As a game that’s been running for over ten years now, Minecraft (a sandbox “collect-and-craft”-type video game developed by Mojang Studios), has experienced countless upgrades and improvements. From gameplay to graphics to system requirements, we’re pretty sure every element of that game – one way or another – has been changed, remodeled, replaced, or reconfigured.


(This is, of course, not including the thousands of Minecraft texture packs community modders make to improve or modify game graphics.)


This consistency gives players something to look forward to every few years or so, and the upcoming update – called Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs – is no exception. Everyone’s looking forward to seeing these geological fixtures get an in-game overhaul, and everything being hinted at so far is pretty promising. New world generation, new plants, new tools, and a special new redstone signal block to boot, Caves & Cliffs promises to be one of the most anticipated themed Minecraft updates yet.


So while waiting, here’s a recap of everything we learned about the Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update from Mojang’s “Minecraft Live” presentation in October.


Table of Contents:


  • Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs – What’s it About?
  • Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs Release Date
  • Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs – What to Expect?
    • Blocks
    • New Biomes
    • Items
    • Mobs
    • World Generation
    • Changes & Gameplay
  • New: Skulk Sensors
  • Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs Additional Details


(Parents – still unfamiliar with Minecraft? Read our handy survival guide for some helpful definitions and explanations!) 


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Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs – What’s it About?


minecraft caves and cliffs update


As you can probably tell, this Minecraft update will focus on the caves and cliffs in the Minecraft world. So we can expect more variations for the caves and new cave biomes with their own vegetation and unique geology. We’re also getting bigger caves with this update, which means more open cave spaces and less tight corridors and claustrophobic crevasses.


Some theories suggest more geological levels and additions to the cave systems i.e., possible underground lakes and new biome types. While the full details have yet to be released, all these promising features contribute to what could possibly be quite an extensive update.


Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs Release Date


When are we getting Minecraft Caves & Cliffs? As of October 2020, Mojang has yet to release a definite launch date. However, the consensus seems to point to sometime in summer 2021.


Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs – What to Expect?


There is a lot to expect from this update. Bigger caves and new biomes aside, we’ll also be getting some new mineable, naturally-occurring blocks. What you can craft from them has yet to be determined, but the prospects for each new material and ingredient are pretty exciting. A lot of players are hoping for some cool new enchantments to come with the new ingredients.




  • Azalea Leaves – part of a new tree
  • Azalea Roots – resembles a dirt block, possibly a new variant
  • Amethyst Geode – available in all modes – i.e., creative or adventure mode  – except survival; extremely rare
  • Amethyst Crystal – grows on top of amethyst geode blocks over time; can be crafted into telescopes
  • Copper Ore – new ore; spawns in new ore veins
  • Copper Blocks
  • Copper Slabs
  • Copper Stairs
  • Clay Pot
  • Painted Clay Pot – created by firing a clay pot
  • Spore Blossom – can be placed on ceilings
  • Dripleaf Plant – a plant that can be used for platforming; can be placed on a grass block
  • Skulk Block – generates in a new cave biome currently referred to as the deep dark
  • Skulk Growth – generates in a new cave biome currently referred to as the deep dark; generates in a layer on top of blocks (like snow)
  • Skulk Sensor – generates in a new cave biome currently referred to as the deep dark; can be used to create a wireless redstone clock
  • Stalagmite – can be found on the floor of the new dripstone caves
  • Stalactite – can be found on the ceiling of the new dripstone caves
  • Dripstone – found in the new dripstone caves
  • Lightning Rod – crafted with copper; redirects nearby lightning strikes
  • Powder Snow – similar to snow, but entities can fall through it


minecraft caves and cliffs update


There are at least a dozen new blocks that have corresponding images but no official names yet. Part of these blocks includes what look to be moss blocks and moss blankets, hanging azalea roots, glow berry vines, and a new light source found in the deep dark biomes that are currently unofficially referred to as cave candles.


New Biomes


Dripstone Caves


Possibly one of the largest cave biomes in Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs, the new Dripstone Caves adds stalagmites and stalactites to caves. They are designed exactly like their real-life counterparts: long, sharp, spear-like, and situated on the grounds and ceilings of caves, respectively. 


Surprisingly enough, stalagmites and stalactites are not composed of Minecraft’s usual blocks. Instead, their composition more closely resembles vines or flowers, in that they break entirely when just one piece is broken off.


Deep Dark Biome


As its name suggests, this new biome is deep, dark, and mysterious. Released images and fan theories are shaping it up to be equal parts intimidating and exciting.


minecraft caves and cliffs update


The strong, deadly, and unpredictable wardens can spawn here, along with skulk sensors and other as-yet-unconfirmed items and threats. Other theories suggest that “cave candles” (not their official name) can be found and collected here, along with skulk blocks, skulk growths, and a new Unnamed Block to boot.


Described as a biome located at the “deepest depths of the world,” the deep dark is shaping up to be one of the more highly-anticipated elements of the new Minecraft update.


Lush Caves


Containing tall grass, glow berries, dripleaf plants, spore blossoms, and at least a dozen other new items from the Caves & Cliff update, these lush caves are probably the prettiest and most plentiful of the new biomes. They add a lot of green to the underground areas, fulfilling their name with lush, green-covered blocks and beautiful glowing berries. You can find plenty of Axolotls here, too, along with dripleaf plants and walkable plant blocks.


minecraft caves and cliffs update


These Lush Caves are also relatively easy to locate, as they generate only beneath azalea trees in the overworld terrain.




  • Amethyst Shard – drops from amethyst crystals; used to make telescopes
  • Bucket of Axolotl – obtained by using a water bucket to hold axolotl


Bucket of Axolotl


  • Brush – sweeps debris off of archeological items
  • Bundle – can contain one stack of curated items of any variety and any item type
  • Ceramic Shards – obtained at archeological sites; can be customized and/or placed on pots
  • Glow Berries – can be eaten or used as a light source
  • Spawn Eggs – spawn eggs for the new mobs; only the spawn egg for The Warden has been visually confirmed




There are currently four new mobs for Minecraft Caves & Cliffs that have been confirmed so far.


  • Axolotl. Found within lush cave biomes, in bodies of water; can be caught in a bucket, like fish. They attack drowned, guardians, elder guardians, and fish. Sources say they can give Regeneration to players who tame them.
  • Glow Squid. Originates from Minecraft Earth; no confirmed spawn location yet. They glow like magma cube cores and endermen.
  • Goat. Spawns in mountain biomes. Attacks nearby animals. Baby variant suggests a potential way to breed them.


minecraft warden


  • Warden. Spawns in the deep dark biome. Is Minecraft’s first blind mob. They apparently are capable of sensing movement. Stats suggest they’re incredibly strong, with a minimum 84 HP and dealing average 30 damage (32.25 max). Other potential stats include:
    • Knockback Resistance
    • Speed matches the player’s walking speed
    • Height is over 3 blocks tall


The stats alone indicate that this mob might be one to avoid rather than engage. But there’s no stopping the particularly courageous from taking them on. Might we recommend checking out some Minecraft game cheats just in case you need to beat a hasty retreat? 


If not, at least make sure you stock up on a boatload of potions instead.


World Generation


  • Amethyst Geode


These tiny underground cave-like features will apparently contain geode blocks and amethyst crystals, both of which can be collected. Full characteristics uses, and unique properties have yet to be released.


  • Archeological Excavation


The Archeological Excavation is a fun new underground structure that players can explore for archeological items and ceramic shards. This is also where the new brush item will possibly be used the most.


  • Mesh Caves


A potential new biome, although not much has been revealed about it yet. It’s been confirmed via Twitter by a coach and game developer at Mojang Studios (Henrik Kniberg), but there are virtually no details and/or images for it. Theories suggest it to be a tunnel-like cave with potential “catacomb”-like sections that branch out.


Changes & Gameplay


underground water level generation


  • Local Water Levels


The Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update will also introduce a new aspect to the game known only as “underground water level generation.” This will cause certain areas in a Minecraft world to generate a specific water level that could differ from another area. This will, in turn, make it possible to have larger underground lakes, waterfalls, and water entrances. Others suggest possible underground waterways that connect to the oceans.


  • Mountains


Mountains, for the most part, will receive a general revamp with this update; height-dependent generation, new small spruce trees on the slopes, and packed ice above the peaks.


  • Ore Veins


The general news regarding ore veins is that they will be revamped to accommodate the new copper block.


Minecraft Ore Veins


  • Vibrations


With the new skulk sensors and blind wardens comes the new vibration element of Minecraft gameplay. Basically, a player’s actions can cause vibrations in the air that can be picked up by skulk sensors and wardens. This includes walking, block breaking, block placing, door opening, and projectile throwing – just to name a few potential triggers. Thankfully, ambient weather elements such as rain or snow will not cause vibrations.


New: Skulk Sensors


We’ve repeated it several times in this article because they are one of the bigger elements of the Cave & Cliffs update. Skulk Sensors are basically described as a new block type that can be found in “naturally deep caves,” such as – of course – the deep dark. Like wardens, these sensors can sense vibrations caused by player actions. Once they sense these vibrations, the sensors emit a Redstone Signal.


Why is it such a big deal? Well, a lot of theories now point out how useful a line of skulk sensors would be for engineering projects. 


Think of a skulk sensor chain, where one Redstone Signal emitted by a skulk sensor will then trigger other sensors nearby, resulting in a wirelessly transmitted Redstone Signal without the use of a dust line or other connected devices.


It’s also worth noting that you can prevent vibrations from reaching skulk sensors by placing wool blocks in the way the vibration would travel to reach the sensor. We wouldn’t be surprised if a crafty Minecraft mod creator comes up with a handy programming block that can nullify the vibrations, either.


Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs Additional Details


Here are a couple of other things players can expect from the new Minecraft update.


  • Telescopes crafted from amethyst shards will let you see a fair distance away
  • Lightning Rods crafted from copper can attract lightning in a storm. This can be used to keep a structure from catching fire and burning down
  • Bundles can be used as a new form of inventory organization


All in all, a pretty hefty – and no doubt exciting – update is on the way for Minecraft players. Whether it lives up to the hype remains to be seen. We’ll just have to wait until summer 2021 to find out!


Lets recap what we covered for this upcoming update:


Table of Contents:


  • Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs – What’s it About?
  • Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs Release Date
  • Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs – What to Expect?
    • Blocks
    • New Biomes
    • Items
    • Mobs
    • World Generation
    • Changes & Gameplay
  • New: Skulk Sensors
  • Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs Additional Details


What items, blocks, or areas of Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs are you excited for? 


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