Tutorials/How to find caves
Surface cave entrance
When exploring the surface, you may find cave entrances. Many cave entrances can be found on the sides of mountains. Watch out though, mobs can be lurking at the entrance.
Sand and gravel
Gravel sometimes falls into caves, leaving air above. If you see gravel that looks like it has fallen, there may be a cave or mineshaft underneath. Sometimes it is possible to find a cave when wandering through the desert. To do this, walk around until you find an odd 2 or 3 block drop in a small location that looks out of place. This is sand that has fallen. Dig stairs into it and you might find a cave. Sometimes there will be sand that fell down in the ocean, too.
Dungeons are places where monsters spawn from mob spawners, and loot can be found within chests inside of them. Most dungeons are connected with caves. However, dungeons are quite rare, and are not an easy way to find caves as most are found in a pre-existing cave and very few are found on the surface. When you find a dungeon, there will be a monster spawner. You can disable the spawner by placing torches on and around it. Alternatively, you can turn it into a mob farm.
Another way to find caves is to follow sounds from under the ground. Practically, any sound you hear indicates an open area in the direction of the sound. This includes:
- Lava noises
- Monsters' noises
- Monster Footsteps
- Flowing water
- Fire (comes from abandoned mineshafts' wooden structures, which occasionally catch fire from lava)
Determining the exact direction of the sound is tricky:
- If the sound does repeat time to time, try turning around while listening. First make it sound in one of your ears (in headphones/speakers) louder than in other, that would give you general direction. Second, try finding the exact direction by turning so that its volume is as even as possible.
- It is usually unclear if the sound comes from below, or from above. Try digging two blocks down, and climbing two blocks up. Compare the volume. The closer you are to the source of the sound, the louder it gets. If it is still the same, then the source is probably on your original level.
- If the sound does not repeat, note that you can hear sounds generated from no further than 16 blocks away (for most of the sound sources). That means you can dig no further than 16 blocks away to find another cave.
- Turning on subtitles may help, since they tell you the general direction the sound is in.
This is a simple and effective technique. Simply place down pistons facing the wall(s) you are looking for caves behind and power it with a redstone torch. If there is an empty space within 12 blocks the piston will push. Simply dig in that direction and you should find a cave!