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Cavern

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Caverns (also known as Caves) are hollow, generated structures in Minecraft worlds that are found: beneath, above, or at sea level (where Y=64). They are very commonly found as cavities in the ground which can vary in size. Larger caverns, which are often found under mountains, will most likely feature tunnels that branch off, also known as Catacombs. Caverns can form at surface level, down to the Bedrock Layer. Caverns also spawn with up to 2 Dungeons connected to them.
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Depending on their elevation, Caverns can contain any type of Ore Vein. However, Ore is mostly found in the larger caverns. Hostile mobs often spawn in Caverns which can make caverns dangerous places to explore if one is unprepared.

Cavern Types

Small Caverns

Small Caverns, or Caves, are usually found close to the surface. Due to their proximity to the surface, only Coal Ore and Iron Ore can be commonly found in them, while other Ore is found quite rarely.

Medium Caverns

Medium Caverns are usually twice the size of small caverns. They form deeper underground, and they usually contain more types of Ore than their smaller counterparts.

Large Caverns

Large Caverns are rarer than the other types of caverns, and they can be found deep underground. They can contain all types of Ore. They usually contain large, circular rooms, or long, wide, tunnel-like ravines. They may also intersect Abandoned Mine Shafts or other Caves. They can be spread in-between multiple Biomes, and they can contain multiple entrances.

Open-top Cavern

HiddenVale-Tarzan-vines

Here is an Open Cavern under a jungle biome, with many vines hanging downward into it.

Open-top Caverns, or Ravines , are tall, thin caves with the distinguishing feature of having an opening to the surface at the top which basically makes them Ravines with caves underneath them.

Tunnels

Tunnels are Caverns that connect two or more entrances. They seldom contain Ore, and they are shorter and smaller than the Small Caverns. Usually, on the x and z-axis in the game, Tunnels are diagonally positioned.

Exploration Tips

  • Larger caverns usually have an abundance of ore. Remember to bring the materials to build multiple pickaxes or bring more than two.
  • If the player mines out all the ore in a catacomb, try to "cut" it off using a transparent block (such as Fences). If ambiance is still heard or Mobs are still spawning, there may be a section that wasn't explored yet.
  • Carry extra torches, greater than one stack. One never knows how big a Cavern is.
  • Wear at least Iron armor, even on peaceful, due to the dangers of Lava. Feather-falling enchantments will also help.
  • Bring at least one bucket of water. This can make retrieving Ore (such as Diamond ) over Lava much easier, and it will make cavern exploration safer, in general.
  • The player can get lost rather easily in Caverns. Leaving markers, such as torches, is a good way to prevent this.
  • "Refining" the shape of the caves encountered can help prevent the player from getting lost since they will look less random.
  • Keep the inventory as empty as possible since it will allow the player to mine more resources with fewer drop-off trips.
  • Hostile Mobs are numerous in Caverns, so always have a Sword ready.
  • To an extent, one can use Creepers in caves to help find more Ore as their explosion may reveal a hidden pocket.
  • Wood is hard to come by in Caverns (unless one finds an Abandoned Mineshaft). Make sure to pack plenty of it before exploring.
  • Bring milk in case an Abandoned Mineshaft is encountered. There are almost always Cave Spiders lurking inside these structures.
  • Bring a lot of food! Starving to death in a Cavern and losing all of the collected minerals isn't the best way to go.
  • If the player is mining Obsidian, make sure there isn't Lava under it to prevent either losing the block or falling into the Lava.
  • Bring or use cheap blocks to make bridges across lava pools, gaps, or ravines.

Trivia

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An Abandoned Mine Shaft cutting through a large cavern. Note the Minecart with Chest on bottom right corner.

  • Caves are generated after Ore. As a result, the ore pockets found in Caves may not be as big as the ones found while strip-mining.
  • On rare occasions, a Cavern may have two different entrances in two different types of biomes.
  • Jungle Caverns have Vines growing in them.
  • In the Minecraft Classic version, it's almost impossible to dig straight down without finding a cavern.
  • An exciting way to find caves in Classic is to find a body of water, and look for holes in a cliff. Explore these, and it is almost positive that there are either an underwater cavern inside, or the player might swim through a tunnel and surface in some sort of cavern.
  • Another tip for not getting lost in caves is to always place torches on the left (or right) wall, that way finding the way out is as simple as making sure the torches are on the opposite side that the player placed them on.
  • It is possible, but extremely rare, for a large cave to appear at the surface of the map, leaving a giant crater in the ground.
  • If a player is very desperate for food due to a low Hunger Bar and an absence of animals, a cave can be useful. Zombies spawn in caves, and they drop Rotten Flesh which can be used to fill the Hunger Bar. However, this is not advised because a low Hunger Bar means no Health regeneration, and a hungry player can be quickly overcome by a zombie horde. Also, Rotten Flesh has an 80% chance of causing the Hunger status effect which can aggravate the problem of Starvation instead of solving it.

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