Beacon

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Beacons! No, not "bacon", but a beam of light to pimp your castle with!

The Pretty Scary Update promo poster

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

Obtaining[edit]

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

Block Beacon
Hardness 3
Breaking time
Hand 4.5

Crafting[edit]

Ingredients Crafting recipe
Glass +
Nether Star +
Obsidian

Usage[edit]

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]

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:

Pyramids[edit]

The four possible pyramid arrangements when using the beacon block. From left to right the pyramid structures decrease in complexity and strength.

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 Materials Layers
1 9 1 stack + 17 3×3, Beacon
2 34 4 stacks + 50 5×5, 3×3, Beacon
3 1 stack + 19 11 stacks + 43 7×7, 5×5, 3×3, Beacon
4 2 stacks + 36 23 stacks + 4 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 (Tier 4 can enable all buffs)
Level Mineral Blocks Minerals Layers
1 20 2 stacks + 52 4x5, 2x3 Beacons
2 62 8 stacks + 46 6x7, 4x5, 2x3 Beacons
3 2 stacks + 6 18 stacks + 54 8x9, 6x7, 4x5, 2x3 Beacons
4 3 stacks + 52 34 stacks + 20 10x11, 8x9, 6x7, 4x5, 2x3 Beacons

Beam[edit]

A vertical 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.‌[Java Edition only] 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 bedrock and end portal blocks.

Powers[edit]

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 select which status effects will be given to players within range of the beacon. This is done through the beacon's GUI, which is displayed by pressing use while looking at the beacon block. It doesn't matter which of the items is fed into the beacon.

In the GUI, the player places the item to be fed in the empty slot, and clicks an effect from the "Primary Power" section on the left. If the beacon is sitting on a 4-level pyramid, the "Secondary Power" section on the right will also become active. The player can then choose either to turn on the Regeneration power in addition to the Primary Power or to raise the primary power to Level II. The user clicks the "Done" button (green check mark), the item is consumed, and the power(s) become activated. To change the beacon's powers, this process must be followed again, consuming another ingot or gem.

If the pyramid is broken, effects will turn off or weaken, or the beacon will turn off entirely depending on which level of the pyramid is no longer complete. Upon restoration of the pyramid, the originally selected power will come back on without the need to spend another item.

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).

The Secondary Powers only available with a 4-level pyramid are:

  • Regeneration I: Regenerates health.
  • Increasing the Primary Power to level II.

It is also possible to combine two different primary Level I powers:

  • select a primary power in the left panel
  • select the Level II option in the right panel
  • select the second desired power back in the left panel

Only one of the two powers will appear to be selected, but both effects will activate.‌[Java Edition only]

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]

The beacon affects an area in the shape of a square column, which reaches downwards and out to each side at a range determined by the size of the pyramid base (see table below), and upwards a distance of that range + 256.‌[Java Edition only]

In the Bedrock Edition, the beacon affects a cubic area extending out the same distance in all directions (see table below).

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 16

Data values[edit]

ID[edit]

Java Edition:

Beacon Namespaced ID
Block beacon
Block entity

Bedrock Edition:

Beacon Namespaced ID Numeric ID
Block beacon 138
Block entity Beacon -

Block entity[edit]

A beacon has a block entity associated with it that holds additional data about the block.

  • 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.

Achievements[edit]

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]

Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Advancement-plain-raw.png 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
Advancement-oval-raw.png 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
Advancement-fancy-raw.png How Did We Get Here?Have every effect applied at the same timeA Furious CocktailHave all of these 26 effects applied to the player at the same time.minecraft:nether/all_effects

Video[edit]

History[edit]

Java Edition
1.4.212w32aBeacon Revision 1.png Added the "Work in Progress" block.
12w34aRemoved the beacon from the creative inventory.
12w36aThe "Work in Progress" block is now called "Beacon", can be found in the creative inventory, and is craftable.
Beacon Revision 2.png The texture was changed.
12w38aBeacon Revision 3.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.
12w40aBeacon Revision 4.png The texture was changed again, and the beacon beam changed again.
1.513w05aEffect range increased from 16/24/32/40 blocks to 20/30/40/50 blocks.
Beacon effects extend up to the world height limit (Y=256).
1.6.113w23aWith the regeneration effect being nerfed slightly, the same effect produced from the beacon did too.
1.7.213w36aThe player can achieve the Beaconator achievement by placing a beacon on a level-4 pyramid of specific mineral blocks.
1.814w29aNow 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.
14w32aBeacon 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.
14w32bBeacon 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).
1.8.2pre5Bedrock 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).
1.915w31aBeacons generate naturally in end ships.
15w32cBeacons no longer generate in end ships, being replaced by pumpkins.
15w47aA 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).
15w47bEffect duration now increases with pyramid level (formerly was a constant 9 seconds).
15w49aRemoved 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).
1.1116w32aChanged block entity ID from Beacon to beacon.
1.1317w47aPrior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 138.
18w19aBeacons now produce sounds.
1.1418w43aBeacon.png Changed the texture of beacons.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.16.0build 4Beacon Revision 4.png Added beacons.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0beta 1.2.0.2Beacon beams now change colors when shining through stained glass or stained glass panes.
1.5.0beta 1.5.0.4Beacons now produce sounds.
1.10.0beta 1.10.0.3Beacon.png Changed the texture of beacons.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU71.12Patch 1Beacon Revision 4.png Added 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.
TU691.76Patch 38Beacons now produce sounds.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Beacon.png Changed the texture of beacons.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.3.12Beacon Revision 4.png Added beacons.

Issues[edit]

Issues relating to "Beacon" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit]

  • The texture of the beacon is 16×16, but only renders the 10×10 area in the center.
  • It is possible to see the beacon beam on the bottom of an activated beacon. This was initially reported as a bug, but the resolution was "won't fix", despite a fix being provided.[1]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]