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Minecraft Beacon: how to make and activate a Beacon

Learn how to make and activate a Beacon in Minecraft

Want to know how to make and activate a Beacon in Minecraft? Beacons have two very important uses in Minecraft, as they give you status effects whilst also emitting a beam of light that can act as a waypoint marker to guide you and your friends home.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make and use a Beacon in Minecraft, including how to get a Nether Star, which is one of the ingredients you will need.


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How to make a Beacon in Minecraft

To make a Beacon in Minecraft, you need to gather 5 pieces of Glass, 3 blocks of Obsidian, and a Nether Star. Glass and Obsidian are relatively easy to obtain: smelt sand in a furnace to get Glass, and pour a bucket of Water over Lava to get Obsidian. Remember that you need a Diamond or Netherite Pickaxe to mine Obsidian.

To get a Nether Star, you need to defeat the Wither, which is a boss mob. When you kill the Wither, it will drop one Nether Star, which is only used when making the Beacon.

To make a Beacon, you need to combine these ingredients in the following order:

minecraft making a beacon using glass, obsidian, and a nether star in a crafting table

However, you can’t just place it down and use it. First, you need to build a Pyramid, which is your first step towards activating the Beacon.


How to build a Pyramid for the Beacon in Minecraft

To activate a Beacon, you must place it on top of a Pyramid. The Pyramid must be built from Iron, Gold, Diamond, Netherite, or Emerald blocks. You can use a mixture of these if you don’t have enough of a single type of block.

You must make the Pyramid with between one and four layers. The taller you make the Pyramid, the more effects you can gain from the Beacon. The size of the Pyramid also increases the range within which you can gain the status effects.

every pyramid size with beacons in Minecraft superflat

To get the most out of your Beacon, you should make a 4-level Pyramid. For the base layer, place your blocks in a 9x9 square. Then, place a 7x7 square on top, followed by a 5x5 square and then a 3x3 square for the top layer. When you have constructed the Pyramid, place your Beacon on top of the centre block on the top layer to activate it.

If you don’t have enough blocks to make a Pyramid with 4 layers, you can remove the bottom layer to make it a slightly weaker Pyramid. For example, if you only have enough blocks for 3 layers, you can make the base layer the 7x7 square and then keep building up to make a 3-level Pyramid. However, this will remove some of the possible bonus effects.


How to activate a Beacon in Minecraft

When you place your Beacon on top of the Pyramid, it will light up. However, you will not gain any status effects straight away. There’s one more step that you need to complete first.

Interact with the Beacon to bring up its menu. This will list all of the status effects that you are able to activate. Select a primary power (and a secondary power if you have a 4-level Pyramid). Then, you need to insert either a Netherite Ingot, an Emerald, a Diamond, a Gold Ingot, or an Iron Ingot. When you insert one of these items, it will allow you to press the tick button and fully activate the Beacon.


What status effects do you get from the Beacon in Minecraft?

When you activate the Beacon, you can choose to gain a status effect. There are 5 primary powers available, all of which take you one step closer to being a Minecraft superhero:

  • Speed
  • Haste
  • Resistance
  • Jump Boost
  • Strength

Speed and Haste are available if you build a Pyramid with one layer. To unlock Resistance and Jump Boost, you need to make at least a 2-level Pyramid. To get the Strength status effect, you need to make a Pyramid with 3 layers. All of these status effects are level 1.

If you make a Pyramid with four layers, you can choose one primary and one secondary power. For your secondary power, you can choose to either gain Regeneration at level 1, or increase your primary power to level 2.


How to change the colour of the Beacon's beam in Minecraft

When you activate the Beacon, it emits a beam that you can use to mark important places. However, if you want to use multiple Beacons for different areas, such as a village and a bee farm, then you might want to make the beams different colours.

To change the colour of a beam, you need to place coloured Glass over the top. For example, to make the beam blue, place a block of Blue-Stained Glass on top of the Beacon.

To get Glass stained a certain colour, you need to get the colour dye that you want and 8 blocks of Glass. Then, place them in the crafting table in the following order:

minecraft using dye and glass to make coloured glass

You can mix the colour to give it different tints by placing multiple stained Glass blocks on the Beacon. For example, you could place an Orange-Stained Glass block and a Pink-Stained Glass block on the Beacon to make the beam a warm pink colour.


That’s all the information that you will need to make and use a Beacon in Minecraft. Place them all over your world to help you find important landmarks. If you want to discover some new locations, check out our list of the best Minecraft seeds. If you like the different coloured beams and want to make your world even more colourful, take a look at our list of the best Minecraft shader packs.

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Hayden Hefford avatar

Hayden Hefford

Guides Writer

Zombies. Walkers. Shamblers. Whatever you call them, Hayden is definitely a fan. He can usually be found in front of a screen, playing the latest survival games and trying to hide from the real world. His eyes haven't turned square yet, but the possibility is certainly scary.

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