Minecraft: How to Find Buried Treasure

Key Takeaway

The best way to find Buried Treasure is to buy an Explorer Map from a Cartographer Villager or feed a Dolphin. An Explorer Map will show you the location of nearby Buried Treasure (as well as rare structures) while feeding Raw Cod or Raw Salmon to a Dolphin will cause them to directly guide you to an underwater Chest. However, you can also use Buried Treasure Maps to find Buried Treasure, although this kind of map is only found in the Chests of Shipwrecks and Underwater Ruins.

You’ll need to find Buried Treasure for a Heart of the Sea, as this is the only way to get them. While it’s possible to go Shovel-crazy and excavate an entire beach to find Buried Treasure, there are better options.

Table Of Contents

    Using an Explorer Map to Find Buried Treasure

    Player looking at a blank ocean explorer map. There is a small blue icon near the south end of the map.

    Explorer Maps are a bit different from regular Maps. You cannot craft Explorer Maps. There are 3 kinds of Explorer Maps: Ocean Explorer Maps, Woodland Explorer Maps, and Buried Treasure Maps.

    As you can probably guess, the first is for finding underwater structures while the second is for locating Woodland Mansions. However, both of these types will show nearby Buried Treasure. Additionally, Buried Treasure Maps can be used to solely find Buried Treasure, although this Map variant is harder to acquire.

    How to Use Explorer Maps

    In appearance, Explorer Maps will differ from regular Maps in that the areas below sea level (layer 62) will be orange-brown and striped. All areas above sea level will be beige and have no texture. This will let you easily identify whether a structure is above or below bodies of water.

    There are 3 different icons used to show specific structures on Explorer Maps. The first is a blue icon that represents Ocean Monuments and the second is a brown icon that represents Woodland Mansions. Lastly, Buried Treasure locations are marked with a red ‘X’, but only on Buried Treasure Maps.

    On Ocean Explorer Maps or Woodland Explorer Maps, Buried Treasure will be represented by a blue or brown icon showing the structure it will be found within.

    How to Get Explorer Maps

    To obtain these non-craftable items, you’ll need to buy them from Cartographer Villagers or find them in naturally-generated structures. In both the Java and Bedrock Editions of Minecraft, Ocean and Woodland Explorer Maps can only be bought from Cartographers who are at Apprentice level or higher.

    Apprentice level Cartographers will sell you Ocean Explorer Maps for 13 Emeralds and 1 Compass each while Journeyman level Cartographers will sell you Woodland Explorer Maps for 14 Emeralds and 1 Compass each.

    As for Buried Treasure Maps, you can only find these in the Chests of Shipwrecks or Underwater Ruins. Due to their rarity, this kind of Explorer Map is the hardest to obtain.

    How to Find Cartographers

    Cartographer Villagers are the ones with monocles. If you don’t find any in the Village which you’re searching, you can create some by recruiting unemployed Villagers. To do so, you’ll need to place a Cartography Table near an unemployed Villager and wait for them to touch it.

    When they do, they will become a Novice level Cartographer. As such, you’ll need to level them up with frequent trading to get them to reach Apprentice level and higher.

    In order to make a Cartography Table, you’ll only need 4 Wooden Planks of any type and 2 pieces of Paper. On a Crafting Table, place the 4 Wooden Planks in a square shape, and then put the 2 pieces of Paper over this square of Wooden Planks. This recipe will give you 1 Cartography Table.

    How to Clone Explorer Maps

    If you need to make copies of your Explorer Map, you can do so by combining it with an Empty Map. On a Crafting Table, place both your Explorer Map and an Empty Map next to each other.

    How many new copies you’ll get will depend on how many Empty Maps you place next to your Explorer Map. Using 1 Empty Map will give you 1 additional copy, using 2 will give you 2 additional copies, etcetera.

    Getting a Dolphin to Lead You to Buried Treasure

    A dolphin swimming above a shipwreck in minecraft.

    When you feed a Dolphin Raw Cod or Raw Salmon, they will try to lead you towards the nearest underwater Chest. As such, Dolphins can not only take you to Buried Treasure but Chests of all kinds that happen to be nearby.

    Furthermore, Dolphins can actually lead you to multiple Chests in a row. After they help you find the first aquatic Chest, you can break that Chest in order to cause the Dolphin to lead you to the next nearest undersea Chest. Chaining treasure hunts like this is an efficient way to get lots of loot. Just be sure to keep your eye on your oxygen meter.

    How to Get Raw Cod and Raw Salmon

    Thankfully, these types of fish are the most common out of all fish species. Cod are brown while Salmon are red. To obtain them in large quantities, you’ll need to do some fishing.

    While Raw Cod and Raw Salmon can be found as loot from killing certain mobs and in some kinds of Village Chests, you’re better off fishing for them. You’ll get way more of these fish from fishing than from searching for them away from the water.

    Head to the nearest large body of water (like a lake or ocean) and then cast the line of your Fishing Rod into the waves. Even if there are no visible Cod or Salmon nearby, the act of fishing can potentially cause one to spawn at the end of your line.

    To make a Fishing Rod, you’ll only need 3 Sticks and 2 pieces of String. On a Crafting Table, place the 3 Sticks in a diagonal line: 1 in the bottom-left slot, 1 in the centermost slot, and 1 in the top-right slot. Afterward, place the 2 pieces of String in the bottom-right and middle-right slots. This recipe will give you 1 Fishing Rod.

    Alternatively, you can do some…more primitive fishing. This method does not need a Fishing Rod—just a Sword. Jump into the water and seek out some Cod or Salmon. When you find them, hit them with your Sword. When Cod or Salmon die this way, they will drop a Raw Cod or Raw Salmon respectively.

    Where Buried Treasure Can Spawn

    A chest within the body of a sunken shipwreck.

    The only on-land biomes where Buried Treasure can spawn are beach biomes. In the Java Edition, this means regular Beach biomes and Snowy Beach biomes. However, in the Bedrock Edition, you can potentially find Buried treasure in regular Beach biomes, Snowy Beach biomes, and Stony Shore biomes.

    When Buried Treasure spawns in a beach variant, it will, appropriately, always be buried. As such, you’ll always need to do a bit of digging to reach a Buried Treasure Chest. For the most part, you’ll only need to dig through Sand and Gravel blocks.

    Although, sometimes Buried Treasure can spawn underneath Stone or ore blocks. For this reason, it’s advised that you bring both a Pickaxe and Shovel while you’re out treasure hunting.

    The same is true for Buried Treasure Chests that spawn underwater. They will always be covered by the terrain. Since mining underwater takes longer, this can pose a threat due to increasing how much time you need to spend without air. Suffocation hazards are a real danger here, so make sure to use some method of increasing how long you can go without oxygen.

    How to Stay Underwater Longer

    The best way to increase how long you can stay underwater safely is to use a Potion of Water Breathing. When you drink a basic Potion of Water Breathing, you’ll be able to stay underwater for 3 additional minutes. A Potion of Water Breathing+ will allow you to do so for a whopping 8 minutes.

    In order to make a basic Potion of Water Breathing, you’ll need to brew an Awkward Potion with a Pufferfish on a Brewing Stand. For the upgraded version, you’ll need to brew a basic Potion of Water Breathing with 1 piece of Redstone Dust.

    What Kinds of Loot You Get From Buried Treasure

    A player standing on a spit of land in the middle of the ocean. They are in third-person view and are holding a blue orb.

    In every Buried Treasure Chest you open, you’ll always find a Heart of the Sea. However, you’ll have lesser odds of finding other goods. Thankfully, these other goods aren’t as exclusive as Hearts of the Sea. You can consider these lesser goods as bonuses that come with your Heart of the Sea.

    Between the Java and Bedrock Editions of the game, there are some differences as to what you can find in Buried Treasure Chests.

    Java Edition Buried Treasure Chest Contents

    • Heart Of The Sea (guaranteed)
    • Potion of Water Breathing
    • Iron Ingot
    • Gold Ingot
    • Emerald
    • Diamond
    • Prismarine Crystals
    • Cooked Cod
    • Cooked Salmon
    • Leather Tunic
    • Iron Sword
    • TNT

    Bedrock Edition Buried Treasure Chest Contents

    • Heart Of The Sea (guaranteed)
    • Potion of Water Breathing
    • Potion of Regeneration
    • Bottle o’ Enchanting
    • Iron Ingot
    • Gold Ingot
    • Diamond
    • Prismarine Crystals
    • Helmet (Chainmail)
    • Chestplate (Chainmail)
    • Leggings (Chainmail)
    • Boots (Chainmail)
    • Lead
    • TNT
    • Name Tag
    • Book and Quill
    • Cake
    • Music Disc (mellohi)
    • Music Disc (wait)

    What Hearts of the Sea Are Used For

    The reason to seek out a Heart of the Sea is to use it to make a Conduit. On a Crafting Table, you’ll need to place 1 Heart of the Sea in the centermost slot and then surround it with 8 Nautilus Shells. This recipe will yield 1 Conduit.

    Conduits are powerful blocks that will give you a wealth of benefits while you’re underwater. An active Conduit will extend how long you can stay underwater, increase visibility underwater, and will increase your underwater mining speed. Furthermore, Conduits will also automatically damage nearby hostile mobs.

    With that said, to activate a Conduit, you’ll need to place it in a 3x3x3 space of water and then surround it with a frame composed of Prismarine, Dark Prismarine, Prismarine Bricks, or Sea Lanterns. This frame needs to enclose the waterlogged Conduit on 3 sides—1 frame wall per axis (the X, Y, and Z axes). And each frame wall needs to have dimensions of 5×5 with a hole in its center.