With the addition of Copper in Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update, there’s a new cosmetic look on the block. The Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update is coming in the summer of 2021 and bringing with a lot more than just new underground biomes. After all, what would be the fun of new areas to explore without tons of new stuff to find in them? One of the new additions is a new Copper ore that has some very unique properties compared to other ores in the game.
What’s different about Copper?
As Copper is exposed to the elements in-game it will begin to develop a patina from a natural oxidation process. This means that the Copper blocks you cast will change in appearance over time. Copper in Minecraft will start as the nice shiny light brown color we all know from the metal in the real world. Although much like the metal in real life the version in Minecraft will turn green over time. This is the first block of its kind in vanilla versions of the game, and it’s adding a nice bit of visual flair. With the added RTX lighting effects, this is likely the start of a massive visual overhaul of the block-based adventure.
The oxidation process cannot be reverted unless you recast the copper into blocks, which consumers more resources. So it can be pretty annoying if you’ve made a metal roof or something and it slowly turns a nasty shade of green. There are four stages to the process, all of which alter the look and name of the block: Copper Block, Lightly Weathered Copper Block, Semi-Weathered Copper Block, and Weathered Copper Block.
There is one way to protect your metal constructions from this effect though, waxing.
How to Wax Copper in Minecraft
Once you have a piece of Weathered Copper, you cannot revert it from oxidizing. No amount of Wax can reverse the process. So that means that if you plan to build with large amounts of copper, you better have one thing on hand. We have a more detailed guide on waxing copper and how it affects oxidation states, if you want to check that out.
The best thing to prevent weathering is Honeycomb. Combine a block of Copper with one Honeycomb block to get Waxed blocks of the same kind of metal. You can do this with any items made from Copper as well, like stairs, and it will protect them from oxidation for an unlimited amount of time.
How Long Does it Take for Copper to Oxidize in Minecraft?
And speaking of oxidation, there are a few things you need to know. The oxidation rate of copper is based on a randomized amount based on a Random Tick value. This value is handled server-side and tracks how often the game updates values for blocks with given states. Copper blocks have multiple states that they can progress through, so unwaxed blocks will progress through each state at the same basic rate.
The change from a fully Unweathered State to a Fully Oxidized state can take about 1 hour, although it can vary by about 10 minutes in either direction. So in short, expect anywhere from 50 to 70 minutes to pass for the full sequence of states. The oxidation rate is somewhat static, but it can be altered.
As of now, there is no way to naturally speed up or slow down the oxidation process in Survival modes. You can use console commands to alter the rate though, if that’s not a big deal to you. You can use the following command to alter the radius of blocks affected by random ticks. This command below will allow you to spread out the effect of ticks, effectively slowing down the rate of copper oxidation.
/gamerule randomTickSpeed nAmount (replace nAmount with the desired amount)
How to find Copper
The ore can be found on many layers, pretty much any chunk layer with Iron in it can also spawn Copper. Copper only needs a stone pickaxe to mine it, just like the very common ore Iron.
You can use it to make both useful and decorative items that can be used for various purposes. You can make a Spyglass for spotting far off landmarks, or you can use it to make stairs and other decorative blocks.