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'Minecraft' Exploration Update introduces the Cartographer, llama caravans

Minecraft fanatics have a new excuse to return to their custom-built worlds with this week’s launch of the Exploration Update, a free expansion that adds an array of new enemies, items, and quests.

The Exploration Update is tailored for players who enjoy trawling Minecraft‘s untamed wilderness in search of treasure, as new elements like map traders and llama caravans make player-led expeditions more likely to yield rare equipment and other valuables.

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After installing the new Exploration Update, players will soon meet the Cartographer, a new villager type that doles out treasure maps in exchange for emeralds. Treasure maps lead players to all-new locations and dungeons that have sprouted across Minecraft‘s worlds since the game’s last content-expanding update.

Players who follow the new treasure maps carefully may stumble across seaside Ocean Monuments, which contain deadly Guardians that give up valuable resources when defeated. Well-equipped explorers will also want to check out Woodland Mansions, a new location type festering with magic-wielding “Illagers.”

Minecraft veterans who successfully clear a Woodland Mansion of enemies are awarded the Totem of Undying, a rare item that automatically saves players from perilous situations that would otherwise mean death. The Totem of Undying activates when a player’s health meter empties, restoring them to full strength after unexpected enemy ambushes and long falls.

Wilderness survival also becomes a safer prospect with Monday’s launch of the Exploration Update, as players can now saddle wild llamas to build a protective caravan train. With multiple llamas in tow, explorers will have little to fear from the monsters that roam Minecraft‘s worlds, as befriended llamas will automatically target nearby threats and chase them off with spitballs.

The Exploration Update is available as a free download for the Windows 10 and Mac versions of Minecraft. Equivalent updates for the console versions of Minecraft are coming soon.