Another expansion and a companion free update.

Minecraft Dungeons is an extension of the growing Minecraft universe, and it continues to expand with new updates and content. The latest DLC expansion coming to Minecraft Dungeons is Howling Peaks, which follows the precedent-setting Jungle Awakens DLC and the fantastic Creeping Winter DLC. Howling Peaks not only adds new levels and a host of content just like previous DLC’s, but it also comes with a complimentary free update that deepens the Minecraft Dungeons endgame to all-new levels, giving veteran players plenty of reasons to return.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Howling Peaks DLC for Minecraft Dungeons:

Not your average Minecraft

Minecraft Dungeons

$30 at Microsoft (Xbox One Hero Edition)
$20 at Microsoft (Xbox One)
$30 at Microsoft (Windows 10 Hero Edition)
$20 at Microsoft (Windows 10)

Minecraft explores the dungeons.

Minecraft Dungeons is the next saga in Minecraft’s story, and Mojang Studios have knocked another one out of the park. Awesome co-op combat paired with powerful loot, all at a crazy affordable price? There’s not much more you could ask for in an epic dungeon crawling ARPG.

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What is the Howling Peaks DLC for Minecraft Dungeons?

Howling Peaks is the third DLC expansion for Minecraft Dungeons, and was announced at Minecraft Live 2020, alongside a ton of other news. In fact, the Howling Peaks DLC was used to demo cross-play across platforms in Minecraft Dungeons, a feature players have been waiting on for a long time.

Howling Peaks will arrive after the completely free cross-play update, alongside its own complimentary free update that promises to not only give players fresh content to try out, but also give players numerous reasons to replay through the entire game over and over, just like a true ARPG.

Expect Howling Peaks to be similar to the previous two DLC’s, Jungle Awakens and Creeping Winter, in that there will be a new island on the Minecraft Dungeons map, with three levels to play and explore. A new boss, mobs, gear, and secrets will all be present with Howling Peaks, alongside sweeping quality-of-life-improvements, bug fixes and balancing, and some goodies that all players will be able to enjoy with the free update launching alongside Howling Peaks.

What do I need to know about the Howling Peaks DLC for Minecraft Dungeons?

We don’t know everything about Howling Peaks yet, but we’ve broken down what we have been able to figure out, so you can quickly and easily check to see if Howling Peaks is the next Minecraft Dungeons expansion for you. If you’ve played Jungle Awakens or Creeping Winter, we expect Howling Peaks to be similar to both of those expansions in overall size. So what does this mean? New levels, gear and items, mobs and bosses, and missions to complete (which were introduced in Creeping Winter).

Another island with new levels

It looks like Howling Peaks will include three levels on its island, with a fourth secret level being a distinct possibility. We’re not certain which order they’re going to be in yet, but it looks like we’ll have:

  • Windswept Peaks. This level looks to take players over dangerous mountain tops covered in snow, coarse dirt and rock. However, not all civilization is missing from these desolate areas, as players cross ravines using ornate bridges, explore burning farms and fields, and will need to solve brand-new puzzles in order to progress.
  • Colossal Ramparts. The nearly impregnable outer defenses for…something. Players will have to navigate corridors, bridges, and narrow passageways, dealing with mob ambushes and clearing objectives in order to get across the ramparts.
  • Gale Sanctum. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d speculate that the Gale Sanctum is the area at the center of the Colossal Ramparts, across the Windswept Peaks, and the home to Howling Peaks’ terrifying new boss. A gorgeous temple inlaid with gold and emerald green holds new challenges for players to overcome.

Powerful new gear and items

As with every expansion released for Minecraft Dungeons, we expect a plethora of new equipment to go along with Howling Peaks, from artifacts, weapons, armor, and more, there should be lots for players to experiment with.

Since Jungle Awakens added a modest amount of new gear focused around its setting, and Creeping Winter added a decent amount of gear centered around ice and the cold, we expect Howling Peaks to follow the same trend. This means wind, hinting at powerful knockback abilities, incapacitating tornadoes, and more. We’ll have to see to get specifics, but in the early images we already spy what looks like a new powerful sword, several sets of armor, a bow, dual daggers, and what looks like a new artifact.

Mobs and bosses

Like with gear and items, every expansion so far has added new mobs to Minecraft Dungeons, both friend and foe. Howling Peaks overall looks to be a combination of vanilla Minecraft and Creeping Winter, as we see the Iceologer and Frozen Zombies of Creeping Winter alongside the same classic mobs we’ve all grown accustomed to. However, even in early images there are clearly some newcomers to the field, that should certainly shake things up.

Unfortunately, it looks like the early images shared with us are careful not to divulge too much information, but there’s a lot we can glean from the artwork released alongside the Howling Peaks announcement. From that, we can see several new mobs:

  • A new Pillager variant. It’s not certain if this is just for the purpose of artwork, as Pillagers in the screenshots seem to be the same, but Pillagers definitely look decked out in new gear for Howling Peaks. Will this be a special variant tasked with protecting the Tempest Golem?
  • A new magical Illager. It also looks like there’s going to be a new Illager that will join the ranks of Iceologer, Enchanter, and more by possessing unique abilities. They look quite menacing with their windswept hair and staff, and will almost certainly have wind-flavored abilities.
  • A new golem variety. Spoiler alert: the boss is the Tempest Golem. However, it looks like there’s a lesser version of the Tempest Golem scattered throughout the artwork, which indicates a similar situation to the Redstone Monstrosity and Redstone Golem. One is the super-powerful mega-boss, while the others are more numerous, and far less in strength (but will still pose a challenge for players).
  • The Tempest Golem. We know that the big boi boss of Howling Peaks is known as the Tempest Golem, and from the tiny sneak peak we get in the artwork, it’s sure to be powerful. The Tempest Golem will almost certainly possess powerful windy abilities, and the vicious sword that replaces its hand (and presumably the other one as well) indicate brutal melee attacks (and maybe a spinning “tornado” attack?). It’ll be exciting to learn what the Tempest Golem can do, and how to beat it.
  • A goat. While not the most exciting way to end this list, I also spy a mountain goat down towards the bottom of the artwork. Will this be a passive mob you can kill for food in-game? A new companion? A pet? I’m not sure, but it’s there. Maybe it’s the same goat that we’ll see in Minecraft’s next update?

Challenging Missions

A new feature that was introduced in Creeping Winter was Missions, or specific scenarios for levels that mixed up the rules a bit, and presented unique challenges for players to complete. These Missions were more difficult, but also rewards players with more powerful gear they couldn’t otherwise obtain. It’s a great way to inject variety into the game, and it looks like Howling Peaks will continue to add new Missions for players to find and complete.

We expect Missions specific to new Howling Peaks levels, but there could also be some new Missions available for existing levels as well, adding onto what’s already available. These Missions can do everything, from “The players have increased Knockback, but every mob is a Creeper” to “You deal 10x damage, but you’re not able to heal” and everything in between (I’m not sure those are Missions, but they could be!).

Will the Howling Peaks DLC have a free update for Minecraft Dungeons?

Following the precedent set by previous expansions, Howling Peaks will launch alongside a free update available to all players, even if you don’t purchase Howling Peaks. This free update will include all of the balancing changes, quality-of-life improvements, and bug fixes of Howling Peaks, that way all players enjoy the same great experience with the base game, but will also add a new feature to Minecraft Dungeons that has been heavily requested by players. This feature will dramatically improve the endgame experience in Minecraft Dungeons, and give veteran players numerous reasons to return to the game.

With the free update launching alongside Howling Peaks, Minecraft Dungeons will add an “Apocalypse Plus” mode, a set of 20 new difficulties available beyond the current peak, Apocalypse VII, which will significantly increase the difficulty of the game. Not only will the game become much, much more difficult with these added difficulties, but the power ceiling for players will rise with the difficulties, meaning players will be able to ascend to all-new levels of power.

Alongside Apocalypse Plus, the free update will also apparently add new enchantments and Unique gear to the game, further increases the expansive pool of gear players have to call upon.

This is fantastic news, and goes a long ways towards solidifying the long-term value of Minecraft Dungeons as an ARPG, since its the constant ramp-up in difficulty and subsequent rewards that make games like Diablo so appealing to players. We can only hope that Minecraft Dungeons will continue to perform well at higher difficulties on every available platform.

When will the Howling Peaks DLC release for Minecraft Dungeons?

Mojang Studios didn’t give us a firm release date for Howling Peaks, but seeing as it’s slated to arrive after the cross-play update we expect to hit just in time for everyone to unbox their new video games and consoles, Howling Peaks is a likely early 2021 candidate. Minecraft Dungeons DLC’s have historically had short turnaround times, but this is the first DLC that isn’t included in the Hero Edition, and there was no mention of this gusty expansion when we went diving for info on Jungle Awakens and Creeping Winter. Because of this, it’s possible Howling Peaks will take a tad longer to get to us than the prior expansions.

However, at Minecraft Live we did get the month we can expect the Howling Peaks DLC: December of this year. Honestly, this isn’t as long as we thought it was going to be, so we’re happy to wait a few more months and scale the windy peaks in time for holiday season.

If you’re interested in bringing a little bit of Minecraft into the real world, be sure to check out some of the best Minecraft toys, especially if you’re in the market for some Minecraft-themed gifts. Also be sure to check out Minecraft Dungeons on Xbox Cloud Gaming, where it’s claimed a spot as one of the best games to play on your phone.

Not your average Minecraft

Minecraft Dungeons

$30 at Microsoft (Xbox One Hero Edition)
$20 at Microsoft (Xbox One)
$30 at Microsoft (Windows 10 Hero Edition)
$20 at Microsoft (Windows 10)

Minecraft explores the dungeons.

Minecraft Dungeons is the next saga in Minecraft’s story, and Mojang Studios have knocked another one out of the park. Awesome co-op combat paired with powerful loot, all at a crazy affordable price? There’s not much more you could ask for in an epic dungeon crawling ARPG.