A player wearing a crocodile skin holding a compass in third person mode.

How to Make a Compass in Minecraft

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

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Each new world in Minecraft is a fresh expanse of new pixels. To navigate the blocky terrain better, you should use a Compass. You can make one easily with only a few components, however, they need to be mined first.

Table Of Contents

    What You Need to Make a Compass

    Four iron ingots and a bit of redstone dust being used to make a compass.

    To make a Compass, you will need to place 1 Redstone Dust on the middle of a Crafting Table and then surround it on the top, left, right, and bottom slots with Iron Ingots. This will allow you to pick up a completed Compass from the right slot. You can’t use raw Iron Ore blocks to craft a Compass in place of the Iron Ingots. As such, you will need to smelt Iron Ore that you mine before using it.

    How to Get Iron Ingots

    You’ll first need to dig up Iron Ore from underground. Iron Ore spawns between layer 1 to layer 63, meaning that you can potentially find it just a few blocks down from surface level. This resource will spawn in groups of 1 to 13 Iron Ore, and the game will try to spawn these groups 20 times per chunk. On average, you can find about 110 to 120 Iron Ore blocks per chunk.

    How to Get Redstone Dust

    Redstone Dust gets dropped by blocks of Redstone Ore that are broken with an Iron Pickaxe. If you try to break Redstone Ore with any tier of Pickaxe lower than Iron, it won’t drop any Redstone Dust. Redstone Ore blocks spawn between layers 1 to 16, which will require you to dig down pretty deep. You’ll find groups of Redstone Ore between 1 to 10 blocks in size. Furthermore, you can find around 30 blocks of this resource per chunk–much rarer than Iron Ore.

    Trading a Villager for a Compass

    You can potentially find an Expert-level Librarian Villager who will trade you 1 Compass for 4 Emeralds. In the Java Edition of Minecraft, your chance of finding such a Villager is 50%. However, in the Bedrock Edition, you only have a 33% chance of finding an Expert-level Librarian Villager with this trade option.

    Finding a Compass as Loot

    It’s possible to find a Compass in the Chests of a few randomly generated structures. You can loot a Compass from the Chests of Shipwrecks, Strongholds, and Villages. The odds are pretty low, however, which means it’s almost always easier just to craft a Compass yourself.

    How to Use a Compass

    Player holding a compass in their right hand. The red needle is pointing up.

    To use a Compass, simply hold it in your hand to take note of where the red needle is pointing. Though, unlike their real-world counterpart, a Compass in Minecraft doesn’t point north. Instead, a Compass will always point you towards your spawn point in that world. This is still true even if you set your spawn point by sleeping in a Bed. However, there is a way to change this.

    How to Change Where a Compass Points

    If you want to change where the red needle of your Compass points, you will have to use a Lodestone. Place a Lodestone, and then use a Compass on it to reset your device’s needle. Lodestones are crafted from 8 Chiseled Stone Bricks and 1 Netherite Ingot, or, alternatively, can be found in Bastion Remnant Chests.

    Making a Map With a Compass

    You can also use a Compass to make a Map that shows your position. You can still make a Map without a Compass, however, they won’t show your position unless you upgrade them later with a Compass.