November 30th, 2021, brings the latest game-changing update to Minecraft – the final instalment of Caves and Cliffs. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s being added to the immensely popular survival game.
Caves and Cliffs is the latest overhaul to Minecraft, and one of the biggest ever, increasing world height, adding new cave systems and completely changing the survival experience. Being such a huge undertaking, it was split into two parts, with Part 1 being released in June, 2021, and Part 2 following on November 30th, 2021. Here, we’re going to run you through everything you need to know about the new blocks, biomes and mobs in 1.18, and what this means for your Minecraft experience going forward.
Caves and Cliffs Part 1 — What was in update 1.17?
Part 1 brought with it all of the new blocks and mobs of the Caves and Cliffs update without the new world generation. This meant that some of the biome specific blocks weren’t readily available, requiring Wandering Traders to obtain, and some of the mobs were spawning where they wouldn’t in Part 2.
Minecraft’s Caves and Cliffs Part 2 – What changes are in 1.18?
Minecraft World Generation has been altered considerably in this update. The world height is now a massive 64 blocks higher and another 64 blocks deeper, giving a total world height of 384 with the Y axis going from -64 to +319. Not only does this mean you can build monstrously large builds, or sky bases deep in the clouds, but it now means that mountain biomes, and even structures, can render higher up than ever before, creating majestic scenery never experienced in Minecraft until now.
OK, I totally get it if you jumped straight to this section. The first thing we all want to know about 1.18 is of course the best place to mine for Diamonds. With the new world height comes a complete overhaul to the ore generation system, and Mojang have made it so that more strategy is required than ever before. Simply branch mining at Y=12 just isn’t going to cut it any more.
The main thing to know is that some ores now spawn much higher up or much lower down than they once did, in order to make the most of all that underground space in the highest mountains and the deepest caves. There’s a lot to it, so we’ll soon be giving this topic its own guide to tell you exactly where to find those all important ores. In the short term, here’s a handy table!
|Iron||Y = 232 or Y = 16|
|Copper||Y = 48|
|Gold||Y = -16|
|Gold (Badlands)||Very common between Y = 32 and Y = 256|
|Lapis||Y = 0|
|Diamond (Most common)||Y = -60 (Just above Bedrock)|
|Diamond (Lava-safe)||Y = -53 (Just above Lava)|
Part of the new world depth, and of course one of the crucial elements of the “Caves and Cliffs” update, is the new cave generation. New cave types now mean that mining and caving is an entirely different experience to what you might be used to.
There are now three cave types; Cheese, Spaghetti and Noodle. They’re not just names this way to make you hungry as you mine, but rather because they are perfectly fitting of the shape formation of the new caves.
- Cheese caves are much larger than we’re used to in the Minecraft underground, with huge open spaces, often supported by stone pillars. You may find waterfalls, lava falls, aquifers – large expanses of water with varying depths – and even exposed structures such as Mineshafts in these cheese caves.
- Spaghetti caves are the closest to the cave systems of old, with long, thin caves woven into and between one another. You may find small aquifers in these caves, but they’ll be rarer.
- Noodle caves get smaller still, almost like cracks woven into the fabric of the underground.
There are new biomes being brought in to make these new cave systems even more spectacular, and you might already be familiar with some of the gorgeous and awesome new blocks included from 1.17. Now, however, they’ll be easy to stumble across naturally as you explore the glorious caverns of 1.18.
Lush Caves are truly one of the most incredible additions coming with Caves and Cliffs Part 2. This new underground biome fills caverns large and small with lush greenery – it’s where you’ll find moss, dripleaf, glow berry vines and pink spore blossoms which fill Lush Caves with spore particles to add even more beauty to the atmosphere.
Axolotls will now spawn exclusively in Lush Caves, so if you want to pick a cute pink or blue buddy up in a bucket, you’ll need to locate a Lush Cave biome, but they are fairly common. What’s more, you can locate Lush Caves from above ground. See any of the new Azalea trees on the horizon? This means there’s a Lush cave directly below it somewhere.
This new cave biome features the dripstone block and pointed dripstone, which acts as a stalagmite or stalactite when placed on the ceiling or ground. These caves have a darker, more ominous feeling to them than lush caves, providing the perfect alternative scenery as you explore massive cave systems.
The most crucial thing to know here is that pointed dripstone can be gathered and then used to create an infinite lava source for the first time ever! While it may not be as instantaneous as an infinite water source, it’s still pretty darn handy. All you need to do is place lava above a block and pointed dripstone beneath it, with a cauldron under that. You’ll be able to watch the lava slowly drip into the cauldron over time. So while lava is now a renewable resource, you have been warned that it is a slow process.
Now we’ve covered Caves, it seems obvious to come to the Cliffs next. With 1.18, Minecraft’s Mountains can now reach a breathtaking Y=260. Trust me, the air gets pretty thin up there. And the snow gets pretty thick.
The glorious Grove is similar to the Snowy Taiga, and as of the three “slopes” biomes, spawns at the lower-level Mountain slope areas. Surrounded by snow-topped Spruce trees, you might even come across a dangerous Pillager Outpost up here. That’s if you don’t freeze in Powder Snow first.
Snowy Slopes sub-biome
As you can probably tell from its name, the Snowy Slopes are another snow-filled Mountain biome (hint: most of them are, they’re mountains). Snowy slopes are rather barren, but might just feature the odd Igloo.
This temperate mountain slopes biome is the warmest and greenest of them all, and features grass and flowers, the perfect environment for rabbits, sheep and donkeys to spawn, and even the occasional Oak tree with a bee hive.
Jagged Peaks sub-biome
Peaks sub-biomes spawn higher up than slopes, featuring steep climbs and, thus, terrifying drops. Being at a greater altitude, there’s yet more snow on the Jagged Peaks, and not a lot else. Just sharp, steep slopes. And maybe a Goat or two, just waiting to ram you off the very highest peak to your untimely death down below. Just as horrifying as its name suggests.
Frozen Peaks sub-biome
Frozen Peaks again have a pretty self-explanatory name. This time, you don’t have the risk of deadly Packed Snow, just the normal stuff, but there is plenty of Ice and Packed Ice around here instead. Quite the hazardous hiking experience. As with the Jagged Peaks, Goats are the only mob that can spawn here.
Stony Peaks sub-biome
The Stony Peaks are similar in formation to the Frozen and Jagged Peak variants, but this time in a Lush/Temperate environment. No snow or ice here as it will only generate in a region of biomes such as Jungles and Savannahs, and pretty lonely, with just Goats for company once more.
What else is new?
There’s loads more changes in 1.18, such as four new Advancements and new music. For an exhaustive list of everything that has been added with Caves and Cliffs Part II, check out Mojang Studios’ official changelog.