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How to make and use a beacon in Minecraft

A beacon helps you improve your health, speed, and other stats. Here’s how to make and use a beacon in Minecraft.

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A Minecraft Beacon Pyramid

A beacon is an end-game item in Minecraft that you can set up for navigation and buffs. From the procedure to make it to its uses, here’s everything to know about a beacon in Minecraft.

Minecraft offers a wide range of items and blocks that players can experiment with. While some blocks like cobblestone are as basic as it gets, others like beacon have complex uses. Accordingly, making a beacon requires you to defeat bosses and extensively explore the Overworld.

From its crafting recipe to the blocks required for a full beacon, this guide will cover everything about beacons in Minecraft.

Minecraft beacon pyramid in the form of a lighthouse

What do beacons do in Minecraft?

Beacons emit a beam toward the sky and provide buffs and status effects to nearby players. Some players use beacons to improve their speed and jumping ability while others simply use them for navigation as their beam is visible from 1342 blocks away in the Java edition and 64 blocks away in Bedrock.

You can change the color of the beacon’s beam by placing stained glass (obtained by placing eight blocks of glass and one dye in the middle of the crafting table) above it. This is helpful if you’re willing to set up multiple beacons in your Overworld, and each beacon can help in identifying landmarks.

A beacon has primary and secondary powers:

Primary Powers

  • Speed I– Increases movement speed.
  • Haste I – Increases mining and attack speed.
  • Resistance I – Decreases all incoming damage.
  • Jump Boost I – Increases jumping distance and height.
  • Strength I – Increases Melee damage.

Secondary Powers

Secondary Powers are only available with a tier 4 pyramid:

  • Regeneration – provides healing.
  • Increases Primary Power to level 2

When activated, a beacon’s powers are applied to all players in range for a duration of 9 seconds plus 2 seconds per pyramid level. This means that a full pyramid can apply the status effects for 17 seconds. This process takes place every four seconds.

Primary and seconday powers of a Minecraft beacon

How to make a beacon in Minecraft

You need the following items to craft a beacon in Minecraft:

  • Five blocks of glass
  • Three obsidian blocks
  • A nether star

The crafting pattern for a Minecraft beacon is:

Crafting recipe to make beacon in Minecraft

Here’s how you can obtain these items:

Glass

You can easily get glass in Minecraft by smelting Sand. If you want to mine it naturally, make sure to use tools with Silk Touch enabled. It generates inside the secret rooms in woodland mansions and in ancient cities.

Obsidian

Obsidian blocks in Minecraft are created when water flows over a lava source. You can also find them naturally in all three worlds:

  • Overworld – Woodland mansions, ocean ruins buildings, ravines, caves, ruined portals.
  • The Nether – ruined portals.
  • The End – on the main island at Y=0, end ship, and end cities.

Nether Star

You can get a nether star in Minecraft by defeating the Wither. This is the only source to get this item and interestingly, a nether star’s sole purpose is to be a crafting ingredient for beacons.

You can summon a Wither by placing four blocks of soul sand/ soul soil in a T shape and three wither skeleton skulls on the top. Your world’s difficulty must not be set to Peaceful if you want to spawn the boss.

Soul sand structure to spawn the Wither boss in Minecraft

How to make pyramids for a single beacon in Minecraft

Beacons in Minecraft only work when they’re placed above a Pyramid made of iron, gold, emerald, diamond, or netherite. A pyramid can consist of different types of blocks. There are four types of Pyramids that you can make and their height impacts the capabilities of the beacon.

The procedure to make a beacon pyramid also depends on the number of beacons you’re willing to use.

This chart will illustrate the number of blocks you require to make a fully functioning single beacon Pyramid:

Pyramid levelBlocks LayersPowers and buffs availableRange
1204 x 5, beaconsHaste and Jump20
2626×7, 4 x 5, beaconsHaste, Speed, Jump Boost, and Resistance30
31348 x 9, 6 x 7, 4 x 5, beaconsStrength, Haste, Speed, Jump Boost, and Resistance40
424410 x 11, 8 x 9, 6 x 7, 4 x 5, beaconsStrength, Haste, Speed, Jump Boost, and Resistance with Secondary Powers (passive regen or upgrade all Primary Powers to Level 2)50

It is evident that making a tier 4 beacon pyramid is hard but it allows you to choose from all primary and secondary powers.

How to make pyramids for multiple beacons in Minecraft

You can place multiple beacons on the top of a Minecraft pyramid to use all the available buffs together. By placing six beacons on the top and assigning different primary and secondary powers to each one, you’ll be able to get level II Strength, Haste, Speed, Jump Boost, and Resistance alongside Passive Regeneration from a single pyramid.

This chart will reveal the number of blocks required to make a pyramid with multiple beacons on top:

Pyramid levelBlocks LayersPowers and buffs availableRange
193 x 3, beaconHaste and Jump20
2345 x5, 3 x 3, beaconHaste, Speed, Jump Boost, and Resistance30
3837 x7, 5 x 5, 3 x 3, beaconStrength, Haste, Speed, Jump Boost, and Resistance40
41649 x 9, 7 x 7, 5 x 5, 3 x 3, beaconStrength, Haste, Speed, Jump Boost, and Resistance with Secondary Powers (passive regen or upgrade all Primary Powers to Level 2)50

Lastly, remember that a beacon can be activated only when it has a clear view of the sky. Having said that, you can place transparent blocks like water or glass above a beacon and it won’t affect the device’s working.

Minecraft pyramid with six beacons

This is everything you’ll ever need to know about beacons, beacon pyramids, and blocks required to make a full beacon in Minecraft.

How to use a beacon in Minecraft

Once you’ve activated a beacon by placing it on the pyramid, go close and right-click to open the beacon GUI. You’ll have the option to donate ingots, diamonds, or emeralds and activate power-ups.

By feeding the right item, you’ll be able to choose between a wide range of Secondary and Primary Powers. To get all the buffs together, we recommend building a 10 x 11, 8 x 9, 6 x 7, and 4 x 5 beacon.

To change the power of a beacon, interact with it again and feed it an ingot, diamond, or emerald. This will help you access the GUI and change the buffs you’re currently getting.

How to choose the primary and secondary powers of a Minecraft beacon

Even though there are many options, a Minecraft beacon can only provide players with one primary effect and a secondary effect. To activate them, you must feed the beacon an iron, gold, diamond, netherite, or emerald ingot.

Following activation, you can choose the primary and secondary effects based on the pyramid level. To use two primary powers, you can choose the Secondary power that increases the primary power to level 2.

You can change the primary and secondary powers of your beacon but to do so, you’ll always have to feed the device another ingot.


While this guide can be useful for players who’ve reached the endgame, we have a ton of guides for beginners as well. Make sure to check out how to breed horses in Minecraft, how to make Stone Bricks in Minecraft, and how to get a Saddle in Minecraft

Image Credits: Mojang