Minecraft 1.20—everything you should know about the new Minecraft update

Minecraft 1.20 - Ari holds up a discovery from archaeology
(Image credit: Mojang)

As expected, Minecraft 1.20 is the latest major Minecraft update, and it's arrived at last. In addition to all the new features—including the mob vote winner, a new biome, brand new blocks, archaeology, and more—it's got a name of it's very own. Minecraft 1.20 is "Trails and Tales" and it's focused on "storytelling and world building" according to Mojang. Best of all, the new features and name don't require you to wait any longer to get a taste for yourself.

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

Mojang gave us a peek into what they picked as themes for the 1.20 update early on, namely "self expression, creativity, and intrinsic motivation." That last one is something that I heard quite a bit about from Minecraft's game director Agnes Larsson and gameplay designer Nir Vaknin when I interviewed them in 2022. They don't want Minecraft to feel clingy, as they've said, and want players to keep playing and starting new worlds because they're feeling inspired, not because they feel chained to the crafting grind.

It's no surprise then that some of the new features for 1.20 center around building your way: new aesthetic blocks and a functional bookshelf. We're also getting exploration and adventure options with the new camel mount and archaeology—both of which are found in the deserts of Minecraft's world. 

With the features list complete and the details spoiled, we've got a handle on what Minecraft 1.20 is all about. Here are all the juicy and blocky details about the new update:

Release Date

When is Minecraft 1.20's release date? 

Minecraft 1.20 is available now as the Trails & Tales update. This followed the usual slate of prerelease and snapshot builds, which started back in October 2022. You don't have to wait any longer to dig into archaeology and the other new features.

New Versions

  • Bedrock 1.20.1 — a small hotfix addressing a pressure plate delay bug and a bug with boats placed before updating a world to 1.20
  • Bedrock 1.20.10 — a small set of feature changes for Bedrock, including short sneak—which reduces player height to 1.5 blocks when sneaking—and changes to the boat and barrel recipes, plus the a new experimental crawling feature.

New Blocks and Mobs

All the Minecraft 1.20 new blocks

All the new blocks for Minecraft 1.20 are centered around personalizing builds and telling stories through new discoveries & contraptions. There's the new bamboo and cherry blossom wood types, the functional chiseled bookshelf, patterned pots, and hanging signs too—all there for you to discover and tell your own stories

  • Hanging signs: they come in wall, ceiling, and narrow hanging varieties.
  • Bamboo wood: a full set of wood blocks made from bamboo including doors, stairs, trapdoors, and planks.
  • Raft: the bamboo version of a boat is actually a flat raft you can ride on.
  • Bamboo mosaic: A new decorative block type just for bamboo.
  • Chiseled bookshelf: A functional bookshelf that you can place up to six books on.
  • Suspicious sand: found nearby desert temples, you can use the new Brush tool to clear it out to find pottery shards, bones, Sniffer eggs, and more.
  • Cherry blossom wood: another full set of wood blocks from the new cherry blossom biome, they're a beautiful pink hue.
  • Patterned pot: unearthed with archaeology, you can put together the shards you find to make beautiful storytelling pots to decorate with.

The chiseled bookshelf is particularly neat thanks to its redstone signal capability. It will give off a redstone signal based on how many books it currently holds, which Mojang suggests could power some very cool secret doors. The shelf doesn't have an inventory UI, Mojang says. That means you'll place books on the shelf by clicking on it with a book in hand or taking a book by pointing with your reticle and clicking with an empty hand.

(Image credit: Mojang)

The Minecraft 1.20 new mobs are the camel and sniffer

Minecraft 1.20 has brought us two new friends: the Minecraft camel, which Mojang chose as a new desert-dwelling mount, and the Minecraft sniffer, which won last year's community mob vote.

Camels can be found hanging out in desert villages walking, sitting, and flopping their little ears. They are indeed a new type of mount, which is part of their coolest feature: They seat two players. That means you can bring a friend along for a trek between bases without needing two different mounts. Camels also have a special horizontal dash ability for crossing ravines.

(Image credit: Mojang)

Meanwhile, the sniffer is an extinct overworld mob that you'll have to resurrect by finding their eggs via archaeology. They're very large and slightly turtle-shaped with mossy backs, a large yellow snout, and floppy pink ears. Once hatched, sniffers use their big yellow snouts to dig ancient seeds out of the ground for you to plant.

Minecraft 1.20 archeology feature

(Image credit: Mojang)

Originally announced for the Minecraft 1.17 Caves & Cliffs update back in 2020, Archaeology ended up being postponed along with Bundles—which were also supposed to come with Minecraft 1.17. But now, Mojang has brought Archaeology at last with the release of 1.20.

You can find a new type of sand—called "suspicious sand"—near desert temples. You can then work up the new brush tool to whisk away all the suspicious sand in an attempt to unearth everything from pottery shards, hidden tools, and bones, to sniffer eggs, which are the most adorable consolation prize imaginable.

If you keep your eyes peeled, you'll also be able to find trail ruins, which are underground archaeology sites with only the very top of them poking out of the ground. Unearthing trail ruins can reveal the remains of an entire ancient settlement.

Minecraft 1.20 new biome: Cherry blossoms

(Image credit: Mojang)

Though we didn't initially expect a new biome, we got surprised with Minecraft's announcement of the cherry blossom biome in the 1.20 update. A gorgeous landscape of pink flower petals was the perfect pink announcement for Valentines day.

"These beautiful new trees fill the horizon with a stunning shade of pink," Mojang said. "Of course these new trees can also be broken down and crafted into a full wood-set, including the newly introduced hanging signs and cherry tree saplings to grow more of the lovely pink trees."

You'll also be able to find pigs, sheep, and bees hanging out in the biome, attracted to the blossoms and likely frolicking underneath the branches. Branches that will no doubt conceal countless creepers who also enjoy blossoms, and giving you hugs.

Other Features

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft 1.20 introduces armor trim

Minecraft 1.20 has introduced armor trims, colorful customization for all your armor pieces. You can find smithing templates out in the world and then bring them back to a smithing table to modify your armor. You can also just pop into a nearby village to steal theirs as well, just in case you want to look fly on the fly.

If you've ever lamented bland armors covering up your duds, this is the update for you—and just what netherite armor needs to look a bit less boring, with the gold that Mojang uses as an example with it being fit for a king.

Are bundles in Minecraft 1.20?

(Image credit: Mojang)

Revealed way back in October 2020, bundles are a simple item that allows you to store multiple item types inside a single inventory slot. Since then, they've been held back from updates, including 1.17 and 1.18—showing up as experimental features that were removed before proper release.  

While once again, bundles slipped in as an experimental feature starting with snapshot 22W42A—and remain a data pack you can enable during world creation in the 1.20 release—they didn't make it into the update officially. 

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.

With contributions from