Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w41a brings a new background image and lots of fixes

Minecraft Caves And Cliffs Update 1.17.10 Update Image
Minecraft Caves And Cliffs Update 1.17.10 Update Image (Image credit: Mojang Studios | Twitter)

What you need to know

  • Mojang Studios is making great progress on 1.18 'Caves and Cliffs Update' Part Two, the next release for Minecraft.
  • Today, Minecraft: Java Edition players are getting the opportunity to test the latest snapshot, 21w41a.
  • Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w41a includes a handful of bug fixes and tweaks, and one minor but important update.
  • The background image for the main menu has been updated for 1.18, indicating we're near a public release later this year.

It's officially the week of Minecraft Live 2021, but that doesn't mean Mojang Studios is slowing down their normal Minecraft operations. Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w41a is now rolling out to anyone willing to test the early release, and includes further polish for 1.18 Caves and Cliffs Update Part Two. There's also one additional minor change that signifies we're nearing a public release for this massive update.

The background image for the main menu of Minecraft: Java Edition has been updated to be in line with 1.18 Caves and Cliffs Update Part Two. While this may seem insignificant, it is a milestone that normally occurs near the end of development for an update. The Caves and Cliffs Update is shaping up nicely, and is, hopefully, still on track to release before the end of 2021.

Minecraft: Java Edition is already one of the best PC games, and the Caves and Cliffs Update represents a massive improvement for the already excellent game. Be sure to tune into Minecraft Live 2021 on Oct. 16 to learn about the future of Minecraft, including the inspiration behind the next wave of Minecraft toys and gifts.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w41a includes:


  • The main menu backdrop now shows a Caves & Cliffs: Part II scene
  • Badlands mineshafts generate higher up
  • Geodes now only generate up to height 30 and their rarity has been adjusted to match 1.17 levels
  • The angle at which sprinting against a block does not break your sprint has been increased a bit

Technical changes

  • Changed the prioritization order of the chunk rendering pipeline
    • Unrendered chunk holes in the world should not appear anymore while flying fast with a high render distance
  • Server classes are now signed
  • New random number generator for Overworld generation

Fixed bugs

  • Item frame texture as an item uses texture of oak planks
  • Signs textures does not correspond to the actual texture of their handle
  • Campfire texture has one pixel extending into hotbar outline
  • The zombie villager "profession" texture uses villager-skin-colored pixels
  • Wither skull projectile has faces with old texture
  • Texture of door items does not match the blocks
  • Glitchy chunk rendering since 1.15 pre-release 2
  • Comparators lit base texture is incorrect
  • Enchanting table GUI uses old lapis texture
  • Parity Issue: Different Bedrock and Java sign items textures.
  • Misplaced pixel on cave vines texture
  • Glow Item Frame item texture is missing two pixels
  • Nether biomes don't generate correctly
  • Minecraft in 1.18 has 2^48 seeds instead of 2^64 seeds.
  • Worlds created with seed "REDApRES" (0) crash when trying to load new 1.18 mountain biomes / java.lang.NullPointerException: Cannot invoke "dfw.a(double, double, double)" because "this.a" is null
  • Snowy Slopes biome no longer generates stone cliff feature from experimental snapshots
  • Stone in jagged peaks is always covered by snow blocks
  • Axolotls aren't able to spawn at all in lush caves
  • InhabitedTime value / Local Difficulty doesn't increase
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.