We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Minecraft 1.21 update release date and features

The Minecraft 1.21 update has finally arrived, so here’s everything you need to know about what you can expect from Tricky Trials.

A breeze isolated on the background of a Trial Chamber, two of the features of the Minecraft 1.21 update, Tricky Trials.

When is the Minecraft 1.21 release date? As they do every year, Mojang Studios has revealed the latest annual content update for Minecraft: Tricky Trials. Just one of the many reasons players keep coming back to the game after all these years, these yearly updates change the game, so we’ve summarized all the latest new features right here.

Now that the release date has arrived, we’ve been able to get hands on with the Minecraft 1.21 update. Before this, we had to rely on Minecraft snapshots, early access builds that allow players to test out new Minecraft features in the sandbox game. Please note that new features only generate in previously unloaded chunks, though, so you might want to load up into new Minecraft seeds to fully experience Tricky Trials.

The Minecraft 1.21 Tricky Trials release date of June 13 shown on a render of scenes from the new update.

Minecraft 1.21 release date

The Minecraft 1.21 release date was on Thursday, June 13, 2024. The release of Minecraft updates is usually staggered across each platform, but enough time has passed that Minecraft 1.21 should be available on every platform. This release date follows months of snapshots and pre-releases.

The announcement was made on May 30, 2024, just two weeks ahead of the release, coinciding with the game’s 15th anniversary. The first 1.21 snapshot was released in October 2023, named 23w42a, giving players the chance to test out the new Crafter block. All other features have been added in snapshots since, before pre-release 1 was released on May 29, 2024.

More new changes were added to later snapshots, including the Minecraft Armadillo and new wolf variants, but these were released early as part of 1.20.5 on April 23, 2024.

The inside of a Minecraft trial chamber, the main feature of the Minecraft 1.21 update Tricky Trials, filled with copper blocks and spawners.

Minecraft 1.21 update features

Each Minecraft update comes with masses of content, and, as we’ve just mentioned, we’ve already had plenty already this year thanks to the 1.20.5 update. That was just a drop in the ocean though, as all the following features are being added to the vanilla game on June 13.

Minecraft Trial Chambers, spawners, keys, and vaults

The update name is a bit of a giveaway, but Trial Chambers are the star of Minecraft 1.21. New underground structures, Trial Chambers are humongous combat practice areas — but the threat is seriously real. Throughout these challenging chambers, there are chests full of great loot, but there are also a series of new spawners.

Unlike existing spawners like those you find in dungeons, Trial spawners specifically work to train those nearby, so only spawn a set number of mobs depending on the number of players nearby. As such, you can ‘beat’ one of these spawners, and they don’t keep spitting monsters at you forever. Of course, this means you can’t turn them into an XP farm, but they do offer something better. Upon defeating a trial spawner — in other words, killing every mob it spawns — it spits out a Trial Key that can then be used to unlock a Trial Vault for rare and valuable loot. Each vault can exclusively be used by a player once, but can be used once by every player in that world. Such items that can be rewarded by a standard vault are iron, emeralds, armor, and even an exclusive smithing template.

Particles fill the screen and bogged all wear full armor in an Ominous Raid, part of the Minecraft 1.21 Tricky Trials update.

Ominous raids

If that’s all sounding a little too easy for you, then there is another level of difficulty. Are you aware of the Bad Omen effect? That’s the status effect placed on you when you kill a Pillager Captain and which triggers a raid upon entering a village. Now, you can also gain the Bad Omen effect by drinking from a new Ominous Bottle — or the old way — and entering a village still has the same effect of triggering a raid. Enter a Trial Chamber witagah the effect on you, though, and trigger an Ominous Trial. This pits you inst more, harder mobs, but delivers even better rewards for success. One such reward is essential is crafting the new Minecraft weapon – we’ve got more details of that further down.

New mobs: The Breeze and The Bogged

Many of the hostile Minecraft mobs can appear in Minecraft Trial Chambers thanks to new spawners, but there are two in particular you might want to keep an eye out for as you head into these coppery dungeons.

The Minecraft Breeze mob appears from a trial spawner in the Minecraft 1.21 Tricky Trials update.

The Breeze and Wind Charges

The Minecraft Breeze is the first of the new mobs, and this one only appears in Trial Chambers. We can’t say this whirlwind isn’t totally cute – look at those eyebrows! – but it’s also a challenge in combat. To take down these gusts, you need to be fast, and you can really only attack them with melee weapons as they do their best to avoid projectile attacks. You’ll know a Breeze spawner from blocks of Chiseled Tuff surrounding it.

Upon defeat, a Breeze drops a breeze rod, a new item to Minecraft 1.21. Pop one of these rods in a crafting table to craft four Wind Charges, another new attack item that can be thrown at enemies to devastating effect. What you really want to use these rods for, though, is to craft the new Minecraft weapon.

The Bogged

The Bogged can also appear from their own Trial Chamber spawners, but you might also come across them in swamps, too. Again, these guys have something cute about them, but they’re far from friendly and deliver a poisonous blow when their arrows meet their mark. The giveaway of a Bogged spawner is a block or two of rare podzol in the blocks surrounding the spawner.

A player dressed in diamond armor holds a mace in their hand in the Minecraft 1.21 Tricky Trials update.

The Mace

A new Minecraft weapon? I know, we can’t quite believe it either. It’s been over five years since the crossbow was added, the last new weapon to join the game, and that didn’t feel entirely new due to similarities with the standard bow. The Minecraft Mace, however, is something entirely unique, incredibly powerful, and super rare.

First off, let’s talk about what The Mace does. This heavy weapon deals damage from above, the greater the fall, the more damage dealt. Naturally, though, that comes with a massive risk: mistime your attack and you won’t survive the fall. Time it right, though, and you can finally kill The Warden.

You won’t find such a powerful weapon just lying around in a chest and you certainly can’t craft it with a bit of wood and iron, so how do you get your hands on the mace? Let us refer you back to the section on Ominous Trials above. Yep. It’s that hard. The crafting recipe for the Mace is a Heavy Core and a Breeze Rod. While Breeze Rods can be obtained from normal trials and even in chests, the only way to obtain the Heavy Core is by successfully completing an Ominous Trial, so this is no early game weapon.

the Minecraft crafter makes up part of a large automated redstone machine in the Minecraft 1.21 Tricky Trials update.

The Crafter

The Crafter is probably the most enticing new addition for Redstone fans, as this brand-new functional block adds a new level to automation. As you can probably imagine from its name, the crafter is essentially an automatic crafting table.

We got into a bit more detail in our dedicated guide to the Minecraft Crafter, but the short story is that this item has a standard three-by-three crafting grid, just like a standard crafting table. The slots in this grid, however, can be toggled on and off, and this forces items into specific slots. Combine this with an automated dropper and redstone clock system and you can leave your crafter to do the work for you.

Alternatively, set up a button or pressure plate system and craft new armor and weapons as you head out on every adventure.

Other new items and blocks

Naturally, there are plenty of new blocks to play with if you’re a builder more than you are an explorer. This year’s update is slightly different in that there is no new family of blocks, so there’s no new ores or wood, for example, but the copper block family has been extended, giving more use to the previously underrepresented mineral. There have also been additions to Minecraft archeology and even in-game paintings.

The inside of a trial chamber, showing off some of the new blocks, including copper and tuff variants, coming with the Minecraft 1.21 update, Tricky Trials.

New copper blocks

Minecraft copper was first introduced as a new ore in the 1.17 Caves and Cliffs update in 2021 and was, at first, a fairly useless block. It was easy to find a lot of the stuff around the world with little use, but it could only be used to craft lightning rods, eyeglasses, and a small range of decorative copper blocks. These blocks can change color thanks to oxidation, a unique and spectacular effect, but they still aren’t pretty, meaning players often have stacks of the stuff going spare — we certainly do.

With 1.21 and the new Tal Chambers, the interiors of which are mostly built from copper blocks, there is a vastly increased family of blocks, and they’re much more attractive than those we had previously. This means the building options for copper blocks increase massively with the Tricky Trials update.

The Copper Bulb is a new light that has unique dimming properties based on the oxidation level of its copper frame, while new trapdoors, grates, and doors all have a beautiful intricate design. Chiseled copper blocks are also introduced with 1.20, alongside Chiseled Tuff and a few other Tuff variants, too.

Two of the new paintings available as of the Minecraft 1.21 Tricky Trials update.


Minecraft paintings are some of the most legendary items in the building game. Placing these items on the walls of your Minecraft house generates a random painting which fits the space. These images have been the same for some time and most are pixelated versions of art by Kristoffer Zetterstrand. Zetterstrand is back and has created 15 of the 20 brand-new Minecraft paintings to experience in Minecraft, the other five are by Minecraft game artist Sarah Boeving.

Don’t worry, the classic images of the last decade are still there, the chances of getting them are just smaller now as the pool of pictures widens. As ever, you can break the item and replace it until you get the one you want – but where’s the spontaneity in that?

Flow and Guster armor trims

Building on another recent addition, 1.21 adds more smithing templates to create new Minecraft armor trims. Smithing Templates were only added in the 1.20 update last year, and are combined in a smithing table with rare materials to forge stylish armor designs. These templates are rare and hard to find, and each has a theme based on the area in which it can be found, such as Bastion Remnants or the ocean.

As such, we can imagine more of these templates will be added in the future as more structures, areas, and biomes are added to the survival game. 1.21 is the first of these, as a new smithing template can be obtained as a vault reward for defeating Trial Chamber mobs.

Two new banner designs from the Minecraft 1.21 update, the Guster in pink and the Flow in purple.

Flow and Guster banners

Particularly creative players will no doubt be familiar with Minecraft banners and their uses as base decorations, Minecraft shield designs, and even interior design details if you’re really crafty. Two new banners have been added to 1.21 with Trial Chambers: the Flow and the Guster, which can be crafted using new Banner Designs. We’re not yet sure how these banner designs are available in game, whether they are craftable or vault rewards, or something else entirely, but they can be found in the creative inventory.

Three decorative pots featuring the new pottery sherd designs from the Minecraft 1.21 Tricky Trials update.

New pottery sherds

Finally, another existing mechanic has been slightly updated in 1.21: Minecraft archeology. Again added in 1.20, archeology added the new Minecraft brush, trail ruins, and the ability to excavate pottery sherds from special sand blocks. These pottery sherds are then combined to craft decorative pots that can be placed around your base and used to store up to a stack of a single item. Like smithing templates, the 1.21 change to archeology is the addition of new pottery sherd styles: Flow, Guster, and Scrape.

With that, you’re ready to jump into your own tricky trials when the Minecraft 1.21 update arrives. Don’t forget to ready yourself for those challenging new mobs with the best armor and weapons, using Minecraft diamond and Netherite to kit yourself out. If you’re not ready to try Trial Chambers out alone, take a look at joining one of our favorite Minecraft servers and make some new friends to take with you.