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Minecraft 1.17 features: What's new in Caves & Cliffs Part 1?

Minecraft 1.17 features
(Image credit: Mojang Studios)
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Keen to jump in and play with all of Minecraft 1.17's new features? You're not alone. The Caves & Cliffs update was first announced in 2020, with the promise of overhauling—you guessed it—caves and cliffs, with new biomes, blocks and animals. Since then Mojang made the decision to split the update into two separate parts. The 1.17 update (the first part of the Caves & Cliffs) is live now and introduces new creatures, blocks, and various other bits and pieces. The 1.18 (part 2) will arrive later in 2021 and will give us the new biomes to explore. 

Seems simple enough, right? And it would be, except that certain blocks or animals that are only supposed to spawn inside the new biomes coming in 1.18 have already been added to the game. It's been pretty tough to keep up all the new things in the Caves & Cliffs Part 1 update and figure out what isn't included, so I put together this guide.

Here's a list of all the new Minecraft 1.17 features, as well as what to expect from 1.18.

Minecraft 1.17 features: Here's what's included in Caves & Cliffs Part 1 

Part 1 of the Caves & Cliffs update launched on June 8. While it's technically the smaller of the two updates, it adds loads of new blocks, animals, plants, and craftable items. But as some of these things are only supposed to spawn in the new biomes, you may be confused about what you can expect to see when you fire up your updated version of Minecraft.

It's worth noting that some blocks or creatures specifically tied to the upcoming biomes might not spawn naturally quite yet. It does appear that there are other ways to obtain them, however, such as via Creative mode or from a lucky find in a chest or from a Wandering Trader.

1.17: Creatures

(Image credit: Mojang Studios.)

Creatures

  • Axolotl: These non-hostile amphibious creatures spawn in underground water that is in total darkness. 
  • Glow squid: These creatures spawn in underground water sources in total darkness, though their bright glow gives their presence away.
  • Goats: They can be found in mountain regions and will ram players that get too close!

1.17: Plants

(Image credit: Mojang)

Plants

  • Azalea Bushes: These also can be Flowering Azalea Bushes. Using Bonemeal on them grows them into Azalea Trees.
  • Caves Vines/Glow Berries: Cave Vines grow down from the ceiling and have a chance of producing Glow Berries, which can be used as food or a light source.
  • Dripleaf: Found growing on clay or in water. Bonemeal can be used to make them taller.
  • Glow Lichen: A low light source that is found in caves. Can be harvested with Shears.
  • Moss Block/Moss Carpet: Decorative blocks. Moss Carpet can be crafted from Moss Blocks.
  • Rooted Dirt/Hanging Roots: Decorative blocks that naturally occur in the Lush Caves biome. Using bonemeal on Rooted Dirt produces Hanging Roots.
  • Spore Blossoms: Decorative block. These large flowers can be placed on ceilings.

1.17: Misc. blocks

(Image credit: Mojang Studios)

Miscellaneous blocks: 

  • Amethyst Geodes/Clusters/Shards: These can be found underground and can be mined with a Pickaxe.
  • Candles: These can be placed on any solid surface. They also come in 16 colours!
  • Copper Ore: This can be smelted to produce Copper Ingots. 9x Copper Ingots will craft a Copper Block.
  • Deepslate: Slight harder than Stone, this can be found deep underground. When mined, it drops Cobbled Deepslate.
  • Pointed Dripstone: Grows downwards into a stalactite if placed on the ceiling. Grows upwards into a stalagmite if placed on the floor.
  • Powder Snow: A new 'trap' block. Any entity that walks on it will sink into it.
  • Tuff: A new Stone type that is found in blobs underground between y0 and y16.

1.17: Crafted items

(Image credit: Mojang)

Crafted items:

  • Lightning rods (3x Copper Ingot): Can protect buildings from lightning strikes.
  • Spyglass (2x Copper Ingot, 1x Amethyst Shard): Look through it to see things far in the distance.

What's coming in the Minecraft 1.18 update

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft 1.18: What we expect in Caves & Cliffs Part 2 

There's no date set for Part 2 of the Caves & Cliffs update, though it's expected to arrive later in 2021. There aren't many details about the specifics of the update, though we do know that the new biomes will be implemented when it arrives. Here's what we know so far.

Biomes: 

  • Lush Caves: This biome adds lots of colour to underground areas and are full of green-covered blocks and glow berries. You'll be able to find the Lush Caves by looking for the Azalea Trees that grow above them in the overworld. 
  • Dripstone Cave: The second biome is less colourful than Lush Caves and adds stalagmites and stalactites instead of being completely composed of Minecraft's usual blocks. Just be careful not to fall into a pit of stalagmites!
  • Deep Dark: This biome isn't for the faint-hearted. If any lights in the cave start going dim, you might want to make a hasty retreat as that's a sign that the scary new Warden mob is nearby. Skulk Sensors generate here as well.

Creatures: 

  • Warden: These terrifying new mobs live deep underground and respond to movement and vibrations. You'll want to avoid them as they deal tons of damage and have a high health pool. 

Blocks: 

  • Skulk Block/Sensor: These are found deep underground in the Warden's terrain. They are set off by sounds and vibrations and will emit a Redstone signal when triggered.