All the Biomes Being Changed in the Caves & Cliffs: Part 2 Update

Britt Britt (76)
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It was at Minecraft Live 2020 that the Caves & Cliffs update was originally announced. Since then, the Mojang team has been working tirelessly to bring players the biggest changes to world generation since the game first released in 2011. In April 2021, Mojang Studios announced the update would be split in two parts, with the first (1.17) released two months later.

With Caves & Cliffs Part 2 set to release in November or December 2021, many changes are set to be made to the entire Overworld of Minecraft. Each new snapshot version shows something new, but it’s hard to keep track of.

Below is a guide to all the changes being made to biomes within the 1.18 update!* These changes could also include the addition or removal of biomes and their variants.

*Changes noted are from the latest snapshot as of writing, Java Edition 21w44a.

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snowy tundra

The tundra is vast and covered with snow layers. The exposed grass and leaves take an aqua tone. Lakes generate frequently, though freeze over due to the temperature if not exposed to light. The Caves & Cliffs: Part 2 update will rename this biome to snowy plains.

Originally this biome had three variants: snowy tundra, snowy mountains, and ice spikes. In 1.18, snowy mountains will no longer exist.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Snowy Plains Snowy/Ice Uncommon 0.0 Igloo
Village
Pillager Outpost
Polar Bear
Rabbit
Stray
Snowy Mountains Snowy/Ice Uncommon 0.0 Polar Bear
Rabbit
Stray
Ice Spikes Snowy/Ice Rare 0.0 Ice Spike
Ice Patch
Polar Bear
Rabbit
Stray
snowy taiga hills

The snowy taiga biome is one of three variants: snowy taiga, snowy taiga hills, and snowy taiga mountains. Both the hills and mountains variants will be removed in 1.18. Before villages didn’t spawn in the snowy taiga biome, however, in the update they’ll finally be able to!

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Snowy Taiga Snowy/Ice Uncommon -0.5 Igloo
Village
Pillager Outpost (BE Only)
Sheep
Pig
Chicken
Cow
Wolf
Rabbit
Snowy Fox
Snowy Taiga Hills Snowy/Ice Uncommon -0.5 Village (BE only)
Pillager Outpost (BE Only)
Sheep
Pig
Chicken
Cow
Wolf
Rabbit
Snowy Fox
Snowy Taiga Mountains Snowy/Ice Rare -0.5 Sheep
Pig
Chicken
Cow
Wolf
Rabbit
Snowy Fox
mountains minecraft

Considering the name of the update implies cliffs, it’s no surprise that the mountain biomes are getting the most facelift. The following renames have been made:

  • Extreme Hills (BE only) has been renamed to Windswept Hills.
  • Wooded Mountains has been renamed to Windswept Forest.
  • Gravelly Hills has been renamed to Windswept Gravelly Hills.

There are only two biomes being removed in the update: gravelly mountains+ and mountain edge biomes. Gravelly mountains+ was a rare variant of the wooded hill biome that has the exact same features as the regular gravelly mountains. The only difference was that it could rarely generate on its own as a separation between a desert lakes biome and a snowy biome.

Mountain edge biomes were used until Java Edition 1.7.2. It is currently unused and was a technical biome intended to provide a smooth transition from other biomes to the mountains.

There are a handful of new variants of the mountain biome being added!

meadow minecraft 1.18

Meadow

The meadow is a grassy biome filled with patches of flowers and turquoise-green grass or double tall grass. Rarely, a lone oak or birch tree of any size can generate and always has a bee nest. Both pillager outposts, and plains villages can generate in this biome, making this the only mountain biome where villages can generate. The meadow biome generates in the lower sides of some mountains but can also generate standalone in plateaus, mainly next to plains and other temperate biomes.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Meadow Lush/Temperate‌ (JE only)
Cold‌ (BE only)
Uncommon 0.5‌ (JE only)
0.3‌ (BE only)
Pillager Outpost
Village
Sheep
Donkey
Rabbit
grove minecraft 1.18

Grove

The grove creates a forest of spruce trees on the sides of a mountain. The surface is covered with snow, snow blocks, dirt, and a lot of powder snow instead of grass blocks. This biome generates in high altitudes beneath the peaks and on hilltops next to forested biomes such as dark forests and taigas, and can generate at lower altitudes if next to snowy biomes.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Grove Snowy Uncommon -0.2 Pillager Outpost Wolf
Rabbit
Red Fox
snowy slopes minecraft 1.18

Snowy Slopes

The snowy slopes is a mostly barren biome covered in snow, multiple layers of snow blocks and powder snow, with some sides also having stone cliffs. This is the only mountain biome where igloos can generate. Just like the grove, this biome generates at the slopes of the mountain, beneath the peaks and in hilltops. They’re generally near areas with less forested biomes, like plains and snowy tundras, and can start generating at lower altitudes in snowy regions.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Snowy Slopes Snowy Uncommon -0.3 Pillager Outpost
Igloo
Rabbit
Goat
jagged peaks minecraft 1.18

Jagged Peaks

The jagged peaks are one of the three peak biomes that generates only on the top of the mountain if they are tall enough, peaking at y=256. It is covered by a single layer of snow blocks with stone underneath often exposing ores such as coal, iron and emerald, and just like the snowy slopes, stone cliffs can generate in some sides of the mountain.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Jagged Peaks Snowy Uncommon -0.7 Pillager Outpost Goat
frozen peaks minecraft 1.18

Frozen Peaks

The frozen peaks are covered by snow, snow blocks, glaciers of packed ice, and occasional small blobs of ice. Frozen peaks generate in smaller and smoother hills near snowy, cold and temperate biomes, but it can also generate in slightly jagged and taller peaks.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Frozen Peaks Snowy Uncommon -0.7 Pillager Outpost Goat
stony peaks minecraft 1.18

Stony Peaks

The stony peaks are a warmer variation of both the jagged peaks and the frozen peaks biomes that generates when a mountain peak is in a region with lukewarm biomes such as savannas, and jungles. It doesn't generate snowy slopes or groves in the slopes of the mountain, unless there's a colder biome bordering the peak. It is mainly covered by stone with large strips of calcite and exposed ores. The grass and foliage in this biome have a unique vibrant light green tint.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures
Stony Peaks Lush/Temperate Uncommon 1.0 Pillager Outpost
giant tree taiga

While the normal taiga can be considered a colder counterpart of the forest biome, the giant tree taigas could be considered a colder counterpart of the jungle biome. The giant tree taiga have four different variants: giant tree taiga, giant tree taiga hills, giant spruce taiga, and giant spruce taiga hills.

In 1.18, the giant tree taiga will be renamed to old growth pine taiga and the giant spruce taiga will be renamed to old growth spruce taiga. Also, giant tree taigas will no longer be considered cold biomes in terms of biome placement.

The variants giant tree taiga hills and giant spruce taiga hills will be removed in the upcoming update as well.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Old Growth Pine Taiga Cold Uncommon 0.3 Forest Rocks Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Wolf
Rabbit
Red Fox
Old Growth Spruce Taiga Cold Uncommon 0.25 Forest Rocks Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Wolf
Rabbit
Red Fox
stony shore

The shorelines of Minecraft are getting a needed change in 1.18! Beaches will soon be wider and generate less frequently. Before you could find a patch of sand anywhere that could qualify as a beach, but now they’ll have some restrictions to generation.

  • Beaches are more likely to appear on flat coastlines rather than hilly areas.
  • Stone shores are less common.
  • Beaches are no longer created when a desert borders an ocean.

The stone shore biome has also been renamed to stony shore. The stony shore variant generates wherever mountains or wooded mountains biomes border an ocean. They are made entirely of stone, with some gravel patches, and are usually a steep drop into the water below. Stone shores may generate at high enough elevations to have snow on their peaks, and waterfalls and lavafalls frequently generate on its sides.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures
Stony Shore Cold Common 0.2 Buried Treasure (BE only)
birch forest

A birch forest is a lush temperate biome, usually generating near other lush biomes. There are four variants: birch forest, birch forest hills, tall birch hills, and tall birch forest.

The 1.18 update removes the birch forest hills and tall birch hills biomes. It also renames the tall birch forest to old growth birch forest. The old growth birch forest‌ features birch trees that generate much taller than normal. It also has taller hills compared to those in the birch forest hills, making this variant less suitable for shelter.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Notable Mobs
Birch Forest Temperate/Lush Common 0.6 Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Birch Forest Hills Temperate/Lush Common 0.6 Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Old Growth Birch Forest Temperate/Lush Rare 0.6 (JE only)
0.7 (BE only)
Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow

The birch forest will be getting even more updates, as featured in Minecraft Live 2021! Read about the upcoming Wilds update in our recap of the virtual event!

dark forest hills

A dark forest is a temperate forested biome, known for its thick canopies that block light sufficiently to allow hostile mobs to spawn during the daytime. It has two variants: the dark forest and dark forest hills.

In 1.18, the dark forest hills biome will be removed. Dark forest hills break the leaf canopy, increasing visibility and decreasing the chance of daytime hostile mob spawning, though the hills are steep compared to other hill biomes.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Dark Forest Lush/Temperate Common 0.7 Woodland Mansion Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Dark Forest Hills Medium/Mild Rare 0.7 Woodland Mansion Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
swamp

Swamps are mostly flat biomes, with elevations low enough to go below sea level throughout much of the area. Large portions of swamps are flooded, from marsh-like patches of single blocks to large lakes. Water in swamps takes on a gray-green color at the surface, turning pale yellow when submerged in it. Unlike most biomes, swamps have varying temperatures, which affects the color of grass blocks, grass and leaves.

In 1.18, the following changes will be made to the swamp biome:

  • Swamps are less likely to overlap cold or dry biomes.
  • Hanging water is no longer placed in swamps.
  • Swamps are less likely to extend far out from the coastline and are moved slightly more inland.
  • Swamp oak trees are now able to generate in slightly deeper water than before.
  • Swamps are now able to generate in dry areas, making them less fragmented overall.

The swamp hills biome has been removed in the 1.18 update. The swamp hills variant featured hillier terrain rising up between the flat marshes. Flooded areas in swamp hills tended to reach lower depths than the rest of the swamp, sometimes deep enough to have a gravel floor in place of a dirt floor, like normal oceans.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Swamp Lush/Temperate Common 0.8 (default, varies with swamp) Swamp Hut
Fossil
Huge Mushroom (BE only)
Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Swamp Hills Medium/Mild Rare 0.8 (default, varies with swamp) Swamp Hut (BE only)
Fossil
Huge Mushroom (BE only)
Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow

Swamps will be getting even more changes in the 2022 Wilds update! Read more about it from our Minecraft Live 2021 recap!

jungle hills

A jungle is a lush, temperate biome full of dense vegetation. Jungles are somewhat rare biomes, usually are expansive, and generate in green biome clusters. It has a total of seven variants:

  • Jungle
  • Jungle Hills
  • Modified Jungle
  • Jungle Edge
  • Modified Jungle Edge
  • Bamboo Jungle
  • Bamboo Jungle Hills

In 1.18, the jungle edge biome is renamed to sparse jungle. The jungle hills, modified jungle, modified jungle edge, and bamboo jungle hills biomes have all been removed. Below are the statistics for the remaining three jungle biomes in 1.18:

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Jungle Medium/Lush Uncommon 0.95 Jungle Pyramid Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Parrot
Panda
Ocelot
Sparse Jungle Medium/Lush Uncommon 0.95 Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Bamboo Jungle Medium/Lush Rare 0.95 Jungle Pyramid (JE only) Sheep
Chicken
Pig
Cow
Parrot
Panda
mushroom field shore

Mushroom fields is a rare lush biome that is the rarest non-variant biome in the game. The mushroom biome usually generates as a single island surrounded by ocean, though it occasionally generates touching land on a side. The islands have the tendency to be close to one another, resulting in multiple mushroom fields separated by only a few hundred blocks. In the upcoming update, mushroom fields will be tweaked to better match the shape of islands.

There is one variant to mushroom fields, mushroom field shore, which will be removed in 1.18. The mushroom field shore is a technical biome, that represents both the shores and the rivers of the mushroom fields.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Mushroom Fields Medium/Lush Rare 0.9 Huge Mushrooms Mooshroom
desert

The desert is a common warm biome mainly consisting of sand. It has three variations: desert, desert hills, and desert lakes. In the upcoming 1.18 update, the desert hills and desert lakes biomes will be removed. Also, desert biomes are now larger and less likely to show up as "microbiomes.”

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Desert Dry/Warm Common 2.0 Desert Temple
Village
Desert Well
Fossil
Pillager Outpost
Gold Rabbit
Desert Hills Dry/Warm Common 2.0 Desert Well
Fossil
Desert Pyramid (BE only)
Gold Rabbit
Desert Lakes Dry/Warm Rare 2.0 Desert Well
Fossil
Gold Rabbit
savanna

The savanna is a common warm biome. It typically generates bordering a desert or plains biome, and has four variations total:

  • Savanna
  • Savanna Plateau
  • Shattered Savanna
  • Shattered Savanna Plateau

In Caves & Cliffs Part 2, shattered savanna is renamed to windswept savanna and are now less common. The shattered savanna plateau biome has been removed, and water lakes no longer generate in savannas.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Savanna Dry/Warm Common 1.2 Village
Pillager Outpost
Sheep
Pig
Chicken
Cow
Horse
Donkey
Savanna Plateau Dry/Warm Common 1.0 Sheep
Pig
Chicken
Cow
Horse
Donkey
Llama
Windswept Savanna Dry/Warm‌ (JE only)
Lush/Temperate‌ (BE only)
Rare 1.1 Sheep
Pig
Chicken
Cow
Horse
Donkey
Shattered Savanna Plateau Dry/Warm‌ (JE only)
Lush/Temperate‌ (BE only)
Rare 1.0 Sheep
Pig
Chicken
Cow
Horse
Donkey
badlands 1.17

The badlands is another biome family getting an upgrade! Formerly known as the mesa biome, the badlands is a rare warm biome, featuring mounds of terracotta in various colors. There are six different variants of the badlands biome:

  • Badlands
  • Badlands Plateau
  • Modified Badlands Plateau
  • Wooded Badlands Plateau
  • Modified Wooded Badlands Plateau
  • Eroded Badlands
badlands 1.18

1.18 brings changes to the generation and look of the badlands with:

  • Badlands will sometimes show up as flat areas next to plateaus.
  • Increased the maximum Y-level for red sand to generate, and increased the minimum Y-level for grass and coarse dirt to generate in wooded badlands plateaus.
  • Eroded badlands no longer create floating pillars on top of a water surface.
  • Increased the minimum Y-level for grass and coarse dirt to generate in wooded badlands plateaus.
  • Badlands biomes are slightly smaller on average.
  • Badlands can now generate on sharp peaks.
  • Water lakes no longer generate in badlands.
  • The extra gold ore in badlands biomes now generates up to Y=255.

The wooded badlands plateau has been renamed to the wooded badlands, while the badlands plateau, modified badlands plateau, and modified wooded badlands plateau biomes have all been removed.

Here are the statistics for the remaining three biome variants:

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures
Badlands Dry/Warm Uncommon 2.0 Mineshaft
Wooded Badlands Dry/Warm Uncommon 2.0 Mineshaft
Eroded Badlands Dry/Warm Rare 2.0 Exposed Mineshaft
deep warm ocean

The deep warm ocean is similar to the warm ocean, but without coral reefs or sea pickles and is twice as deep. Since it is a deep ocean variant, ocean monuments and tall seagrass can spawn.

Currently, this biome does not naturally generate, though it can be generated using a Customized Superflat world. However, in 1.18 this biome will be removed.

Biome Type Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Deep Warm Ocean Aquatic 0.5 Ocean Monument
Shipwreck
Underwater Ruin
Dolphin
Squid
Tropical Fish
river 1.17

A river is a common technical biome. Rivers serve as borders between various other biomes, and usually lead to oceans, although they can also form loops.

rivers 1.18

In 1.18, rivers get an overhaul! They will now be less likely to form a steep, dry river gorge in mountainous terrain. Instead, they either carve a fjord through it, or they raise the terrain to form a valley. Rivers that go through swamps tend to be more shallow, and merge with them rather than carve through the swamps. Finally, rivers are less likely to be very deep or get choked off in flat areas.

caves

As you’d expect from the Caves & Cliffs update, the caves of Minecraft are getting revamped. They will now stretch down to y=59 and generate in two layers of different stone bases: regular stone and deepslate.

Caves can contain aquifers, bodies of water with different heights, that are independent of the sea level. They can also generate with lava instead of water, so explore carefully! This update also reduced the amount of flooded caves near river and ocean coastlines.

There are three new noise caves:

  • Cheese caves have large stone towers stretching from the bottom of the cave to the top, and are often large enough to allow safe elytra flight.
  • Spaghetti caves are long, thin caves that have small aquifers and are more similar to original caves.
  • Noodle caves are thinner, squigglier, and more claustrophobic variants of spaghetti caves.

Most importantly, there are two new biomes being added to cave generation!

dripstone cave

Dripstone caves generate with dripstone blocks and pointed dripstone both hanging as stalactites and growing from the ground as stalagmites. Small water wells of 1 × 1 blocks are generated in the ground. This biome also generates larger copper ore blobs compared to other biomes.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Notable Mobs
Dripstone Cave Underground Common 0.8‌ (JE only)
0.2‌ (BE only)
Glow Squid
Drowned
lush cave

Lush caves generate underground at any height, usually in areas with forested biomes. Azalea trees generate on any empty space above a lush cave, with roots consisting of rooted dirt and hanging roots that generate down until reaching the lush cave.

Within, moss and ores covers the floors and ceilings, along with moss carpets, grass, and azalea bushes. On the ceiling, vines and cave vines with glow berries grow down and light up the caves. Spore blossoms grow from the ceiling and drip water particles. A lush cave contains springs and shallow lakes with clay where dripleaf plants grow out of them.

Biome Type Rarity Temperature Structures Notable Mobs
Lush Cave Underground Uncommon 0.85 (JE only)
0.29 (BE only)
Dungeon
Mineshaft
Stronghold
Amethyst Geode
Axolotl
Glow Squid
Tropical Fish
Britt Britt (76)
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