How to Make a Beacon in Minecraft

Activate a Beacon to light your way and get status bonuses

If you have trouble getting back to your base, learn how to make a Beacon in Minecraft to light your way. Beacons also provide helpful status buffs to keep you safe.


How to Make a Beacon in Minecraft

How to Make a Beacon in Minecraft

Here's how to find and arrange the materials you need to craft a Beacon:

  1. Summon a Wither and defeat it to get a Nether Star.

    A Nether Star in Minecraft
  2. Make 5 Glass blocks. Smelt Sand in a Furnace to make Glass.

    Glass in a Furnace in Minecraft
  3. Mine 3 Obsidian. Pour a Water Bucket over lava to create Obsidian blocks, then use a Diamond Pickaxe or Netherite Pickaxe to mine them.

    Mining obsidian in Minecraft.
  4. Craft the Beacon. In a Crafting Table, place 1 Nether Star in the middle box, place 3 Obsidian in the bottom row, and place 5 Glass blocks in the remaining boxes.

    A Beacon in a Crafting Table in Minecraft

To further help you navigate your Minecraft World, you can make a map and customize it with a Cartography Table.

Build a Base for Your Beacon

To activate the Beacon, you must build a base out of Diamonds, Emeralds, Gold, Iron, or Netherite (any combination of these blocks will work).

Your base can be 1-4 layers high, and the blocks must be placed in a specific way:

  • Layer 1: 9 blocks (3X3)
  • Layer 2: 25 blocks (5X5)
  • Layer 3: 49 blocks (7X7)
  • Layer 4: 81 blocks (9X9)
An Emerald 4-layer pyramid for a Beacon in Minecraft

The potential benefits of the Beacon increase with each layer. Build your base in the shape of a pyramid with the largest layer on the bottom and the smallest on top. You will need a total of 244 blocks to build a 4-layer base from your Beacon.

The duration and range of the status bonus from your Beacon are determined by the size of your base:

Range Duration
Layer 1 20 blocks 11 seconds
Layer 2 30 blocks 13 seconds
Layer 3 40 blocks 15 seconds
Layer 4 50 blocks 17 seconds

How to Activate a Beacon in Minecraft

Once you build a base for the Beacon, you're ready to activate it.

  1. Place the Beacon on the center block of the top layer of your base. The Beacon will emit a light that acts as a handy guide when you're exploring.

    You can change the color of the light by placing a stained glass block on top of it. You can even stack multiple glass blocks to create different hues.

    An active Beacon on top of a pyramid in Minecraft
  2. Interact with the Beacon. You'll see a menu where you can choose a status boost (if your base has 4 layers, you can choose a secondary bonus). The available options grow with each layer of your base:

    • Layer 1 : Speed, Haste
    • Layer 2: Resistance, Jump Boost
    • Layer 3: Strength
    • Layer 4: Regeneration or double another bonus
    Power option in the Beacon menu in Minecraft
  3. Put one of the following blocks in the empty box at the bottom of the menu: Netherite Ingot, Emerald, Diamond, Gold Ingot, or Iron Ingot. Finally, select the checkmark to activate your Beacon.

    An Emerald in the Beacon menu in Minecraft

If you have a full pyramid, activate an additional Beacon on each side of the first Beacon. That way, you can have up to six status bonuses active at once.

  • Why isn't my Minecraft beacon working?

    Make sure that all of your base layers (whether you build one or up to four) are complete and are using the necessary block types. Check that your beacon has been activated. If everything is correct and it still won't work right, look up—the beacon also needs to have a clear path to open sky in order to function. If there are any obstructions you'll either need to remove them, or relocate the beacon and its base.

  • How do I build a rainbow beacon in Minecraft?

    After constructing and activating a beacon you'll need to first create blue, green, red, and yellow stained glass and stack the blocks on top of your beacon. Next, make sticky pistons and arrange them in a counter-clockwise circuit around the stack of stained glass from the bottom to the top. Set up repeaters calibrated for four ticks on all of your pistons, then turn the mechanism on with a Redstone torch.

  • How do I dye my Minecraft beacon?

    You can't use dye to change the color of your beacon. The only way to change the color of the beam is to place a stained glass block on top of it.

  • What is the visible range on a Minecraft beacon's beam?

    You can see the beam from a beacon (if your line of sight isn't obstructed) from up to 256 blocks away in the Java Edition and up to 64 blocks away in the Bedrock Edition.

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