How to Make a Beacon in Minecraft (& What They’re For)


Minecraft has added many features over its lifespan and shows no sign of slowing down. From introducing new biomes in the Nether to fleshing out the underground cave systems with new items, there’s always something new to see around the corner. Aside from defeating the Ender Dragon in the End, one of the long-term goals players can work toward is building their own beacon.

Beacons, when activated, fire a beam of light into the sky that can be seen from far away. They’re not just a fancy decoration either, for players can use them to obtain temporary powerups to aid in their many adventures. Here’s what’s needed to craft beacons in Minecraft, as well as functions they have that can benefit players.

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What’s Needed to Craft a Minecraft Beacon

5 Glass Blocks

  • Of all the items needed to craft the beacon, glass is the easiest. All it takes to make it is smelting sand in a furnace. Once all 5 are ready, place 3 on the top row of the crafting grid and 2 on the left and right side of the middle row.

3 Obsidian

  • Most Minecraft players know obsidian as the block needed to create Nether portals, but they’re also used to construct beacons. It’s formed when lava and water interact with one another and must be placed on the bottom 3 slots in the crafting grid.

1 Nether Star

  • The last and rarest material is the Nether Star, which is placed in the very center of the crafting grid. In order to obtain this essential item, players must defeat the terrifying Wither boss. It’s summoned by placing 4 Soulsand in a ‘T’ formation and placing 3 Wither Skeleton skulls on top of the top 3 blocks. This scary opponent can fly and fire ranged attacks, so players ought to prepare as many arrows as they can and enchant their swords if they want to successfully take it down.

Using a Minecraft Beacon

To activate the beacon, players must place it atop a pyramid made from blocks of iron, gold, diamond, Netherite, or emerald. There are four possible sizes a beacon pyramid can reach, each with a different sized layer of blocks: 3X3, 5X5, 7X7, and 9X9. Each of these layers must be stacked on top of each other in that order, with 3X3 being on the top and 9X9 being at the bottom. Of course, the beacon must be placed as the cherry on top in the center of the 3X3 blocks. Also, the 3X3 layer is necessary for the beacon to function at all! Here are three of the potential uses beacons have:

Granting Status Buffs

  • This is the primary function of beacons. If players interact with it by pressing their ‘use’ button, they’ll open up a menu where they can offer it materials, the same ones used to build its pyramid, in exchange for a powerup of their choice. These include haste, which improves mining and attack speed, jump boost, speed, strength, or resistance. Pyramids with all 4 layers will also grant access to health regeneration as a powerup. The more layers a pyramid has, the longer the duration of the powerup and the greater the area the beacon effects.

A Light Source

  • The pillar of light the beacon creates brightens up the surrounding area and can serve as a source of light. Further, it can be seen from a great distance away, so players can use it as a landmark to help find their way back home, or wherever they chose to place the beacon.

Minecraft is available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and PC.

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