Surprise! Minecraft gives Armadillos AND new Wolves to everyone with latest update, available NOW

Image of Armadillos and Wolf Armor in Minecraft.
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)

What you need to know

  • Mojang Studios has been testing new mobs like Armadillos and more Wolf variants in Minecraft snapshots and previews, but many expected the features to arrive with the major Minecraft 1.21 update.
  • In a surprise move, Mojang Studios began testing a new public update with some of these features, teasing an early release — and it's confirmed.
  • Armadillos, new Wolves, and Wolf Armor are now available to all Minecraft players via the Minecraft 1.20.5 "Armored Paws" update.
  • This is a relatively minor update, but it should be an exciting one for a lot of Minecraft fans.

What an exciting day! Mojang Studios has been diligently working on the Minecraft 1.21 content update for months, and it seemed we had longer to wait before we saw the full release. However, the Minecraft studio has surprised players with a miniature content drop: the Minecraft "Armored Paws" update is now available, and it features eight new mobs for players to find.

Well, "eight" is a bit of a misnomer. Armadillos are here, as well as seven new Wolf variants. You can also protect your furry best friends with new customizable Wolf Armor! Mojang Studios released a nifty animated trailer celebrating the release of the update, which you can check out below.

The Armored Paws update is an adorable one, and it's rolling out to all Minecraft: Java Edition and Minecraft: Bedrock Edition players across Windows PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, Android, and iOS beginning today (Apr. 23, 2024) after being tested briefly via Minecraft: Java Edition snapshots. It's Minecraft version 1.20.5 for Java Edition, and version 1.20.80 for Bedrock Edition. Here's a quick rundown of the new features:

  • Armadillos. These adorable neutral mobs wander Savannah and Badland biomes, curling into protective balls when in danger and otherwise looking cute. You can brush them to obtain Scutes, which can be used to craft a very important new item. You can check out our guide on Minecraft Armadillos for more information.
  • Wolf variants. The classic white Wolf is still here for the Minecraft purists, but Mojang Studios has finally answered our prayers and dropped seven new variants, each with a distinctive coat. Now you can have a diverse array of furry friends... Or adopt 20 of your favorite Wolf variant, whichever works for you. Each Wolf variant is found in different locations, but is otherwise identical aside from design, biome, and how many tend to spawn in a pack.
  • Wolf Armor. Wolves can be incredibly useful in Minecraft, but many players (myself included) opt to leave them at home for fear of losing their best friend in the field. Now, you can protect your Wolves with Wolf Armor. It's crafted using Armadillo Scutes (and can be repaired with Scutes), can be dyed like leather armor, and completely protects your wolf from almost all damage until the armor cracks and breaks.

Look how cute this thing is! You can't tame it, but you can still be friends with it. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

So, what does this mean for the upcoming Minecraft 1.21 update? Well, this year's major content update suddenly got a lot smaller thanks to the surprise release of the Armored Paws update, but it's still an exciting update. You can read more in our Minecraft 1.21 update FAQ, but I will say we're still getting Trial Chambers, Crafters, Bogged Skeletons, the Mace, and more later this year (and there's always the chance Mojang will announce more features for the update).

Right now, though, players can go make friends with Armadillos and new Wolves right now, or scramble to protect their furry friends from the hazards of Minecraft. In other Minecraft news, my partner became a Minecraft addict because of XREAL's AR glasses, Jack Black is officially playing Steve in the upcoming Minecraft movie, and Minecraft: Bedrock Edition players will finally be getting Hardcore mode in the near future.

Are you excited to jump into the Minecraft Armored Paws update? I'm personally a fan of Mojang dropping more of these smaller content updates in between larger releases, and I hope to see more of it in the future. This is a great update to keep players interested in one of the best Xbox games until Minecraft 1.21 arrives later this year.

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.