Tutorials/Iron golem farming
This tutorial will teach you how to build an iron golem farm. An iron golem farm is an easy way to acquire many iron ingots (and less useful poppies) with minimal effort after the initial setup. Most iron golem farms are made by taking advantage of the fact that if a player creates enough "houses," which can be made with just a door and a block, iron golems can spawn.
- 1 Overview
- 2 General requirements
- 3 Video
- 4 Iron golem farm designs
- 4.1 Easy 2-tier build
- 4.2 Survival mode build: Iron golem village
- 4.3 4 spawn modules 2-level
- 4.4 Simpler JL2579 design
- 4.5 The Iron Head, a 100% Efficient Iron Farm
- 4.6 The Iron Phoenix
- 4.7 The Iron Towers
- 4.8 The Iron Bakery
- 4.9 Spanwpanda
- 4.10 Stacks of Villages
- 4.11 Flexible design
- 4.12 The Iron Paradise
- 4.13 Tower design
An iron golem farm is commonly a player-made village (or several of them, spaced far enough apart to remain separate) in which golems are spawned and then either killed immediately, or moved to a holding cell (outside the village boundary, so that new ones can spawn in their place) for later killing. If you opt for the first method, you will either need to go AFK while camping out at the collection point, have a hopper collecting your items, or else check back periodically to collect your items before they despawn. This necessity can be avoided by using the holding cell method, which allows the golems to collect while you are working nearby, and then you can harvest them all at once when you are ready so that you don't miss any drops.
If the farm is built inside the spawn chunk and fully automatic, it will operate at any time, making it highly efficient. Iron farms also work in Minecraft Bedrock Edition, although lava does burn through signs, ladders, and fence gates. However, this can be solved by placing double signs (one sign on top of another), which will prevent the signs from burning.
Iron golems spawn naturally in villages (natural or player-made), provided there are 10 villagers and at least 21 houses (counted as doors). The chance of spawning is 1 in 7000 per tick, which averages around one every six minutes.
There are several ways to build an iron farm, but the decent versions seem to be the ones that use two floors in the golem-spawning zone(16 by 6 by 16), and keep all doors and villagers outside the zone, either above and below the center or in an outer "ring" on the same level. This is in order to maximize the number of available spaces for the golems to spawn in, which in turn will reduce the number of failed attempts, and keep the spawning rate as high as possible. This is much more effective than simply increasing the villager count to raise the golem cap, which only matters for the few seconds between the time when a golem spawns and when it is flushed out and killed. To further increase your output rate, you can build several separate iron farms as long as they are 64 blocks apart, and bring the golems or their drops to a central collection area. The most powerful iron farms are ones that overlap many villages. Since golems are immune to falling or drowning damage, the available killing methods are lava, magma blocks, or suffocation (or both like docm77's video). As a more convoluted option, you can position a group of evokers to attack the golems in a holding chamber.
Odds of a missed spawn occurring: There are 512 valid spawn points in the 16×6×16 block spawn area. Making a farm with only ½ of the valid spawn points (256) does not reduce your chance of spawn by ½. This is because the game randomly "tries" to find a valid place to put a golem 10 times each time an opportunity to spawn a golem comes up. So, your chances become 0.5 for each of the ten tries. Missing a spawn in this case is equivalent to flipping a coin ten times and have all ten come out tails. It is .5^10 or .00098 which is just about one in a thousand odds. A better suggestion would be to use some of the area of the zone to rapidly move golems out of the interference zone so they do not halt further spawning. This is a much more likely occurrence than missed spawns if the golems can’t move out of the area quickly. This is not as rare of an occurrence as has been suggested.
Chances of a missed spawn are calculated as follows:
( 1 - ( valid_spawn_points / (16*6*16) ) )^10 * 100%
So with 256 valid spawn points you will miss 16.2% of the spawns whereas 512 valid spawn points will only result in a loss of 1.7%.
Additionally, console players should note the 50 villager spawn limit, which will make difficult, though not impossible, the full population of certain farm designs. Also, due to changes 4J Studios made to door detection and addition in the December 2015 update that brought MCCE to approximate parity with PC 1.8.8 no stacked or chained village iron farms from the PC community will work on console. Console players should avoid using anything but single village designs at this point. 4J Studios has remained silent as to whether or not the change was intentional or if they plan to fix it. All bug report tickets on MCCE bug tracker have gone unassigned.
Iron golem farm designs
Easy 2-tier build
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 40
Designed by: trunkz
This is an older design by trunkz and one of the earliest to feature two spawning floors for greater efficiency. It uses several villager baskets and door pads and is a little outdated, but quite a good and efficient design for the time it takes to build.
This farm has been tested in Spigot 1.8. Extra care must be taken with breeding villagers as they no longer breed as easily as they did in earlier version. For testing in 1.8 the villagers were bred to a population of 20 on the ground before being transported to their cells (the individual villagers were transported to their cell by minecart, the other 18 went to their cell on a dirt ramp). The method given in the video will probably work if the breeding villagers are provided an ample supply of suitable food, e.g. carrots, potatoes or bread.
Survival mode build: Iron golem village
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 30-40, plus occasional loot from other mobs
Scalable: yes; a second tier may be added 3 blocks above the first, and higher tiers may be added to catch other mobs
Design by: Anachronist
This is a simple but flexible design that can be built fairly easily in survival mode, without the need to transport villagers. The villagers can multiply and roam freely, allowing you to trade with them. The farm will occasionally capture other mobs and their loot. Multiple tiers can be built to target more golems or different mobs.
You will need to gather sufficient resources: enough wood to craft a bunch of doors and fencing, optionally enough sand to smelt 40 glass blocks, and some iron to craft a bucket. You may need wool to craft a bed to sleep on before you start, to move your spawn point to the village in case you die and respawn while you work — some of the work is best done at night while the villagers are indoors and not getting in your way.
Find a village near a source of lava. If buildings in the village are missing any doors, give them doors to encourage villagers to multiply. Trade with a couple of villagers to make them willing to multiply. Clear a flat 16x16 area in the village; some villages have an empty quadrant that is useful for clearing an area. You can use existing building walls as boundaries for the 16x16 area. Fence off the area, preferably at night after the villagers have scurried indoors, and put in a gate for you to go through the fence.
The design is a 16x16 pit 2 blocks below the base of the doors, with a 2x2 hole in the middle, one building on each side of the pit, and fencing all around. It doesn't matter how you design the buildings as long as the door arrangement is symmetric from the center of the hole. Each building shown here has 5 doors facing the pit, each door barred by 2 glass blocks (this is optional; you can also set the doors back a block and bar them with fencing all around the pit). Also there are 2 doors on each side wall. The pictured design uses 36 doors, and there is room to add more doors.
If you aren't using fencing to block the doors, then avoid placing doors around your pit during the day! Otherwise villagers might fall into your pit. Place them and block them with glass before daylight. Once you have placed all your doors, destroy any remaining doors in other buildings that aren't part of the symmetry of the farm. Your buildings around the pit should have doors (symmetrically placed) on the side walls to allow villagers to use the buildings.
Before placing your doors, you should first complete the trap. To sweep the iron golems from the pit into the hole, it's best to cover the whole area with running water, otherwise the iron golems will try to stick to the dry spots. The design shown here has a 1 block undercut around the pit's edge, with water sources along two parallel sides, and a channel 1 block deeper and 2 blocks wide for the final sweep. This design uses lava blades across the top and middle of a 2-wide by 3-high tunnel leading from the hole. At the bottom of the hole is a river that sweeps the mobs into the blades, and sweeps the loot toward the end of the tunnel.
At the end of the tunnel, build some stairs going to the surface (shown in the image on the lower right). Villagers are free to go in and out, but make a barrier in the tunnel to keep them from reaching the lava. You don't need a hopper or chest at first — just watch your farm and when an iron golem falls through the hole, go into your tunnel and collect the iron that drifts toward you.
After you have 5 blocks of iron, you can craft a hopper and put it at the end of the water stream in the tunnel, to deposit the loot into a chest.
4 spawn modules 2-level
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 160
Design by: JL2579 (tutorial by docm77)
This design, originally created by JL2579, uses 4 spawning modules, with 2 modules per level, with doors surrounding the modules. This pattern could be repeated to fill a very large area with iron farms. The farm also features a lava system to damage the iron golems so that the piston suffocator works more quickly. Youtuber docm77 made this tutorial for the design.
Simpler JL2579 design
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 30
Scalable: yes (you can build a second farm 80 blocks overhead to increase the spawning rates)
Design by: Nims
This design, by NimsTV, is slightly less efficient than JL2579's design. However, it is much simpler and easier to build, because the water streams are easier to configure and there is only one villager basket. The golem spawning area is larger than the farm, which is why JL2579 did not build his farm in this way. You have to block spawning anywhere outside the farm, if you intend to build several duplicate farms in an array.
The Iron Head, a 100% Efficient Iron Farm
Requires spawn chunks: no but you will get more regular iron if you do build them there
Iron per hour: 41+
Scalable: yes (you can build a second farm 65 blocks away from the village center). Possible to fit 36 within the spawn chunks (though not easily).
Design by: GruvaGuy
This is a single village iron farm designed by GruvaGuy in 1.9 using Golem spawn mechanics to achieve a 100% efficient iron farm. Very different to most designs and can be placed flush on the ground without any digging required. Though this is as efficient as possible it is also expensive in resources. The mechanics show in the video can be applied to an Iron Titan or any other iron farm.
The Iron Phoenix
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 2600
Design by: Tango Tek
This design is a 64-village iron farm, can automatically rebuild villages anywhere on demand, and has the lowest cost out of all the designs. However, one process of setting up the village takes 90 minutes, so it is preferable to use it whilst the player is AFK. It is best built in the sky. It is capable of producing 2600 iron per hour when working at maximum efficiency, 2-6 times more than any other design featured on this page.
The Iron Towers
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 1300
Design by: DanielKotes
Similar to the Iron Trench, the Iron towers design layers villages one over each other to produce 32 villages. Villages will re-build if they are broken, not requiring any player intervention. At the moment it can only be built up to 32 villages in size, thus producing at most 1300 iron per hour if the full 32 village farm is built. Fortunately, the redstone in this design is much simpler than the older iron trench builds due to the village building process being done in one phase instead of two.
It is worth noting that many players using the Spigot server have found this to be problematic. In the comments of the tutorial is a conversion. Fundamentally Spigot uses slightly different timings in the creation and destruction of villages (or detecting and adding a door to a village). This coupled with a lower default entity-activation range means this can be difficult to get working in a survival server. (The timings Spigot uses are one of the features of Spigot that enables it to be more effective on low resources (CPU/Memory) per player).
The Iron Bakery
Requires spawn chunks: yes
Iron per hour: 500 each layer with 10 rows of doors
Design by: Emonadeo
A great advantage to this design is the customization. You can decide how big and efficient it gets by changing the number of the rings of doors and/or layers. It uses a similar door placement to the Iron Titan by Tango Tek (Look for it above). In fact it is relatively easy to build in survival mode and is also efficient on smaller multiplayer servers.
Emonadeo has since released a video on how to fix it for 1.9/1.10
Design by: Panda
The most important part of any farm is its spawning floor, both in regards to maximising spawning area and the speed at which it can remove spawned entities to be replaced. In the following video, Panda describes a unique spawn floor design that drastically increases both of these, to the point where small servers could just use a standard un-chained single village iron farm with this spawn floor to provide ample amounts of iron for the players. Combine this spawn floor with any of the other designs to drastically improve its output. (Spawnpads still work in 1.8).
Stacks of Villages
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 1000+
This design uses offset stacks of villages allowing players to compress a large number into a relatively small space (27 villages in less than 150 sq blocks). It is highly efficient and requires relatively low amount of resources to build. It does not require any redstone to build nor does it have to built at spawn. The only limiting factor (as with any iron farm) is that it must be built at least 84 blocks from any other village.
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 30 - 40 (depending on configuration)
Scalable: yes (As long as the second farm is constructed 70 blocks away)
Design by: MCinstructabuilds
This design is not as efficient as some other designs. However, it is simple to build and lends itself to variation and disguise. The spawning area for the golems is 16x16, but can be made smaller by digging 8 blocks down around the edges if desired. The doors are placed equally around the spawning area, but specific placement can be varied. It is this varied door placement that allows the farm to be easily camoflaged. MCinstructabuilds provides three example disguises, a fort, a town, and a mining camp / Furnace. Unlike other designs the villagers are not kept contained. The Farm can be constructed easily and at ground level.
The Iron Paradise
Requires spawn chunks: no
Iron per hour: 500+ (Depending on server lag)
Scalable: yes (64 blocks horizontally and 100 blocks vertically)
Design by: TheBurntPhoenix
Description: Although this design consists of multiple regular Iron Golem spawning platforms, the way that each of these spawning platforms is arranged makes the design as efficient as possible. This design is best suited for laggy multiplayer servers or servers that have the mobstack plugin. In TheBurntPhoenix's video, he has built a total of 12 spawning platforms separated into 3 layers, with 4 on each layer. Each platform on a single layer is 64 blocks away from each other, and is vertically 100 blocks away from each layer in order to optimize the rate that iron golems are spawned on slower servers. The bridges sends the newly spawned iron golems away from the spawning area, which allows more iron golems to be spawned without the issue of them being stacked together on servers with Mobstack. This way, the killing process will be much more efficient, allowing more iron to be obtained.
This design is good especially for survival. It will get you about a stack every 2 hours. It's pretty efficient, but for faster farms, use one of the above.
- Step zero - resources
To build an iron golem farm, you should have a fair amount of resources, such as cobblestone and wood, as well as a way to get villagers into it.
You will need:
- at least 1100 cobblestone (about 18 stacks)
- 64 doors (6 wood per 3 doors=128 wood planks or 2 stacks)
- 18 water buckets (or 2 water buckets to make an Infinite Water Source)
- 1 lava bucket
- 4 signs
- 2 hoppers and 2 chests (This is for the option to use hoppers to collect items when you are away from the farm)
- Step one - Building location
To build the Iron Golem farm you should:
- Choose a good location. Don't build it far from your home or main base, because you want the golems to spawn even when you are not at the farm. An ideal spot is on top of your existing home or close to it. Remember, village doors need direct access to sunlight within 5 blocks straight ahead of them.
- Gather the resources listed above.
- Follow the instructions below to begin building the base.
- Step two - Building instructions
- 1. Start by building a 4×4 cobble base.
- 2. Continue this until you have a tower that is 10 blocks tall. Next, break a 2×3 hole in the bottom so the golems will be able to go through.
- 3. Build out 7 blocks from the top of this tower to form an 18×18 platform with a 2×2 hole in the middle.
- 4. Build in 4 blocks from each corner, then 3 blocks diagonal in both directions to build a triangle.
- 5. Next build a 1 block wide platform around this so the platform is now 20×20.
- 6. Now build a wall with windows in it as show below.
- 7. Seal off the backs of the windows, and build some small cups to hold the villagers. The cups should be 4×4 on the outside, so there is 2×2×3 of air on the inside. Make sure that there are at least 10 villagers altogether and note that adding villagers after reaching 30 will have no effect on the efficiency of the farm.
- 8. Place doors against the back of the indents. This is to make the villagers think these are homes.
Note: To place doors against the inside wall as shown, stand inside the indent, face the spawning area, look down and "place" the door on the block directly under your feet (works on PC up to at least 1.12.2). Don't place them sideways; this can cause them to be not counted as homes.
It should look like this:
Note: every single door opens onto a blank wall. The villagers should not be going in and out of the doors; they are trapped inside their cups and can't leave.
- 9. Then place down 1 water in each of the 4 villager cups, and 2 water down in between each of the raised triangles to form this pattern:
- 10. Place 1 water on each of the triangles in the very back corner of the wall.
Now the top part is finished, the golems will spawn once there are 3 villagers in each of the holding cups.
The next step is to build the golem grinder.
- 11. Build 4 blocks out from the bottom of the tower and 3 blocks up on each side, then place 2 blocks at the end of it to keep the golems from escaping.
- 14. Place the last 2 water in the very back of the base, so the golems will get pushed into the lava.
- 15. Put down 2 hoppers going into a large chest for automatic resource collection (this is not required, but it is a good idea so you don't let any of the items despawn.)
Since villagers will turn into witches when struck by lightning (albeit it happens very rarely), it is sometimes needed to refill the villagers into the farm after a thunderstorm. But if the farm is not built inside the spawn chunk, you can just move away from the farm to let the chunk unload during a thunderstorm. Villagers bred inside the farm will also occasionally spawn outside of the containers.