Minecraft 1.18 Snapshot 21w37a

Caves And Cliffs Update Gets First Full Snapshot Ahead of Holiday Release

Minecraft 1.18 Update Snapshot 21w37a
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Minecraft 1.18 Caves and Cliffs Update is edging ever closer, with the new world height, depth and new biomes resulting in one of the biggest Minecraft updates ever. It is also one that fans of the game have been after for years, and Snapshot 21w37a gives us our first proper look at what we might expect in the full release later in 2021.

Minecraft 1.18 – Caves And Cliffs Update Part 2

The upcoming update is one of the biggest in the game’s history, changing the entire landscape of the Overworld. It’s the second part of the Caves and Cliffs Update, but the biggest. Most of the blocks and a handful of mobs have already been introduced in 1.17. The huge changes to world generation, both above and below ground, is still to come, along with the introduction of new hostile mob The Warden.

Until now, 1.18 has only been teased in seven Experimental Snapshots. Access to these was only available by downloading the snapshot file from Mojang and importing it into the game. However, September 15th saw the first 1.18 Snapshot, a more finalised version of the upcoming changes, made available from inside the Minecraft Launcher. Snapshots are generally closer to the finished product and are used to iron out bugs before official release.

How Do I Get Minecraft 1.18?

Now the latest opt-in snapshot is available through the launcher as standard, all you need to do is select Latest Snapshot in the Play tab before launching the game. The latest release is still the same, so you can carry on playing 1.17 as normal if you’d prefer. You can also access previous snapshots and previous iterations of the game in the Installations tab.

Minecraft Snapshot 21w37a – World Generation

The biggest general change to the game is that the world height and depth have both been increased – kind of a necessity for a Caves and Cliffs Update. With 64 blocks added above previous build height, and 64 below zero, the range is now a whopping 384 blocks. Build height will be an insane 320, as the caves go down to a terrifying -64.

Minecraft Snapshot 21w37a – Biomes

Among the most exciting features in the new snapshot are the new biomes coming to 1.18. Underground, we have Dripstone Caves and Lush Caves. Above ground, Meadow is the only new main biome. There are also a whole bunch of above ground sub-biomes to flesh out the new extended world height!

Dripstone Caves

  • Contains plenty of Pointed Dripstone and Dripstone Block on the floors and ceilings, and small pools of water.
  • In some places, you’ll find larger stalagmites, stalactites, and columns built from Dripstone Blocks.
  • Contains extra copper ore.

Lush Caves

Minecraft 1.18 Update Snapshot 21w37a

  • Moss covers the floors and ceilings.
  • Spore Blossoms grow from the ceiling and drip particles.
  • Contains Clay pools with Dripleaf plants growing out of them.
  • Contains Azalea Bushes and Flowering Azalea Bushes.
  • The Azalea Tree loves to have its roots in Lush Caves, so if you find an Azalea Tree (either overground or in a cave) you know there is a Lush Cave beneath you.
  • Cave Vines with Glow Berries grow from the ceiling and light up the caves.


  • Large grassy and flowery biome that tends to generate high up on plateaus or next to large mountain ranges.
  • Sometimes contains a lone tall oak or birch tree, often with a bee nest.
  • Mojang says, “Think Sound of Music!”
  • Spawns donkeys, rabbits, and sheep.

Grove – Mountain sub-biome

Minecraft 1.18 Update Snapshot 21w37a

  • Snowy terrain with big spruce trees and powder snow traps. Take some leather boots!
  • Tends to generate on high-altitude terrain beneath mountain peaks or on hilltops.
  • Spawns wolves, rabbits, and foxes.

Lofty Peaks – Mountain sub-biome

  • Dramatic jagged mountain peaks with snow and stone.
  • Spawns goats.

Snowcapped Peaks – Mountain sub-biome

  • Smooth mountain peaks with ice and snow.
  • Spawns goats.

Stony Peaks – Mountain sub-biome

  • Stony mountain peaks that may be jagged or smooth.
  • Spawns goats.
  • Contains strips of calcite, sometimes.

Snowy Slopes – Mountain sub-biome

  • Very snowy terrain with hidden powder snow traps. Leather boots will come is useful here.
  • Tends to generate on high-altitude terrain beneath mountain peaks or on hilltops.
  • Spawns rabbits and goats.

Minecraft Snapshot 21w37a – Caves

Of course, caves kind of have to be updated along with the cliffs. Again, it is the Caves and Cliffs Update after all! Noise Caves and Aquifers and two different technical terms for how caves will be generated. Noise caves aren’t noisy, contrary to popular belief, it is a way of creating different shapes and sizes within cave generation. Aquifers create the watery depths on the underground, and will add water to some of the noise caves. In some cases, huge bodies of lava may be generated in place of water! The new underground biomes will form within these new cave types creating a whole host of new and exciting underground landscapes!

Noise Caves – Cheese Caves

Cheese Caves are pretty much as they sound, actually. Think of all those holes in a big ol’ block of Swiss cheese. Now replace cheese with Minecraft blocks. Voila! Dinner is served! These can create much larger cave systems than we’re used to, and much more space for mobs to sneak out of!

Noise Caves – Spaghetti Caves and Noodle Caves

Pasta and cheese are a match made in heaven, after all. While cheese caves consist of large holes, spaghetti caves and longer and squigglier caves. Noodle caves are even squigglier, even tighter spaghetti caves. Beware if you’re claustrophobic!

Now, brb, just going to the kitchen…

Minecraft Snapshot 21w37a – Mob Spawning

Minecraft 1.18 Update Snapshot 21w37a
A mock-up of what could be still to come in future 1.18 snapshots

Though we still don’t get to see new mob The Warden in game, there is one important change to hostile mob spawning rules. In the very first experimental snapshot for 1.18, no change was made to mob spawning, making it very difficult to mob-proof, and therefore survive, a new cheese cave. Now, mobs will only spawn in a light level of 0, meaning that it will be much easier to light the insides of huge cave systems and save your life!

Minecraft Snapshot 21w37a – Ore Distribution

Finally, one of the most crucial parts of Minecraft… mining! Ore generation has had to change to ensure that we’ll still find goodies in all those new y-levels!

  • Iron ore generates below y 72, with a strong bias towards y 16.
  • Iron ore also generates above 112, with more iron ore as you go higher.
  • Copper ore generates between y 0 and y 96, with a strong bias towards y 48.
  • Copper ore generates in larger amounts in the dripstone caves biome.
  • Lapis lazuli generates below y 64, with a strong bias towards y 0. However, Lapis below y -32 or above y 32 cannot generate exposed to air. It will either be buried or inside water.
  • Coal generates above y 0, with a strong bias towards y 96 and above.
  • Coal has reduced air exposure, so you will find more coal buried or underwater than exposed to air.
  • Gold generates below y 32, with a strong bias towards y -16.
  • Extra gold can (still) be found in badlands biomes.
  • Redstone ore generates below y 16. Redstone ore generation gradually increases as you go below y -32 and further down.
  • Diamond generates below y 16, with more diamond the lower you go.
  • Diamonds have reduced air exposure, so you will find more diamonds buried or underwater than exposed to air.

Minecraft Snapshot 21w37a – everything else!

A really useful but small change that has been made is that shears can now be used to prevent your plantlife growing out of control! Using shears on the very tip of a Cave Vine, Weeping Vine, Twisting Vine or Kelp will now stop it from growing.

There are some other, more minor changes in the update as well. If this hasn’t completely blown your mind and you’re interested in getting your hands dirty with those deets too, check out the full list of changes on minecraft.net.