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All new features coming in the Minecraft Caves and Cliffs 2 update

When it originally launched, or even before that during the lengthy early access period, Minecraft was already effectively an endless game. You could build, craft, fight, and transform the world for as long as your creativity, free time, and patience allowed. Heck, you could even run in a single direction and never hit a wall. But Mojang wasn’t satisfied with that, and over the years has only added more content to this already limitless game. We’ve gotten new animals, environments, weapons, monsters, systems, and everything in between to add yet more depth to this insanely popular game.

We already got a giant update in the Caves and Cliffs addition, but the second part of it is fast approaching. This update, also known as 1.18, will complete the pair and add in plenty of new changes that will impact the entire Minecraft world. There’s a lot to look forward to in this coming update, but also a few things missing, so if you want to plan out how to tackle all the new content, here are all the new features coming in the Minecraft Caves and Cliffs 2 update.

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When does the Caves and Cliffs update arrive?

We got the official release date for the Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update from the game’s official Twitter account on November 17 that the update would go live just a few weeks later on November 30, 2021. Just update to the new version on that date and you’ll be good to go!

New biomes

A mountain with a snowcapped peak.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The biggest addition in this update is the eight new biomes that will be added to the procedural generation. As the name of the update implies, most of these relate to caves and or cliffs, but there are a few cool surprises as well. The new biomes are named Dripstone Cave, Lush Cave, Noise Cave, Grove, Meadow, Lofty Peaks, Snowcapped Peaks, Stony Peaks, and Snowy Slopes.

Dripstone Cave: This new cave biome will be added to the overworld for anyone to find. As the name suggests, you will find plenty of Dripstone in these caves. These also create Pointed Dripstone below them, just like a stalactite and stalagmite. Breaking the top blocks will cause the rest to fall, and falling onto a spike of Dripstone on the floor will damage you the same as spikes, so tread carefully. We’ve already had Dripstone before, and it doesn’t have much practical use, but other ore can also be found here.

Lush Cave: Lush Caves are full of life and green. You’ll instantly know you’ve found one by the amount of moss, spore blossoms, and other plant life covering the walls. You can even locate one from the surface by digging down in an area where you find azalea trees. Lush Caves also are home to glow berries that light the area but can be eaten if you feel like it. There are also Dripleafs here, which are giant leaves you can use to platform on; however, don’t linger on one for too long. They can only support your weight for a little while before they bend and let you drop. But perhaps the most exciting part of Lush Caves is the fact that they’re the only biome in the game where you can find the new Axolotl animal.

Noise Cave: There are three types of Noise Caves coming in 1.18: Wide open, narrow, and winding. There’s nothing too special about them, but they are more intended to make the different types of caves you can encounter in the game more dynamic and unpredictable. Wide-open caves are, well, big holes basically. Narrow ones are mostly straight, thin paths, and winding are similar in size but twist and turn.

Grove: The first of the snowy-themed biomes are Groves, which will appear around the lower levels of mountain areas. They are home to spruce trees, polar bears, foxes, wolves, and rabbits, plus all the varieties of snow.

A lush cave system.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Meadow: Appearing at around the same altitude as Groves, Meadows are more inviting. They have plenty of grass and flowers, sometimes trees with beehives, as well as donkeys, rabbits, and sheep. You can also harvest berry bushes, cornflowers, and dandelions here.

Lofty Peaks: Way up on a mountain, these treacherous biomes are not ones you’ll want to hang around on. Their defining feature is the sheer cliffs with little to no footholds. The only creatures able to survive here, like in real life, are goats.

Snowcapped Peaks: A much more pleasant biome to find at the top of a mountain is the Snowcapped Peak. The downside is that there’s really nothing new here aside from visual variety. There’s plenty of snow and ice, including packed ice, but that’s really it.

Stony Peaks: Think of the Lofty Peaks biome, but swap out the snow for mostly stone and gravel blocks. Otherwise, they’re nearly identical, including being a great home for goats.

Snowy Slopes: Between Grove level and any of the new peaks, you may find a Snowy Slope biome. These are simply snow-covered areas full of powder, so you’ll need to have careful footing. You can catch some glimpses of goats here, plus rabbits.

Mountains and ore

A cave with a lake of lava.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As a general rule of thumb, Minecraft’s Caves and Cliffs update will raise the roof (literally) but extending the height range by 64 vertical blocks. That will bring the total Y axis in a world to 384 blocks. This will allow for much taller mountains to occur naturally in the overworld.

Going underground again, the vertical space going downward is also getting a 64-block extension. To accommodate for all the extra space, new ore veins will be much larger so you don’t have to dig farther to find anything good. Ores will also appear in wider layer ranges too. The full breakdown given is this:

Iron Ore: Below Y 72, Y 16, and above Y 112.

Copper Ore: Between Y 0 and Y96.

Lapis Lazuli: Below Y 64.

Coal: Above Y 0 and Y 96.

Gold: Below Y 32.

Redstone: Below Y 16, getting rarer the farther down you go.

Diamond: Same as Redstone.


The one notable new addition to your crafting book is candles, which you may be familiar with already if you play on Minecraft Java Edition. With this update, they will officially join the game proper. You can craft these using honeycomb and string, but also add in dye if you want to make some cool colors. Not only are they a good source of light, but you can even combine them with a cake to make it extra special.

No Warden enemy, bundles, or Archaeology

A Warden in a cave.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Unfortunately, there are a few things we were expecting in the Caves and Cliffs part 2 update that won’t end up arriving until the next update. Perhaps most disappointing is the fact that the new Warden enemy won’t be included. Now coming in 2022 as part of the Wild Update, both the Warden and the Deep Dark biome, which is where it will spawn, were meant to bring fear back into Minecraft. These enemies are going to be blind, meaning they will track you based on sound. But while that can be used to your advantage to distract them, there are also going to be new blocks in the Deep Dark called shriekers that emit noise when stepped on.

Bundles will be a great quality-of-life addition when they finally arrive. These will let you make bags that you can use to store items instead of cluttering up your inventory. We don’t know how deep these bags will go just yet, but we expect them to hold plenty of materials to make inventory management much cleaner.

Finally, we will all have to wait a bit longer to become amateur archaeologists. In fact, it was announced that this feature won’t even make the Wild Update either. This update introduces a whole new system where you can use a brush to uncover and collect new items hidden in dirt, gravel, or sand blocks in marked excavation sites. Just be gentle, because attempting to pull out your find before fully brushing away the debris can cause it to break.

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Jesse Lennox
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