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News, Events, & Updates: What’s Going On In Minecraft?

Everything happening in the world of Minecraft is right here. I've got all the breaking news and patch notes, so you can look forward to the best blocky adventures yet to come.

This is your one-stop shop for all the news in Minecraft, with updates on new items, mobs, blocks, and all the other great changes and additions being made to the game.

I’ll be keeping this updated regularly whenever Mojang and Microsoft choose to reveal new info about your favorite block-based adventure story. By the way I’m Nathan. I’ve been stacking blocks and slaying creepers for nearly a decade. I am the resident Minecraft expert at High Ground Gaming.

Newest Minor Update

New Bats and Decorative Pot Functionality!

The biggest new content updates with this version of Minecraft are two welcome changes, along with a slew of smaller fixes for various elements of the game. First off, one of the best atmosphere-setting mobs in the game has finally gotten a reskin to fit in with the color palette that the modern version of Minecraft has started to adopt. Bats have a brand new look, with some purple added to their ears and around their eyes.

You can, as always, find bats hovering around caves and caverns across the world of Minecraft, spawning anywhere with a sufficiently low light level and access to air blocks, so long as those blocks are opaque and below level 63. Bats have been flapping around the game since 2012 after being added in the “Pretty Scary” update.

A bat hangs upside down by a body of water in Minecraft.
(Image: Mojang)

Additionally, the decorative pots introduced during the “Trails and Tales” update have had some functionality added to them so they aren’t just decorative anymore. Now, pots can store one stack of any single kind of item. This means you can have them hold 64 pieces of any kind of crop, or perhaps an emergency-use potion of some kind. Then, when you’re ready to retrieve your items from the pot, use a projectile or your fist to shatter the clay and get your items, or install a hopper system to extract items without the need to break any clay.

A player character adds melons to a decorated pot in Minecraft.
(Image: Mojang)

I think these are both excellent changes. Bats have needed some additional color added to them, although I think it would be nice if they also became a more functional mob in some way rather than just flitting about as an aesthetic. Giant bats that help diminish the spider population? Count me in. For now there are no signs of this happening, but a miner can dream.

I thought decorative pots seemed to lack a real reason for being a part of the world when they were introduced, and making them into a new kind of storage device makes the most sense. The game needed some variety beyond regular chests since so much of Minecraft in the late game revolves around creative storage solutions, and barrels are disappointingly chest-like. The breakable nature of pots along with the way they can interact with hoppers and droppers will lead to a whole new era of automated storage systems.

Bedrock Patch Notes 1.20.50

Foremost in the patch notes for this version of the cross-compatible Bedrock edition are the major changes listed above to Decorative Pots functionality as well as the re-skinned bats. Other items included in the patch notes are a remodeled “How to Play” screen, as well as a new “Encyclopedia” screen. Some spelling mistakes and missing text relating to Netherite gear have been corrected as well.

Java Patch Notes 1.20.4 (Hotfix) & 1.20.3

The two patches released in early December 2023 for the Java edition contain the two major changes listed above, with the 1.20.4 hotfix aiming to correct a bug that was making items disappear when inserted into a decorative pot. Hopefully, nobody tossed a stack of diamonds into a pot for safekeeping before that hotfix rolled out!

Java-specific changes include a corrected camera angle when the player is holding a shield, and a recovery screen being added to help get back a world that was corrupted from a computer being shut down while the server is being saved.

Newest Major Content Update

Trails And Tales!

The last major content update for Minecraft was the Trails and Tales update, an update focusing on the overworld of the game while allowing for plenty of new options to customize your character’s appearance and that of the world around you.

A bamboo house stands between a river and a jungle in Minecraft.
(Image: Mojang)

Camels & Sniffers!

Two new mobs were added to the game, the rideable and steadfast camels, as well as a mysterious and ancient mob called the sniffer. Both of these mobs are friendly to the player but obtained through difficult and unusual methods, with camels only appearing once per desert village and sniffers requiring a strenuous search and some luck to find an egg you can use for breeding purposes.

A camel stands in front of a desert sunset in Minecraft.
(Image: Mojang)

Cherry Grove Biome & Bamboo Wood!

A whole new biome has been added to the game, the particle-rich cherry blossom biome. Ripe with beautiful pink flowers and many-branched trees stretching off into the horizon, the cherry grove biome is a wonderful addition to the games color palette. Adding one cherry blossom tree to your base will make the pink flowers rain down from above periodically. You can also use the wood from these trees for crafting like most other trees in the game, letting you create buildings with a bright pink hue to them. Bamboo can also now be strung together into blocks that can be used for building a house or crafting a raft you can use to get across the rivers, lakes, and oceans of Minecraft.

Cherry blossom trees stand in a forest in Minecraft.
(Image: Mojang)

Archaeology & Armor Templates!

A whole new system has been added to the game in Trails and Tales with archaeology. You can dig up ancient ruins full of relics of a time gone past. Some of these relics include decorative potsherds that can be combined to make uniquely aligned pottery. Sniffer eggs also come from digging up ancient underwater structures.

Lastly, perhaps the most valuable item you can find from archeological digs is armor trims. Armor trims are designs that can be applied directly to your armor with distinguishing patterns and customizable colors.

A Minecraft player character stands with dark armor in front of a Nether Portal.
(Image: Mojang)

Trails & Tales is one of my favorite updates to come out in recent times. I think the overworld truly needed some more flavor added to it, and the existence of archaeological dig sites adds a little more intrigue to the world-building structure of Minecraft that we’ve scarcely seen since the game was released. Armor trims are a super cool idea for multiplayer servers, although again I wish they had a little more functionality beyond being purely aesthetic choices.

What’s Coming Next?

Experimental Server Status

The most exciting thing happening in the experimental servers right now is the potential addition of the Crafter block. It’s created with a crafting table, iron ingots, redstone dust, and a dropper, and it’s capable of combining items into a particular crafting pattern all on its own. This unleashes possibilities for automated factories on a level not before seen in Minecraft. Soon, entire mining and farming operations could be automated.

The new Crafter block stands in front of new copper grates in Minecraft.
(Image: Mojang via HGG)

Another exciting expansion that is very likely to make it into a future patch is that copper is finally useful for more than just structure decoration and lightning rods. Copper grates, doors, chiseled copper blocks, and copper trapdoors are all coming to Minecraft. Most exciting is the addition of “Copper Bulbs”. These bulbs will glow with light when a redstone pulse is sent through them but will stay lit even if the redstone source shuts off, only turning back off when they receive another pulse of redstone.

A new "Copper Bulb" block is lit in a stone room in Minecraft.
(Image: Mojang via HGG)

They’ll be relatively complex to create, with four of them being made from copper ingots, redstone, and the rare Nether-sourced blaze rods. Best of all, copper bulbs will oxidize like other copper items, emitting less light the longer you go without polishing them. I’m so happy that copper will finally be useful since right now using it feels very impractical, given that it needs cooked in a furnace and only works for decoration.

Recent and Upcoming Events

Minecraft Live 2023 recently wrapped up, with attendees voting on which of three cute animals might be added to the game in the future, with the armadillo mob winning out with a promise to appear in the future, beating the crab and penguin by a wide margin. Other announcements included some of the features for the 1.21 version of the game, which will include much of the experimental features already being tested by players, as well as a new feature called “Trial Chambers” where you can fight off waves of successively stronger and more numerous enemies in exchange for a reward.

Three pixelated animals in blocks against a black background are being voted on to be added to Minecraft.
Image: Mojang

Both of these advancements sound like great choices to me. Dry biomes needed more life beyond just rabbits, and I’ve always loved the combat-oriented additions to Minecraft, so the trial chambers sound right up my alley.

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