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How to craft and use a beacon in 'Minecraft' to give your character major upgrades

  • You can use beacons in “Minecraft” to give your character powerful upgrades and buffs.
  • To craft a beacon in “Minecraft,” you’ll need glass, obsidian, and a rare item called the Nether Star.
  • Once you’ve crafted the beacon, you’ll also need to build a pyramid pedestal to place it on.

“Minecraft” has been a beacon in the gaming community for more than a decade now. And there’s no better way to prove that you’re a “Minecraft” master than by crafting a beacon of your own in-game.

The beacon is one of the most difficult items to make in all of “Minecraft,” as it requires at least one incredibly rare material. But once you’ve made one, the beacon can upgrade your mining, speed, and health stats. They’re also a literal beam of guiding light if you’re ever lost in your expansive “Minecraft” world.

Here’s everything to know about beacons, including how to find their materials, how to craft them, and then how to use them.

The materials you’ll need to craft a beacon in ‘Minecraft’

Like most items in “Minecraft,” to make a beacon, you’ll need to gather materials from across the world. Luckily, two of these items can probably be found close to home. The last, however, will take some work.


Starting with the easiest material, you’ll need glass. Just like in real life, you can make glass out of sand. Sand can be found on any ocean beach, or in the desert.

Mine at least five blocks of sand and take them to a furnace. Put them in the furnace with any type of fuel to create glass.

Once you craft a furnace with basic materials, you’ll be able to turn raw materials like sand into higher-level goods like glass.


Next, you’ll need to mine or acquire at least three blocks of obsidian. And unlike other rare ores like diamonds, you can’t trade with villagers to get it.

The best way to find obsidian is to mine it out of the ground. Before you do this, note that you’ll need a diamond or netherite pickaxe — other tools will just break the obsidian and leave you with nothing.

You can create obsidian yourself by pouring water from a bucket into lava. If you don’t have easy access to lava, dig until you reach layer 11 in the Overworld, or layer 31 in the Nether.

Obsidian is hard to break, but easy to make.

Quick tip: In “Minecraft: Java Edition,” you can see what layer you’re on by tapping F3 and checking your XYZ coordinates. The Y coordinate is your layer.

From there, dig horizontally until you find lava, then pour a bucket of water in. If you find lava and water near each other, you can also mine a path for the two liquids to meet. Just be careful: falling in lava is a quick death sentence in Minecraft.

Nether Star

Finally, there’s the Nether Star. The Nether Star is a rare item that can only be obtained by defeating the most difficult boss in “Minecraft:” The Wither.

Unlike other enemies in “Minecraft,” you can’t just find the Wither walking around somewhere. You actually have to make the Wither yourself, using items found in the Nether. The Nether is sort of like “Minecraft’s” version of the underworld — lots of fire, lava, and scary enemies.

So here’s the game plan:

Finding a Nether Star

  1. Get to the Nether by making a Nether Portal.
  2. In the Nether, mine at least four blocks of soul sand. These are gray-brown blocks found on the ground throughout the Nether.
  3. Collect three wither skeleton skulls. Wither skeletons are difficult enemies found in fortresses throughout the Nether, and have a 2.5 percent chance to drop a skull when killed.

    Wither skeletons are harder to kill than regular skeletons.
  4. In either the Nether or Overworld — we’d recommend the Overworld, since there’s more room to run around — stack the soul sand in a “T” shape, and place the three skulls on top of the sand. Once you’ve done it, run away.
  5. In a few seconds, the Wither will spawn and create a massive explosion around itself. Once the explosion fades, fight and kill it. How you do that is up to you, but be careful.

    The Wither will take a few moments to fully spawn — once it does, it’ll explode.
  6. Once the Wither is killed, it’ll drop a Nether Star.

How to craft a beacon in ‘Minecraft’

Once you’ve got the materials, crafting the beacon is easy.

Go to a workbench, and add:

  • Three pieces of glass to the top row.
  • One glass, one Nether Star, and one glass to the middle row.
  • Three obsidian to the bottom row.

This will craft a beacon.

You can craft a beacon using any crafting bench.

However, a beacon by itself is useless. To shoot a beam of light into the sky, as well as tap into a beacon’s true upgrading power, you’ll need to place it on top of a pyramid.

Crafting the beacon pyramid

A beacon will only activate when placed on a pyramid. To build this pyramid, you’ll need iron, gold, emerald, diamond, or netherite blocks. You can use just one or all of these four resources together when building your pyramid — however, you’ll need a lot of them.

Quick tip: Iron, gold, and netherite blocks are made by crafting a full 3×3 grid of their respective ingots. Emerald and diamond blocks require a full 3×3 grid of regular emeralds or diamonds, respectively.

Blocks take nine units of each respective material.

Pyramids can have up to four levels, with each level giving the pyramid more powers and a wider range.

  • A level one pyramid will require a 3×3 base, which takes 9 blocks.
  • A level two pyramid will require a 5×5 base and a 3×3 top, which takes 34 blocks.
  • A level three pyramid will require a 7×7 base, 5×5 second layer, and a 3×3 top, which takes 83 blocks.
  • A level four pyramid will require a 9×9 block base, 7×7 second layer, 5×5 third layer, and a 3×3 top, which takes 164 blocks.

Once you’ve built your pyramid, place the beacon on top, in the very center spot. It’ll activate immediately.

The beacon pyramids can be made out of a single material, or multiple materials.

How to use your ‘Minecraft’ beacon

Once the beacon is activated, you can right-click it to open its menu. In this menu, feed it ingots, diamonds, or emeralds to gain power-ups. The level four pyramid will give you the biggest boosts, but even a small one-level pyramid still gives you access to minor mining and movement speed buffs.

Higher levels will give stronger boosts.

Just note that these buffs don’t cover the entire world. The level one pyramid’s buffs affect everyone in a 20 block radius, the level two pyramid covers a 30 block radius, and so on. Once you leave the coverage area, your buffs will last for about 10 to 15 seconds before fading away.

If you pick a power-up, but later change your mind and want a different one, don’t sweat it: You can always go back and modify the status boost given by the beacon. Just note that you’ll need to give up another ingot, diamond, or emerald.

To enable all the power-ups at the same time, you’ll need to craft six different beacons, and either place them on six pyramids, or a modified 10×11, 8×9, 6×7, and 4×5 level pyramid.

Beacons in “Minecraft” are difficult to make, but are a major status symbol.

Choose the location of your beacon pyramid wisely, as deconstructing it will be time consuming.

How to change the beacon’s light color

Your pyramid can be made out of any combination of emerald, diamond, gold, iron, or netherite. This is great for making it stand out in the world.

Even cooler, though, is the ability to customize the color of your beacon’s light. To do this, place a stained glass window on top of the beacon. It’ll tint your light the same color as the glass.

Stained glass gives beacons a colorful flair.

You can make stained glass by filling a 3×3 crafting grid with glass, but swapping out the middle piece for whatever color dye you like.

Glass combined with dye will give you stained glass.