Minecraft 1.21: everything we know about the next major Minecraft update

Minecraft 1.21 - Two players stand together in a copper Trial Chamber looking at a Trial Spawner block
(Image credit: Mojang Studios)

The village bell is ringing, warning that the Minecraft 1.21 update is approaching. While the next Minecraft update is still probably a ways off, the details have started to spill as of last year's Minecraft Live presentation. 

Along with the new friend coming from the Minecraft mob vote, we’ll also have everything from new blocks like the redstone-based crafter, a new copper bulb block, and Trial Chamber with its wind-powered Breeze enemy. "This update is a precious mix of exciting adventures, combat trials and tinkering - we believe it adds something delightful for lots of different kinds of play styles!" says Vanilla Minecraft game director Agnes Larsson.

Like last year, Mojang says that the reveal for update 1.21 doesn't represent the full feature list and more will be announced throughout development. Until then, let's get into what we know so far about the Minecraft 1.21 update.

Is there a Minecraft 1.21 release date? 

There isn't a release date for Minecraft 1.21 just yet, but it's expected to arrive in the middle of 2024. That tracks with recent years. Minecraft 1.20 and 1.19 both launched in June of their respective years.

What new blocks are coming in Minecraft 1.21? 

What we know about Minecraft 1.21 so far seems pretty combat and structure focused, but there are some new bits of crafting kit too. Here are the new blocks we know about:

  • Crafter - An automated, redstone-powered crafting station
  • Copper bulb - A light source block with copper trim
  • Trial spawner - A new enemy spawner type that rewards loot after killing certain enemies

Mojang says that the Trial Chambers are built with new copper and tuff block sets as well. If you look closely at the video Mojang shared along with the 1.21 announcement, you can spot what appear to be copper trap doors and window-like patterned copper panes. The blocks that look like a new variant of chiseled stone bricks are likely a chiseled Tuff block.

We're sure to hear about even more new blocks as development on the 1.21 update continues.

Which new mobs are coming in Minecraft 1.21?

(Image credit: Mojang Studios)

We know of two new mobs coming in Minecraft 1.21 so far, a new hostile baddie and the latest winner of the community mob vote, the armadillo.

The Breeze is a new hostile mob that sounds like the cold side of the coin to the Blaze's fire attacks. It's a blue and purple creature with arms and a head all wrapped in a funnel of swirling wind. When it attacks, the Breeze shoots out a projectile of wind energy that explodes if it hits a player or entity, which deals a small amount of damage and knocks back all entities. Unlike its fiery opposite, the Breeze gets around by jumping instead of floating, so they may be a bit less annoying to chase down. You’ll still have some exploring to do to find the Breeze, since it’s going to be showing up in the new trial chambers.

And the other winner of the community mob vote is the utilitarian armadillo. These small pals live in warm climates like the savannah. They'll drop Scute, their armored skin, which you can craft into armor for your tamed wolves. That's about all we know so far until Mojang continues development on this winning critter. We won't know what its in game model looks like for a while, but you can spot the concept in the armadillo reveal video.

How do trials work in Minecraft 1.21? 

New to Minecraft 1.21 is a new type of structure: the Trial Chamber is a procedurally generated underground structure designed to present new challenges to explorers. Using the new copper and tuff block sets plus the new copper bulb, Trial Chambers will also include the new Trial Spawner block, which is a variant on the usual mob spawner blocks found in other explorable structures like mineshafts or woodland mansions. 

Trial Spawner blocks differ from normal spawners in that they spawn a specific number of enemies and then pause spawning for a time after. They'll dispense loot after you've successfully completed the challenge and emit smoke from their tops to let you know they're currently on cooldown. Trial Chambers are also the home to the newest enemy in the Minecraft 1.21 menagerie: the Breeze, who will be on hand to throw you around with their wind projectiles.

The Crafter is Minecraft's new automated block 

(Image credit: Mojang Studios)

Past Minecraft updates have dabbled in helping us automate all sorts of processes with blocks like hoppers, droppers, dispensers, and the lot. One thing that couldn't be automated was crafting itself. Enter the new Crafter block, which does just that. 

The Crafter block is powered by redstone and has its own inventory that other automated blocks can access. You'll use its crafting grid interface to denote a recipe and watch as it automatically builds items you've specified.

Is there a new biome in Minecraft 1.21?

While we don’t have any details about a biome being included with Minecraft 1.21, recent updates have made introducing new biomes a staple—with cherry blossom forests, the deep dark, mangrove swamps, and the massive overhauls of the Caves & Cliffs update all coming from the previous three major updates. It’s easy to speculate that at least one new biome or rework of an older biome will be part of the Minecraft 1.21 update.

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Minecraft update: What's new?
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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.

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