Want to know more about what's coming with the Minecraft 1.18 update? Together, 1.17 and 1.18 make up the monumental Caves and Cliffs update which will forever change the worlds of Minecraft with huge numbers of new blocks, fascinating new resources, and terrifying new threats – all of which we'll cover below.
Here's what to expect with Caves and Cliffs part 2, along with the latest news on the Minecraft 1.18 release date.
When is the Minecraft 1.18 release date?
Minecraft 1.18 will be released in late 2021 for both Java and Bedrock editions. This release will form part 2 of the Caves and Cliffs update, which was originally intended to be released as a whole with 1.17. But Mojang decided to split up Caves and Cliffs across two major updates, to give themselves more time to work on the monumental changes these releases will bring to Minecraft.
And I really do mean monumental. Caves and Cliffs part 1 added over 90 new block types; new creatures such as Glow Squid, Goats, and Axolotls; and new tools such as Lightning Rods and Spyglasses. Caves and Cliffs part 2 will fundamentally change terrain generation in Minecraft and populate the deepest levels of the world with all sorts of new resources and dangers. Let's take a look at the highlights of the Minecraft 1.18 update feature list.
Terrain changes: exploring below Y=0
In Minecraft 1.18, world generation is being overhauled and for the first time you'll be able to dig below Y-Level 0.
The new lowest depth is -64, and below Y=0 you'll enter the so-called “Deepslate layer”, where stone-type blocks turn into deepslate blocks. This is also true for ore veins: you'll find copper, gold, iron, redstone, and so on in deepslate veins when you're below Y=0.
You'll find all sorts of fascinating new cave structures in 1.18 thanks to the new underground terrain generation changes. All this extra space also makes room for a brand new biome: the Deep Dark biome which can be found in the “deepest depths of world” according to Mojang. This biome is home to Candles, Sculk Blocks, and the Warden mob – the latter two of which we'll talk about below.
The terrain changes also mean you'll need to start looking elsewhere for Diamonds. Find out more with our guide on how to find Diamonds in Minecraft.
Mountains in Minecraft 1.18 are being overhauled, and now are generated in a new way. Instead of just having one or two “extreme hills” or “mountain” type biomes, there are now five new sub-biomes which make up the different layers of each mountain:
- Mountain Meadow (Y=100-140): home to flowers and sweet berry bushes
- Mountain Grove (Y=110-140): snowy, home to rabbits and polar bears.
- Snowy Slopes (Y=140-170): snowy and icy, home to goats.
- Lofty Peaks (Y=170+): peaks of stone, snow, and ice.
- Snow Capped Peaks (Y=170+): same as Lofty Peaks but cold enough for Packed Ice as well.
If you're paying attention to those Y-Levels you'll see that 1.18 is increasing the maximum heights of mountains. Before they capped off at around Y=140, but now they can stretch all the way up to the height limit of Y=255.
Not all mountains will be this tall, however, and only the tallest mountains will sport the new Lofty Peaks and Snow Capped Peaks biomes. Still, these terrain changes are sure to bring a new sense of exploration and discovery to the peaks of any 1.18 Minecraft world. You can bet I'll be working hard to update our list of the best Minecraft seeds once part 2 of Caves and Cliffs drops!
Lush Cave and Dripstone Cave biomes
Dipping back down below ground again, Caves and Cliffs part 2 is bringing two more cave types: the Lush Cave and the Dripstone Cave.
Lush Caves are temperate caves filled with vines, moss, and more exotic flora such as Glow Berries, Spore Blossoms, Azalea trees and roots, and dripleaf: a new block type which can only carry a player's weight for a short time before tipping and letting the player fall. Sounds like Lush Caves are gonna be great environments for some parkour. I can't wait to see what these gorgeous caves look like with the best Minecraft shader packs.
Dripstone Caves are, predictably, home to the new Dripstone blocks, which naturally grow through the process of dripping to create organic-looking stalactites and stalagmites. Besides this fascinating terrain feature, Dripstone Caves are functionally identical to any other cave, but they'll no doubt be highly sought after just for the dripstone.
Warden: new hostile mob
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The Warden is a terrifying new mini-boss mob which only spawns in the aforementioned Deep Dark biome below Y=0. Wardens are blind, and will follow and attack players and mobs which make sounds and vibrations of any sort, including footsteps.
Invisibility potions won't help you against the Warden: it can detect you at all times unless you're sneaking. If attacked, it will lock onto you and follow you, and if attacked repeatedly, it will basically never give up chasing you. It's surprisingly quick, more powerful than any other non-boss mob in Minecraft, and is likely to kill you with ease unless you've decked yourself out in all the best enchanted Netherite gear. You'll need to use all of your wisdom and experience from fighting the Wither and Ender Dragon to defeat this fearsome foe.
Sculk Blocks are a new type of block found in Deep Dark biomes (and therefore often guarded by Wardens, eep!). They're worth getting your hands on, though. Skulk Sensors emit a redstone signal if they detect vibrations or movement in a small area around them, much like how the Warden detects movement.
This opens up lots of possibilities for players well-versed in redstone circuitry, because they now have a new way of setting off their contraptions. I'm sure you can find some great uses for Skulk Blocks both decoratively and practically for your next Minecraft house or other epic builds.
Bundle: new backpack item
Finally, a lovely new quality of life feature: Minecraft 1.18 is bringing us backpacks! Except they're not called backpacks, they're called Bundles, and they work in a different way than you'd expect.
You can make a Bundle out of 2 String and 6 Rabbit Hide, and clicking on one in your inventory opens up a miniature secondary inventory space of 6 slots. However: the Bundle doesn't increase the total amount you can hold in the slot: it simply allows you to hold different kinds of items in a single slot.
For example: you'll be able to hold 32 Dirt and 32 Stone in a Bundle, but you can't hold 64 Dirt and 64 Stone in the Bundle because you're still constrained by the single slot's stack limit (64 blocks to a stack). So it's not as useful as the Backpacks created by various Minecraft mods, but you can also understand why Mojang wouldn't want to give us effectively limitless storage space inside our inventories.
That's a wrap on the main features and details of Minecraft's upcoming 1.18 update. Until then, the best way to change up the look of your world and inject that sense of discovery back into the game is to install one of the best Minecraft texture packs. Or, if you want an entirely different experience from your regular singleplayer world, why not check out one of the many great Minecraft servers available right now?