|Tile Entity ID||
dec: 138 hex: 8A
A Beacon is a block used to provide both a unique landmark, and selected buffs to all players in the vicinity. It is activated by placing it as the final block on top of a pyramid formation made up of one to four levels of mineral blocks: Diamond Blocks, Emerald Blocks, Gold Blocks, or Iron Blocks, in any combination.
The smallest pyramid that can be made to work with the Beacon block has 1 level and consists of 9 mineral blocks. By widening a pyramid by one block across an entire side, you can widen the pyramid, allowing you to place another Beacon without having to build an additional individual pyramid, which saves time, space, and resources.
With a viable pyramid beneath it, a Beacon will emit a blue beam of light into the sky, and its GUI will be available for choosing and activating the desired enhancements or protections. The range of these effects varies with the pyramid size. All players within range will have the chosen effect applied every few seconds, but when players move out of range, the effect will expire within 4–8 seconds.
|Ingredients||Input » Output|
|Nether Star + Glass + Obsidian||
Beacon blocks provide two unique functions:
- An aesthetic landmark beam reaching into the sky, which can be visible from far away
- Powers, which buff players within a certain radius
A functioning Beam is required in order to produce Powers.
Beacon blocks can also function as ordinary light sources, as they are brighter than Torches, with the same luminance and underwater function as Glowstone and Jack 'o' Lanterns. A pyramid is not required in order for Beacon blocks to emit ordinary light. Due to the rare crafting ingredients required for Beacons, Glowstone and Jack 'o' Lanterns generally make more sense for use in Survival mode, though Beacons offer Creative mode players an aesthetic alternative.
Beacons must be placed atop pyramid structures constructed from Iron Blocks, Gold Blocks, Emerald Blocks, or Diamond Blocks. They must also have a clear view of the sky with no obstructions. The type of block used to build the pyramid is entirely cosmetic and has no functional effect, so using the cheapest option (Iron Blocks) makes the most sense in Survival mode. Several different block types can also be mixed without affecting functionality.
The smallest pyramid that will make a Beacon block work is a simple single layer of 9 mineral blocks arranged in a 3x3 horizontal square. The Beacon block should then be placed on top of this square, in the center. See below for details on other pyramid sizes.
When constructed correctly, and after a short delay, the Beacon will emit a blue beam of light into the sky; although at this point the Beacon beam is purely aesthetic. The beam of light is visible from up to 170 blocks away, depending on render distance. This provides a useful marker for short to mid-range gameplay.
Once the Beacon is emitting a beam, it can then be "fed" an Iron Ingot, Gold Ingot, Emerald, or Diamond, in order to provide Powers (buffs, or boosters, similar to those that might come from Potions) to players who remain within a certain radius. This is done through the Beacon's GUI, which is displayed by right-clicking the Beacon block.
In the GUI, place the item to be fed in the empty slot shown, and choose a Primary Power by clicking one of the choices displayed. Beacons sitting atop 4-level pyramids will also display Secondary Power choices, one of which can be clicked to provide a second simultaneous boost. When the "Done" button (green check mark) is clicked, the item will be consumed and the Power(s) will be activated. To set a Beacon to different Powers, another item must be consumed.
The more levels a pyramid has, the more Powers will be available to choose from, and the wider its area-of-effect will be. There are currently four possible pyramid heights:
- 1-Level Pyramid: requires 9 mineral blocks + 1 Beacon block (3x3 base)
- 2-Level Pyramid: requires 34 mineral blocks + 1 Beacon block (5x5 base + 3x3)
- 3-Level Pyramid: requires 83 mineral blocks + 1 Beacon block (7x7 base + 5x5 + 3x3)
- 4-Level Pyramid: requires 164 mineral blocks + 1 Beacon block (9x9 base + 7x7 + 5x5 + 3x3)
 Multiple Beacons
Multiple Beacons can make use of the same mineral blocks below them, so it is possible to save space and resources by simply expanding pyramids to accommodate multiple adjacent beacons, rather than constructing multiple complete pyramids.
For example, 4 Beacons can be arranged 2x2 by building a pyramid with a 10x10 base layer (then an 8x8 layer, a 6x6 layer, a 4x4 layer, then the 2x2 Beacons at the top). Combining 4 Beacons in this way requires a total of 216 blocks.
Combined pyramids do not need to be symmetrical. The image to the right shows a 6-Beacon (2x3) pyramid (which is enough to provide all six powers currently available). It requires a total of 244 mineral blocks, with a base layer of 10x11.
- Beacons require a pyramid below them as described above.
- Beacons require an unobstructed view of the sky, though transparent blocks and other Beacon blocks will not count as obstruction.
- Beacons can be placed in The Nether, but require that all terrain above them be naturally generated, though transparent blocks can be placed above them.
- Beacons can be placed in The End.
 Pyramid damage
If the pyramid is damaged so that the Beacon is deactivated, it will still remember what powers it was set for, and once the pyramid is repaired, it will resume its previous function at no additional resource cost. This applies to piston-altered pyramids as well, making it possible for players to build Beacons that can be turned on and off with a sticky piston removing or replacing a pyramid block.
Powers will always be activated within the area-of-effect of the pyramid. The effective radius depends on the number of pyramid levels, with a 4-level pyramid providing the widest area-of-effect. When a player travels outside the area-of-effect, the powers will persist for 4-8 seconds.
Regardless of how many levels the pyramid has, only one Primary Power may be selected. Higher level pyramids merely serve to unlock more Powers and increase the area-of-effect. Multiple Primary/Secondary Powers require multiple Beacons.
The Beacon forms a square area around itself, the size of which depends on the pyramid type. The buff has the same radius below the beacon as it does to the sides, however the buff travels up to the world ceiling (256) along the light beam, which makes it optimal to place Beacons near the bottom of the map. This serves for a more optimal coverage of volume (making beacon powers available in your mine for example).
|Pyramid Type||Radius size|
Since these squares are centered around the Beacon, the radius indicates the distance from the Beacon to each side (in 5 directions, excluding top).
 Power options
- See also: Status effect
The five primary powers are:
Speed: Increased movement (similar to a potion of swiftness).
Haste: Increased mining speed.
Resistance: Increased armor rating.
Jump Boost: Increased jumping distance and height.
Strength: Increased melee damage (similar to a potion of strength).
Level 4 pyramids can also select a secondary power. This can either be Regeneration or a level II variation of the selected primary power. When selecting the level II variant, Regeneration is no longer provided by the Beacon.
Level 1 Pyramid - (Speed or Haste)
Level 2 Pyramid - (Speed, Haste, Resistance or Jump Boost)
Level 3 Pyramid - (Speed, Haste, Resistance, Jump Boost or Strength)
Level 4 Pyramid - (Speed, Haste, Resistance, Jump Boost or Strength & Secondary Power)
Haste affects all gathering speed with tools. With that being said, it is less noticeable with slower items. To get the most out of your tools and beacon, use with the Efficiency V enchantment and the Haste II power. Haste will work with shears, shovels, pickaxes, and axes. The speed boost is 20% greater on materials such as logs, glowstone (Silk touch shears), and cobblestone. Some materials such as mining stone with an Efficiency V diamond pickaxe are significantly faster than 20% while using the Haste II power, but others like leaves or cobwebs when using any shears are not. All testing done with no Efficiency, Efficiency IV, and Efficiency V while using a Haste II beacon.
There are many useful places to have a beacon set up. Some of them are as follows:
- Experience Mob farm (such as an Enderman farm)
- At a home/base or Mob farm
- Zombie/Skeleton/other 2-punch kill experience farm (will make it 1-punch). Note this does not include precision crushers at these farms.
- A home/base for easier traveling
Keep in mind, some places will benefit much more greatly when using the 2nd tier of the power.
|1.4.2||12w32a||Added beacon block, entitled "Work in Progress." in-game.|
|12w34a||Removed beacon block from Creative menu.|
|12w36a||The "Work in Progress" block is now called "Beacon", can be found in the Creative menu and can be crafted.|
|The texture was changed from to and an animation was added.|
|12w38a||Texture of block changed from to . Light beam changed from a semi-transparent smooth beam (which conflicted with water transparency) to a pattern with only 0%/100% opacity.|
|12w40a||Texture changed from to . Beacon beam also changed.|
|1.5||13w05a||Effect radius increased from 16/24/32/40 blocks to 20/30/40/50 blocks.|
|Beacon effects extend infinitely upward.|
Issues relating to "Beacon" are maintained on Mojira. Report issues there.
- Placing a beacon in a pyramid shaped of blocks can make a resemblance to the Luxor Las Vegas hotel and casino which has the world's strongest beam and can be seen from 275 miles (450 km) away.
- The beacon light generated from the beacon block is 255 blocks tall. It is relative to the beacon block height, so several beacon block beams can stop at different heights.
- Some blocks like signs are very visible even when seen through several beams, becoming a lot more distinguishable from the rest of the landscape.
- The beacon light does not disappear until the chunk is unloaded, providing a great means to judge where places are.
- Adjacent beacons may share blocks in their pyramids, allowing for fairly efficient designs that provide multiple powers.
- The most efficient design allowing for all powers to be activated at the highest level, is a rectangular pyramid which is 4×5 at the top, and 10×11 at the bottom. This requires 244 blocks. Since 6 separate pyramids would require 984 blocks, this is more than a 75% reduction in materials, and only 50% more than what a single pyramid would cost.
- A single full-powered beacon requires 164 Blocks, this means it requires 1476 precious items (Diamond, Gold, Iron or Emerald) that are equivalent to 23.06 Stacks of ores (smelting is an extra cost for iron and gold).
- The player can leave a resource in the beacon block without clicking "Done".
- The only blocks that can be placed in the beacon's light without deactivating the beacon are anvils, glass, glass panes, iron bars, fences, fence Gates, enchanting tables, cauldrons, end portal frames, ender chests, piston, piston arms, dragon eggs, heads, cobblestone walls, Monster spawners, and other beacons. (non-opaque blocks)
- Like other light sources with a luminosity over 12, the Beacon Block's light is powerful enough to melt ice.
- Despite them being resource blocks, Lapis Lazuli blocks and Blocks of Redstone will not work as part of the pyramid.
- Despite the new texture edge as of 12w38a resembling Diamond, the block still only needs Glass, Obsidian, and of course the Nether Star.
- Beacons do not work underwater. This is because beacons require a sky light level of 15 to function, and water blocks do not allow all light through them similar to ice and leaves.
- When a block is placed next to the beacon, the star's texture facing that block is unrendered. This happens because the block is not considered transparent, even though the texture is transparent. So, the game thinks the player can't see that texture, thus unrendering it.
- If the player flies more than one block above the top of the light beam, the beam will disappear until the player moves five blocks below it.
- The Beacon is one of the hardest blocks to obtain, requiring 3 obsidian blocks, 5 glass, and the Nether Star, obtained by beating the Wither, the second and most powerful boss in Minecraft.
- Water and Ice appear transparent when viewed through the swirling particle effect that you give off while you have a beacon power.
First image released by Jeb.