a trial chamber though, these explosions don’t actually do any damage, however, the Breeze will damage you on direct impact.

Two Mojang employees take a look at a new trial spawner in-game.

Trial spawner

Since The Breeze spawns in a specific area designed for trials, there are no spawn requirements as such. Instead, a new type of spawner appears in these chambers. If you’ve come across other mob spawners, you’ll know that they just keep coming at you until you destroy it, block it off, or light up the area. For combat training purposes, trial spawners only launch a specific number of mobs on you before taking a break, the foes will come in waves, instead. Plus, more players, more mobs. Once you’ve completed your trial, the spawner will spit your loot out at you – so it’s probably best not to try and destroy these ones – and you can keep coming back and practice some more.

Two Mojang employees look at a Copper Bulb in-game.

Copper bulb

Finally, a new light block arrives with these new, copper-walled chambers. The new copper bulb is made of copper, meaning it oxidizes just like other copper blocks. As a copper bulb oxidizes, the light grows dimmer, so some of these older trial chambers will be pretty spooky to explore. Luckily, you can scrape them clean with an axe and wax them to prevent further oxidization.

We don’t know if there’s more to be announced between now and the big Minecraft Vanilla update release date, but either way, we’ve got a pretty game-changing year to come. We’re not great with redstone, so The Crafter is sure going to help us improve our skills, along with that sneaky redstone classroom you can find deep within Minecraft Ancient cities, which has some redstone lessons waiting for you.