There were a host of changes to gameplay and technical aspects of the game:
- Accessibility option to stop the sky from flashing during thunderstorms
- Online options screen where you can now find the Realms Notifications option
- Added an option to specify the audio device used by the game
- “Allow Server Listings” option to opt out of having your name displayed in server listings
- Added illageralt, rune-like font from Minecraft Dungeons (currently only usable via commands)
- New music by Lena Raine and Kumi Tanioka to the Overworld (when playing in Survival Mode) and the main menu
- Added telemetry for world loading which is diagnostic tracking to better understand players, improve their experience, help prioritize development, and identify pain points.
- Added world autosave indicator for single-player worlds
- Added “Toggle Sprint” and “Toggle Sneak” to the Controls settings
- Changed default brightness to 50
- Dripstone clusters can no longer be found in normal caves, only in Dripstone Caves biomes
- Generation range and build limits have been expanded by 64 blocks up and 64 blocks down, to a total range of 384 blocks
- Geodes now only generate up to height 30
- If it is raining, sleeping will stop the rain and reset the weather cycle
- Mob spawners can now override light checks for spawning
- Moved Keybinds out to their own settings screen, accessible from Controls
- New setting called “Simulation Distance” which is how far away the game will actually load entities and apply changes to them
- Players with higher than recommended render distance settings are now prompted to change it to the recommended value (BE only)
- Removed world types “Caves” and “Floating islands” from the world creation screen
- Servers can now set property hide-online-players to true in order to not send a player list on status requests
- Size limit for server resource packs has been increased to 250 MB
- Sprinting is no longer reduced to walking when gently brushing your sleeve against a wall
- Swamp trees can grow in water 2 blocks deep (instead of just 1 block deep)
- The terrain shape and elevation varies dramatically, independently of biomes. For example, forests and deserts could form up on a hill without needing a special biome just for that.
- Underground features, structures, and caves generate all the way down to y=-64
- Unrendered chunk holes in the world should not appear anymore while flying fast with high render distance
- View distance now causes chunks to load cylindrical around players instead of in a square
- Villages are slightly more spread out
Advancements have also gotten some additions as well:
- Added “Caves & Cliffs” for falling from top to bottom of the Overworld
- Added “Feels like home” for riding strider on lava for 50 blocks in the Overworld
- Added “Star Trader” for trading with a villager at the build height limit
- Added “Sound of Music” for playing music with a jukebox in a Meadow biome
Another change is to the list of effects that used to pop up to the left of a player’s inventory.
They now will list on the right side and has two modes:
- Compact: a single icon for each effect
- Classic: pre-existing list of effects listed fully
The game will automatically switch between the two modes to suit the available screen estate (including having the recipe book open)
Updating old worlds to 1.18 will be basically seamless! With the mechanic Mojang calls “blending”, surface height, biomes, terrain, and caves will all blend together. In old chunks, if there is any bedrock at y=0, the sections below non-air blocks will be filled with new generation. The old bedrock between y=0 and y=4 in old chunks will be replaced with deepslate and a new bedrock layer is formed at y=-64.
We’d be remiss to not remind everyone that the Deep Dark biome has been delayed until 2022 to be released with the 1.19, the Wild, update. So we’ll all have to wait a little longer to be terrified of the Warden mob.
The Deep Dark biome will also be home to the sculk blocks and include loot chests and mysterious structures.
That’s right! You can finally find more emerald ore than ever before!
- Changed ore generation to match the new world height, and to add more strategy to mining.
- Coal Ore and Diamond Ore have reduced air exposure, so you will find more Coal Ore buried or underwater than exposed to air.
Here’s a chart of ore generation stats:
|Ore||Minimum Pickaxe||Found in Biome||Generation Frequency||Range||Most Found|
|Coal||Wooden||Any||Very Common||0 to 320||95 and 136|
|Copper||Stone||Dripstone Caves/Any Biome||Common||-16 to 112||48|
|Lapis Lazuli||Stone||Any||Uncommon||-64 to 64||-1|
|Iron||Stone||Any||Common||-64 to 320||15 and 232|
|Gold*||Iron||Any||Rare||-64 to 32||-16|
|Redstone||Iron||Any||Uncommon||-64 to 16||-59|
|Diamond||Iron||Any||Rare||-64 to 16||-59|
|Emerald||Iron||Mountains||Uncommon||-16 to 320||236|
*Gold can be found more commonly in Badlands between levels -64 and 256, most found in 32 to 256.
There are a handful of changes to mob spawning and behavior:
- Monsters now only spawn in places where the light from blocks is 0 (skylight still prevents spawning like before)
- Axolotls now have their own, separate, mob cap and will only spawn in Lush Caves when in water that is above Clay Blocks
- Cod, Salmon, Pufferfish, Tropical Fish, Squid, and Dolphins now only spawn in water from height 50-64
- Glow Squids now only spawn in water blocks under height 30
- Illagers (Vindicator, Pillager, Evoker) no longer attack baby villagers
- Tropical Fish now also spawn in Lush Caves at any height
While there are little additions of blocks from 1.17 to 1.18, there are a few changes and additions to Minecraft:
- Added a new music disc from Lena Raine titled ‘Otherside’. This can be found rarely in Stronghold Corridor Chests, or much more rarely in Dungeon Chests.
- Enchanting Tables now emit a low amount of light
- Using Shears on the tip of a Cave Vine, Twisting Vine, Weeping Wine, and Kelp will stop them from further growing
- Copper Ore now drops 2-5 (formerly 2-3) Raw Copper items
- In the Stonecutter, a Block of Copper can be converted to 4 Cut Copper
- Restricted Big Dripleaf placement to Clay, Grass, Dirt, Farmland, Moss, Rooted Dirt, Podzol, and Mycelium
- Ore Veins are large, rare, snake-like underground ore formations. Copper Ore Veins form between height 0 and 50 and are mixed with Granite, while Iron Ore Veins form below height -60 and -8 and are mixed with Tuff.
While we already covered all the biome changes in another guide, we’ll still cover the exciting parts here. You can always read our other guide for deeper information and more changes (such as biome name changes). However, here are the new mountain biomes added!
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.
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.
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.
The jagged peaks are one of the three peak biomes that generate 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.
The frozen peaks are covered with 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.
The stony peaks biome is 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.
Noise caves are the new cave generation method. The name isn’t because due to sound, it’s more of a technical term. While cave carvers (aka openings) and canyons generate the same, they’re combined with the three new types of 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.
Caves can contain aquifers, bodies of water with different heights, that are independent of the sea level. Aquifers can sometimes result in large underground lakes, form inside mountains, or on the surface. There’s even a chance they’ll generate as lava aquifers below y=0!
There are also two new biomes included with cave generation!
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.
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.
It was at Minecraft Live 2020 that the Caves & Cliffs update was originally announced.