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Book This is a guide.

This article has been assembled by one or more members of the community as a helpful resource instructing players on some aspect of Minecraft. If desired, you may clarify or expand upon this article youself.

Mining (or digging) is a big part in Minecraft, especially if players want to use material in survival game mode. Mining is impossible in the standard Superflat world, as the ground level is only three dirt layers above the Bedrock layer.

Ore Mining

You will need to mine ores to do most things in Minecraft.

Material Uses
Make redstone circuits, a decorative block, or other redstone mechanisms.
Craft armor, Weapons, tools, or a decorative block.
Craft armor, tools, enhance Food, or decorative gold blocks.
Used in villager Trading, and decorative blocks.
Craft armor, weapons, tools, or decorative blocks.
Lapis Lazuli
Used as a dye, for Enchantments, or to make decorative blocks.
Fuel for a Furnace, or used to craft Torches.
Nether Quartz
Used in Daylight Detectors, or to make decorative blocks.
Used in potion brewing, can be made into a Glowstone block.

Be Prepared

Useful things to bring while Mining

Strategies for Mining

Mining can be one of the most difficult tasks in Minecraft. Certain strategies lead to certain ores quickly, while others can be time consuming. Each strategy depends on the situation and active Status Effects. Regardless of the type of mining, players should avoid digging straight up or down, and should build spiral staircases instead. This prevents being crushed by falling blocks (upwards digging) and also prevents falling into lava and caves (downwards digging). Some consider this to be "the golden rule" of mining and it is so important, that it sometimes appears as text in the grey box on the loading screen.


Spelunking (exploring caves) is by far the most efficient method of obtaining ores. Caves can be considered the least time-consuming, and is far less exhaustive on resources. Although ores are plentiful, caves are naturally-generated, meaning that they have their own draw-backs. Some caves are miniscule and short, and do not break through all depths where ores can be found. Another threat created from mining in caves is the low lighting. Hostile monsters are capable of spawning in the darkness. These are most often zombies or skeletons, but the most fatal can be a creeper or swarm of creepers that approach an unsuspecting player. Low lighting can also hide many obstacles to the player, such as deep chasms.


Staircasing is one of the safer methods of mining, and can be used in combination with all other methods. A strategic player can quickly reach all ore layers, granting them access to the depth at which an ore can be found. Players can then create miniature mines at each level, as a resource for each respective ore. Staircasing is the quickest and safest method to reaching bedrock in an easy manner.

Strip Mining

The easiest method of mining, typically paired with staircasing. Strip mining can be done at a single level, creating a 1x2 path for the player to navigate. Paths can be enlarged, or numerous paths can be created. The most successful strip-mining strategy is to create a system of passages at the various ore levels. Strip mining can also be done by alternating one tunnel every two blocks.

Cliff Mining

Cliff mining is one of the most primitive types of mining, and usually supplies miniscule amounts of ores, particularly iron and coal. Cliff mining is performed in ravines, either above ground or below (typically above, as lava frequently spawns with ravines underground). This method is carried out by creating a staircase to one of the ravine's various overhangs. Overhangs on adjacent sides can be connected by building a simple bridge, while lower levels are traveled to by descending the wall with a staircase.

Blast Mining

Blast mining is one of the least time consuming methods of mining. It can be considered as the most dangerous as well. Blast mining requires TNT and a means of activating it, via flint and steel or any sort of redstone device. Blast mining is the fastest way to descend to the lower depths of a world, but yields very few resources alone. This is due to the massive strength of an explosion caused by TNT, as many blocks get destroyed, as opposed to dropping as items. Although seldom used, the large blast radius is very helpful for finding caves.

Pit Mining

Pit mining is performed by simply digging a large hole in the ground, starting from the ground level of an area. It is the slowest way of reaching lower depths, but is often very useful in yielding the necessity ores, such as coal and iron. Pit mining is usually done in an open, uncovered space, usually over a wide area, which can be descended by ladders or a staircase. On occasion, pit mines can be closed, with a roof overhead to prevent hostile creatures from assaulting players. To quickly make a pit, detonate several TNTs.

Splash Mining

A variant of spelunking, done only in lava caverns, this type of mining's main tool is a bucket of water. The water is used to transform the lava into obsidian, a valuable resource. Lava caverns generally spawn at the deepest depths of any given world. A frequent find in lava caverns are diamonds and redstone.

Deep-Sea Mining

The rarest of all types of mining, performed in the elusive "blue holes" scattered beneath the Ocean floor. This type of mining is very time consuming and does not yield as many ores as spelunking. All tools should be enchanted for improved use underwater. This type of mining is very dangerous because of the water, but a effective for mining obsidian.

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