Desert temple

From Minecraft Wiki
(Redirected from Desert Temple)
Jump to: navigation, search
Desert Temple
Desert Temple.png


Consists of

Smooth Sandstone
Chiseled Sandstone
Sandstone Stairs
Stone Pressure Plate
Orange Stained Clay
Blue Stained Clay

Can spawn


First appearance

1.3.1 (12w21a)

Desert Temples (also known as Pyramids) are structures primarily made of sandstone that occur naturally in deserts.


Inside view of a desert temple.

Desert temples are constructed from yellow sandstone (all 3 variants), orange and blue clay, sandstone slabs, and sandstone stairs.

In the center of the temple's ground floor is a single block of blue stained clay. Underneath this stained clay is a 'booby-trapped' hidden chamber with four chests that can each contain very valuable loot. The trap consists of a stone pressure plate (located directly under the blue stained clay), connected to a 3x3x1 grid of TNT.

Preview of the 4 hidden chests with the TNT Trap under the desert temple.

Items in these chests can include emeralds (rare), diamonds, iron ingots, gold ingots, enchanted books, rotten flesh, horse armor, saddles, and bones.

Desert Temples appear on maps as gray, similar to bare stone, but with a distinctive shape.

Chest contents[edit]

Each chest contains 2–6 stacks of items, chosen from the following list. Chance listed is per stack, not for the chest as a whole.

Item Quantity
per stack

1–3 4.11% (3/73)

Iron Ingot
1–5 13.7% (10/73)

Gold Ingot
2–7 20.5% (15/73)

1–3 2.74% (2/73)

4–6 27.4% (20/73)

Rotten Flesh
3–7 21.9% (16/73)

1 4.11% (3/73)

Iron Horse Armor
1 1.37% (1/73)

Golden Horse Armor
1 1.37% (1/73)

Diamond Horse Armor
1 1.37% (1/73)

Enchanted Book
[note 1]
1 1.37% (1/73)
  1. Enchanted books in the same chest will have the same enchantments. Enchantment probabilities are the same as a level-30 enchantment on an enchantment table, but the chance of multiple enchantments is not reduced.


Desert temples are the most valuable structures the game generates, as each temple contains 4 chests with highly valuable items. The stained clay and 9 blocks of TNT in the trap are also fairly worthwhile loot.

To find a desert temple, you can either look above ground, or search while mining. If you are underground and you run into a large, square formation of sand or sandstone that seems to run the whole height of the map, above it is a desert temple.

When attempting to enter the hidden chamber, the player must take care not to step on the pressure plate at the bottom of the pit, as the plate is connected to 9 blocks of TNT just under the hidden chamber's sandstone floor. The pressure plate is situated directly under the blue stained clay, but as it is a stone pressure plate, it can not be set off by blocks so it is safe to dig out the floor without activating the TNT trap. The TNT will cause an explosion sufficient to kill most players (and may even destroy the player's drops), as well as destroy all four of the chests, including their loot.

The simplest method of avoiding the trap is to dig down the side and destroy the stone pressure plate by mining it. If you don't have a pickaxe with you, you can easily dig up some sand from outside the temple, which is easy enough to do even without tools, and then dig out one of the orange stained clay blocks adjacent to the center blocks. You can then drop down sand by placing it where the stained clay was. Then when the whole column is filled with sand, simply stand on top of the sand block, and dig straight down until you reach the bottom. You can then get back out by jumping up and placing sand directly below your feet.

They make great houses if you find them at the start of a new world, just be sure to disarm the TNT trap.



Official release
1.3.1 12w21a Added desert temples.
1.4.6 12w50a Enchanted books now spawn in desert temple chests.
1.8 14w03a Desert temples now spawn with stained clay instead of wool.
Console Edition
TU14 Added desert temples.


Issues relating to "Desert temple" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • The desert temple is 21 blocks by 21 blocks
  • The orange symbols found resembles the Ancient Egyptian symbol for Life,[1] an Ankh. [2]
  • Rotten flesh and bones are common items found in chests within temples; it may be suggested that these are the remains of the previous occupants, or possibly mummies buried with their treasure, a common Egyptian practice for pharaohs.
  • A desert temple is constructed from:
    • 3,078 sandstone blocks
    • 184 smooth sandstone blocks
    • 39 chiseled sandstone blocks
    • 54 blocks of orange stained clay
    • 16 sandstone stairs
    • 9 TNT blocks
    • 4 chests
    • 2 sandstone slabs
    • 1 block of blue stained clay
    • 1 stone pressure plate
    • It has a rare chance of generating improperly causing some blocks to be lost or added.
  • A desert temple is the first structure where TNT can be found naturally.
  • As there is no light in the lower chamber, mobs can spawn inside and trigger the TNT trap, destroying the chests and loot before any player can reach it. You may not even hear the TNT detonate. The shaft will appear to terminate in a cave, which, if fallen into, will deal more damage than you may be expecting.
    • Because of this you should expect any desert temple that you enter and hang around in/near but don't loot to eventually self-destruct. Disarming the trap should be the first thing you do when you get in.
  • A desert temple will not spawn fully if spawned partially on water. When spawned on lakes, they are only half-generated.
  • Desert temples, jungle temples, and witch huts are caused by the same thing in the code, and the biome tells which one it is.
  • Desert temples and jungle temples have the same frequency of loot.
  • Rarely, desert temples generate in villages, even rarer is the desert temple spawning connected to a house.
  • In real life, pyramids were made of limestone.
  • The top hole in the temple's ceiling is almost always generated above ground, so buried temples will be accessible, but fall damage is likely.
  • Jeb has stated that he might make desert temples in mesas, but they will be made out of red sandstone.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. Ankh on Wikipedia.