Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta 1.17.40.21 lands with more experimental features and changes

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

What you need to know

  • While the first half of the 'Caves and Cliffs Update' continues to see new releases, Mojang is working on Part Two.
  • The latest Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta has arrived, and includes something for both halves of the major update.
  • Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta 1.17.40.21 includes new experimental features for world generation and flat worlds.
  • On the less-experimental side, we're getting plenty of bug fixes and technical updates, including to world generation.

Yesterday, Mojang Studios released a new patch update for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition with a flurry of improvements across the board. Work isn't done on the more experimental side, however, as today marks the release of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta 1.17.40.21. Today's release continues to iterate on the first half of the Caves and Cliffs Update, while also adding to the experimental feature set pertaining to the second part arriving later this year.

There's nothing terribly exciting in this build, with world generation for flat worlds being updated and copper becoming more prevalent on the experimental side. On the other hand, players can expect lots of bug fixes and technical updates across the board, touching on things like elytra, world generation, and more. The beta is available now to download and test on Xbox, Windows 10, and Android devices.

Normally, Mojang makes a habit of releasing Minecraft: Bedrock Edition betas and Minecraft: Java Edition snapshots around the same time, but an unforeseen issue prevented a snapshot release today. If you prefer to play the legacy version of Minecraft on PC, a snapshot may be arriving tomorrow.

Minecraft is often considered to be one of the best Xbox games you can play, and this is supported by a wide selection of toys and gifts suitable for any Minecraft fan. Part of this success can be undoubtedly attributed to Mojang's constant drive to improve Minecraft with these betas and snapshots. If you're interested in the future of Minecraft, be sure to tune into Minecraft Live 2021 next month.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta 1.17.40.21 includes:

Experimental Features

  • Added new world / cave generation when upgrading saved chunks below Y=0 using the Caves and Cliffs experimental toggle
    • Chunks previously upgraded with Bedrock underneath will not see this change

Flat world generation

  • Upgrades older flat worlds to the new extended heights available with the Caves & Cliffs experimental toggle
  • New flat worlds using the Caves & Cliffs experimental toggle will generate starting at "y=-64"

Gameplay

  • Fixed an issue in beta builds where flying above the world limit (255 for non-Caves & Cliffs experimental, 319 for Caves & Cliffs experimental) would be prohibited

Copper ore

  • Copper Ore now generates up to y=96 instead of y=64

Features and bug fixes

General

  • Holding Top Snow in hand while hovering over Grass Blocks no longer causes incorrect behavior
  • Bee Nests now generate correctly in the world
  • Non-fireproof mobs now avoid pathing through fire

Gameplay

  • Vanilla Parity: Players are now able to activate Elytra gliding while moving upward
  • Using Dye on Signs that contain formatted color text will overwrite the formatted color text

World generation

  • Fossils are now much less likely to generate in, and destroy, structures
  • Dungeons are no longer misplaced or missing outside of the Caves & Cliffs experimental toggle

Mobs

  • Iron Golem now spawns only on solid blocks
  • Wielded weapons now render properly on Pillagers and Vindicators

User interface

  • Riding an animal now displays the correct button prompt when playing with non-touch controls

Character creator

  • Back appearance pieces will no longer cover the left and right arrows in the profile screen
  • Fixed featured items in the profile screen not opening the featured catalog in the Dressing Room
  • Fixed default clothes changing color if another item's color was edited previously
  • Sidebar options can now be selected in expanded view after navigating back from previously selected sidebar option while using controller
  • Sidebar no longer opens upon expanding any of the classic skin packs in the Dressing Room
  • Improved the navigation flow for Character Creator so that it always switches to the selected Character Creator profile
  • Skins that are equipped from Marketplace while in-game now apply to character

Technical updates

Animation

  • Fixed a bug that caused animations to be restarted when changing render controllers

Graphical

  • Fixed text on Signs losing their formatting when new lines or word-wrapping are encountered. Formatting will now persist until the reset code or an overriding code is found. This is not retroactive and previously created Signs will not be changed

Graphics

  • As part of continued testing, removed RenderDragon engine on Android devices (ARMv7)

Molang

  • Molang expressions that contain capital letters are properly evaluated now
  • query.get_equipped_item_name will now recognize Sea Lantern
  • Add new compile errors for expressions like 1 + (9 10), which were previously ignored (This is a Versioned Change as of engine version 1.17.40)

GameTest Framework

  • Updated the GameTest Framework interface and added a new SimulatedPlayer capability:
    • Added SimulatedPlayer class to GameTest. This class enables GameTest to simulate a variety of player behaviors such as movement, using items, and interacting with blocks and entities.
    • Added function spawnSimulatedPlayer(blockLocation: BlockLocation, name: string): SimulatedPlayer
    • Added function removeSimulatedPlayer(simulatedPlayer: SimulatedPlayer): void
    • mojang-gametest.Test type
    • Changed signature of function assertEntityInstancePresent(entity: Entity, blockLocation: BlockLocation, isPresent: boolean = true)
    • mojang-minecraft components
    • Component inventorynow works with Player inventories
Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer primarily focused on covering the latest news, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been with Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019. While originally brought on to write about all things Minecraft, Zachary has since expanded to write about practically everything that Windows Central covers. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.