The Minecraft 1.17 Update Introduces Wireless Redstone

There was a lot to chew on during the Minecraft Live event. There were new biomes introduced, new plants, new mobs, and of course, new redstone. What nobody expected, though (including Mojang) was that the Minecraft 1.17 update would introduce wireless redstone.

The Minecraft Live event was all about the Caves and Cliffs update, which will change the way that you experience the underground forever. There are huge caverns with massive lakes and lush underground oases. But, there are also scarier areas deep in the earth. These biomes are where we find the Sculk blocks that make wireless redstone possible.

The sculk block operates on sound vibrations, which it can detect from different angles. Almost anything can send a vibration that can be picked up by the sculk sensors, according to the developers. Snowballs, arrows, footsteps, there isn’t much that these blocks can’t hear. Of course, when they do detect a vibration, they create a redstone signal, which—when combined with something like a trapdoor—can be heard by another nearby sculk block. Thus, wireless redstone was accidentally added to Minecraft.

Mojang didn’t create the block specifically to add wireless redstone to the game. Instead, the block was created as part of the gameplay design of the new hostile mob, The Warden—which uses sculks to detect noisy players. However, the sculks ability to both activate and hear blocks, means that you can create wireless contraptions—provided each component makes noise.

Since this was an accidental addition to the game, there are going to need to be some bugs to work out. Nearly every redstone block that you can use will create a sound, so trying to string multiple sculk detectors together in a single contraption may prove to be difficult. That being said, Mojang is currently asking the redstone community for feedback, so that wireless contraptions can be a fully fleshed-out element of Minecraft.

For now, the concept of quasi-organic wireless redstone is igniting imaginations across the Minecraft community. At a minimum, sculk detectors are seen as a viable (and preferable) replacement for the cumbersome and dangerous pufferfish detectors that are currently in use as proximity sensors. As we proceed through the next several months, we can be sure that this concept will become more and more concrete, unlocking possibilities that we can only dream of.

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