Minecraft is a game all about exploring a big, procedurally-generated world and gathering resources so that you can build whatever you can imagine. Throughout your adventures in the blocky sandbox, you’ll find many different resources for you to gather. One lesser-used but still valuable resource is gunpowder. In today’s article, we’ll be explaining the best ways to get gunpowder in Minecraft!
What Is Gunpowder Used for?
Gunpowder is one of the oldest items in the game, available to players since the early days of the game. Before we dive into the best methods for obtaining gunpowder in Minecraft, let’s first go over what exactly it is used for.
TNT: Gunpowder’s first function was to make TNT. This is an explosive block that can be lit with a flint and steel or ignited with redstone. Once activated, it will destroy several blocks surrounding it. This is useful for setting traps and for mining.
Rockets: You can use rockets as a sort of jetpack if you’re wearing an elytra, at late-game item that allows you to glide around in the air! Rockets are also good for fireworks, which explode in a variety of colorful patterns when activated.
Fire Charges: These are items that can be used to start fires. You can put them in a dispenser and activate the dispenser to launch them into the air as projectiles, which will catch other mobs on fire.
Splash Potions: Gunpowder can be used to convert any position in the game into a splash potion. Splash potions can be thrown into the air and will break on the ground to apply their effects to all mobs and players within the splash radius.
Best Ways to Get Gunpowder in Minecraft, Ranked From Good to Best
So with that explanation out of the way, let’s get right into this article covering the best ways to get gunpowder in Minecraft!
The first (and also least worthwhile) way to get gunpowder is through looting chests. Throughout the world, you can encounter wooden chests inside various dungeons and naturally-generating structures. These structures include desert pyramids as well as woodland mansions, among many other things. While exploring them, you can come across chests hidden in parts of the structure.
You are almost guaranteed to find gunpowder inside these chests, and it’s typically a pretty decent amount. This method for getting gunpowder is okay for those who just need gunpowder every now and then. But it’s not what you should do if you need a regular source of the stuff. It’s very time inefficient to explore a world looking for structures just so you can get some gunpowder.
It does make a nice way to get some extra gunpowder on the side alongside your other methods, however.
Trading with Wandering Merchants
The next best way to get gunpowder is by trading with wandering merchants. Every now and then, an NPC that looks similar to a villager will spawn near your base. He’ll be wearing a blue robe and traveling with a llama. These are called wandering merchants, and they are great for buying certain resources in the game.
If they have gunpowder in stock, you’ll need to trade emeralds for it. Emeralds are pretty rare and can be difficult to get unless you trade with villagers regularly. I would recommend that all players — regardless if they are doing this for gunpowder or not — get some villager NPCs at or near their base. You can trade wheat and other basic resources with them in order to acquire emeralds more easily.
Then, just take these emeralds and trade them with the wandering merchant, and you’ll be able to get an okay amount of gunpowder. It’s not exactly a steal, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have the emeralds to spare. It can be very effective if you have a villager trading hall set up at your base and you trade with villager NPCs very often.
Our next best method for how to get gunpowder in Minecraft is to go monster hunting! This is probably the most enjoyable way to get gunpowder in my opinion. Wait until nighttime when all of the monsters spawn, or go someplace naturally dark, such as a cave. Bring a sword and some armor and start killing mobs, and then collect all of the loot they drop.
You can only get gunpowder from creepers and witches (in the Overworld, that is). But most of the loot dropped by other mobs is still very useful for all Minecraft players to have. If you want to make this method even more efficient, you can enchant your sword with Looting III. This will dramatically increase the amount of loot that you get for each and every monster that you kill. This allows you to get gunpowder very quickly!
I recommend this method if you’re just starting out in Minecraft, as it requires very little setup. If you are okay with doing some building, you could even set up a mob arena that is dark enough for mobs to spawn. Then get some friends to come and help you and you’ll be set for a good long while. Just make sure you sleep in a bed nearby. That way, in case you die, you can quickly respawn nearby and collect your stuff before it disappears forever.
Up next, we have ghast farming! Ghasts are a type of flying mob that can only be found inside the Nether. They are white in color with what looks like tentacles draping out the bottom of the mob. Upon being killed, they can drop ghast tears — a unique item used in potions — as well as gunpowder! You can build an efficient type of mob farm that specializes in ghasts, which allows you to get lots of their tears and gunpowder.
You can access the Nether with a Nether Portal, built by creating a 5×4 frame out of obsidian and activating it with flint and steel. Once in the nether, you can begin work on your ghast farm. Please watch this video tutorial by YouTuber Beef And Cheese.
I should note that in order to build this particular design, you’ll need Wither Roses. This requires you to fight the Wither first. This mob farm is pretty good, and I recommend building it even if you don’t need gunpowder. Ghast tears are useful for buildings regeneration potions, as well as End Crystals.
If you aren’t interested in building a ghast farm, another efficient way to farm gunpowder is by making a witch farm instead! Witches are the only other Overworld mob you can get gunpowder from besides creepers. They also drop a host of other useful items, such as redstone dust, glowstone dust, sugar, and more. They are a really useful mob for you to farm if you love making potions and such.
Be sure to check out this video guide by YouTuber Shulkercraft. He’ll walk you through how to make one using only basic materials. Just make sure that you know the location of a witch’s hut in your world, first! This farm will only work if you can find one. They spawn naturally and are most commonly found in a swamp biome. They are made of wood and are about 5×5 blocks big.
This is a really effective farm to make, as you can build it in the Overworld and near your base (assuming there is a witch’s hut near it). This means that you can do things inside your base while this is generating gunpowder and other materials passively! Every player needs to have mob farms, and making a witch farm is a really great option due to the diverse amount of materials it provides.
If a specialized witch’s farm isn’t your thing, you can also go a bit broader and just make a classic mob farm! Mob farms are one of the oldest farms in all of Minecraft, and they are incredibly effective for getting lots of crafting items quickly. They can be built out of only a few simple materials and are very low cost. This makes them one of the best things for you to build early game in a newly made world.
You can construct a mob farm by building a thin tower stretching into the sky. Make sure it’s very high up (it should be high enough that it can kill you if you fall!). You can then make a square or circular room on top of the thin tower and place four thin canals of water going from the edge of the room down to the center. Make a hole inside the room that leads into the thin tower. Mobs will spawn on the solid blocks, fall into the water, and then be carried into the hole.
The mobs will fall to their death below, and you can pick up their items with a hopper that leads to a chest! For more detailed instructions, please watch this video tutorial by YouTuber FazyGaming. The benefit of using this to farm gunpowder instead of a witch farm is that you can build a mob farm anywhere in the Overworld, not just at a witch’s hut. This makes it much more convenient to make.
And last but most certainly not least, the most efficient way to farm gunpowder in Minecraft is by making a specialized creeper farm! Like all the other farms mentioned previously, this is a passive way for you to get some quality materials in a fast amount of time. While you won’t get some of the other goodies found in other mobs, this is really great if you want to maximize the amount of gunpowder you get.
Just keep in mind, you are going to need to tame a cat first in order to get this thing running. Cats can naturally be found in NPC villages and jungles (although there they spawn as ocelots). Tame them by standing still in their vicinity while holding some fish and you can bring them back to your base. Then you will be able to get started on making your very own creeper farm!
For a very good tutorial on how to get the structure itself built, watch this video here made by YouTuber Dusty Dude. Creeper farms are without a doubt the best type of farm for getting gunpowder in Minecraft. The amount of the stuff you can get per hour with an efficient farm is staggering. And the structure itself is actually pretty easy to build, as long as you have the materials.
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