How to use x-ray in Minecraft without mods

By utilizing glitches in Minecraft's engine, players can see through walls and floors (Image via Mojang).
By utilizing glitches in Minecraft's engine, players can see through walls and floors (Image via Mojang).

For Minecraft players attempting to search out locations like structures or End portal rooms, running about underground can be an exhaustive effort, but there are ways to speed up that search through the use of X-ray glitches.


Although there are plenty of X-ray vision mods available online, they aren't technically needed in some situations, as players can glitch Minecraft's existing engine in the vanilla version of the game to gain sight through walls and floors as well.

There are various ways to glitch Minecraft and obtain partial X-ray vision throughout the game's different platforms such as Java Edition or Bedrock Edition.

Minecraft: Different X-ray vision methods

Though there are many ways to obtain X-ray vision, the end result remains the same (Image via Mojang).
Though there are many ways to obtain X-ray vision, the end result remains the same (Image via Mojang).

By the way that Minecraft operates, block surfaces are rendered when there are blocks deemed transparent between them and the player. When the player is viewing their character model, the camera has the ability to clip through blocks considered transparent in order to provide a view of the game environment.

When a player is suffocating, this is why their vision is blocked, as the block a player is inside is not transparent for the camera. With that in mind, it is possible to maneuver the character and camera to see through these transparent blocks.

The simplest way to achieve this X-ray vision in Minecraft is the use of the third-person camera in a 2-block high, 1-block wide tunnel.

Many players use these types of tunnels for mining already, but by switching to third-person view and moving the camera outside the bounds of the tunnel, players can see caves, structures, or other objects in the vicinity of the tunnel. However, this view is somewhat limited.


There are plenty of options outside of the third-person camera method, and some can be found below:

Minecraft: Java Edition

  • Using sand, gravel, or concrete powder and a composter is a cost-effective method to gain x-ray vision. By digging a 3-block deep hole players can place a composter in the bottom of the hole and then jump inside it. Afterwards, simply placing the sand/gravel/concrete powder block above them should provide solid x-ray vision of the surrounding area.
  • Players can also use a piston block to push their head down into a visible x-ray area. This can be done with a piston, a composter, one lever, and two full blocks of any type. Players will want to dig a 1-block deep hole, place the composter inside and then build a 2-block tall wall on either side of the hole. Next, place a switch and activate it on the top block of one of the walls. Jump inside the composter and place the piston above your head. This will automatically activate the piston due to the lever being activated and push the player's vision past the visible block layer.

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition

  • By using falling snow, Minecraft players can also attain x-ray vision. This will require one piece of sand, gravel, or another gravity-affected block as well as four pieces of top snow and a sizable number of slabs (more slabs, more vision in this case). To start, players should dig a 1-block deep hole and surround it with slabs. Then, place a solid block above the hole that leaves enough room for the player to walk underneath. Place the sand/etc. block atop this block, stack the snow atop the sand, and hop into the hole. Enter sneak, and then destroy the overhead block, the falling gravity-affected block should fall along with the snow and provide solid vision.
  • For players interested in seeing through lava in the Nether, placing chains sideways can also provide x-ray vision. This can be performed with as many chains as needed to see through a sea of lava.

X-ray vision is incredibly helpful for finding structures and other vital objects, so it's worth a shot if Minecraft players aren't feeling up to installing a new mod or add-on. Give it a try the next time you play, you may be surprised by just how much you find.