A redstone torch on the left of the image is powering a line of redstone dust extending across the image toward the right. The redstne dust is only partially powered.

How to Make and Use Redstone Torches in Minecraft

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You can make many kinds of complex contraptions in Minecraft by using Redstone. One item that’s crucial for this is Redstone Torches, as they act as power sources. Thankfully, making and using them is pretty straightforward.

Table Of Contents

    How to Make Redstone Torches

    A redstone torch planted in the grass in front of the player. It is illuminating some of a like of redstone dust in front of it.

    You can make Redstone Torches easily by placing Redstone Dust on top of Sticks in any crafting grid. For every 1 Stick and 1 Redstone dust you use, you’ll get 1 Redstone Torch. You can also use this recipe anywhere on the crafting grid, as long the Redstone Dust is directly above the Sticks.

    How to Get Sticks

    Sticks are made when placing Wood Planks on top of each other, just like how you would place Redstone Dust over Sticks to make Redstone Torches. You can also use any kind of crafting grid for this as well, whether it’s the one in your inventory or a Crafting Table.

    How to Get Redstone Dust

    You’ll likely have a harder time getting Redstone Dust than Sticks, as Redstone Dust is only found by mining, as loot, or in naturally spawned structures. The way to get the most Redstone Dust efficiently is definitely by mining it deep underground. You’ll have to mine red and gray blocks called Redstone Ore, as this is what drops Redstone Dust. When broken, a block of Redstone Ore will drop 4 or 5 Redstone Dust. Just be sure to use an Iron Pickaxe (or better), as Redstone Ore won’t drop Redstone Dust if mined with a Stone Pickaxe or a Wood Pickaxe. Redstone Ore will spawn in clusters of 1 to 10 blocks but only spawns between altitude levels 1 and 16. This is very deep in the overworld, as noted by level 1 being the lowest that you can go.

    Alternative ways that you can get Redstone Dust is by exploring Jungle Temples and Woodland Mansions. These structures often have traps that are partially made from lines of Redstone Dust. Picking up the dust is an easy way to get this resource, though it will also conveniently deactivate any powered traps nearby. Witches will also have a small chance of dropping up to 2 pieces of Redstone Dust when they are defeated. Furthermore, here are all of the chances of finding Redstone Dust as loot in various naturally-spawned containers:

    Game VersionType of ContainerType of StructureAmount of Redstone DustChance of Redstone Dust Appearing
    Java EditionChestDungeon1 to 426.6%
    Java EditionChestMineshaft4 to 914.5%
    Java EditionStoreroom ChestStronghold4 to 918.6%
    Java EditionAltar ChestStronghold4 to 912.1%
    Java EditionTemple ChestVillage1 to 444.8%
    Java EditionChestWoodland Mansion1 to 426.6%
    Bedrock EditionChestDungeon1 to 426.6%
    Bedrock EditionChestMineshaft4 to 914.5%
    Bedrock EditionStoreroom ChestStronghold4 to 915.2%
    Bedrock EditionAltar ChestStronghold4 to 911.8%
    Bedrock EditionTemple ChestVillage1 to 444.8%
    Bedrock EditionChestWoodland Mansion1 to 426.6%

    How to Use Redstone Torches

    The left image shows a piston with a redstone torch on top of it that is not powered, and there is a red 'x' on this image. The right image shows a piston being powered by a redstone torch next to it, and there s a green checkmark on this image.

    You can place a Redstone Torch next to (or under) almost any kind of block to power it. However, Redstone Torches can’t power blocks that they’re directly attached to. For example, to power a Piston with a Redstone Torch, you need to place the torch beside the Piston or below it.

    There is a hidden power level for all blocks in the game. Most of the time, the blocks around you will have a power level of 0, however, Redstone Torches increase this level to 15. While you can power almost any kind of block, there are only a few types that actually do something when powered. These are usually blocks that are devices, like the aforementioned Pistons.

    How to Turn Off a Redstone Torch

    A Redstone Torch will turn off if it’s connected to a powered block or circuit. For example, if you place a Redstone Torch next to a Piston that’s already powered by a previously placed Redstone Torch, the new Redstone torch will turn off the moment you place it.

    As such, you can use Redstone Torches to test things to see if they are powered or not. To summarize, placing a Redstone Torch that doesn’t light up will mean that there is power, and, conversely, placing a Redstone torch that does light up means that there is no power.

    About Placing Redstone Torches and Other Tips

    The top image shows an unlit redstone torch connected to a powered circuit. The bottom image shows a lit redstone torch that is not connected to a powered circuit.

    In addition to letting you power adjacent blocks, you can use Redstone Torches to invert a power signal. Placing a Redstone Torch in an unpowered location will cause it to raise the power level of all blocks adjacent to it up to the maximum level of 15. However, in locations where there is already a power level, you can place a Redstone Torch to drop the power level to 0, essentially turning it off. Redstone Torches will invert the power of any circuit that has a power level between 1 to 15—so any powered circuit, regardless of the power level.

    Making a Circuit With Redstone Torches and Redstone Dust

    If you have more complicated contraptions that need more than a few Redstone Torches here and there, you can create circuits by using Redstone Dust. Lines of Redstone Dust can be placed on the ground leading away from Redstone Torches to transmit their power in a direction. Since Redstone Torches produce a signal with a power level of 15, the signal will travel a maximum distance of 15 blocks along a line of Redstone Dust—1 block for each power level. This mechanic can be used in infinitely complex ways thanks to items that can affect circuits, such as Redstone Repeaters and Redstone Comparators.

    Blocks That Cannot Be Powered by Redstone Torches

    These blocks can’t be powered, regardless of the type of material that they’re made from.

    • Walls
    • Fences
    • Slabs
    • Hoppers
    • Stairs
    • Blocks and items made from Glass

    Items That You Can Craft With Redstone Torches

    A Redstone Repeater, which can be very handy for making Redstone circuits, can be crafted from 3 Stone (not Cobblestone), 2 Redstone Torches, and 1 Redstone Dust.

    You can make another useful item for circuits, a Redstone Comparator, by using 3 Stone, 3 Redstone Torches, and 1 Nether Quartz.

    Lastly, you can make an Activator Rail, a variant of regular Rail, from 6 Iron Ingot, 2 Sticks, and 1 Redstone Torch.