Everything new in Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a

  • Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a : Minecraft’s newest snapshot 20w49a brings in new features for redstone engineers and adventurers alike.
  • With Minecraft’s newest update, players can now tinker with new dripstone physics and the newest block, sculk sensors.

Mojang has yet again released a marvelous snapshot for Minecraft, bringing in sculk sensors, and more changes.

Minecraft’s newest weekly snapshot brings new cave generations and a brand new block that players have been waiting for since the 1.17 Caves & Cliffs update was announced: sculk sensors.

Dripstone is, of course, Minecraft’s new stalagmite and stalactite block featured in caves that can deal immense damage when used properly, and a new fix brings a renewable source of lava.

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  • Added dripstone caves biome
  • Added sculk sensors


This biome doesn’t generate naturally yet since it is designed for the upcoming larger caves. However, if you want to see the biome in the current caves you can create a single-biome world with dripstone caves.

Dripstone and renewable lava

Dripstone can now be found in cave generation in new worlds. However, players must currently go into the world options and create a single biome world of just dripstone caves. This will turn the entire topside of the overworld into a plains biome while also filling caves with dripstone and amethyst biomes.

  • Contains plenty of pointed dripstone on the floors, ceilings, and small pools of water.
  • In some places, you’ll find larger stalagmites, stalactites, and columns built from dripstone blocks.

SCULK SENSORS in Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a

  • Introducing the bizarre, tendril-filled world of sculk – prepare for sculk sensors to creep you out with their unique ability to detect vibrations nearby.
  • A vibration is anything that causes physical motion; if you are careful, there are some motions that are undetectable to sensors by sneaking.
    • These sneak-friendly vibrations currently include walking, falling to the ground, or throwing/shooting projectiles.
  • Sculk sensors will not listen to vibrations that are directly created by other sculk sources.
  • When a vibration is detected, a signal is sent from the source location to the sensor at a speed of 1 game tick per block.
    • Other vibrations cannot be detected by a sensor when a signal is already traveling to it.
    • When the signal has arrived, the sensor will be activated for 40 game ticks (approximately 2 seconds).
    • While activated, the sensor cannot detect other vibrations.
  • Sculk sensors can detect vibrations in an 8 block radius around it.
  • The efficient tool to mine sculk sensors is the hoe.
  • They can be waterlogged.

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One of the biggest additions to Minecraft is the introduction of sculk sensors, blocks from the awaited deep dark biome which is yet to be released. These sensors pick up vibrations caused by entities or the world itself within a radius of seven blocks. Sculk sensors’ main use is their redstone capabilities.[minecraft -whited00r_tested.ipa]

There are an impressive 35 different parameters, ranging from extending pistons to a wolf shaking. These occurrences will send a vibration towards a nearby sculk sensor, activating it and sending out a redstone signal. The strength of this signal is determined by the parameter, with the examples of pistons and wolves having a strength of 15 and 6 respectively.


  • Sculk sensors emit a redstone signal when they are activated.
  • The strength of the redstone signal is inversely proportional to the distance the vibration signal traveled.
    • This means that the closer the vibration is, the stronger the Redstone signal is.
    • The output is also scaled based on the sculk sensor’s radius, so it can reach the max redstone signal strength when the vibration is 0 distance away (directly on top of the sensor).


  • Sculk sensors in Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a have a unique interaction with comparators.
  • Each vibration in the game falls under a certain frequency value, and this value can be measured with a comparator in Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a.
  • With the right contraption, this allows you to detect when a certain action has occurred nearby.
Vibration TypeFrequency Value
Elytra Free Fall4
Hit Ground5
Wolf Shaking6
Projectile Shoot7
Projectile Land8
Start Eating7
Finish Eating8
Hit Entity9
Add Item To Armor Stand9
Open Block11
Close Block10
Switch Block11
Unswitch Block10
Press Block11
Unpress Block10
Attach Block11
Detach Block10
Open Container11
Close Container10
Dispense Failed10
Use Flint And Steel12
Place Block12
Destroy Block13
Place Fluid12
Pickup Fluid13
Cast Fishing Rod15
Reel-In Fishing Rod14
Extend Piston15
Contract Piston14
Lightning Strike15


  • Wool has a special interaction with sculk sensors.
  • If a wool block is in the way of a vibration source, the sensor will not be able to detect it.


  • Sculk sensors have a cooldown period of 1 tick after being placed or after deactivating.
  • During this short cooldown period, it cannot detect vibrations. This is to prevent it from activating itself when a contraption it is powering is being unpowered. Feedback is welcome on this point!

CHANGES Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a

  • In Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a The fullness of a bundle now shows up regardless of whether advanced tooltips are on or off.
  • Stalactites and stalagmites merge if the tips are next to each other unless you press shift while placing.


  • A new game event system has been implemented to support Sculk Sensors detecting vibrations.
  • World height-related values are now exposed for customized worlds.
  • Removed the max-build-height server setting.
  • Added occludes_vibration_signals block tag. Anything in this tag will occlude vibrations, and inherits wool tag entries by default.
  • New particle types: vibration and dust_color_transition
  • A new game event system has been implemented to support Sculk Sensors detecting vibrations.


This system has been developed to identify when certain in-world actions are happening in nearby chunks, particularly so the new sculk sensor can detect these events as vibrations.

How to download Minecraft Snapshot 20w49a

Minecraft’s newest snapshot released a ton of features that players are eager to get their hands on, so here’s a step-by-step beginner’s guide on how to download it.

First, players will have to make sure that they are playing on the Java edition of Minecraft. Bedrock will eventually see the 1.17 Caves & Cliffs update released as a whole but sadly, Bedrock players cannot download snapshots and will have to wait.

How to download and play Minecraft snapshot 20w49a

Image via Minecraft

1) First, players will have to open their Java edition Minecraft launcher.

Image via Minecraft
Image via Minecraft

2) Next, click on the drop-down icon located in the bottom-left of the launcher.


3) Click “Latest snapshot 20w49a”

4) Click play.

Once these four easy steps have been completed, the launcher will begin an installation process as the snapshot is downloaded.

When the installation is finished, players will be loaded into the newest version of Minecraft. To make sure this is the case, look to the bottom-left corner of the Minecraft game app to see the current update.

How to back up Minecraft worlds on Windows 10

Open the Windows 10 search bar and type in %appdata%
Open the Windows 10 search bar and type in %appdata%

1) First, open the Windows 10 search bar and type in %appdata%

Opening this file will lead you to a directory where you will find a file named .minecraft at the top. Open this file.

2) Find the saves folder, open it up, and create a copy of the world file that is going to be loaded into the snapshot.

Backing up worlds is a very important step when playing on new snapshots or versions of Minecraft as the code can be unstable, leading to crashes and corruptions where entire worlds can no longer be loaded.

Exercise caution when loading any world without a backup because if a world does corrupt, there is no saving it.

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