Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w19a brings Minecraft to Java 16, moves 'Caves and Cliffs Update' recipes

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

What you need to know

  • Minecraft: Java Edition has a snapshot program to test future changes and updates before public release.
  • The latest snapshot, 21w19a, doesn't include any exciting new features, but does continue to split 'Caves and Cliffs Update' features.
  • Certain unfinished recipes like bundles and candles have been moved to the second half of the update coming this winter.
  • Minecraft: Java Edition is also being upgraded to the much newer Java 16 version with this snapshot.

Hardcore Minecraft fans have something to look forward to today, as Mojang Studios releases Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w19a with new changes and tweaks for the upcoming Caves and Cliffs Update. Today's snapshot doesn't include any major changes, even compared to the previous 21w18a snapshot, and instead continues to split features for the two Caves and Cliffs Update releases later this year. Minecraft: Java Edition is also being upgraded to Java 16 with this Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot.

The highlights of today's Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w19a include moving some unfinished recipes like bundles and candles to the second half of the Caves and Cliffs Update, an upgrade to Java 16, and a hefty number of bug fixes.

This isn't the most exciting snapshot for Minecraft: Java Edition, but it doesn't deter the game from stubbornly holding on to its place among the best PC games. Show your love for Minecraft with something from the best merch, toys, and gifts for Minecraft.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w19a includes:


  • The maximum length of item names in the anvil UI has been increased from 35 to 50
  • Made geodes significantly rarer
  • Unfinished items (Sculk Sensor, Bundles, and Candles) have been removed from the creative inventory
  • Recipes for unfinished items (Bundles, Candles) have been removed

Caves and Cliffs Update preview

  • Download the new datapack
  • The pack now includes recipes related to bundles and candles

Technical changes

  • Upgraded to Java 16
  • Added mineable/axe, mineable/hoe, mineable/pickaxe and mineable/shovel block tags. Blocks with these tags can be destroyed more quickly with the matching tool.
  • Added needs_stone_tool, needs_iron_tool and needs_diamond_tool block tags. If a block requires the correct tool to drop, these tags determine which tier of that tool is required.
  • Changed the syntax of the /item command

Java 16

  • Minecraft now uses a more recent version of Java. If you are using a default setup the Launcher will download and install the correct version. If you are using a custom Java setup or a third-party launcher, you will need to ensure that your Java installation is version 16 or above

Item command

  • New syntax:
    • /item replace <target> with <item stack> [<count>] - same as old replaceitem
    • /item replace <target> from <source> [<modifier>] - copies item for source to target(s), optionally applying modifier
    • /item modify <target> <modifier> - modifies item (without copying)
  • For example, /item replace block ~ ~ ~ container.0 from entity @s enderchest.0 will copy first item from player's enderchest to first slot of container player is currently standing on

Bug fixes

  • Ender Dragon is respawned if all Exit End Portal blocks are removed / legacy scanning is done for worlds with new dragon fight
  • Leads don't work with Squids
  • Crash when using a non-mushroom block in a huge mushroom feature's cap
  • "X Candle Cake" should be "Cake with X Candle"
  • Lightning rod stays activated when struck by lighting at the same time as being moved by a piston
  • Anvil character limit is too low for items with long names
  • Sheep are rendered like white sheared sheep through tinted glass blocks
  • The command syntax order of /item is inconsistent
  • Pufferfish don't defend themselves from axolotls
  • Withers attack axolotls that are playing dead
  • Amethyst shard is not grouped with other gemstones in the Creative inventory
  • Shulkers generating outside the world border bug out when trying to spawn
  • Hanging roots float in your hand
  • Shulkers are not spawned in the correct place
  • Flying slightly above a big dripleaf can cause it to tilt without touching it
  • Despite being a type of berry plant, bees don't pollinate cave vines
  • Items in water streams don't fall from big dripleaves, but constantly try
  • Hanging roots break sound event uses break3 twice, excluding break4
  • Spore blossom is positioned rather strangely among flowers in Creative
  • Bonemealing big dripleaf in flowing water doesn't update the water
  • Lightning Bolt detecting lightning rod incorrectly
  • Lightning hitting an entity on copper slabs on top another copper block fully cleans the bottom block first
  • Opening a shulker box while an entity is standing on top of it pushes it too high for a short amount of time
  • Experience orbs produce particles whilst moving through powder snow
  • Snow particles do not render at all when the block light level is 7 or more
  • Powder snow doesn't produce particles when broken by burning mobs
  • Pick Block used on a level 15 light block returns a different item from the default light block
  • Leads don't work with Glow Squids
  • Spyglass in Search tab of creative inventory is mixed with block types instead of tools where it belongs
  • Powder snow doesn't produce a breaking sound or subtitle, when destroyed through extinguishing a burning player, mob, or flame arrow
  • Budding Amethyst and Copper variants are far away in the creative inventory
  • Floating water caves in caves under the ocean
  • Shulkers appear in the wrong place when riding an entity
  • Azalea & Flowering Azalea aren't part of the block or item tags for #saplings
  • Moss block appears in the #lush_ground_replaceable.json twice
  • Powder snow can create ghost blocks in creative mode
  • minecraft.used:minecraft.COMPOSTABLE_ITEM doesn't increase when placing an item into a composter
  • Ores and raw materials in smelting preview are off center
  • Copper Ingots are no longer grouped in the crafting table
  • Infested blocks take twice as long instead of half the time
  • Infested blocks have no effective tool
  • Server side performance drop with dragon's breath area effect clouds
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.