Minecraft Dungeons guide: What emeralds are for, and how to use them

Minecraft Dungeons Blacksmith
Minecraft Dungeons Blacksmith (Image credit: Windows Central)

If you're familiar with vanilla Minecraft, you'll know that the closest thing Minecraft has to an economy is using emeralds to trade with villagers. It's a similar story in Minecraft Dungeons, with emeralds being the sole currency in-game, and a method with which to procure new upgrades and gear for your hero, as well as share those spoils with your friends. In this Minecraft Dungeons guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about emeralds, including whether or not there are microtransactions.

If you're looking for one of the best games to play with Xbox Cloud Gaming, look no further than Minecraft Dungeons, which is easy to get into and includes intuitive touch controls.

What are emeralds in Minecraft Dungeons?

Minecraft Dungeons Emerald Farm Image

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

No matter where you live, there's always one constant: money. Some kind of currency that has an assumed value, and can be traded for goods or services of an agreed equal value. Minecraft Dungeons understands basic economics and has established its own currency in the form of emeralds! These little green gems can be used to buy goods and services in the game, but only if you have enough to satisfy the other party. In Minecraft Dungeons, "the other party" usually means one of the game's vendors, who all accomplish different tasks for various prices. You can upgrade your existing gear or outfit yourself with all-new equipment.

There are plenty of ways to get emeralds. Defeating enemies and bosses has a chance of procuring emeralds, as does finding hidden secrets or pigs with chests. Completing levels and quests might also net you emerald-flavored rewards, as well as salvaging any unused or unwanted gear and equipment, giving you multiple paths to becoming rich! One of the most effective (if a little boring) method is using our infinite emerald and XP farm. You can always keep track of how many emeralds you've saved at the far right of the HUD at the bottom of the screen.

One question that's commonly asked, however, is whether or not emeralds can be purchased as part of microtransactions in Minecraft Dungeons. We answer that question in our Minecraft Dungeons guide below.

Are emeralds available as microtransactions in Minecraft Dungeons?

Minecraft Dungeons Mystery Merchant

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Microtransactions refer to in-game purchases that often give you smaller bits of content such as new cosmetics, items, currency, resources, or more, depending on the game. While they started in mobile games (and are still particularly aggressive), microtransactions have spread to all parts of the gaming world as a way of monetizing a game and allowing developers to keep the game alive longer. While some microtransactions are much worse than others, players often criticize games that include these purchases, as they can massively imbalance the game for players who aren't willing to spill the extra cash.

So are there any microtransactions in Minecraft Dungeons, and are you able to buy emeralds using them? The answer is a resounding "No." Emeralds can only be collected through playing the game, and the only way you can give the developers at Mojang Studios more money is buy supporting the game through buying post-launch expansions. And, if you love Minecraft Dungeons, you should definitely consider doing so with Jungle Awakens and Creeping Winter, both adding lots of content to the game. Even better, they're both included in the Hero Edition, which should be the go-to choice for anyone looking to buy the game.

There has been some confusion regarding the Mystery Merchant, a new vendor recently added to Minecraft Dungeons that will sell players a random piece of gear in exchange for emeralds. Because of the Mystery Merchant's similarities to loot boxes, a common microtransaction in games, and one of the most despised, players understandably jumped to an unfortunate conclusion. Rest assured that there are still no microtransactions in Minecraft Dungeons, and the Mystery Merchant doesn't sell loot boxes; it just lets you spend your in-game currency to get a random item.

How do I use emeralds in Minecraft Dungeons?

Minecraft Dungeons Village Merchant

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Now that you understand how you obtain emeralds, the second half of the equation is how to spend them. Emeralds are money, after all, and using them, you can potentially upgrade your loadout and make your hero more powerful than ever before. There are five vendors in total in Minecraft Dungeons, after the recent Creeping Winter expansion, and each one accomplishes a very different task. In this Minecraft Dungeons guide, we'll go over the different vendors, and what services they offer.

  • Village Merchant. This vendor is the most basic of the five, and simply offers a variety of weapons, armor, and artifacts. These items are always close to your current power level, but will often be a few levels lower and aren't usually very powerful. However, prices are very reasonable.
  • Luxury Merchant. Feel like splurging? The Luxury Merchant has a much smaller inventory than other vendors like the Village Merchant, but what they do sell tends to be high-end, powerful gear. All that power and rarity comes at a cost, however, and the Luxury Merchant comes out as the most expensive of all the vendors.
  • Mystery Merchant. This unique fellow sits in between the Village and Luxury Merchants in terms of price, but they truly are a wild card when it comes to the product you get. You can choose from one of three boxes, one for each category of item, and from that box, you'll get a completely random item that's appropriate to your power level. It could be good and could be trash. Who knows?
  • Blacksmith. The Blacksmith has existed in Minecraft Dungeons since the beginning, but now has a different job. If you have any favorite gear or super-powerful items you don't wish to let go of, you can upgrade that gear using the Blacksmith. No more leaving things behind because they can't keep up.
  • Gift Wrapper. Finally, we have the Gift Wrapper, which introduces functionality players have been asking for since the beginning: the ability to give friends in your lobby items. Using the Gift Wrapper, you can send off any of your unwanted gear to friends who are currently playing with you; that way, they can take advantage. Pretty neat.

To use your emeralds, decide how you want to spend them and go to the appropriate vendor. Fortunately, emeralds aren't used for anything else outside of vendors in your camp, so you won't have to constantly worry about where to spend them. Eventually, you'll likely have built up a reasonably large surplus of emeralds, ready to spend whenever you fancy it. Just remember, when you're out of emeralds, there's no shortcut to refilling your coffers with real-world money.

How do I earn emeralds quickly in Minecraft Dungeons?

Minecraft Dungeons Emerald Vase

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

There are several different ways to earn emeralds in Minecraft Dungeons, with varying degrees of effort and speed. It's a combination of all of these tools that will help you amass a proper fortune of emeralds. That is, unless you continuously all of your savings as you go. In this section of our Minecraft Dungeons, we'll very quickly go over the different ways you can earn emeralds, including a little trick that we learned.

  • Killing enemies. One of the most consistent ways players will find emeralds in Minecraft Dungeons is simply by killing hostile mobs, who have a chance of dropping emeralds on their deaths. To increase this chance, you can enchant your weapon with an enchantment that increases the emeralds you'll get from killing baddies.
  • Finding emerald vases. Scattered throughout Minecraft Dungeons' various levels are emerald vases, which can be broken to gain more emeralds. These vases are quite common, usually not too hard to find, and are tucked away all around maps. These are a great way to get an extra handful of emeralds with every level, so keep your eyes peeled!
  • Opening chests. A step above vases, chests can range from blatantly in your face to literally invisible until you're right on top of them. Learning how to find and open these chests can get you extra supplies, gear, and, you guessed it, emeralds. The rarity of the chest can change how many emeralds you get too.
  • Salvaging equipment. If you have gear you don't want, duplicates, or if it's simply time to officially abandon a piece of equipment you've been using, you can salvage that gear in exchange for emeralds. You won't get a ton, but this is a great way to trim your inventory and profit off your old gear.
  • Emerald farm. Finally, the last way you can quickly earn emeralds isn't an official game mechanic, and it's frankly quite boring. Using our guide, you can create an infinite emerald and XP farm that will endlessly mine for emeralds for as long as you let it. Even better, you can be completely AFK and don't have to monitor your progress. It's a little bit of a sneaky shortcut and takes the gameplay out of the equation, but if you want to get emeralds and XP fast, this is the ultimate way to do it.

Most of the emeralds you'll get will come from simply playing through levels, keeping an eye out for tertiary paths and secret locations, and occasionally clearing out your old inventory of decrepit equipment. If you want to take it to the next step and don't mind dodging the game's intended mechanics, you can also mine for emeralds infinitely, quickly bolstering your coffers. Once again, there's just one way you will not gain emeralds in Minecraft Dungeons: by using your real-world money.

Minecraft Dungeons


Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.