Minecraft recently dropped a new snapshot for the soon-to-be 1.17 caves update.

The recent 1.16 nether update provided a lot of new content and had many people excited about the depth of future updates. The current shape of these snapshots shows that Mojang isn’t giving up that momentum either.

Patch Notes

Below are the patch notes from the Minecraft Java client.

Changes in 21w08a

  • Tweaked cave sizes further
  • Canyon and cave carvers now apply below y=0
  • Cracks can now be found carved into the ground
  • Grimstone has been changed into Deepslate
  • Added Deepslate ores
  • The distribution of ores has been further tweaked
  • Andesite no longer generates under y=0
  • Tuff now sometimes generates under y=0
  • The Tuff layer of amethyst geodes has been replaced with now a new type of stone called Smooth Basalt
  • Smooth basalt is now obtained from smelting basalt
  • Another round of tweaking has been done to the new textures of ores and blackstone
  • Emerald and Lapis Lazuli ore textures have had some touch ups
  • Mineshafts now once again generate in the open air in caves
  • Particles now appear in the air around spore blossoms
  • Slime blocks and honey blocks have been moved to the redstone tab of the creative inventory


  • Grimstone is now called Deepslate
  • Deepslate now has a top texture, and a new block called Cobbled Deepslate drops from Deepslate
  • The cobbled variant is the same but without the top texture, and is used to craft all Deepslate variants instead
  • Deepslate now has a unique set of sounds! Very crunchy indeed

Deepslate ores

  • Added Deepslate versions of iron, gold, lapis, redstone and diamond ores that generate wherever those ores replace Deepslate
  • Twice as tough to mine as normal ores

Ore Distribution Tweaks

Fixed bugs in 21w08a

  • MC-213926 Rooted dirt footstep sounds are considerably quieter than normal dirt footstep sounds
  • MC-214782 Geodes can generate floating in caves
  • MC-214843 Old style caves don’t generate past Y=0
Check out a summary of the snapshot from wattles

My Thoughts

Cave exploration is easily one of my favorite things to do in Minecraft. The fact that they finally took the time to update the content tied to cave exploration is fantastic. It is a little late, but this is Minecraft, which won’t be going away any time soon.

As stoked as I am to see new ores, I really hope they keep going and add new weapons, tools, and armors to go with some new ores.

I do enjoy building as well, so the new blocks are more than welcome, but in my eyes, the game needs more armor sets, weapons, and tools at this stage. One of the best parts of Minecraft is its simplicity, but at the same time, the game could really use some depth in the equipment department.

Wrapping Up

The cave update really is shaping up to be a huge content drop just like 1.16. I’m excited to see how much more content they squeeze into the update before it officially drops.

For more on Minecraft, keep it here.

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