Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta changes how monsters spawn in darkness

Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Update Image
Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Update Image (Image credit: Mojang Studios | Twitter)

What you need to know

  • Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is releasing a new beta for 1.17 'Caves and Cliffs Update' Part One today.
  • On top of plenty of bug fixes, changes, and technical updates, this beta includes a major experimental feature change.
  • Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta changes mob spawning so that hostile mobs only spawn in complete darkness.
  • This is a drastic overhaul to mob spawning, and will dramatically change how players can safely light caves and builds.

Any time you think Minecraft couldn't possibly become more hectic with new updates and planned changes, Mojang Studios surprises you. Arriving shortly after the official release of update 1.17.10, Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is grabbing Beta with a host of new bug fixes, changes, and an exciting alteration to Minecraft. If you've ever been annoying by a creeper or other monster spawning in your home despite your plethora of lights, this beta is for you.

Aside from the usual fixes and improvements expected of a Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta, includes one major change stashed underneath the "Experimental features" toggle. No, you won't find any new Caves and Cliffs Update features from 1.18 Part Two, which should release later this year. Instead, Mojang Studios has made a fundamental change to the way monsters spawn in the world — something that has remained mostly untouched since Minecraft's inception.

Now, hostile mobs will only spawn in places of complete darkness. This doesn't apply to light coming from the sky, but does affect all block lights. That means only blocks that aren't being touched by candles, torches, redstone lanterns, or any other form of light can spawn a baddie. This is useful for lighting the more varied and larger caves present in 1.18 Caves and Cliffs Update Part Two, but is also extremely useful for player builds that benefit from slightly more sparse lighting.

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The full changelog for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta includes:

Experimental features

  • Monsters will only spawn in complete darkness
    • This change is being made to balance the player's ability to light up the new larger caves and make them safe from monster spawning
    • Note that this change only affects block-light and not sky-light

Features & bug fixes

Stability & performance

  • Fixed several crashes that could occur during gameplay


  • Amethyst Cluster block can no longer be placed on Grass Path blocks
  • Corrected Deepslate Lapis Lazuli Ore block name from Deepslate Lapis Ore
  • Dispensers now remove bubble columns when removing water
  • Sea Pickles now change light depending on being in water or not
  • Snow layers are now melted by light from torches, etc.
  • Vanilla Parity: Falling gravity blocks will no longer break when landing on certain blocks


  • Vanilla Parity: Using Bone Meal on Moss Blocks now also replaces Tuff blocks
  • Vanilla Parity: Fixed Light Block not being displayed correctly when being held
  • Fixed held items not disappearing visually to other players after a player dies when the Keep Inventory gamerule is enabled
  • Nether Portals placed between chunks no longer break when leaving the Nether
  • Shears now correctly cut Vines and Glow Lichen faster
  • Weeping and Twisting Vines now grow correctly after the player breaks them


  • Adjusted padding for HD Textures in mipmaps level 1 in texture atlas to fix texture bleeding
  • Half of the Enchantment Table book doesn't render dark anymore
  • Blocks moved by a Piston are no longer white while moving


  • Axolotl spawns only when there is stone up to 10 blocks under them, and not in bubble columns
  • Armor Stands now drop equipped items when destroyed by fire or lava
  • Limited the maximum number of Phantom mobs that can spawn
  • Goats now play their "impact 3" sound

User interface

  • Recipe Book crafting estimates no longer differ from the actual results
  • Experimental warning message is no longer displayed inconsistently when loading beta worlds
  • Cursor items no longer count towards recipe ingredient in Recipe Book
  • Selected recipe is now deselected when the player runs out of ingredients
  • Non-craftable recipes no longer displayed in Recipe Book when search mechanism is used
  • Nether blocks now appear in the crafting grid if any other ingredient is unavailable
  • Fixed a wireless network connection error message that appeared when players were connected via a wired network
  • Fixed various spelling errors in Character Creator
  • Hover of widget buttons were showing corrupted appearance before full load was complete
  • Fixed a legibility issue with some Japanese font characters
  • Riding an animal now displays the correct tooltip term when played on a non-touch screen

Technical updates

GameTest framework

  • Renamed BlockTypes class to MinecraftBlockTypes
  • Renamed Effects class to MinecraftEffectTypes
  • Renamed Items class to MinecraftItemTypes
  • Events:
    • Added read-only property currentTick to tick event - Returns the current server tick
    • Renamed event createEntity to entityCreate
    • Renamed event addEffect to effectAdd
    • Renamed event activatePiston to pistonActivate
    • Renamed event beforeActivatePiston to beforePistonActivate
    • Renamed event explodeBlock to blockExplode
    • Renamed event changeWeather to weatherChange


  • Target selectors ry and rym now support wrapping around north


  • Killing a custom mob with an unknown loot table entry type will no longer cause a crash, and will now throw a content error


  • Rabbit with initialEvent specified now scales properly to adult rabbit size


  • Similar to the spawns_on_block_filter, the spawns_above_block_filter specifies a list of blocks and a distance. The mob can then spawn only if the nearest block within the specified distance below the desired spawnpoint is in that list (water and air not included). minecraft:spawns_above_block_filter": { "blocks": "minecraft:stone", "distance": 10 }
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.