Traps are a common mechanism in Survival Multiplayer built by players to kill other players or mobs automatically. The following is a list of basic traps with a short tutorial that often assumes the reader has a working understanding of the basic concepts required to build the trap. Traps are considered a subset of mechanisms.
- 1 Video
- 2 Overview
- 3 Explosive traps
- 4 Pitfall traps
- 5 Water traps
- 6 Lava traps
- 7 Capture traps
- 8 Piston traps
- 9 Manual traps
- 10 Other traps
- 11 Triggers
- 12 Lures
- 13 Disarming Traps
- 14 See also
Traps are devices designed to trap or damage entities, also known as "the target." Traps are often made up of 3 components: A lure, a trigger, and the damage source. In a simple landmine, the lure could be a base behind the landmine, the trigger a pressure plate, the trap TNT. Not all traps have a lure, they may rely on chance or something else to lure the target.
The traps here primarily use TNT to cause harm to the target. When testing explosive traps it may be a good idea to use a different block such as the redstone lamp, which like TNT, is triggered by redstone but it is less likely to accidentally blow up prematurely.
The landmine by itself is very inefficient and non-lethal. It damages the landscape and deals little if any damage to players. To make it more efficient, there are many variations you can use:
- If you want to protect the landscape, you can place water at the bottom of the hole. It will reduce the dealt damage, however.
- This is well disguised next to a door; the player may think it is to open the door.
- By digging a pit underneath it, the player might fall into it.
- Try to camouflage the landmine by making it less noticeable, e.g. grow tall grass around it.
If you are getting annoyed of wasted TNT because people run away from your landmine filled with tons of TNT, you should build a landmine that explodes instantly.
- Dig a 3x3x3 hole in the ground, jump in, and stand on a corner.
- On center, place a block of dirt and a rail on top of it.
- On the rail, place a minecart with TNT. Be careful not to push it.
- Destroy the block under the rail to derail the minecart. The minecart will fall one block lower, this won't really cause any damage unless you accidentally pushed the minecart.
- Put a dispenser with flint and steel above the minecart like shown.
- Surround the minecart with TNT, cover it all up, and place a pressure plate on top.
Create BUD underneath the pressure plate in a desert temple. If a player should try to disarm it, KABOOM! Note that if you use the observer, players might be able to detect it, since the pressure plate won't cover it completely.
This trap is the opposite of a TNT door trap: The TNT is obvious, while the house is hidden. Make a field of TNT extending about 5 blocks into the ground. Place signs all over the field saying: "Find my hidden house." It lures people in twice: the TNT danger, and the hidden house challenge. The problem is that there is no house! Beneath the field are pressure plates which ignite the TNT, leaving no time to escape, as you are in a field of TNT 5 blocks under.
Griefers love blowing and burning people's houses up. This trap turns the grief onto the griefer.
- Make a decoy house out of wood or more preferably, wool.
- Fill the area under it with TNT and make some "rays" of TNT extend from the house.
- If a griefer happens to burn the house down, they will probably get a bit more of a bang than they expected!
The "C4 trap" is a vertical or horizontal stack of TNT with a dispenser wired to a button with a fire charge in it. The dispenser is placed one block above or below the stack (vertical) or one block next to the stack (horizontal). This usually works better for demolition than for a trap. If you want to use it as a trap, wire a pressure plate to the dispenser. This works similarly to a flaming arrow hitting a stack of TNT from above. This works better than a dispenser shooting TNT, because the "C4" stays in one place. Also, if only two TNT blocks are used, it works well as a disposable cannon, even better on obsidian blocks, but not in a tube. All evidence of the trap is usually destroyed. Note: C4 trap from below does not work very well.
These traps primarily use fall damage to harm the target. Some minor variation can make a simple pit much more deadly.
- Make checkerboard of cacti at the bottom of a pit. Cacti do destroy items though.
- To effectively improve the size of your pit without digging a larger area, dig a shallow ring around the top layer of your pit. Fill this area with water so that mobs will be dragged to the center. Note that this will reduce fall damage.
When the target walks on top of the trap, break the bottom block of sand. It is a good idea to disguise the trap by making a house on top of the sand. If you do this, you will probably want to put in carpet so as to not make it so obvious. Some variations:
- You may be able to get the target to break the sand themselves by making the bottom block valuable.
- You can automate the trap by attaching a piston to the bottom block of sand. If you want to retract the piston when a pressure plate is pressed, use a NOT Gate.
Construct a hallway with a sand or gravel floor for an unsuspecting player to walk through. A diagonal hallway works best. Place fence posts underneath the path and drop the material for the floor on the fences. Below the fences, you can have a pit.
This works because when a gravity-affected block falls on a fence post, the block stays as an entity. As a result, a player walking between the fence posts will fall through the sand entities, causing them to plummet. Diagonal hallways make it more likely to fall through the sand without landing safely on a fence post. Keep in mind that the sand is going to look half a block higher than a normal block, but this can easily be covered up. The best part: it does not need to be reset!
- Dig a 2x2 hole until you reach a reasonable drop.
- Place 4 hoppers, one per block on the 2x2 hole, pointing into chests.
- At the top of the hole, place 4 double chests (so 8 chests in total) around the hole.
The player may try to sneak to the edge of the chest to look down the hole. Because the chest is smaller than a regular block, the sneak function will not prevent you falling. They will die of fall damage and their items will fall into the hoppers and chests, where you can collect them.
This is a very easy to make trap which plays on the old secret passage behind the painting trick. The target may unwittingly decide to check for a secret passage behind the painting. Big mistake.
Fake chunk error
Dig a 16x16 hole, preferably in line with real chunks, at least 20 blocks deep. Some inexperienced players may think it is a chunk error and walk in.
Fake water pitfall
Dig a hole (2x2 works best) at least 30 blocks deep, the deeper the better. At the bottom place lapis lazuli or other blue blocks. Add a false corridor at the bottom to make it look like it goes somewhere. When an unsuspecting player comes across the hole, they may think that there is water at the bottom, jump down and die. Experienced players are less likely to fall for this particular trap but it generally works quite well.
Load a dispenser with snowballs (or other knockback item), and connect it to a pressure plate. When the target walks across the plate, the dispenser, if aimed correctly, shoots a snowball and knocks the target into the pit. You can also replace the dispenser with a piston.
Place the piston so it pushes the block the signs are on. You can make up to twelve rows using one piston. Make sure there is a block of empty space at the end of where the piston pushes. Connect the piston to a trigger, such a pressure plate or lever, and when the piston moves it should break the signs and cause the sand to fall along with the target! It is also possible to do this by pushing a line of blocks with torches or buttons on them, which may be slightly cheaper.
Make what is shown in the schematic, a water elevator with water only on the top block. Make sure the hole is 30-40 blocks deep, which is enough to kill the player. It could help to place a lure sign near the 'elevator' saying something like "Do not enter!" You can also make the signs' text something like a floor countdown like "35", "34", "33", etc. so players are more likely to fall for the trap. If you want, you can place hoppers and with chests so you can gather the loot from the victims, but if you really want the drops, you need a secret passage to the bottom of the pit for collection. This trap wont work in 1.13 as you can waterlogg blocks.
Floating sand pitfall
If you make the shown pitfall, when you break the grass, the sand should remain floating. If you touch the string, it will cause a block update which causes the sand to fall. Note that this does not work on Bedrock Edition as the sand falls when the grass is destroyed.
A false-floor trap is a variation of a pitfall trap. It works by creating a concealed safe route through the pitfall (which is usually very big) to allow authorized players to pass, while catching unauthorized players or mobs and killing them. It generally works best when there is no way around, forcing the player to pass through the trap.
- Dig a pit. The deeper and longer the better.
- Place use TNT to build a bridge across the pit. It should be at least 2 blocks wide, preferably more as someone could cheat otherwise.
- Replace some of the TNT with torches. Read the next step to understand which ones to replace.
- On top of the torches, place sand or gravel. Try to get across the bridge now by only stepping on the sand. Make sure you can do it, because it will be even harder at the end as you must stay off the edges of the sand.
- Once you have picked a satisfactory path, cover up the TNT with the same blocks as before.
- Place pressure plates over all the sand/gravel.
If anyone steps on one of the pressure plates with TNT under it, the TNT will explode causing the whole bridge to collapse! Note: You will need to have something under the TNT, perhaps more TNT or something easily destructible to make sure the TNT doesn't fall and fail to ignite the rest of the TNT.
Water traps use water to suffocate, trap, or push the target. None of these traps will work on zombies, as they will turn into drowned after drowning, instead of dying. Players who use potions of water breathing will also be unaffected.
Fake water elevator
Make a water elevator using soul sand bubble column up to a fake floating skybase. Instead of an entrance to the skybase, make an indention with no exit. Any players who try to go up will have to choose between jumping out of the water and possibly dying from fall damage or getting stuck at the top. It is possible to collect drops by making the water flow to a hopper at the top.
Create a water current that drags the mobs down under a solid block. The current will hold the mobs under until they drown. The loot from the mobs will float, making the collection hard. If you use this trap to kill zombies, they won't die, but will turn into drowned instead.
Through clever use of magma blocks, you can pull the target down to into water to drown.
Lava traps usually use lava to burn the target, or distract them for an easier kill. Note that most of these traps will destroy the loot.
Lava staircase trap
This trap can be handy for players who want to deal with assailants. The player should lure the target into the staircase for this trap to be most effective.
- Dig a standard staircase down a ways. The tighter the space available the better.
- After a certain distance, plate a stone pressure plate in the staircase. It's suggested to place it so it blends in. In the schematic, a wooden pressure plate is used for visibility.
- Place redstone dust in an upward trail for a certain distance. Make sure it does not look different from any other part of the staircase.
- Connect the dust to a dispenser and put a lava bucket inside.
When the target steps on the pressure plate, it will be trapped by the lava running down the staircase. Even if they have Fire Resistance, it will take a long time to wade back up.
This trap can be expanded to make a handy escape mechanism. If you place the pressure plate on the upward side of the dispenser, the lava will flow down onto anyone chasing you. You could also make a hidden escape at the bottom. Just make sure you have a button to remove the lava.
With some clever piston work, the entire trap could be concealed except the pressure plate. Be wary of stepping on the trap yourself or placing the pressure plate in the wrong location.
There are many variations of this trap, so don't be scared to alter elements of it, especially concerning the direction (descending or ascending), who steps on the trap (you or assailant) and more.
Chest lava trap
- Build 2 rows of sticky pistons such that are facing each other and the rows are 4 blocks apart.
- Attach solid blocks to the rows of sticky pistons.
- Link the rows of pistons to redstone torches.
- Attach the trapped chest to the redstone torches.
- Dig a hole below the sticky pistons and fill it with lava.
- Decorate the area around the trapped chest to attract players!
- Make a 3x3 pit at least 4 block deep.
- Place lava at the top, ladders in the middle, and water at the bottom.
- If you get mobs to go into the trap, they will burn in the lava and their drops should go into the water.
Make a house, and right inside the front door make a pit with lava. A careless player may wander in and, whoops, lava trap.
Trapdoor lava pit
If the target should wander onto the pressure plate, good luck getting off!
- Make a stone room.
- Place a pressure plate in the room.
- Connect the plate to a dispenser with lava in it on the ceiling.
These traps don't actually kill the target. Instead another trap is often used, or the player can come later to kill captured mobs.
This trap is best for 2-tall tunnels, perhaps inside a friend’s mine. Make sure there is a roof over it, so when the target hits the pressure plate, it cannot escape. When the pressure plate is stepped on, two pistons push up. Note that players will easily be able to break blocks and escape so you probably will want to combine this with another trap. However, if you use obsidian in this trap, most players will need several minutes to break it, making this trap slightly more useful.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
This is a very simple and rather obvious trap that is made by putting a pressure plate in the middle of 4 open iron doors so that the target is trapped inside when they enter. If using this trap against mobs such as zombie villagers, you don’t have to use iron doors.
Dig a pit 1-block deep hole at least 5x5 blocks. Place fences on the inside edge. Since fences count as one and one half blocks in height, mobs can walk in, but cannot jump out. Alternatively, line the outside with half-slabs.This can also be combined with a mob grinder, via water currents leading to it. Zombies and Skeletons will take damage from sunlight during the day if the pit is uncovered, making this an effective way to sort out creepers. This design does not capture spiders.
- Dig out a 5x5 square.
- Dig a 3x3 square 2 layer deep in the center.
- Place water in each of the corners and in the middle of each side on the top, where the water isn't flowing along the top.
This simple trap targets slimes.
- Dig a 4x4 hole three blocks deep.
- Fill the bottom layer with water, so that it is all still water on the bottom.
When a slime of any size wanders around, it may fall into the hole. Since slimes cannot jump in water, it will not be able to escape. You can come by later and kill all the slimes. If you are not interested in the drops, just leave them in to lower slime population. This trap is best on superflat survival worlds where slimes spawn frequently. In that case water can be obtained in villages.
If a redstone repeater is in a 2 block high space, like a tunnel, you will crouch automatically as you walk over it. However, you will not crouch if the repeater is blocking the entrance of a tunnel.
These traps use pistons to harm the target.
This is ideal at the end of a water flow mob grinder as it minimizes drop losses. The design can be expanded to make a long row.
Connect two sticky pistons to a clock circuit so that they rapidly push a hay bale back and forth. If done correctly a player fallen into this trap will be unable to get out. Hay bale was chosen because tools do not affect the breaking speed, even with enchantments.
The cake is a lie
- Dig down two blocks in a flat area and put a piston at the bottom.
- Dig down two blocks around the piston and put redstone dust at the bottom.
- Dig down two blocks around the redstone and put pistons at the bottom.
- Cover everything up with the block(s) of your choice.
- Place pressure plates in a ring around the center block, above the redstone.
- Put cake on top of the center piston.
- Above the outer ring of pistons, place blocks in the air so there is room to walk under if the pistons are retracted.
If the target moves too near to the cake, the pistons will trap them and destroy the cake.
These traps require the player to manually trigger the trap, or perhaps even be the trap.
Ask someone if they could dig down at a spot, perhaps because you lost diamonds there. When they get far enough, cover them with sand or gravel. You can also use lava for a more dramatic death, however, this will destroy their drops as well. This will probably only work on inexperienced players.
- Make a tower that is at least three blocks high so it will be seen from a distance. This will work best when built in a flat area such as plains or desert. The tower will act as a bait for this trap.
- Around the tower, dig a pit at least three blocks deep. If you want this trap to be fully automatic, dig the pit at least 30 blocks deep.
- When the target falls in the pit, drop gravel on the target. If you dug the pit at least 30 blocks deep, this isn't necessary, because most players will die from fall damage anyway.
If done correctly, the gravel blocks should fall on your target's head, thus trapping or killing him. Hence the name facebreaker. Make sure not to take too long or else the target may escape jumping off the gravel or placing blocks.
- Make a tall watchtower.
- At the top out of sight, put a bunch of TNT.
- Make a vertical redstone path to the TNT with a lever to activate it.
- Put a lure at the top, and ask someone to go get it. When they get to the top, pull the lever.
The traps here do not yet fit into any of the other categories.
- Dig a 1x1x1 hole.
- Place a dispenser facing up in the hole and fill it with arrows.
- Place a stone pressure plate on top of the dispenser.
- If the target steps onto the pressure plate, they will get shot by an arrow.
This trap is not lethal, except to players or mobs with very low health. It could be made to be more of an annoyance if you replace the arrows with tipped arrows with potions such as Slowness, Poison or Weakness.
Slow monologue trap
Use shears to collect spider web. Then dig a 3 block deep hole placing lava (or magma block) at the bottom and a cobweb on the top layer. Anyone not watching their step could get caught in the web and slowly fall to their death allowing you to get a few dramatic words in as they die.
There is a way to 'store' fall damage in a minecart and later have someone take that damage even though they don't actually fall a distance that would make them take damage. Here is a video explaining how to set the trap up and showing it in use:
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
- Place two iron doors sideways with redstone torches under them so they stay shut.
- Set up two pressure plates in front of the doors. The plates shouldn't do anything yet.
- Run redstone dust from underneath the plates onto the roof of your porch to trigger two pistons.
- Put an anvil on each extended piston arm, and make sure there is a hole through the porch roof down to the entrance where the target stands.
When the target stands on the pressure plates, the doors won't open and while they are confused the anvils will fall on them. They will either be killed or if the anvils don't fall from high enough they get injured. This trap is useful to stop thieves from stealing valuable goods, and exploits the fact that people don't look up.
Sick of rebuilding land mines that don't even kill the target? Replace the TNT with a command block with the command '
/kill @e[r=3]' and the command block will instantly kill any entity that touches the trigger! If you use a repeating command block instead of an impulse command block and set "needs redstone" to "always active", you don't need a pressure plate.
- Place lava in front of the dispenser to catch the target on fire.
- You can adjust the repeater, which will change the speed. You can also completely change the clock if you don't have quartz.
- You could use this to knock the target into a pit.
- Attach this to a RS-Latch to keep it on until a button is pressed.
- Use tipped arrows with negative effects to make the trap more dangerous.
- Dig a 2-wide trench down 1 block deep on one side, 3 or more on the other.
- Place signs on the deeper side at the same height as the shallow side.
Wandering mobs will not be afraid to try and walk on the signs. If they do, they will get trapped.
- Find a cave spider spawner, or enable cheats and use
/giveto give yourself one. It is recommended to place a torch to keep it from spawning.
- Dig a pit under it. It should be at least 5 blocks deep.
- Place cobweb or something for the spiders to spawn on.
- Break the torch and allow the pit to fill with spiders. You need to be within 15 blocks for this to work.
- Get a player to go into the pit.
The traps here are most notable for their trigger and can be connected to many different mechanisms of harm.
When someone mines the ore the TNT will explode! Be sure to place the torches before the TNT and to not place any TNT next to a lit torch.
Trapped ore 2
Use a piston to push a TNT next to a redstone torch when a block is mined. The advantage of this method is that the trapped block does not need have wires right next to it and that it can cover a wider area.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
Instead of a daylight sensor, you can also use an observer. This trap is good because it is very hard to detect. If you build this above ground, it may seem somewhat out of place, so you should cover the redstone ore with carpet or build it underground. When the target walks on the redstone, it will light up triggering the TNT.
Normally people would expect chests to explode, so this trigger will surprise them as soon as they loot your furnace.
- Fill a furnace with coal, iron and food (you decide).
- Put a comparator leading away from the furnace. It should turn on.
- Place a block in front of the comparator.
- Place a redstone torch on the block, it should turn off.
- Create a redstone line from the torch to TNT.
If a griefer loots the furnace the comparator will deactivate and the torch will turn on, blowing the victim to bits!
This trigger detects when a redstone circuit is broken, such as when a griefer is destroying your house.
- Create an SCR.
- Make a line of redstone dust from it to the wall of a room.
- On the other side of the wall from the redstone, put a redstone torch, which should turn off.
- Pack the other side of the wall full of TNT, and make sure at least one block of that TNT is touching the torch from the side or top.
If a griefer walks up to your house, he/she may destroy the SCR, turning on the torch and igniting the TNT.
Place several levers on a wall and put TNT behind it. Place a sign saying something along the lines of, "Which one...," "Don't pull these!," or "Passcode entry >." Eventually a player with too much curiosity will come along and pull a lever.
Connect a bed next to a BUD, the bud to some TNT, and cover the whole thing in cobblestone. Then just wait for the player to sleep in it and get blasted sky-high.
Invisible tripwire 
This trap relies on the fact that like end portal, string is invisible from the bottom. Make a room or hallway at least 3 blocks high, and put tripwire in a layer on the third layer up. If the victim jumps, they will trigger the trap.
- Place a chest.
- Place a hopper underneath the chest.
- Place a comparator pointing away from the hopper.
- Place TNT in front of the comparator.
If someone puts something inside the chest, it will go into the hopper, turn on the comparator, and activate the TNT. You could attach the comparator directly to the chest, but it would be more obvious as you can see over chests.
It is possible to detonate TNT with a pressure plate and a fishing rod. This method is mostly undetectable; however, it is unstable and prone to premature detonation if you don't have patience.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
A proximity trap is a player detector paired with an output.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
These traps' primary feature is the way they lure the target into the trap.
Signs are very useful for luring new, and sometimes even experienced, players into a trap. Here are some messages which can be good to lure players into traps.
- "Free Diamonds!" This could be good on a trapped chest, but would only work on newbies.
- "DO NOT ENTER!" Most players would be tempted to do exactly the opposite, even into a possible trap.
- "DO NOT PRESS!" If you see a button, you really want to press it. Especially if there is a sign saying not to.
- "FREE ADMIN!" Like the "free diamonds" example above, this probably works on newbies only.
Abandoned mineshafts are known for lots of loot. If you trap one, you can pretend to have 'accidentally given away directions' to the mineshaft.
An iron door looks somewhat out of place in a dark cave. If a player sees one, they may be tempted to go inside. Unfortunately for them, there may only be a pressure plate on one side of the door, or a landmine hidden under the plate.
In this design, the player walks into a large base in a cave, only containing a button. When they press it, they will hear burning noises, and they will eventually be suffocated to death by falling sand.
To make this trap, you start by hollowing out a large area. Then you go behind the scenes and put down as much redstone dust in a straight line behind it as you want. The more redstone, the more delay before the player is suffocated. Put a dispenser full of fire charges facing the opposite direction of the button, then some wool going upwards. Wool burns extremely quickly, so they will suffocate fast. This pillar will be used as a 'fuse' of sorts. Make it so that the fuse touches the roof, which should comprise of wood or another flammable material. Hollow out a space above the ceiling and fill it with sand.
When someone walks in, they will be drawn to the button and probably press it, especially if you leave a sign next to it falsely saying that it will give the player diamonds. The wool will burn up, causing the wood to burn, which will then cause the sand to fall. It will probably first knock out the button, and then begin dropping all around the player until they're eventually crushed.
When faced with a trap, the safest course of action is usually to leave the way you came. If you really want to disarm it though, here are some tips:
- Don't try to trip the trap and run away. Unless you have a really safe way of doing this, the trap is probably designed to prevent you from doing this.
- Watch out for observers. These can be placed inside walls and under pressure plates as a fail safe.
- Don't assume it is safe to break redstone. It is usually safer to keep redstone in its current state. If it is off, it might be ok to break it. If it is on, it might be ok to place a redstone torch to keep it on. In very elaborate traps the redstone may blink to check if it is broken, so watch out!