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Block Entity






JE, CE: Yes
BE: No


Yes, 15

Blast resistance





Any tool




Yes (64)



First appearances

See History



Block entity id


Data value

dec: 138 hex: 8A bin: 10001010



Beacons! No, not "bacon", but a beam of light to pimp your castle with!
The Pretty Scary Update promo poster
Ash Davis Mojang avatar.png It’s quite the exhausting build in survival mode - but since when have pyramids been the cheap architectural option?
Ash Davis[1]

A beacon is a unique block that projects a light beam skyward and can provide status effects to players in the vicinity.

Obtaining[edit | edit source]

A beacon can be mined successfully with any tool, or with bare hands.

Hardness 3
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 4.5
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

Crafting[edit | edit source]

Ingredients Crafting recipe
Glass +
Nether Star +

Usage[edit | edit source]

Beacon blocks can function as light sources, emitting a light level 15. Like other light sources, they will melt snow and ice. They cannot be pushed by pistons.[Java and Legacy Console editions only]

When "activated", beacon blocks provide two unique functions:

  • An aesthetic landmark beam reaching into the sky, which can be visible from far away.
  • Powers, which give players status effects within a certain range.

Activation[edit | edit source]

The beacon base can be made of the different mineral blocks combined.
The beacon base can be made of the different mineral blocks combined.

In order to activate a beacon, the beacon must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Beacons require an unobstructed view of the sky, though bedrock and transparent blocks (including water, lava, slime, glass, enchanting table, and other beacon blocks) will not count as obstruction.
  • The beacon is on top of a pyramid constructed from iron blocks, gold blocks, emerald blocks, and/or diamond blocks.

Pyramids[edit | edit source]

The four possible pyramid arrangements when using the beacon block. From left to right the pyramid structure decreases in complexity.

Pyramids are the structures required to activate beacons. There are four possible pyramid heights. The more levels a pyramid has, the more powers will be available to choose from, and the wider its affected vicinity will be. The type of mineral block used to build the pyramid is entirely cosmetic and has no functional effect. Several different block types can be mixed without affecting functionality. 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.

A single Beacon Pyramid
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
This six-Beacon pyramid provides all six effects from a single structure using the fewest possible mineral blocks.

Multiple beacons can make use of the same specific mineral blocks below them. Combined pyramids do not need to be symmetrical. The image to the right shows a 6-beacon (2 by 3) pyramid. It requires a total of 244 mineral blocks, with a base layer of 10 by 11.

Multiple Beacons Pyramid (enables all buffs)
Level Mineral Blocks Stacks of Blocks Minerals Stacks of Minerals Layers
1 20 blocks 180 minerals 2 stacks + 52 minerals 4x5, 2x3 Beacons
2 62 blocks 558 minerals 8 stacks + 46 minerals 6x7, 4x5, 2x3 Beacons
3 134 blocks 2 stacks + 6 blocks 1,206 minerals 18 stacks + 54 minerals 8x9, 6x7, 4x5, 2x3 Beacons
4 244 blocks 3 stacks + 52 blocks 2,196 minerals 34 stacks + 20 minerals 10x11, 8x9, 6x7, 4x5, 2x3 Beacons

Beam[edit | edit source]

A beam appears from a beacon if the beacon is activated, extending from the beacon block up to Y=255. The beam is visible from roughly the same distance as a single ordinary stack of blocks. If a render distance of 16 chunks is set, the beam of light is visible from up to 255 blocks away.

The color of the beam may be changed by placing blocks of stained glass (or stained glass panes) anywhere above the beacon block. The beam will change colors according to the colors of glass placed above it: the first block will set the beam color, while each additional block will set the color by averaging the red, green, and blue components of the current beam color and the block color. The color values are the same as those for the corresponding dye. Oddly Enough, Beacon beams cannot go through most blocks, but can go through end portal blocks.

Powers[edit | edit source]

See also: Status effect
The GUI shown when pressing use on the block.

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) to players who remain within a certain range. This is done through the beacon's GUI, which is displayed by pressing use while looking at the beacon block. The item used has no effect on the powers provided.

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 five primary powers are:

  • Speed
    I: Increased movement speed.

  • Haste
    I: Increased mining and attack speed.

  • Resistance
    I: decreased nearly all incoming damage (2-level pyramid required).

  • Jump Boost
    I: Increased jumping distance and height (2-level pyramid required).

  • Strength
    I: Increased melee damage (3-level pyramid required).

Secondary powers are available with a 4-level pyramid:

  • Regeneration
    I: Regenerates health.
  • Increase the primary power to level II.

Every four seconds, the selected powers are applied with a duration of 9 seconds, plus 2 seconds per pyramid level, to all players in range. Thus, when powers are changed or a player travels outside the area-of-effect, the powers will persist for 5–9 seconds, or 13-17 seconds with a full pyramid.

Range[edit | edit source]

The beacon forms a squared affected area around itself, the size of which depends on the pyramid size. The affected area extends range blocks (see the table below) from the beacon block horizontally and downward and range + 256 blocks above, except on console, where its vertical range is the same as its horizontal range.

The distance from the player to the beacon block does not affect the intensity of the status effect.

Pyramid size Effect range Effect duration
1 level 20 11
2 levels 30 13
3 levels 40 15
4 levels 50 17

Data values[edit | edit source]

See also: Block entity format

A beacon has a block entity associated with it that holds additional data about the block. The beacon's block entity ID is beacon.

  • Block entity data
    • Tags common to all block entities see Template:Nbt inherit/blockentity/template

    •  Lock: Optional. When not blank, prevents the container from being opened unless the opener is holding an item whose name matches this string.

    •  Levels: The number of levels available from the pyramid.

    •  Primary: The primary power selected, see Potion effects for IDs. 0 means none.

    •  Secondary: The secondary power selected, see Potion effects for IDs. 0 means none.

Video[edit | edit source]

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Xbox PS Bedrock Nintendo

BeaconatorCreate a full beaconBe within a 20×20×14 cuboid centered on the pyramid when the beacon block realizes it is fully powered.YesYesAltYes60GGold
The BeaconatorAltAltYesAlt

Advancements[edit | edit source]

Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Bring Home the BeaconConstruct and place a BeaconWithering HeightsBe within a 20×20×14 cuboid centered on a beacon block when it realizes it has become powered.minecraft:nether/create_beacon
How Did We Get Here?Have every effect applied at the same timeA Furious CocktailHave all of these 20 effects applied to you at the same time.minecraft:nether/all_effects
BeaconatorBring a beacon to full powerBring Home the BeaconBe within a 20×20×14 cuboid centered on a beacon block when it realizes it is being powered by a size 4 pyramid.minecraft:nether/create_full_beacon

History[edit | edit source]

Official release
1.4.2 12w32a Beacon Block old.png Added the "Work in Progress" block.
12w34a Removed the beacon from the creative inventory.
12w36a The "Work in Progress" block is now called "Beacon", can be found in the creative inventory, and is craftable.
Beacon Block old2.png The texture was changed.
12w38a Beacon Block old3.png The texture was changed again. The beacon beam changed from a semi-transparent smooth beam (which conflicted with water transparency), to a pattern with 0% transparency.
12w40a Beacon.png The texture was changed again, and the beacon beam changed again.
1.5 13w05a Effect range 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 The player can achieve the Beaconator achievement by placing a beacon on a level-4 pyramid of specific mineral blocks.
1.8 14w29a Now displays the cracking animation.
August 5, 2014Dinnerbone 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, 2014Dinnerbone tweets that the beacon beam can now pass through blocks that only block light slightly.
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.
Beacons in the Nether and the End only check for blocks and render the beam up to the world height (Y=127).
1.8.2 1.8.2-pre5 Bedrock no longer obstructs beacon activation or beams.
Beacons in the Nether and the End check and use the full build height (Y=255) rather than the world height (Y=127).
1.9 15w31a Beacons generate naturally in end ships.
15w32c Beacons no longer generate in end ships, being replaced by pumpkins.
15w47a A new tag, PaymentItem, stored the sacrifice item within the beacon's block entity data (until 15w49a).
Beacons would no longer drop their contents when broken or when the interface is exited (until 15w49a).
Beacons were made able to interact with hoppers (until 15w49a).
15w47b Effect duration now increases with pyramid level (formerly was a constant 9 seconds).
15w49a Removed the PaymentItem tag (introduced in 15w47a).
Beacons once again drop their contents when broken or when the interface is exited (as they had before 15w47a).
Beacons can no longer interact with hoppers (as they had since 15w47a).
1.11 16w32a Changed block entity ID from Beacon to beacon.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.16.0 build 4 Added beacons.
Bedrock Edition
1.2 build 1 Beacon beams now change colors when shining through stained glass or stained glass panes.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU71.12Patch 1Added beacons.
TU25CU141.17Beacon beams now change colors when shining through stained glass or stained glass panes.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Nerfed vertical range of beacon to match horizontal range.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.3.12 Added beacons.

Issues[edit | edit source]

Issues relating to “Beacon” are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The player can leave a resource in the beacon block without clicking "Done".
  • The texture of the beacon is 16×16, but only renders the 10×10 area in the center.
  • Beacon beams can't go through blocks, but can go through ender portal blocks.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Pre-1.4[edit | edit source]

Official release[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Promotional Content