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Top 5 uses of dispensers in Minecraft

A dispenser as it appears in Minecraft (Image via Mojang)
A dispenser as it appears in Minecraft (Image via Mojang)

A dispenser is a helpful Minecraft block that can be used independently or with redstone machinery. It provides items by ejecting them from its inventory.

Although their purpose may seem pretty straightforward in Minecraft, dispensers have extensive uses and can serve different purposes that may not be readily apparent.

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When activated via redstone signal (from a simple button to an elaborate machine), the dispenser will pop out an item. This item is randomized if different things occupy the block's 3x3 inventory grid. If players want dispensers to release specific items, they'll need to account for this.

Regardless, some applications of dispensers in Minecraft are much more beneficial than others.


Best uses of dispensers in Minecraft

5) Setting Transport

Dispensers can set minecarts and boats onto rails or tracks (Image via Mojang)
Dispensers can set minecarts and boats onto rails or tracks (Image via Mojang)

Getting around a Minecraft world via minecart (or a boat sliding on a track made of ice blocks) is a great way to travel. However, constantly breaking and picking up one's vehicle can be tedious.

Thanks to dispensers and a little automation, players can ride on their tracks before having their minecart or boat reset back into position when they need to use it again. No breaking of the vehicle is needed. This allows players to create completely automated transport systems, which are excellent additions to large worlds with many different structures.


4) Automatic fertilization

Dispensers can use bone meal to grow crops (Image via Mojang)
Dispensers can use bone meal to grow crops (Image via Mojang)

Bone meal is a very helpful aid when growing crops in Minecraft. It speeds up crop growth to reduce the time between harvests. However, manually applying bone meal to crops or plant life is time-consuming.

Fortunately, players can fertilize their crops and tree saplings by applying bone meal using an automated dispenser. They can pursue their own interests and still return to a fully-grown crop farm thanks to the dispenser's application of bone meal on-demand. The block will need to stay stocked with bone meal, but that should be no major issue.

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3) Automatic/semi-automatic water-based farming

Dispensers can automatically clear out crops from tilled soil (Image via Mojang)
Dispensers can automatically clear out crops from tilled soil (Image via Mojang)

Like crop growing, crop harvesting is a time-consuming process. However, by utilizing water buckets and dispensers, this process can be significantly alleviated.

After tilling and seeding soil, players can wait for the crops to grow to full strength before using water deployed by dispensers to wash fresh crops into a collection system. This can be done semi-automatically via button press.

Some savvy Minecraft builders have even attached the dispensers to a redstone clock. This clock will dispense water and initiate crop collection when the crops are fully-grown in an automated fashion.

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2) Projectile-based defense

An auto-firing projectile trap that utilizes dispensers (Image via Mojang)
An auto-firing projectile trap that utilizes dispensers (Image via Mojang)

Seen naturally within generated structures such as jungle pyramids, dispenser traps are popular security structures to utilize.

By being fed projectiles such as arrows, snowballs, or even damaging potions, dispensers can fire at intruders who trigger the machine. These dispenser traps can be completely hidden. They can be triggered with something as slight as stepping on a pressure plate or crossing a tripwire.

Dispenser traps can even be automated to fire constantly until the target is dead or out of the trap's firing line.

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Popular in many multiplayer servers, keeping an arrow or potion-firing trap in one's base improves security significantly.


1) TNT cannons

A one-button TNT cannon that can clear out areas and enemies (Image via Mojang)
A one-button TNT cannon that can clear out areas and enemies (Image via Mojang)

Dispensers are integral blocks when crafting TNT cannons, which are one of the best ways to clear out space while also getting rid of any enemies in an area.

Dispensing TNT blocks and igniting them can create multiple explosions in a short time. These explosions are capable of clearing huge swaths of land or destroying opponents and their structures.

These creations are popular in Minecraft Factions PvP servers, where firing a TNT cannon at enemy emplacements can keep opponents from building up their defenses.

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Past the PvP applications, TNT cannons are also useful when mining for ores underground. They detonate large chunks of blocks that would otherwise need to be mined out manually with a pickaxe.

For detailed guides, walkthroughs, tips & more, check out SK Minecraft Wiki

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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