Minecraft’s next big update is right around the corner, and snapshots of the update are being released periodically to give players a look at what’s in store for Minecraft version 1.17. The Caves and Cliffs update boasts new biomes, mobs, and items that will once again change the way players enjoy Minecraft. However, this new update is also altering the fundamentals of one of Minecraft‘s oldest practices: mining.
The Caves and Cliffs update was announced during Minecraft‘s annual live event on October 3, 2020. While players were certain that mountains would be the next biome to receive an update, following a community vote from 2019, the addition of caves was a surprise. Since then, Mojang Studios has given players a look at the new Axolotl and Glow Squid mobs, as well as some new cave generations. It has yet to be revealed when Minecraft’s new update will release, but snapshots indicate it will be in the near future.
One of the most recent snapshots revealed how the Caves and Cliffs update will change mining forever. Those who have been a part of the Minecraft community at any point know the grind for iron, Redstone, and diamonds, but this new update makes it substantially easier for players to get their hands on these precious materials.
Currently, Minecraft only has a few types of cave generations, which are all similar, narrow, winding tunnels with occasional lava or water puddles. Players have to either scour these tunnels in search of ore, or they can strip-mine on Y-level 12, which is the best level for players to find diamonds. The new update will increase Minecraft‘s maximum depth from Y-level 0 to Y-level -60, making way for Minecraft’s new mega caves, which are massive, open areas found underground. Mega caves will make it easier to locate ore deposits and diamonds than ever before, making them the new best way to find diamonds. Players will have to use night vision potions to properly see their surroundings, as lighting up these areas won’t be a viable option.
For those who prefer strip mining over exploring caves, the best level for mining diamonds has changed. Players will have to dig down to Y-level -35 if they want to strip mine. This means it will take a bit longer than before to travel between the strip mine and the surface, so players may want to opt for exploring the new caves, instead.
Minecraft is once again changing how ores look and are adding a new block that will replace stone in lower levels. Grimstone is a darker block than stone and starts generating at Y-level -1. It takes longer to mine than stone, and ores within it will have their stone texture replaced with Grimstone. The lower the player travels, the more they will encounter Grimstone. Grimstone can also be used in recipes in place of cobblestone, and it can be crafted into slabs, stairs, and other variations with the Stonecutter, similar to how players make Stone Bricks in Minecraft. With the addition of Grimstone and the increase of world depth, mining in Minecraft will never be the same.