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Minecraft maps - how to craft and use a map

Always getting lost? Can’t find your house? Keep track of your place in this massive world, and find your enemies quicker, with our Minecraft map guide.

Steve holding one of the Minecraft maps in a forest area

The world of Minecraft can be an overwhelming one, so let us help you find your place in the world with our Minecraft maps guide. We’re going to break down exactly what you need to craft one and what it does, so you can go exploring with peace of mind that you won’t lose your chest full of diamonds after a creeper blows you to high hell. We’ll cover exactly which resources you need, where to find them, how to craft a map, and then how to use it.

If you just can’t get enough Minecraft and want to discover more ways to interact with the world, be sure to check out our litany of lovely guides. We’ve covered Minecraft mobs, Minecraft ender dragon, Minecraft end portal, Minecraft skins, and even the best Minecraft games to make the most of your time.

Let’s get into how to make and use Minecraft maps.

Minecraft maps: a screenshot from the game Minecraft shows a player holding a map, revealing a detailed explanation of their location

How to craft Minecraft maps

To make a Minecraft map you need nine pieces of paper and a compass. The compass should be in the middle of the crafting table, with paper surrounding it in every other available slot.

You can make paper with sugar cane, which is often found near bodies of water. Simply place three pieces of sugar cane on the crafting table in a horizontal line to make paper. Remember, you need nine pieces to craft each map piece, but you’ll also want more if you want to later expand the map.

Making a compass requires iron ingots – which you can craft by putting iron ore in a furnace – and Redstone dust. You can find Redstone when mining, in the blocks with red spots on them. To mine both, you need an iron pickaxe or higher, though you’ll probably have lots of iron already…  hopefully. From here, making the compass is easy, as previously outlined.

To put it simply – compass in the middle, paper in every other crafting table slot, and bingo!

Where can I find Minecraft maps?

While crafting one is a surefire way to get a map, you can also find them while exploring the world. Maps sometimes appear in treasure chests in shrunken shipwrecks and strongholds, and if you find a village there’s a 50% chance a map will appear in a cartographer’s chest. You can also purchase maps from cartographers.

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How do I use Minecraft maps?

When you first fire up your map, you’ll find it quite empty, ready to be filled in as you adventure. Equip the map, then use it by pressing the action button, and the game will map your surroundings. Simply walk around with the map equipped and active, and more of the world will be mapped for you to find your way. If you want to expand the range covered in your map, you can extend it by combining it with other pieces of paper on the crafting table.

That’s all we have for this guide on Minecraft maps, but hopefully, this helps you and you won’t be getting lost in the wilderness quite so often. If you know your way around the world, now is the perfect time to also search for some Minecraft diamonds, and craft yourself some fearsome tools.