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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 a survival game. Mining is impossible in the standard Superflat world, as the ground level is three dirt layers above the Bedrock layer.

Ore Mining

You'll need to mine ores to do things too. List of ores and what to do with them:

Material Uses
Redstone Make redstone circuits, the block and other redstone involved things.
Iron Make armor, the block and tools.
Gold (nugget or ingot) Make armor, make a gold ingot with 9 nuggets, make tools, makethe block.
Emerald Trade with villagers, make the block.
Diamond Make the block, armor, and tools.
Lapis Lazuli Make the block, dye a sheep and a dog's collar.
Coal (charcoal)

Cook things, make torches.

Nether Quartz Make the block, Daylight Sensor.
Glowstone (Dust) Make the block. Make the Thick Potion.

Be Prepared

Useful things to bring while Mining

  • Armor (for protection)
  • Pickaxe (for mining stone and ores)
  • Shovel (for mining dirt and gravel)
  • Sword (for battling)
  • Torches (for light)
  • Water Bucket (to turn lava into obsidian, harming Endermen(if you are not on peaceful mode))
  • Invaluable Block (Dirt, Cobble, etc.)
  • Food (if you get low hunger)
  • Wood

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 current status. 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). This rule can be considered as the golden rule of mining, and is so important that it can appear as the text in the grey box on the loading screen.


Spelunking, or going in caves, is by far the most successful method to obtaining ores. Caves can considered the least time consuming, as well as less exhaustive on resources. Although ores are applently, caves are naturally generated, meaning that they have their own draw-backs. Some caves are miniscule and short, and do not break through all layers for finding ores. Another threat created from mining in caves is the low lighting, which can be its own threat in several ways. Hostile monsters are capable of spawning, although these being mostly zombies or skeletons, 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 falls.


Staircasing is one of the more safer methods of mining, and can be put into combination with all other methods. A strategic player can quickly reach all ore layers, granting them access to the ore's given depth. 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 through variating a tunnel every other block.

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 it, 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 variants of mining. It can be frequently referred to 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 assend 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 preformed 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 any given player. If you're making 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 is 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 must be enhanced for use underwater. This type of mining is very, very dangerous because of the water but a good type for mining Obsidian.

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