The newest Minecraft 1.17 update is just around the corner, and you’re no doubt just as excited as we are about it! Due to release this Summer, the update is going to add a whole host of never-before-seen features to Minecraft.
New mobs, blocks, and items for both Java and Bedrock players to enjoy.
There’s no exact release date out just yet, but be sure to keep an eye on Mojang’s social pages as it’ll no doubt be announced at some point soon!
The Caves & Cliffs split
Before we jump into all the new features you can expect in 1.17, it’s worth mentioning that this update is just the first part of the larger Caves & Cliffs update. Because there's so much new content being added to the game, Mojang decided that the release would be split into two to give the development team enough time to work on things. Don't worry, though, as the second part of the Caves & Cliffs update will release just a few months after the 1.17 update later this year. You can expect the split to look something like this:
· 1.17 – This update will focus on new mobs and blocks
· 1.18 – This update will focus on aspects of world generation, including new biomes, caves, and changes in world height
Compatibility with old Minecraft worlds
One fantastic thing about the new Minecraft update is that you’ll be able to experience all the new features in your existing survival world! All you have to do is update your world to 1.17, and all the new features will be available for you to discover. Existing parts of your world will remain unchanged, but if you go out and explore newly generated areas, you’ll start to come across all the new additions.
Furthermore, players on the minecraft survival server will be able to enjoy the new 1.17 update once it is released! Enjoy all the new features hassle-free.
We’re grateful to Mojang for including this compatibility feature as it means no more survival world resets! Hardcore Minecraft fans can rejoice knowing they won’t have to say goodbye to their old survival worlds just yet.
Now, without further ado, let’s dive straight into all the new 1.17 features to show you exactly why you should update to Minecraft 1.17 to experience everything for yourself. Let’s start by talking about the new mob additions.
The new 1.17 mobs
When you download Minecraft 1.17 and play it for the first time, you can expect to come across three brand-new mobs as you explore the world – axolotls, goats, and glow squids! They're all wonderfully unique, and each one brings something completely new to Minecraft. If you're keen to know more, be sure to read on as we've got details about them all below, starting with the axolotl.
The axolotl – man’s new best friend
Axolotls are perhaps the cutest mobs to exist in Minecraft with their rectangular heads, external gills, and flat tails. These adorable amphibians are passive towards the player, too, and will only attack certain other aquatic mobs. Why not tame a axolotol on the oneblock server? They'll no doubt prove to be useful allies throughout your Minecraft adventure.
Vibrant colour variants
Axolotls spawn naturally in various water sources and come in one of four main colours – pink, brown, gold, and cyan. Each one of these colours has a roughly 25% chance of appearing. Exciting to note, too, is that there’s also an incredibly rare blue axolotl variant that has a 1 in 1200 chance of spawning. Be on the lookout for one of those and be sure to cherish it if you find one!
Keeping an axolotl as a pet
Though axolotls cannot be tamed per se, they can be attached to leads and led across the world by players. Be careful, though, as axolotls will die if they spend more than 5 minutes outside of water, so be sure to not travel too far inland with one on a lead.
To avoid this issue, you can use a water bucket on an axolotl to pick it up and carry it around. A bucket of axolotl functions in the same way as any other bucket of fish, where all you need to do is use the bucket again to spawn the mob – pretty neat, right?
Axolotls exhibit certain unique behaviours during combat that help keep both you and them alive. Firstly, whenever you as the player kill a mob that an axolotl is fighting, you’ll have Mining Fatigue removed and will be given Regeneration I. This will come in super handy when exploring underwater temples, so next time you visit one be sure to bring an axolotl along for the ride.
Axolotls are also very intelligent and will occasionally play dead when taking damage underwater in Minecraft. Hostile mobs will ignore axolotls in this state, giving them time to recover some hearts and survive potentially deadly attacks.
Adult axolotls can be bred together using tropical fish as food, resulting in a baby axolotl being born. This baby will inherit the colour of one of its parents, though if you’re lucky there’s a tiny chance it can even spawn as the blue variant.
When it comes to growing up, baby axolotls become adults after about 20 minutes, which isn’t too long, thankfully. However, if you’re not keen to wait, then you can use tropical fish as food to speed up the process and build up an adult axolotl army in no time!
Goats – the highest jumpers in the game
Next up on the list of brand-new mobs coming to Minecraft in the 1.17 update are goats! These fluffy creatures live in mountain biomes and can jump super high – up to ten blocks upwards! They do this when avoiding objects or trying to cross gaps, and it’s hilarious to see.
They’re also neutral mobs, meaning they’re usually tame but will occasionally ram into players. We’ll go over more details about this next.
Ramming into mobs and players
Goats will run away when attacked, but they also like to ram stationary players and other mobs at regular intervals. Be careful standing still near goats because if you’re unlucky, one could ram you and launch you off a mountain to your death.
If a goat charges at you or another mob and misses, however, there's a chance that it'll drop a goat horn for you to pick up. The goat horn doesn't really do much other than making a noise when used, but new features will likely come in the future!
Goats and cows – distant cousins
Goats can be milked using a bucket just like cows, so if you ever need milk to remove poison or another bad status effect then goats have got your back.
Goats are also very similar to cows in terms of breeding in Minecraft. Feed them some wheat, and they'll produce a small baby goat in no time. How adorable!
Goats spawn in mountain biomes, as mentioned, but did you know that there's a 2% chance of them spawning as a screaming goat? These screaming goats look identical to normal goats, but they scream a lot more, which is silly but also super hilarious, so we're glad the developers added this feature into the game.
If you participated in the Minecraft Live 2020 mob vote, you’ll likely be familiar with his mob, as it beat out the Iceologer and Moobloom to make it into the game. It’s a luminescent mob that honestly doesn’t do a huge amount, but it’s beautiful to look at and drops rare glow ink sacs that we’ll talk more about in a bit.
Glow squids behave in much the same way as normal squids, travelling around aimlessly in deep oceans and underground lakes. Though axolotls will attack them unprovoked, glow squids won’t fight back and won’t even attack the player character given their passive nature.
Glowing ink sacs
Glow squids are primarily used for harvesting glowing ink sacs which they drop on death. On minecraft 1.17 servers, you’ll be able to use these ink sacs to make special signs with glowing text as well as glowing picture frames. If you’re looking to spice up your home with these bright new features, you’re gonna need some glowing ink sacs!
Wardens – the terrifying creatures of the deep
Though a lot of details about the warden’s release still haven’t been confirmed, and we’re unsure whether it’ll be added in the 1.17 or 1.18 update, it’s an exciting new mob that we’re still keen to share some details about with you. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into talking a bit about this terrifying new golem-like creature.
Minecraft’s first blind mob
You read that right! Wardens are completely blind and rely on their hearing to track down players rather than their sight. You're going to want to be extremely careful and quiet when you see a warden nearby because any noise you make could cause the mob to rush to your location and attack you. They can even react to invisible players!
Spawning and appearance
Wardens spawn in the new deep dark biome, which is likely to arrive in the second half of the Caves & Cliffs update with 1.18. They’re huge creatures that are both taller and wider than golems, making them some of the largest mobs in Minecraft, and instead of eyes, they have huge growths on their head that they use to detect sound. If that doesn't sound scary enough, wardens also have a glowing core that pulses like a heartbeat in tandem with the lighting of the surroundings. The pulses even get faster once a warden notices you – it's pretty terrifying stuff.
Built like a tank
Wardens are incredibly strong in terms of both attack power and total health, making them some of the toughest non-boss mobs around. When a warden strikes you, it’ll do 30 damage, which is enough to kill you in most cases. Even with full netherite armour, you'll be taken down to three and a half hearts in one blow, so it's important to be very careful around wardens and not draw too much attention to yourself.
Though wardens are strong and difficult to escape from, you can use snowballs or other projectiles to lure them away from your location, so bear this in mind if you’re ever trapped in a cave with one and need to cause a distraction to get away.
The new 1.17 blocks and items
Most Minecraft updates only add a handful of new blocks to the game, but 1.17 is adding a huge selection which is sure to excite many long-time Minecraft fans. Given the nature of the update, most of the new block additions are minerals or stone variants that will be found underground, but there are a few overworld blocks like powder snow and moss too. More on those overworld blocks later, though, as we're going to start by talking about amethyst, a bright purple mineral that can only be found beneath the world's surface.
Amethyst in Minecraft appears as either a block, bud, or cluster, all of which can only be found within amethyst geodes. These geodes spawn underground in any overworld biome and consist of three layers:
· Outer layer – This layer is composed of smooth basalt and encases the whole geode.
· Middle layer – This layer is composed of calcite, a block that is exclusively found within amethyst geodes.
· Inner layer – This layer is composed of amethyst blocks, with the occasional budding amethyst block dotted about.
Amethyst geodes often spawn cracked to expose the insides, but there's a small chance they'll be completely encased, so be on the lookout for balls of smooth basalt when exploring caverns.
Amethyst buds and clusters
When it comes to harvesting amethyst, you can either mine the blocks (which are solely used for decoration purposes), or you can mine the clusters that grow on budding amethyst blocks to obtain amethyst shards. These shards can be used in various crafting recipes which we’ll talk about in just a second.
In the first three stages of growth, amethyst clusters are known as buds and won't drop anything if mined prematurely so it's best to wait until they hit the fourth and final growth stage before harvesting. It's also important to note that there's no way to collect and move budding amethyst blocks, so the only way to obtain shards is to be patient and regularly visit geode sites.
Amethyst shard uses
Amethyst shards currently have three uses in Minecraft, which are outlined below:
· Block of Amethyst – As you may have guessed, amethyst shards can be used to craft amethyst blocks. It’s a simple 2 × 2 recipe that’ll provide you with an endless supply of blocks if you can find and maintain a budding amethyst.
· Tinted Glass – Slightly more exciting is the tinted glass block, which can be crafted using four amethyst shards surrounding glass on a crafting table. These special glass blocks are transparent but completely prevent light from passing through them, which may prove useful for players looking to make certain unique builds.
· Spyglass – Finally, perhaps the most exciting item on this list is the spyglass. This item can be used to zoom in on specific locations in the distance, allowing players to survey landscapes from afar without putting themselves in the face of any potential danger. Alongside an amethyst shard, you need copper to make a spyglass, which is what we're going to go on to talk about next.
Copper, the unique metal that oxidizes over time
Copper is a brand new metal coming to Minecraft in 1.17, and it's bringing with it a whole host of features never seen before in the game. There are lots of things to talk about here, so let's dive straight in.
In the Minecraft world, copper exists in the form of copper ore and can be mined with a pickaxe made from stone or something stronger like iron or diamond. Unless you have the Silk Touch enchantment, mined copper ore will drop raw copper, which can then be smelted into beautiful red copper ingots. These ingots can then be used to make a spyglass, a block of copper, or even one other exciting item that we haven't mentioned yet…
That’s right, copper ingots can be used to craft lightning rods! These rods are designed to help protect buildings from catching on fire during thunderstorms by redirecting the lightning strike. Up until this point, there hasn't been any proper way to protect your buildings from lightning strikes in Minecraft, so it's awesome to see this new feature implemented into the game!
Lightning rods will also emit a redstone signal when struck, so if you’re into redstone engineering you could totally create some kind of mechanism to take advantage of this feature.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of copper is that the block form oxidizes and turns green over time! Copper blocks, slabs, and stairs are all prone to this, and you'll be able to tell how long the blocks have been around based on their appearance. Pretty cool, right? The only way to reverse the oxidation process is either through scraping with an axe or via lightning strike, so bear this in mind if you plan to build using copper blocks.
Copper blocks undergo four stages of oxidation/weathering in Minecraft as follows:
· Unweathered copper – All copper blocks start out in this state looking shiny and brand new.
· Exposed copper – Here, blocks will start to show the first signs of weathering and have a more grey/green appearance.
· Weathered copper – In the third stage, the weathering becomes a lot more apparent as the block becomes mostly green with hints of red still visible.
· Oxidized copper – This is the final stage of weathering and blocks in this state have a completely green appearance similar in colour to prismarine.
If you like the way a copper block looks in one of its four weathered states, and you don’t want it to change colour over time, you can use honeycomb to wax it and preserve its appearance! Not everyone wants to see their beautiful red copper roofs change colour, so it’s neat that Mojang decided to implement this feature and give players the option to choose a permanent copper look. It also gives honeycomb a new use in the game, which is always cool to see!
Cutting and crafting
One last thing to mention is that you can both cut and craft copper blocks. As mentioned earlier, copper slabs and stairs are a thing, but you'll first need to cut the copper by either crafting four copper blocks in a square or by using a stonecutter. It's easy to do and provides plenty of cool customisation options, so be sure to try it out!
Seeing as we just covered waxing of copper blocks, let’s talk a little bit about candles which are also made from wax and are new to Minecraft in the 1.17 update. You can place up to 4 candles on one block in a cluster, and when lit, they emit light at an intensity proportional to the size of the cluster. Most players will use flint and steel to light their candles, but did you know that you can use a flame enchanted bow to light them in style too? Be sure to give this a go when you download the 1.17 update!
Though they don't do much other than emitting light, candles are cute new additions to the game and can even have their colour changed by crafting with a dye. There are 16 colour variants for candles alongside the uncoloured one, offering plenty of choice for players looking to implement them in their builds.
On a final note, one fantastic use of candles in Minecraft is for candle cakes which can be used to virtually celebrate anything from a birthday to an in-game achievement like beating the Ender Dragon. Why not make one for the next time you’re celebrating something cool?
Next up on the list of new blocks being added to Minecraft in the 1.17 update is powder snow. This is a special type of snow block that acts as a sort of trap and causes most entities to slowly fall through it. The falling effect can be compared to what happens with cobwebs, although powder snow causes freezing too which is a status effect we'll talk about next.
Powder snow is dangerous because not only does it reduce your movement speed and trap you, but it also causes you to freeze and take damage over time. If you spend too long in the powder snow, your health hearts will turn blue, and you'll lose them at a rate of half a heart every 2 seconds. Make sure to get out as quickly as you can if this happens!
Leather armour and freezing immunity
Certain animals like polar bears and snow golems are immune to freezing, but the only way for you to avoid it is to wear leather armour. Because the armour provides a layer of warmth and protection, you'll be safe from freezing damage and will even be able to walk across powder snow normally without falling through it. Therefore, if you're planning on traversing snowy terrain following the 1.17 update, you'll want to equip at least one piece of leather armour for your own safety.
Buckets and cauldrons
Lastly, before we move on, it’s worth noting that powder snow can be stored in either a cauldron or a bucket. This means you can move it around and set traps for your friends or any unsuspecting mobs if you so desire. Also, if you leave a cauldron outside in snowfall long enough, it'll start to fill up with powder snow too, which you'll be able to collect with a bucket and use!
The Caves & Cliffs update wouldn’t be complete without dripstones, which are the blocks we’re going to be talking about next. These new blocks make up stalactites and stalagmites, which are pointy rock formations that stick out from cave ceilings and floors respectively. If you're struggling to remember which is which, try to think of the "c" in "stalactite" as standing for "ceiling" and the "g" in "stalagmite" as standing for "ground". You'll be an expert at distinguishing them in no time!
The dripstone cave biome is where these new blocks will be most commonly found, though this biome likely won’t be making it into the game until the 1.18 update comes around. Fear not, though, as dripstone will still spawn in small amounts in ordinary caves, so you're more than likely to come across some while exploring your updated Minecraft world.
Block forms and pointed dripstone growth
Dripstone occurs naturally in two different forms. Firstly, you’ve got the dripstone block which is mainly just a decorative block, but you’ve also got something called pointed dripstone which actually makes up the stalactites and stalagmites.
For a stalactite to grow, a pointed dripstone needs to be placed on the underside of a dripstone block that has a water source above it. This is the only way to stimulate growth if you’re looking to farm pointed dripstone or grow it for decorative purposes. In addition to stalactite growth, a stalagmite will grow upwards directly below it if the gap size is 10 blocks or less, which is pretty neat!
Next, let’s talk a little bit about the individual properties of stalactites and stalagmites.
Stalactites – the hanging rock formations
Stalactites hang from the ceiling, as you may recall, and one cool thing about them is that if you place a cauldron directly below one it'll slowly fill up over time! If there's water about the stalactite, water will fill the cauldron, but if there's lava there, you can get the cauldron to fill with lava instead! This has huge implications for the Minecraft world as it now means that lava can be generated renewably, removing the need for finding new pools of lava whenever you encounter a shortage.
One last thing about stalactites is that they can actually fall on unsuspecting players and mobs if any part of the stalactite is broken or if the supporting dripstone block is removed. They fall straight downwards and cause damage proportional to falling distance when broken, so for every 2 blocks fallen the damage output will be increase by 1 heart. Tridents can be launched at stalactites too to break them, which is worth bearing in mind!
Stalagmites – deadly spikes protruding from the ground
Stalagmites stick out upwards from the ground and though they may not look too threatening when walking past them, they can be deadly to fall on. Falling onto a stalagmite deals a lot more fall damage than normal so take extra care when navigating dripstone caverns so that you don’t accidentally fall on one and lose all your hearts.
On the topic of new rocks being added to the game, let’s move on from dripstone to talk a little bit about deepslate! Deepslate is a new stone variant found deep below the surface of the overworld that functions in much the same way as regular stone though it’s about twice as hard. This means it takes roughly twice as long to mine deepslate as it does to mine stone. Are you looking forward to taking advantage of the new blocks on the one block skyblock server?
Deepslate has 19 other variants in total, making it a very versatile block for use in a variety of builds. The block variants are listed below and can all be further crafted into slabs, stairs, or even walls, with the exception of standard and chiseled deepslate.
· Deepslate – The standard form of deepslate spawns naturally and can be collected using a pickaxe with the Silk Touch enchantment or made my smelting cobbled deepslate.
· Cobbled deepslate – This variant of deepslate drops when normal deepslate is mined and can be used in a variety of crafting recipes in the place of standard cobblestone. It is also used to make polished deepslate.
· Polished deepslate – This is the cleaned-up version of deepslate that looks nice and smooth. It’s used for decorative purposes and can be further crafted into deepslate bricks.
· Deepslate bricks – Deepslate bricks are a decorative variant of deepslate that can be further crafted into deepslate tiles. Deepslate bricks also have a cracked variant.
· Deepslate tiles – This is the final decorative deepslate variant in the long line of crafting recipes. The deepslate tiles block has a very neat look similar to that of the deepslate bricks and also has a cracked variant.
· Chiseled deepslate – This is the chiseled variant of deepslate with a unique face-like texture on it.
In addition to deepslate being introduced as a standalone block, new deepslate variants of all the overworld ores are being added to the game too! This includes coal, iron, gold, copper, redstone, emerald, diamond, and lapis lazuli variants. The deepslate ore variants will look slightly different to their regular counterparts and will take twice as long to mine but nothing else is different aside from that!
Ore texture changes
On a related note, it's worth mentioning that every overworld ore is having its texture changed in the 1.17 update. The different ore patterns are now going to be completely unique and easier to distinguish from one another, which should help make the game more accessible for colour-blind players. Though it'll be sad to see the beloved old textures go, it's for the best, so we're happy to see this change go through.
Lush cave blocks
Next up, let’s jump into a look at some of the lush cave blocks due to arrive in 1.17. Though the underground lush cave biome is set to release as part of 1.18, a few of the blocks are still getting added this summer, so we'll go over some of those.
Moss blocks are beautiful new blocks that are completely covered in moss on every face. They’re mainly used for decoration and spawn naturally within lush cave biomes, but there's a chance you'll find some in shipwreck chests too. Various flowers can be grown on moss blocks and one cool feature is that saplings will remain as they are when planted on them, meaning they won't grow into trees. If you like using saplings in your decorative builds and don't want them growing up randomly, be sure to take advantage of the new moss block!
Azalea and rooted dirt
Azalea trees are gorgeous new trees being introduced with the Caves & Cliffs update that spawn directly above lush cave biomes in the overworld. They spawn with rooted dirt beneath them too which extends right down to the new biome. If you’re searching for a lush cave, simply seek out an azalea tree on the surface of the overworld and dig down next to it – you’ll be there in no time!
Azalea also exists in the form of a bush on top of moss blocks, so be on the lookout for these.
Glow berries and glow lichen
Next, we’ve got glow berries and glow lichen, the first of which grow on cave vines and emit light into their surroundings. These new glow berries are edible and can even be fed to foxes to breed them, much like sweet berries.
Glow lichen, on the other hand, grows on the surface of a variety of stone variants within caves. It's a decorative non-solid block that emits light and can only be harvested with shears, so you'll need a pair if you plan on collecting some.
These new glowing objects should hopefully make exploring caves a bit easier in the 1.17 update, providing some much-needed light to combat the surrounding darkness.
The final lush cave blocks we’re going to discuss are dripleaves, which are fantastic new plants that are going to completely change the Minecraft parkouring landscape. These plants are unique in that players can stand on the big leaf at the very top of the plant for just one second before it starts to tilt down and become non-solid. Dripleaves can thus be taken advantage of in various parkour obstacle courses to put players’ skills and reaction times to the test.
In terms of natural generation, dripleaves can spawn in lush caves as big dripleaves or as small ones, with the smaller variants not possessing a large leaf for players to stand on. Small dripleaf plants can quickly be turned into large ones with bonemeal, however, provided there’s enough growth space above them.
Last on our list of new features being introduced as part of the 1.17 update are bundles! These storage items can be crafted using rabbit hides and string and will help you manage your inventory much more easily by providing you with extra space in which to store your belongings.
Up to 64 stackable items can be added to a bundle and the items don't all have to be the same, so you can potentially save a whole lot of standard inventory space. The only downside is that unstackable items like tools, weapons, and potions can't be added to bundles in large amounts, so just bear this in mind.
And…that’s a wrap!
Well, that’s it, we’re at the end of our complete Minecraft 1.17 guide. From adorable mobs to unique new blocks, we've covered everything we know about the new update, and we hope you’ve found the information useful. Though it’s a shame that the Caves & Cliffs update was split in two, the first half releasing this summer is looking to include more than enough cool new features for you to dig into and have fun with. You’ll have to wait a bit longer before you get to properly experience all the new cave and mountain biomes, but we promise it’ll be worth the wait!
In the meantime, if you’re keen to get your hands on beta versions of the new features, you can download the latest Java Edition snapshot via the Minecraft website and check them all out! Alternatively, if you’re on Bedrock, you can scroll down to “Experiments” when creating a new world and toggle on Caves & Cliffs to check out the new features there. Have fun, and be sure to download the full new update when summer rolls around!