Abandoned mineshafts are typically filled with a maze of corridors that include rails and an occasional Minecart with Chest, along with chest loot, Cave Spider spawners, cobwebs, and various hostile mobs. They generate naturally underground in the Overworld.
There are minecarts with chests throughout the abandoned mineshafts that contain resources, such as gold and iron ingots, rails, golden apples, or seeds. Rails can also be found during the excavation in the shaft. On occasion, abandoned mineshafts can connect to strongholds or dungeons.
Exploring a mineshaft can be quite dangerous but otherwise beneficial. Be sure to bring the following:
- An iron or diamond sword to fight any hostile mobs that spawn.
- An iron or diamond pickaxe to mine the ores one may find. It may be advisable to bring backup pickaxes to save durability.
- Some buckets of milk (these can help cure poison caused by cave spiders).
- Blocks like cobblestone or dirt, so that pillars or bridges can be made.
- Shears to collect cobwebs (If needed).
- A water bucket in case of lava.
- Armor to protect a player from fall damage or hostile mobs.
- Torches to mark a player's path and prevent mobs from spawning.
- If possible, bring potions to help give one the upper hand in mob combat, preferably bring potions of strength, regeneration, or splash potions of instant health.
- A furnace or blast furnace to smelt ores while mining, it is advisable to get fuel sources like coal.
- Lapis Lazuli
- Iron Ingot
- Gold Ingot
- Melon Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Iron Pickaxe
- Golden Apple
- Notch Apple
- Wood planks
- Spider Eye
- Enchanted Book
- Name Tag
- In the Beta 1.8 pre-releases 1 and 2, support beams in mines were only made of planks. Fences were added later in the Beta 1.8 version.
- All abandoned mineshafts have a companion cave that follows it.
- Mineshafts intersecting a dungeon or stronghold are more common in the console editions because worlds are much smaller, and they provide less area for the structures to generate separately.
- A rare glitch can cause a mineshaft to be floating in the sky when using the preset "Desert" for a superflat world.
- In mesa biomes, above-ground mineshafts can generate.