A simple rail circuit with a Minecart, a Minecart with Chest, a Minecart with Hopper, and a Minecart with TNT lined up in a field.

Minecraft: How to Make a Minecart

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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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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

Key Takeaway

To make a basic Minecart, you’ll need 5 Iron Ingots. On a Crafting Table, arrange the Iron Ingots in a shallow “U” shape.

As you dig deeper, simply walking in and out of your mine will become time-consuming. Setting up some Rails and using a Minecart can help you cut down on travel time in Minecraft—which means more time for actual mining!

Table Of Contents

    How to Make a Minecart

    The crafting recipe for a Minecart, which uses 5 Iron Ingots in a shallow "U" shape.

    You’ll need 5 Iron Ingots to make a Minecart. On a Crafting Table, place 3 Iron Ingots across the middle row. Then, place 1 Iron Ingot in the top-left corner slot, and then place the last Iron Ingot in the top-right corner slot. This recipe will give you 1 Minecart.

    How to Make Iron Ingots

    To make Iron Ingots, you’ll have to put Raw Iron into the top slot of a Furnace. If you have placed some sort of fuel in the bottom slot of the Furnace—such as Charcoal or Wooden Planks—your Furnace will smelt the Raw Iron into an Iron Ingot. For every 1 unit of Raw Iron, you’ll get 1 Iron Ingot.

    To find Raw Iron, you’ll need to mine Iron Ore, which is the ore block that has brown spots. Iron Ore blocks mostly spawn underground. However, if you are low enough, you can find exposed Iron Ore sticking out of walls.

    The Potential Uses for a Minecart

    You can ride in a Minecart to and from locations connected by Rails and Powered Rails. The average speed that a Minecart travels is 8 blocks per second. Since your walking speed is just over 4 blocks per second, you can essentially move twice as fast while riding in a Minecart. When a Minecart travels over Powered Rails, it will get a slight speed boost for a short duration.

    How to Make a Minecart With Chest

    Making a Minecart with Chest by combining a Minecart and a Chest on a Crafting Table.

    To make a Minecart with Chest, you’ll need to combine the eponymous items on a Crafting Table. Simply place a Chest anywhere and then put the Minecart directly below it. This recipe will yield 1 Minecart with Chest.

    How to Make a Chest

    In order to make a Chest, you’ll need 8 Wooden Planks of any kind. On a Crafting Table, fill every slot with Wooden Planks except for the centermost slot. Furthermore, you don’t need a single type of Wooden Plank. Wooden Planks of any variety can be used together to craft a Chest.

    The Potential Uses for a Minecart With Chest

    Use this item if you need a moving storage device. Like it sounds, a Minecart with Chest combines the functions of both a Minecart and a Chest. As such, you can store things within the Chest portion while also being able to send it along some Rails. This is usually a good first step to automating your mining process.

    For example, if your inventory fills up with valuable goods while mining, you can dump a bunch of ore into a Minecart with Chest and send it along a rail system up to your base. However, keep in mind that you’ll need Powered Rails to get your Minecart with Chest to its destination.

    Additionally, how full a Minecart with Chest is will determine how far Powered Rails can push it. An empty one will travel 64 blocks, while a full one will only travel 16 blocks. With this in mind, you’ll have to space out your Powered Rails accordingly.

    How to Make a Minecart With Hopper

    Making a Minecart with Hopper by combining a Minecart and a Hopper on a Crafting Table.

    This recipe is very similar to how you make a Minecart with Chest. All you need to do is place a Hopper in any slot of a Crafting Table before putting a Minecart directly below it. When you do, you’ll get 1 Minecart with Hopper.

    How to Make a Hopper

    If you need to make a Hopper first, you’ll need 5 Iron Ingots and 1 Chest. Start by placing the Chest in the center slot of a Crafting Table. Next, place 1 Iron Ingot below it, 1 to the left of the Chest, and then 1 to the right of the Chest. Afterward, place the final 2 Iron Ingots in the top-left corner and top-right corner slots respectively. Doing so will give you 1 Hopper.

    The Potential Uses for a Minecart With Hopper

    You can think of a Minecart with Hopper as a Minecart with Chest that has an area of effect. This area of effect, which extends just beyond the Minecart portion of this item, has suction. As such, when a Minecart with Hopper is zooming along your rails, it can suck up nearby dropped items. Although, it cannot suck up placed blocks.

    Additionally, a Minecart with Hopper can pull items out from containers above it. This way, you can create a more complex rail system for delivering mined goods to your base. Though, a Minecart with Hopper has the same weight constraints as a Minecart with Chest: empty ones can travel 64 blocks while full ones can only travel 16 blocks.

    However, it should be mentioned that a Minecart with Hopper cannot push its contents out into another container—you’ll need another Hopper below your Minecart with Hopper to do that.

    For example, in your mine, you can have a Chest where you dump ore that is stationed above a Minecart with Hopper. When you put goods into this dump Chest, the Minecart with Hopper will suck out the items. You can then send the Minecart with Hopper back to your base if you have Powered Rails on your rail system.

    By itself, a single Minecart with Hopper won’t be very efficient. However, if you make a series of them connected to many dump Chests and Hoppers, you can mine for days on end without needing to back to your base to offload goods or sort things.

    How to Make a Minecart With TNT

    Making a Minecart with TNT by combining a Minecart and a TNT on a Crafting Table.

    As with the previously mentioned Minecart variants, you can craft a Minecart with TNT on a Crafting Table with the same method. To do so, place a block of TNT anywhere on a Crafting Table before placing a Minecart directly below it. This recipe will yield 1 Minecart with TNT.

    How to Make TNT

    To make TNT, you’ll need 5 Gunpowder and 4 Sand (or Red Sand). On a Crafting Table, place the 5 Gunpowder in an “X” shape. After that, fill in the remaining 4 slots with blocks of Sand or Red Sand. When done, you’ll get 1 block of TNT.

    Where to Get Gunpowder

    The most common way to get Gunpowder is by killing Creepers. Every Creeper you kill has a chance to drop up to 2 pieces of Gunpowder. However, keep in mind that you need to kill the Creeper with an attack, as it will drop nothing if it blows up.

    Alternatively, Ghasts can also drop up to 2 pieces of Gunpowder when killed, though taking them down and collecting their drops is much more tedious. Witches can drop up to 6 pieces of Gunpowder, although they are pretty rare, so you can’t farm them as efficiently as Creepers.

    Wandering Traders have a 15% to 20% chance to have a Gunpowder trade option. If you find one with such a trade deal, they will be selling 1 Gunpowder for 1 Emerald, which is pretty expensive.

    Thankfully, you can also find Gunpowder in the Chests of various structures. Desert Temples, Dungeons, Shipwrecks, and Woodland Mansion Chests all have chances to contain 1 or more pieces of Gunpowder.

    The Potential Uses for a Minecart With TNT

    Unlike other Minecart variants, a Minecart with TNT cannot be used for storage. Its main usage is for destruction—particularly blast mining. If you find an area with lots of mobs in a cave, or simply wish to clear out a big space, a Minecart with TNT can be a viable option.

    The best way to do some blast mining is to make a rail system leading to a dead stop of some sort. A great way of safely detonating your Minecart with TNT is to send it off the rail system by either letting it travel over a ledge higher than 3 blocks or into a wall. You can also use an Activator Rail to trigger the TNT, but that kind of rail costs more resources than simply letting your Minecart with TNT fly off the tracks.

    Furthermore, the faster your Minecart with TNT is traveling, the more damage it will do. In addition to dealing normal amounts of TNT damage, the velocity at which your Minecart with TNT travels can multiply the damage up to almost 3 times the regular value.