What do I need to know about dungeons?

Discovering a dungeon in Minecraft for the first time leads to a lot of questions. You can see a chest or two, but there seems to be an endless supply of monsters headed your way. To help you conquer the dungeon and loot the treasure, here are five things you need to know before you go exploring!

What are dungeons?

Dungeon entrance

Dungeons are naturally occurring areas that are found underground in the Overworld. They are either 5x5, 7x7, or 5x7 blocks in size, and are generally made up of cobblestone and mossy cobblestone.

In the center of a dungeon is a monster spawner that spits out either zombies, skeletons, or spiders when you enter within a 16-block radius. A new monster will spawn, on average, about every 25 seconds, but can spawn as quickly as every 10 seconds.

Within a dungeon you will also find up to two treasure chests — you will rarely find a dungeon without a treasure chest, but it happens sometimes.

What should I bring with me when looking for dungeons?

Dealing with dungeons can be very dangerous — you need certain tools to help deal with the mobs and the monster spawner itself. Here's a list of items you should have in your inventory when heading out to look for dungeons.

  • Torches: You will need torches to light up your mineshafts and natural caverns while searching for dungeons. You can also use torches to help control mobs once you enter the dungeon.

  • Weapons: You will need either a sword, bow and arrow, or both to dispatch the mobs that have spawned in the dungeon. If you use a bow and arrow, you can shoot through a one-block opening to kill monsters while they're unable to attack you. Bring at least a stone sword with you — iron, gold, or diamond are best.

  • Armor: Any type of armor will help you deal with taking blows from mobs.

  • Pickaxe: You will need a pickaxe to break through the wall of a dungeon if there is no naturally occurring opening. A pickaxe can also be used to destroy the monster spawner. Bring at least a stone pickaxe — iron, gold, or diamond are best.

How do I find dungeons?

There's a dungeon nearby!

There is no guaranteed, fool-proof way to find dungeons, but there are some things to look and listen for while exploring the wild or mining underground.

Although dungeons spawn underground, they can be visible from above ground. Check the walls of deep ravines for any mossy cobblestone or suspicious openings. If you're in a desert biome, watch for any depressions in the sand that match the size of a dungeon — one might be just below the surface.

Mobs make noise, especially when there are a bunch grouped together in a small room. When mining underground, listen for multiple zombie moans, bone creaks, or spider hisses. Follow your ear and you will likely find a dungeon waiting to be pillaged.

One of the best practices for finding dungeons is exploring naturally occurring caves. Make sure you have plenty of torches, a weapon, and some armor with you, as you will no doubt encounter some monsters. Listen for mobs, and watch out for any mossy cobblestone.

How do I stop mobs from spawning?

Torches around the spawner stops monsters from spawning.

There are two ways to stop mobs from spawning in a dungeon. You can either break the monster spawner with a pickaxe, or, if you want to preserve the monster spawner for later use, you can place torches around it.

Monster spawners can be broken with any tool — even your bare hand — but won't grant XP if not broken with a pickaxe.

Place torches on all four sides of the monster spawner to create enough light to stop spawning. If monsters do happen to keep appearing, place a few more torches.

What items will I find in a dungeon chest?

Dungeon chests

Dungeon chests can be very lucrative and are definitely worth the struggle of successfully conquering a dungeon.

Beetroot seeds: 18.8% chance of finding beetroot seeds in a chest.

Bone: 57.8% chance of finding beetroot seeds in a chest.

Bread: 35.3% chance of finding bread in a chest.

Bucket: 18.8% chance of finding a bucket in a chest.

Coal: 27.4% chance of finding coal in a chest.

Cocoa beans: 18.8% chance of finding cocoa beans in a chest.

Enchanted book: 15.1% chance of finding an enchanted book in a chest. The book can have any enchantment and any level of enchantment.

Golden apple (normal): 22.2% chance of finding a normal golden apple in a chest.

Golden apple (enchanted): 3.1% chance of finding an enchanted golden apple in a chest.

Gold ingot: 9.7% chance of finding a gold ingot in a chest.

Gunpowder: 57.8% chance of finding gunpowder in a chest.

Horse armor (iron): 22.2% chance of finding iron horse armor in a chest.

Horse armor (gold): 15.1% chance of finding gold horse armor in a chest.

Horse armor (diamond): 7.7% chance of finding diamond horse armor in a chest.

Ink sac: 29% chance of finding an ink sac in a chest.

Iron ingot: 18.8% chance of finding an iron ingot in a chest.

Melon seeds: 18.8% chance of finding melon seeds in a chest.

Name tag: 29% chance of finding a name tag in a chest.

Pumpkin seeds: 18.8% chance of finding pumpkin seeds in a chest.

Redstone: 27.4% chance of finding redstone in a chest.

Rotten flesh: 57.8% chance of finding rotten flesh in a chest.

Saddle: 29% chance of finding a saddle in a chest.

String: 57.8% chance of finding string in a chest.

Wheat: 35.3% chance of finding wheat in a chest.

Your dungeon crawling adventures

How many dungeons have you conquered? Did you find any good loot? Let us know in the comments section below!