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Minecraft is generating incredible caves in the version 1.18 snapshot

The experimental snapshot has a lot to show

Mojang may have notably snapped off the caves and cliffs bits from the first half of their Caves & Cliffs update to Minecraft, but it looks like the second half will be worth the wait. Mojang released an experimental snapshot for 1.18 yesterday and folks have started finding some absolutely wild worlds created by the new terrain generation. If you've not had time to take it for a spin for yourself, here are quite a few screenshots and videos of some things that have been spotted so far.

I loaded up the experimental snapshot myself today and if all these major world gen changes are a bit unsettling to you, don't worry. I didn't immediately find myself chucked into some floating island nullverse world. It's still definitely Minecraft, albeit with mountain-ier mountains and cave-ier caves.

Some other folks have put in the time to look for and share their seeds for neat 1.18 finds though. Here's one particular world, shared on Reddit, that really shows off some of the wild multi-level cave generation going on in 1.18. You can spot a flythrough video by the poster there in that link with the lighting all turned up to better see all the blocks. Up top is my view. I had to turn up my render distance to 24 chunks to capture the back of the cave from the surface. Here's a bit more of it, with some lush caves and tons of waterfalls:

Minecraft experimental 1.18 snapshot - A dark cave lit by glowing vines in the lush cave biome and a waterfall.
Waterfalls everywhere.

Do remember, of course, that this version of 1.18 is far from final. In their announcement post from yesterday, Mojang caution that this snapshot could still be quite different from the full release of 1.18. "Some features may be significantly changed or even removed if needed to improve performance," they say.

Here's Mojang's list of terrain changes in this experimental snapshot:

  • New world height and depth
  • New mountain biomes (lofty peaks, snowcapped peaks, grove, meadow, and snowy slopes)
  • New cave generation (cheese, spaghetti, and noodle caves)
  • Local water levels and lava levels in the underground
  • New cave biomes generate naturally underground and inside mountains (lush caves, dripstone caves)
  • Natural variation in terrain shape and elevation, independently from biomes. For example, forests and deserts could form up on a hill without needing a special biome just for that.
  • New ore distribution
  • Large ore veins
  • Integrated mountains, caves, and cave entrances
  • Monsters will only spawn in complete darkness

There's obviously a lot going on here. New mountain biomes are relatively self-explanatory, as are the local water and lava levels which Mojang have shown us before. What is the difference between a spaghetti cave and noodle cave though? I don't know yet, but I'm eager to find out.

To prove how lovely it looks, even in this experimental state, here are some screenshots and videos that other folks have been sharing so far:

That's all the most photogenic stuff, of course. Given the experimental nature, you're bound to wander across some more nonsensical new terrain if you choose to try out the snapshot yourself. Directions on how to do that are also in Mojang's announcement.

As for the final version, Mojang say that traditional snapshots for 1.18 are likely to begin around September, with the final release still expected near the end of this year. In the meantime, check out everything else we know about Minecraft 1.18. If you're plenty happy exploring the 1.17 update that's only recently released, Ollie has the goods for you on the best Minecraft seeds in 1.17 and tips on how to breed axolotls.

I've always really enjoyed Minecraft's villages and the interesting ways that they sometimes generate. So before I go, here's one I found while flying about earlier. It's a desert village that appears to have taken a beach vacation.

Minecraft experimental snapshot 1.18 - a desert village has spawned in a grassy biome beside the ocean
I mean, the sand itself isn't out of place, I suppose.

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Lauren Morton