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Minecraft adds game-changing new block, and you can try it now

Mojang has just released a new Minecraft snapshot of its upcoming 1.21 update, giving players an opportunity to test the Crafter block for the first time.

Minecraft Crafter snapshot: A crafting table from in-game shown against a cherry blossom forest biome backdrop

Minecraft continues to impress us long-time players more than a decade after its initial release with regular updates and fun new content. The recent Minecraft Live event showcased this year’s mob vote winner, the armadillo, and more of what we can expect out of version 1.21 when it rolls around. One of the most exciting features coming with Mojang’s big update is a new kind of block, the Crafter. It’s a game-changing block that enables auto-crafting with the use of redstone, and we can try it now.

If you’re active in the Minecraft community, then you probably know about snapshots. If you don’t know about them, they basically function as beta tests for Mojang’s sandbox game. You can test any upcoming features included within a snapshot and send feedback to the developers so that they can finalize any necessary changes prior to the full patch’s release. This gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with future builds, too.

The latest open test, snapshot 23w42a, is free for all Minecraft Java Edition players. Bedrock players can also access the test via the game’s beta or preview tool. The snapshot’s primary focus is the new Minecraft Crafter, a utility block powered by redstone. With the Crafter, you can automate your crafting. Hoppers and droppers can also access the block’s inventory, making for an easier crafting experience overall.

Hopefully, we’ll get to see the armadillo from the recent Minecraft mob vote in-game soon, too. For now, we can test the snapshot’s Crafter and check out the new block’s UI as well as how it interacts with other blocks. Mojang specifies that the team wants to “hear your feedback on the Crafter,” asking anyone with the snapshot to post their  Crafter-related thoughts to its dedicated thread.

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Minecraft Java – Snapshot 23w42a –  Wednesday, October 18, 2023

For a full look at all of the changes with the new snapshot, check the official website. You can browse through the Crafter-specific highlights below. Mojang notes that snapshots “can corrupt your world,” and asks that you “please backup and/or run them in a different folder from your main worlds” if you choose to take part in the open test.

Experimental features


  • The Crafter is a new block that enables the crafting of items and blocks via Redstone
  • The Crafter will eject one crafted item at a time when powered by a new Redstone signal/pulse (not a continuous signal)
  • Upon receiving this new signal, the Crafter will eject the recipe result from the front face
  • If the output result has multiple types of items all the result items will be ejected together
  • The Crafter can be oriented in any direction when placed

Crafter UI

  • The Crafter has a 3×3 interactable crafting grid
  • The Crafter’s crafting grid slots are toggleable, meaning that the player can change the behavior of a slot by clicking or pressing on a slot with an empty hand
  • A slot that is ‘toggled’ cannot hold any items, and therefore cannot have items placed into it by other blocks, such as Hoppers and Droppers
  • Unlike the Crafting Table, the Crafter displays a preview of the crafted item which will be crafted and ejected on the next Redstone pulse but cannot be manually taken out by the player
  • The Crafter UI is shared between all players interacting with the Crafter, meaning that multiple players can interact with the Crafter at the same time, similar to Chests and Hoppers

Crafter interaction with other blocks

  • The Comparator signal strength is 0-9, where each non-empty or toggled slot adds 1 strength
  • Hoppers can be used to both insert and pull out items from the Crafter
  • Droppers can be used to insert items into the Crafter
  • Moving items in from another block (ex: Hopper, Dropper) prioritizes filling items into slots following these rules:
    • Prioritize the first empty slot (from left-to-right, top-to-bottom)
    • If there are no empty slots then prioritize the smallest stack of the same item (pick the first if there are multiple)
    • If there is a toggled slot it will be skipped. The item will then be moved into the container
    • If the item cannot be moved, it will be ejected into the world

If you’re looking forward to exploring the recent snapshot test yourself, you can browse through some of our favorite Minecraft texture packs to make the world feel even more different. Alternatively, look around our roundup of great Minecraft mods to spice your base game up before the upcoming 1.21 patch arrives.