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How to Craft & Activate A Beacon in Minecraft 1.20 (2024)

How to Craft & Activate A Beacon in Minecraft 1.20 (2024)

Are you tired of losing yourself in the middle of nowhere when exploring your new survival world? We certainly are. A simple way to mitigate this risk of being lost in the wilderness is a Beacon! 

Besides this, as an added benefit, you also gain some really powerful buffs from creating Beacons – which is precisely what we’ll cover today!

How to Craft A Beacon in Minecraft?

Combining 3 Blocks of Obsidian with a Nether Star and 5 Blocks of Glass on a Crafting Table creates a Beacon. The Beacon must be activated and placed atop a Pyramid to receive its buff. Beacons placed on a 4-layer Pyramid can provide additional buffs.

Before crafting your Beacon, you’ll need to collect some ingredients – including 5x Glass, 3x Obsidian, and a Nether Star. This guide assumes you’ve already collected these and are ready to move on to the crafting process. 

Note: If you need help obtaining these ingredients, refer to the end of the guide

Step-by-Step Crafting Process

Crafting recipe of a Beacon

  • Place down a Crafting Table and interact with it to open up the Crafting Menu. 
  • Insert a Nether Star in the middle of the Crafting Grid.
  • Place 3x blocks of Obsidian in the bottom row of the Crafting Grid.
  • Fill in the remaining spaces of the Crafting Grid with blocks of Glass. 
  • Collect the Beacon.

The Beacon emits an upward light that can be seen from far away. This is a relatively simple way of using it (as a pathfinder) whenever you get lost. However, it serves a much better use – providing strong buffs whenever you’re within its range. 

To use the Beacon to receive strong buffs, you need to activate it. This can be done by placing it on top of a Pyramid and ‘feeding’ it some materials.

How to Activate A Beacon in Minecraft?

To set up a Beacon in Minecraft, you’ll have to create a Pyramid structure and place the Beacon on top of it. This Pyramid must be made from blocks of any of the following materials: Iron, Emerald, Diamond, Gold, or Netherite. 

Alternatively, the Pyramid may also be created using a mix of these minerals. The total layers you create for the Pyramid determine the strength and number of buffs received from the Beacon. You should aim to create a Pyramid of 4 layers for maximum effect. 

All possible variants of a Beacon Pyramid created from Gold Blocks

You can refer to the image above to see the crafting pattern of all possible variants of the Pyramid. Once you’ve constructed this, place the Beacon atop the Pyramid. The Beacon should start emitting a stream of light upwards. Ensure that this light is unobstructed (Water and Glass are fine). 

To finally activate the Beacon and make it functional, interact with the block to open its menu. Now, insert any of the following materials: Iron Ingot, Emerald, Diamond, Gold Ingot, or Netherite Ingot, and select the buff you want to receive from the Beacon.

For Pyramids up to 3 layers, you can only select a ‘Primary Power.’ Pyramids with 4 layers allow you to choose a ‘Secondary Power.’ This gives you the choice to decide between a ‘Regeneration’ buff or increasing the potency of the Primary Power. These buffs act similar to the ones received from brewing Potions in Minecraft!

The table below showcases all possible buffs and their descriptions!

BuffDescriptionPyramid Required
SpeedIncreases your movement speedLevel 1
HasteIncreases your attack (and mining) speedLevel 1
ResistanceDecreases incoming damageLevel 2
Jump BoostIncreases height and distance of jumpsLevel 2
RegenerationRestores healthLevel 4
StrengthIncreases damage (melee)Level 3 

Once you select your desired buffs, your material will be consumed, and the Beacon will become fully active! An activated Beacon will provide the chosen buffs whenever you’re within its range. The range and potency of your power-ups change with increased layers of the Pyramid. 

Additional Information 

A Beacon placed atop a 1-Layer Gold Pyramid

Whenever you’re in the range of your Beacon, you’ll receive its buffs every 4 seconds. These buffs will be applied to you and any nearby players for 9 seconds with an added 2 seconds per Pyramid layer. 

Thus, you’ll have unlimited access to your buffs as long as you remain within the range of your Beacon (and have them for a few additional seconds if you travel outside this range).

The good news is that the Beacon has a considerable coverage area, which increases with each additional layer of your Pyramid. The coverage is determined in a square formation around the Beacon and extends for several hundred blocks in each direction.

The table below shows the coverage format of each Pyramid layer in detail!

Pyramid LayersRange (Blocks)Buff Duration (Seconds)

This covers everything you need to know about creating and activating a Beacon in Minecraft 1.20. If you’re having trouble collecting the resources required to create the block, refer to this portion of the guide!

Collecting Resources for A Beacon

Obsidian, Glass, and Nether Star showcased on Glowing Item Frames

Before crafting a Beacon, you must collect Obsidian, Glass, and a Nether Star. The first two are relatively easy to obtain, whereas the third ingredient can be tricky to collect. Nevertheless, here’s how to quickly get your hands on each of these!


You can create Obsidian blocks by pouring Water over Lava. You’ll then have to mine the block to collect it, which can only be done using a Diamond or Netherite Pickaxe. The easiest method of obtaining this is to grab a Bucket of Water and find a cave.

Underground caves usually have tons of Lava Falls that you can efficiently utilize to convert the Lava into Obsidian. 


You can produce blocks of Glass by smelting Sand in a Furnace. Sand is generally quite easy-to-obtain and you can find countless blocks of Sand in a typical Desert biome. Once collected, create a Furnace, add fuel to it using Wood or Coal, and smelt the Sand. 

Doing so will produce Glass!

Nether Star

Being the most challenging ingredient to obtain among these, you’ll have to go through an arduous process to get your hands on a Nether Star. This rare resource can only be found by defeating ‘Wither’ mobs. 

A Wither is a boss mob that can be pretty challenging to slay. Nevertheless, you can spawn one using a ‘Wither Skeleton Skull’ and some ‘Soul Sand.’ Defeating a Wither will always net you one Nether Star. 

Be careful; as mentioned, this mob can be brutal to kill, and you should be well-prepared before encountering it. On that front, here are some of the most powerful weapons in Minecraft that you can use to defeat the mob successfully!