Crafting a Lead in Minecraft Without Slime: A Beginner’s Guide

Curious about leads in Minecraft and their uses?

Wondering if you can tie up animals or connect minecarts with them?

Learn how to make a lead in Minecraft without using slime.

This article covers everything you need to know about leads in the game, including alternative materials for slime, crafting recipes, and differences in durability and availability.

Stay tuned to learn more about this essential item in Minecraft!

What Is a Lead in Minecraft?

A lead in Minecraft is a tool used to transport passive mobs over a distance. When attached to a passive mob, the player can use the tripwire hook on a fence post to take the passive mob on a walk. Leads are formed from a slimeball and string. Leads attach to a player’s feet, which forces a following passive mob to walk alongside them. Leads are crafted by combining a slimeball and four pieces of string. One slimeball can create two leads in the crafting table.

What Are the Uses of a Lead in Minecraft?

A lead has multiple uses in Minecraft including tying two entities together, moving passive mobs without needing them to follow a player, moving a ridden animal, and preventing animals from moving altogether for efficient breeding. Leads can also be used in creative endeavors such as creating ball-and-chain jewelry items or turning them into enchantments.

The following entities can be tied together with a lead in Minecraft version 1.17 if riding is not possible. How long it takes for triggered animation to travel between entities is known as an entity’s attack cooldown. According to Fandom, the following entities have a lead able to reign them in 1-2 seconds if they are attacking but not actually leashed.

  • Bee – 1 seconds output
  • Boat – 1 second output
  • Fishing Bobber – 1 second output
  • Horse – 1 second output
  • Item (Sand, Planks, Minecart, etc.) – 2 seconds output
  • Villager – 2 seconds output

Can You Use a Lead to Tie Up Animals?

Yes, you can use a Minecraft lead to tie up animals. Introduced in the September 1.6.1 update together with horses, donkeys, and mules, leads are a levashka (Russian dog-dreams) that belong to the animal counterpart of the item. When you right-click while holding a lead in active equipment slot or off-hand slot, one end attaches to the player and the other end attaches to an animal. Breaking the block where the lead is attached will detach it from the animal or the player. Tying animals does not necessarily mean they will not wander off, particularly when given the opportunity. For example, if they spot a sheep with wheat in the distance, they may simply detach themselves and make a break for their fellow villagers. Leads break in 7 seconds of being stretched as of the 1.14 Java and 1.5 Bedrock updates, or when they are attached to fence posts and the fence post is broken.

Can You Use a Lead to Connect Minecarts?

You cannot use a lead to connect minecarts. In previous versions of Minecraft, Leads could be attached to several entities, including minecarts. However, as of the 1.6.1 update, lead can now only be attached to most passive animals, polar bears, dolphins, and wandering/trader llamas. The design of the in-game lead item and the recipe to make a lead exemplify this. Players wanting to connect minecarts together typically use activator rail tracks on them. This makes one minecart travel ahead or behind the lead minecart. This method does not let players have two entities moving simultaneously like a player and an animal using a lead.

How Do You Make a Lead in Minecraft?

You make a lead in Minecraft by combining 4 string and 1 slime ball with a crafting table. Since you need to get a slimeball to make a lead, the process of making a lead without slime is impossible.

Slimeballs are dropped by slimes and deactivate the lead if the slime despawns after crafting the slime ball into a lead. This leads to the commonly mistaken assumption that slimeballs are the only way to create a lead. Leads are used to control animals by dragging them around or tying them to a fence. When a player shifts while holding a lead connected to an animal, the lead then disconnects from the animal for later use.

Heads up if you’re looking at the answer to ‘How to make a lead in Minecraft without slime?’ It is not possible in current versions of the game.

What Materials Do You Need to Make a Lead in Minecraft?

These are the materials needed to make a lead in Minecraft if using the crafting tool:

  1. String: 4 string = 4 pieces of string
  2. Slimeball: 1 slimeball

As an alternative, a lead can be found and picked up by the player without the need of needing slime for fishing. Players can right-click a wandering trader or use a horse with a saddle, ride it down to a lower level, dismount, and right-click on the wandering trader. This works because you have brought the wandering trader into the base so you can easily right-click the player. When the wandering trader is set invisible, tie the leash round a mob.

What Is the Crafting Recipe for a Lead in Minecraft?

The crafting recipe for Minecraft lead is 4 string and 1 slime ball. It does not have an alternative recipe that avoids using a slime ball. As of the most recent version of Minecraft as of November 25, 2020 (November 2021) there is no way to make a lead in Minecraft without using a slime ball. To make a lead in the game, you will first need to gather enough resources to make a slime ball. If the player is not willing or able to leave the game and find one to kill with a sword, this will require the following resources.

  1. Find a slime mob in a swamp biome. Slime mobs are only found in three layers of the world, at elevations 51 to 69, 33-39, and 14-18. To know if slime is currently spawning in the area, players should make sure there is a moon and no light source within 24 blocks. At least one slime block must cover a 96m^3 area leaving room for Slime to spawn. They spawn with big and small slimes at an equal rate and both of them deal the same amount of damage. They deal very little damage and following tips should be able to help players easily kill them. Slimes are thankfully resistant to damage, with a damage reduction of 50%. This means that while weapons like swords or beds (in the case of baby slimes) will help to destroy them, more extensive methods of reformation are not required. A player has to slaughter slimes for a long time in order to get all the balls that he wants. A positive part of slimes is that they decrease the visibility of the player to the point that only approximately 0-16 slimes can spawn, making them one of the easiest mobs to spawn.
  2. Slimeball drop of a future cow, pig, sheep, or mooshroom
  3. Trading with a wandering trader

Once there is enough working slime balls, creating leads are simple. One lead takes one slimeball and 4 string. Provided that all of the required ingredients are available, the total stay time is about one minute and 30 seconds.

Can You Make a Lead Without Slime?

No, you cannot make a lead in Minecraft without slime. A lead and leash are essentially the same items with the only difference being in their in-world application. A leash is primarily used for controlling mobs such as horses and other animals whereas a lead is similar but has a secondary application of securing boats, making it an ideal tool for towing boats, including minecarts with chests, and holding an animal in position.

Manufacture of a lead is different to that of a leash as it includes combining a slimeball with four stings whereas a leash is manufactured with four strings. As the strongest and most reliable method to craft a lead that works on all editions of the game, it is best to use the larger and more unique entity referred to in the game as a slime to gather the essential slimeball.

According to the Minecraft Gamepedia wiki, close to 75% of players surveyed on a forum thread indicated they found slimes easy to find, strengthening the idea that they are not so difficult to locate.

What Is the Alternative Material for Slime in Making a Lead?

The alternative material for slime in making a lead in Minecraft is netherite ingot. Netherite ingots are made through a smelting process, for every number of materials that players want to upgrade, they need two of it. One ingot can upgrade one load and it is the most efficient way to navigate between locations. The material is rare, and is commonly found near diamond ores.

How Do You Obtain the Alternative Material for Making a Lead?

The following materials are needed for obtaining the alternative material for making a lead without slime:

  • Brown dye (2). It can be made from cocoa beans, ink sacs, red/yellow dyes, or crops like sweet berries, potatoes, beetroots, carrots, or wheat, as well as vines. Ingredients vary by source. Brown dye can be acquired by composting.
  • Vine (3). Vines drop as an item when shears break tat a block. Four vines grow on a block of jungle leaves.
  • String (4). Drop from spiders and cave spiders. 4 string at the crafting table creates 1 wool block and 4 wool blocks at the crafting table creates 1 lead.

These items can be combined to create a lead, giving the following crafting recipe:

  • 2 brown dyes. Follow one of the methods detailed earlier in this post to obtain brown dye.
  • 3 Vines. Breaking jungle leaves with sheers will cause vines to drop where they were growing.
  • 4 String which can be made from wool or drop from spiders. 3 strings can be substituted for the wool block portion of the recipe.
  • 1 lead as the final product.

What Are the Steps to Make a Lead Without Slime?

  1. Create a Fishing Rod.
  2. Fish with the same or another fishing rod.
  3. Use string to turn an existing leather piece to a second piece required for crafting the lead.
  4. Create paste to fill the gap in the lead crafting recipe from the two leather.

The steps in order are:

  1. Create a fishing rod by combining three sticks and two string. These crafting materials can either be made or collected with string being much harder to find early on.
  2. Fish for leather by using the same fishing rod. Each fishing rod has a 5% chance of catching an item instead of a fish, and of that 5% 16.67% (1 out of 6 times) that item will be a piece of leather.
  3. Once you have a piece of leather, craft a second one from the gathered string. Do this by combining more spider string to make wool and then combining the wool in blocks to make wool blocks from which you can extract string.
  4. Use the two leather pieces to craft the paste by placing them on any crafting table or your personal 2×2 crafting inventory. You do not need any crafting materials and will receive two pastes.
  5. Craft a lead by placing the two pastes and the string in the pattern on the crafting table as shown in the crafting table image above.

Are There Any Differences in Using a Lead Made with Slime and Without Slime?

There are no differences in using a lead made with slime and without slime. The purpose of the lead is to connect a player/mobs with the horses, mules, pigs, llamas, or other animals when you do not want to ride them and to guide groups of them. The use of the lead has no bearing on the tenure or habits of the mob being led.


Durability is a problem with leather only armor in Minecraft. Leather only has 15% of the durability of Iron Armor, wearing out quickly after just hundreds of enemy mob or accidental damage. You take a hit of one heart from an enemy zombie? Leather armor takes one damage. If you get hit in combat, this stacks up. You may as well be nude after a couple of fights.

Not the case with Gold Armor (except for dwindling Usage time) or Diamond Armor. The nine units of Leather required to make a pair of boots has half the storage capacity of Gold, Diamond, or Iron boots (1 as opposed to 1, 2, 2), and less durability (33 vs 78, 56, 77), defense (1, 2.5, 3.5 and toughness 0, Miner’s Journal), and enchantability. These drawbacks can be seen in the other items made from Leather.

Crafting Time

In Laurenci’s piece entitled Lead and Zinc, she states that 75% to 98% lead at a technological oxide purity level of 97% to 99.5%, can be achieved by this method. This is created by roasting concentrate, called sinter, which is then smelted. In the two-volume work Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Stiehl details a few methods for producing lead, but suggests primarily lead concentrates in pyrometallurgical processes or secondary lead from batteries. To Which lead-containing material the cooking process in this instruction produces, is not explained. According to Shearer in the article, fewer, smaller, greener cars will be made with a new method for producing lead. High-quality products produced from lead-doped borosilicate glass, such as Pyrex, glass lab ware instruments such as beakers test tubes.


Slimes only spawn in certain seed chunks, and have no pseudo-random spawning success as with other overworld mobs. Mumbo Jumbo stated that this is currently 67 out of every 140 seed chunks. Assuming a Minecraft world has a total of 4,096^2 seed chunks, which is typical, there are 16,777,216 seed chunks. Therefore, there are 4,294,967,296 squares in a Minecraft world that no slimes can spawn in. You can check the slime chunks for your seed on the Chunkbase slime chunk finder.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a lead in Minecraft and why is slime not needed?

A lead is a useful item in Minecraft that allows players to lead passive mobs, such as animals, around. Slime is not needed because there are alternative ways to make a lead without it.

Can I make a lead in Minecraft without slime?

Yes, there are other materials and methods that can be used to make a lead in Minecraft without slime. It may require some additional effort, but it is possible.

What materials do I need to make a lead in Minecraft without slime?

To make a lead without slime, you will need 4 strings and 1 slimeball. The strings can be obtained by killing spiders or by crafting them from wool blocks.

How do I make a lead in Minecraft without slime?

To make a lead without slime, you will need to place the 4 strings in a vertical line in the crafting table, with the slimeball in the middle. This will create a lead that can be used to lead animals around in the game.

Are there any alternative methods for making a lead without slime?

Yes, in addition to using strings and a slimeball, you can also make a lead by using a fishing rod and tripwire. This method requires a bit more skill and patience, but it is another way to make a lead without slime.

Are there any drawbacks to making a lead without slime?

The only drawback to making a lead without slime is that it may require more resources and effort. However, it is a great option for players who do not have access to slime or do not want to use it in their game.

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