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Ores in Minecraft: Everything players need to know

Different ores in Minecraft (Image via change)
Different ores in Minecraft (Image via change)
Holly Ellison
ANALYST
Modified 05 May 2021
Feature

Ores have been a staple of Minecraft gameplay since the very beginning. Currently, there are 10 ores in Minecraft for players to discover. This will change with the Minecraft 1.17 update, but today's focus will be on ores from 1.16 and the previous version of Minecraft.

Ores are uncommon rock-type blocks in Minecraft. Some ores drop rare items when mined, and others require smelting in furnaces before they can be used.

Players may wish to know more about each of the ores in Minecraft. Here is every ore in the current version of Minecraft.

Everything Minecraft players need to know about ores

Coal ore

Coal ore in Minecraft (Image via chrisl21.deviantart.com)
Coal ore in Minecraft (Image via chrisl21.deviantart.com)

Coal ore is usually the first ore players encounter in Minecraft. This is the most common type of ore in the game and can spawn anywhere from y-level 0 to 127. Coal ore is also the easiest to mine in the game, as it only requires a wooden pickaxe for a coal block to drop.

Coal ore doesn't have to be smelted for it to be useful. As soon as the player mines the coal ore with a pickaxe, a piece of coal will drop for immediate use. Coal ore is one of the most readily available ores in all of Minecraft and spawns in veins 1 to 37 blocks large.

Iron Ore

Iron ore in Minecraft (Image via pixelsquid)
Iron ore in Minecraft (Image via pixelsquid)

Iron is the next most common type of ore in Minecraft. Iron ore is extremely useful. It can be used to create armor, weapons, anvil, and several more important Minecraft blocks and items.

Iron ore can generate up to 20 times per chunk, and it generates in veins between 1-13. This ore generates in y-level 0 to 63, and on average about 112 iron ores generate per chunk.

In order to mine iron ore players will need a stone pickaxe or higher. Iron ore drops an ore block when mined, which means the players need to smelt iron ore in a furnace in order to use it.

Gold ore

Gold ore statue (Image via planetminecraft)
Gold ore statue (Image via planetminecraft)

Believe it or not, the next most common ore after iron is gold. Gold is common in badlands biomes and uncommon in all other Minecraft biomes. Gold ore generates from y-levels 0-32, and usually generates in veins of 1-13. On average about 12.4 gold ore blocks generate per chunk.

Gold ore can only be mined with an iron pickaxe or higher. Similar to iron, gold ore drops an ore block when mined and must be smelted in a furnace before players can use it.

Redstone ore

Glowing redstone (Image via fun)
Glowing redstone (Image via fun)

Redstone ore is an uncommon ore in Minecraft. It can attempt to generate eight times per chunk, and on average generate 29.5 redstone blocks per chunk. Redstone ores can be found from y-levels 0-16, and generate in veis of 1-10.

Players must mine redstone ore with an iron pickaxe or higher. When redstone is mined, several redstone pieces will drop from one redstone ore. Redstone also has the ability to emit small light levels when clicked, updated, or upon contact.

Redstone is an extremely versatile and useful material for Minecraft players. This is how players have built complex Minecraft farms, rail systems, and other complicated machinery.

Lapis Lazuli ore

Lapis with texture pack (Image via planetminecraft)
Lapis with texture pack (Image via planetminecraft)

Lapis lazuli is a rare ore in Minecraft. This ore naturally generates in y-levels of 0-30 in veins of 1-10. Lapis generates 4.2 ores per chunk on average. Lapis lazuli is one of the easiest ores to obtain in Minecraft as players can mine it with a stone pickaxe. Lapis lazuli also drops multiple lapis pieces when one ore block is mined.

Diamond ore

Diamond ore with diamonds (Image via wallpapersafari)
Diamond ore with diamonds (Image via wallpapersafari)

Diamond ore is a rare and valuable Minecraft ore. Diamond ore only attempts to generate once per chunk, and usually does so in veins of 1-10. On average, about 3.7 diamond ore blocks generate per chunk. Diamonds generate between y-levels 1-16, but are most common at y-level 11.

Diamond ore must be dug up with an iron pickaxe or higher. Diamond ore drops a single diamond for each ore block mined. Diamonds are a highly sought after material in Minecraft since they can be used to create some of the strongest armor and weapons in the whole game.

Diamonds are also required to craft enchantment tables and build Nether portals, making them a key stepping stone on every Minecraft player's journey.

Emerald ore

Emerald ore (Image via pinterest)
Emerald ore (Image via pinterest)

Emerald ore is the rarest ore in Minecraft. This ore only generates in mountain biomes and in veins of 1, making it very difficult to find. Emerald ore generates in y-levels 4-31. Single emeralds attempt to generate 3-8 times per chunk.

Emeralds are extremely useful in Minecraft, as villagers use them as their currency. Players are able to trade villagers emeralds for goods, or vice versa. Often times players will create emerald farms to obtain emeralds rather than mining emerald ore because the ore is so rarely found.

Nether ores in Minecraft

Nether Quartz

Nether quartz ore (Image via minecraft.wikia)
Nether quartz ore (Image via minecraft.wikia)

Nether quartz is an ore only found in the the nether and is the only source of quartz in Minecraft. Nether quartz is a very common ore in the Nether, which generates in all Nether biomes.

Nether quartz ore generates from y-levels 10-117, and attempts to generate 16 times per chunk in sizes 1-24. In Basalt delta Nether biomes, Nether quartz attempts to generate 32 times per chunk.

Nether Gold

Nether gold ore (Image via pixelsquid)
Nether gold ore (Image via pixelsquid)

Nether gold is a common ore in the Nether. When Nether gold ore is mined, it drops 2-6 gold nuggets. These nuggets do not need to be smelted like regular gold ore. Nether gold ore can be dug with the lowest level of pickaxe, the wooden pickaxe.

Nether gold generates 10 times per chunk in veins of 1-16 at y-levels 10-117. In Basalt Delta biomes, it generates twice as often.

Ancient Debris

Ancient debris is the rarest Nether ore. These only generate twice per chunk in veins of 1-3. Ancient debris generates from y-levels 8-22, and very rarely at y-levels 8 to 119.

Ancient debris is used to make netherite, which is the strongest material in Minecraft. Ancient debris is very strong as well and can only be broken with a diamond pickaxe.

Also read: 5 best Minecraft seeds to find Netherite in May 2021.

Published 05 May 2021
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