Java Edition 1.17

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Minecraft 1.17
Caves & Cliffs.png

Java Edition

Official name

Caves & Cliffs

Planned release date


Other instances
of 1.17

1.17, the first release of the Caves & Cliffs update, is an upcoming major update to Java Edition set to release in mid-2021. It was first announced during Minecraft Live 2020 on October 3, 2020.[1]

No dates have been given for the release of development versions of this update so far.

Planned additions

Main article: Caves & Cliffs

Please note that the names of many features are currently placeholders.


Azalea Leaves.png Blooming Azalea Leaves.png Azalea Leaves
  • Part of a new tree, marking the location of the lush cave.
  • Has variants with either no blossoms, pink blossoms, or purple blossoms.
Azalea Roots.png Azalea Roots
  • Part of the Azalea tree.
  • Resembles a dirt block, but with the roots of the Azalea tree intertwined.
  • Probably is the source of all the life in lush caves.
  • May be a new variant of the dirt block.
Amethyst geode block.png Amethyst Geode
  • Generates amethyst crystals on any of its sides, in a given time.[2]
  • Unobtainable in survival.
  • Extremely rare, generates only in amethyst geode structures.
Amethyst Buds age 1.pngAmethyst Buds age 2.pngAmethyst crystal cross.png Amethyst Crystal[3]
  • Grows on any side of amethyst geode blocks over time.[2]
  • Is a light source.
  • Fully grown crystals break to produce a crystal shard item.
    • These can be crafted into telescopes.
Copper Ore.png Copper Ore
  • New ore that could be found underground.
  • Drops itself when broken, like other metal ores.
  • Spawns in new large ore veins.
  • Can be used to craft a lightning rod or functions as an item part for the telescope.
Block of Copper.png Copper Stairs.png Copper Slab.png Block of Copper, Copper Stairs, Copper Slab
  • Block of Copper Age 1.pngBlock of Copper Age 2.pngBlock of Copper Age 3.png Copper Stairs Age 1.pngCopper Stairs Age 2.pngCopper Stairs Age 3.png Copper Slab Age 1.pngCopper Slab Age 2.pngCopper Slab Age 3.png
    Develops a patina of pale green copper carbonate over multiple stages, which might be sped up by weather such as rain.
    • Based on a demo clip from Minecraft Live 2020, the time it takes to age fully is about 16 Minecraft days, although the time span is planned to take much longer.[4]
    • Can be made to stay in a certain state.[5]
Restoring clay pots.png Clay Pot
  • Seems to use the texture of clay block.
  • Ceramic Shards can be incorporated into an unfired pot.
  • Can be fired by lighting fire under the pot.
  • Pot can fit up to 8 Ceramic Shards.
Painted Clay Pot.png Painted Clay Pot
  • Seems to use the texture of terracotta.
  • Created by firing a clay pot.
  • Upon firing, any placed Ceramic Shards become permanently incorporated on to the clay pot.
  • Also upon firing, the color of the clay pot changes from whitish-blue to brown.
New Vine.png New Vine 2.png Glow Berry Vines[unofficial name]
  • Light source.
  • Grows edible glow berries.
Spore Blossom.png Spore Blossom
  • Can be placed on ceilings.
  • Sends particles downward when opened.
  • This item can be found in the lush caves.
Dripleaf Plant.png Dripleaf Plant
  • A plant that can be used for platforming.
  • If the player stands on top of the plant for 2 seconds (40 ticks), the player falls through the plant.
  • Can be placed on a grass block.
Baby dripleaf plants.png Dripleaf Sapling[unofficial name]
  • Appear highly varied in models.
Unidentified foliage object.png Moss Block[unofficial name]
  • An opaque block that appears grassy on all sides.
  • Can be found in lush caves.
Foliage carpet.png Moss Blanket[unofficial name]
  • Same texture as the moss block, but one pixel thick.
Roots bloody roots.png Hanging Azalea Roots[unofficial name]
  • Seen in the distance of a lush caves biome behind a spore blossom.
  • Can also be seen hanging beneath the dirt variant that spawns below the Azalea tree and on the ceiling in the axolotl clip, possibly just a decorative feature of this block.
Baby azalea tree.png Baby blooming azalea tree.png Azalea Sapling[unofficial name]
  • Has variants with either no blossoms, pink blossoms, or purple blossoms
Sculk Block.png Sculk Block
  • Generates in the mysterious new cave biome, referred to as the "deep dark" temporarily.
  • Has an animated texture.
Unidentified Sculk Block.png Sculk Trap[unofficial name]
  • Generates in the deep dark biome
  • Has a different top texture than the Sculk Block and Sculk Chute.[6]
Sculk Something.png Sculk Chute[unofficial name]
  • Generates in the deep dark caves.
Sculk Growth.png Sculk Growth
  • Generates in the deep dark cave biome.
  • Generates in a layer on top of blocks, similar to snow.
  • Some have parts that are transparent, allowing the player to see the block it is on top of.
Sculk Sensor.gif Sculk Sensor
  • Generates in the deep dark cave biome.
  • Can be used for wireless redstone.
  • Senses block placement, footsteps, and projectiles.
  • Wool can occlude its ability to sense. This can be placed between or completely around the source of the input.
  • Can be used with a piston to create a wireless redstone clock.
  • Particle of the Vibration.gif Emits particles when it hears a sound nearby.
  • Are not affected by ambient weather such as rain,[7] as well as other Sculk Sensors and the Warden.[8]
Stalagmites.png Stalagmite
  • Can be found on the floor of the new dripstone caves.
  • Deals damage when landed on.
Stalactites.png Stalactite
  • Can be found on the ceiling of the new dripstone caves.
  • Can fall, but unlike sand or gravel, breaks apart on impact.
  • Drips water, which can fill cauldrons placed under it.
Unknown speleothem block.png Dripstone
  • Appears to be made of the same materials as stalactites and stalagmites but as a full cube.
  • Found in dripstone caves.
Lightning Rod.png Lightning Rod
"Lightning Rod" redirects here. For the item in Minecraft Dungeons, see MCD:Lightning Rod.
  • Crafted with copper.
  • Redirects nearby lightning strikes to the top of the rod, which can prevent flammable structures from catching on fire during thunderstorms.
  • Emits a redstone signal when struck by lightning.[9]
  • Can be oriented in different directions.[9]
Powder Snow[10]
  • Similar to snow, but entities fall through it, similar to traps or the "snowier snow" announced when the Mountains won the 2019 biome vote.
  • This is how regular snow layer blocks worked in old versions of Minecraft, but it was changed because it created accidental booby traps when lava ponds generated at the right height to cut out the ground but not the snow.
Unidentified Stalagmite Torches.png White candles.png Cave Candles[unofficial name]
  • A light source.
  • Can have up to four in a single block, similar to sea pickles.
  • Black and white texture variants.
  • Emits fire particles.
  • Visible in the deep dark biomes, though it may spawn in other areas of the game as well.
Unnamed Stone.png Dark stone[unofficial name]
  • Can be found around the deep dark cave biome walls.
  • Can be found in large groups.
UnknownWhiteStoneBlock.png Geode Quartz[unofficial name]
  • Similar to diorite, but with a smoother texture.
  • Found underground surrounding the outsides of geode formations.
Amethyst geode casing.png Geode Casing[unofficial name][11]
  • Seen during Minecraft Live during showcasing of geodes and in a Twitter post highlighting underwater geodes.
  • Might spawn surrounding geodes, much like real-life geodes.
Unspecified underground light sources
  • A video by Henrik Kniberg explicitly states that the temporary showcased feature of ore blocks emitting light was intended as a placeholder for underground light sources, potentially hinting at further new cave light sources.[12]


Amethyst Shard
  • Drops from Amethyst Crystals.
  • Used to make telescopes.
Axolotl Bucket JE1.png Bucket of Axolotl
  • Obtained by using a water bucket on an axolotl, similar to fish.
  • Had no name in the Minecraft Live 2020 demo, showing its translation string item.minecraft.axolotl_bucket.
Brush.png Brush
  • Used to sweep away debris from archaeological items.
  • Sweeps debris off archaeological items one layer at a time. If interrupted, the block it was being used on simply disappears, and does not yield custom block heights.
  • Also comes in a blue-green variant: Brush 2.png
    • This may imply a connection to copper, as both the variant and normal brushes have corresponding colors to the blocks shown.
Bundle.png Bundle full.png Bundle
  • Can contain one cumulative stack of any variety of item types.
    • Stack sizes are sustained. For example, a bundle containing 32 blocks with a stack size of 64 could hold only an additional 8 ender pearls, as the stack size of an ender pearl is 16; the half stack of ender pearls added to the half stack of blocks is calculated as one full stack. Unstackable items like minecarts remain unstackable.
  • Displays a blue bar below the bundle that shows how full it is.
    • This disappears when the bundle is full.
  • Items are added by dragging the bundle to an item or by dragging items onto the bundle.
  • Tooltip shows icons of contained items.
  • Items drop to inventory when right clicked.
Blue Ceramic Shard.png Orange Ceramic Shard.png Ceramic Shard 1.png Ceramic Shard 2.png Ceramic Shard 3.png Ceramic Shard 4.png Ceramic Shards
  • Obtained with a brush at archeological sites.
  • Come in different colors and different designs, each depicting a different picture, such as an ender dragon, a cow, Alex, a skeleton, a tree and a vindicator.
  • Can be placed/customized on clay pots.
  • Currently using placeholder art, according to Jasper Boerstra.[13]
Glow Berries
Telescope.png Telescope
  • Crafted from amethyst shards and copper.
  • When held, allows the player to see far away through a small ellipse.
Spawn Eggs
  • Spawn eggs for the new mobs are added.
  • Warden Spawn Egg.png The Warden is the only known mob with a spawn egg visually confirmed.[14]


Axolotl (albino).png Axolotl (brown).png Axolotl (green).png Axolotl
"Axolotl" redirects here. For the music track, see Music § Underwater music.
  • Based on the critically endangered Mexican salamander with the same name in real life.
  • Found in bodies of water within lush caves biomes.
  • The first amphibian added to Minecraft.
  • Can be caught in a bucket like fish.
    • Can be tamed by capturing it in a bucket.
  • Come in different colors (leucistic, yellow, green, brown, and purple/pink).[1]
  • Plays dead when damaged, receiving Regeneration. Appears to turn invisible or teleport after this, although the latter may be just a bug or a glitch.
    • This regeneration ability is likely based on how real axolotls can regrow lost limbs.
  • Attacks drowned, guardians, elder guardians and fish.
  • Sometimes can give Regeneration to the player who tamed it.
Glow Squid.png Glow Squid
Goat.png Goat
  • Spawns in mountain biomes.
  • Can jump high to avoid obstacles, about 5 blocks tall.
  • Attacks nearby animals by charging and knocking them a considerable distance.
  • There is a baby variant, suggesting a way to breed them.
Warden.png Warden
A picture of the Warden and Iron Golem standing side by side
  • Spawns in the new deep dark biome.
  • It is the first blind mob.
  • When sensing movement, it moves toward the source of the movement.
    • When attacked, it path finds toward the player.
    • Seems to follow the same rules as the sculk sensor when detecting noise.
      • When it detects a vibration, the growths on its head rattle and light up, similar to the sculk sensor.
    • If any projectile, like a snowball or an arrow, lands near the Warden, it causes the mob to head to the location of where the projectile landed, due to the projectile itself creating movement and noise, therefore distracting the warden.
    • Does not detect players that are sneaking.
    • When aggravated for long enough, the warden follows the player continuously regardless of any other distractions.
  • Incredibly strong, doing 30♥ × 15 damage (at most 32.25♥ × 16.125 damage), bringing players wearing full netherite armor to 7♥♥♥♥ health points.
  • Has at least 84♥ × 42 health points, although it is estimated to have up to 100♥ × 50, putting it on par with the iron golem and ravager.[note 1]
  • A mob designed to be extremely difficult, and fled from.[16]
  • At least as fast as the player's walking speed.
    • Seems to use the energy of vibrations to move faster.
  • Seems to have knockback resistance.
  • The warden's chest has a glowing core that appears to brighten and dim in tandem with the ambient lighting of the deep dark cave biome.
    • The core creates a low throbbing sound as it pulses. The sound and animation seem to speed up rapidly when the warden notices a player.
  • Possibly attacks other mobs.
  • Is about 3.2 blocks tall, making it one of the tallest mobs in the game, exceeding the iron golem and enderman in height and width (the same).[note 2][17][more information needed]

World generation

Amethyst geode
Geodes can also be generated underwater (the brightness is increased in the picture)
  • A tiny underground cave-like feature.
  • Contains geode blocks and the amethyst crystals they generate.
  • Twinkle-like sounds can be heard near amethyst crystals, which is currently a placeholder when it was showcased, and not the final version.[18]
    • It is currently unknown as to what causes the sounds.
Archaeological excavation
  • A new underground structure where archeological items and ceramic shards can be found.
Deep dark biome
  • New biome at the "deepest depths of the world".
  • Wardens can spawn here.
  • May contains candles.
  • Contains sculk blocks, and the new Skulk Sensor Blocks, a new block that responds to vibrations.
  • Contains a new Unnamed Block.
Dripstone caves
  • A massive cave biome containing vast quantities of stalactites and stalagmites.
Lush caves
  • Generate below azalea trees.
  • Contains tall grass, glow berries, dripleaf plants, spore blossoms, moss blocks, moss blankets, clay blocks, azalea roots, and azalea saplings.
  • Can spawn axolotls.
Mesh caves
  • Seems to be possibly a large tunnel-like cave.
  • Not much is known about this biome yet, but it was confirmed on Twitter by Henrik Kniberg.[19]
  • Possibly contain "catacomb" style branching cave sections.
  • More extreme and smooth terrain.
  • Likely change to stone generation.[20]


  • The player can find items and blocks in gravel and dirt inside the dig site structure by using the brush.
  • Possible items shown in the preview footage include:
Dimming of light[unofficial name]
  • While in the deep dark cave biome, the ambient lighting occasionally dims temporarily, limiting the player's visibility. This serves as a warning that the warden is nearby.[21]
  • An action can cause vibrations in the air, which can be picked up by sculk sensors and wardens
  • Can be caused by walking (but bats?), block placing, block breaking, doors or trapdoors opening, chests of any kind opening, pistons activating, and projectiles such as snowballs, eggs, or arrows landing. This does not include ambient weather such as rain or snow [7]

Planned changes

World generation

  • Revamped to generate bigger and more adventurous caves.
A picture of the local water levels in use forming an underground lake or ocean shown in Minecraft Live 2020.
Local water levels
  • A new underground water level generation aspect has been introduced, which allows for certain areas of a world to generate with a specified water level different from that of another area (such as sea level).
  • Allows for the generation of larger underground lakes and connections to oceans.
  • Allows for the generation of many underground waterfalls.
  • Allows for underwater entrances.
The preview of updated mountain generation given during Minecraft Live 2020.
  • Height dependent generation.
  • Revamped, featuring some new small spruce trees on the slopes and ice or packed ice above the peaks.
  • Contain snow blocks, goats, and a new form of snow called powder snow, which is said to be "snowier than snow".
Ore veins
  • To be revamped, possibly to balance the generation of copper.
  • Some stone appears a little different and when that stone is mined, more of the ore should be found behind it.
Other Stones


  • Swedish painter John Bauer was one of the main inspirations behind the design and idea of the lush caves biome, specifically Bauer's 'Oskuldens Vandring' (Innocent's Journey) painting.
  • This is the first update to add a new ore to the overworld since JE 1.3.1 (JE 12w21a) in 2012 for Java Edition, TU14 in 2014 for Legacy Console Edition, and PE Alpha 0.9.0 in 2014 when emerald ore was added.
  • This is the first update to add a real-world metal into the game since JE Classic 0.0.14a in 2009 and TU1 in 2012, which brought both iron and gold, and PE Alpha 0.3.0 in 2012, which brought iron.
  • Although the axolotl is the first amphibian mob implemented into Minecraft, it was not the first announced one, since frogs were announced during the MINECON Live 2019 biome vote.
  • Despite ores being shown to emit light during the reveal of this update, this was later confirmed to be just for demonstration purposes, to give a much clearer vision for viewers, and not for the final version.
    • It was confirmed to be a placeholder for new, biome-specific light sources.[12]
  • The name "Sculk sensor" is derived from the word "skulk", meaning "keep out of sight, typically with a sinister or cowardly motive".[6]
  • Mojang employees explored real caves to research for the update. This helped give inspiration and ideas for the update, including for the mesh caves.[22][23]


Minecraft Live 2020

Screenshots of the Caves and Cliffs Update from Minecraft Live 2020 and other sources:

Concept artwork


  1. This health amount is only an estimate based on the amount of damage it was shown to survive during Minecraft Live 2020, and therefore is uncertain.
  2. Height of the Warden is based from the image found on twitter.

Planned fixes

24 issues fixed
From released versions before 1.17
  • MC-98219 – Experience orbs follow dead players.
  • MC-108469 – Chunk-wise entity lists often don't get updated correctly (entities disappear).
  • MC-112147 – Lava burning items or XP orbs sound muted when "Friendly Creatures" slider is turned off.
  • MC-127692 – Experience build up in furnace when using a hopper which can cause severe lag.
  • MC-130449 – Cartographer villager freezes or crashes the game when unlocking explorer maps.
  • MC-130584 – When a structure loads, water sources in the structure spread into waterloggable blocks.
  • MC-133691 – Blocks cannot be placed normally on a full cauldron.
  • MC-135552 – Dead entities are saved to chunk.
  • MC-136497 – XP orbs causing severe lag.
  • MC-141034taiga_fisher_cottage_1 is filled with water.
  • MC-169945 – Skeletons do not burn in minecarts while being exposed to daylight.
  • MC-174685 – Drowned arm texture is reversed by the model.
  • MC-189565 – Some entities do not render inside of spawners and producing error log spam in console, potentially causing lag.
  • MC-190896 – Lag when opening a shipwreck chest containing buried treasure map.
  • MC-195351 – Comparator in compare mode can schedule unneeded tileticks.
  • MC-196542 – Small cleanup for skylight propagation code.
  • MC-197009 – Referencing empty item tag in recipe can crash client.
  • MC-197140 – Jack o'lantern does not come after carved pumpkin in Creative inventory.
  • MC-197179 – Baby piglins that pick up leather do not despawn, cluttering the Nether with unnecessary baby piglins.
  • MC-197524 – Border chunks do not enforce neighbors to be loaded, causing light updates to get stuck.
  • MC-198129ReplaceBlobsFeature changed from 1.16.1 to 1.16.2, affecting Basalt Delta generation.
  • MC-198414 – If the angle in /spawnpoint is set to ±infinity, and the player dies, it will kick the player, and upon rejoin will crash the game.
  • MC-198807 – Making piglins and piglin brutes angry at certain entities (like dropped items) crashes the game.
  • MC-202246 – Drowned navigation causes memory leak/performance degredation.


  1. a b c d "Minecraft Live: The Recap" –, October 3, 2020
  2. a b "Yes :)"@cojomax99 in response to "I notice that the Amethyst Crystal can be generated sideways, My question is does it can be upside down?"@elegado_mark
  3. a b "My last tweet was probably not a teaser, but this one almost definitely is"@cojomax99
  4. "We want it to take really long time for copper to oxidize in Minecraft. I'm curious - approximately how many Minecraft days do you think there should be between each oxidation state of the copper block?"@_LadyAgnes, October 9, 2020
  5. "Hiii everyone! We are seeing questions about if you can make copper stay in a certain state - and yes you can! So if you really want a copper block to be copper-orange or semi-green forever then there will be a way to achieve that 😊 Have a great day!"@_ladyagnes
  6. a b "While not related, Sculk name was inspired by Jeb's process with naming the Shulkers - he liked the word "Lurker", but changed it around a bit to feel new. Sculk is only one letter changed of Skulk, meaning "keep out of sight, typically with a sinister or cowardly motive""@kingbdogz
  7. a b "Small interesting tidbit: We made the design decision for Sculk Sensors to not be affected by ambient weather like rain. My logic for this is "habituation", where the Sculk Sensor essentially becomes used to the constant stimulus, no longer registering it as a vibration"@kingbdogz
  8. "I think this could be a really unfun mechanic if rain can suddenly mess up your redstone contraptions. This is also why Sculk Sensors don't react to each other, nor the Warden, since they're so accustomed to vibrations of their "species" that it's background noise they block out"@kingbdogz
  9. a b "Chaos when testing the lightning rod"@_ladyagnes
  10. "Powder Snow!! Couldn't wait to talk to you about this one - especially to our technical players who build awesome farms! Let me know what you think about a new trap possibility! More details soon! #MinecraftLive"@mega_spud
  11. "Underwater ravine geode"@cojomax99
  12. a b "Once Upon a Time in the Underground (Minecraft cave prototype) @ 0:27" – Henrik Kniberg on YouTube, 10/8/2020
  13. "Note: Everything in the archeology vid was placeholder art"@JasperBoerstra
  14. "Feeling kinda short myself..."@kingbdogz
  15. "The other two will go back to the ideas pile. They might come in the future, they might never happen. Choose wisely!"@_ulraf_, October 1, 2020
  16. "I'd actually consider it something entirely new. The Warden is a force of nature, not a boss. When a tornado is barreling toward you, you don't try to kill it - you run away! The Warden is exactly the same."@kingbdogz
  17. "Looking kinda short there, Iron Golem."@kingbdogz
  18. "the sounds in the Live video are not the sounds we will be using for the amethyst crystal blocks - those were placeholders, as with most things shown in Live ;)"@cojomax99
  19. "Mesh caves. You'll see it later."@henrikkniberg
  20. "Lol been prototyping that today actually! Thx for the pic though very useful."@henrikkniberg
  21. "The mechanical purpose is to warn you that the Warden is nearby. You should get ready if you start to see pure darkness like that..."@kingbdogz
  22. "Yes, and yes. Was hoping to do a larger field trip to different countries with interesting caves, but covid got in the way so we had stay more local."@henrikkniberg, October 23, 2020
  23. "Mesh caves were inspired by this field trip."@henrikkniberg, October 21, 2020
  24. "I used to travel a lot in the past though (before becoming aware of climate change), and I like visiting caves, so I dug up memories from fascinating cave visits in Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, and British Virgin Isles and some other places."@henrikkniberg, October 23, 2020