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Minecraft Lightning Rod: how to make and use a Lightning Rod in Minecraft 1.17

Here's the Minecraft Lightning Rod recipe, and how the item works

Interested in learning how to make a Minecraft Lightning Rod? The Minecraft 1.17 update was a hefty one, adding a huge number of block types, items, creatures, and more. One such rather unassuming addition is the Lightning Rod, which can be used not just to divert but also harness the power of a lightning strike during a thunderstorm.

If you like the sound of that, be sure to keep reading as we take you through how to craft a Lightning Rod and then how to use it to protect your builds and send redstone signals through all your contraptions.

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How to make a Lightning Rod in minecraft

To make a Lightning Rod, you need to craft it by placing 3 Copper Ingots in a vertical line, each atop the other, in a Crafting Table.

This will create a single Lightning Rod which you can then place wherever you like - though make sure you use a Pickaxe of Stone or higher quality (Diamond, for example) if you want to pick it back up again. If you're unsure how to get your hands on Copper Ingots, check out our page on how to find, mine, and use Copper in Minecraft 1.17.

A Minecraft screenshot of the Lightning Rod recipe in the crafting window.

What does a Lightning Rod do in Minecraft?

As you might expect from the name, the Lightning Rod in Minecraft is used to divert lightning strikes during thunderstorms. You can place a Lightning Rod on a surface both vertically and horizontally, and it will redirect any lightning strikes that would have hit anywhere in a 32x4x32 area around it, so that the lightning will instead harmlessly strike the top of the rod.

This is useful in two ways. First: it protects areas from the destructive effects of lightning. Lightning strikes often result in fires which can tear through wooden Minecraft houses and other flammable structures and builds, so Lightning Rods are a godsend here.

The other useful thing is that a Lightning Rod will send a redstone signal when it is struck by lightning, which means it has some potentially interesting applications in redstone circuitry.

That wraps up this quick primer on the Minecraft Lightning Rod item. If you're interested in the other things that were added in Minecraft 1.17, check out our pages on how to tame and breed Axolotls, how to make Candles, and how to find and mine Amethyst Geodes.

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Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.