Standing next to an Observer in Minecraft
Screenshot by Gamepur

How to use an Observer in Minecraft

This Minecraft block's eyes are not just for decoration.

While the core gameplay experience of Minecraft Survival or Creative Mode is moderately straightforward, dabbling with functional Redstone blocks like the Observer opens a whole new world of complexity and endless innovative possibilities. As its name suggests, the Observer “observes,” indicated by its stern yet slightly adorable face-like features. However, the gist of precisely what this block observes and how that relates to other blocks can be tricky to comprehend, especially for newcomers or beginners to Redstone mechanics. While there are many possible ways to explain its complex functionality, a simple way to view the Observer is as the conditional statement in coding, “if-then.” 

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How does an Observer works in Minecraft

Using a torch and redstone lamp to show how an Observer works in Minecraft
Screenshot by Gamepur

If you are familiar with coding, you will recognize the “if-then statement” as a way a program can assess a condition. For instance, if a user presses the “Settings” button, the program will take them to the options screen. Likewise, the Observer in Minecraft functions in a familiar manner as it observes changes in the direction its “face” is facing. If a change it notices takes place, it will emit a Redstone signal to the space or block behind it. For example, we placed a torch before an Observer’s face. It “observed” a change had occurred in front of it, emitting a Redstone signal to the Redstone Lamp behind it.

Use an Observer to prime TNT in Minecraft
Screenshot by Gamepur

Of course, manually placing blocks in front of an Observer is just one type of change this Redstone block can observe. Creative Minecraft players have created clocks, traps, flying machines, automated farms, and much more using this block’s simple “if-then” mechanic. Remember that the Bedrock and Java Edition‘s Observer have subtle differences in what the block can react to. Still, the functionality is generally the same regarding its Redstone reaction to changes it observes.

Related: How to get a sponge in Minecraft

What is the recipe for the Observer in Minecraft

Observer recipe in Minecraft
Screenshot by Gamepur

To make an Observer in Minecraft Survival, you will need three materials: Cobblestone × 6, Redstone Dust × 2, and Nether Quartz × 1. Cobblestone is incredibly easy to come by, and you likely find Redstone blocks while naturally exploring caves and mines. However, acquiring Nether Quartz will require that you create a Nether Portal using Obsidian and enter the underworld realm to search for the resource. 


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Author
Ethan Webb
From spending endless hours discovering secrets in Paper Mario: TTYD to farming monster parts for a new Bowgun in Monster Hunter Rise, Ethan has always been a gaming enthusiast who passionately loves what he writes about. Since 2021, he has covered Game Guide content for multiple sites, with additional experience in writing coming from his double major Bachelor's Degree in Media & Comm. and Business Admin at Yengnam University in South Korea. Ethan enjoys a wide range of games from various genres, such as Minecraft, Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Fortnite, Roblox, and more.