Minecraft 1.21 update FAQ: Release window, features, mobs, snapshots, and other questions answered

Image of Minecraft 1.21's Trial Spawners.
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Minecraft isn't just the best-selling video game of all time, it also counts among the most long-lived, thanks to 15 years of constant support from Mojang Studios. That impressive stream of updates isn't ending any time soon, with another major release slated to hit Minecraft on all platforms later this year. The Minecraft 1.21 content update is coming, and it'll be filled with new features, blocks, mobs, and more.

Like many past updates for one of the best Xbox games, Mojang is developing the 1.21 release alongside the community through early snapshots and previews, ahead of the still-unannounced full release. That means there's more info available than for the average video game update; here's everything you need to know about the Minecraft 1.21 update, including when it'll arrive, what it'll be called, and what features you can expect in it.

Recent updates

Mar. 28, 2024 — Updated with new information on Ominous Trial Spawners, Keys, and Vaults, including the accompanying changes to the Bad Omen effect. Also noted other changes to the Mace, as well as minor feature additions like new Mob Effect potions.

What is the Minecraft 1.21 update?

Best answer: The Minecraft 1.21 update is the long-running survival-crafting game's major content update for the 2024 year.

Minecraft Live is the perfect opportunity for Mojang Studios to discuss the future of Minecraft, and Minecraft Live 2023 was no exception. That's where the developer took the wraps off the Minecraft 1.21 update and showed off its first confirmed features, including the hostile Breeze mob, the challenging Trial Chambers, and the innovative Crafter block.

Mojang once again shows it knows how numbers work, as the Minecraft 1.21 update directly follows the Minecraft 1.20 'Trails & Tales' update released in Summer 2023, this time with a focus on adventure. Mojang wants to make exploring Minecraft's Overworld more interesting and exciting, while also delivering some long-requested features.

When will the Minecraft 1.21 update release?

Best answer: Mojang Studios has not confirmed an exact release date for the Minecraft 1.21 update, yet. However, it's safe to assume that the studio is aiming for a Summer/mid-2024 release window, depending on how smoothly development goes.

The Crafter and other new features are coming to Minecraft later this year. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

In typical fashion, Mojang Studios is keeping its cards close to its chest until much closer to the official release of the Minecraft 1.21 update. Not only does that mean we may not know every new feature and significant change planned for the update, we also don't have an exact release date for the upcoming update.

Based on previous Minecraft updates and current development time, however, it's a safe assumption that the Minecraft 1.21 update should be arriving in Summer to mid-2024, later this year. As we get closer to that time period, Mojang Studios will finalize the update's feature list, polish those features using community feedback, and prepare to announce the update's name and release date.

Of course, we'll update this space as soon as we know more. In the meantime, the "Trails & Tales" version of Minecraft may still see a few more minor updates with changes, improvements, and bug fixes, like the recent Minecraft: Bedrock Edition 1.20.60 update.

What will the Minecraft 1.21 update be called?

Best answer: The official title for the Minecraft 1.21 update hasn't been announced yet, following Mojang Studios' new policy of waiting until closer to release to actually name upcoming updates.

You'll be able to protect your wolf buddies in Minecraft 1.21. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)

Following backlash from the controversial Minecraft 1.17 and 1.18 updates, Mojang Studios made some notable changes to how it develops and announces new Minecraft updates. Most notably, the developer now only announces new features when they're already far along in development (and usually close to being released to Minecraft insiders for testing). Additionally, Mojang doesn't officially name an update until it's essentially feature complete.

That means the Minecraft 1.21 name is, as of now, still unnamed. We can take some wild guesses based on this content update's theme of "adventure," but ultimately the official title will be revealed later down the road, possibly influenced by the Minecraft community. Just like with the exact release date, you'll have to wait a little while longer.

What new mobs are coming in Minecraft 1.21?

Best answer: Currently, there are three new mobs confirmed for the Minecraft 1.21 update. There's the Breeze, a hostile wind-centric mob found in the new Trial Chambers; there's the Armadillo, a neutral mob that can help equip your wolves with protective armor; finally, there's the Bogged, a new Skeleton variant that fires poisonous arrows.

One of the most anticipated parts of any Minecraft content update is whether there will be new mobs added to the game's growing roster. In the case of the Minecraft 1.21 update, the answer is a resounding "yes." At this time, Mojang Studios has confirmed three new mobs that will be arriving with Minecraft 1.21; it's unlikely that any other new mobs will be revealed at this point, but it's not impossible for more to be announced in the future.

Let's go over each of the three mobs and why you should care about them:

  • The Breeze. This is a brand-new hostile mob that appears similar in form to the fiery Blaze from the Nether, but is designed around wind instead of fire. You can find Breezes in the new Trial Chambers, where they'll pose a unique challenge for players to overcome.
    • Breezes are highly mobile with impressive jumping capabilities
    • They fire condensed balls of wind, which explode on contact with players and blocks
    • These wind projectiles deal small amounts of damage but significant knockback, and can also interact with different blocks like trapdoors, levers, and more
    • On death, the Breeze can drop Wind Charges, a new consumable item that can supercharge player jumps and deal knockback damage to enemies
    • The Breeze can also drop Breeze Rods, which can be used to craft the Mace or be turned into Wind Charges
  • Armadillos. The winner of the Minecraft Live 2023 Mob Vote, Armadillos are adorable neutral mobs that wander the Savannah biome in the Overworld, and have some unique traits.
    • Armadillos periodically drop Scutes, a new item that can be used to craft Wolf Armor (which is pretty self-explanatory)
    • You can also brush Armadillos to obtain more Scutes
    • Armadillos can be led by their favorite food, Spider Eyes
    • When threatened or scared (by sprinting players, mounts, or undead mobs), Armadillos will roll up to protect itself
    • If the Armadillo detects no threats for three seconds, it'll unroll and resume normal behavior

Say hello to the Bogged. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)
  • The Bogged. This is the latest new mob confirmed to be coming in the Minecraft 1.21 update. The Bogged was announced on Valentine's Day, and is another new hostile mob. It's a little less exciting than the former two mobs, though, as it's actually a new variant of an existing mob.
    • The Bogged is a moss-covered variant of the Skeleton
    • They can be found in Swamp and Mangrove biomes, and also appear in Trial Chambers alongside the Breeze
    • The Bogged fire poisonous arrows, which deal damage over time
    • To compensate, the Bogged fire a little slower and has a little less health than normal Skeletons
    • When killed, the Bogged have a chance to drop Arrows of Poison

Look at all the new doggo breeds! (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)
  • New wolves. The wolf is obviously already in Minecraft, and is an iconic mob — the best friend of Minecraft players everywhere. In the Minecraft 1.21 update, however, Mojang Studios is finally introducing all-new variants of wolves. With this update, players will be able to find and tame eight different dog breeds.
    • The Pale Wolf is the classic Minecraft wolf, and spawns in the Taiga biome in packs of around four members
    • The Woods Wolf is now the most common wolf variant, and spawns in the Forest biome with a brown, tan, and white coat
    • The Ashen Wolf is a blueish-grey wolf (it looks like the typical wolf you'd imagine in the real world) and spawns in Snowy Taiga biomes
    • The Black Wolf is a beautifully dark wolf that spawns in small packs in Old Growth Taiga biomes
    • The Chestnut Wolf is an all-brown wolf that spawns in small packs in Old Growth Spruce Taiga biomes
    • The Rusty Wolf is an orange-and-brown wolf that spawns in small packs in Sparse Jungle biomes
    • The Spotted Wolf is an orange, black, and white spotted wolf that spawns in large packs in Savannah Plateau biomes
    • The Striped Wolf is a tan-and-black striped wolf that spawns in large packs in Wooded Badlands biomes
    • The Snowy Wolf is a rare pure white wolf that spawns alone in Grove biomes

What features are being added in Minecraft 1.21?

Best answer: The headlining feature for the Minecraft 1.21 is absolutely the new Trial Chambers, followed closely by the Redstone engineer's dream, the Crafter. Other small features are also coming like Wolf Armor, Copper Bulbs, and more.

Many players may be clamoring over the new mobs coming in the Minecraft 1.21 update, but there are plenty of other features that have already been announced. Two in particular stand out above all the rest (the Trial Chambers and Crafter block), but there are a decent number of other small features and mechanics arriving in the update.

Unfortunately, something you won't find mentioned here is a new biome. Mojang Studios hasn't announced any plans to add a new biome to Minecraft in the upcoming update, and it seems like there simply aren't any plans. I'll go over all the confirmed features that are absolutely coming (most of which you can go test now in early Minecraft builds).

  • Trial Chambers. The headlining feature of the Minecraft 1.21 update around which the theme of "adventure" revolves is the new Trial Chambers. These procedurally generated dungeons will appear underground throughout the Overworld, waiting to be discovered by skilled adventurers itching for a fresh challenge.
    • Trial Chambers will be constructed out of the copper and (new) tuff block sets
    • They'll also be lit by the new Copper Bulbs
    • Trial Chambers will by labyrinthian strongholds filled with puzzles, traps, and hostile mobs like the new Breeze and Bogged
    • Players can explore Trial Chambers to find loot, and take on Trial Spawner challenges for exclusive, per-player rewards
  • Trial Spawners. This is the feature that truly ties the Trial Chambers together. Sure, puzzles and traps are great, but Trial Spawners can be found where the puzzles and traps are heaviest, and pit players against set waves of hostile mobs.
    • Trial Spawners adjust their challenge level based on how many players are in the area
    • The Spawners will spawn a set number of hostile mobs (as part of a few predesigned categories of challenges) in the area in waves, which are persistent and spawn regardless of local light levels
    • Players must defeat all hostile mobs in order to clear the Trial Spawner challenge
    • Upon completion, the Trial Spawner will eject rewards and enter a 30-minute cooldown state
    • Trial Spawners cannot be crafted, picked up, or obtained in Survival, and are only found in Trial Chambers
  • Trial Keys & Vaults. Another sub-feature of Trial Chambers, players can obtain Trial Keys after beating Trial Spawner challenges, which unlock Trial Vault chests for unique rewards.
    • Trial Vaults can be found in Trial Chambers, often near Trial Spawners
    • A Trial Key can be used only once to open a Trial Vault
    • Each Trial Vault can be opened by a player once, but every player can open that Trial Vault and receive their own rewards
    • This way, players that work in teams no longer have to fight over loot — everyone benefits for clearing Trial Chambers
    • Vaults can contain exclusive loot like new banners and the Heavy Core used for crafting the Mace

Ominous Trials create a new level of challenge for hardcore players. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)
  • Bad Omens. The strange effect originally introduced in the Village & Pillage update is receiving an update, complete with a brand-new logo design. It'll be familiar to players, but opens the door for Minecraft's brand-new "Ominous Effects." When Minecraft 1.21 releases, there will be two Ominous Effects (at least for now).
    • The Bad Omen effect is no longer received by killing a Pillager Raid Captain — Now, players need to drink an Ominous Potion, which can be found in Trial Vaults, Ominous Trial Vaults, and by killing Pillager Raid Captains
    • Ominous Potions come in five variants, with each variant being a higher level of Bad Omen that can increase the duration of effects
    • When players with the Bad Omen effect enter a village (by default, the effect lasts just over an hour), the effect becomes a Raid Omen, and after a 30 second cooldown will begin a Pillager Raid on the village
    • When players with the Bad Omen effect get close to any nearby Trial Spawners within the Trial Chambers, the Bad Omen effect becomes a Trial Omen, with a 15-minute time multiplied by the level of the original effect
    • Players can still clear the Bad Omen effect by drinking a bucket of milk
  • Ominous Trial Spawners. Ominous Trial Spawners are unique variants of Trial Spawners with a more menacing design and Soul Fire instead of normal flames. Trial Spawners can become Ominous if a player with the Bad Omen effect approaches, and then begins the Trial before the new Trial Omen effect disappears.
    • Ominous Trial Spawners have different cooldowns then Trial Spawners, letting players override normal cooldowns with the Trial Omen effect
    • These Trial Spawners are much more challenging than regular Trials, spawning more difficult mobs with more equipment, and even dropping potions, projectiles, and mob effects on players and mobs
    • Designed for hardcore or advanced players, Ominous Trial Spawners also drop more valuable loot when cleared, then revert to a normal Trial Spawner
    • As long as the Trial Omen effect is in place, players can transform nearby Trial Spawners, making it possible to tackle multiple Ominous Trials in a row
  • Ominous Trial Keys & Vaults. Ominous Trial Spawners have a chance to drop Ominous Trial Keys when defeated. These Trial Keys, as the name implies, go to Ominous Trial Vaults rather than normal Trial Vaults.
    • Like normal Trial Vaults, Ominous Trial Vaults also give every player with an Ominous Trial Key unique loot
    • However, the possible rewards are much greater than normal Trial Vaults, including a unique Banner or Armor Trim design, and the Heavy Core component required to craft the new Mace
    • Ominous Trial Vaults are also considerably more difficult to find, as they're better hidden throughout Trial Chambers than regular Trial Vaults

The Crafter opens up a whole new world of possibilities for Minecraft engineers. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)
  • Crafter. Mojang is delivering a feature players have been requesting for years: automatic crafting.
    • Crafters can be crafted using a Crafting Block, Iron, and Redstone
    • Players can outline a specific recipe in the Crafter menu by filling slots with the necessary ingredients (in the correct order)
    • Individual slots can be locked in order to ensure that hoppers input ingredients correctly
    • When activated by a redstone signal (not continuous), Crafters will consume one ingredient from each slot and craft whatever item that recipe creates
  • Copper Bulbs. The latest light source, Copper Bulbs are unique in that players can customize the strength of light emitted.
    • Copper Bulbs are crafted using Copper Blocks, Blaze Rods, and Redstone
    • These blocks can be placed just like any other block, similar to Redstone Lanterns
    • Also like the aforementioned block, Copper Bulbs are powered by redstone and can be toggled on and off
    • Comparators can read if Copper Bulbs are on and emit a redstone signal
    • Oxidization over time slowly dims the Copper Bulb
    • Players can wax Copper Bulbs at any point to freeze it at that level of oxidization (and light emission)
  • Tuff block set. Finally, the purely decorative tuff blocks we all mostly ignore are getting a dedicated set of building blocks, which will feature prominently in the new Trial Chambers.
  • Wind Charges. This is a new single-use, consumable item that can be obtained by defeating Breezes.
    • Defeating a Breeze can drop 4-6 Wind Charges
    • Players can use Wind Charges to fire a wind projectile similar to the Breeze
    • These projectiles have a smaller area-of-effect, but deal more knockback damage
    • Wind Charges can also be used to supercharge jumps and get to higher locations
    • Fall damage is mitigated as long as players land above where the Wind Charge was used
    • Wind Charges can be fired out of Dispensers

Not only are your wolves much safer, now, they also look more dashing. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)
  • Armadillo Scutes & Wolf Armor. I don't need to go into detail about Armadillos again, but I will discuss Scutes and Wolf Armor a little more. You can also check out our announcement article on the latest Wolf Armor changes.
    • Armadillos drop Scutes periodically or when brushed (Dispensers can also be used)
    • Six Scutes can be used to craft Wolf Armor
    • Only the owner of a Wolf can equip or unequip (via shears) Wolf Armor
    • Wolf Armor completely protects wolves from almost all forms of damage until it breaks, and shows damage
    • Players can repair the Wolf Armor on wolves using more Scutes
    • Wolf Armor can also be dyed different colors, just like leather armor
    • Wolves now also have twice as much health as before, and feeding heals twice as much

Turn your enemies into dust with this new weapon. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)
  • The Mace. Minecraft is actually getting a brand-new weapon in the form of the Mace, a large and slow weapon specialized in battling groups of enemies.
    • The Mace is crafted by combining Heavy Cores and Breeze Rods
    • The Mace deals smashing damage, and also knocks back nearby enemies on impact
    • Damage and knockback force are increased if the player falls before landing a blow — the longer the fall, the greater the damage
    • Fall damage is completely negated as long as players hit their target when landing
    • The Mace can be combined with Wind Charges to reliably increase damage in battle
    • The Mace can be enchanted, including with three unique enchantments — Density, for increasing falling smashing damage,  Breach, for increasing armor piercing damage, and Wind Burst, for creating a Wind Burst effect at point of contact

You'll look rather dashing in the new Armor Trims. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)
  • Other miscellaneous features. Minecraft 1.21 is shaping up to be a significant update to the game, with other miscellaneous features, changes, and additions coming.
    • Heavy Cores and Breeze Rods are new crafting items used to craft the Mace
    • There are new Flow, Guster, and Scrape Pottery Sherd designs
    • There are new Flow and Guster Banner patterns, which can be found in Vaults
    • There are new Bolt and Flow Armor Trim designs; players can find the corresponding Smithing Templates in Vaults
    • There are now new Mob Effects, crafted using Awkward Potions, which can also be used by Ominous Trial Spawners — the new effects include spawning Wind Bursts, Slime, or Cobweb at the site of a mob's death, or giving mobs a chance to spawn Silverfish when they're hurt

How can I test the Minecraft 1.21 update early?

Best answer: Mojang Studios is already testing all announced Minecraft 1.21 features through Minecraft: Java Edition snapshots and the Minecraft Preview. You can also test some features through the experimental features section of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition.

This was one of the first preview builds for Minecraft 1.21. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | Twitter)

Mojang Studios historically develops all Minecraft updates alongside the community, collecting feedback on new features, existing bugs, and requested changes. It's no different with the Minecraft 1.21 update, which has already been in testing as part of the Minecraft: Java Edition snapshots and Minecraft Preview (the beta version of the Bedrock Edition) since October of last year. Mojang has been regularly releasing new builds since then with more features and plenty of changes, polishes, and tweaks.

Right now, all of these experimental builds still fall under the "Minecraft 1.20" version number, with Mojang developing the next update in parallel to continued support for the current Minecraft version. As such, you can actually test some Minecraft 1.21 features in the current Minecraft: Bedrock Edition version, simply by enabling toggles in the experimental features section when creating a new world.

If you want to test all the latest Minecraft 1.21 features, though, you'll need to download Minecraft Preview on Xbox, Windows PC, and mobile devices (the Android version requires opting into the beta), or download the latest Minecraft: Java Edition snapshots through the Minecraft Launcher. Bear in mind that these early builds tend to be less stable and bug-prone than the public version, and your worlds and progress will not carry over to the main game.

What platforms are getting Minecraft 1.21?

Best answer: The Minecraft 1.21 update will come to all modern versions of Minecraft, including Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Xbox, Windows PC, PlayStation, Switch, and mobile devices, as well as Minecraft: Java Edition on Windows PC, macOS, and Linux.

Everyone will be able to enjoy the new features of the Minecraft 1.21 update. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Minecraft is available on practically every modern gaming platform, and that means practically everyone will be able to explore the new features included in the Minecraft 1.21 update. To be precise, though, only Minecraft: Bedrock Edition and Minecraft: Java Edition will be updated — older versions of Minecraft that are no longer supported (like older console-specific spin-offs) aren't going to be included in the fun, of course.

That means the Minecraft 1.21 update will release on Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch consoles, Windows PC, and Android and iOS mobile devices via the Bedrock Edition. It'll also release for Windows PC, macOS, and Linux computers via the Java Edition. All platforms for each version will get the Minecraft 1.21 update simultaneously, but there may be a small difference between Bedrock and Java Edition releases, depending on how smoothly development goes.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.