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How to Make an Elevator in Minecraft

There are many ways to move up and down in a Minecraft build from ladders to stairs, but a water elevator keeps things compact as well as more interesting than just a regular ladder.  


In the older builds of Minecraft a water elevator involved boats moving up water at light speed, but these days that method ends with the player being kicked out of the boat. Today I would like to show you how water elevators can still be incorporated into your favorite builds.


Required Items to make an Elevator


Materials you will need to craft an elevator are:

  1. Water Buckets
  2. Soul Sand
  3. Magma Block
  4. Blocks of your choice
  5. Kelp 
  6. Doors or Signs


It is fairly simple to make an elevator in Minecraft. The amount of blocks you will need will depend on how high you would like to make it.  


You can find soul sand and magma blocks in the nether. Soul sand biomes are fairly common and magma blocks can be found nearby lava. You can also find magma blocks in ocean biomes in the overworld, most frequently nearby underwater ravines.  


Utilize any block you think would look nice for an elevator. I chose glass so I could look out at the surroundings as I went up and down.  


Kelp can be found in any ocean biome. It is very plentiful and you can grow it yourself by replanting it in water. 


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Any material of doors or signs will suffice. If you decide to go with signs you will most likely need at least two to ensure your player character can fit through.  


How to make an Elevator in Minecraft?


To begin you will need to make a column of blocks of your choosing (I went with glass) up as high as you would like to travel. I made the platform out of cobblestone and also divided the two with cobble to prevent myself from shifting between the two columns. 


How to make an Elevator in Minecraft


Make sure that it is fully encased to guarantee that no water leaks out. You will also want to ensure the top of the water is covered or else it could get frozen by the inevitable snow biome at high altitude. I sectioned mine to have an up column and a down column, but you can place the two columns right next to each other. Just ensure you have at least a two block wide space for up and down.  


Place some doors or signs (either will work) to keep the water from flowing out.


Place some doors or signs to keep the water from flowing out


Don’t forget to do this at the top as well. Next you will need to fill the column up with water.


Fill the column up with water


After that comes the most tedious part of the build. You will need to turn all the flowing water into source blocks. You can do this painstakingly one block at a time with water buckets, but I recommend you use kelp to make the process much faster. You can plant kelp on top of itself to expedite this process.


Turn all the flowing water into source blocks


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Once you have filled up the water with kelp you can remove it all easily by breaking the bottom-most kelp.


You may have noticed that the water still seems like it is flowing rather than being a source, but you can confirm it worked by placing a block at the top to see that every block below has become a source block. It is absolutely vital that you make sure that every block has become a source block. The game does not recognize flowing water to be bubble-able.  


Replace the block below your kelp with soul sand to create upward bubbles and a magma block to create downward bubbles.  


Replace the block below your kelp with soul sand to create upward bubbles and a magma block to create downward bubbles


If you have done everything right you should see bubbles beginning to form indicating that the water will push you up or suck you down. If you are having trouble with this step ensure that the kelp reaches every block or target troublesome water blocks with water buckets to guarantee that every block has become a source block.  


For this elevator the signs mark the upward column and the doors represent the downward column.  


For this elevator the signs mark the upward column and the doors represent the downward column


How to use Elevator in Minecraft?


To utilize this elevator you can simply step into a water column and watch as your character gets lifted up or down! The upward momentum will prevent you from holding shift to move down the water and vice versa for the downward momentum.  


Step into a water column and watch as your character gets lifted up or down


If your elevator is too tall use it with caution, or at least with a helmet with respiration to prevent any unfortunate accidents.  


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That’s it! You can now travel up and down at a faster pace than you regularly could.


Explainer Video



FAQs


Q. What are the different types of elevator in Minecraft?


A. You can also build an elevator out of scaffolding. This is a much simpler, albeit slower, method of travel than the water method. It is simpler in its application as you can simply hold scaffolding and continue to place it from the bottom rather than going up and down. In previous builds you could also do a similar water elevator but make it large enough to hold a boat, but it has since been patched.  


Another elevator you can consider is placing a slime block at the bottom of a long drop. This is a one way trip but it is the fastest way to drop safely.


Q. What is the maximum distance a player can travel through the elevator?


A. In the tests I conducted, I started from bedrock and went all the way to the sky limit. From what I can tell there is no limit other than the limits the game places on the player. You can travel from bedrock to the sky with no stops in this elevator!


Conclusion


Congratulations! You now have a high speed elevator. Feel free to plummet down to your mines or up to the sky in safety. This elevator can greatly shorten the time it takes to get up or down and is a fun build to include in any Minecraft world.  


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