To progress in Minecraft, you’ll need to master each dimension. In the overworld, you’ll find early and mid-game resources; in the Nether, you’ll get late-game tools, minerals, etc. Finally, you’ll beat the game in the End dimension.
To access each dimension in Minecraft, you’ll need to find specific resources and structures. For example, to access the Nether, you’ll need to acquire enough Obsidian, whereas to enter the “end” dimension, you’ll have to find a stronghold.
In the Minecraft world, you’ll stumble upon randomly-generated structures such as ruins, castles, villages, woodland mansions, etc. But, differently from most, the stronghold is a randomly-generated structure that isn’t valued for its treasures and loot.
The stronghold in Minecraft is a sort of bridge that will lead you to the end dimension.
Unfortunately, this structure is also incredibly challenging to find; you’ll need to be on a late-game status to encounter one.
In this article, we’ll discuss strategies to ease up the process of searching for this rare structure in the game. So, let’s learn how to find a stronghold in Minecraft.
First, let’s go through the concept of strongholds in Minecraft.
Strongholds are ample structures in the game that generate randomly in the Overworld dimension. Like dungeons, strongholds generate in underground areas such as caves, underwater ravines, etc.
These structures appear more commonly in biomes above sea level. Since strongholds have a similar generation process of dungeons, they’re typically mixed up with mineshafts, fossils, dungeons, etc.
Similar to Woodland Mansions, strongholds have an ample structure with a high number of rooms, corridors, and staircases.
The stronghold areas vary in complexity, with some rooms containing plenty of unique blocks and loot, and some being empty.
When entering a stronghold, you’ll notice the distinctiveness of its rooms, with some being essential for the player and others not. The first generated structures are staircases, which can either be spiral or straight.
There are six types of rooms in strongholds:
- Empty rooms.
- Stone Pillar rooms.
- Fountain rooms.
- Empty Prison Cells
- The End Portal room
Most of the rooms above, excluding the empty rooms, contain stone brick pillars with torches, ladders, dual-level spaces, oak wood plank walls, and chests.
Strongholds have the most complex corridors compared to Minecraft’s other structures. There are five types of corridors:
- Five-way Crossing. (Contain six exits)
- Standard Corridor. (Can have up to three entrances, one being straight ahead and one on each side)
- Chest Corridor. (Has a stone brick slab altar with a chest in its center. It contains only two exits)
- Corridor Turn. (A standard corridor with a single exit, excluding the entrance, on one of the sides)
- Dead-end Corridor.
Strongholds in Minecraft contain a significant number of chests and valuable loot. As exceptionally rare structures, they compensate for buried treasures.
Libraries in strongholds occur in two settings: single-level and ample-duplex libraries. Both contain chests with book-related loot. You’ll commonly find enchanted books, compasses, empty maps, written maps, paper, building blocks, etc.
On the other hand, altar chests, which you’ll find in chest corridors, can provide scarce resources, such as:
- Ender Pearl. (23% chance)
- Diamond. (7.3% chance)
- Diamond Horse Armor (2.5% chance)
- Enchanted Book (2.5% chance)
- Emerald (7.1% chance)
The stronghold’s storerooms are highly resourceful and each can have up to 4 item stacks. However, they’re primarily rich in food, common resources, and mid-game minerals. Some of its typical items are:
- Apple, Bread, Ink Sac. (40% chance)
- Coal, Iron Ingot. (28.5% chance)
- Redstone Dust, Gold Ingot. (15.2% chance)
- Enchanted Book. (3.8% chance)
End portal room
Although loot-rich and filled with rare building blocks, this structure’s importance focuses on a single area, the end portal room.
The end portal room is the most important place for players that want to delve into the late-game status. This room contains the outlines for the end portal, capable of taking you to the most challenging dimension in the game.
Learning how to navigate the stronghold to reach the end portal is also a vital skill for doing minecraft speedruns.
Since strongholds are keepers of the most vital room in the overworld, they don’t appear at every corner. This highly tough-to-find structure requires you to take arduous steps to find it.
It is, by far, the most difficult structure to stumble upon in the game.
Just to give you some reference, a Minecraft world statistically has more surface area than the planet Earth. Yet, there’ll be about 128 strongholds on the entire map.
Although seemingly impossible to find, the game eases up on the player by providing a sort of “compass,” showing the direction to the closest stronghold, known as an eye of ender.
To get this tool you’ll need:
- 1 Blaze Powder
- 1 Ender Pearl
On a crafting table, place the items above in the following setting:
You can acquire blaze powder by placing blaze rods on a crafting table. Blaze rods are items that blazes drop when killed. You can find blazes, which are aggressive mobs, in the Nether dimension.
The ender pearl is a lootable item that you can get by slaying an enderman or trading gold with a piglin.
The resulting object will be an “Eye of Ender,” which provides the compass function earlier discussed.
Using an Eye of Ender
The Eye of Ender is a floatable entity that flies in the direction of the nearest stronghold when thrown. The flying pattern of this object isn’t fast or high. Instead, it hovers at a pace and altitude that the player can keep up with.
To use the Eye of Ender, you’ll need to hold it in your character’s hand and press the action button. Consequently, the object will float approximately 12 blocks in the nearest stronghold’s direction.
Apart from the adequate altitude and pace that the Eye of Ender will float, it will also leave a trail of purple particles, making it pretty easy to follow.
You’ll know that the stronghold is nearby when the Eye of Ender starts to fly a bit lower.
When the Eye of Ender is thrown 12 blocks from the stronghold, it will float to the chunk with the strongholds center staircase. At this point, the item will begin its descend, indicating to the player that the stronghold sits below.
Furthermore, the eye of ender will hover somewhere underground.
If, for some reason, it’s hovering in a place where you can’t see any signs of a Stronghold, don’t worry. The eye of ender has a height limit, so it can’t go any further down.
This doesn’t mean that the stronghold isn’t there; it is. It’s just a bit further down.
Be aware that strongholds only exist in the overworld; this means that using the eye of ender in different dimensions (Nether, End) won’t result in any movement by the object.
Attempting to find a stronghold by exploring and spelunking inside caves is highly not recommended. This type of structure is exaggeratedly rare to find and the chances of randomly stumbling upon one while traveling are very unlikely.
Besides, unlike sunken ships, dungeons, buried treasures, and underwater ruins, strongholds do not have a particular pattern or distinctive surface-level characteristic that would make them easier to spot.
However, you can attempt a browser seed-oriented finder app as an alternative method to find strongholds.
This type of app also works to find other structures.
Access the stronghold finder website and fill in the blanks requiring information about the Minecraft’s world seed you’re in. Then, look at the site’s coordinates table and use the X, Y, and Z values provided to find the nearest stronghold’s location.
Traveling to the coordinates will help you find the structure.