How to Dig in Minecraft? Mastering Minecraft: A Guide on How to Dig Efficiently

Are you a fan of Minecraft but unsure about the importance of digging in the game?

We will explore the world of Minecraft digging, including the tools you need, how to dig effectively, and what treasures you can find underground.

Understanding the art of digging in Minecraft can enhance your gameplay experience, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player.

Grab your pickaxe and get ready to uncover hidden secrets and valuable resources beneath the surface!

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a popular survival game where players find resources, explore landscapes, craft tools, and construct buildings to thrive. The game allows users to engage in adventure mode play, creative mode builds, or even custom hardcore options that add difficulty and risk of character finality. Players steer a block shape character called Steve or Alex through an open environment and use blocks to create and modify structures. Players can remove blocks to create tunnels or mine resources, some of which are required to accumulate building materials. The game includes character health, hunger and stamina measures that create scarcity and risk as well as beasties and squares called mobs that may kill and rob characters. Multiple versions of the game are available at home computer and console locations and as app or gaming system versions that are played on mobile devices.

Why is Digging Important in Minecraft?

Digging in Minecraft, whether underground or on the surface, is important for the following reasons:

  • Resource Collection: By digging you can access underground resources such as coal, iron, diamonds, and redstone that cannot be found on the surface.
  • Artifact Collection: You can find artifacts such as dungeons, strongholds, and abandoned mines by digging through the terrain.
  • Creating Flat Surfaces: Digging is necessary to make room for and create flat areas for buildings and even farming areas.

What Tools Do You Need for Digging in Minecraft?

You need the following tools for digging in Minecraft:

  1. Pickaxes for general block breaking and for finding resources.
  2. Shovels for removing dirt and gravel blocks faster than with other tools.
  3. AxEs, referred to in the game as pickaxes, to break wooden and other customizable blocks faster than using an ordinary pickaxe. They are not necessary if you have a pickaxe. But it can be helpful because wooden planks and other variants from trees are present in high quantities in forests.


Pickaxes are one of the initial required tools to dig in Minecraft. Pickaxes are tools that are required to dig in blocky games. One of the most important rules in the game is that one cannot dig with his arms or any other body part except pickaxes. Initially, pickaxes may be used to break dirt, wood, or stone. As the player upgrades, pickaxes are used to dig iron, gold, diamond, and obsidian. Pickaxes are available in the inventory section of the game.


A shovel in Minecraft is a tool used for digging dirt, grass, sand, gravel, clay, and soul sand. Depending on the location and terrain type, these blocks may be collected, or they may simply be cleared from an area. The only block which has its own collection use is sand, which may be smelted in a furnace to make a glass block.

You can make a wooden shovel very easily, similar to a pickaxe, just from the wooden logs you punch down at beginning, but to make a shovel more efficient for digging dirt, or fastest for clearing away loose blocks for building or making space, upgrade its tier. Stone, iron, diamond, gold, and netherite shovels are the next progressing tiers, but the most efficient upgrade may be with a diamond shovel given that diamonds are the most sought after, and ill-suited to shovel use.

Like with the pickaxe, the shovel’s tier dictates how many layers it can clear at once. The most basic wooden shovel can only clear one layer at a time. The netherite shovel is the fastest shovel in the game and can remove one layer at the same rate as four with a wooden shovel.

The following are 5 shovel types in Minecraft with their digging power and durability:

  1. Shovel (Wooden): 2.0 digging power. 59 durability.
  2. Shovel (Golden): 2.0 digging power. 32 durability.
  3. Shovel (Iron): 2.0 digging power. 250 durability.
  4. Shovel (Diamond): 3.0 digging power. 1561 durability.
  5. Shovel (Netherite): 5.0 digging power. 2031 durability.


Players can dig in Minecraft with an axe, though it is not the most effective tool. Axes in Minecraft are primarily used as tools for breaking wood-related blocks such as logs, planks, fences, and bookshelves. Unlike the pickaxe, using the axe as a digging tool would not only dig slower but also result in massive frustration. The axe does double the damage of 3 HP to every block load than even the fist, 1.5 HP, thereby breaking blocks quickly. This can lead to accidental mining of dirt or any block depending on the user’s movement, which is why the axe is never recommended for digging.

Minecraft experts towards the goal of using a single block to bridge over lava lakes or digging spaces horizontally at any level to begin their mine shaft know that the datatype efficiency requirements of pickaxes can come from other inventory items as long as it is a mining tool and not a weapon. To emphasize the wrongfulness of using axes for digging, gates are always useful as they are particular types of fences that let players open and close at their convenience.

How to Dig in Minecraft?

To dig in Minecraft from day one until you successfully finish, you need to always have at least one shovel with you. Shovels are the quickest tools for removing material. If you are a new player, practice managing the durability of your tools. Your first 60 minutes of play should be spent learning to manage gravel, dirt, and sand collecting so you can build, scaffold, and escape. Dirt is the weakest block in the game, meaning it is the fastest to break. You can use dirt for building bridges, growing crops, or blocking water and lava flow. Gravel is an easy-to-obtain excavation block that can be dug through with virtually any pickaxe if other stones get in the way. Gravel can also be used to create makeshift stairs. Sand is another weaker block that is effective for placing blocks underwater as it breaks and refills with no issue after breaking.

During the daytime, you must use iron tools. If you are able to find iron ore deposits, collect this resource and craft new, sturdier tools. You need multiple shovels to keep your digging phase successful. Since shovel degradation occurs quickly, you may require up to two or three shovels, depending on the size of your excavation. Late-stage shovels and creating smooth land for transport are essential activities to undertake with superior tools. Always have block replacements when digging to avoid flood or isolate lava. Have escape and hiding routes. If mining at night, upgrade your tools and use any materials to make torches. Make sure to have either an escape route or a protected area to take refuge, as this is when you are most vulnerable. This video shows former US President Barack Obama playing Minecraft and learning to dig.

Find a Suitable Location

You dig in Minecraft by first finding a suitable and safe location. It should not have hazards such as lava, water, obstacles like planted trees, animals, cliffsides or other accessible caves. There should be a good source of light to fend off creatures. Additionally, make sure the location is close to a safe spot where you can store resources and recharge. This will save energy and resources that can be used for the mining project itself.

For small projects, available caves are a good option. They can be easily accessed and already have paths and potential hiding spots. If you already have a base camp, you may already have a decent spot for a mine behind a fake wall or under farmland. Just make sure the entry and exit points to your dig spaces are safe.

This is in the direction of being as low in elevation as possible in order to lessen the effects of hazards and to be able to find the commonly valuable types of rocks such as stone, iron, coal, gold, diamonds and lapis lazuli.

To dig, use a shovel to remove any dirt or sand above the rocks. Then use a pickaxe to break the rocks and start building passageways into your dig site.

Make sure you have plenty of extra pickaxes. You don’t want to venture too far into the mine and have your pickaxe break at inconvenient times. Stick to well-traveled passages in the mines that have been there for centuries. If you have the supplies to build a mine shaft, then you can build down somewhere safe close to your base. Otherwise, just find open caves.

It is important in Minecraft to dig in a bunny-mode, always blocking entrances after you get into new rooms or passageways, and never looking backward as creatures will often spawn in your shadow! Not looking back is prevention for surprises.

Image 1. How to dig in minecraft-suited location. This is not yet a good place to start digging. Trees are obstacles and there is water on the ground. Image from Starter Island in Minecraft Game from Ayrtown Game Dev’s Custom Airports pack during y=21.9, p=-23.0, s=180 focusing on a B_W Spy Glass.

Image 2. How to dig in minecraft-suited location. This location is more suitable with manageable light, a safe path, clear walkable ground, and the start of a build with dug trenches. Image from B-Intricate’s Versailles Palace build on the Mineville server during x=168, z=-632, s=-30, p=135.

Image 3. How to dig in minecraft-pickaxe. You need a pickaxe to use. Image from B-Intricate’s Versailles Palace build on the Mineville server during x=168, z=-632, s=-30, p=135.

Image 4. How to dig in minecraft-rabbit mode. This is how enemies easily spawn behind you. Image from B-Intricate’s Versailles Palace build on the Mineville server during x=168, z=-632, s=-30, p=135.

Image 5. How to dig in minecraft. Blocking entrances to new rooms is important. Image from Azminecraft’s gameplay.

Five avenues of digging illustration

Image 6. How to dig in minecraft-find the cave. Image from B-Intricate’s Versailles Palace build on the Mineville server during x=168, z=-632, s=-30, p=135.

Image 7. How to dig in minecraft. Use a pickaxe. Image from Panda World’s Tree House in the Woods build on the InspireCraft Server during x=288, y=81, z=-418, p=223.

Image 8. How to dig in minecraft-cater-connect-tune style. Image from B-Intricate’s Versailles Palace build on the Mineville server during x=168, z=-632, s=-30, p=135.

Image 9. How to dig in minecraft-block entrances. Image from My Home’s back porch and kitchen in the game during y=-65, p=90.

Image 10. How to dig in minecraft-start a new branch. Image by Jane Douville Designs during x=-39, z=-200.

Image 11. How to dig in minecraft-get a torch. Image by Synthfoxgaming via Pinterest.

Image 12. How to dig in minecraft. If you see this, where can I find some? An image of Lapis_Lazuli ores from a Minecraft wiki

Image 13. How to dig in minecraft. Where you might find some Iron ore. An image of Iron_Ore ore from a Minecraft wiki.

Image 14. How to dig in minecraft. Where you might find some Coal ore. Image from Fishbiter’s Apache Ridge base in the Nordic Minecraft texture pack.

Image 15. How to dig in minecraft. An example entrance made to look like an easy pass on the extensive Minecraft Grand Canyon build from EJRFx Minecraft.

Image 16. How to dig in minecraft. Some of these should not be seen by the eyes of the living. Water great covered entrance with rock face waterfall defenses from the extensive EJRFx Minecraft Grand Canyon build on the mine craft map.

Image 17. How to dig in minecraft. Emphasizing tunnel walling as shown at the Tuscan, Italy build by Greenfield Minecraft on bukkit, spigot, and paper Minecraft server software servers.

Image 18. How to dig in minecraft. Tunnelling trio serious isolated path entrance feature at the base of a mountain in the Cagot Sandcastle Build on the Mineville Minecraft server.

Image 19. How to dig in minecraft. Tunnelling Alcoves at Muley’s Medieval building project from the world of Keralis Minecraft build server.

Image 20. How to dig in minecraft. Giving credence to useful old mine shaft entrances, highlighted by this door shown in Minecraft’s Iron Triangle PixelR gives in the Pickaxe equals pickaxe section of the chunk stripe horizontal build.

Image 21. How to dig in minecraft. Invisible mine tunnel warnings from the Minecraft underground Wild West Ghost Town map of CasceNect. Cantaloupe no longer fresh photo

Image 22. How to dig in minecraft. Preventing baddies Fatal Impact by default area advances with gravel-landed pitfall trap courtesy of the Fishbiter base build on the Ice Floe Minecraft adventure server.

Image 23. How to dig in minecraft. Pay attention while going down. B-Intricates tower over the pit in their Versaille Palace build on Minecraft.s Mineville.

Image 24. How to dig in minecraft. Blocking every entrance. The Fort Six build on the Ice Floe Instance portion of the Minecraft adventure server.

. Picture credits are on the images themselves.

Equip Your Tools

To equip your tools, look at the bottom left of the inventory menu. Hold down the right-slick on computers or touchpad on consoles to go to the toolbar, slot the item over the tool to be replaced, and release right-click/touchpad.

To access the inventory press the E key on the computer, square button on the playstation, or X button on the XboX. You can also click on the inventory button depicted by what look like little grids in the upper-middle of your inventory. Once you have equipped the tool you want, click in the inventory menu E, square, or X again to close it.

This is the same process for both computers and consoles. On computers, you can use the numbers 1-9 key on the top of your keyboard to switch between the toolbar slots. Once your tools are equipped, you are set to begin mining. The primary tool used will be your pickaxe as it is the fastest and most efficient tool for breaking down or mining most blocks. As you dig further and or need to break tougher blocks, switch to your axe for wooden objects or your shovel for dirt and sand.

Choose the Right Tool for the Job

There are 11 tools in Minecraft that you might use for digging and the tool you choose depends largely on your goals for the dig. For brevity, the usable options for extracts is considered the most frequently used option, that of the Iron Pickaxe. It is the second strongest of the pickaxes and has a medium rate of use. In general, the game follows the pattern that the stronger the tool’s abilities, the longer it will last.

Start Digging

You have followed all the previous steps and are finally ready to start digging. If you are excavating a hole, start punching the block you designated as the top left corner where the height of the GECKO points for [] under the green coordinates of the compass. Do the same on the right and in the middle. This is so you know the exact width of the hole that will be dug.

Once that wall is no longer there, take care when digging downward as blocks have disappeared and there may be an open drop down to a lower point in the cavern. Always dig the edge of the underground slab before the middle to verify how far down it is. If you do fall, realize that finding the missing height from the GECKO will be very difficult and is essentially a restart as the entire system will now be archaeologically and geologically inaccurate.

Start by mining the edge and then the center, making sure to progress in a grid rather than just hacking away. The further away from the initial block the center block is, the larger the hole will be. The faster you mine the center, the easier it will be to find new caverns and resources. Going slowly may result in a wall taking the middle spot, giving no new information about where to dig and wasting time.

Watch Out for Hazards

Hazards are environmental dangers that you may encounter underground when digging. Common hazards in Minecraft include monster spawners, water & lava flows, gravel or sand collapses, and low-hanging ledges which can serve as ambush locations for monsters or allow them to bypass your tunnel defenses.

An important part of knowing how to dig in Minecraft is to be on the lookout for hazards. Keep Low Tech’ s Minecraft Best Practices in mind:

  1. Always have escape routes and a clear path to the surface.
  2. Eliminate the light source to clear out the monsters without actually breaking into the cave system.
  3. Don’t dig straight.
  4. Keep materials to create barriers.

What Can You Find While Digging in Minecraft?

You can find the following items while digging in Minecraft. Some of these are available at all elevator levels, others are only available below a certain depth (e.g. Y=16 for diamonds), and some are only found in specific biomes or in specific block types known as ores.

  1. Stone
  2. Coal Ore
  3. Andesite
  4. Iron Ore
  5. Gold Ore
  6. Redstone Ore (which gives players power redstone items)
  7. Lapis Lazuli Ore (which gives players the lapis lazuli item)
  8. Diamond Ore
  9. Emerald Ore (.12% chance of generating per every exposed chunk average at, and below, Y=29 in -30 or higher biomes only)
  10. Gravel (which gives players flint)
  11. Sand (which gives players glass)
  12. Clay (found in most biomes)
  13. Clay Gravel (a mix found in bogs and swamp biomes)
  14. Obsidian (a nether-exclusive)
  15. Hell Block (a bedrock substitute in the nether which gives players various types of Netherite)
  16. Magma Block (found in the nether).

These are the most common items players might encounter when digging in Minecraft. But there are many other rare resources available throughout the player-created world of Minecraft, such as a chorus plant (exclusive to the outer end islands) and waterlogged rabbit hide (only found in dungeons that appear unusually high, so that the water in them overlaps with the walls of the dungeon).


Ores are solid, naturally occurring mineral deposits which come in the form of blocks in Cobblestone veins. Their primary use is in the construction of blocks and items. Players will then process ores into ingots using a furnace (except the diamond and netherite ores, which need a smelter).

Ores can only be mined by first being exposed through excavation (open up new caverns, caves, or mines) as ore blocks can never be found above ground. Ores are essential to the game and spawn randomly. While you can’t mine ores directly, you must clear out caverns or mines and expose them before mining them via related pickaxes and smelters.

Treasure Chests

Minecraft offers treasure chests that players can find while digging. The main honed-and-true way to find a minecraft treasure chest is in a why you will find chests in a strongholds. Strongholds are an underground structure that vary from simple to complex. Where exactly and how frequently you will find them is dependent on the settings of the world you are playing in. If you are looking for a minecraft how to find treasure map without cheats, and without digging for hours without a guide, the only real way is to buy explorer maps from cartographer villagers. These good old treasure hunting maps may have a marker that leads you directly to a buried treasure chest.


Fossils in Minecraft are a very rare arrangement of ancient bones encased in mineralized material in the game. In reality, factors such as geographic location and time required for the accumulation of mineralized remains result in the rarity of such finds. They occur only in rock and are best obtained with a stone pickaxe in the Overworld. Fossils consist of bone blocks which hide beneath layers of sediment and come in four different sizes:

  1. Single bones – no curvature, one square in size.
  2. Curved bones – no curvature, three squares in size.
  3. Rib cages – one square in size, can’t be placed upright.
  4. Skulls – four squares in size, can’t be placed upright.

Fossils possess a decorative function in Minecraft, adding an antique appearance to homes or bases. Unfortunately, as of version 1.18, there does not appear to be confirmed functionality that generates from having them.

How to Use Digging to Your Advantage in Minecraft?

  • Non-renewable precious resources Mining at below sea level with cobblestone pickaxes is the most efficient way to find gold, diamond, and emerald equating to the highest density of blocks of these materials available on average. According to the official Minecraft wiki, these are the blocks most commonly found at depth and need at least an iron pickaxe to be mined. Putting torches in the mining path can help ready the way for future passage and be useful for combat situations by providing a line of sight towards potential dangers.
  • Underwater fishing While digging on land can be beneficial in getting to water source blocks so that water-farming works and 3×3 (or bigger) mines can be crossed, underwater digging can save a player who is about to die from drowning. Players attempt this when their health is high enough to withstand the drowning effect for a few seconds, before they can carve a safe way to get bar cross out immediately.
  • Farming Many aspects of the game’s summoning, transportation, and food-producing functions require dedicated digging. Caves are connected through the digging network and are decorated with minerals that are not accessible via mining and can therefore offer a method for players to go through vast distances faster and safer. The underground cave system can be beneficial to see which animals make the game more accessible and fun.
  • Redstone, stone, and coal These materials have multiple crafting and other block uses and are very prevalent, especially in mountainous regions, making them a good way to practice digging without investing in high-level pickaxes. When combined with factory farms that produce plenty of excess of crops such as bamboo, mining in inappropriate places can be a partial exercise in leveling the base of a mountain or challenging hump of land.

Create Underground Bases

An underground base in Minecraft is a player-designed and constructed workspace, and is an essential survival tactic in-game. So, dig down. A 🌱-shaped single staircase, a spiral staircase, and even dropshaft methods are good starting points for making your underground base. Underground bases are a good place for keeping essential items, which are needed before going out, and storing items you have pulled from the surface.

Many players make their storage facilities by creating rooms and hallways filled with storage chests. Mine your base out at a depth of around y=11 to ensure that diamonds are easily accessible. Construct a level-encompassing tunnel and put protective railings along the open side. Expand your mining operation throughout your underground base to create a vast mining network.

Build Tunnels and Mineshafts

Tunnels and Mineshafts are underground structures that can be built to connect two or more locations. They can be used for transportation to farther areas or used as protection against hostile mobs – especially mineshafts, which are abandoned tunnels with accompanying minecart tracks and wooden planks. To do so, dig one downward mining shaft till reaching the desired depth, and then start digging less complex horizontal mineshafts or more complex subway system-type tunnels.

Gather Resources for Crafting

Gather resources after you have dealt with ponding or water ingress and have opened up an area to be explored. Resources obtained while digging can be used both for subsequent digging and upgrading the player’s base camp. To almost every survival-lite game, the basics of Minecraft are summed up by the old adage: Chop trees, build workstations. In Minecraft’s case, it should be Dig, build workstations.

When digging in Minecraft turn up toward the surface and gather as much of the following resources as you can find to help you with subsequent digging and base camp upgrades around your location:

  • Wooden Logs and Sticks: Use a basic wooden tool to chop bare, two-block-height, non-leafy logs to get them. You will use this as fuel for work stations and for crafting.
  • Coal Ore: Although you may possibly have found some while digging, have enough in stock for smelting of your sought after items, such as iron.
  • Cobblestone, Granite, or Diorite Blocks: To assist in a more durable area for your workstations, collect additional building material such as these.
  • Diamonds, Iron Ore, and Gold Ore: Turning up toward the surface will increase the likelihood of finding diamonds in particular, and collecting iron ore helps both in upgrading tools and armor and is useful for making a mine shaft.
  • Crops and Trees: If you don’t already have enough resources such as wheat, have some seeds on hand so you can plant near your base camp for quick and easy food harvesting without having to venture far.
  • Water or Lava: While it may not be the most important, having an easy water source near your net base camp might save some running around in an emergency, especially if your base camp is far from where you are bored into a body of water.
  • Cheese, Fences, or Lighting Components: Gather resources such as leather and copper to create items that will keep you safe during the night and go towards upgrading your base in order to keep monsters at bay.

Create Defensive Structures

You can dig in Minecraft by creating defensive structures at your base by digging moats or a channel, creating walls, or setting up traps. Nearly anything opponents have to cross to reach your assets is a form of defense. This can force opponents to use up resources in a raid or fall to their deaths if they are unprepared. The most effective defensive systems involve mixing different kinds of defenses and using the land in a way to amplify their effectiveness.

Find Hidden Secrets

Hidden ore bins are areas which generate near a nest of caves that contain a lot of ores. Another hidden secret can be dungeons with a Monster Spawner. When you enter one of these, it will appear as cobblestone across the walls and spawner (these are circular with a characteristic black border and spinning graphic). Below are some of the hidden secrets in Minecraft.

  1. Hidden ore bins – ore bin generation is determined by the terrain map and is created by the program as the map is created. According to YouTuber Xisumavoid, the spawn rate for such mines is around 0.05% and can also be accessed by following the wandering trader’s llamas.
  2. Monster Spawner – Spawners are found in dungeons or cave spider rooms and in floating islands.
  3. Villages – These generate randomly and hold useful items like crafting tables, obsidian, and iron equipment.
  4. Hidden treasure – chests buried under the sandy beaches of the ocean; required to be opened with a treasure map.
  5. Nether fortresses – These are unique structures that are topped with blazes and have large staircases that lead of strongholds.

When one of these is generated on the map, it causes the following conditions to be established within a certain radius of the structure:

  • the blaze spawn rate is set to 10% of its total, so the splätz or between 1 and 4 are guaranteed when it is no more than 2.
  • the wither skeleton spawn rate is set to 30 to 100% of its total (these are needed for a Nether Star); and else; zombie pigmen, magma cubes, ghasts and wither boss spawn rates determined.
  • light was lower to 11 or below.
  • Most passive mobs are removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does digging mean in Minecraft?

Digging in Minecraft refers to the action of using a pickaxe to break blocks and gather resources.

How do I dig in Minecraft?

To dig in Minecraft, you will need a pickaxe. Approach the block you want to break and hold down the left mouse button. This will cause your character to start digging.

What is the best tool for digging in Minecraft?

A pickaxe is the most efficient tool for digging in Minecraft. It can break blocks faster and has a higher chance of dropping the resource itself.

Can I dig without a pickaxe in Minecraft?

While it is possible to break blocks without a pickaxe, it will take much longer and may not result in obtaining the resource. It is recommended to always have a pickaxe when digging in Minecraft.

How deep can I dig in Minecraft?

The maximum depth you can dig in Minecraft is 60 blocks. After that, you will reach the “void” and fall into oblivion.

Are there any special techniques for digging in Minecraft?

One technique for efficient digging in Minecraft is called “branch mining.” This involves digging a horizontal tunnel at a specific level and then branching off into shorter tunnels to maximize resource gathering.

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