The 'Caves and Cliffs Update' for Minecraft is being split in two, second part delayed until this winter

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

What you need to know

  • Mojang Studios has been working on the incredibly ambitious 'Caves and Cliffs Update' for Minecraft.
  • Because of the size of the update, the current world environment, and concerns about quality, the update is being split into two parts.
  • The 'Caves and Cliffs Update' is now releasing a smaller update this summer, with a larger update now planned for release in Winter 2021.
  • While disappointing, this is necessary to overcome this update's technical complexities and preserve team health.

Mojang Studios has long been working on the next update for Minecraft, or the Caves and Cliffs Update. The update was originally planned to release in Summer 2021, but Mojang Studios has made the difficult decision to split the Caves and Cliffs Update, and delay big parts of the release. There are multiple reasons for the split and delay, but it ultimately comes down to preserving the quality of Minecraft and the health of Mojang Studios' talented team members. Mojang Studios also released a new video going over the reasons behind the decision.

The Caves and Cliffs Update for Minecraft is now coming in two separate parts. The first part is coming in Summer 2021, in the same timeframe the full Caves and Cliffs Update was planned. The second, arguably more important part, has been delayed until Holiday, or Winter 2021. Finally, the new archeology system that was planned for the Caves and Cliffs Update has been indefinitely delayed and likely won't arrive until sometime in 2022.

The first part of the Caves and Cliffs Update will include:

  • New blocks, like dripleaf, deepslate, copper, and more
  • New mobs, like goats, axolotl, and glow squid
  • Some small changes to world generation, like copper ore and geodes

The second part of the Caves and Cliffs Update will include:

  • Major changes to world generation
    • Increased build height and improved mountain generation
    • Increased world depth and improved cave generation
  • Other smaller changes, improvements, and features

This was likely a difficult decision for Mojang Studios to make, but ultimately was required to deliver the Caves and Cliffs Update at an acceptable quality. The changing work environments due to the pandemic, as well as the extreme technical challenges of delivering this update dictated this decision. Hopefully, Mojang Studios' teams can work safely and smartly to deliver the Caves and Cliffs Update to eager Minecraft fans as soon as it's ready.

Minecraft is one of the best games on Xbox, and this delay doesn't change that at all. If you're excited about the Caves and Cliffs Update, be sure to check out some of the best Minecraft merch, toys, and gifts.

I recently discussed why Mojang Studios sometimes feels like an underfunded indie studio, which was motivated by some of the decisions and delays Mojang Studios has made in the past.

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.