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 this article youself.


Mining (or digging) is a big part in Minecraft, especially if players want to use materials in the Survival Game Mode. Mining is impossible in the standard Superflat world since the ground level is only three dirt layers above the Bedrock layer.

Ore Mining

A player will need to mine ores in order to do most things in Minecraft.

Material Uses
Make redstone circuits, craft Blocks of Redstone, or craft other Redstone mechanisms.
Craft armor, Weapons, tools, Blocks of Iron, Iron Bars, Iron Doors, etc., and used to create an Iron Golem.
Craft armor, tools, enhance Food, or gold blocks.
Used in villager Trading, or crafting Blocks of Emerald.
Craft armor, weapons, tools, or Blocks of Diamond.
Lapis Lazuli
Used as a dye, for Enchantments, or to craft Lapis Lazuli Blocks.
Fuel for a Furnace, craft a Block of Coal, or used to craft Torches.
Nether Quartz
Used to craft in Daylight Detectors, or to craft Blocks of Quartz, Quartz Slabs, Nether Quartz Pillars, and Quartz Stairs.
Used in potion brewing, or to craft Glowstone blocks.

Be Prepared

Useful things to bring while Mining:

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 active Status Effects of a player. Regardless of the type of mining, players should avoid digging straight up or down, and they should build spiral staircases instead. This prevents a player from being crushed by falling blocks, such as Gravel, (upwards digging) as well as preventing a player from falling into Lava or Caves (downwards digging). Some consider this to be "the golden rule" of mining, and it is so important that it sometimes appears as text in the grey box on the loading screen.


'Spelunking' (exploring caves) is by far the most efficient method of obtaining ores. Caves can be considered the least time-consuming and far less exhaustive on resources. Although ores are plentiful, caves are naturally-generated which means that they have their own draw-backs. Some caves are minuscule and short, and they do not break through all depths where ores can be found. Another threat created from mining in caves is the low lighting. Hostile mobs are capable of spawning in the darkness. These are most often zombies or skeletons, but the most fatal can be a creeper or swarm of creepers that approach an unsuspecting player. Low lighting can also hide many obstacles to a player, such as deep chasms.


'Staircasing' is one of the safer methods of mining, and it can be used in combination with all other methods. A strategic player can quickly reach all ore layers which will grant them access to the depth at which each type of ore can be found. Players can then create miniature mines at each level as a resource for obtaining each respective ore. 'Staircasing' is the quickest and safest method to reaching bedrock in an easy manner.

Strip Mining

'Strip Mining' is the easiest method of mining, and it is typically paired with 'staircasing'. 'Strip mining' can be done at a single level by creating a 1x2 path for a player to navigate. Paths can either 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 by alternating one tunnel every two blocks.

Cliff Mining

'Cliff mining' is one of the most primitive types of mining, and it usually supplies minuscule amounts of ores, particularly iron and coal. 'Cliff mining' is usually performed in ravines that are either above ground or below (typically above since lava frequently spawns in underground ravines). 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 methods of mining. It is also considered the most dangerous method as well. 'Blast mining' requires TNT as well as a means of activating it, via flint and steel or any sort of redstone device. 'Blast mining' is the fastest way to descend to the lower depths of a world, but it will yield very few resources alone. This is due to the massive strength of an explosion caused by TNT since 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 performed by simply digging a large hole in the ground usually starting at the ground level of an area. It is the slowest way of reaching lower depths, but it is often very useful in yielding the necessity ores, such as coal and iron. 'Pit mining' is usually done in an open, uncovered space and usually over a wide area which can be descended by ladders or a staircase. On occasion, 'pit mines' can be 'closed off' with a roof overhead to prevent hostile mobs from assaulting players. To quickly make a pit, detonate several blocks of TNTs.

Splash Mining

'Splash mining' is a variant of 'spelunking' that is done only in lava caverns. The main tool used for splash mining is a bucket of water. The water is used to transform the lava into obsidian which is a valuable resource. Lava caverns generally spawn at the deepest depths of any given world. A frequent find in lava caverns are diamonds and redstone.

Deep-Sea Mining

'Deep-Sea Mining' is the rarest of all mining types since it is performed in the elusive "blue holes" scattered beneath the Ocean floor. This type of mining is very time consuming, and it does not yield as many ores as 'spelunking' does. All tools should be enchanted for improved use underwater. This type of mining is very dangerous since a player is underwater, but it is also an effective method for mining obsidian.