Complete guide on how to mine in Minecraft

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Philippe Gloaguen
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No wonder the game is called MINEcraft. Here, mining is one of the main activities and it is certainly where you will spend most of your time looking for raw materials for your crafts.

For those who still don't know how to mine in the most effective way, we've brought you a complete guide with everything you need to know to get straight to the point. Check out the complete guide on how to mine in Minecraft below!

layers and altitude



The first step to being a good miner is understanding the layers and altitude in the game. The Minecraft world has 128 layers, that is, 128 blocks high. You can build blocks from the base to the highest layer.

The base is found in layers 0-4, that is, if you dig down to the base, you are stepping on layer 4. Sea level is layer 64.

A practical way to know which layer you are on and access the debug screen by pressing the F3 key. There you can check your x, y and z coordinates. Your altitude will be the Y coordinate.

starting your mine

Choose a safe, well-lit place to start digging your mine, as many times you get back to the surface, it will be dark. Also avoid high places for this task as this will only make it harder to go deeper. A good suggestion is to start in the basement of your house.

Necessary equipments

To start your mine you will only need pickaxes, shovels, torches and wood to make more torches. As you go deeper, you're sure to find charcoal for better lighting and iron for new tools.

Carrying some weapons and armor may be necessary in case you come across an abandoned cave or mine.



Special care when mining

There are some dangers you should avoid when mining. The main ones are:

Lighting: Dangerous mobs spawn in the dark, so always bring plenty of wood to make torches. If your stock is running low, it's time to return to the surface to replenish. Also remember to place torches every 10 blocks.

Abandoned caves and mines: Every now and then you will encounter open environments with hostile creatures while mining. Keep this in mind and take weapons and armor with you.

Never dig straight down: Never dig the block you're stepping on, as it could be what separates you from a river of lava or worse. So, always try to mine the block immediately in front of you.

Be careful when digging straight up: The same logic works for digging up, as the lava river may be above you. The same goes for sand, water or other elements that can suffocate you. Placing boards and ladders at head height prevents things from falling after you mine the block below. Also, water and lava above the blocks is indicated by dripping drops, so watch out.

where to find ores

All ores are available starting at tier 16, so building your mine close to base (0-4) is the best option. However, caves, lava, and abandoned mines can get in the way of this process, so if you're only after coal, iron, and gold, you can limit yourself to tier 30 or so.


Ore where to look Uses
coal Any point underground, but most abundant below layer 40 Furnace torches and fuel
Iron Any point underground, but most abundant below layer 40 Craft tools, armor and build rails
Gold Below layer 30 Potions, crafts and electric rails
Redstone Below layer 16 Crafts and Potions
lapis lazuli Below layer 30, but more abundant near layer 12 Decorative
Emerald Below layer 30, only in the "Extreme Hills" biome To trade with villagers
Diamond Below layer 16 Craft the best weapons, tools and armor
Nether Quartz No Nether Quartz Blocks and Sunlight Sensor

Most popular mine models

Your mine model is entirely up to you, but there are two well-optimized formats you can follow:



main corridor

Build a very wide hallway with a rail in the middle. The tunnels will be on the sides, as shown in the image above. Also don't forget about lighting.

side chambers

Build your tunnels 3 blocks apart. That's because most ores are grouped in "veins", that is, small groups that, if you find a block, you will find others interconnected. That way, 3 blocks away is the ideal measure for you to dig as little as possible and still find as much ores. Since emeralds are always in single blocks, you should shorten the distance between the tunnels to 2 blocks.

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