How to craft, copy, alter, & use maps in Minecraft

Completed Minecraft mapMinecraft

Maps are a valuable tool for getting a glimpse at the landscape around you and finding important landmarks. Here’s how to craft and use Minecraft maps.

While players love exploring their unique Minecraft worlds, it’s quite easy to get lost. Having a way to get your bearings and find home safely is of critical importance, especially in the early portion of the game.

Maps are a fantastic tool for letting you know where you are in relation to your home. But getting and using them can be somewhat of a challenge. Here’s everything you need to know about maps in Minecraft.

How to get or craft a map in Minecraft

A blank Minecraft mapMinecraft
How do you find or craft a map in Minecraft?

Maps have a chance to generate in your world in shipwrecks and villages (in chests within the Cartographer’s house).

Absent finding a blank map in a chest, maps are craftable in two ways. The first way is to simply use nine pieces of paper in a chest, but this will give a map that does not have location markers.

If you instead use eight pieces of paper in a chest, with a compass in the middle, you will get another blank map that will track location markers. This is typically the more useful type of map as it will show your location and marked locations in your world.

How to use a map in Minecraft

When crafted or found, the maps will be blank. You can press the “use item” button (this is usually right click on PC and left trigger on consoles) and the map will “activate” and begin filling with information around you as you walk.

As you walk within the confines of the map’s borders, more information will generate onto the map until it is full. However, you must be holding the map in your hand as you travel across a given area for the map to fill.

This map will include surface structures the player has built or that naturally generate, as well as a white indicator for the player’s position.

Players can place banners in their world and, when holding a map in their hand, press “use item” to mark the banner’s location on their map, which is a great tool for marking a player’s home base or other key locations on the map.

You can also lock a map, meaning that it will not change even if you build massive structures or alter the terrain after filling it in. To do this, simply combine the map with a glass pane in a cartography table.

How to zoom a map out in Minecraft

Minecraft map in off-handMinecraft
A zoomed out Minecraft map in an off-hand.

The first time you craft a map, you might notice that it doesn’t take a long time to fill it up just walking around. The downside is that these maps don’t offer much help if you’re venturing off to find a shipwreck, woodland mansion, or ocean monument.

But it is possible to zoom the map out and reveal even more of the world. In fact, it can be zoomed out four times.

To do this, you can either put the map you wish to zoom out in a cartographer table with a piece of paper or surround a map with eight pieces of paper in a crafting table.

How to clone a map in Minecraft

While maps are valuable, they can also be easy to lose. It’s helpful, therefore to clone your map to have a second copy in case the first is destroyed.

To do so, simply place the existing map in a crafting table or cartography table with a blank map, and it will produce two copies. Cloned maps are stackable and if the original has not been filled in, the clone will fill in new information even if it is not being held.

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