How to build and light beacons in Minecraft

How to build and light beacons in Minecraft

The beacons in Minecraft are some really pretty decorative items. Giant pillars of light can be used to create some rather impressive projects, and Minecrafters love them. Of all of the different items in Minecraft, few can light up the world like these beacons. You can use them for creative projects, or you can use beacons for navigation. After all, nothing says the path of least resistance like a massive column of light in the night sky.

They’re not too hard to build either. Building beacons in Minecraft is all about getting the resources and placing them in the right way. If you’ve ever worked with Redstone, this should be simple, but this guide is for the rest of you. Although, there is one issue, the materials to make beacons can be a bit hard to find. You need one particular material that will take a lot of work, a Nether Star.

Aside from that, making a beacon in Minecraft requires three materials: glass, obsidian, and a nether star. Glass is by far the easiest to obtain, as it can be made by simply smelting sand. From there, it’s time to start mining. You will need some lava and water, as well as a bucket. Use the bucket method (create a cobblestone frame and using two buckets create infinite obsidian by alternating placing lava and water.) You can also find obsidian on the deeper depths of the map near lava, but you need diamond picks to mine it, so the bucket method is faster.

The real trick is getting the Nether Star. the only way to get one is to beat the Wither boss, which itself can only be summoned using a specific set of materials. You need four pieces of Soul Sand and three Wither Skulls. Wither Skulls are gained by killing Wither Skeletons in the Nether, it’s a rare drop so it will take time. Make a T shape with the Soul Sand, then place the three Wither Skulls in a line on top. You then have to fight and defeat the Wither for the Star.

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Once you’ve gathered five glass, three obsidian, and one nether star, you can finally build your beacon. Just arrange the obsidian along the bottom row of the crafting grid, place the nether star in the center, and fill the remaining slots with glass. Check the image below for the layout.

How to build beacons in Minecraft

Image Credit: (Mojang/Minecraft Wiki)

How to light beacons in Minecraft

The next step is to actually light the giant beam generator. To get the beacon to function, you need to build a pyramid that supports it while not blocking the light beam. The depth of the pyramid determines the power of the beam, so build it higher for a bigger effect. Any mineral block will work for this.

This means that you will want to use diamond, emerald, gold, or iron. The basic version is a simple 3×3 grid with the beacon on top of the center block. You can scale the pyramid for a beacon in Minecraft up several layers, with the best effect being four layers beneath the beacon. When building up with a beacon, you need to power the new level with another ingot of the same mineral you build the layer with.

Here is how many blocks you need to create each layer:

  • One – 9 blocks
  • Two – 34 blocks
  • Three – 83 blocks
  • Four – 164 blocks

Check out the image below for some examples of proper pyramids.

Minecraft Beacon Pyramids

Image Credit: (Mojang/Minecraft Wiki)

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