Tutorials/Breaking bedrock

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Bedrock is a block that is unbreakable in Survival mode. Even so, it is still possible to break the unbreakable in Survival mode without cheats. These use glitch and bug exploits to achieve this, so these methods could be rendered useless at any update. Breaking bedrock is also more difficult than phasing through the bedrock, both of which is covered in this. Note that these methods can also be used to break other unbreakable blocks (though bedrock is the most useful) and regular breakable blocks (the player will not be able to collect any of the blocks broken, and they are much easier to break using tools).



The following paragraph demonstrates the use of a bug and/or glitch to make a contraption.
Bugs of this nature are bound to be fixed some time in the future: when this happens, the contraption will cease to work.
Use at your own risk.


Why Bother?[edit | edit source]

It may seem pointless to go through the effort of going through or breaking bedrock, but it is actually quite useful. The most common use of these techniques is to make an easy access point to the top half of the Nether by phasing through the top layer of bedrock and then breaking the bedrock to put up a ladder or elevator to the top. Breaking bedrock is also useful if the player wants to fall into the void in the Overworld or Nether. It is also useful for breaking some of the blocks on the end gateways and the exit portal in the End. These same techniques can also be used to break the frames around the end portal in a stronghold.


Phasing Through the Bedrock[edit | edit source]

This section is about going through the bedrock. The only logical reason to do this instead of breaking the bedrock is going up through the bedrock in the Nether ceiling.

Method 1[edit | edit source]

This method requires ender pearls. It was much easier to do in update 1.8, but is still possible in later versions.

To use this method, you will need the following materials:

  • lots and lots of ender pearls. It is recommended to have at least 8.

Dig up to where the player would be "bumping" its head on the top layer of bedrock (on y = 127). Then, look straight up and throw the ender pearls as quickly as you can. This is more difficult to do in versions 1.9 and above due to the item cool-down. It works by having one of the ender pearls glitch and teleport the player into the block such that when the next ender pearl is thrown, it goes above the block and teleports the player to the top of the block.

Pros:

  • It is easy to get all the materials needed.
  • It is easy to do once you get the hang of it.

Cons:

  • It may take many stacks of ender pearls to work.
  • There is a possibility of death due to damage from ender pearls.


Method 2[edit | edit source]

This method requires that the player has already journeyed to the End and reached the outer End islands.

To use this method, you need the following materials:

First, fill in an area that is 17 * 17 blocks by 9 blocks high against the bedrock ceiling. The netherrack and bedrock that generates naturally can be used to fill in this region: only remaining air blocks need to be filled. Once this happens, stand in the middle of the top of this filled-in area (against the bedrock ceiling), and record your coordinates. Then, eat the chorus fruit. If the player is not teleported on top of the bedrock, eat another chorus fruit until you are successful. It works using a chorus fruit's teleporting ability and removing all other valid places for the player to teleport to.

Pros:

  • It can be reversed by placing another region of blocks with 8 blocks in each direction on top of the bedrock ceiling, and then eating another chorus fruit.
  • It is easy to accomplish.

Cons:

  • It requires that the player has already journeyed to the outer End islands to harvest chorus fruit.
  • The chance of success is random, so it is possible that it will take a huge quantity of chorus fruit.
Method 3a[edit | edit source]

This method is by far the cheapest, but also has the highest chance of death. It has two variations, depending on how quick you are with placing blocks.

To use this method, you need the following materials:

Dig up to the highest level of bedrock (y = 127). Place a block (if needed) two blocks below it, and then place the rail on top of this block. There should be no gap between the rail and the upper layer of bedrock. Next, place a minecart on the rail. This is where it gets dangerous, and where the Respiration-enchanted helmet. Get inside the minecart and quickly dismount it. The player should be suffocating in the bedrock layer. Next, hold down the "jump" key and throw an ender pearl directly up. In case of this failing, throw another ender pearl directly upward. It works by having the minecart dismount the player in a position where the player will be able to jump and see the top of the bedrock. The ender pearls move the player to the top.


Pros:

  • It is very cheap and could be done early in the game.
  • It is easy to accomplish.

Cons:

  • If the player runs out of ender pearls, he or she is stuck in the bedrock ceiling with absolutely no method of escape.
  • There is an extremely high possibility of death, and the drops will most likely land on top of the bedrock.
Method 3b[edit | edit source]

This variation requires an extra rail, an extra minecart, and a fast reaction.

Begin in the same way as in Method 3a: place a minecart under the bedrock ceiling, and begin suffocating in it. This is where the similarities end. From there, the player needs to jump up and down such that they can see the top of the bedrock. Place a rail on top of the bedrock, preferably close to where the player will be coming out. Next, place a minecart on top of the rail and quickly ride it. The player will be teleported to the top of the bedrock ceiling using minecarts.

Pros:

  • It is not as dangerous as using ender pearls; only suffocation damage is taken, not fall damage.
  • Though uncomfortable, it can be used as part of a minecart elevator to get above the bedrock until the player gets the necessary tools to break the bedrock in their way.

Cons:

  • Depending on how close the rail was placed, it can be difficult to place the minecart and get inside it without the minecart being pushed off.
  • It is easy to lose the exact location of where the player came up.

Breaking the Bedrock[edit | edit source]

Breaking bedrock is a very complex and involved process. There are currently three common methods to do this.

Method 1[edit | edit source]

This method can seem needlessly complex, especially since it will only break one block that is adjacent to the ceiling, and it only works from above. These are the materials you will need:

Note 1: one of these pistons will be sacrificed.

Note 2: these will explode. Do not plan to get them back.

With these materials at hand, follow the steps below. Pictures are provided at each step because it is easy to make a mistake, which would mean having to start over.

1. Place the 2 sticky pistons perpendicular to each other and facing the block that you wish to remove. In the picture, the block being broken is marked with glowstone above it

File:Step01 TwoStickyPistons.png
Step 1. The block to be broken is below the glowstone block.


2. Three blocks away, diagonally away from the pistons, place the activator rail. Marker iron blocks are placed for convenience.

File:Step02 ActivatorRail.png
Step 2. Place the activator rail.


3. Place obsidian starting from behind the activator rail and going until the closest piston.

File:Step03 Obsidian.png
Step 3. Place the obsidian to protect the redstone.


4. Place a lever against the obsidian behind the activator rail such that the lever powers the rail.

File:Step04 Lever.png
Step 4. Place the lever to power the activator rail.


5. Place 5 repeaters leading away from the lever, a block in front of that chain, and another 5 repeaters going towards the pistons. Set the delay on all of these to their maximum.



6. At the end of this repeater chain, place a block. Place another block behind the closest piston and a redstone between the block and the block behind the piston.

File:Step05 Redstone.png
Steps 5 & 6. Place the redstone to power the first piston.


7. Place two cobblestone walls on the remaining two sides of the block above the one that you are trying to break.

File:Step06 CobblestoneWalls.png
Step 7. Place the cobblestone walls.


8. Place a TNT minecart on the activator rail and flip the lever. Stand back and watch the piston head get blown off. It is crucial that you do not turn off the lever now.

File:Step07 HeadlessPiston1.gif
Step 8. The GIF shows what needs to happen. It looks like I put the marker glowstone too close to the explosion (oops!)


9. Place a redstone block diagonally up from the piston away from the block you are trying to break. Turn off the lever.

File:Step08 RedstoneBlock.png
Step 9. The redstone block to BUD-power the headless piston.


10. Place an obsidian block between the two pistons. The redstone should be able to power both pistons at the same time.

File:Step09 Redstone.png
Step 10. The redstone to prepare to make the other sticky piston headless.


11. Repeat steps 7-9.

File:Step10 HeadlessPiston2.gif
Step 11. The GIF shows what needs to happen. The glowstone is out of the picture because the GIF creator I was using cut it off.


12. Now that you have two headless sticky pistons, break all of the blocks that you just placed except the headless pistons and the redstone blocks.

File:Step11 Cleanup.png
Step 12. The cleanup.


13. Place a piston facing down one block away from the headless pistons directly on top of the bedrock. This will require the use of another piston.

File:Step12 DownwardsPiston.png
Step 13. Use the other piston to place the downwards-facing piston into position.


14. Break the piston that you used to push the downwards-facing piston into position and place this piston on top of the block you are trying to place, facing upwards.

File:Step13 Pistons.png
Step 14. The normal pistons should be like this.


15. Move to a place where the headless piston on your left is facing the line of normal pistons facing up or down. This will make it easier to understand what is going on if you choose not to follow the pictures.

File:Step14 Positions.png
Step 15. Get into this position. It makes it easier to explain the next few steps.


16. Place a repeater pointing to the upwards-facing piston, one redstone, and then another repeater facing the redstone and parallel to the left headless piston.

File:Step15 Repeaters.png
Step 16. The first set of repeaters should look like this.


17. Place a repeater set to a delay of 2 facing the left piston and two repeaters on the default setting lined up and pointing into the right piston.

File:Step16 HeadlessPistonRepeaters.png
Step 17. The repeaters connecting to the headless pistons should look like this.


18. Connect the repeaters with redstone until you run out. In the missing spot, place a lever and power it.

File:Step17 FinalRedstone.png
Step 18. The redstone should look like this.


19. With the redstone lines powered, break the redstone blocks next to the headless pistons.

File:Step18 EverythingReady.png
Step 19. I find this the tensest moment, because soon, you will find out whether you did everything correctly.


20. Turn off the lever. All should return to normal, with the sticky pistons getting their heads back, but the downwards-facing piston would have mysteriously disappeared, and there is a hole in the bedrock below the upwards-facing piston.

File:Step19 BreakBedrock.gif
Step 20. The GIF shows the magic that needs to happen.


The way this method works is manipulating the explosion power of the TNT minecart to blow up the head of the piston, but not the base of it, combined with perfect timing, causing the piston to extend at the exact same time as the TNT minecart explodes.

I do not know why the pistons end up sacrificing the piston and breaking the bedrock, though it might have something to do with this bug.

Pros:

  • It can be done early in the game, since it does not require many resources.
  • It can be done quickly after some practice.

Cons:

  • It is insanely complicated, and one mistake means having to completely start over.
  • It only breaks one block directly below the setup.
Method 2[edit | edit source]

This method is much simpler, but it requires more resources. These are the minimum materials you will need to break one block:

  • One dragon egg
  • One piston
  • One redstone torch
  • 31-481 redstone [note 1]
  • 33-513 blocks of choice [note 1]
  • 2-32 redstone repeaters [note 1]
  • 1 lever

Note 1: this amount varies greatly on render distance. The amount of redstone you will need is 15 times the render distance. The number of repeaters you will need is the same as the render distance. The number of blocks you will need is 16 times the render distance, plus 1.

This method is incredibly easy to do, but time-consuming. This is all you need to do:

1. Place one block of choice.

2. Place a redstone torch on the side of this block.

3. Place a piston on top of the redstone torch.

4. Place the dragon egg on top of the piston arm. This dragon egg should be exactly above the block you are trying to break.

5. Place the remaining blocks in a straight line with redstone on top of it. Place repeaters every 16 blocks of this redstone line. At the other end of this, place a lever.

6. Power the lever, wait five seconds, then depower it.

7. Walk back to find the dragon egg taking up the space of the broken block.

This works because the dragon egg is dropped in the lazy chunks. Lazy chunks are a region two chunks wide at the edge of the player's render distance that are partly loaded and have not yet been unloaded. Redstone still works, but falling sand entities fall instantly. Dragon eggs have the strange property where they replace the block they fall on with itself, if they fall in the lazy chunks.

Pros:

  • It can be expanded to break more bedrock in one go, if the player manages to obtain more dragon eggs.
  • Since it uses a falling block, the player can construct this any number of blocks above the one being broken.

Cons:

  • If the dragon egg falls through the bottom layer of bedrock to the void, the dragon egg is gone forever.
  • On multiplayer, other players may end up loading the chunks where this is happening, causing it to fail.


Method 3[edit | edit source]

This method requires a one block deep 1x4 block trench in the bedrock directly above the Nether portal that brought you to the Nether. It only works with the ceiling of the Nether, and requires that there are no other portals with 16 blocks in the Nether or 128 blocks in the Overworld. These are the materials you will need:

  • A lot of transparent, non-spawnable blocks (glass, slabs, etc) [note 1]

Note 1: this amount can change drastically depending on the situation.

1. Place the non-spawnable blocks on every top surface of every block within 16 blocks horizontally and all the way up and down between the bedrock barriers.

2. Break the Nether portal that brought the player to the Nether.

3. Build another Nether portal at least 16 blocks away and use it to travel back to the Overworld.

4. Go back to the original portal and use it to go back to the Nether. This portal should spawn at the Nether ceiling, breaking some more of the bedrock. Repeat this to break more bedrock.

This method works by removing all of the valid places for a Nether portal. It forces the portal to generate in the bedrock, replacing some of it with the obsidian frame.

Pros:

  • It is incredibly easy to accomplish.
  • It is very fast.

Cons:

  • It requires a lot of work to prepare the area.
  • It requires the player to have already used one of the methods above to break the bedrock needed to utilize this.