Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a Adds Dripstone Caves & Skulk Sensors

Published: December 2, 2020 2:56 PM /


Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a cover Skulk Sensor Dripstone Caves & Cliffs Update cover

Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a has arrived and it brings the addition of two cool new features: a first look at the Dripstone Caves Biome and a brand-new Redstone device called the Skulk Sensor.

If you're not super-familiar with Minecraft, a "Snapshot" is a sort of Early Access version for a future major update. Each Snapshot will add a handful of features to the game so that players can test and experiment with them prior to the patch's full release. This latest snapshot will let players get a first look at two new features coming in next year's Caves & Cliffs update.

Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a slice 1

The Dripstone Caves Bring a New Look to the Underground

The first of the two major additions coming in Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a is the new Dripstone Caves biome. This biome will change the look of the caves we've all known and loved for nearly a decade with the addition of the titular new block.

Dripstone is a new type of block that can also spawn stalagmites, stalactites, and columns built from Dripstone Blocks. It will add a little more visual variety to the game (along with the occasional small pool of underground water).

Unfortunately, this new biome isn't yet built into the worldgen programming; that means that you won't get to see the new biome by generating a standard world in Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a and so you'll have to take some special steps in order to experience it for yourself.

How to View the Dripstone Caves

  1. Select "Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a" in the dropdown on the Minecraft launcher.
  2. Click the "Create New World" button.
  3. Click "More World Options."
  4. Change "World Type" to "Single Biome."
  5. Click "Customize."
  6. Select "Dripstone Caves" as the single biome.
  7. Select any other options you want for the world and then click "Create New World" to start playing.

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Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a Introduces Game-Changing Skulk Sensors

The other major addition in Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a is the "Skulk Sensor," a brand-new Redstone device that is also coming as part of the Caves & Cliffs update. These new devices will spawn in the unreleased "Deep Dark" underground biome, but players can access them right now via Creative Mode. 

How Minecraft Skulk Sensors Work

Simply put, a Skulk Sensor can detect vibrations (which includes sounds). This gives players a new way to trigger Redstone devices, along with some tantalizing possibilities.

For example, a series of Skulk Sensors could be placed outside of your home. Should an enemy mob wander too near, the Skulk sensor can transmit a Redstone signal to some Dispensers to fire an arrow at the mobs. This means that players could create automated security turrets based on enemy sounds.  Some of the more creative Redstone engineers out there will surely come up with even cooler devices in the future.

These two new additions are certainly pretty cool; you can read more about them in the Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a blog post (via Windows Central), along with specific data on which sounds trigger Skulk Sensors. You'll be able to play the Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update in full when it launches sometime in the Summer of 2021. If you haven't yet jumped on the Minecraft bandwagon, you can buy Minecraft via the game's official website.

What do you think of the new Dripstone Caves biome? How do you think you'll use Skulk Sensors in your Minecraft world? Let us know in the comments below!

Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at tips@techraptor.net

A photograph of TechRaptor Senior Writer Robert N. Adams.
| Senior Writer

One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I… More about Robert N

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