Tutorials/Secret door

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Secret doors are concealed entrances into places created by the player. They are useful for a variety of things, such as protecting valuables on a multiplayer server, building a adventure map, or just for fun. Some hidden doors, such as piston doors, require a redstone opening mechanism to tell the door to open. This tutorial will attempt to cover the basics of a few different types of hidden doors. Note that some of the doors listed are well known so don't be surprised if someone spots it right away.

General tips[edit]

Hole in the wall[edit]

This is among the simplest hidden doors as it does not require any special items or tools. Additionally, it can be completely hidden as it has a manual opening mechanism. To make the door, first find a location that is not a likely mining spot. Next, break a hole in the ground or a cliff side. This hole is the entrance, the broken blocks the door. Remember to 'close' or patch the hole or else others may see it.

A few tips:

  • Take extra care that no one is around when entering as it can be slow to open and close.
  • Remember to close the door; make a habit of closing it as soon as you enter.
  • Silk Touch may be wanted if the entrance is made of stone or grass.

Hole in the floor[edit]

Almost identical to the hole in the wall, this is exactly what it sounds like. To create it, simply dig a hole in the ground, add ladders to allow upward movement, and build a base at the bottom. It may be tempting, but remember to not dig straight down. This door has the advantage of only taking up one block of space and being able to be built anywhere, not just places with walls.

Tips:

  • If the player doesn't have Silk Touch and they have a grass entrance, they may want to keep sheep around.
  • The player could make two entrances for quicker access, one a drop with water at the bottom.

Painting door[edit]

Painting door with item lock, side view
Painting door with item lock, top view

The painting door is one of the most well known hidden doors in Minecraft. As such, players are likely to check for secret passages even if they are not trying to invade or thieve. To create the door, start by digging a hole in a wall. Next, replace the removed blocks with ones that can hold a painting but can also be walked through. Some commonly used ones are: Signs, Fence gates, Doors, and Trapdoors. Next, cover the entrance with a painting. To do this, look at the lower left-hand corner block of the area you want covered and place. Note that you may need to crouch place if placing on a door or fence gate. If the painting turns out to be the wrong size, break it and try again. In some cases you may need more than one painting to cover everything up.

If you use a door or other block which can be powered by redstone, you can 'lock' the painting with a lever, button, or other opening mechanism. One opening mechanism unique to paintings is the use of a wooden pressure plate. Since items can be thrown through 1 block holes behind paintings, the wooden pressure plate can be used to trigger a door.

Hidden piston door[edit]

For secret doors involving pistons, see the Piston Uses tutorial or the step-by-step guide.

Underwater hidden door[edit]

Since the player's visibility is limited underwater, an underwater entrance is easier to conceal. In fact, most players will not notice a 1 block hole underwater unless they are looking for something like that. Simply dig a 1 block hole from your hidden location to the water. For extra security, it can be coupled with a piston and a opening mechanism. One simple mechanism for underwater is to use water stream to push an item onto a wooden pressure plate. It is better to have a seperate entrances for the player and item so that the player cannot press the pressure plate themself.

Lava minecart entrance[edit]

Lava minecart hidden entrance

When entering a minecart, the player instantly teleports. Additionally, minecarts can be entered through lava. These mechanics can be exploited to get through a stream of lava. To build it, first build an entrance and cover it with lava. Try to make it look like a natural lava waterfall. Behind the lava, place a rail and put a minecart on it. If in survival, be careful not to get burned by the lava.

Lava trapdoor[edit]

Lava and water entrance

This entrance can be a bit dangerous, especially if the player is low on health. As shown in the schematic, after the player goes into the lava, they sink through, fall past the signs, and into the water. This design can be expanded or shrunk as needed, however it may be tricky to make it more than 2 blocks wide. To ensure your health will not run out with your difficulty settings and armor, it may be a good idea to test it for the first time with Fire Resistance. Some good hiding places for this: a beat up house with a single bucket of lava on the floor; a natural lava pool; in a decorational lava pool.

Corner door entrance[edit]

Corner hidden entrance. The sign is a door.

This door uses the fact that a wooden door when opened covers up the wall it is against. This works best with spruce, birch, and dark oak doors as they cannot be seen through. It sometimes works best in a small closet, but be aware that if made too obvious, other players may discover it.

Opening mechanisms[edit]

Every good secret door has a equally great secret opening mechanism. Some doors, such as the painting door, do not require an opening mechanism. Others however, such as the classic Jeb door, require a redstone trigger to open.

Jukebox trigger[edit]

This trigger can be completely hidden except for a jukebox. When a player selects and inserts the correct disc, it opens the door. When a comparator is placed next to a jukebox, it can produce a redstone signal which is unique for each disk. This method essentially acts as a key or password, since the player must use the correct disc to access the door. In addition, a jukebox is not typically decoration rather than a redstone component, leading to a better hidden entrance.

Arrow plate trigger[edit]

Using a hidden wooden pressure plate, an arrow can be fired at a predetermined location activating a door. As arrows despawn after 1 minute, the secret doorway can close automatically. If this 1 minute period is too long, pressure plates can be added inside the door to close it prematurely. It can be difficult to hide a pressure plate. Some ideas include: Behind a waterfall, under a lava pool, or in a fake minefield.

Lava fishing trigger[edit]

Similar to the above, this opening mechanism uses a fishing rod and a lava pool instead of a bow and arrows. To create it, place a wooden pressure plate under a lava pool and connect it with redstone dust to a secret door. To open the door, fish onto the pressure plate and try to not look conspicuous. If the fishing bobber hits the plate, the plate should trigger the redstone, opening the door. The advantage of this over using arrows is that the door closes when you retract the bobber. Once you get good at it, the door can be opened and closed rather quickly. Additionally, other players are unlikely to waste their fishing rod's durability by fishing in lava. If someone asks why you are fishing in lava, you could use an excuse such as "I wanted to see if fishing rods burn if you fish in lava" or "I wanted to see if I could catch fish in lava."

Daylight trigger[edit]

The daylight sensor can be used to open a door only at a certain time. This works well with piston doors such as a half Jeb door. Since it is unlikely you want the door to be in plain sight when open, this may be best combined with other mechanisms to use the daylight sensor as a lock. For example, the daylight sensor could be used to open a door behind a painting. It does restricts when the player can open the door, however. This could cause problems with frequent use.