Minecraft 1.18 update: Everything new in Caves & Cliffs part 2

Minecraft Caves & Cliffs part 2 concept art of Steve using a pickaxe to mine amethysts in a lush cave while Alex explores above.
(Image credit: Mojang)

The Minecraft 1.18 update is finally here. Caves & Cliffs part two brings the rest of the changes that Mojang originally planned when announcing the major update back in 2020. As you might expect, there are new mountain and cave-based biomes along with new blocks and items. Version 1.17 already added many of the mobs and plants that inhabit the new biomes, but now they'll all naturally generate in their proper homes.

As of this year's Minecraft Live show, we have unfortunately found out that the big, scary Wardens and their Deep Dark biome have been delayed from this version. They're now coming in the 1.19 Wild Update, which Mojang has announced will be coming in 2022.

With update 1.18 now out, here's everything you should know about what Minecraft Caves & Cliffs part 2 has brought to the game. 

When is the Minecraft 1.18 release time?  

Minecraft 1.18 launched on November 30, 2021. With Caves and Cliffs part 2 now out, you should see version 1.18 recommended as the latest version in your Minecraft Launcher. 

Always remember to back up your old save files before loading them into the newest version of the game. With the new changes to world generation, Mojang say that new chunks generated in worlds you bring forward to 1.18 should better blend with the existing terrain in your save file. So long to big flat chunk borders in old worlds!

How to update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

How to update Minecraft Bedrock Edition on PC 

If you've been playing Minecraft on PC for a while, it's likely you've got the Java Edition, which should update automatically through the launcher. Bedrock Edition should also automatically update, but on the off-chance it doesn't, here's what you need to do using either the Xbox App or the Microsoft Store.

Xbox App
Look for the 'My Collection' tile in the top left corner of the app, just beneath the Xbox logo. Click on this, then click the 'Manage Installs' button in the top right. Give it a few seconds to populate and you should see Minecraft in the list. Click on the update arrow, let it install, and you're ready to play.

Microsoft Store
Locate the 'Library' tile near the bottom of the menu on the left. Click on this to see any updates that are available for your apps—Minecraft should be there. Click on update, let it finish, and you should be good to go.

New biomes

Minecraft 1.18: New and updated cave biomes 

Caves, in general, have gotten a complete overhaul, giving them more room to generate and fit in with the new individual biomes. Many caves will contain aquifers or bodies of water independent of sea level, and deepslate will replace stone from Y=0 to Y=-7. Additionally, three new types of noise caves have been introduced:  

  • Cheese caves: Huge caves containing aquifers and ore.
  • Spaghetti caves: These are long and thin and may have small aquifers.
  • Noodle caves: Similar to Spaghetti caves but much smaller.

Lush Caves

Best of Minecraft

Minecraf 1.18 key art

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft update: What's new?
Minecraft skins: New looks
Minecraft mods:  Beyond vanilla
Minecraft shaders: Spotlight
Minecraft seeds: Fresh new worlds
Minecraft texture packs: Pixelated
Minecraft servers: Online worlds
Minecraft commands: All cheats

Caves aren't new to Minecraft, but they're usually fraught with danger, especially if you stumble on an old mine. The Lush Caves biome changes all that. While there are likely still dangers to look out for, this new biome gives the underground world of Minecraft a much more welcoming feel, adding an abundance of plant life to an otherwise sterile environment.

Lush Caves are where you're most likely to find Minecraft axolotls—currently only found in underground water sources—and cave vines, glow berries, and drip leaves should also grow in abundance here. You'll be able to spot the location of Lush Caves by the Azalea trees that grow above them in the overworld terrain.

Dripstone Cave

The second new biome is full of pointed dripstone and dripstone blocks. These will form stalagmites and stalactites to give some variance to the usual blocky terrain. Pointed dripstone creates the spikey interior of these caves. It acts much like vines, breaking completely if one section is destroyed.

You should also be aware of the potential dangers that this environment can have—falling into a pit of stalagmites will hurt.

Mountain sub-biomes 

Caves aren't the only things that have gotten a makeover in the Minecraft 1.18 update—it is called 'Caves & Cliffs' after all. There are six new 'sub-biomes' introduced to the mountainous regions:

  • Mountain Meadow: Low mountain regions. Various flowers and sweet berry bushes can be found here.
  • Mountain Grove: This area is the first snow-covered mountainous area. You should see plenty of rabbits and spruce trees here.
  • Snowy Slopes: Higher still, Snowy Slopes are home to goats, snow, and ice.
  • Lofty Peaks: These snow-covered peaks will only generate if the mountain is high enough and the surrounding biomes are warm. 
  • Snow Capped Peaks: This biome will only generate if the surrounding biomes are too cold for Lofty Peaks. You can find snow blocks and packed ice here.
  • Stony Peaks: This biome is a version of lofty/snowcapped peaks that features stone and gravel instead of snow and ice, and is used to avoid temperature clashes such as a snowcapped peak in the middle of a jungle.

Other blocks and items

Blocks and items coming in Minecraft 1.18 

The first half of the Caves & Cliffs update came with lots of new blocks and items, but update 1.18 is much more focused on those big biome and world generation changes. On the block and items side, Ore Veins are the headline new change.

Ore veins

Iron and copper ore veins are snake-like ore formations that should yield a lot of valuable ore when found. At Y=0 and above, ore veins contain copper ore and granite. Below Y=0, the ore vein will give you iron ore and tuff.

More Lena Raine music

More of Lena Raine's music is coming to Minecraft. Five new songs associated with new biomes are being added to survival mode. A music disc called "otherside" is can now be found in strongholds and dungeons.

Minecraft 1.18 Seed Parity

Minecraft Life 2021 screenshot - an example of a Java world and Bedrock world generated with the same seed. Both showing a snowy biome with a frozen lake that look nearly identical.

(Image credit: Mojang)

During the Minecraft Live 2021 show, Mojang announced another large detail for Minecraft 1.18. As of the second half of Caves & Cliffs, Minecraft's two main versions—Java and Bedrock—will share almost identical world seeds. 

Minecraft world seeds allow you to create a specific world by entering a number in the new world menu when creating it. Any save file started by using a particular world seed will be identical to any other using the same seed. That only works if you're using the same version of Minecraft though. You can see on our list of best Minecraft seeds that Java and Bedrock currently have different world seeds. 

For version 1.18, Java and Bedrock versions of Minecraft have almost identical worlds generated by the same seed. Mojang says of complete seed parity that "We're not 100% there yet, but close. It's very similar. Details will be different." You can see just how close your Java and Bedrock worlds will be in one of the examples up there that Mojang shared. Can you spot the differences?

Warden (Delayed)

(Image credit: Mojang)

The Warden mob has been delayed

The Warden was originally announced as part of the Caves & Cliffs update, planned to come in the 1.18 version. As of this year's Minecraft live, Mojang announced that the Warden and the Deep Dark biome it hails from are both being pushed back to the 1.19 Wild Update.

As they are found so deep underground, Wardens are blind, responding to vibrations and movement instead of light. If you get near one, the area will dim, regardless of any light source used. You'll know if one is aware of your presence as the 'horns' on its head will glow and rattle. 

They're pretty scary, having tons of health and dealing massive damage. They're big, too, standing taller than an Iron Golem. They'll also chase after you if you don't crouch to sneak past them. Luckily they can be tricked by throwing objects like eggs or snowballs.

Sarah James
Guides Writer

Sarah started as a freelance writer in 2018, writing for PCGamesN, TechRadar, GamingBible, Red Bull Gaming and more. In 2021, she was offered a full-time position on the PC Gamer team where she takes every possible opportunity to talk about World of Warcraft and Elden Ring. When not writing guides, most of her spare time is spent in Azeroth—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.