Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w16a adds lava aquifers, dripstone growth, and more from ‘Caves and Cliffs Update’

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition was just treated with the release of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta Now, the legacy version of Minecraft is getting the same treatment with Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w16a now available for testers everywhere. The latest snapshot for Minecraft continues to test out new features from the upcoming Caves and Cliffs Update.

Today, players can experience the new dripstone blocks growing over time, can use bonemeal on azalea bushes to create azalea trees, and enjoy new tweaked textures for raw ore. There’s also an evolution to the datapack system introduced in Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w15a, which lets players test features even earlier that are planned to come with the delayed second half of the Caves and Cliffs Update. This includes features like new underground lava aquifers.

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The full changelog for Minecraft: Java Edition Snapshot 21w16a includes:

New features

  • Azalea and Flowering Azalea can now be bonemealed to get an Azalea Trees
  • Added dripstone growth

Dripstone growth

  • If a stalactite is hanging from a dripstone block with a water source above, it will slowly grow both the stalactite from above and a stalagmite from below
  • Growth speed is random but very slow, a single growth step can take several minecraft days
  • A stalactite will only grow up to 7 blocks long
  • A stalactite will only cause stalagmite growth if the floor or stalagmite below is within 10 blocks
  • If the stalactite tip is inside water it won’t drip, and therefore won’t trigger any growth
  • If the stalagmite tip is inside water it won’t receive drops, and therefore won’t be grown by a dripping stalactite. Same thing if there is any fluid between the two tips
  • A stalagmite or stalactite will never grow into a fluid


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