The recent 1.18 update has changed the mining in Minecraft significantly! No longer is strip-mining the go-to method, and is that rumor about ocean ravine diving for diamonds true? Today we will be exploring the depths of the earth in our Minecraft 1.18 Mining Guide.
Minecraft 1.18 Mining Guide
Before we can begin spelunking, you must craft your very first pickaxe. In Minecraft, this is done with two sticks and three planks, cobblestone, iron ingots, gold ingots, or diamonds. Stick one is placed in the middle of the crafting table’s bottom row, stick two goes directly above in the middle of row two, and the three interchangeable materials are placed side by side along the top row. The final result should look like a “T.”
It is vital to note diamond ore requires at least an iron pickaxe to mine. Furthermore, the stronger the pickaxe, the more effective it is, with netherite being the strongest. Unlike the pickaxes listed above, Netherite items are made by placing diamond tools in a smithing table alongside netherite bars—a late-game item from the nether that will be touched on later in the guide.
Mining in the Overworld
Before Minecraft 1.18, the most effective form of mining was strip mining. This entailed digging down to the bottom-most layers of the world and mining in repeating lines two to three blocks apart. As its name would suggest, this method leaves the area you selected stripped of its resources without the risk of missing anything.
Now with the generation of 1.18, it is far more effective to simply explore large caves while keeping an eye out for ore and diamonds. That is not to say strip mining isn’t an option. It still exists as a much safer and less involved method for those who enjoy watching other forms of media while mining. After all, the new caves are very unforgiving to those not paying attention.
In either case, make sure to equip armor and weapons to deal with the many mobs that call these massive caves home. Additionally, include a water bucket, shovel, food, and torches alongside your pickaxe for a complete mining kit. The water bucket quickly clears away lava while the shovel deals with any random dirt or gravel.
If that sounds tedious, there is another mining method for those who prefer the sea. Ravines spawn naturally along the ocean floor, and it is not uncommon for them to reach very deep levels. If you have the water breathing potions needed to dive them, it is a very safe way to casually mine a lot of resources.
Remember, diamonds only spawn below Y = 15, so keep an eye on your coordinates!
Enchanting Your Pickaxe
After the first few ventures deep into the earth, you should have quite a bit of experience alongside a few diamonds. Unless you intend to brave nether right away, enchanting some diamond pickaxes would likely be in your best interest. We offer a beginner’s guide here for those unfamiliar with enchanting.
Possible pickaxe enchantments are as follows:
- Efficiency I-V: Increases block breaking speed.
- Fortune I-III: Increases the number of drops from certain blocks.
- Silk Touch: Gathered blocks drop their unbroken forms. (Stone instead of cobblestone, for example.)
- Unbreaking I-III: Reduces the chance of items losing durability. (Makes items last longer.)
- Mending: Experience points earned automatically repair items with this enchantment.
NOTE: Fortune and Silk Touch can not be on the same pickaxe.
A pickaxe with fortune III can cause a single diamond ore to give four diamonds which is a massive increase from the single diamond it would typically give! One mining trip with a fortune pickaxe III should supply enough diamonds for a complete armor set. However, before heading to the nether for that ever-tempting ancient debris, a pickaxe with at least efficiency IV and unbreaking III is recommended.
Mining in the Nether
To enter the nether, a nether portal must first be made. This requires ten obsidian alongside flint & steel to light the portal. With your newly enchanted diamond pickaxe, this should be quick to gather if it is not done already.
From there, you may enter the nether for the final challenge of this Minecraft 1.18 Mining Guide. Finding ancient debris! Recall strip mining mentioned before? Unlike in the overworld, strip mining is much more viable here in the nether. Recommended even! Head to layer y = 15 and dig repeating straight lines until ancient debris is found.
Due to the rarity of ancient debris, this can take quite a bit of time and be very dangerous. Watch out for sudden lava pools, don’t accidentally miss any because ancient debris blends right in, and most importantly, don’t give up. You will find some eventually!
But if your luck is anything like mine, there are a few methods to speed this process up. Drinking a fire resistance potion while using an Efficiency V pickaxe will allow you to break blocks while sprinting without fear of lava. Faster overall but at the cost of potion production time.
Another method is blast mining. Ancient debris has a very high resistance to explosions, making it safe to use TNT. This method involves digging a long tunnel along Y = 15 and placing TNT close enough to cause a chain reaction of explosions. The result is your very own nether cave to walk through in search of Ancient Debris casually.
Because it is the nether, using the cheaper alternative of exploding beds is also possible, but this is much more dangerous, especially without blast protection armor. If this method is being used, be sure to click the beds from as far away as possible to minimize damage.
With that, you should soon have yourself some ancient debris to smelt into netherite scraps.
Making a Netherite Pickaxe
Four netherite scraps and four gold ingots are required to craft a netherite ingot on a crafting table. The recipe is three netherite scrap along the top row, a netherite scrap followed by two gold bars on the second row, and two gold ingots in the right-most slot and middle slot of the bottom row. Then, once crafted, place a diamond pickaxe and one netherite ingot in the smithing table for your very first netherite pickaxe.
And you’re done! Congratulations! 😀
A Mining Trip Complete
With the creation of netherite tools, this mining adventure comes to an end, but yours does not have to! Get back out there and mine enough ancient debris to make all your armor and tools netherite. Just don’t forget the netherite hoe! It’s arguably the most important one, after all.
Until Next Time,