Minecraft is having a big news day, but it’s not exactly a happy occasion. The ambitious and hotly-anticipated Caves and Cliffs Update for Minecraft has been split into two parts and delayed, with Mojang Studios citing the technical complexities of the update and their need to preserve the health of their teams. In response to this announcement, Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w15a is now rolling out to PC Minecraft testers with an interesting batch of changes for the Caves and Cliffs Update.
While there are new features and changes in the latest Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot, many of the features that have been tested in previous snapshots are actually being removed. Most of the world generation changes from the Caves and Cliffs Update have been delayed and aren’t releasing until Winter 2021, so these features are being shut off in Snapshot 21w15a.
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The world generation features being removed in Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w15a include:
- World height has been switched back to the 1.16 levels
- Noise caves and aquifers have been switched off
- Cave and ravine carvers have been returned to their old settings
- Crack carvers have been switched off
- Ore distribution has been returned to the 1.16 setup
- Copper now generates between the bottom of the world and height 192, being most common around height 96
- Tuff now generates in blobs between heights 0 and 16
- Worlds created in snapshot 21w05b or any earlier version can now once again be opened
- Worlds created in any version between snapshot 21w06a and 21w14a can no longer be opened
If players want to continue testing these experimental features, which now aren’t arriving until much later this year, they still can! Mojang Studios is introducing a new datapack that creates an experimental custom world in Minecraft, where the removed snapshot features will still be active.
To test the removed Caves and Cliffs Update features in Minecraft, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Download the new datapack from the Mojang Studios website
- Launch the game, go to the “Create New World” screen, and click the “Data Packs” button
- Drag the downloaded zip file onto the Minecraft window
- The game will ask you if you want to add the data pack – click “Yes”
- Click the play arrow on the data pack that just appeared in the list – this will move it to the list on the right-hand side of the screen
- Click the “Done” button and continue creating your world as normal
Beyond those changes, Snapshot 21w15a actually does include new features that should be arriving in the first half of the Caves and Cliffs Update in Summer 2021.
The full changelog for Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w15a includes:
- Goats will ram anything that moves… and also armor stands