Powder Snow is one of the trickiest new features in Minecraft 1.17. A trap block which the playerbase will no doubt find endless fascinating and nefarious uses for, it can be rather hard to find Powder Snow that has spawned naturally.
This page will walk you through how to get Powder Snow in Minecraft with ease, as well as how Powder Snow actually works as a trap block.
How to get Powder Snow in Minecraft 1.17
Powder Snow spawns naturally in areas where there is regular snow, and it looks indistinguishable from regular snow so the only way you can find it naturally is by quite literally stumbling across it.
Fortunately, there's a much easier method. To get Powder Snow, place a Cauldron outside in a snowy biome while it is snowing. The cauldron will slowly fill with Powder Snow, and once it is full you will be able to right-click on the Cauldron with an empty Bucket to get a Bucket of Powder Snow.
Once you've got a Bucket of Powder Snow, you can right-click with it on the ground to create a block of Powder Snow. Powder Snow Blocks cannot be mined; you can only pick it back up again by right-clicking on the block with an empty Bucket.
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As for what Powder Snow actually does: it is a trap block. All entities (including players) will sink into a Powder Snow Block if they walk over it. After 7 seconds in contact with the block, the player will start to take freezing damage (1 HP per 2 seconds).
Over these 7 seconds you'll see a vignette of frost begin to tint the edges of your screen to indicate the danger. Fortunately there is a defence: leather armour. Any piece of leather armour worn will negate the freezing effect, and if you are wearing leather boots then you won't fall through the Powder Snow in the first place.
Couple other things worth knowing before we wrap up this post. First: Powder Snow will melt if exposed to fire, which is to be expected really. Second: a Skeleton stuck inside Powder Snow for long enough will turn into a Stray (read: an Ice Skeleton). The Stray will spawn with full HP even if the previous Skeleton was damaged. Interesting, no?
That's the topic of Powder Snow done and dusted. If you're looking for details on other 1.17 Minecraft additions, be sure to consult our pages on Goats and Axolotls, as well as our pages on the new resources of Copper and Amethyst.