Despite having no other uses, Basalt—and its variants—can be novel building materials if you want a dark-colored base. In Minecraft, you can create a Basalt generator in the Overworld for infinite amounts of this black and gray block.
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How to Make a Basalt Generator
You can create a Basalt generator by placing a block of Soul Soil on the ground and then placing a block of Blue Ice 1 space above it. Make sure to leave a gap between the Soul Soil and Blue Ice, otherwise, the Basalt won’t have a place to spawn.
Afterward, create a channel for Lava to flow over the Soul Soil. Then, introduce the Lava into the channel with a Bucket. When the Lava flows over the Soul Soil and under the Blue Ice, a block of Basalt will be generated. Keep in mind that it is flowing Lava that needs to be between the Soul Soil and Blue Ice. A Lava source block here will not allow you to generate Basalt.
When you mine the generated block of Basalt, another will appear in its place shortly afterward. In this manner, you can harvest an infinite amount of Basalt from the relative safety of the Overworld.
How to Get Blue Ice
Since you can’t mine Blue Ice (or any other type of Ice) without a Silk Touch Pickaxe, you’re better off building your Basalt generator around some pre-existing Blue Ice. Such blocks can be found in Frozen Ocean biomes. Alternatively, you can sometimes find blocks of Blue Ice in the Chests of Snowy Tundra Villages.
What’s more, you can create blocks of Blue Ice by combining 9 blocks of Packed Ice on a Crafting Table. However, that crafting recipe will only give you 1 block of Blue Ice per 9 blocks of Packed Ice used. Packed Ice can commonly be found in Frozen Oceans, Ice Spikes, and Frozen Peaks biomes.
How to Get Soul Soil
The only place you can find Soul Soil is in The Nether. Soul Sand Valleys are the sole biome where Soul Soil can generate. As such, you’ll always have to head into The Nether to get this component for your Basalt generator.
Thankfully, Soul Sand Valleys are one of the less dangerous biomes in The Nether. Just watch out for Skeletons and Ghasts.
How to Get Lava
While Lava can generate in small pools in the Overworld, the easiest place to find it is in The Nether. Since you have to head into this hellish dimension to get Soul Soil anyway, you might as well scoop up some Lava while you’re there.
The only way to transport Lava is with a Bucket. Simply walk up to a Lava lake (carefully), and use an empty Bucket on a Lava tile. This will give you a Lava Bucket, which you can dump onto any surface to place a Lava source block. From the Lava source block, flowing Lava will emerge in any direction not blocked by an object.
Other Ways to Get Basalt
The only way to find naturally-generated regular Basalt is in The Nether. The Nether biome that contains the most regular Basalt is—as you can guess—Basalt Deltas. However, you can also find tons of the stuff in Soul Sand Valleys and as part of Bastion Remnants.
With that said, you can find Smooth Basalt in the Overworld, albeit rarely. Smooth Basalt generates as part of Amethyst Geodes. Although, Amethyst Geodes are pretty hard to find, and they’ve got a limited amount of Smooth Basalt.
How to Make Smooth Basalt and Polished Basalt
In addition to regular Basalt, Smooth Basalt and Polished Basalt can also be created. Since these variants arguably look nicer than regular Basalt, you may want to use them for building instead of the more basal version. Thankfully, you now have an infinite supply of Basalt with which to work!
How to Make Smooth Basalt
To make Smooth Basalt, you’ll need to smelt regular Basalt in a Furnace. Place the regular Basalt in the top slot and any kind of fuel (Charcoal, Sticks, etc.) in the bottom slot. For every 1 block of Basalt you smelt, you’ll get 1 block of Smooth Basalt.
In order to make a Furnace, arrange a ring of 8 Cobblestone blocks on a Crafting Table (leave the center slot empty). This recipe will give you 1 Furnace.
How to Make Polished Basalt
If you want to create some Polished Basalt, you won’t need a Furnace—or even a Crafting Table! The crafting recipe is only 2×2, so you can use the crafting grid in your inventory. Simply arrange at least 4 blocks of regular Basalt in a square to create Polished Basalt.
This crafting recipe is pretty generous as well, since using the above method will give you 4 Polished Basalt. As such, for every 4 blocks of regular Basalt, you can make 4 blocks of Polished Basalt.
What Basalt is Used for
Currently, the only use for Basalt, and its variants, is as building materials. Such blocks are ideal to use for darker and more sinister bases. Interestingly, the side textures for all Basalt variants are different than their top and bottom textures. This means that you have even more stylistic choices when building with Basalt than with most other blocks.
For example, you could use the top and bottom textures of Smooth Basalt for most of the floor while using the side texture for an indoor path. As for ceiling construction, you can use the side texture to make your roof look like it’s made from beams of Polished Basalt.
Due to the ominous appearance, Basalt variants can be suitable for enchanting rooms and alchemy labs. Be sure to furnish such rooms with other spooky blocks and items, such as Chains, Ender Chests, and Paintings featuring hostile mobs. For some appropriate lighting, consider using Shroomlights or Soul Lanterns for a supervillain vibe that will scare even the most hideous of enemies.