Note: This guide focuses on the Bedrock version of Minecraft, available on Windows 10, Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and mobile.
Losing your way in Minecraft can be frustrating. Even though world generation has improved in leaps and bounds over the years, it’s easy to get lost and convince yourself that your base is just past some trees–only to find yourself in a spruce forest after sundown. Fortunately, Minecraft has a few tools that can help you keep track of where you are in the world. Below, we detail all the major navigational tools in the game.
The compass is simple to build once you have a stone or iron pickaxe and, if you’re sticking close to your world spawn point, an absolutely crucial tool to find your way back home. Later, you can build a Lodestone and pair your compass with it to make it even more useful.
Maps & the Cartography Table
Don’t wait to start mapping. Minecraft is full of stunning vistas, villages and fortresses full of rare blocks and items, and other things worth finding again. If you start a map early on, you’ll have no problem finding your way back to that gorgeous mesa or lush jungle biome you finally found after too much searching.
You can build a regular old vanilla map, of course, but if you combine a piece of paper with a compass at a cartography table, it becomes a Locator Map, which shows your location on the sheet. Combine a map with a blank piece of paper, and you’ll get a zoomed-out version–there are four different levels of zoom to use. You can even turn them into art by placing the map in a wall frame so that you can see your glorious handiwork from a bird’s eye view.
The clock is one of the less useful tools in Minecraft but still has its purpose. If you’re spending a lot of time mining, and especially if you’re doing so on a Minecraft realm or Survival Multiplayer server, knowing what time of day it is helps you know when you can deploy your portable bed and refresh yourself.
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