Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta arrives with the Warden and Ancient Cities

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

What you need to know

  • Mojang Studios is in the process of releasing a new experimental The Wild Update build for players to test.
  • Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta and Minecraft Preview bring new features and a handful of fixes.
  • Highlights of the identical builds include the addition of the terrifying Warden mob, and Ancient City structures.
  • There's no sign of an Xbox Series X|S Optimization, which recently surfaced for some players thanks to Minecraft Preview.

As we near the end of March and the end of the week, Mojang Studios is leaving players with another pair of identical pre-release Minecraft builds to explore. The Minecraft: Bedrock Edition and its eventual successor, Minecraft Preview, are both enjoying new features from The Wild Update, including the Warden mob and Ancient City structures in the Deep Dark biome.

The Wild Update is slated to release later in 2022 with a slew of new features and quality-of-life improvements, and Mojang Studios has begun earnestly testing these upcoming changes with recent betas and snapshots. Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta and Minecraft Preview continue this with the addition of two highly-anticipated features: The Warden and Ancient Cities.

The Warden is a new boss-like mob that lives in darkness and responds to sounds and smells rather than sight. Incredibly dangerous, the Warden is the guardian of the Deep Dark, and players need to be constantly aware of the threat as they explore. Ancient Cities, on the other hand, are a new form of structure that can be discovered within the Deep Dark biome (alongside Wardens). Ancient Cities can hide chests containing valuable rewards, making the risk worth it for players.

Players expecting to see the Xbox Series X|S ray tracing features that recently appeared for some in Minecraft Preview may be disappointed, as this build does not including any current-gen upgrades or a hint of when those may be coming. Instead, this is a direct follow-up to the last Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta with new features from The Wild Update and little else.

Minecraft is undoubtedly one of the best Xbox games of all time, and it's only getting better.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta / Minecraft Preview includes:

The Wild Update experimental features

The Warden

  • The horror of the Deep Dark! A creature with no eyes, roughly resembling the Sculk that can be found throughout the Deep Dark, the Warden is an unstoppable force of nature that inhabits this biome
  • Just like Sculk Sensors, these terrifying creatures use vibrations as a means to navigate their environment
  • When vibrations aren't enough, they will also use a sense of smell to track down their prey — you can observe them sniffing their surroundings to get closer to unsuspecting players and mobs
  • To add to their myriad of ways to detect you, try not to get too close! If you collide with a Warden, it will notice you
  • In the Deep Dark and Ancient Cities, Wardens are everywhere — you just can't see them. They slumber beneath your feet, and only dig out when enough Sculk Shriekers have alerted them of your presence
  • Watch your step: the more vibrations a Warden detects, the angrier it will get. You can hear and see this from how fast the heart in its chest is beating
  • Once a mob or player has pushed beyond the Warden's anger threshold, it will face its prey and roar before charging
  • If, however, you keep the Warden from noticing you or getting angry for 60 seconds, it will dig back underground and despawn
  • They have a special interaction with thrown projectiles
    • If the Warden receives two projectile vibrations within 5 seconds of one another, it will grow angrier at the shooter
    • If the Warden receives a projectile vibration more than 5 seconds from the last projectile, it will not grow angrier at the shooter
    • This allows you to strategically distract the Warden without it getting angry while you take loot from nearby chests
  • Unfortunately for all players, Wardens will also disable Shields when they hit them with their fists
  • Wardens do not drop any loot
  • Wardens are powerful creatures, and it is often better to sneak around one that has emerged instead of taking it head on — you've been warned

Ancient City

  • Wander the halls of these long-abandoned structures in the Deep Dark depths to uncover relics long forgotten
  • Ancient City structures spawn in the Deep Dark biome
  • You can find a variety of rewards In Chests, guarded by Sculk Sensors and Shriekers
  • You can also find a new mysterious block here called Reinforced Deepslate, which cannot be obtained in Survival mode
  • If you're looking for an Ancient City, try using the /locate ancientcity command!

Known issues

  • Ancient City structures can extend far beyond the Deep Dark biome, even though they start there
  • Aquifers can sometimes intersect with Ancient City structures and submerge / destroy big chunks of the structure



  • Fixed a crash that could occur when getting hit by a falling block while wearing a Helmet
  • Fixed entities disappearing when importing worlds converted from legacy Console Edition
  • Mobs with knockback resistance (for example, Ravager or Zoglin) now receive less knockback when hit by Iron Golem
  • Fixed End City feature generation in The End

User interface

  • Fixed issue where info and buttons did not appear for downloaded skin packs
  • Fixed being unable to exit the Emote Wheel screen when using touch controls
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.