Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w08a on PC includes further changes from 'Caves and Cliffs Update' to ores and more

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

What you need to know

  • Minecraft: Java Edition is busy testing the upcoming 'Caves and Cliffs Update' through early snapshots.
  • The latest snapshot, 21w08a, is rolling out now to testers with a ton of smaller tweaks and changes.
  • This snapshot mostly makes changes to the two previous snapshots, like renaming "grimstone" to "deepslate."
  • Ore textures are also getting updated, and the way ore is distributed in the world is being tweaked again.

Minecraft: Java Edition is rolling out Snapshot 21w08a to interested testers, and includes a host of tweaks and fixes to the last Minecraft snapshot. All of this is in the name of testing the upcoming Caves and Cliffs Update, which isn't slated to release until Summer 2021.

The latest snapshot for Minecraft: Java Edition renames the recently introduced "grimstone" to "deepslate," updates textures for deepslate and various ores, tweaks ore distribution in the world, and more. It's a solid snapshot for any dedicated player that's been exploring the new cave generation and changes coming in the Caves and Cliffs Update. Mojang Studios does mention, though, that iron is awfully scarce in this new snapshot. Another snapshot should be arriving shortly that fixes this issue.

Interested players can learn how to participate in Minecraft: Java Edition snapshots, and be brought along for the ride as the Caves and Cliffs Update is developed. If you want to get the most out of Minecraft: Java Edition, invest in one of the Best Gaming Keyboards for PC. You can also check out some of the Best Minecraft Merch, Toys, and Gifts for some awesome ideas on Minecraft-themed merch.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w08a includes:


  • Tweaked cave sizes further
  • Canyon and cave carvers now apply below y=0
  • Cracks can now be found carved into the ground
  • Grimstone has been changed into Deepslate
  • Added Deepslate ores
  • The distribution of ores has been further tweaked
  • Andesite no longer generates under y=0
  • Tuff now sometimes generates under y=0
  • The Tuff layer of amethyst geodes has been replaced with now a new type of stone called Smooth Basalt
  • Smooth Basalt is now obtained from smelting Basalt
  • Another round of tweaking has been done to the new textures of ores and Blackstone
  • Emerald and Lapis Lazuli ore textures have had some touch-ups
  • Mineshafts now once again generate in the open air in caves
  • Particles now appear in the air around spore blossoms
  • Slime Blocks and Honey Blocks have been moved to the Redstone tab of the creative inventory


  • Grimstone is now called Deepslate
  • Deepslate now has a top texture, and a new block called Cobbled Deepslate drops from Deepslate
  • The cobbled variant is the same but without the top texture, and is used to craft all Deepslate variants instead
  • Deepslate now has a unique set of sounds! Very crunchy indeed

Deepslate ores

  • Added Deepslate versions of Iron, Gold, Lapis, Redstone, and Diamond ores that generate wherever those ores replace Deepslate
  • Twice as tough to mine as normal ores

Ore distribution

Source: Mojang Studios (Image credit: Source: Mojang Studios)

Bug fixes

  • Rooted dirt footstep sounds are considerably quieter than normal dirt footstep sounds
  • Geodes can generate floating in caves
  • Old style caves don't generate past Y=0



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.