How To Make A Beacon In Minecraft

Lighthouses are a powerful end game item Minecraft. Their advantage is that they not only act as location markers that can be seen from very far away, but also provide a strong status effect in a certain area. This makes beacons one of the most popular rare blocks in the game, despite how time-consuming it is to obtain.



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The game does not explain how beacons are best used and activated. Even after the light block is made, creating a foundation for them is quite challenging and expensive. That’s why it’s all the more important to know how lighthouses work, where they would be best placed, and what shape and size should be the foundation for a lighthouse of maximum power.

Updated July 1, 2023 by Jacqueline Zalace: Still want to make a lighthouse in Minecraft? We’ve updated this guide with more information to help you create the ultimate lighthouse layout in your Minecraft world.

Making a lighthouse

Minecraft lighthouse crafting recipe

The first step is to make the light block itself. You can make as many of them as you want in the world, as long as you have the materials to do so. Here’s exactly what you’ll need for a single lighthouse block:

  • 5x glass
  • 3x obsidian
  • 1x Nether Star

Glass can be easily purchased melting sand in the furnace. Obsidian is mined for a diamond pickaxe from a still surface of lava that has come into contact with water. Both are fairly easy to get, but the Nether star is a different story.

Obtaining the Nether Star

minecraft dries skeletons

To get the Nether Star, you have to defeat Wither who is the mob boss in the game. This is a lengthy process; below you can see each step you will need to complete to defeat the Wither and obtain the Nether Star.

Obtaining wilted skeleton heads

To summon Wither, you must first have three skeleton heads Wither, which are a random and rare drop from Wither Skeletons most commonly found in Nether strongholds.

Using the Looting III sword has a slightly higher drop chance.

To obtain these skulls, you can either roam the Nether Fortress or set up your own Wither Skeleton Farm. Wither Skeletons are three blocks tall, so if you’re afraid to get too close, you can place blocks to form a barrier. That will be let you go under, but the Wither Skeletons won’t be able to.

Summoning the Wither

Minecraft dry body with heads

When you have three Wither skeleton heads, collect four pieces of soul sand, usually found in the Soul Sand Valley biome in the Nether. Put the mental sand in there T-shape, on the ground or upright and place the skeleton heads on the horizontal top of the T-shape to summon the withered.

In the image above you can see the setup for summoning Wither. After defeating him, he will drop a Nether Star, which you can instantly turn into a beacon.

Fighting a vein is not an easy task and requires a lot of preparation. The point is that you shouldn’t invoke it just everywhere and certainly not near your house or any other building you particularly like.

We suggest you head into the foundation and carve out an “arena” where you can fight this boss.

Building the foundation

Minecraft Beacon Effects

A beacon block by itself is not enough to work on its own. In order for the beacon to work, it must be placed on top of a pyramid-shaped foundation or base composed entirely of solid ore blocks. The light block must also have access to the sky, no matter how deep it is placed.

The base can be made from the following types of blocks.

  • Iron ingots
  • Gold ingots
  • Diamonds
  • Emeralds
  • Ingots of netterite

To do a cheap lighthouse, a rod with iron. If you happen to have an efficient Villager trading system, you can also use emeralds.

Setting up the lighthouse pyramid

Minecraft Beacon Any layer size

To achieve maximum beacon power, ideally it should have four levels built, with the lighthouse on top, in the center block of a 3×3 area, which is the top layer of the lighthouse base.

For a full four-layer pyramid, here’s how big each layer should be and how many blocks you’ll need.

Layer (from below)

Block dimensions

Necessary blocks

Ore (total for all blocks)

1st layer




2nd layer




3rd layer




4th layer







You can build a lighthouse with all four layers, or you can should be slightly smaller. For example, instead of having a 9×9 base, you can have a three-layer beacon with a 7×7 base. Remember that the lighthouse is always there placed on top of the first layer, above the center block of the 3×3 area.

While the beacon will work with just a 3×3 layer, to get the secondary status effect it is recommended to invest and build a four layer pyramid for maximum benefits.

Choosing power

Minecraft Beacon interface

Lighthouses that have three layers or less will only come with primary condition effects, meaning they only cast one specific power while you are in range. If you’ve built a fourth layer, you’ll also be able to choose a secondary state effect, making the beacon even more powerful.

To set beacon powers, right click on it to open the interface. To start using it, it must be given either netherite ingot, emerald, diamond, gold ingot or iron ingot. That is it does not depend on the material used to build the pyramid. This should be done every time the condition effects change.

Below you can find all five powers and what they do.





Melee damage is increased

A three-level pyramid is required


Increase movement speed

Any size pyramid


It goes by faster

Any size pyramid


Reduced damage dealt

A two-level pyramid is required

Jump Boost

Jump higher

A two-level pyramid is required


Regenerate health

Secondary power with a four-level pyramid

Beacon Range

a beacon with a netterite base

Beacon range depending on its size. The bigger your beacon, the longer the range. As expected, the beacon size with the largest range is the four-layer pyramid version.

You can check the range of each beacon size here. These powers will hold for a few seconds, which also depends on the size; we have also included this information.



Duration (after leaving the area)


20 blocks

11 seconds


30 blocks

13 seconds


40 blocks

15 seconds


50 blocks

17 seconds

By 20 blocks we mean 20 blocks in all four directions from the lighthouse. So if you have a beacon with a single layer at coordinates X= 0, Y= 0, then the range the beacon will extend from X= -20 to 20 and Y= -20 to 20. It’s basically a 40 by 40 piece of land.

This range extends upwards, s there are no restrictions. This means that if you build your lighthouse on a base, you will receive powers that will rise as far as possible.

Effective beacon setup

Instead of having multiple beacons lined up with each other, try to space them out a bit. For example, if you use Beacons for Haste or Haste, you can expand them to cover more ground. As the lingering effects begin to wear off, you will already be within range of the next lighthouse.

Of course, if you plan to work in this space, then it is best that the spans of the beacons are aligned.

Variations and colors

Minecraft colorful lighthouses

Lighthouses also come in variations. For example, if you want to build several lighthouses, they can all be placed on the same foundation with some minor adjustments in shape and size. In the case of classic construction with six lighthouses, the size for each layer would change as follows



1st layer


2nd layer


3rd layer


4th layer


This allows you to have multiple powers selected at any time. The beam of the lighthouse can also be painted sptying the stained glass block to the top of the light blockwhich adds a nice element of customization.

NEXT: The Complete Minecraft Guide and Walkthrough

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