Skip to main content

Everything new in Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Part 2 1.18 update

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update key artwork
(Image credit: Xbox Games Studios)

The much anticipated Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update, aka Minecraft 1.18, has finally launched in the game and is set to shake up the whole blocky world. A deeper underground and higher sky ceiling, a fresh take on ore distribution, and eight new types of biomes are the headline features in the 1.18 update, and we've got all of the details on these Minecraft changes here.

After scaling your way up to the mountain peaks you'll discover various smooth or jagged configurations, while spelunking down into deep caves reveals a much more diverse and elaborate underground system to explore. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or returning to the game following an extended break, here's the lowdown on all of the biggest changes introduced with the Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Part 2 update.

Minecraft cheats | Best Minecraft servers | Minecraft Realms | Best Minecraft seeds | Best Minecraft mods | Best Minecraft shaders | Best Minecraft skins | Best Minecraft texture packs | Play Minecraft for free | Minecraft Forge | Minecraft download

When did Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 release?

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update snow mountain

(Image credit: Xbox Games Studios)

The Caves and Cliffs part 2 update, or Minecraft 1.18, released on November 30, 2021. You can now explore all of the new biomes, taller mountains, and larger caves made possible with this update, and there's plenty of new things to see which we'll explain below.

There are 8 new biomes available in Minecraft Caves and Cliffs update part 2

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update grass hill with trees

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

One of the biggest sets of new additions that arrived with the Minecraft Caves and Cliffs update part 2 are the eight new biomes that have been added into the game. You can find fresh underground Dripstone Cave biomes, and several new mountain biomes. Aquifers and new cave types have also arrived with this update, to make the subterranean biomes of Minecraft more interesting. Here’s what you need to know about each one:

Noise caves and aquifers are new cave features

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update lava lake in giant cavern

(Image credit: Xbox Games Studios)

Noise caves are a new way of generating caves that leads to greater natural variety out in the world, and there are three food-themed variations of them: Cheese, Spaghetti, and Noodle. Cheese caves, much like real-life Swiss cheese, are large holes that lead to cavern formations of differing sizes. Contrarily, Spaghetti caves are long and relatively narrow paths that go all over the place. Lastly, Noodle caves are very similar to Spaghetti caves except they are thinner and “squigglier”. This new system mixes in with the original cave and canyon generating systems to create much more diverse cave systems found in a world.

Aquifers are another new feature that can be found in caves with the Minecraft 1.18 update. These bodies of water form in noise cave areas with their own local water level that’s independent of sea level. Depending on the size of the cave system, this can result in giant underground lakes, although aquifers can also generate inside mountains and at the surface. You also have a chance of stumbling across a lava aquifer if you’re below y0.

Dripstone Cave Biome

You can find Dripstone Cave biomes underground in the Overworld now the Minecraft 1.18 update has gone live. These biomes are (unsurprisingly) full of Dripstone, a rock block that allows Pointed Dripstone to form beneath it to create stalactite-like formations. Dripstone is mainly used for decoration and occurs naturally in certain cave biomes.

In these Dripstone Cave biomes, you’ll find Dripstone, in both block and pointed forms, abundantly on the floors and ceilings. Dripstone blocks on the ceiling with water above them can form into stalactites, which will then cause stalagmites to form directly below. A pair of these formations can eventually join up to form a Dripstone column. Copper ore and small water pools are also commonly found in Dripstone cave biomes.

Lush Caves biome

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update lush cave with note block

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

As the name suggests, this underground biome type features caves filled with lush plants. Moss covers the floors and ceilings and Spore Blossoms grow on ceilings too. Your path will be lit by Glow Berries that grow on Cave Vines from the ceiling. If you’re exploring the Minecraft Overworld, you’ll know a Lush Cave is below you if you stumble across Azalea Trees as they keep their roots firmly in the caves. As such, Azalea Bushes can also be commonly found in Lush Caves. This new biome also serves as the only place to find axolotls too!

Grove biome

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update snow hills with spruce trees

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Groves are a new type of snowy biome that commonly occur on high altitude terrain but below mountain peaks or hilltops. You’ll find spruce trees, naturally-occurring powder snow, plus a lot of rabbits, foxes, and wolves in Grove biomes. Make sure you wear Leather Boots to avoid falling through the snow!

Meadow biome

Like Groves, Meadow biomes also spawn at higher altitudes near mountain ranges or up on plateaus. Meadows are full of grass and flowers, but there is a chance that a tall and lonesome oak or birch tree, often with a beehive, will be generated too. In terms of wildlife, you’ll find donkeys, rabbits, and sheep grazing on the meadow grass.

Lofty Peaks biome

The mountains you find in Lofty Peaks biomes are the kind that you might have seen in a nature documentary. They are very jagged and feature snow, stone, and goats making them their home.

Snowcapped Peaks biome

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2

(Image credit: Mojang)

Serving as almost the opposite of Lofty Peaks, the Snowcapped Peaks biome contains smoother mountain peaks with ice as well as snow. However, you will still find goats.

Stony Peaks biome

This biome features lots of stony mountain peaks that vary between jagged and smooth. Like Lofty Peaks, goats are commonly found in Stony Peaks biomes. You’ll also have a chance of finding strips of decorative Calcite blocks within the stony mountains.

Snowy Slopes biome

Snowy Slope biomes are like a more extreme version of Grove biomes. Snowy Slopes generate at higher altitudes beneath mountain peaks and hilltops – just like Groves – except they feature very snowy terrain, so much so that powder snow traps can be hidden within. Leather Boots are essential to traversing these biomes safely. Look out for goats and rabbits on your travels though.

In Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update, mountains are getting taller and caves are getting bigger

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update jagged mountain biome

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Another big change that’s included with the Caves and Cliffs part 2 update in Minecraft 1.18 is that the world has received a big vertical expansion to accommodate a lot of the new biomes. Minecraft’s in-world Y-axis has been expanded by 64 blocks in both directions, creating a total vertical building range of 384 blocks, up from 256 blocks. In terms of the in-game coordinates, that’s from y-64 to y320.

You’ll notice that generated mountains can now be taller thanks to the taller ceiling, and caves go even deeper – as far down as y-64! With the raised world ceiling, clouds now spawn higher in the sky too, at y192 instead of y128. With these changes and the new biomes in update 1.18, ore veins and ore distribution is getting significant changes too.

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update introduces large ore veins and new ore distribution

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update ice mountain and cave

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

With the underground world of Minecraft expanding vertically down by 64 layers, loads of opportunities for even more mining of ores and materials will open, but the task of finding exactly what you need might be a bit trickier. In Minecraft update 1.18, new large ore veins can be discovered underground. These winding formations are rare but contain a lot more of a particular ore than usual. Mine between y0 and y50 to find Copper veins with Granite mixed in, and search within y-8 and y-60 to find Iron veins with Tuff.

Ores as a whole have seen lots of redistribution with this update, largely to compensate for the huge increase to the vertical world size. One of the key general changes to ore distribution is that individual ores have more specific layer ranges to generate in, so there won’t be a particular Y level that is good for all ores. Here’s a list of where you can find ores as of the Caves and Cliffs part 2 update:

  • Iron Ore: Below y72 with a strong bias towards y16. Also generates above y112, with increasing iron ore deposits the higher you go.
  • Copper Ore: Between y0 and y96 with a strong bias towards y48. Also look in Dripstone Cave biomes underground.
  • Lapis Lazuli: Below y64 with a strong bias towards y0. Lapis Lazuli below y-32 or above y32 can’t generate in open air and can be found buried or in water instead.
  • Coal: Above y0 with a strong bias towards y96 and above. It has reduced air exposure, so it is also more commonly found buried or underwater.
  • Gold: Below y32 with a strong bias towards y-16. Extra Gold can still be found in Badlands biomes.
  • Redstone: Below y16 and increases as you go below y-32.
  • Diamond: Below y16 with more Diamond the further down you go. Like Lapis and Coal, Diamond has reduced air exposure and is commonly found either buried or underwater.

Candles have been added for all Minecraft players in the Caves and Cliffs part 2 update

Having only been in the Java Edition of Minecraft for about a year and in beta versions of the Bedrock Edition for several months, candles are finally available for all players now Minecraft update 1.18 has released. These light sources can be crafted with a Honeycomb and a piece of String, then dyed to change their color. You can also add one on top of an uneaten cake to give it a true celebratory feel.

The new Warden mob is coming in a future update

Minecraft live 2021 Warden mob preview

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Unfortunately, the new Warden mob has been delayed out of the Minecraft Caves and Cliffs part 2 update and will instead arrive in a future update some time in 2022. Mojang announced this year that the Warden and the Deep Dark biome it lives in were being pushed into the 1.19 Minecraft update, which is also known as Minecraft The Wild update.

Wardens and the Deep Dark biome aren’t the only things that didn’t quite make the cut for the 1.18 update, however. Archeology, bundles, and goat horns won’t be in Minecraft just yet either, but will come in a later update – likely the Wild Update along with the Warden mob.

For those not in the know, Archeology will allow players to use a copper brush to reveal items buried in Sand, Gravel, or Dirt Blocks found within a new Archeology Site structure. Goat Horns have a chance to drop from goats after they charge into a solid object and can be used by the player to make sounds. Finally, Bundles are craftable sacks that take up one inventory slot but can hold several items of different types – useful for long journeys and extensive mining expeditions where food and material storage is essential.

Minecraft enchanting | Minecraft House | Minecraft Netherite | Minecraft Netherite tools | Minecraft Netherite armor | Minecraft Respawn Anchor | How to tame a fox in Minecraft | How to enchant axes in Minecraft | Minecraft diamonds | Minecraft Axolotl | Minecraft Amethyst Shards | Minecraft copper | Minecraft lightning rods | Minecraft glow berries | Minecraft Allay | Minecraft Frogs | Minecraft Iron Golem  

Will Sawyer

After realising I hated writing local news when I started my journalism degree, I decided to make it my mission to combine my gaming interests with work and become a games journalist. Even with my final year of uni cut short by a small virus you may have heard of, I managed to graduate from Kingston University London and have been doing freelance guides writing since the start of 2021. I was previously at Game Rant, but now I'm over here at GamesRadar+, no doubt still spending far too much time doing Warlock space magic stuff in Destiny 2, and trying to claw my way to Apex Predator in Apex Legends.