How to build and light beacons in Minecraft

Light up the sky in Minecraft.


Image via Mojang

There are plenty of ways to light up Minecraft’s dark nights with in-game items, but maybe none is as stylish as the beacon. Aside from lighting up their surroundings, beacons in Minecraft project a vertical beam of light into the sky, making them useful as landmarks to navigate by, and they can also provide buffs to nearby characters.

All that utility does come at a price, though, as the materials to make beacons can be quite difficult to collect and getting them to work even after they’re built requires some work. It may take some time, but going to the trouble of making beacons in Minecraft is well worth the effort.

How to craft beacons in Minecraft

Making a beacon in Minecraft requires three materials: glass, obsidian, and a nether star. Of the three, glass is by far the easiest to obtain, as it can be made by simply smelting sand. The quickest way to mine obsidian is to dig deep underground, where it will spawn in subterranean caves and more can be created by making water flow onto the lava that’s often found at low enough depths. The nether star is much more difficult to find; the only way to get one is to beat the Wither boss, which itself can only be summoned using materials gathered in the Nether.

Once you’ve gathered five glass, three obsidian, and one nether star, you can finally build your beacon. Just arrange the obsidian along the bottom row of the crafting grid, place the nether star in the center, and fill the remaining slots with glass.

Minecraft Beacon

How to light beacons in Minecraft

Your work isn’t finished once you’ve built your beacon. To get it to work, you’ll need to build a pyramid to support it and make sure there’s nothing blocking its vertical beam. That means you can’t have any solid blocks above your beacon, but you can have transparent materials like glass.

To activate the beacon’s true power, you’ll need to build a 3×3 platform out of diamond, emerald, gold, or iron. Then, activate the beacon to go into its menu, where you can spend ingots of the same materials to select from several different powers.

Related: How to craft and use scaffolding in Minecraft

If you want to make your beacon even stronger, you can add additional layers to the pyramid, building out one block further with each step, up to a maximum height of four blocks. With each level, you can spend an additional ingot to unlock one more power. Unlocking the maximum power of your beacons can be a lot of work, but if you’ve already managed to craft one in the first place, it’s well worth getting all you can out of it.