The Beacon is an item added in the Pretty Scary Update. These blocks emit a beam straight up into the sky, visible from a considerable distance away. They also have the ability to grant Status Effects to players in the vicinity.
Beacons, when placed on the top of a pyramid made of either iron, gold, diamond, or emerald blocks, can grant the player status effects for eight seconds, but these effects will last indefinitely if a player remains in range of the beacon. Beacons also shoot a beam of light up into the sky that can help with navigating the world when active.
Any accepted block type can be used in any layer, regardless of what the other layers are made of.
Beacons can only function when they are placed on the top of a pyramid, and when not being blocked by a solid block on top of the beacon. The GUI consists of a primary, and secondary effect selection screen, a material acceptance selection header, and a player's inventory. a player must place the material (iron ingots, gold ingots, diamonds, or emeralds) in the header to activate the effects. P When the material is placed, a player is free to choose an effect located in the primary effect screen. Whenever a player is in-range of the pyramid, a player will receive the effect. The effect(s) last forever, as long as a player is in range, wearing off 8 seconds after moving out of range. The selection and strength of the effects are enhanced by each layer added to the pyramid, along with the range of the beacon. Primary effects are speed, haste, resistance, jump boost, and strength. Regeneration is a secondary power.
If a player opens the beacon's menu with their "use" action, he/she can insert an iron ingot, gold ingot, diamond, or emerald, and activate a status effect for the beacon to bestow upon nearby players. The chosen effect will be re-applied to nearby players every 4 seconds if they are in range of the beacon. The status effects which a player may choose from are as follows:
- Speed - Increases movement speed.
- Haste - Increases mining speed.
- Resistance - Decreases damage inflicted upon a player (requires a pyramid 2-blocks high).
- Jump Boost - Increases jumping distance and height and reduces falling damage (requires a pyramid 2-blocks high).
- Strength - Increases damage dealt with melee weapons (requires a pyramid 3-blocks high).
- Regeneration - Regenerates health over time (requires a pyramid 4-blocks high).
- As of the Minecraft 1.8 update, the color the light of a beacon can be changed by putting a Stained Glass or Stained Glass Pane over it. Also, the colors can be mixed (for example, if a red stained glass is placed over it, and then a blue one over that, the light will have a purplish color).
- The beacon block had, when first created, another texture. In the next update, the block received another texture, and one week later, yet another texture. After that, the final texture was given, which is the texture used as of this writing.
- Beacons are the only block in Minecraft that emit a beam of light.
- A beacon can shine its beam through bedrock.
- The conduit block which was added in 1.13 is similar to the beacon in that it requires a player to build a design in order to activate it, and grants a status effect to players in its vicinity upon activation.