[view] • Compasses were added in the Secret Friday Update 9 on September 10, 2010. The compass needle points towards the player's original spawn point, whether in their inventory screen, in chests, lying on the floor, or while holding it in their hand. To use a compass you don't need to craft it. Use the materials and it will work in the crafting bench. You can also obtain Compasses through NPC Villager trading.
To use the compass simply hold it in the Player's hand and it will appear in the lower HUD. The needle will point in the direction of the spawn point. Simply rotate around until the needle is pointing straight up, signifying that the spawn point is straight ahead. Travel in that direction and you will see the spawn, assuming the needle remains pointing straight up.
Using a compass in The Nether and The End will make it useless. A compass in these areas will spin in a clock-wise motion and will not point to a specific direction or object.
A Compass points to the northwest corner of the block you spawned on, instead the very middle.
If you change your spawn by using a bed at night, The Compass still points to your original spawn
The Compass is one of the few tools that is stackable.
In Creative mode, right clicking with a compass will teleport you to that location.
A compass is one of the most useful tools to carry with you on journeys, for obvious reasons.
In Minecraft: Pocket Edition, before the 0.9.0 update, Compasses were virtually useless, as the maps then were of no great size.