|Tile Entity ID||
dec: 138 hex: 8A bin: 10001010
A beacon is a unique block that projects a light beam skyward and can provide status effects to players in the vicinity.
The beacon's visual beam is activated by placing it atop a pyramid formation of iron blocks, gold blocks, emerald blocks and diamond blocks, while its status effect giving function can be activated by "feeding" it 1 gold ingot, 1 iron ingot, 1 emerald, or 1 diamond. The tallest "pyramid" that works with the beacon has 4 layers consisting of 164 specific mineral blocks, as seen above, while the smallest has 1 layer consisting of 9 specific mineral blocks.
Beacon blocks provide two unique functions:
- An aesthetic landmark beam reaching into the sky, which can be visible from far away, only when placed atop a 3 by 3 square of specific mineral blocks (see Beam).
- Powers, which give players status effects within a certain radius (the visual beam must first be active)
Beacon blocks can also function as ordinary light sources, as they are brighter than torches, with the same luminance and underwater function as glowstone and jack o'lanterns. A pyramid is not required in order for beacon blocks to emit ordinary light.
Due to the rare crafting ingredients required, glowstone and jack o'lanterns generally make more sense for use in survival mode, though beacons offer creative mode players an aesthetic alternative. Despite their bottom surfaces being opaque and dark-colored (intended to represent the obsidian in their crafting recipe), beacon blocks emit equal light from each of their sides, including their undersides.
In order to produce a beam or effects, beacons must be placed atop pyramid structures constructed from iron blocks, gold blocks, emerald blocks, and/or diamond blocks. They must also have a clear view of the sky with no obstructions (transparent blocks such as glass do not interfere). The type of mineral block used to build the pyramid is entirely cosmetic and has no functional effect, so using the cheapest option makes the most sense in survival mode. Several different block types can be mixed without affecting functionality.
The smallest pyramid that will make a beacon block work is a single layer of 9 mineral blocks arranged in a 3 by 3 horizontal square. The beacon block should then be placed atop this square, in the center. See below for details on other pyramid sizes. When constructed correctly, and after a short delay, the beacon will emit a blue-white beam of light into the sky; although at this point the beam is purely aesthetic.
 Requirements for Powers
Once the beacon is emitting a beam, it can then be fed 1 iron ingot, 1 gold ingot, 1 emerald, or 1 diamond, in order to provide powers (status effects similar to those that might come from potions) to players who remain within a certain radius. This is done through the beacon's GUI, which is displayed by right-clicking the beacon block.
In the GUI, place the item to be fed in the empty slot shown, and choose a primary power by clicking one of the choices displayed. Beacons sitting atop 4-level pyramids will also display secondary power choices, one of which can be clicked to provide a second simultaneous boost. When the Done button (green check mark) is clicked, the item will be consumed and the power will be activated. To set a beacon to different powers, another gem/ingot must be consumed.
The more levels a pyramid has, the more powers will be available to choose from, and the wider its affected vicinity will be. There are currently four possible pyramid heights.
|Level||Mineral Blocks||Stacks of Blocks||Minerals||Stacks of Minerals||Layers|
|1||9 blocks||81 minerals||1 stack + 17 minerals||3×3, Beacon|
|2||34 blocks||306 minerals||4 stacks + 50 minerals||5×5, 3×3, Beacon|
|3||83 blocks||1 stack + 19 blocks||747 minerals||11 stacks + 43 minerals||7×7, 5×5, 3×3, Beacon|
|4||164 blocks||2 stacks + 36 blocks||1,476 minerals||23 stacks + 4 minerals||9×9, 7×7, 5×5, 3×3, Beacon|
If the pyramid is damaged so that the beacon is deactivated, it will "remember" the powers it was set for, and will reactivate once the pyramid is repaired with no additional resource cost. This applies to piston-altered pyramids as well, making it possible for players to build beacons that can be turned on and off with a sticky piston removing or replacing a pyramid block.
 Multiple Beacons
Multiple beacons can make use of the same specific mineral blocks below them, so it is possible to save space and resources by simply expanding pyramids to accommodate multiple adjacent beacons, rather than constructing multiple complete pyramids.
For example, 4 beacons can be arranged 2 by 2 by building a pyramid with a 10 by 10 base layer (then an 8 by 8 layer, a 6 by 6 layer, a 4 by 4 layer, then the beacons on the top; 2 by 2). Combining 4 beacons in this way requires a total of 216 blocks.
Combined pyramids do not need to be symmetrical. The image to the right shows a 6-beacon (2 by 3) pyramid (which is exactly enough to provide all six powers currently available). It requires a total of 244 mineral blocks, with a base layer of 10 by 11.
- Beacons require a pyramid below them as described above.
- Beacons in the Overworld and the End require an unobstructed view of the sky, though transparent blocks (including other beacon blocks) will not count as obstruction (with the exception of water). In 1.8[upcoming], beacons will be able to perform under water.
- Beacons can function in the Nether, but this requires that all terrain above them be naturally generated or transparent. Also, the beam will not appear.
 Details on Powers
Powers will always be reactivated within the vicinity of the pyramid. The effective radius depends on the number of pyramid levels, with a level 4 pyramid providing the widest area-of-effect. When a player travels outside the area-of-effect, the powers will persist for 4–8 seconds.
Regardless of how many levels the pyramid has, only one primary power may be selected. With secondary powers when selecting the tier II variant, regeneration is no longer provided by the beacon. When selecting regeneration, the tier II variant is no longer provided by the beacon, and will change into a tier I version (see power options). Multiple primary powers require multiple beacons.
The beacon forms a squared affected area around itself, the size of which depends on the pyramid type. The affected area has the same radius below the beacon as it does on the sides, however it travels up to the height limit (256) along the light beam, which makes it optimal to place beacons near the bottom of the map. This serves for a more optimal coverage of volume (making beacon powers available in your mine for example).
|Pyramid Type||Radius size|
Since these squares are centered from the beacon, the radius indicates the distance from the beacon to 5 directions, excluding top.
 Power options
- See also: status effect
The five primary powers are:
Speed: Increased movement speed (similar to potions of swiftness).
Haste: Increased mining speed.
Resistance: Increased armor rating.
Jump Boost: Increased jumping distance and height.
Strength: Increased melee damage (similar to potions of strength).
Level 4 pyramids can also select a secondary power. This can either be regeneration or a tier II variation of the selected primary power. When selecting the tier II variant, regeneration is no longer provided by the beacon. When selecting regeneration, the tier II variant is no longer provided by the beacon, and will change into a tier I version.
- Level 1 pyramid - (speed or haste)
- Level 2 pyramid - (speed, haste, resistance, or jump boost)
- Level 3 pyramid - (speed, haste, resistance, jump boost, or strength)
- Level 4 pyramid - (speed, haste, resistance, jump boost, or strength, and regeneration)
Haste affects all gathering speed with tools. With that being said, it is less noticeable with slower items. To get the most out of your tools and beacon, use it with an efficiency V enchantment on a diamond one, and haste II power on. Haste will work with shears, shovels, pickaxes, and axes. The speed boost is 20% greater on materials such as wood, glowstone and cobblestone. Some materials such as mining stone with an efficiency V diamond pickaxe, are significantly faster than 20% while using the haste II power. Others like leaves or cobwebs, when using shears are not. All testing done with no efficiency, efficiency IV, and efficiency V while using a haste II beacon.
There are many useful places to have a beacon set up, all of these include at a home/base. Some of them are as follows:
- Mob farms (such as an enderman or blaze farm), because you tend to starve by hitting mobs a lot.
- Automatic xp Farm.
- At a mob farm.
- At a zombie, skeleton, and other 2-punch kill experience farms, so they will turn into 1-punch. Note that this is not necessary precision crushers at these farms.
The beam is visible from roughly the same distance as a single ordinary stack of blocks. If maximum render distance is set (currently 16 chunks), the beam of light is visible from up to 256 blocks away.
In comparison to constructing an ordinary pillar of blocks as a landmark, a beacon's beam has the benefit of reaching a little higher than the maximum map height (maximum map height at y=256, top of beam at 255 blocks above the beacon) without having to manually stack blocks. Additionally, while the beam does not actually emit light onto other surfaces, its surface glows brightly itself even in complete darkness, making it more visible than ordinary blocks during the night. The beam is visible only when you do not look at it above its top.
 Beam Colors
In 14w32a and above, the color of the beacon beam may be changed by placing up to 4 blocks of colored glass anywhere above the beacon block. The beam will change colors according to the color of glass placed above it. Unlike other colored/dyed items (i.e. sheep, hardened clay, etc.), the beam color will change to match ALL of the colored glass above it. For example, placing yellow glass above the beam will turn it yellow, adding a lime colored glass block will turn the beam a lime-yellow, and adding a black colored glass block above that will turn the beam a darker lime-yellow, and so on. Also adding white glass above the beacon will not change the default color, but will make other colors lighter.
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Prerequisites||Actual requirements (if different)||Version restriction||Xbox points earned||Trophy type (PS)|
|Beaconator||Create a full beacon||The Beginning.||Place a beacon block with a 4-level pyramid.||PC||N/A||N/A|
|1.4.2||12w32a||Added the "Work in Progress" block, now called beacon.|
|12w34a||Removed the beacon from the creative menu.|
|12w36a||The "Work in Progress" block is now called "Beacon", can be found in the creative menu, and is craftable.|
|Texture of the beacon changed from to , and a beacon beam was added.|
|12w38a||Texture of the beacon changed from to . The beacon beam changed from a semi-transparent smooth beam (which conflicted with water transparency), to a pattern with 0% transparency.|
|12w40a||Texture of the beacon changed from to . The beacon beam changed again.|
|1.5||13w05a||Effect radius increased from 16/24/32/40 blocks to 20/30/40/50 blocks.|
|1.6.1||13w23a||With the regeneration effect being nerfed slightly, the same effect produced from the beacon did too.|
|1.7.2||13w36a||Added the achievement Beaconator, achieved by placing a beacon on a level-4 pyramid of specific mineral blocks.|
|1.8||14w29a||Now displays the cracking animation.|
|August 5, 2014||Dinnerbone tweets a screenshot containing a colored beacon beam. The color appears to change when the beam passes through stained glass.|
|14w32a||Beacon light changes as it goes through stained glass.|
|August 7, 2014||Dinnerbone tweets that blocks that only block light slightly the beacon beam can now pass through.|
|14w32b||Beacon beams show if going through a block that doesn't completely block light rather than partially block light. This allows beacon beams to go through water and lava.|
Issues relating to "Beacon" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.
- The player can leave a resource in the beacon block without clicking "Done".
- A beacon's light beam will shine through lava, but not water. This is because lava is considered a transparent block, whereas water is not. This is fixed in 14w32a.
- The beam is 255 blocks tall, relative to the height where the beacon block itself was placed, so several beacon beams can stop at different heights.
- Like other light sources with a luminosity over 12, the Beacon Block's light will melt snow and ice.
- Despite being resource blocks, Lapis Lazuli Blocks, blocks of coal, and blocks of redstone, will not work as part of the pyramid.
- If the player flies more than one block above the top of the light beam, the beam will disappear until the player moves five blocks below it.
- Water and Ice appear transparent when viewed through the particle effect that you give off while you have a beacon power.
- A beacon looks like a slab of obsidian with a glass dome on top, with a diamond block in the middle - even though the crafting ingredients do not include any form of diamond.
- A beacon's light beam does not extend all the way up to the block limit, and becomes increasingly more difficult to see if you are not looking directly at it in higher levels.
- The texture of the beacon is 16x16, but only renders the 10x10 area in the center.
- Mining a beacon render cracks on both the glass and the block inside it.
- In the nether a beacon's beam stops at y127 even though the build limit is y255.
First image released by Jeb.