Minecraft: Java Edition drops 1.18 Experimental Snapshot 2 for 'Caves and Cliffs Update' Part Two

Minecraft Caves And Cliffs Update 1.18 Experimental Snapshot 2 Image
Minecraft Caves And Cliffs Update 1.18 Experimental Snapshot 2 Image (Image credit: Mojang Studios | Twitter)

What you need to know

  • Minecraft is gearing up to drop the massive 1.18 'Caves and Cliffs Update' Part Two later this year.
  • To test some of the upcoming changes and help develop them, Mojang Studios has been using experimental snapshots.
  • Minecraft: Java Edition 1.18 Experimental Snapshot 2 is now available with lots of changes, fixes, and some new known issues.
  • These snapshots are only for the most committed of Minecraft players, but they do give a very early look at upcoming features.

The Caves and Cliffs Update for Minecraft is now two parts, with 1.17 already released and 1.18 Part Two releasing later this year. To test some of the huge changes and feature additions arriving with the second half of the Caves and Cliffs Update, Mojang Studios has begun releasing experimental snapshots for experienced PC players to test. Today, Minecraft: Java Edition 1.18 Experimental Snapshot 2 is now available.

Experimental Snapshot 1 introduced the concept of secretive and very early snapshots for dedicated Minecraft players to test (with the right know-how and commitment), and now the second experimental snapshot has arrived with a new batch of wide-reaching changes, some fixes, and a handful of known issues for players to keep their eye on.

These experimental snapshots are not installed in the same way as normal snapshots, and feedback isn't even submitted through the same place. Keep this in mind if you intend to support Mojang Studios with your feedback, suggestions, and bug reports.

Minecraft is already one of the best PC games, and Mojang Studios wants to make it even better with the 1.18 release coming later this year. If you're excited for the Caves and Cliffs Update, consider checking out our list of best Minecraft toys and gifts.

Here's what you need to know about Minecraft: Java Edition 1.18 Experimental Snapshot 2:


  • Biome placement is a bit smoother and less noisy. Fewer microbiomes dotting the terrain. Biomes tend to be a bit larger and less fragmented
  • Raised cloud level from 128 to 192
  • Renamed mountains (= old mountains biome) to extreme hills, and gravelly mountains to gravelly hills, to reduce risk of people getting confused when they use /locatebiome to find the new mountains and end up in the old mountains...
  • Beachier beaches! Beaches are generally wider. But also in some places there are no beaches at all, to provide some variation
  • Sheep spawn in meadows. Also more rabbits and less donkeys
  • Blue orchid no longer spawns in meadows. The swamps were sad because this was their unique thing
  • Swamps now generate properly. They generated in weird places before and were sad about that. Swamps are happier now
  • Added missing biomes: Ice Spikes and Eroded Badlands
  • Underground biomes interfere less with surface biomes. They can still leak out of cave entrances sometimes though (because it looks kinda cool!)
  • Increased the height of some of the peaks. Now they can reach up to 220-260 or so, but rarely
  • Slightly increased the chance of finding large areas with flat terrain
  • Meadows sometimes spawn a lone tree, often with a bee nest
  • Monsters spawn in the new mountain biomes
  • Emeralds and infested stone generate in the new mountain biomes
  • Made ore veins slightly larger and more frequent, since very few people seemed to actually find them in survival
  • Structures now show up in the right biomes (mostly). Found the right amount of duct tape to put in the right place in the code
  • Toned down the megacave entrances a little bit, and made them less likely to go all the way down to deepslate level. Getting to diamond zone was just a bit too easy
  • Made cheese caves a little bit smaller on average (they can still be huge though!), and a bit less likely to intersect the surface
  • Reduced the chance of sand and gravel being placed in such a way that they immediately fall down on generation. Replaced with sandstone or stone in those cases. The falling blocks were messing up the terrain as well as performance. Still happens but not as often
  • Zombie, Skeleton, Spider, and Cave-Spider spawners now spawn mobs up to block-light level 11. Although the mobs spawning in complete darkness did not affect the difficulty of vanilla spawners, we recognized that these spawners haven't been a real challenge for a while now. We hope this change will make conquering a spawner a more exciting challenge!
  • Spawners have a new CustomSpawnRules tag, which lets you override the spawn rules of the spawned mob. In the tag you can specify BlockLightLimit which indicates the highest block-light the spawners will spawn mobs at. This change is to enable map-makers to use spawners in a more customizable manner to spawn mobs in any light levels they choose!

Known issues

  • Opening a world from experimental snapshot #1 causes an error. So you need to create a new world for this snapshot
  • Low performance (we are working on performance optimization for the normal snapshots coming later)
  • Nether terrain is messed up
  • End pillars don't generate (however they do generate when you respawn the dragon...)
  • Red sand is hard to obtain because badlands mostly generate on plateaus
  • Aquifers sometimes break coastlines in an ugly way


Source: Mojang Studios (Image credit: Source: Mojang Studios)
  1. Download this zip file
  2. Unpack the folder into your "versions" folder of your local Minecraft application data folder
    • Windows: Press Win + R and type %appdata%\.minecraft and press Ok
    • Mac OS X: In Finder, in the Go menu, select "Go to Folder" and enter ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft
    • Linux: ~/.minecraft or /home/<your username>/.minecraft/
  3. Create a new launch configuration in the launcher and select the pending 1.18_experimental-snapshot-1.zip version
  4. Start the game and the remaining files will be downloaded
  5. Play in a new world! This version is not compatible with other snapshots!
  6. Submit feedback on this site

Changes from 1.17

  • New world height and depth
  • New mountain biomes (lofty peaks, snowcapped peaks, grove, meadow, and snowy slopes)
  • New cave generation (cheese, spaghetti, and noodle caves)
  • Local water levels and lava levels in the underground
  • New cave biomes generate naturally underground and inside mountains (lush caves, dripstone caves)
  • Natural variation in terrain shape and elevation, independently from biomes. For example, forests and deserts could form up on a hill without needing a special biome just for that
  • New ore distribution
  • Large ore veins
  • Integrated mountains, caves, and cave entrances
  • Monsters will only spawn in complete darkness
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.