Tutorials/Iron golem farming

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An Iron Golem farm is an easy way to acquire many iron ingots (and less useful poppies) with minimal effort after the initial setup. It is an artificial village (or several of them, spaced far enough apart to remain separate) in which golems are spawned and then either killed immediately, or moved to a holding cell (outside the village boundary, so that new ones can spawn in their place) for later killing. If you opt for the first method, you will either need to go AFK while camping out at the collection point, have a hopper collecting your items, or else check back periodically to collect your items before they despawn. This necessity can be avoided by using the holding cell method, which allows the golems to collect while you are working nearby, and then you can harvest them all at once when you are ready so that you don't miss any drops. If the farm is built inside the spawn chunk and fully automatic, it will operate at any time, making it highly efficient. Iron farms also work in Minecraft Pocket Edition, although lava does burn through signs, ladders, and fence gates but placing double signs will prevent the signs from burning. (on top of each other)

General requirements[edit | edit source]

Iron golems spawn naturally in villages (natural or player-made), provided there are 10 villagers and at least 21 houses (counted as doors). The chance of spawning is 1 in 7000 per tick, which averages around one every six minutes.

There are several ways to build an iron farm, but the decent versions seem to be the ones that use two floors in the golem-spawning zone(16 by 16 by 6), and keep all doors and villagers outside the zone, either above and below the center or in an outer "ring" on the same level. This is in order to maximize the number of available spaces for the golems to spawn in, which in turn will reduce the number of failed attempts, and keep the spawning rate as high as possible. This is much more effective than simply increasing the villager count to raise the golem cap, which only matters for the few seconds between the time when a golem spawns and when it is flushed out and killed. To further increase your output rate, you can build several separate iron farms as long as they are 64 blocks apart, and bring the golems or their drops to a central collection area. The most powerful iron farms are ones that overlap many villages. Since golems are immune to falling or drowning damage, the available killing methods are lava or suffocation (or both like docm77's video.)

Odds of a missed spawn occurring: There are 512 valid spawn points in the 16×16×6 block spawn area. Making a farm with only ½ of the valid spawn points (256) does not reduce your chance of spawn by ½. This is because the game randomly "tries" to find a valid place to put a golem 10 times each time an opportunity to spawn a golem comes up. So, your chances become 0.5 for each of the ten tries. Missing a spawn in this case is equivalent to flipping a coin ten times and have all ten come out tails. It is .5^10 or .00098 which is just about one in a thousand odds. A better suggestion would be to use some of the area of the zone to rapidly move golems out of the interference zone so they do not halt further spawning. This is a much more likely occurrence than missed spawns if the golems can’t move out of the area quickly. This is not as rare of an occurrence as has been suggested.

Chances of a missed spawn are calculated as follows:

 ( 1 - ( valid_spawn_points / (16*16*6) ) )^10 * 100% 

So with 256 valid spawn points you will miss 16.2% of the spawns whereas 512 valid spawn points will only result in a loss of 1.7%.

Additionally, console players should note the 50 villager spawn limit, which will make difficult, though not impossible, the full population of certain farm designs. Also, due to changes 4J Studios made to door detection and addition in the December 2015 update that brought MCCE to approximate parity with PC 1.8.8 no stacked or chained village iron farms from the PC community will work on console. Console players should avoid using anything but single village designs at this point. 4J Studios has remained silent as to whether or not the change was intentional or if they plan to fix it. All bug report tickets on MCCE bug tracker have gone unassigned.

Video[edit | edit source]

Design by trunkz[edit | edit source]

Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 40
Scalable: yes
Description: This is an older design by trunkz and one of the earliest to feature two spawning floors for greater efficiency. It uses several villager baskets and door pads and is a little outdated, but quite a good and efficient design for the time it takes to build.

This farm has been tested in Spigot 1.8. Extra care must be taken with breeding villagers as they no longer breed as easily as they did in earlier version. For testing in 1.8 the villagers were bred to a population of 20 on the ground before being transported to their cells (the individual villagers were transported to their cell by minecart, the other 18 went to their cell on a dirt ramp). The method given in the video will probably work if the breeding villagers are provided an ample supply of suitable food, e.g. carrots, potatoes or bread.

Design by JL2579 (tutorial by docm77)[edit | edit source]

Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 160
Scalable: yes
Description: This design, originally created by JL2579, uses 4 spawning modules, with 2 modules per level, with doors surrounding the modules. This pattern could be repeated to fill a very large area with iron farms. The farm also features a lava system to damage the iron golems so that the piston suffocator works more quickly. Youtuber docm77 made this tutorial for the design.

Design by Nims[edit | edit source]

Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 30
Scalable: yes (you can build a second farm 80 blocks overhead to increase the spawning rates)
Description: This design, by NimsTV, is slightly less efficient than JL2579's design. However, it is much simpler and easier to build, because the water streams are easier to configure and there is only one villager basket. The golem spawning area is larger than the farm, which is why JL2579 did not build his farm in this way. You have to block spawning anywhere outside the farm, if you intend to build several duplicate farms in an array.

Design by GruvaGuy[edit | edit source]

The Iron Head, a 100% Efficient Iron Farm[edit | edit source]

Requires spawn chunks: no but you will get more regular iron if you do build them there
Iron per hour: 41+
Scalable: yes (you can build a second farm 65 blocks away from the village center). Possible to fit 36 within the spawn chunks (though not easily).

Description: This is a single village iron farm designed by GruvaGuy in 1.9 using Golem spawn mechanics to achieve a 100% efficient iron farm. Very different to most designs and can be placed flush on the ground without any digging required. Though this is as efficient as possible it is also expensive in resources. The mechanics show in the video can be applied to an Iron Titan or any other iron farm.

Designs by Tango Tek[edit | edit source]

The Iron Titan

Requires spawn chunks: yes
Iron per hour: 2600
Scalable: yes (watch video)
Description: Tango Tek has discovered a trick in Minecraft that enables the placing of directly adjacent villages (only works after 1.8.1). All of his designs utilize this principle to layer 32, 64, or even 128 villages into a single iron farm, producing the most efficient iron farms ever created. His latest and greatest design, the Iron Titan, is modular, and can be easily scaled up in increments of 32 villages. Tango's recommended design has 64 villages which produces a whopping 2600 iron every hour. It can theoretically be stacked on top of itself to the sky limit, but that would obviously be very expensive and quite unnecessary (unless you are insane or running an ultra-large server).

Designs by DanielKotes[edit | edit source]

The Iron Towers

Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 1300
Scalable: no
Description: Very similar to the Iron Trench, the Iron towers design layers villages one over each other to produce 32 villages. Villages will re-build if they are broken, not requiring any player intervention. At the moment it can only be built up to 32 villages in size, thus producing at most 1300 iron per hour if the full 32 village farm is built. Fortunately, the redstone in this design is much simpler than the older iron trench builds due to the village building process being done in one phase instead of two.

Its worth noting that many players using the Spigot server have found this to be problematic. In the comments of the tutorial is a conversion. Fundamentally Spigot uses slightly different timings in the creation and destruction of villages (or detecting and adding a door to a village). This coupled with a lower default entity-activation range means this can be difficult to get working in a survival server. (The timings Spigot uses are one of the features of Spigot that enables it to be more effective on low resources (CPU/Memory) per player).


Design by Emonadeo[edit | edit source]

The Iron Bakery

Requires spawn chunks: yes
Iron per hour: 500 each layer with 10 rows of doors
Scalable: yes

A great advantage to this design is the customization. You can decide how big and efficient it gets by changing the number of the rings of doors and/or layers. It uses a similar door placement to the Iron Titan by Tango Tek (Look for it above). In fact it is relatively easy to build in survival mode and is also efficient on smaller multiplayer servers.

Emonadeo has since released a video on how to fix it for 1.9/1.10


Design by Panda[edit | edit source]

The most important part of any farm is its spawning floor, both in regards to maximising spawning area and the speed at which it can remove spawned entities to be replaced. In the following video, Panda describes a unique spawn floor design that drastically increases both of these, to the point where small servers could just use a standard un-chained single village iron farm with this spawn floor to provide ample amounts of iron for the players. Combine this spawn floor with any of the other designs to drastically improve its output. (Spawnpads still work in 1.8).


Design by SwoodyCraft[edit | edit source]

Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 1000+
Scalable: yes
Description: This design uses offset stacks of villages allowing players to compress a large number into a relatively small space (27 villages in less than 150 sq blocks). It is highly efficient and requires relatively low amount of resources to build. It does not require any redstone to build nor does it have to built at spawn. The only limiting factor (as with any iron farm) is that I must be built at least 84 blocks from any other village.

Design by MCinstructabuilds[edit | edit source]

Requires spawn chunks: no

Iron per hour: 30 - 40 (depending on configuration)

Scalable: yes (As long as the second farm is constructed 70 blocks away)

Description: This design, by MCinstructabuilds, is not as efficient as some other designs. However, it is simple to build and lends itself to variation and disguise. The spawning area for the golems is 16x16, but can be made smaller by digging 8 blocks down around the edges if desired. The doors are placed equally around the spawning area, but specific placement can be varied. It is this varied door placement that allows the farm to be easily camoflaged. MCinstructabuilds provides three example disguises, a fort, a town, and a mining camp / Furnace. Unlike other designs the villagers are not kept contained. The Farm can be constructed easily and at ground level.

Tower design[edit | edit source]

This design is good especially for survival. It will get you about a stack every 2 hours. It's pretty efficient, but for faster farms, use one of the above.

Step zero - resources[edit | edit source]

To build an iron golem farm, you should have a fair amount of resources, such as cobblestone and wood, as well as a way to get villagers into it.

You will need:

  • at least 1100 cobblestone (about 18 stacks)
  • 64 doors (6 wood per 3 doors=128 wood planks or 2 stacks)
  • 18 water buckets
  • 1 lava bucket
  • 4 signs
  • 2 hoppers and 2 chests (This is for the option to use hoppers to collect items when you are away from the farm)

Step one - Building location[edit | edit source]

To build the Iron Golem farm you should:

  • Choose a good location. Don't build it far from your home or main base, because you want the golems to spawn even when you are not at the farm. An ideal spot is on top of your existing home or close to it. Remember, village doors need direct access to sunlight within 5 blocks straight ahead of them.
  • Gather the resources listed above.
  • Follow the instructions below to begin building the base.

Step two - Building instructions[edit | edit source]

  • 1.

Start by building a 4×4 cobble base.

  • 2.

Continue this until you have a tower that is 10 blocks tall. Next, break a 2×3 hole in the bottom so the golems will be able to go through.


  • 3.

Build out 7 blocks from the top of this tower to form an 18×18 platform with a 2×2 hole in the middle.


  • 4.

Build in 4 blocks from each corner, then 3 blocks diagonal in both directions to build a triangle.


  • 5.

Next build a 1 block wide platform around this so the platform is now 20×20.

  • 6.

Now build a wall with windows in it as show below.


This is how wide each of the holes in the wall should be:


  • 7.

Seal off the backs of the windows, and build some small cups to hold the villagers. The cups should be 4×4 on the outside, so there is 2×2×3 of air on the inside. Make sure that there are at least 10 villagers altogether and note that adding villagers after reaching 30 will have no effect on the efficiency of the farm.


  • 8.

Place doors against the back of the indents. This is to make the villagers think these are homes.
Note: To place doors against the inside wall as shown, stand inside the indent, face the spawning area, look down and "place" the door on the block directly under your feet (works on PC up to at least 1.8.3). Don't place them sideways; this can cause them to be not counted as homes.
it should look like this:


Note: every single door opens onto a blank wall. The villagers should not be going in and out of the doors; they are trapped inside their cups and can't leave.

  • 9.

Then place down 1 water in each of the 4 villager cups, and 2 water down in between each of the raised triangles to form this pattern:

  • 10.

Place 1 water on each of the triangles in the very back corner of the wall.

Now the top part is finished, the golems will spawn once there are 3 villagers in each of the holding cups. The next step is to build the golem grinder.

  • 11.

Build 4 blocks out from the bottom of the tower and 3 blocks up on each side, then place 2 blocks at the end of it to keep the golems from escaping.

  • 12.

Next, place 4 signs in a cup shape to hold the lava that kills the golems.

  • 13.

Now place the lava in the signs.

  • 14.

Place the last 2 water in the very back of the base, so the golems will get pushed into the lava.

  • 15.

Put down 2 hoppers going into a large chest for automatic resource collection (this is not required, but it is a good idea so you don't let any of the items despawn.)

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Since villagers will turn into witches when struck by lightning (albeit it happens very rarely), it is sometimes needed to refill the villagers into the farm after a thunderstorm. But if the farm is not built inside the spawn chunk, you can just move away from the farm to let the chunk unload during a thunderstorm. Villagers bred inside the farm will also occasionally spawn outside of the containers.