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Stronghold Portal Room


A Stronghold with a fountain.
A library inside a stronghold.
A Pillar Room inside a stronghold.

Strongholds are structures that occur naturally underground, and are primarily important because they house End Portals. Strongholds can be located using Eyes of Ender.

Unlike most structures, Strongholds are intended to be difficult to locate through conventional means, providing almost no outward indication to exposed areas; though they are often intersected by cave systems, ravines, and Abandoned Mineshafts.

Strongholds vary in size but are generally large and complex, containing multiple rooms, corridors, stairwells, doors, and other features. Strongholds each contain a 'portal room' with an unactivated End Portal, which can be activated with twelve Eyes of Ender, for travelling to The End.


Stronghold with End Portal block and a Silverfish spawner. Note that one of the End Portal Blocks already has an Eye of Ender in it.

Strongholds vary in size. They contain several doors and rooms made mostly of Stone Brick, Mossy Stone Brick, and Cracked Stone Brick. Strongholds are lit by enough torches to provide visibility in most areas, though not enough to suppress mob spawns.

Each Stronghold contains several dispersed Chests containing a variety of loot.

Strongholds are primarily generated underground, usually unexposed to the surface and only visible within caves, possibly even underwater caves. They may be connected to a dungeon or even merge into an abandoned mine. Strongholds contain regular mobs that spawn under normal conditions, as well as Silverfish that are created when someone either mines one of the blocks within, or finds the End Portal room, which contains a Silverfish Spawner.


Strongholds feature various types of main rooms. While the overall placement and number of these is completely random, the features themselves seem to always take similar form.

  • End portal room: Contains an unactivated End Portal and a Silverfish Spawner. There are two pools of lava in the front sides of the room and a bigger lava pool below the End Portal. There are 16 Iron Bar windows in the room.
  • Hallways: A 3 block height, and 3 block wide hallway. Can contain arches made of Iron Bars.
  • Empty prison cells: These seem to be generated in pairs within the walls of a hallway, and feature iron doors (with or without activating buttons). These doors can be open or closed.
  • Empty rooms: These 3x3x3 empty rooms are generated off the sides of hallways. They usually have 1 entrance, but sometimes they might have two.
  • Large Empty Rooms: Bigger version of the empty rooms. Unlike their smaller counterpart, the large empty room can have up to 4 entrances. These entrances can either be a normal hallway, or a iron or wooden door.
  • Fountain rooms: Same as the room above, except these contain a fountain in the center, which consists of a Stone Brick ring and pillar with a water source block on top of the pillar.
  • Stone Pillar rooms: Same as the Large Empty Room, except with a Stone pillar that has torches on it.
  • Store rooms: Dual-level rooms, each 2 blocks high, with a cobblestone center structure joining the two. A lone torch is housed within the structure. A ladder runs up the side wall for access to the second floor, which is made of wood planks and contains a Chest. This chest can contain: coal, bread, redstone, iron ingots, iron swords, iron pickaxes, armor, ender pearls, diamonds and/or apples. It can also contain very rare items, including saddles, golden apples, horse armor, and enchanted books
  • Libraries (see below).
  • Spiral Staircase rooms: These have staircases made out of stone slabs and stone bricks. There may or may not be a door at the top.
  • Hallway Staircase rooms: A 3 block wide room with a high ceiling and Cobblestone Stairs.
  • Balcony rooms: These rooms have a lower section and upper "balcony" section and are connected by a small Stone Slab and Stone Brick staircase. Another small staircase going down can be found under the balcony to go to a hallway, or a room. he "balcony" has a stone slab bridge over the staircase going down.


Libraries occur in two sizes: Small single-level libraries, and larger duplex libraries. All libraries contain bookshelves, wooden planks, chest(s) and cobwebs dispersed randomly.

Large libraries contain a second level consisting of a surrounding balcony with Fences as railings, and fences/torches arranged in a chandelier formation over the center of the room. The two levels are connected by ladders on the wall furthest from the entrance.

Chests are found on the corner of one bookshelf in each library, with an additional Chest in the corner of the top floor in duplex libraries. These can contain paper, books, and more rarely, a map, compass, or enchanted book.


Chests found in "store rooms" (the wooden platform above an intersection) contain 1-4 stacks of items, chosen from the following list. Chance listed is per stack, not for the chest as a whole.

Item Quantity
per stack

Iron Ingot
1 - 5 16.1% (10/62)

Gold Ingot
1 - 3 8.06% (5/62)

4 - 9 8.06% (5/62)

3 - 8 16.1% (10/62)

1 - 3 24.2% (15/62)

1 - 3 24.2% (15/62)

Iron Pickaxe
1 1.61% (1/62)

Enchanted Book
[note 1]
1 1.61% (1/62)

Chests found on stone slab altars in corridors contain 2-3 stacks of items, chosen from the following list. Chance listed is per stack, not for the chest as a whole.

Item Quantity
per stack

Ender Pearl
1 10.1% (10/99)

1 - 3 3.03% (3/99)

Iron Ingot
1 - 5 10.1% (10/99)

Gold Ingot
1 - 3 5.05% (5/99)

4 - 9 5.05% (5/99)

1 - 3 15.2% (15/99)

1 - 3 15.2% (15/99)

Iron Pickaxe
1 5.05% (5/99)

Iron Sword
1 5.05% (5/99)

Iron Chestplate
1 5.05% (5/99)

Iron Helmet
1 5.05% (5/99)

Iron Leggings
1 5.05% (5/99)

Iron Boots
1 5.05% (5/99)

Golden Apple
1 1.01% (1/99)

1 1.01% (1/99)

Iron Horse Armor
1 1.01% (1/99)

Golden Horse Armor
1 1.01% (1/99)

Diamond Horse Armor
1 1.01% (1/99)

Enchanted Book
[note 1]
1 1.01% (1/99)

Chests found in libraries contain 1-4 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 45.5% (20/44)

2 - 7 45.5% (20/44)

Empty Map
1 2.27% (1/44)

1 2.27% (1/44)

Enchanted Book
[note 1]
1 - 5 4.55% (2/44)
  1. a b c
    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.


A dungeon intersecting a stronghold.

There is a limit of three strongholds per world (1 per world in console versions). All strongholds are located at random positions in a radius between 640 and 1152 blocks from the world's original spawn point, at 0/0 (but may extend further in or out of that area). The three strongholds are spawned at roughly equal angles from the center point of the world (that is, each stronghold is in the region of 120 degrees from the others, measured from the origin). The game will not generate a stronghold partially above-ground: any portion above the ground layer will be replaced with air blocks, leaving a cutaway.

Strongholds are very often broken by caves, ravines, and Abandoned Mine Shafts. They can also be intersected by Dungeons. This means that navigating the stronghold can sometimes be very difficult.

Use as a base[edit]

Because of their great size, Strongholds would seem to be a good place to convert into your base. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing this.


  • In SMP (Survival multiplayer), strongholds are difficult for griefers to find, provided they don't use an Eye of Ender.
  • There is lots of space to fill the stronghold with chests
  • Natural bookshelves for enchanting
  • There is the possibility of valuable loot in the chests found throughout strongholds.
  • Because strongholds are underground, it's easy to enter an abandoned mineshaft or large cave system and find valuable ore, such as iron, diamond, and sometimes emerald, depending on the biome.
  • The End Portal is nearby so that you do not have to go looking for one.
  • If you become lost above ground, you can find your base using an Eye of Ender
  • Can go to all dimensions (assuming you have a bed and nether portal) easily.
  • Can be a good source of bricks but be careful of silverfish.


  • In SMP people might be looking for Strongholds because of the End Portals and therefore find your base.
  • Mining the walls of a stronghold can awaken silverfish, given the presence of silverfish blocks.
    • NOTE: An easy way to detect silverfish blocks is whether or not it takes significantly longer to mine than other blocks of the same type, as silverfish block takes the same time to mine regardless of tools (unless you use a sword).
  • Unless you have placed many signs, it is possible to get lost in the Stronghold.
  • Strongholds are often split in half by ravines, abandoned mineshafts, and caves, making living difficult unless the Strongholds are completely restored.
  • Since the Strongholds usually intersect with ravines or mines, it makes it easier for PVP players that are mining to find your base.
  • You'll either need lots of torches to ensure no mobs spawn in the stronghold, or be constantly alert and ready for a fight.
  • Also, because Strongholds might spawn in Ravines, you might mine a block and then fall into lava 20 Blocks deep, making it risky to mine in.
  • You'll need to go above ground and then navigate back underground afterward, making it hard if you are being chased by an enemy mob.
  • As mentioned above, silverfish are a frequent hazard through strongholds. Do not try to fight back, as you will presumably awaken more silverfish nearby and you can be in deep trouble. If you want to safely fight Silverfish, wield a diamond sword enchanted with Bane of Arthropods IV or V.
  • Because Strongholds are usually deep underground you'll have to make many trips to get wood, unless you make a tree growing chamber, which is time-consuming.


1.8 Added strongholds as part of Adventure Update. They are vacant except for regular mobs that spawn under normal conditions. In early screenshots, they were at surface level; this is now extremely rare.
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre1 The End Portal room was added to the Stronghold for the Skyland which was scrapped in Beta 1.9 Pre 4.
Beta 1.9-pre3 A pair of glass towers indicated the location of a Stronghold's start (aka Main entrance) and second for the portal room on top of them, extending from the top of the map to the stone bricks. This was because Jeb forgot to remove the debug towers.[1]
Beta 1.9-pre4 Removed glass towers generating above strongholds.
1.4.2 12w40a Strongholds can now spawn in the air in Superflat worlds with certain customization presets.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.9.0 build 1 Added strongholds. The end portal block frame exists, but the player cannot travel to the End.
0.9.2 Strongholds are now more common.
Console Edition
TU5 Added strongholds.








  • Due to the way the overground generates, empty blocks replace any part of a stronghold that exceeds the predetermined ground level, thus making a cross section similar to that seen in the first screenshot.
  • Ravines may cut across strongholds, making navigation difficult but locating them easier.
  • Of all the Stone Brick blocks in a stronghold, approximately 45% are regular stone brick, 30% are mossy stone brick, 20% are cracked stone brick, and 5% are actually Monster Egg blocks.
  • While strongholds are usually quite large, some can be generated with only a few rooms.
  • Strongholds usually spawn underwater, meaning reaching them is difficult, and whole rooms can be flooded if the stronghold is intersected by a mineshaft or ravine.
    • Very rarely, floating End Portal rooms can be found in the ocean. Reaching those is also a challenge.
  • There is also on average one room with Cobblestone Stairs in every Stronghold.
  • There can possibly be only one eye of ender in one of the portal frames, and as many as six.
  • The primary reason for Abandoned Mineshafts, Caves, and Dungeons intersecting Strongholds so often is that, while other structures overwrite anything in their path, strongholds only overwrite non-air blocks, leading to anything overwriting them.

External Links[edit]