What you need to know about the ‘Caves and Cliffs Update’ for Minecraft

Taking Minecraft to all-new heights, and all-new depths.

Minecraft is a constantly evolving game, gaining meaningful new features and changes continuously over years. The Minecraft of today is not the same game as 10 years ago, or even last year. This means we're always looking to the next chapter in Minecraft's long and colorful story. After the colossal success that is the Nether Update, we now know the next major update for Minecraft will be one that combines what normally would be two separate releases into a massive update filled with features, changes, and more.

Here's everything you need to know about the Caves and Cliffs Update for Minecraft.

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Minecraft is an inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It's also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.

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What is the Caves and Cliffs Update for Minecraft?

The Caves and Cliffs update was confirmed today at Minecraft Live 2020 and combines massive changes for two integral parts of Minecraft: caves that tunnel deep underground, and mountains that tower high into the air. The first part of this has been heavily requested by the community for years, while the latter was already known about in some fashion, although Mojang Studios is shaking things up a little bit with this two-for-one update.

Back at Minecon 2019, where Mojang Studios dropped an unbelievable amount of Minecraft-related news on us, it also conducted a poll on which biome should receive a complete overhaul next. It was heavily implied that this biome would be the focus of the next major release after the Buzzy Bees Update and the Nether Update. The victor of that poll was the mountain biome, which was in desperate need of a facelift, in my opinion.

While nothing was officially confirmed by Mojang Studios (it was still focusing on the Nether Update at the time), it was safe to assume that this "Mountain Update" would be the next destination for Minecraft, and would likely take on a similar size to the smaller Buzzy Bees Update.

However, instead of taking this route and sorting out a larger update for spring 2021, Mojang Studios took the community-chosen "Mountain Update" and combined it with the heavily requested and much rumored "Cave Update." The update that is so big in scale, players shouldn't expect to see this update until summer 2021. So what does this Caves and Cliff Update include?

What new features will the Caves and Cliffs Update add to Minecraft?

Before Minecraft Live 2020, we only had the short teaser video to tell us what was coming in the Caves and Cliff Update, but we now have a lot more information about what to expect, and the changes look incredibly great. Let's start with what to expect from the "Caves" portion of the update.


Caves haven't changed all the much since their inception in Minecraft, despite being extremely vital to, well, the "mine" half of Minecraft. Fans of Mojang Studio's open world sandbox have been clamoring for a caves-flavored refresh for ages, and we're finally getting what we've been asking for. The Caves and Cliffs update should add more variety to caves, as well as more for players to do.

The Caves side of the update will include:

  • New and improved cave generation. Caves are about to look and feel much more diverse, with all new generations and terrain available to them. This includes narrow tunnels, underground lakes, massive caverns, even waterfalls. There will also be different kinds of caves with lush caves, dripstone caves, and more.

  • Archeology system. A new gameplay mechanic in which players can uncover rare and valuable artifacts by gently excavating them with a new form of mining. Find buried ruins, carefully brush away debris, and more.

  • New mine-able blocks. The Caves and Cliffs update will add at least two new "ores" — copper and crystal geodes are both being added to the game! Copper ore should be relatively common, but crystal geodes will be rare, beautiful, and useful for new advanced items.

  • Stalactite / stalagmite blocks. These spiky blocks will add more variety to caves, but will also make traversing caves a more challenging experience, as these blocks will have different properties. For example, stalagmite blocks will have increased fall damage if you happen to take a landing on one of them.

  • New cave mobs. At least two new mobs will be added to caves with the Warden: a powerful hostile mob that reacts to movement rather than sight, and the Axolotl, an adorable passive creature that dwells in underground water sources and can actually aid you in battle.
  • There's always more... Beyond what we know of already, there's bound to be more changes, additions, and awesome new features related to caves in this gargantuan Minecraft update.


The Cliffs side of the Caves and Cliffs update was already teased at Minecon 2019. Mojang Studios will take everything promised in that teaser and expand upon it, making the "Mountain Update" bigger than it was ever going to be by itself.

The Cliffs side of the update will include:

  • Goat mob. Ah yes, mountain goats. Funny looking, funny sounding, and weird enough that they want to live on the face of huge mountains. It's not clear what purpose mountain goats would serve in Minecraft, but they'll probably jump around and make a lot of bleat-ing noises. I also assume they'll be friendly, but maybe Mojang Studios intends to introduce killer goats.
  • More varied snow. Snow in Minecraft is ... there. It has varying depths, and it covers things, and it's snow-y. To be honest, snow is more annoying than anything. Snow will become more varied in depth and in features with the Caves and Cliffs update, and it appears that unsuspecting players can even become "trapped" in snow if they're not careful on icy mountain tops.
  • Craggy cliffsides and improved generation. Right now, mountains in biomes are just tall hills, but they're made of stone. Sure, there are some truly interesting generations in Minecraft, but for the most part, mountains don't scream, well, "mountain." The Mountain Update should make mountains more aggressive, with cliffs and crevices to go along with them, and more interesting and beautiful generation in general.
  • And more... Of course, I expect mountains will get more than a light treatment in Caves and Cliffs, and there undoubtedly will be much more to come from Mojang Studios. Maybe we'll see some items from our wishlist make their way over to the official changes list.

Other changes and additions

There's also going to be lots of changes like new items and gameplay improvements that aren't explicitly "Cave" or "Cliff" sided. These are the changes that will make Minecraft feel fresh and fun even if you're not in one of the two newly updated biomes, and seek to add on top of Minecraft's already-deep gameplay mechanics.

The other features in the Caves and Cliffs Update include:

  • Sculk Sensor. A new redstone block that will react to movement by emitting a redstone signal, which is unlike any other redstone block we've seen so far. Players who are far more talented with redstone than I am are sure to accomplish incredible things with this block.

  • New crafting items. We don't have the full list of new craftable items, but the Caves and Cliffs update will include new items like lightning rods, which are made from copper, and telescopes (exciting!), which are made using the new crystals.

  • "Bundle Items" option. Minecraft is making it easier than ever before to carry around lots of the same item by allowing players to "bundle" them together. This should be a great quality-of-life improvement that just makes Minecraft less annoying and more accessible for players.
  • Always more... We couldn't end this list without saying that there will inevitably be even more announced by Mojang Studios and revealed over time, before the Caves and Cliffs Update launches sometime next year. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled for all the new details.

Things we'd like to see

We have a ton of new features and changes already confirmed for the Caves and Cliffs Update, but I wanted to take a moment to list some of the things we'd still like to see in Minecraft, and this update would be the perfect time to add them.

Some of the things we'd like to see in Minecraft include:

  • Mountain temples. It seems like every biome that gets an update gets a new dungeon or temple to explore, and mountains shouldn't be any different. I'd love to see temples carved into mountainsides or cleverly perched atop cliffs. As for making things interesting, I wouldn't mind new clever traps to avoid or even a new hostile mob that only resides inside these mountain temples.
  • A new method of climbing. You want to climb a mountain in Minecraft? Get hopping, mining, building, or meticulously placing ladders. Honestly, there's no satisfying or fast way to go up a mountain like there is to go down (even if going down isn't always safe). What about something like ropes that allow players to rappel up and down cliff sides? I think this would be awesome, if implemented properly, and would make climbing that much more exciting. Oh...what's this leaf platform I see?
  • Lions. Okay, hear me out. If we get mountain goats, should we get mountain lions too? It may sound weird to ask to be eaten by a gigantic cat, but I think that would make traversing mountains more challenging and fun, especially if mountain lions could be dissuaded by fishy bribes. Oh, and maybe I could have one as a pet?
  • A reason to mine in mountain biomes. As of right now, pretty much all valuable ore besides coal (if you consider that to be valuable) is stashed far underground, and can't be found even in mountains. Badlands get an exception with gold, so what if mountains got an exception too? There's no real reason to want to live in a mountain biome unless you fancy the idea of a home carved into the mountainside. Emeralds being present under mountains help, but even then you'll still be far underneath the mountain, not in it.
  • A light source you can hold. Torches don't emit light when you hold them in Minecraft, which seems like a design flaw. Even if it's an all-new item, I think we should have a way to place an item in our off-hand so we can have a constant light source with us when underground. Make it happen, please.
  • Hammers. When's the last time Mojang Studios shook things up with a new tool? I'd love to see something like a two-handed hammer, which can destroy multiple blocks at once (but maybe has a chance to permanently destroy some of the blocks), strike multiple enemies at once, and excels at knocking back foes with its long reach and powerful strikes.

If you have any more ideas for what the Caves and Cliffs Update should entail, feel free to let us know in the comments! If we like it, it might find its way into our guide (and maybe someone from Mojang Studios is watching...).

When will the Caves and Cliffs Update release for Minecraft?

As usual, Mojang Studios isn't going to commit to a specific release date until we're much closer to being ready, as preparing an update of this size takes time, and Mojang Studios wants to ensure that the update is as stable as possible, and doesn't break the game in any way. That being said, we do have a timeframe, and the closer we get the more accurately we'll be able to guess. Until Mojang Studios takes away the fun and just tells us the date, that is.

If you want the short version, Mojang Studios confirmed during the announcement that the Caves and Cliffs Update is coming in Summer 2021. This could mean anywhere between June and August, with a little bit more leeway if you're getting creative. If you want the long version, check out our dedicated guide on the Caves and Cliffs Update's release date, where we speculate more on possible release dates. This will also be your first source for information regarding the Caves and Cliffs Update's release date, so be sure to check in often as we learn more information.

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Are you excited for the Caves and Cliffs Update? What features do you want to see Mojang Studios add to Minecraft? Let us know in the comments below!

A gaming masterpiece


$50 at Microsoft (Xbox One Master Collection) $30 at Microsoft (Xbox One Starter Collection) $50 at Microsoft (Windows 10 Master Collection) $30 at Microsoft (Windows 10 Starter Collection)

Available everywhere you play.

Minecraft is an inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It's also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.

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Read more here: http://feeds.windowscentral.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/kTtFi3b8cik/minecraft-caves-cliffs-update

Content Attribution

This content was originally published by Zachary Boddy at Windows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft., and is syndicated here via their RSS feed. You can read the original post over there.

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