How copper will work in the Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update

A new ore is coming to Minecraft, and it has a unique element to it.

copper before and after

The Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update is coming in the summer of 2021, and with it comes a plethora of new mobs, land formations, and a brand-new ore: copper. While we got a new type of ore in the Nether Update, it’s been a while since a new ore type has been introduced into the overworld, the most recent being emerald. Caves & Cliffs will also be the first update to add an ore that changes in appearance over time.

Finding Copper

It’s important to note that copper is the same rarity as iron, rather than a rarer tier ore like gold or diamond, so it will not be super difficult to find. Like Iron, Copper only needs a stone pickaxe or better in order to mine it. You can only find mineral veins of Copper Ore in the Overworld. The ore will not be present in The End or the Nether, and not even in an altered form like Gold.

Copper can be found in the Overworld from level 4 to level 63, and like iron and gold, it must be smelted in order to acquire its ingots.

Using Copper

Copper Ingots can be crafted into blocks, slabs, and stairs, or cut into Cut Copper making it perfect for decorating — but if you want that shiny bronze look forever, you are going to need to wax it. Otherwise, once Copper Blocks are crafted into any shape and are placed, they will naturally oxidize over time like real copper.

Related: How to wax copper to prevent oxidizing in the Minecraft Caves & Cliffs Update

Oxidation will not change any play mechanic or interactive element — the changes over time are purely cosmetic. In terms on non-decorative uses, copper can also be used to craft a lightning rod or a spyglass.

copper mid way through oxidation, with spots of green on the bronze blocks
Image via Mojang

The image above details what a building may look like in the middle of the oxidation process. Once enough time has passed, the block will turn entirely into that shade of green, but this process will take several day-night cycles, so don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Design-wise, this would be perfect for rebuilds of something like the Statue of Liberty, perhaps the most iconic oxidized landmark. Or, you can create your own design, and maybe in due time, it too will be iconic.