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Minecraft's next big update Caves & Cliffs launches summer 2021

While Dungeons gets more DLC this year.

This year brought a big update to Minecraft's Nether regions. Next year, it's the turn of its Caves & Cliffs.

Announced today during Minecraft Live for release in the summer of 2021, Microsoft acknowledged the update would take a little longer than usual, and there would be no update to Minecraft this Christmas as has become the norm.

"This is a massive update with a large variety of features to truly have something for all players, and we're excited to release it for all supported platforms next summer," Mojang said. "Due to the massive size of the update, the team needs more time to work on it than usual, which is why there will not be a traditional game update this holiday."

So, what do we have to look forward to? Well, lots of caves, obviously. Expect new cave types filled fresh blocks, mobs, items and more.

Copper ore is being added as a new resource you can mine and craft into items such as the new lightning rod block. Crystal geodes will also be added, letting you craft a telescope. These geodes sound rare - Mojang describes them as "near-mystical".

Stalactites (they're the ones pointing down) and stalagmites (pointing up) will also be added. These pointy blocks will cause damage if you touch them.

Expect caves to vary more in sizes and shapes, featuring enormous caverns, underground lakes and waterfalls to raft down.

A new archeology system was also mentioned, which will let you discover buried ruins you can dust off to find artefacts.

These new areas will be inhabited by several new mobs. The Warden is a hostile enemy which will sense your movement. Axolotl fish will meanwhile be friendly, and can even help in fights.

Above ground, cliff faces are being redesigned to look more like actual mountains. Oh, and there will be mountain goats.

Over on the Minecraft Dungeons side of things, Mojang's Diablo-lite dungeon crawler will get another free update and a third paid DLC later this year.

Howling Peaks will bring in a new biome area, a new boss, missions, items and enemies. The free update due at the same time will add an even harder "Apocalypse Plus" option with 20 new difficulty levels, fresh enchantments and even more unique items to grind for.

The long-awaited Minecraft Dungeons cross-platform play was also shown, and promised for launch by the end of the year.

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Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.