Minecraft's new camels are already here in a new beta build

Minecraft 1.20 - Alex rides on a camel beside a desert village well
(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft 1.20 beta builds have started arriving just days after Mojang showed the first features for the next major update over the weekend.

Technically, anyway. 

Mojang has released a snapshot build for Minecraft Java and a beta for Minecraft Preview, which are both actually incremental test builds for a minor update to the current version 1.19. They both include a toggle setting to turn on experimental features, though, which include the new Minecraft camel mob, bamboo wood, hanging signs, and pretty much all the other Minecraft 1.20 features that were announced so far. 

According to the patch notes, camels will spawn naturally in desert villages, can be ridden with a saddle, dash across the ground, and seat a second rider too. In Java Edition's patch notes, there's an extra surprise experimental feature available: bundles. The small backpack-like carrying items were initially announced in 2020 and then faded in and out of different experimental builds for a while. They've returned once again, so maybe they'll finally make it into an official game update next year.

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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

I personally made a beeline for the camels and found a desert village with one already wandering about. Naturally, they're as dorky as any Minecraft mob and the one I found first had decided to take a bath in the village well. Nicely done, pal.

As Mojang explained during Minecraft Live last weekend, it's chosen to only reveal a few of the features planned for the 1.20 update so far. What we've been told about are the features that are already closest to completion, which is why we're getting to toy with them in beta builds already. 

It seems likely that we'll see new features follow a similar pattern throughout the winter and spring, with Mojang announcing a new bit of the 1.20 update and then pretty quickly allowing us to play with it thereafter. Mojang hasn't given a launch date for 1.20 yet, but it's planned for sometime in 2023.

How to enable Minecraft 1.20 features 

If you open up your Minecraft launcher and go to the Preview tab of Minecraft for Windows or use the Installations tab of Minecraft Java to add Latest snapshot 22w42a, you'll start downloading the beta version of the game. 

With that done, you'll need to enable the experimental features. In Java, this is done while creating a new world in the "Data Packs" menu. For Minecraft Preview, you'll find the experimental features toggles under the "Experiments" section when creating a new world.

With the new features turned on, you can reference our list of Minecraft commands to locate and teleport to the nearest desert village or bamboo forest. Be kind to your camels out there, kids. 

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.