Much of what you’ll be doing in Minecraft (aside from, you know, crafting) is exploring. But sometimes, it can be easy to get lost among the many biomes in the world. That’s why you should always have a compass on you. It will point you back to the spawn point, without having to stop and look at a map. If you’re in the thick of mining and walking around the world, things can blend together.
There’s a low possibility of finding a compass if you stumble upon a shipwreck or stronghold, but chances are, you’ll have an easier time crafting one instead. In this guide, we’ll run through everything you need to know about the compass — from how to craft one to finding the materials and the benefits of using it.
The materials you need to craft a compass are relatively simple. To do so, you’ll need the following items:
- Four iron ingots
- One redstone dust
Remember that the layout is important when placing the items into the 9×9 crafting squares. Make sure you’ve got the redstone dust in the center, surrounded by each of the four iron ingots — at the top center, bottom center, left center, and right center. Use the image above for reference. If you place the items into the crafting squares at random, it won’t let you craft a compass.
Remember, you’ll need a crafting table to create the compass, which can be made by combining four planks of any type of wood.
Where to find them
Finding the materials required to make the compass isn’t too difficult. The redstone dust is acquired from smelting an iron ore in a furnace with a log of any kind. You’ll find redstone dust beneath the surface, as indicated by a light-gray block with red spots on it. Use your pickaxe to start mining below until you find it. Once you do, place one in the furnace with a log found from chopping any tree and you’ll get one redstone dust.
As for acquiring the iron ingot, it’s similar to the redstone dust. You’ll need to smelt an iron ore with a log of your choice to get an iron ingot. You likely have plenty of iron ore if you’ve been mining and exploring, but if not, use your trusty pickax to traverse below and you’ll find some in no time.
What a compass does
The compass in Minecraft has way more functionality than just telling you which direction north is. Instead, it points to your spawn point, which is extremely useful when traveling across the map. Your spawn point should serve as your base or home, where all your precious items are. You can set your spawn point by typing in the /spawnpoint command or by sleeping in a bed. When you set your spawn point and have a compass, you’ll be able to find your way back home. The red needle will always point toward your spawn point, regardless of whether you’re holding the compass, it’s in your hotbar, or it’s in the inventory menu, which is nifty since it means you can free up space in your hands.