Minecraft 1.18 Caves & Cliffs: Part II – Ore Generation Guide: What Has Changed?


What is ‘Ore Generation’?

Minecraft Ore Generation refers to the way in which the seed generates the various ores that can be mined within the game. Each individual ore has a different process through which it is generated, this affects both the availability of the ore (how common it is to find) and its position within the world (both the Y co-ordinate and the variety within biomes). With 1.18, Ore Generation will be undergoing a significant change to the ways in which ores generate within worlds.

For ease of reading, the Y-level co-ordinate discussed will be written as y64, for example. This is simply the Y-level matching the specific co-ordinate


What’s new?

  • Minecraft World Height
  • Ore Generation


Minecraft World Height

The first change to consider is the actual size of your Minecraft world. With the previous height limit in any world being 256 blocks (y0 at bedrock up to y256 build limit), this has now been adjusted to a height of 384 (y-64 at bedrock up to y320 build limit) meaning the world has been increased 64 blocks upwards and 64 blocks downwards. Previously, ores were spread throughout the underground levels of a world (approximately 0 – 64, depending on the terrain generation). Now, generation will span between -64 and 256 (depending on terrain generation).


Ore Distribution

The way that ores generated in 1.17 were evenly spread, regardless of the Y coordinate. This meant that if you were mining within the height range for an ore, you had an equal chance of finding it. The new changes in 1.18 have given ores a ‘triangular’ pattern of distribution. This now means you’re more likely to mine successfully towards the center of the height range (exceptions to this are redstone and diamond). So for example, gold ore now generates between y-64 and y32, meaning that you will likely find more ores between y-24 and y-8 than you would between y32 and y16.

The diagram below (from the Minecraft development team) explains, in more detail, the mechanics behind the new distribution of ores.

Where does each ore generate?

  • Coal – Coal can generate from Y-level 0, up until Y-level 256. Coal generation is affected by air exposure below Y-level 136, which means caves will not be a good source for coal in lower levels.
  • Copper – Copper can generate from Y-level -16, up until Y-level 112. Copper generation is significantly increased in dropstone caves. For best results, you should mine at Y-level 48.
  • Diamond – Diamond can generate from Y-level -64, up until Y-level 16. For best results, you should mine at Y-level -58
  • Emerald – Emerald can generate from Y-level -16, up until 256 but, they will only generate in Mountain Biomes. For best results, you should mine between Y-level 224 and 256 in a Mountain Biome, where emeralds generate evenly.
  • Gold – Gold can generate from Y-level -64, up until 256 but, Gold can only generate between Y-level 32 and 256 in the Badlands Biome. If you are searching in other biomes, for best results, you can search at Y-level 32, -64, and -16.
  • Iron – Iron can generate from Y-level -64, up until 256 if there is land there to support it. For best results, either search high at Y-level 232 or low at Y-level 16.
  • Lapis Lazuli – Lapis can generate from Y-level -64, up until Y-level 64 but usually in small amounts. For best results, search at Y-level 0. (Strip mining will help).
  • Redstone – Redstone can generate from Y-level -64, up until Y-level 16, just like Diamonds. For best results, search at Y-level -58.


When will these changes be implemented?

The release of Minecraft 1.18 (officially titled ‘Caves & Cliffs: Part II’) dropped on 30th November 2021. New worlds will see these changes implemented immediately. Older worlds would be updated with the Wiki stating that ‘old and new chunks now seamlessly blend’ and that the old bedrock layer between y0 and y4 would be replaced with deepslate. A new layer of bedrock would be placed in these worlds between y-64 and y-60.

With regards to Beacoland. We will see these changes with the release of the upcoming seasons (date TBC). We are currently waiting for the plug-ins to be updated before we can launch the new season, but if you’re hoping for more information and want to keep up to date with all the updates regarding Season 3, you can check back here for blog posts or join our discord at https://discord.gg/beacoland and select the ‘Announcement’ role for yourself so you never miss a thing


Where can I find more information?

All of the information regarding the new patch notes can be found on the official Minecraft Wiki (https://minecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Java_Edition_1.18) including specific values for all of the ores affected by the new generation, as well as changes to all other aspects of Minecraft with the 1.18 update.

Alternatively, we provide some 1.18 ore distribution information on our wiki.

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