Transporting items, mobs, and yourself long distances is an important but tiresome task. Thankfully, there are many ways to make the trips easier and faster.
Walking or running everywhere are viable options, but you may want a faster or smoother option, possibly with added storage benefits. Below are options for transporting player(s) in order of the effort required to construct them.
Horses can be found in plains and savanna biomes, and can be tamed by mounting them until they produce heart particles. A saddle is required in order to control the horse, and they can be equipped with tiered horse armor (Both saddles and horse armor are found in various generated structures). Horses have variable colors and stats, with running speed, jump height, and health all being randomized for each wild horse. A horse that spawns with high stats in all categories makes a very useful, tough mount for traversing rough terrain.
Donkeys uncommonly spawn under the same conditions as horses, with the unique ability to be equipped with chests instead of horse armor. This allows for early game, 15-slot mobile storage. However, donkeys spawn with less desirable maximum stats than horses. Fortunately, donkeys and horses can be bred to produce mules, which share the chest ability of donkeys with stats more resembling horses.
Llamas, which spawn in Mountains and Savannahs, are notable for their ability to form a convoy if a llama is being lead by the player. However, since llamas cannot be controlled when mounted by any means, they serve better as item transportation in singleplayer (As they can be equipped with chests, with the amount they can carry being a randomly generated stat). However, if the player is playing with other users, they could ride on the llamas while one player leads.
The Elytra are late-game items found in the End which can be equipped in the chest piece slot. While falling, the player can double-tap the jump button to activate the elytra, allowing the player to gradually glide long distances. This by itself is a powerful transportation method, but the player can enhance their flying with the use of firework rockets to propel themselves in any direction, allowing for extended flight time. However, the player must take note of the elytra's durability, which gradually decreases while flying (The Unbreaking enchantment can be added to slow this effect, and Mending can be added to exchange gathered XP for durability). Phantom membranes can be used to repair elytra in an anvil if necessary. Having a sustainable amount of firework rockets is also fairly expensive if the player does not have a mob farm to easily produce gunpowder. There is also the possibility of the player dying of fall damage if the elytra's durability runs out, or from smacking into a surface at high speeds.
Minecarts allow the player to be transported along rails with no input from the player, with the downside of having to create rail systems to any desired destinations. It can also be quite expensive to create longer rail lines, especially if powered rails are being used. See tutorials for minecart-related redstone contraptions to automate launching, create minecart dispensers, and more.
Boats & Ice Roads
Surprisingly, one of the fastest transportation methods in the game involves a boat on solid ground. When boats are on any variant of ice blocks, they can be controlled as easily as if they were in water, and will travel at immense speeds thanks to the slippery nature of the ice. The speed of the boat can also be adjusted depending on which variant of ice is used; Normal ice is the slowest, with packed ice being in the middle, and blue ice being the fastest option. However, this is possibly the most resource and time demanding method in the game, as the player will need huge amounts of ice, blocks to keep the boat on track, and other materials if the player chooses to decorate the track.
Transporting items is essential for players who have advanced to the point of having more items than they know what to do with, whether it is for moving items around your base autonomously or moving items across vast distances.
- Long Range Options
These options are better for moving items across long distances, such as from one home to another.
As mentioned above, these mobs work well as player/item transport combos. They usually have small inventory spaces, as they are early game options. With leads, many of these mobs can be moved at once, although it can be frustrating with the fragility of leads and rough terrain.
Ender chests are a variant of chests obtained with 8 obsidian and an ender eye, with the unique ability to share its inventory with all ender chests across the world (Specific to each player). Can be uses as a "bank vault" of sorts where all of your most important items are kept, as its contents are completely safe from being stolen. Alternatively, it can be used to deposit items from one location and have those items be immediately accessible from any distance in another ender chest. Furthermore, if a silk touch pick is kept on hand, the ender chest can be picked up freely (Otherwise, 8 obsidian minus the ender eye is dropped), allowing for a makeshift extra inventory to carry around.
End game items that can be crafted from 2 shulker shells and a chest, these boxes allow for the most efficient storage in the game. The size of a single chest, each box retains its contents when broken, allowing for a backpack of sorts. While shulker boxes cannot be placed inside other shulker boxes, just a few shulker boxes in a player's inventory can allow for a small storage room's worth of items to be in the player's hands at any given moment. They can additionally be dyed and named to create catalogs of what items they contain.
Note that shulker boxes can be put inside ender chests, meaning by combining the carry-on ender chest's inventory space with the player's inventory (excluding the hotbar) to fill with shulker boxes, the player would have a total of 1458 inventory spaces for carrying items.
- Short Range Systems
These methods of item transport are best used in transporting items around small areas, such as transporting item drops from a mob farm into adjacent chests.
By using water source blocks, players can create an item transporting channel that serves as an early game transport system. Combined with soul sand bubble columns, which lift items to higher levels, and magma bubble columns, which pull items down, water channels are very efficient transport system. They can additionally be outfitted with ice tracks to make the items move even faster, although this adds to the cost of the system.
Hoppers are essentially item pipes that move items within them into the container it is pointing to. This can include other hoppers, allowing for hopper chains that can transport items quickly. The hoppers can also be lead into chests, barrels, dispensers, and more to funnel items into storage rooms or to fuel redstone contraptions. This is a more pricey, slower, and less versatile system than water channels, with the prime downside being their inability to transport items upward (Only to the side or downwards). Therefore, hoppers are better used sparingly, only to take items from one container to another or from a water channel into a container.
The most popular method of mob transportation is getting the mob into a minecart and bringing him along with rails. This is very efficient because of how cheap and reliable it may be. A lot of players tend to use powered rails to give the minecarts momentum, but furnace minecarts are much cheaper and does an excellent job of pushing the minecarts with high levels of momentum for quite a long period of time, while only costing a single piece of coal and a furnace on a minecart. Another method of mob transportation is by boat. Boats are only recommended if you are crossing large bodies of water, or are close to where you are trying to transport them. The main disadvantage of using boats is that they can't travel up without a piston, so it's a tedious task to move up hills.