Tutorials/Building a rollercoaster

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This tutorial seeks to teach you, the player, how to create a rollercoaster that is fun and creative. This is simply a starter guide, or a tool kit, to build whatever crazy rollercoaster you want.

Components[edit]

Rail Type[edit]

Generally speaking, all straight parts of a rollercoaster should be made of powered rails, with redstone torches next to them. Detector rails are only necessary if there are dynamic elements in it. Powered activator rails would dismount the player upon passing over one. Only normal rails can guarantee the success of a turn, however.

Realistic railing[edit]

Most rollercoasters in real life, instead of being made up of powered rails all over, have powered rails to get up the first hill, and use the energy from the descent off the first hill to move the minecart for the rest of the track. You can do this in Minecraft as well as in real life. Place powered rails with redstone torches next to them up the first hill, and make the whole rest of the track plain rails. The minecart should be able to make it around the whole track, as long as each hill is not as big as the previous hill.

Station[edit]

A minecart at the end of a roller coaster track. When the button to the right is pressed, the minecart will roll to the station.

Generally, a roller coaster always starts with a station. A station requires a way to start and stop a minecart. The easiest way to make this is to place a block, put a rail on top of it, and next to that block, place a powered rail (don't power it yet), one down from the normal rail. Then, place a plain rail next to the powered rail you just placed. It should look like this:


Then, build a pillar 3 block high pillar next to the block you put the powered rail on. Put a button on the top block, facing towards the powered rail. When you right-click the button, the powered rails should turn on, allowing the minecart to move forward.

Stations can be a lot more complex. Many times, there will be a switcher, making the minecart go on a different railway into a station separate from the roller coaster.

Track[edit]

The most common way to make a track for a roller coaster is to place blocks wherever you want the track to go, and place the rails and powered rails on top of the blocks. You will need redstone torches to power the powered rails, which you can either put next to the track or below the track. Although this is not necessary in Minecraft, your roller coaster will look much more realistic if you put support beams under the track.

Roller coasters can be made of any block except ones that follow the laws of gravity, such as sand and gravel. In survival mode, it is recommended to use common or renewable materials.

Tunnels[edit]

Tunnels are a way to move the rider through an obstacle. This can be placed through natural terrain, such as a mountain, underwater, under lava, through the Nether, or anywhere in which an obstacle stands in the way of the rail line or threatens the safety of the rider. Tunnels that protect the rider may be necessary in the case of the Nether; a rider in Survival Mode would probably not want to be attacked by a ghast while they are riding a rollercoaster. If the player is traveling through the End dimension, there is unfortunately no way to protect the player from the dragon without killing it or teleporting it away if it draws near (which requires complex commands).

Another circumstance where tunnels are necessary and under lava. This fluid will destroy the rails in a rollercoaster and threaten the rider’s safety. One solution is to construct a tunnel, where the inside is clear of the lava, and the fluid is outside the tunnel. If a tunnel is used for these purposes, it is preferred to build them out of a transparent block such as glass or barriers.

Intersections[edit]

Intersections usually combine clever placing of rails with redstone. Intersections are based on the normal rail. If a normal rail is placed at a t-intersection between three rails, it will default to one particular side. Powering that rail, however, will switch to curve the other way.

Drops[edit]

If the player wishes to implement one of these, he or she must determine the audience of the rider. If the rider is in creative mode, then there is no problem. If, however, the rider is in survival or adventure mode, the player must ensure the rider’s safety. In the case of drops, the rider must land on rails or a fall-damage-negating block in order to ensure the safety of the rider. Alternatively, the rider can be driven in a boat, since boats negate fall damage no matter where they land. At that point, it is up to you, the builder.

Jumps[edit]

These are fun and exciting ways to bridge gaps or increase in elevation. Both generally use jumps, which use detector rails connected to specifically-timed slime blocks attached to pistons. Depending on the timing, the player can be “thrown” anywhere with slime blocks.

Vertical Loops[edit]

An expansion on that idea involves making the jump up circular and bringing the player down to the starting point. This is the closest that the player can get to a vertical loop, since minecarts cannot go upside-down.

These loops can reach a maximum height of 255 blocks in diameter, which is what Javamonk built.

Corkscrews[edit]

An expansion on the vertical loop idea turns it into a corkscrew. These are even more complicated to build as there is forward motion brought into the equation.

The only known corkscrews that currently work were built by The Duke MC.

However, Javamonk expanded the idea to the height limits of the world.

Portals[edit]

Minecarts and other transport vehicles in portals will not react to the portal blocks. The only way to make use of the portals is to force the player to dismount the vehicle. This can be done very easily with a powered activator rail, or a command block set to kill minecart entities upon activation.

Water Skiing[edit]

"Water Skiing" is a part of the roller coaster which uses uplift bubble columns (by putting soul sand at the seabed) to cause the minecart to quickly traverse a body of water like a boat (but bouncier!). There should be a sloped waterlogged powered rail to prevent the minecart from hitting the side of the landing block. (Build a small platform below if you have to.) There should also be a "landway" of nine rails with above blocks cleared to a great height to prevent the minecart from inadvertently landing on a trackless block.

Water Flows[edit]

Water flows can be used as a much slower alternative to rails. The water should not flow backwards. To make a flow faster, add soul sand below (see Water Skiing, above).

Teleportation[edit]

Java Edition.pngMclogo.svg

Use a Command Block to target the minecart and teleport it to the destination with /tp @e[c=1,type=minecart] DESTINATION if you are in the Bedrock Edition or /tp @e[limit=1,sort=nearest,type=minecart] DESTINATION in Java Edition.

Rider Protection[edit]

It is critical that your rider doesn't die during the journey! Use these additions to make the rider safer.

Partial Protection[edit]

Fences[edit]

Flank the rails with fences and remove blocks right next to or above the fences.

Pros: Easy to build; looks nice; easy to integrate with other protection methods

Cons: Does not protect the player against evokers (and their vexes), skeletons, phantoms, spiders, and boss mobs

Glass[edit]

Surround the rails with glass.

Pros: Easy to integrate with other protection methods; provides total protection against non-boss mobs unless broken

Cons: Obstructs the player's vision; fragile against explosions; a single gap can let a baby zombie in

Armor[edit]

Equip enchanted diamond armor to the rider.

Pros: Good protection

Cons: Strong attacks can still kill the player; the armor will eventually break; the Curse of Binding will be needed; the player's armor does not look nice

Beacons and Conduits[edit]

Set up fully powered beacons and conduits along the track. The beacons should provide Resistance, Regeneration, and Strength (the latter may be omitted in some instances). The conduits will let the player breathe underwater.

Pros: Long range, just one is needed for a short coaster

Cons: Regeneration may not be fast enough in some instances; you will need to build multiple for longer coasters

Resistance 5[edit]

Resistance 5 makes the player completely immune to all damage. It is available through an upgraded Potion of the Turtle Master or commands.

Pros: Player cannot take any damage; easily accessible with commands

Cons: Minecart can still be destroyed; resistance 5 may only be applied with the potion in non-Java/Bedrock editions, leading to additional cons below

Potion Cons: Must be reapplied frequently; drastically decreases FOV

Kill, teleport, or freeze nearby entities[edit]

Set a Repeating Command Block to automatically kill, teleport, or immobilize entities that get too close with one of the below commands:

  • Kill: /execute @e[type=player] ~ ~ ~ /kill @e[TARGETOR]
  • Teleport: /execute @e[type=player] ~ ~ ~ /tp @e[TARGETOR] DESTINATION
  • Freeze: /execute @e[type=player] ~ ~ ~ /execute @e[TARGETOR] ~ ~ ~ /tp @s @s

The targetor will depend on the edition of Minecraft you play on.

  • Java: [IGNORELIST,distance=...DESIREDDISTANCE]
  • Bedrock: [IGNORELIST,x=~-X1,y=~-Y1,z=~-Z1,dx=X2,dy=Y2,dz=Z2]
    • This equation should be used for the dn values: 2N1+1=N2 (for example, an X of 2 would become 5 from the equation)

The ignore list is also dependent and is what entities you want to spare.

  • [type=!player,type=!minecart] is the bare minimum you need.
  • [type=!player,type=!minecart,type=!painting,type=!item_frame,type=!fireworks_rocket,type=!leash_knot,type=!armor_stand,type=!falling_block] is a good kit that covers a wide variety of mobs that you likely want to spare or pose no threat
  • [type=!player,type=!minecart,name=!SPARENAME]will ignore the minimum needed entities as well as entities with the name SPARENAME.
  • You can expand targetors to other entities with ,type=!ENTITY

Example: To freeze entities that get within 5 blocks of players, with the exception of mobs named Jeff: /execute @e[type=player] ~ ~ ~ /execute @e[type=!player,type=!minecart,name=!Jeff] ~ ~ ~ /tp @s @s

Pros: Works every tick; variable range; deflects boss mobs

Cons: ‌[Java and Bedrock editions only]; laggy; fills operators' chat menus if the gamerule commandBockOutput is true; does not protect rider against non-entity hazards (lava, fire, cacti...); the simple mistake of forgetting the ! in type=!player will make worlds unplayable and uneditable

Complete Protection with Barriers[edit]

Arguably the best method of shielding the rider, barriers are indestructible and transparent. Surround the track with barriers.

Pros: A bulletproof method of keeping mobs away; barriers are invisible, players will not know they are being protected until something hits the barriers

Cons: ‌[Java and Bedrock editions only]; can suffocate the rider; hard to keep track of; do not block boss mobs

Sample[edit]

See the following video for an example of a roller coaster. This one has two lift hills, meaning that there are 2 places with powered rails, and for everywhere else, the minecart is carried by just gravity:

< If you know of more roller coaster videos, please add them >