1.17 - Caves and Cliffs

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Java Edition version history
Bedrock Edition version history

1.17, the first release of the Caves and Cliffs update,[1] is a major update for Minecraft: Java Edition and Bedrock Edition themed around revamping caves, mountains, and cliffs. It was announced during Minecraft Live 2020 on October 3, 2020, and was released on June 8, 2021.

Additions[edit | edit source]

Mobs[edit | edit source]

Passive[edit | edit source]

Glow Squid

File:Glow Squid.gif
  • Has 10 () health
  • A squid with a luminescent texture.
  • Drops glowing ink sacs, used to make the text on signs glow and to craft glow item frames.
  • When hit, it temporarily loses its luminescent texture, squirts glowing ink, and moves away at a great speed.



Neutral[edit | edit source]


  • Have 10 () health
  • Spawn in mountains. They can jump up to 5 blocks high (if not standing on Honey) and can occasionally headbutt players or mobs, dealing a knockback effect.
  • When they ram a block, they will drop a Goat Horn (but will only ever drop 2 total) that has a (most likely) placeholder Pillager Raid horn sound when right click is held down.
  • Can be milked.
  • Bred with wheat.
  • Naturally pathfind around powder snow.
  • Are not rideable.
  • Will attack every mob that is nearby for more than 10 seconds. Does 7 (File:Half Heart.png) damage.
  • When charging, they have tunnel vision, and will not try to hit if the players move before they charge.
  • Drops 0-2 raw mutton when killed.

Hostile[edit | edit source]


File:Warden Animation.gif
  • Spawns in the deep dark. It is blind, and can only spot players if they make vibrations.
  • It is very powerful. As seen on MineCon, it can most likely one-shot every type of armor except for Netherite armor and Diamond armor (both have the same protection).
  • Will have either no drops, or likely just a trophy drop.
  • It is roughly 50% larger than an Iron Golem
  • Attacks nearby entities that make an audible vibration.
  • It is a mob not meant to be fought/killed, acting more like a "natural disaster" that must be avoided.
  • It can be distracted with eggs, snowballs or arrows when thrown at a wall or floor.
  • Delayed release to 1.19 - The Wild Update.

Items[edit | edit source]

File:Amethyst Shard JE2.png

Amethyst Shard


  • Used to brush layers off of certain blocks to gain special items.
  • Delayed

Bucket of Axolotl

  • Is obtained by using a bucket on an Axolotl.
  • Water and an Axolotl will come out upon placement.
  • Similar to buckets of salmon, cod, and pufferfish.

Bucket of Powder Snow



  • Used to store multiple types of items in one stack.
  • Can contain 1 stack worth of items (i.e. 64 blocks or items, 16 throwables, or 1 nonstackable)
  • Will not suck items of the same type into them when the item is collected.
  • If a Bundle is thrown into Lava, the items inside it will be released from the Bundle. (20w51a) (Same with Shulker Boxes) (20w51a)
  • Delayed

Ceramic Shard

File:Ceramic Shardyes.png
  • Gathered by using a Brush on certain blocks in an archaeological dig site.
  • Used to decorate Clay Pots.
  • Has different variants
  • Delayed
File:Copper Ingot JE2.png

Copper Ingot

  • Gathered by smelting copper ore.
  • Used in many crafting recipes, including Lightning Rods and Spyglasses.
  • Occasionally dropped by a Drowned in place of gold.


Glow Berries

  • Edible
  • Emits light
  • Grow on cave vines
File:Glow Ink Sac JE1.png

Glow Ink Sac


  • Can be used to zoom in on the screen.

Blocks[edit | edit source]

Block of Amethyst


Budding Amethyst

  • Unobtainable block that has amethyst crystals growing on it.
  • Makes a special sound when walked on.

Amethyst Clusters

  • Grows on budding amethyst.
  • Are light sources
  • can be picked up by Silk Touch only

Amethyst Buds

  • Grows on budding amethyst
  • Are Light sources
  • can be picked up by Silk Touch only.

Azalea Leaves

  • Generate on certain oak trees.
  • Sometimes have purple flowers growing on them.


  • A miniature variant of the oak tree with special leaves that have purple flowers growing on them.
    • May be the sapling variant of the azalea tree.

Big Dripleaf Plant

  • Can be walked on.
  • After a while of holding weight, it tilts and loses collision for a short time before popping up again.
  • Will never tilt if powered with redstone
  • Grows taller when bonemeal is used.


  • Found in the middle layer of geodes.


File:Candle Cake.gif
  • Block placed similarly to sea pickles that emit light.
  • Lit using a Flint and Steel.
  • Have 16 color variants.
  • Can be placed on cakes to create candle cakes.
  • May naturally generate.

Cave Vines


Clay Pot


Copper Ore

File:Copper Ore New.png
  • Generates down to Y=0 underground.

Block of Copper

  • Mineral block version of copper.
  • Crafted with 4 copper ingots
  • Becomes green over time due to oxidation, a process that takes 50-84 in-game days per stage, which there are four of.
  • Can be waxed with honeycomb at any stage to stop oxidation.

Cut Copper

  • A cut version of copper with a different texture
  • Can be crafted into slabs and stairs

Cut Copper Slab

  • Slab version of copper block.
  • Can be waxed with honeycomb at any stage to stop oxidation

Cut Copper Stairs

  • Stair version of copper block.
  • Can be waxed with honeycomb at any stage to stop oxidation

Dripstone Block

File:Dripstone Block.png


File:Grimstone Blocks.gif
  • A new type of stone that generates in the deepest parts of the world and is slightly tougher than normal stone.
  • Like Blackstone, Deepslate can be used to craft basic tools, furnaces and brewing stands.
  • One can craft the following blocks with this new stone type:
    • Cobbled Deepslate
    • Deepslate Slab
    • Deepslate Stairs
    • Deepslate Wall
    • Polished Deepslate
    • Polished Deepslate Slab
    • Polished Deepslate Stairs
    • Polished Deepslate Wall
    • Deepslate Bricks
    • Deepslate Brick Slab
    • Deepslate Brick Stairs
    • Deepslate Brick Wall
    • Deepslate Tiles
    • Deepslate Tile Slab
    • Deepslate Tile Stairs
    • Deepslate Tile Wall
    • Chiselled Deepslate

Hanging Roots

File:Hanging Azalea Roots.png

Pointed Dripstone

File:Pointed Dripstone Up.gif
  • Found in the Dripstone Caves.
  • Drops from stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Can break with a trident.
  • Deals damage if it falls on an entity or vice versa.
  • Will drip with any liquid that is located above the block above it.

Glow Item Frame

File:Glow Item Frame JE1.png

Glow Lichen

File:Glow Lichen .webp
  • Emits a light level of seven
  • Is found randomly in caves
  • Can be spread to adjacent blocks using Bonemeal

Lightning Rod

  • Attracts lightning in a 64-block radius.
  • Gives a redstone power level of 15 when struck.
  • Can be placed vertically or horizontally.
  • Despite not being an entity, it causes lightning to strike when hit with a trident attached with channeling.

Moss Block

File:Moss Block.png
  • A decorative block found in Lush Caves.
  • When bonemealed, they replace surrounding blocks with themselves, moss carpets, and azaleas, as well as grass and tall grass.

Moss Carpet

File:Moss Blanket.png
  • A carpet-like block crafted from Moss Blocks.

Powder Snow

  • Looks like snow, but entities can sink through it.
  • You can use leather boots to stand on it and climb up it.
  • When a player is inside the block, their vision goes white and a frost effect appears around their screen.
  • Standing in it for too long will cause the player to take freezing damage, but this effect can be slowed by wearing leather armor.
    • Wearing full leather armor will prevent any freezing.
    • In 20w48a or higher, you will only need 1 piece of leather armor, but leather boots are recommended.

Rooted Dirt

  • A decorative block that generate under Azalea Trees
  • Appear to have roots growing underneath them
  • Follow them to find a lush caves biome

Sculk Block

  • Nothing is yet known about this block, other than that it is a member of the sculk family.

Sculk Trap

File:Sculk Trap.png
  • Nothing is yet known about this block, other than that it is a member of the sculk family.

Sculk Chute

  • Nothing is yet known about this block, other than it is a member of the sculk family.
    • This block may amplify vibrations for the sculk sensors, because bones in real life actually increase the intensity of vibrations.
  • Made of something similar to bones. [2]
  • Appears to glow, but emit very little or no light.

Sculk Sensor

  • File:SculkSensor.gif
    When it senses a nearby vibration, it sends out a redstone signal.
  • This allows for wireless redstone.
  • Will be renewable.
    • Renewable with a hoe.
  • It can be silenced by waterlogging it (20w51a)

Sculk Growth

File:Sculk Growth.png

Small Dripleaf Plant


Smooth Basalt

File:Smooth Basalt.png

Spore Blossom

  • Creates a particle effect nearby where it is placed.
  • Naturally found in Lush Caves.

Tinted Glass

  • Is transparent, but doesn't let light through.
  • Does not require Silk Touch to mine.


File:Geode Casing.png
  • Decoration block spawning below y=0.

World Generation[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]

  • Building height limit and generation has been expanded 64 blocks upward (256 to 320) and downward (0 to -64), for a maximum of 384 blocks
  • Underground features, structures, and caves generate all the way down to y -64
  • Terrain now generates up to Y level 256
  • Changed size and positioning of diorite, andesite & granite generation
  • Diorite, granite, and dirt no longer generate below Y=0. This has been replaced with Deepslate and tuff.
  • Changed ore generation to match the new world height and to add more strategy to mining
  • Strongholds are now mostly encased in stone

Biomes[edit | edit source]


Deep Dark

  • Found very deep in the world. (Y < 0)


Dripstone Caves

  • Filled with stalagmites and stalactites.


Lush Caves

  • Filled with all kinds of plant life.


Mountain sub-biomes

  • Lofty Peaks
  • Snow Capped Peaks
  • Snowy Slopes
  • Mountain Groves
  • Mountain Meadows

Cave Types[edit | edit source]

  • Noise Caves - New caves that can generate using a new system They come in two variants:
    • Cheese caves. These often form caverns of various sizes.
    • Spaghetti caves. Long squiggly tunnels, sometimes wide.
  • Aquifers - an area with local water level, independent of sea level. Aquifers are used during world generation to generate bodies of water inside noise caves.
  • File:Mesh caves.jpeg
    Mesh Caves - New caves with lots of thin corridors.

Structures[edit | edit source]


Mobs Voted out[edit | edit source]

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

  • Two new game rules:
    • freezeDamage - whether entities take damage from freezing inside of Powder Snow.
    • playersSleepingPercentage - controls what percentage of players must sleep to skip the night. When set to 0, a single player can sleep to skip the night. Set to 100 by default, meaning that night cannot be skipped.
  • When an open Shulker is hit by a shulker bullet, it has a chance to create another shulker.
  • Freezing - a type of damage that only takes place when the player is in Powder Snow.
  • Archaeology - a game mechanic where the player can find items and blocks in gravel and dirt by using the brush. Possible items that can be excavated include diamond blocks, emerald blocks, and ceramic shards of any color.
  • Deep dark flash - while in the deep dark, the screen occasionally darkens, limiting the player's visibility
  • Wireless redstone - A feature of the new sculk sensor blocks.
  • Vibrations - a feature that occurs when sound is made near the new Sculk Sensor blocks and Wardens. Vibrations have an animation that shows visible blue sound waves.
  • The sculk trap could likely be a trap from its name such as a sinking trap like powdered snow.

Changes[edit | edit source]

File:21w07a texture comparison.jpg
  • Blackstone, Polished Blackstone Bricks, and Cracked Polished Blackstone Bricks have had some minor touch ups
  • Caves and Mountains have revamped generation
  • When Shulker boxes are destroyed (via lava, explosion, cactus), the items inside are dropped
  • The Drowned will now drop Copper Ingots instead of Gold Ingots
  • Skeletons that freeze in Powder Snow become Strays
  • Abandoned Mineshafts now adapt to larger caves, and generate wooden support beams under and chains above them when needed.
  • Coal, Iron, Emerald, Lapis, Redstone, and Gold Ores now have new textures and Iron, Gold, Lapis, Diamond, and Redstone has Deepslate variants.

Snapshots[edit | edit source]

As of February 17, 2021, there are eleven snapshots: 20w45a,[3] 20w46a,[4] 20w48a,[5] 20w49a,[6] 20w51a,[7] 21w03a,[8] 21w05a,[9] 21w05b, 21w06a,[10], 21w07a, 21w08a,[11] and 21w08b.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This update is the first to add a new ore to the overworld since Java Edition 1.3.1 snapshot 12w21a in 2012, Legacy Console Edition TU14 in 2014, and PE Alpha 0.9.0 in 2014 when emerald ore was added.
  • This update is the first to add a real world metal into the game since Java Edition Classic 0.0.14a in 2009 and TU1 in 2012, which brought iron and gold, and PE Alpha 0.3.0 in 2012, which brought iron.
  • This update adds wireless redstone into the game.
  • This is the first update to add new biomes to caves.
  • This update brought one of the only minerals that can be used in crafting that does not have an Ore, the other being 1.16
  • From 20w45a to 21w05a, "Waxed Lightly Weathered Cut Copper Stairs" is the longest item name in the game, with 41 characters.
  • The Copper Ore texture was changed in 21w08a.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Click for full 1.17 - Caves and Cliffs gallery.

References[edit | edit source]