Minecraft 1.20—everything we know about the next major Minecraft update

Minecraft 1.20 - Steve celebrates his new camel pal
(Image credit: Mojang)

As expected, Minecraft 1.20 is the next major Minecraft update arriving in 2023. To go with the new features announced—including the mob vote winner, new biome, new blocks, archaeology, and more—it's also finally been given a name. Minecraft 1.20 will be "Trails and Tales" and it's focused on "storytelling and world building" according to Mojang in their name reveal video (opens in new tab). While the full list of features has been revealed, we're still waiting for a release date to hang our hats on.

Best of Minecraft

Minecraf 1.18 key art

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft update: What's new?
Minecraft skins (opens in new tab): New looks
Minecraft mods (opens in new tab):  Beyond vanilla
Minecraft shaders (opens in new tab): Spotlight
Minecraft seeds (opens in new tab): Fresh new worlds
Minecraft texture packs (opens in new tab): Pixelated
Minecraft servers: Online worlds
Minecraft commands: All cheats

Mojang let us in on what they chose as themes for the 1.20 update early on, namely "self expression, creativity, and intrinsic motivation." That last part is something that I got to hear quite a bit about from Minecraft's game director Agnes Larsson and gameplay designer Nir Vaknin when I interviewed them in 2022. They don't want Minecraft to feel clingy, they've said, and always want players to keep coming back because they're feeling inspired, not because they feel forced by the crafting grind.

It's no shock then that several of the new features for 1.20 are centered around building your way: new aesthetic blocks and a functional bookshelf. We're also getting options more about adventure with the new camel mount and archaeology—both found in the deserts. 

With the features list complete now, we've got a sense of what Minecraft 1.20 is all about. Here are all the details about the next update we know so far:

Release Date

Is there a Minecraft 1.20 release date? 

Minecraft 1.20 seems set to launch this summer, though Mojang has not given a specific date yet. Since Mojang has now dropped the first pre-release for the 1.20 update (opens in new tab), it's even more likely that the full update will be here soon.

Even though we don't have a date for the full update yet, we've already gotten to start messing with the new features with snapshots and the pre-release introducing them, so take a look at what's coming.

Minecraft 1.20 snapshots have already begun

You bet your blocks there are Minecraft 1.20 snapshots to be had! In fact, the first snapshot for Minecraft 1.20 brought in camels and all the rest of the new stuff available right now for Java edition. As a bonus, this snapshot's experimental features also include bundles, which we've been waiting quite some time to see implemented.

You can find more details on how to enable the early Minecraft 1.20 snapshot features above, but you'll find it in the Installations tab of Java edition as snapshot 22w42a, or you can check out the new snapshot 23w07a which brings in the latest in archaeology, cherry blossom biomes, and the sniffer mob.

New Blocks and Mobs

All the Minecraft 1.20 new blocks we know about

So far, the new blocks for Minecraft 1.20 we've seen are mostly centered around personalizing builds and telling stories through new discoveries & contraptions. There's the new bamboo and cherry blossom wood types, the functional chiseled bookshelf, patterned pots, and hanging signs too. 

  • Hanging signs: they'll come in wall, ceiling, and narrow hanging varieties.
  • Bamboo wood: a full set of wood blocks made from bamboo including doors, stairs, trapdoors, and planks.
  • Raft: the bamboo version of a boat is actually a flat raft you can ride on.
  • Bamboo mosaic: A new decorative block type just for bamboo.
  • Chiseled bookshelf: A functional bookshelf that you can place up to six books on.
  • Suspicious sand: found nearby desert temples, you can use the new Brush tool to clear it out to find pottery shards, bones, Sniffer eggs, and more.
  • Cherry blossom wood: another full set of wood blocks from the new cherry blossom biome, they're a beautiful pink hue.
  • Patterned pot: unearthed with archaeology, you can put together the shards you find to make beautiful storytelling pots to decorate with.

The chiseled bookshelf is particularly neat thanks to its redstone signal capability. It will give off a redstone signal based on how many books it currently holds, which Mojang suggests could power some very cool secret doors. The shelf doesn't have an inventory UI, Mojang says. That means you'll place books on the shelf by clicking on it with a book in hand or taking a book by pointing with your reticle and clicking with an empty hand.

(Image credit: Mojang)

The Minecraft 1.20 new mobs are the camel and sniffer

So far there are two new mobs coming in Minecraft 1.20: the Minecraft camel, which Mojang chose itself as a new desert-dwelling mount, and the Minecraft sniffer, which won last year's community mob vote.

Camels will be found hanging out in desert villages walking, sitting, and flopping their little ears. They are indeed a new type of mount, which is part of their coolest feature: They seat two players. That means you can bring a friend along for a trek between bases without needing two different mounts. Camels also have a special horizontal dash ability for crossing ravines.

(Image credit: Mojang)

The sniffer is an extinct overworld mob that you'll have to resurrect by finding their eggs via archaeology. They're very large and slightly turtle-shaped with mossy backs, a large yellow snout, and floppy pink ears. Once hatched, sniffers will use their big yellow snouts to dig ancient seeds out of the ground for you to plant.

Minecraft 1.20 archeology feature

(Image credit: Mojang)

Originally announced for the Minecraft 1.17 Caves & Cliffs update back in 2020, Archaeology ended up being postponed (opens in new tab) along with Bundles—which were also supposed to come with Minecraft 1.17. But now, Mojang has confirmed Archaeology is coming for 1.20.

You'll be able to find a new type of sand—amusingly called "suspicious sand"—near desert temples. You can then work up the new brush tool to whisk away all the suspicious sand in an attempt to unearth everything from pottery shards, hidden tools, and bones, to sniffer eggs, which are the most adorable consolation prize imaginable.

Minecraft 1.20 new biome: Cherry blossoms

(Image credit: Mojang)

Though we didn't expect one, we got surprised with Minecraft's announcement of the cherry blossom biome coming to the 1.20 update. A gorgeous landscape of pink flower petals was the perfect pink announcement for Valentines day.

"These beautiful new trees fill the horizon with a stunning shade of pink," Mojang says. "Of course these new trees can also be broken down and crafted into a full wood-set, including the newly introduced hanging signs and cherry tree saplings to grow more of the lovely pink trees."

You'll also be able to find pigs, sheep, and bees hanging out in the biome, attracted to the blossoms and likely frolicking underneath the branches. Branches that will no doubt conceal countless creepers who also enjoy blossoms, and giving you hugs.

Other Features

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft 1.20 is introducing armor trim

With snapshot 23w04a Minecraft introduced armor trims, colorful customization for all your armor pieces. You can find smithing templates out in the world and then bring them back to a smithing table to modify your armor. You can also just pop into a nearby village to steal theirs as well, just in case you want to look fly on the fly.

So far, the feature looks pretty spiffy—and just what netherite armor needs to look a bit less bland, with the gold that Mojang uses as an example with it being fit for a king.

Does the Minecraft 1.20 update have a name?

At long last, we've got a name for the cryptic Minecraft 1.20 update, and Mojang has titled it the "Trails and Tales" update, stating "this update is all about self expression, storytelling, and worldbuilding. And it's the journey, your trails, that tie it all together."

Are bundles coming with Minecraft 1.20?

(Image credit: Mojang)

Revealed way back in October 2020, bundles are a simple item that allows you to store multiple item types inside a single inventory slot. Since then, they've been held back from updates, including 1.17 and 1.18—showing up as experimental features that were removed before proper release.  

But once again, bundles have slipped in as an experimental feature for snapshot 22W42A. This time, bundles have their own data pack you can enable separate from the other 1.20 features. Despite Mojang saying that the new biome was the last of the major features, you never know if bundles will finally show up.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor and Chief Minecraft Liker in 2021. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, multiplayer cryptids, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.

With contributions from