Minecraft's big new Caves & Cliffs update is just around the corner—or part of it is, anyway. Mojang announced previously that they'd decided to split Caves & Cliffs in two, rolling out a summer and winter release this year. The first part of that major update 1.17 is arriving next week on June 8th. It's got neither caves nor cliffs in it, though. Most of the world generation stuff is coming this winter. Starting next week you can start officially playing with goats and axolotls and glow squid, oh my!
Here's a good chunk of what's coming in update 1.17, Mojang explain in their Caves & Cliffs FAQ:
Goat, Axolotl, Crystals + Spyglass + Geodes + Tinted Glass, Copper + Lightning Rod, Glow Squid + Glow Ink, Powder Snow, Lush Cave Blocks, Dripstone Cave Blocks, Deepslate + Ore Variants, Glow Lichen, and Multiplayer Sleeping Rule
That's quite a lot of new bits and bobs to play with already, honestly. The copper blocks alone are going to be a good time for us folks who like building. Nate's already said he thinks that copper is the best new block. It oxidizes over time, going through several stages from natural copper color to totally green-tinted.
Minecraft worlds have ways of showing their age in subtler ways already, but the copper blocks seem like they'll be a pretty neat way of seeing your builds change over time.
There's all the new animal mods as well of course, but I don't need to tell you why to be excited about those, do I? Axolotls can be carried in buckets and fight underwater baddies with you. Goats shove you off of mountains. Glow squid can be harvested to make glowing signs. More mobs means more fun, as ever.
If you simply cannot wait until next week to try all that out, nothing is stopping you. As usual, Mojang have already released a bunch of snapshot builds with most of 1.17's changes included. You can dip into one of those in the meantime by creating a new installation from your Minecraft Java Edition launcher.
Minecraft update 1.17 launches next Tuesday, June 8th. Caves & Cliffs part two 1.18 is expected this holiday season.