How to make a map in ‘Minecraft’ to keep track of your location and world

15   How to make a map in minecraft
Making a map in “Minecraft” takes just a few simple materials.

  • You can make a map in “Minecraft” by combining a compass with eight pages of paper.
  • If you hold a map as you travel, it’ll track your location and record information about the land around you.
  • Once you’ve made a map in “Minecraft,” you can craft banners to mark off special points in the world.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Minecraft” worlds are massive, and it’s easy to get lost if you stray too far from your base. To keep yourself on track, you could erect beacons, use torches – or simply draw a map.

You can craft, trade for, or find maps throughout your “Minecraft” world. These maps will help you figure out where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re headed to. And once you’ve got a map, you can even add your own custom markers, which is great for noting your land’s most interesting features.

Here’s how to get your hands on a map in “Minecraft,” and then use it.

How to make or find a map in ‘Minecraft’

There are three ways to get a map in “Minecraft:” make one, trade for one, or find one in a chest.

Crafting a map

To make a map in Minecraft, you’ll need one compass and eight pieces of paper. Both the paper and compass can be crafted with raw materials that you’ll dig and scavenge for within your world.

Firstly, paper. Paper is crafted from sugar cane, one of the most common resources around. Sugar cane grows near water in both swamp and desert biomes. Placing three pieces of sugar cane in a row on your crafting table will give you three pieces of paper. This means that you’ll need at least nine pieces of sugar cane for your map.

3   How to make a map in Minecraft
Crafting pieces of sugar cane together will give you paper.

Secondly, a compass. You can make one of these with four iron ingots and one piece of redstone dust. You can find iron ore and redstone dust easily when mining, especially as you get nearer to the bottom of the world. You’ll need an iron pickaxe or better to mine redstone.

5   How to make a map in Minecraft
Both iron and redstone can be found in underground caves.

Once you have at least one piece of redstone dust and four iron ore blocks, smelt the ore into four iron ingots with a furnace. Then at a crafting table, place the four ingots in four spaces adjacent to the center block, where you’ll place the redstone dust.

6   How to make a map in Minecraft
Place ingots in each of the cardinal directions, and some redstone dust in the center.

Once you have your materials, you can finally make a map. Place the compass in the center slot of the 3×3 crafting table area, and insert a paper in each of the other nine slots.

You now have an empty map, ready to be filled out.

8   How to make a map in Minecraft
An empty map looks like a yellowed sheet of paper.

Finding a map

“Craft” is obviously in the game’s name for a reason – most everything you use in-game can be crafted.

But you can also try your luck at acquiring an empty map in one of your world’s treasure chests. Treasure chests in sunken shipwrecks have about an eight percent chance of holding a map; the chest in a stronghold’s library has about a 11 percent chance; and the cartographer’s chest in a village has an almost 50 percent chance.

That said, if you’ve managed to find a cartographer, you can also talk to them to buy a map for seven or eight emeralds.

18   How to make a map in minecraft
You can place a cartography table in the path of an unemployed villager to create a cartographer, if you can’t find one already in the village.

How to use a map in ‘Minecraft’

Now you have an “empty map,” which isn’t particularly helpful. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix.

Simply equip and “use” the map to instantly draw a picture of everything around you. The game will also now assign a number to the map so it won’t be called empty anymore.

As you walk around with the map up, more and more of your surroundings will be filled in. You can track yourself with the tiny white marker.

9   How to make a map in Minecraft
A filled out map of a village.

Of course, your “Minecraft” world is bigger than what’s shown on the map. Once you leave its range, either make a new map to keep tracking yourself, or zoom your original map out.

You can zoom out your map by combining it with eight more pieces of paper at a crafting table, or only one more piece of paper at a cartography table. This can be done up to four times, and each zoom level doubles the map’s current range.

11   How to make a map in minecraft
Upgrade your maps to see more of the landscape.

How to find a saddle in ‘Minecraft’ and use it to ride horses, pigs, and moreHow to tame a fox in ‘Minecraft’ and get the game’s cutest NPC to follow youHow to update ‘Minecraft: Bedrock’ or ‘Java’ on a computer, console, or phoneHow to make an enchantment table in ‘Minecraft’ to power up your weapons and armor

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How to find a saddle in ‘Minecraft’ and use it to ride horses, pigs, and more

saddle minecraft
Saddles aren’t hard to find in “Minecraft.”

  • You can find a saddle in “Minecraft” in treasure chests, by fishing, by trading, or by hunting.
  • Saddles are one of the few items in “Minecraft” that can’t be crafted.
  • Once you have a saddle, you can use it to ride horses, Striders, pigs, and more.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

A saddle is one of the rare “Minecraft” items that can’t actually be crafted. Like the Elytra, one of the game’s other transportation-related items, you’ll need to find a saddle rather than make it.

Luckily, there are lots of ways to find saddles. And once you have one, using it is easy – although you might need to bring a treat or two for the creature you want to ride.

Here’s everything you need to know about the saddle in ‘Minecraft’: How to get one, which mobs can be saddled up, and the trick to controlling them once you do.

How to find a saddle in ‘Minecraft’

There are four different ways to find a saddle: by looting treasure chests, trading, fishing, and hunting.

Treasure chests

In both editions of Minecraft, you can find saddles in treasure chests at these locations: dungeons, bastion remnants, desert temples, End cities, jungle temples, Nether fortresses, strongholds, and villages.

end city loot 2
Two treasure chests found in an End city tower.

Your chances at finding a saddle within a treasure chest will vary, but your best bets are with a Nether fortress chest (35.3 percent), a dungeon chest (28.3 percent), or a desert temple chest (23.5 percent).

For a Nether fortress chest, you’ll have to first reach the Nether by way of a Nether Portal crafted from obsidian. Dungeon chests, on the other hand, are found in the Overworld – you can simply start (carefully) digging down until you find a cave system. Dungeons are always adjacent to caves.

Finally, desert temples can be found in desert biomes, and the temple’s chests will be enclosed in a room within the pyramid. Just be careful, as the treasure chests are flanked by a TNT trap which, if stepped on, will destroy the chests, their contents, and possibly you as well.

4   How to make a saddle in Minecraft
There’s no guarantee that you’ll find a saddle in these chests, but there’s always a possibility.

Fishing

You can fish in any body of water, and whenever you do, there’s a chance that you’ll catch treasure instead of fish. However, by default there’s a less than 1 percent chance of reeling in a saddle.

If you’re willing to put in some work, you can increase the odds by blessing your fishing rod with a “Luck of the Sea” enchantment. Add a Tier 3 “Lure” enchantment for faster fishing, and you’ll be reeling in a saddle in no time.

6   How to make a saddle in Minecraft
You can enchant your tools with an enchanting table, or an anvil and an enchanted book.

All you need is a fishing rod and water. Any body of water is suitable, too, whether it’s standalone or part of a large river, an ocean, or just a manmade pond.

Trade with a Master Leatherworker

If you’ve accrued a good deal of emeralds, trade them with your friendly village Leatherworker in exchange for a saddle. If you can’t find a Leatherworker in the village, you can turn a non-employed villager into one by plopping a cauldron in their path.

Trade with the Leatherworker until they’ve reached “Master” status, and you should be able to exchange emeralds for a saddle.

7   How to make a saddle in Minecraft
Saddles are considered a “master” craft for Leatherworkers.

The only catch here is that if you’re playing on the console-friendly “Bedrock” version of the game, there’s only a 50 percent chance that they offer you this trade.

Kill a Ravager

Finally, if you like the thrill of the hunt, you can kill a Ravager. These are strong enemies that look like bulls, and will accompany pillagers on raids.

Upon death, a Ravager will always drop a saddle.

8   How to make a saddle in Minecraft
Ravagers comes equipped with saddles by default.

How to use your saddle in ‘Minecraft’

Once you have your saddle, you’re ready to ride. But what animal should you pick?

There are the obvious options, like horses, donkeys, and mules. Each of these animals can be tamed by repeatedly mounting them until they stop bucking you off – how many times you’ll need to do this is randomly decided for each animal. Once they’re tamed, “use” the saddle on them and you’ll place it on them.

You can get the saddle back by hopping on the animal and pressing the inventory button. You’ll see that it has its own inventory, which you can take the saddle from.

1   How to make a saddle in Minecraft
Tamed horses have their own inventory, where you can also give them armor.

But there are also a few more fun options, like pigs and Striders.

Using your saddle to ride a pig

You can get a pig’s attention with a carrot. Then, equip the saddle in your hotbar and “use” it on the pig.

10   How to make a saddle in Minecraft
Pigs are attracted to carrots on sticks, which can be crafted by combining a carrot with a fishing rod.

Select the pig to start riding. However, you won’t be able to move it without using a Carrot on a Stick – hang it in front of the pig to make it run any way you please.

11   How to make a saddle in Minecraft
There are few things easier to craft than a carrot on a stick.

While riding a pig is definitely fun, you might find riding a saddled-up Strider even more practical, since they can walk across lava.

Using your saddle to ride a Strider

Striders are a newer mob in “Minecraft,” and can be found roaming all across the lava oceans in the Nether. Riding a Strider lets you cross the lava without any danger.

Similar to the pig, first you can get the Strider’s attention with a coveted cuisine: warped fungus.

stridor warped fungus farming
You can find warped fungus (the green-and-orange plant here) growing throughout the Nether.

When the Strider is close enough, equip the saddle in your hot bar and use it on the Strider to equip it. Then approach the Strider with your “use” action to mount.

Make sure you have a fishing rod on hand so you can create a warped fungus on a stick, which you’ll need to lead the Strider around.

15   How to make a saddle in Minecraft
Once you’ve put a saddle on the Strider, you can use it to walk over lava pools.

Just don’t get too attached to your pig or Strider – once you’ve given them a saddle, the only way to get it back is to kill them.

How to tame a fox in ‘Minecraft’ and get the game’s cutest NPC to follow youHow to update ‘Minecraft: Bedrock’ or ‘Java’ on a computer, console, or phoneHow to make an enchantment table in ‘Minecraft’ to power up your weapons and armorHow to fly in ‘Minecraft’ in either Creative or Survival mode

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How to tame a fox in ‘Minecraft’ and get the game’s cutest NPC to follow you

11  How to tame a fox in Minecraft
Taming a fox in ‘Minecraft’ isn’t as easy as you might think.

  • You can tame a fox in “Minecraft” by breeding two wild foxes.
  • The baby fox they spawn will automatically be tamed, but will follow its parents until you lead it away.
  • To breed wild foxes in “Minecraft,” you’ll need to enclose them in a pen and then feed them sweet berries.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Foxes have been part of Minecraft since 2018, and it’s one of the game’s cutest “mobs” – the game’s term for its NPCs.

Like most animal mobs, foxes can be tamed so they’ll follow and obey you. However, unlike those other animals, you can’t simply convince any random fox to like you. Instead, you’ll need to breed a new fox into existence.

Here’s how to tame foxes in “Minecraft,” whether playing in Survival mode or Creative mode.

How to tame a fox in ‘Minecraft’

To tame a fox, you’ll need to make two wild foxes have a child. Here’s how to do it.

Find and capture two foxes

First you’ll need to find your wild foxes.

Foxes can be found in the taiga biome and taiga biome only, with the small caveat that they might wander to adjacent biomes. The taiga biome is characterized by its tall, green spruce trees. There’s a few variations of the taiga biome, including snowy taigas that feature white foxes.

An untamed fox is a fickle, skittish creature. You’ll want to search for them during the day, when most of them will be asleep.

The moment you see a curled up, conked-out fox, make sure you start crouching right away. You’ll use the shift key to crouch on a computer, or your controller-specific crouch button if playing on a console.

3   How to tame a fox in Minecraft
Foxes sleep during the day, and hunt at night.

Now, still crouching, build a pen around the fox to trap it. You can use any block to make your pen, but you’ll want to make the walls tall – at least three blocks. This will make sure it can’t escape. You can’t stop crouching until the fox is cordoned in its pen. The moment you uncrouch, a fight-or-flight switch flips in the foxes and they’ll run away.

If you see two foxes near each other, that’s even better – trap them both in the same pen.

4   How to tame a fox in Minecraft
Trap both foxes with fences or blocks.

This is rare, though, so you’ll probably need to find and trap the foxes separately. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to connect the two traps with a wall of blocks.

However, if the foxes you find are pretty far apart, and you don’t want to take on a large construction gig, you can use a boat. Place a boat in front of a fox, and when it walks into it, it’ll be trapped inside. You can then row the boat (even across land) to the other fox, and pen them both in.

Regardless which option you choose, you ultimately want to end up with a fairly tight enclosure to hold the two foxes.

11  How to tame a fox in Minecraft
Get the foxes near each other.

Feed the foxes sweet berries

Whether you’ve spent the last hour wrangling foxes, or simply threw down a few Fox Spawn Eggs, you should now have two adult foxes penned in. If you caught a baby fox, wait for it to age up.

Get close to the two adult foxes, and equip a sweet berry. These come from the green-and-red bushes you occasionally see which slow and hurt you when you walk through them. They’re fairly commonplace in the taiga, if you haven’t gathered any already.

Feed berries to both foxes by using it on them. If you’re struggling to get near enough to feed the foxes, make sure you’re crouching.

10   How to tame a fox in Minecraft
Feed berries to both of your foxes.

Equip the sweet berries in your hotbar, and then approach the fox and use the berries on it to feed it a berry. If you’re struggling to get near enough to feed the foxes, make sure you’re crouching.

Upon feeding sweet berries to both foxes, they’ll immediately breed a baby fox.

This baby fox is your golden egg: They’ll be sweet and docile, unlike their parents, who will still go berserk when you release the crouch key. This is your tamed fox.

12   How to tame a fox in Minecraft
Your baby fox will appear and stay near its parents.

However, you’re not done yet. Although the fox is docile, it’s still not under your control.

Get the baby fox to stop following its parents

While the new baby fox might fall far from the tree in terms of attitude, if you leave it be, it’ll always stay with its parents. This means that if they run from you, it’ll run too.

You can fix this by attaching a lead to the baby fox, and walking it away from its parents. You can craft a lead by combining string and a slime ball, or randomly find one in a chest throughout the world.

19   How to tame a fox in Minecraft
The slime ball is what gives the lead its stickiness.

Attach the lead by equipping it and using it on the baby fox. From there, you can gently lead him away to begin a new life with you. Once you’re a few chunks away, it’ll forget about its parents and stop following them.

22  How to tame a fox in Minecraft
Lead your fox away, and it’ll forget about its parents.

Congratulations on earning your first tamed fox. And once you’re there, rinse and repeat: By continuing the same breeding process, you’ll soon have a whole brood of obedient fox friends.

To keep track of your new tame foxes, it’s also a good idea to give the tame ones Name Tags. Learn the ins and outs of Minecraft’s Name Tags in our handy guide.

How to update ‘Minecraft: Bedrock’ or ‘Java’ on a computer, console, or phoneHow to make an enchantment table in ‘Minecraft’ to power up your weapons and armorHow to download new Minecraft maps and add them to your gameHow to install OptiFine to massively enhance ‘Minecraft’s’ graphics and add new features

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How to update ‘Minecraft: Bedrock’ or ‘Java’ on a computer, console, or phone

Minecraft
It’s easy to update “Minecraft,” no matter how you play.

  • “Minecraft” should update automatically, but you can check for updates manually in a few different ways.
  • “Minecraft: Bedrock Edition” can be updated through your device’s app store, while “Java” players should use the Launcher app.
  • Although updates are important, “Java” players should note that they can break some mods.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

The mega-popular sandbox game “Minecraft” has been captivating gamers for over a decade. So naturally, the game has seen its share of updates and patches – its most recent as of this writing being version 1.16.5, released in January 2021.

Minor updates keep “Minecraft” safe and bug-free, while major updates that add new content are even more exciting for players. Like most apps and devices, you should try to keep “Minecraft” updated whenever you can.

Here’s what you need to know about Minecraft updates, including how to install them, and the minor risks that updates can pose to mods.

How to update ‘Minecraft: Bedrock Edition’

How exactly you update “Bedrock Edition” will depend on what system you use to play the game.

On a PC

If you play Bedrock on a computer, which is available for PC players who run Windows 10, Minecraft should be updating automatically.

However, if you need to do a manual update, here’s how:

1. Open the Microsoft Store app, then select the three dots in the top-right corner. Select “Downloads and updates.”

3   How to update Minecraft
Open the Microsoft Store’s updates page.

2. Select “Get updates.” All your installed applications, including “Minecraft,” should update.

4   How to update Minecraft
Update all your apps at once.

On consoles

Players who have “Minecraft” on a console – whether that be the Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, or DS – should receive any updates automatically. Your console just needs to be connected to the internet.

If an update has dropped that you don’t think you have, you can check for updates manually. The exact steps for this will differ based on console, but will usually involve selecting “Minecraft” and opening its settings page.

On phones and tablets

If you’re playing “Minecraft” on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, it’ll update just like any other app. In other words, it’ll probably update automatically as well.

You can check for updates yourself by heading to the App Store on an iPhone and iPad, or through the Google Play Store on an Android device.

How to update ‘Minecraft: Java Edition’

You can easily keep your copy of “Minecraft: Java Edition” up to date via the Minecraft Launcher app. This is the app you open and press “Play” in to start the game.

Just like the other versions of the game, the Launcher app should keep “Minecraft” updated automatically. Whenever you open the launcher while connected to the internet, it’ll check for updates, and install them before you play the game.

However, you can always check which version of “Minecraft” you have. Here’s how:

1. Open the Minecraft Launcher.

2. In the drop-down menu next to “Play,” click the “Latest release” option.

3. Compare the number underneath it to whatever the latest version of “Minecraft” is. You can find this with a quick Google search.

6   How to update Minecraft
The “latest release” is the most recent version of “Minecraft.”

If updates aren’t installing, make sure you have enough space on your computer.

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How to fly in ‘Minecraft’ in either Creative or Survival mode

kid playing minecraft on mac
There are two simple ways to fly in “Minecraft.”

  • There are two distinct ways to fly in “Minecraft,” in either Creative or Survival mode.
  • In “Minecraft’s” Creative or Spectator modes, you can fly by double-tapping the jump button.
  • In Survival mode, you’ll need to craft the Elytra item, which gives your character a pair of angel wings.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

“Minecraft” maps can be massive, so it’s no wonder that many players prefer flying to walking. Flying in “Minecraft” means faster and more efficient travel uninterrupted by mountains, trees and bodies of water.

There are a few different ways to fly when playing “Minecraft.” In Creative mode, flying is as simple as the tap of a key or button on console. In Survival mode, however, you’ll have to earn the ability to fly by finding an equippable item called Elytra.

Here’s everything you need to know about achieving liftoff in “Minecraft,” whatever your style of play.

How to fly in ‘Minecraft’ using Creative or Spectator mode

As you probably know, “Minecraft” has various different game modes and playstyles. In Creative and Spectator mode, you’re less like a player and more like an in-game god.

One part of this is your ability to freely fly anywhere at any time. Just quickly double-tap the jump button – on a computer, for instance, this will be the spacebar.

Once flying, you can press and hold the jump button to rise, and hold the crouch button to fall. You can also hold the sprint button in mid-air to fly faster.

how to fly minecraft
You can fly anywhere in Creative mode, even faster than you can run.

Double-tap the jump button again to stop flying. Because you’re in Creative or Spectator mode, you won’t take any damage if you fall from a great height.

Just don’t fall into nothingness – say for instance, the voids between islands in The End – or you’ll die and have to respawn.

13   how to fly in minecraft
Even in Creative mode, you can’t exist outside of the game world.

How to fly in ‘Minecraft’ using Elytra in Survival mode

For the brave and patient souls who dare not use Creative mode, flying is still possible in Survival mode. But it’s harder, and you can’t fly as freely.

To fly in Survival mode, you’ll need to find the rare Elytra item, located somewhere in an End Ship.

Finding the Elytra

End Ships are located in the far reaches of The End, the dimension where the Ender Dragon lives. Every time you defeat the Ender Dragon, two portals are created – one that will take you to the credits and then back home, and another that will take you to the outer End islands.

9   how to fly in minecraft
You’ll need to throw an Ender Pearl into the portal to fit.

If you don’t want to face one of the game’s biggest baddies yet though, and are a patient builder, you can also build a bridge from the Ender Dragon’s lair to an End city. Just note that this can take a very long time, and will require a lot of resources – the nearest island is over 1000 blocks away.

If you take this route, place a bed near your portal to the End world to create a spawn point, since falling out of the world to your death will be a potential hazard.

However you get there, once you find an End City in the distant islands, your best bet to find the Elytra is to board an End Ship. A little more than half of End Cities feature one of these ships.

1   How to fly in minecraft
Look for a floating End Ship.

Within the ship, find a level inlaid with black Obsidian blocks. There, you’ll see the Elytra in an item frame, flanked by two chests – which you should definitely loot as well – and defended by a Shulker. Break the item frame to claim the Elytra.

2   how to fly in minecraft
You don’t need to kill the Shulker, but it’ll make looting easier.

Flying with the Elytra

Elytra works very differently from the sort of flying you do in Creative and Spectator mode. It’s more like gliding, and you can’t fly forever. However, you can hack that by equipping fireworks while you glide.

To use the Elytra, you’ll need to equip your wings to your character’s chestplate slot. From there, climb to a great height, fall, and press the jump key once to start flying.

While flying with Elytra, be mindful of real world physics. Flying at too sharp an angle can cause you to stall and fall from the sky. And colliding with the ground or a wall too fast might kill you.

When your legs begin to wobble when gliding with an Elytra, it’s an indication you’re losing altitude. If you’re not ready to go down just yet, equip a firework rocket in your hotbar and use the item. This will give you a big speed boost, shooting you back into the sky. You can, in theory, fly for as long as you have firework rockets to spend.

11   how to fly in minecraft
As your player’s legs begin to flail or wobble, either plan to lose altitude, or set off firework rockets.

Just note that the Elytra also has its own durability, which will go down the more you fly. You can repair an Elytra by combining it with two phantom membranes at an anvil, or by combining two damaged Elytras.

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How to download new Minecraft maps and add them to your game

minecraft java
It’s easy to download and play on new maps in “Minecraft.”

  • You can download “Minecraft” maps that others have made and play on them yourself.
  • “Minecraft” maps can be downloaded for free from community sites like Minecraft Maps or CurseForge.
  • Once you’ve downloaded a “Minecraft” map, you can play on it by placing it in your game’s “saves” folder.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Minecraft” – and in particular the original, mod-friendly “Java” edition – is a game that offers its players near limitless creativity. No two worlds are alike, and starting a new one can sometimes seem like a daunting task.

Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. Thanks to a benevolent community eager to show off their masterpieces, you can download an expert-level Minecraft map and start playing right away.

And these downloadable maps are often more than mere templates: They can offer adventurous puzzles, jump-scare horror experiences, scavenger hunts, multiplayer games, and more. As long as the map you download is compatible with the version of Minecraft you run, just about every theme and type of map imaginable is at your fingertips.

Here’s where you can find amazing custom maps, and how you can add them to your slate of playable Minecraft worlds.

How to download a ‘Minecraft’ map and add it to your game

1. When you find a map you want to download that’s compatible with the version of Java you run, download, unzip and drag the file to your desktop (or any location on your computer that you can find again quickly).

2. Next, you’ll find and open your Minecraft folder. If your Minecraft folder is saved in the default location for your device, then you can find it by:

  • Windows: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run menu. In the text field, enter “%appdata%.minecraft” and press Enter.
8   how to download minecraft maps
You’ll find the right folder buried deep in your computer’s files.

  • Mac: Open a Finder window and click “Go” at the top of the screen, and then “Go to Folder.” In the pop-up that appears, enter “~/Library/ApplicationSupport/minecraft” and press “Go.”
2   How to download minecraft maps
The saves folder can be hard to locate.

  • Linux: In your Home directory, Minecraft can be found in “/home/YOURNAME/.minecraft/.”

3. In your Minecraft folder, find the “saves” folder. When you open it, you’ll see the names of all your existing worlds.

4. Grab the map you downloaded and drag and drop the file into the Minecraft “saves” folder. Make sure to drag the entire folder for the map download file, and not just contents within the folder.

4   How to download minecraft maps
Drag and drop the map download into your Minecraft directory’s “saves” folder.

5. Open the Minecraft Launcher and start “Minecraft.”

6. Select “Singleplayer,” find your new map, and click “Play Selected World.”

6   How to download minecraft maps
Your new maps will appear in the list.

From here, brace yourself for the exquisitely cultivated world you’re about to be loaded into – just be sure to give credit to the world’s actual creator when your multiplayer friends compliment your world.

7   How to download minecraft maps
Flying around in “Future City 4.5,” a sleek futuristic cityscape created by user “Zeemo” and downloaded from MinecraftMaps.com.

How to install OptiFine to massively enhance ‘Minecraft’s’ graphics and add new featuresHow to allocate more RAM to ‘Minecraft’ and help your game or server run more smoothlyHow to install ‘Minecraft’ mods and resource packs to completely reinvent your gameHow to play multiplayer in ‘Minecraft: Java Edition,’ using either a public server or one you create yourself

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How to install OptiFine to massively enhance ‘Minecraft’s’ graphics and add new features

  • You can install OptiFine for free by downloading it from the official website, and then launching “Minecraft.”
  • OptiFine can be used with Minecraft Forge, or separately from it.
  • OptiFine lets you optimize “Minecraft” for your computer, as well as change the graphics.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

OptiFine is a versatile program that many “Minecraft” players can’t imagine going without, particularly when playing on a less capable computer. It’s a “Minecraft: Java Edition” optimizer, allowing computers with less memory and less powerful graphics cards to run the game more smoothly.

OptiFine also gives you access to tons of new texture packs and HD shaders to make your game look as good as possible, as well a few useful new gameplay mechanics, including the famous “OptiFine Zoom.”

It’s different from mods in how it’s installed and runs, but is similar in that it changes how the game looks and works.

Here are two ways to install and use OptiFine, depending on whether or not you want to use it with other mods.

How to install and run OptiFine in ‘Minecraft’ without mods

1. In a web browser of your choice, navigate to the OptiFine downloads page. If you aren’t running the most current version of “Minecraft,” click “Show all versions” to find and select your version.

2. Click “Download” next to the version of OptiFine that you want. Click “Skip” in the top-right corner after a brief countdown if you’re taken to an ad break page.

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Download the version of OptiFine that matches your version of “Minecraft.”

3. Click “Download” when you’re redirected to the OptiFine download, and save it anywhere you can find it. You may see a warning about your download from your browser and/or computer, which you can safely disregard.

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If you’re shown an ad page, wait for the “Skip” option to appear, and you’ll be brought to this page.

4. Navigate to the downloaded OptiFine file, which will be an executable .jar file. Double-click the file to open the installer and click “Install.” You should then see a message saying OptiFine has been successfully installed.

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OptiFine has a quick and simple installation interface.

5. Open your Minecraft Launcher, and in the drop-down menu to the left of the “Play” button, make sure that “OptiFine” is selected. Once it is, click “Play.”

6. When “Minecraft” loads, select “Options…” from the main menu, then “Video Settings.” You’ll know that the OptiFine download was successful if you see added options like “Shaders,” “Details,” and “Animations.”

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OptiFine will add a few categories to Video Settings, like “Details…” and “Animations…” within which are a wealth of customizable settings.

How to install and run OptiFine to work with ‘Minecraft’ mods

1. Follow the first three steps to download OptiFine as shown above. If you haven’t already, download Minecraft Forge as well. You can follow our guide here.

2. Open the Minecraft Launcher app.

3. In the drop-down menu near the green play button, select “forge” then click “Play” to launch.

4. You’ll see the “Mods” option in the Minecraft main menu. Click it, then select “Open mods folder.” Java will automatically open the mods folder created by Forge.

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This button is a shortcut to the mods folder.

5. Drag and drop the .jar OptiFine file that you downloaded into this mods folder.

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Put the OptiFine file in the same place as your mods.

6. Close “Minecraft” and relaunch it, again running the Forge installation version. This time on the load screen, you should see the message “Found 2 modfiles to load” pass by, indicating that OptiFine has been incorporated into Forge.

7. You can check that it’s been installed correctly the same way as before: By going into the main menu and selecting “Options…” then “Video Settings.” If there are additional options like “Shaders,” “Details,” and “Animations,” then OptiFine is installed.

How to get started using OptiFine

OptiFine adds a lot of new options and settings to your game, so it can be a bit confusing to jump right in. Here’s some of the basic features, explained.

How to make an End Portal in ‘Minecraft,’ and use it to find the game’s final bossHow to allocate more RAM to ‘Minecraft’ and help your game or server run more smoothlyYes, ‘Minecraft’ is cross-platform – here’s how to play with your friends on any systemHow to install ‘Minecraft’ mods and resource packs to completely reinvent your game

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How to make an End Portal in ‘Minecraft,’ and use it to find the game’s final boss

5   How to make end portal in Minecraft
An End Portal can be found or crafted, depending on the game mode.

  • You can make an End Portal in “Minecraft” by adding twelve Eyes of Ender to a broken portal.
  • In Survival mode, broken End Portals can be found in underground strongholds scattered across the world.
  • If you’re playing in “Minecraft’s” Creative Mode, you can build an entire End Portal in seconds.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

When “Minecraft” first came out, there wasn’t any way to beat the game. You just played as long as you wanted – or until you fell into a ravine and died. But a few years into “Minecraft’s” life, the developers added a final boss: the Ender Dragon. Once you beat this flying titan, the credits roll, and you get an achievement for beating the game.

To reach the Ender Dragon, you’ll need to build a special structure known as an End Portal. The End Portal gives you direct access to “The End,” the dark dimension where the dragon lives.

If you’re playing in Survival or Hardcore mode, you’ll need to find a broken End Portal underground and repair it using Eyes of Ender. In Creative mode, you can just build one using materials from your infinite inventory.

Whatever your style, we’ve got you covered with steps to find an End Portal in Survival mode, or craft one in Creative mode.

How to find and make an End Portal in “Minecraft’s” Survival mode

In “Minecraft’s” default mode, Survival, several broken End Portals are generated underground as soon as you create your world. To use them, you’ll need to find the underground stronghold and repair them with Eyes of Ender.

Fortunately, you don’t have to aimlessly strip mine the map to find a stronghold. Strongholds can be located using those same Eyes of Ender.

Finding the End Portal

To find the stronghold, you’ll need Eyes of Ender, which act as magic compasses of sorts for finding strongholds.

This’ll take some work, though. Here’s the step-by-step.

Making the End Portal

Once you’ve reached the portal room, you’re almost done. For safety, fill in all the lava and destroy the monster spawner. This will prevent any unfortunate accidents.

At the top of the staircase is the broken End Portal. The portal’s entire frame is there, but a number of Eyes of Ender will be missing. Carefully fill in all the missing pegs with Eyes of Ender to activate the structure.

Once you’ve placed all the pearls, you’ll hear a loud booming sound, and darkness will fill the portal. Once you jump in, you’ll be taken to The End, and the final boss, the Ender Dragon.

Make sure you’re ready to face it before you step inside, because once you do, the only way back is by dying or winning.

How to make an End Portal in “Minecraft’s” Creative Mode

The frame pieces of an End Portal can’t be crafted. However, in Creative mode, you can find these frames in your inventory (as well as Eyes of Ender) and place them freely.

This means that you don’t need to hunt for an End Portal – you can just make one from scratch.

1. Open your infinite inventory and grab your materials. You’ll need 12 Eyes of Ender, and 12 End Portal Frames.

2. Now let’s start building. To easily make sure that the frames are placed correctly, dig a 3×3 grid in the ground and stand inside of it.

1   How to make end portal in Minecraft
Dig a 3×3 grid – you don’t need to fill it, but you can.

3. Position yourself within the grid and face outward, and then place End Portal Frames along the edge of the grid. How you place the frames matters – the sides of the frames with extra green need to be facing the inside and outside, not toward the blocks next to them. Standing inside the grid should ensure they’re placed correctly.

3   How to make end portal in Minecraft
The blocks should drop in the correct position if you place them while standing inside the grid, which is where the future portal will spawn.

4. Now get out of the grid and start placing your Eyes of Ender in the frame. As soon as you place the 12th and final Eye, the portal will activate. Jump in, and you’ll be transported to The End.

5   How to make end portal in Minecraft
The Eyes can be placed from any direction.

How to change your character’s skin in ‘Minecraft’ to give them a different appearanceHow to craft and use a beacon in ‘Minecraft’ to give your character major upgradesHow to use a Name Tag in ‘Minecraft’ to customize your favorite NPCsHow to find diamonds in ‘Minecraft’ quickly and mine them without dying

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How to craft and use a beacon in ‘Minecraft’ to give your character major upgrades

16   how to use a beacon in minecraft
Beacons in “Minecraft” are difficult to make, but are a major status symbol.

  • You can use beacons in “Minecraft” to give your character powerful upgrades and buffs.
  • To craft a beacon in “Minecraft,” you’ll need glass, obsidian, and a rare item called the Nether Star.
  • Once you’ve crafted the beacon, you’ll also need to build a pyramid pedestal to place it on.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

“Minecraft” has been a beacon in the gaming community for more than a decade now. And there’s no better way to prove that you’re a “Minecraft” master than by crafting a beacon of your own in-game.

The beacon is one of the most difficult items to make in all of “Minecraft,” as it requires at least one incredibly rare material. But once you’ve made one, the beacon can upgrade your mining, speed, and health stats. They’re also a literal beam of guiding light if you’re ever lost in your expansive “Minecraft” world.

Here’s everything to know about beacons, including how to find their materials, how to craft them, and then how to use them.

The materials you’ll need to craft a beacon in ‘Minecraft’

Like most items in “Minecraft,” to make a beacon, you’ll need to gather materials from across the world. Luckily, two of these items can probably be found close to home. The last, however, will take some work.

Glass

Starting with the easiest material, you’ll need glass. Just like in real life, you can make glass out of sand. Sand can be found on any ocean beach, or in the desert.

Mine at least five blocks of sand and take them to a furnace. Put them in the furnace with any type of fuel to create glass.

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Once you craft a furnace with basic materials, you’ll be able to turn raw materials like sand into higher-level goods like glass.

Obsidian

Next, you’ll need to mine or acquire at least three blocks of obsidian. And unlike other rare ores like diamonds, you can’t trade with villagers to get it.

The best way to find obsidian is to mine it out of the ground. Before you do this, note that you’ll need a diamond or netherite pickaxe – other tools will just break the obsidian and leave you with nothing.

You can create obsidian yourself by pouring water from a bucket into lava. If you don’t have easy access to lava, dig until you reach layer 11 in the Overworld, or layer 31 in the Nether.

3   How to use a beacon in minecraft
Obsidian is hard to break, but easy to make.

From there, dig horizontally until you find lava, then pour a bucket of water in. If you find lava and water near each other, you can also mine a path for the two liquids to meet. Just be careful: falling in lava is a quick death sentence in Minecraft.

Nether Star

Finally, there’s the Nether Star. The Nether Star is a rare item that can only be obtained by defeating the most difficult boss in “Minecraft:” The Wither.

Unlike other enemies in “Minecraft,” you can’t just find the Wither walking around somewhere. You actually have to make the Wither yourself, using items found in the Nether. The Nether is sort of like “Minecraft’s” version of the underworld – lots of fire, lava, and scary enemies.

So here’s the game plan:

How to craft a beacon in ‘Minecraft’

Once you’ve got the materials, crafting the beacon is easy.

Go to a workbench, and add:

  • Three pieces of glass to the top row.
  • One glass, one Nether Star, and one glass to the middle row.
  • Three obsidian to the bottom row.

This will craft a beacon.

5   How to use a beacon in Minecraft
You can craft a beacon using any crafting bench.

However, a beacon by itself is useless. To shoot a beam of light into the sky, as well as tap into a beacon’s true upgrading power, you’ll need to place it on top of a pyramid.

Crafting the beacon pyramid

A beacon will only activate when placed on a pyramid. To build this pyramid, you’ll need iron, gold, emerald, diamond, or netherite blocks. You can use just one or all of these four resources together when building your pyramid – however, you’ll need a lot of them.

Pyramids can have up to four levels, with each level giving the pyramid more powers and a wider range.

  • A level one pyramid will require a 3×3 base, which takes 9 blocks.
  • A level two pyramid will require a 5×5 base and a 3×3 top, which takes 34 blocks.
  • A level three pyramid will require a 7×7 base, 5×5 second layer, and a 3×3 top, which takes 83 blocks.
  • A level four pyramid will require a 9×9 block base, 7×7 second layer, 5×5 third layer, and a 3×3 top, which takes 164 blocks.

Once you’ve built your pyramid, place the beacon on top, in the very center spot. It’ll activate immediately.

9   How to use a beacon in minecraft
The beacon pyramids can be made out of a single material, or multiple materials.

How to use your ‘Minecraft’ beacon

Once the beacon is activated, you can right-click it to open its menu. In this menu, feed it ingots, diamonds, or emeralds to gain power-ups. The level four pyramid will give you the biggest boosts, but even a small one-level pyramid still gives you access to minor mining and movement speed buffs.

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Higher levels will give stronger boosts.

Just note that these buffs don’t cover the entire world. The level one pyramid’s buffs affect everyone in a 20 block radius, the level two pyramid covers a 30 block radius, and so on. Once you leave the coverage area, your buffs will last for about 10 to 15 seconds before fading away.

If you pick a power-up, but later change your mind and want a different one, don’t sweat it: You can always go back and modify the status boost given by the beacon. Just note that you’ll need to give up another ingot, diamond, or emerald.

To enable all the power-ups at the same time, you’ll need to craft six different beacons, and either place them on six pyramids, or a modified 10×11, 8×9, 6×7, and 4×5 level pyramid.

16   how to use a beacon in minecraft
Beacons in “Minecraft” are difficult to make, but are a major status symbol.

Choose the location of your beacon pyramid wisely, as deconstructing it will be time consuming.

How to change the beacon’s light color

Your pyramid can be made out of any combination of emerald, diamond, gold, iron, or netherite. This is great for making it stand out in the world.

Even cooler, though, is the ability to customize the color of your beacon’s light. To do this, place a stained glass window on top of the beacon. It’ll tint your light the same color as the glass.

13   how to use a beacon in minecraft
Stained glass gives beacons a colorful flair.

You can make stained glass by filling a 3×3 crafting grid with glass, but swapping out the middle piece for whatever color dye you like.

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Glass combined with dye will give you stained glass.

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How to install Minecraft Forge and gain access to thousands of new ‘Minecraft’ mods

kid playing minecraft on mac
Installing “Minecraft” mods is easy with Minecraft Forge.

  • You can install Minecraft Forge from the Forge website, where it’s free to download.
  • Minecraft Forge is an add-on for “Minecraft: Java Edition” that lets you install and enable mods.
  • Make sure that you download the version of Minecraft Forge that corresponds with your current “Minecraft” version.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Minecraft” is famous for how many mods it has, and how easy they are to install. These mods can be practical – like creating a new item – or they can add fun thematic elements to your game, such as new game modes.

To install these mods, you’ll need to use a free add-on called Minecraft Forge. This will let you customize “Minecraft: Java Edition” with mods.

Here’s how to install Minecraft Forge, and use it to install mods.

How to add a mod to Minecraft

Forge won’t come with mods built into it, so you’ll need to find them yourself. You can find all sorts of “Minecraft” mods through Google, and websites like minecraftmods.com.

Minecraft Mods
There are thousands of “Minecraft” mods, with new ones being added each day.

Once you’ve found one that’s appealing, save the file to your newly-created Forge mods folder. The address on your PC will be: C:Users[your username]AppDataRoaming.minecraftmods

On a Mac, it’ll be: [your computer’s name] > Macintosh HD > Users > [your username] > Library > Application Support > minecraft > mods

In place of [your username], insert the name of the account you’re using on your computer.

Minecraft Install 9
You can search for “Mods” if you are having trouble locating your Minecraft Mods folder.

Once you’ve done that, you can check that the mod is enabled by clicking the “Mods” tab on the “Minecraft” main menu (see above), then confirming that the mod is listed in the left column beneath the “Minecraft” version you’re running.

Minecraft Install 12
The Zombie Extreme mod gives you “Minecraft,” but with extra powerful zombies.

For more details on installing mods, as well as a guide on how to install resource/texture packs (a different type of mod), check out our article, “How to install ‘Minecraft’ mods and resource packs to completely reinvent your game.”

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