Abandoned Mineshafts are naturally generated structures that were added in Beta 1.8, along with Strongholds. They were also added in TU5 for the Xbox 360 Edition and 0.9.0 for Minecraft: Pocket Edition.
Abandoned mineshafts are usually filled with cobwebs and many cave spider spawners. Entrances to the spawner rooms are filled with cobwebs, so it's best to bring some Shears. Abandoned mineshafts are also rich with ores. The support beams are made of wooden planks and fences. Abandoned mineshafts provide a very good source of wood while a player mines underground. There is a rare chance that mineshafts will generate inside of a ravine and intersect said ravine.
There are minecarts with chests throughout the abandoned mineshafts that contain resources, such as gold and iron ingots, rails, or seeds. Rails can also be found during the excavation in the shaft. On occasion, abandoned mine shafts can connect to strongholds or dungeons. The Pocket Edition did not have chests in mineshafts until 0.14.0.
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.
- 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.
- Armor to protect a player from fall damage or hostile mobs.
- Torches to mark a player's path and to 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.
- Lapis Lazuli
- Redstone Dust
- Iron Ingot
- Gold Ingot
- Melon Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Iron Pickaxe
- Golden Apple
- Wood planks
- In the Beta 1.8 pre-release 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 cavern 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 will generate.
- These mineshafts are made out of dark oak planks, and gold ore is more abundant. These are also, often, the only source of wood in Mesa Biomes.
- Turning on subtitles on Minecraft can show a subtitle saying "minecart rolling" which can be useful in finding mineshafts.