Desert pyramid

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Desert pyramid
Desert pyramid.png


Consists of

See Blocks

Can generate


First appearances

See History

Desert temples, or desert pyramids[Java Edition only], are structures found in deserts that resemble Egyptian pyramids.


Desert temples naturally generate in desert biomes. Desert temples always generate with their floor at y=64. This may cause the desert temple to be partially buried.


Inside view of a desert temple.

Desert temples are constructed from sandstone (all 3 variants), orange and blue terracotta, sandstone slabs, and sandstone stairs.

In the center of the temple's ground floor is a single block of blue terracotta. Underneath this terracotta is a 'booby-trapped' hidden chamber with four chests that can each contain very valuable loot. The trap consists of a stone pressure plate (located directly under the blue terracotta), connected to a 3x3x1 grid of TNT.

Preview of the 4 hidden chests with the TNT Trap under the desert temple.

Desert temples look yellow on maps, similar to sand and sandstone, but with a distinctive shape.


See also: Chest loot

Each desert temple chest contains items drawn from 2 pools, with the following distribution:

Stack Size Weight # Items Chance # Chests
2–4× 2–4×
Bone 4–61–82523210505.21670.8%1.4
Rotten Flesh 3–71–82523210505.21670.8%1.4
Gunpowder 1–810503.60059.0%1.7
Sand 1–810503.60059.0%1.7
String 1–810503.60059.0%1.7
Spider Eye 1–3252320.64728.7%3.5
Enchanted Book[note 1] 1202320.25923.5%4.3
Saddle 1202320.25923.5%4.3
Golden Apple 1202320.25923.5%4.3
Gold Ingot 2–7152320.87318.0%5.5
Iron Ingot 1–5152320.58218.0%5.5
Emerald 1–3152320.38818.0%5.5
Nothing[note 2] 1152320.19418.0%5.5
Iron Horse Armor 1152320.19418.0%5.5
Golden Horse Armor 1102320.12912.3%8.1
Diamond 1–352320.1296.3%15.8
Diamond Horse Armor 152320.0656.3%15.8
Enchanted Golden Apple 122320.0262.6%39.0
  1. All enchantments are equally probable, except treasure enchantments, and any level of the enchantment is equally probable.
  2. 'Nothing' does not refer to the chance of an empty chest. Instead, it refers to the chance that the random loot generator will not add any loot on a single roll.


Block Amount
Sandstone 3078
Cut Sandstone 189
Orange Terracotta 59
Chiseled Sandstone 34
Sandstone Stairs 16
Chest 4
Sandstone Slab 2
Blue Terracotta 1
Stone Pressure Plate 1



Java Edition
1.3.1 12w21a Added desert temples.
1.4.6 12w50a Enchanted books now generate in desert temple chests.
1.8 14w03a Desert temples now generate with terracotta (at that time called "hardened clay") instead of wool.
1.9 15w44a Chest loot is changed.
Added gunpowder, sand, string, spider eye, and normal and enchanted golden apples.
Average yields of diamonds, gold ingots and iron ingots are decreased.
Average yields of horse armor, enchanted books, rotten flesh, saddles and emeralds are increased.
1.13 18w06a Desert temples are renamed to desert pyramids.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.13.0 build 1 Added desert temples.
0.15.0 build 1 Enchanted books now generate in desert temple chests.
Legacy Console Edition
TU14CU11.05Patch 1Patch s1Added desert temples.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Desert temples now generate with terracotta instead of wool.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0 Added Desert temples.


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


  • The desert temple's basement is 21 blocks by 21 blocks.
  • The orange symbols on the outside resemble the Ancient Egyptian symbol for Life,[1] an Ankh.[2]
  • Desert temples have a rare chance of generating improperly causing some blocks to be lost or added.
  • As there is no light in the lower chamber, mobs can spawn inside and trigger the TNT trap, destroying the chests and loot before any player can reach it. Also, rarely a lava lake might generate next to TNT, potentially setting the trap off as well.
  • A desert temple will not generate fully if generated partially on water. When generated on lakes, they are only half-generated.
  • The top hole in the temple's ceiling is almost always generated above ground, so buried temples will be accessible, but fall damage is likely.
  • When a desert temple generates above a ravine, it will have a deeper foundation like the Village houses.


See also[edit]