Minecraft: How maps work

An image of the Minecraft map.
Credit: Mojang Studios, Xbox Game Studios

An image of the Minecraft map.
Credit: Mojang Studios, Xbox Game Studios

Minecraft maps are crucial to vast exploration in-game. They guide players across explored terrain, help in marking landmarks, and sometimes help players find treasure chests scattered across the world. But how does a Minecraft map really work? We'll be learning how Minecraft maps work with our guide below.

Maps in Minecraft have several practical uses if you get to take the time to learn how to use them. Besides being used for navigation and exploration, there are other things you can use maps for which we'll detail below.

How Minecraft maps work

A screenshot of a player holding a Minecraft map.
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Credit: Mojang Studios, Xbox Game Studios

When starting out in Minecraft, players usually just try to remember the locations they'll need to go back to when adventuring. But when exploring becomes more expansive, remembering locations becomes much more difficult. This is where Minecraft maps come in. Creating maps can make it easier for you to find your way back home or to a spawn point.

To get yourself your own map, you should know that maps can be crafted, traded for, or found across your world.

How to craft and look for maps

A screenshot of how to craft maps in Minecraft.
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Credit: Mojang Studios, Xbox Game Studios

To craft maps you'll need nine paper to create an "empty map." You also have the option to make an "empty locator map" with 8 paper and 1 compass. This type of map helps in recording terrain and location markers a player travels to.

In terms of natural generation, Minecraft maps are generated in chests in various structures. These include shipwrecks, strongholds, and some villages you may find in your Minecraft world.

How to use a map in Minecraft

Using a map is quite easy in Minecraft. First off, players must ensure that their maps are in their hot bar. They can right-click to start using the map as it will open it and reveal the area around the player as long as the player is holding the map in their hand.

To fill an empty map with your location, you must simply ruse it by right-clicking (for PC users) to track and store your location in the map. Take note that you can also zoom out your map by combining it with other map pieces. This doubles your map's size.

How to mark a location on your map using banners

A screenshot of a banner marker on a Minecraft map.
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Credit: Mojang Studios, Xbox Game Studios

Another feature of maps includes custom location markers. These appear as coloured dots and can help you mark landmarks or important places you'll go back to during your next adventure.

To place a marker, you'll need to make banners. These are crafted by placing six pieces of wool (with the wool having only one unified colour).

As you've crafted your banner, you can then travel to a spot you want to mark. You can then place your banner down then while holding the map, you can use it on the banner. A coloured dot (dependent on your banner's colour) should appear on your map which reflects the location you marked.

With that, you have all the information you need on how Minecraft maps work in-game. While you're still here, please do browse through our other pieces on the game such as our best building ideas for Minecraft in 2023 and can you breed parrots. We also have a guide on how to tame a horse in Minecraft.

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