How do I use beacons in Minecraft?

Successfully activating a beacon in Minecraft is a pretty big deal. First, you have to kill a Wither and collect a Nether star, second, you have to craft a beacon, and third, you have to create a pyramid on which you place the beacon.

When a beacon is working, it shoots a bright beam of light into the sky, which all players can use as a reference point. The beacon also gives players within a certain radius several power-ups. Here's how to get your beacon going in Minecraft.

How to obtain a Nether star

Getting yourself a Nether star is quite a process on its own. You need to travel to the Nether, collect some skeleton skulls and soul sand, summon a Wither, and kill it.

Wither!

If you're already a pro at summoning and defeating Withers, you should have no problem here. Unsure of the complete process? Check out our complete guide to summoning and defeating a Wither.

How to craft a beacon

Each Wither drops one Nether star. To craft a beacon, you'll also need three blocks of obsidian and five blocks of glass.

Beacon recipe

This crafting recipe will give you one beacon.

How to build a pyramid

Beacon atop a pyramid.

A beacon cannot simply be placed anywhere — it must be placed atop a pyramid for it to work properly. There also cannot be any blocks between the top of the pyramid where the beacon sits and the open sky. The pyramid must be constructed from blocks of iron, gold, diamond, or emerald. The type of power-up available, the effect range, and the strength of the power-ups depends on how many levels the pyramid has.

You can create a pyramid for one beacon, or you can create a pyramid for multiple beacons.

Single-beacon pyramid

Your pyramid can have one level with nine blocks and a beacon. Single-level pyramid

Your pyramid can have two levels with 34 blocks and a beacon. Double-level pyramid

Your pyramid can have three levels with 83 blocks and a beacon. Triple-level pyramid

Your pyramid can have four levels with 164 blocks and a beacon. Quad-level pyramid

Multiple-beacon pyramid

Multiple-beacon pyramids contain many more solid blocks of iron, gold, diamond, or emerald, and are usually reserved for Realms where multiple people can contribute to the project.

Multiple-beacon setup

The pyramids are built in the same manner but are expanded to fit however many beacons you'd like on top. The example above has four beacons on top. The bottom layer of the pyramid uses 100 blocks, the second layer uses 64 blocks, the third layer uses 36 blocks, and the top layer uses 16 blocks. That's a whopping 216 blocks of solid ore.

Beacon power-ups

Beacon power menu

There are five powers you can choose from a beacon situated atop a four-level pyramid.

SpeedSpeed: Get ready to run fast.

HasteHaste: Mine blocks...fast!

ResistanceResistance: You're more resilient to damage.

Jump boostJump Boost: Jump farther and higher.

StrengthStrength: Deal more damage.

Your four-level pyramid will also automatically give you Regeneration, which regenerates your health.

The range of these effects depends on how big of a pyramid you have beneath your beacon.

  • One-level pyramid: 20-block range
  • Two-level pyramid: 30-block range
  • Three-level pyramid: 40-block range
  • Four-level pyramid: 50-block range

When you leave the range of the effect, it will wear off after about 5-9 seconds.

Your beacons

Have you taken the time to kill a Wither, craft a beacon, and place it atop a pyramid? How long did it take? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!