Minecraft 1.18 (Caves And Cliffs Part II): The Update

CP Staffer Kirby Abad provides an in-depth description of the most recent Minecraft update.

Minecraft. The hit sandbox game that many people enjoy and love. For the first time in years biomes have been updated and can now generate spectacular mountains and caves; but biomes aren’t the only thing that’s been updated…A quick note: 1.18 is the continuation of the 1.17 update, or Caves & Cliffs. 1.18 is also known as Caves & Cliffs Part II.

Before you play 1.18, you might notice that the main menu background has changed to reflect Caves & Cliffs: Part II update. On the world creation screen, you can no longer create Old world types. Old worlds that already existed before the update are kept and are still playable, but don’t get updated with 1.18 features. With that being said, let’s get into the new in-game features of 1.18.


The height limit for worlds has changed from 255 blocks to 320. The lowest blocks spawn at Y level -64 instead of Y level 0. Clouds are now at Y level 192 instead of Y level 128.


There is now a music disc titled “Otherside” which was composed by Lena Raine. It can be found in stronghold corridor chests on rare occasions, as well as in dungeon chests, but those chances are much lower. The disc has a blue and green color to the ring area.

Mountain Biomes

There are also more biomes in the mountains to make them more interesting and less plain. There is the meadow, a grassy & flowery mountain biome like a grass plateau or mountain plains and the groves which is similar to a snowy taiga with snow blocks and powder snow rather than grass blocks. Plus there are snowy slopes, which is a slope on a mountain filled with snow and powder snow. Not to mention the three types of peaks: starting with jagged peaks, sharper tips of mountains filled with snow and stone. Only goats appear in these peaks. Next are the frozen peaks which are similar to jagged peaks but are more smooth and have ice as well. Finally, the stony peaks which are, as the name suggests, filled with stone, gravel, and calcite at the peak of the mountain.

Ore Veins

The formations of ores have changed as well in this update. They can now come in long and rare ore formations. Copper ore veins can mix with granite, and blocks of raw copper can generate above Y=0. Also, iron ore veins do the same with tuff, and blocks of raw iron generate above Y=0 too. Terrain can blend with existing terrain from old chunks, for servers that existed before 1.18, though any player made structures in these chunks are either intact, buried, or deteriorated. Plus, the old bedrock layer was Y=0 to Y=4, though there are now deepslate and caves under that layer. The new bedrock layer is Y=-64.


4 new achievements have been added exclusively to 1.18 only. These include:

1-Sound of Music, which requires the player to make the new Meadows biome come alive with a music disc inserted into a jukebox (+10G)

2-Feels Like Home, which requires the player to take a Strider from the Nether and take it for a long ride on a lake of lava in the Overworld (+20G)

3-Star Trader, which requires the player to trade with a villager at the build height limit (+20G)

4-Caves & Cliffs, which requires the player to fall from the build limit to the bottom of the world and survive it (+30G)

Now, here are the general updates in-game.


Added new music to the Overworld (when playing in survival mode in the new biomes, and to the main menu.

The following tracks are composed by Lena Raine: 

“Left to Bloom” plays in the meadow and lush caves biomes, as well as the menu screen.

“Stand Tall” plays in the snowy slopes, jagged peaks, frozen peaks and stony peaks biomes, as well as the menu screen.

“Infinite Amethyst” plays in the grove and dripstone caves biomes, as well as the menu screen.

“Wending” plays in the grove, jagged peaks, stony peaks and dripstone caves biomes, as well as the menu screen.

“One More Day” plays in the meadow, snowy slopes and lush caves biomes, as well as the menu screen.

The following tracks are composed by Kumi Tanioka (谷岡 久美):

“An Ordinary Day” plays in the snowy slopes, dripstone caves and lush caves biomes.

“Floating Dream” plays in the jagged peaks and lush caves biomes.

“Comforting Memories” plays in the grove biome.


A stonecutter can now cut a Block of Copper into 4 Cut Copper. Copper Ore can now drop 2-5 Raw Copper when mining. Magma Blocks underwater have increased slightly in frequency.

Mob spawn 

Axolotls can now only spawn in water in lush caves above clay blocks. Cod, Salmon, Pufferfish, Tropical Fish, Squid, and Dolphins now only spawn in water Y Levels from Y=50 to Y=64. Tropical Fish can now spawn in lush caves at any coordinate. Drowned can now spawn in aquifers inside dripstone caves. Glow Squids now only spawn under Y=30 in water blocks. Goats now spawn only in jagged peaks, frozen peaks and snowy slopes biomes. In general, hostile mobs only spawn in areas where the light level is 0. This change affects only block-light. Sky-light isn’t affected.

World generation

Amethyst Geodes can now generate up to Y level 30. Badlands biomes can now generate in mountain peaks and its red sand generates a bit higher. Beaches are wider in general. In some places, there’s a chance where beaches don’t generate at all in order to provide some variation. Also, because the height of the terrain isn’t controlled by biomes anymore, the following list of sub-biomes no longer generate in newly made worlds and are now removed and unused:

Badlands Plateau, Bamboo Jungle Hills, Birch Forest Hills, Dark Forest Hills, Desert Hills, Desert Lakes, Giant Spruce Taiga Hills, Giant Tree Taiga Hills, Gravelly Mountains+, Jungle Hills, Modified Badlands Plateau, Modified Jungle, Modified Jungle Edge, Modified Wooded Badlands Plateau, Mountain Edge, Mushroom Field Shore, Shattered Savanna Plateau, Snowy Mountains, Snowy Taiga Hills, Snowy Taiga Mountains, Swamp Hills, Taiga Hills, Taiga Mountains, Tall Birch Hills and Wooded Hills.

As a result of this change, all deserts can now be eligible to generate desert temples and villages. All taigas now have the chance to generate outposts and villages. All swamps are now able to have the chance to generate swamp huts. All snowy taigas now have the chance to generate igloos.

Worlds created in previous versions that made these biomes will be turned into their default variants.

Dripstone Caves now generate somewhere underground naturally and inside hills or mountains.

Drowned can spawn in aquifers inside dripstone caves.


The number of dungeons increased, especially under Y level 0.


Water lakes were removed because aquifers could potentially provide local water levels. 

Lush Caves

Now form normally underneath and inside mountains or hills and azalea trees now form above lush caves.


Mineshaft pieces won’t form if they were fully floating in the air. Corridors also form with logs as pillars for support, or oak fences and chains as hanging support. Cobwebs no longer form floating without an adjacent block. Lastly, Mineshafts now generate higher up in badlands biomes.


Ocean biome temperatures now match land biome temperatures:

Frozen oceans now form only within snowy plains or snowy taigas, as well as snowy beaches. Cold oceans now form only within old growth taigas, taigas and some plains and forests. Regular oceans now form only within forests, plains, dark forests and birch forests. Lukewarm oceans now form within savannas, jungles and occasionally forests and plains. Warm oceans now form only within badlands or deserts. Warm ocean biomes now form in deep waters.

Pillager outposts can now form in all of the new mountain biomes.

Lava springs can now generate amid dirt, calcite, powder snow, packed ice and snow. These changes allow lava springs to generate in mountains and snowy terrain. Water springs won’t generate higher than Y level 192, and are less common. The Stony Shore now generates with gravel strips, and can generate next to any biome rather than only extreme hills. Strongholds will now try to generate fully layered in stone, or deepslate at low y-levels. Villages can now generate in meadows biomes.

In general, the overworld now uses a multi-noise biome source type. Biomes are independent from Terrain generation. They adapt to whatever terrain they may generate throughout. This enables for more natural variation in the terrain of any singular biome, both in terms of elevation and shape. For example, forests and deserts can form up on a hill without requiring a special biome only for that purpose. This also allows for more smooth switches between one biome and another. Terrain is now more smooth as well as more extreme. A new random seed generator is utilized for overworld generation.

Ore distribution changes

All ores have a changed ore generation which makes them have a spread value just like lapis ore. Some still keep a linear generation alongside a spread one. In addition, coal ore will try to generate twice: once, evenly between the Y Levels, or height, of 136 and 256; and spread out, peaking at a Y Level of 96 and generating between a Y Level of 0 and 192. With copper ore, it generates between the Y Levels -16 and 112, generating the most at Y Level 48 and like all other ores uses spread. It peaks at Y Level 48. Larger and more clumps of copper ore can generate in dripstone caves. 

Iron ore will try to generate three different times: once as a spread peaking at Y Level 256, generating over Y Level 80; another as a spread peaking at Y Level 16 and generating with a minimum of Y Level -24 and a maximum of Y Level 57, and a smaller one spreading equally between Y Level 64 and -32.

Gold ore generates between the Y Levels of -64 and 32, peaking at -16. Extra gold generates below -48. The extra gold that generates in the badlands biome was upped, with a top height limit from 79 to 256, and more blobs.

Lapis lazuli ore will try to generate twice: once, as spread between the Y Levels 32 and -32, peaking at Y Level 0; and evenly between 64 and -64, forming buried.

Redstone ore tries to generate twice: once, evenly between Y Levels 15 and -64; and as a spread, peaking at -64 and generating below -32.

Diamond ore will now generate as a spread, generating under Y Level 16 and peaking at Y Levels near -64.

Emerald ore generates over Y Level -16 as a spread, peaking at 256 and becomes rarer as the Y Level goes down.



Vindicators can no longer spawn in Illager groups.


The raid bar color on the top screen is now red instead of pink. Raid mobs can now despawn after a raid ends if the player/players move too far away from the village. The Hero of the Village status effect now applies to all players who helped kill a raider once a raid is defeated, and the effect stays with the players, even if they travel outside of the village.


Let’s transition to experimental mode (an option in game settings to adjust if you want more features in vanilla minecraft without installing mods). These additions and changes are accessible by enabling the “Vanilla Experiments” button and “Enable GameTest Framework” button. Blocks in experimental gamemode include:

The Sculk, which has an animated texture. It drops experience when mined without Silk Touch. Sculk blocks grow underneath a mob when it dies around a Sculk Catalyst, which spreads Sculk blocks to wherever a nearby mob dies. The amount it spreads depends on the number of experience orbs the mob drops. The Sculk Catalyst Bloom blooms when activated. It drops experience when mined without the Silk Touch enchantment. It emits light, as well as soul particles after a mob dies and grows Sculk. A Sculk Vein can be placed in any layer atop blocks and in all directions, kind of like glow lichen. Some Sculk Veins have parts that are see-through, which allows the player to see the block it’s on top of. Lastly, the Sculk Shrieker. It has 2 soul-shaped patterns in the middle of it. It also has the ability to ‘shriek’, which emits ring-like particles. It’s activated by the Sculk Sensor.

Gameplay of experimental gamemode

There is one new effect; Darkness. A status effect triggered by the Sculk Shrieker block, which causes the player’s camera to dim in brightness, thus limiting vision. It is similar to the Blindness effect. Changes: The Sculk Sensor block is now found only in “Vanilla Experiments.” The Goat Horn item is now found also in “Vanilla Experiments.” Various bugs and in-game settings have been fixed, which aren’t mentioned because not everyone understands them.


To end it all off, the 1.18 update is a huge and incredible update that Mojang Studios has worked really hard on. I think that people who have never played Minecraft or haven’t played in years may really like 1.18. And what update comes after 1.18? The 1.19 update coming in 2022. There’s a lot more to come…