At long last, the chunky bits of the summer Caves and Cliffs update are arriving in the beta form of Minecraft Java Edition. Snapshot 21w06a gives the first glance of the big changes coming to caves later this year.
This first instalment of cave changes introduces two types of new cave generation: noise caves and aquifers.
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Echo-o-o-o! Java players, get ready to channel your inner spelunker, because today’s snapshot features a first look at the long-awaited, all-new cave generation!
Get the snapshot here; underground lakes and all:
↣ https://t.co/0JfINxWRfD ↢ pic.twitter.com/ERWSWgMBnR
— Minecraft (@Minecraft) February 10, 2021
These are the new caves we first saw in the Caves and Cliffs trailer, and they’re pretty huge. This includes raising the world height significantly, so there is more room to roam underground.
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Noise caves are a brand new way of generating caves. There’s a lot more variety to the caves, including aptly named Cheese caves and spaghetti caves. Holes and squiggly tunnels, “sometimes wide like tagliatelle.”
All the old cave systems and natural canyons still generate in the world, which means the new types of caves merge with the old to create exciting new cave systems to explore.
Alongside the huge new natural caves are the aquifers. These are areas with their own natural water level, separate from the sea level. This leads to impressive underground lakes, big enough to warrant building a boat.
Underwater caves and canyons have now been removed and aquifers are now used to generate water in caves instead. You will also be able to find an entrance to these caves on the surface, just like the other Minecraft caves.
To compensate for these huge new caves, the overworld build and generation limits have been expanded. This is the first time (in a long time) that Minecraft is actually getting even bigger.
The specific numbers are 64 blocks up and 64 blocks down, a brand new total range of 384 blocks! Underground features are generated all the way down to y-64. Minecraft is going to feel completely different.
Once the Caves and Cliffs update arrives in Summer 2021, the new cave generation will be complemented by all the other new underground biomes, with gems, new light sources and underground vegetation.
This Snapshot also introduces a few other changes and fixes, mostly around the new dripleaf block added in the previous Snapshot. Crouching and jumping will no longer stop a dripleaf from tilting, and the textures for hanging roots and small dripleaves have been updated.
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Minecraft Snapshot 21w06a is now playable on the Java edition of Minecraft which allows players to test out features before they’re fully released with the Caves and Cliffs update later this year.