Sometimes not every build we make can be grand and large. There is a certain appeal in smaller and cozier builds, however they still have to be functional in some way.

Not every build can usually fit a staircase inside it. Maybe there isn’t enough space for it or maybe it is simply too awkward to put it anywhere inside. This is where making an elevator comes in handy.

An elevator only takes up a single block and can take you up or down multiple floors. But don’t worry, you will not need to farm Redstone and create some complex circuitry to make one.

In Minecraft you can simply make an elevator using Water and some special blocks.

Water Mechanics

Water is a non-solid block in Minecraft which Mobs and Players can pass through.

When entering Water a bar made of bubbles will appear above your Hunger Bar. This is your oxygen and it will steadily decrease the longer you are in the Water. Once it depletes you will start taking damage until you resurface.

It takes about 15 seconds for your Oxygen bar to fully deplete when underwater and the damage you take is 1 heart per second.

The Oxygen Bar is something to keep in mind when making your elevator, because swimming in a long and slow elevator can make you drown.

Luckily, there is a way to make you move faster through Water rather than just swimming up and down a waterfall. Solid Water blocks react with Magma and Soul Sand blocks.

When placed under Water both of these blocks will emit bubble particles and one will pull you down, while the other will push you up toward the surface, respectively. They will also replenish your Oxygen Bar.

Magma Blocks underwater

Magma blocks like this can generate naturally in the Overworld and can at times be dangerous by pulling you underwater. If you sail over one with a Boat the Boat will emit a noise and shake as it attempts to pull it down as well.

Magma blocks and Soul Sand will increase your movement underwater by a bit, allowing you to cover quite a bit of distance, but it can only be done going up or down depending on the block.

This however, still makes it easy to avoid drowning when using them in an elevator.

Building the Elevator

An Elevator saves you much more space than building a spiral staircase would. For your elevator you will need a Magma block, Soul Sand, and an elevator shaft.

Inside your base create two 3×3 “towers” that goes between the multiple floors you wish to connect. They do not need to be close to each other and distance doesn’t really matter. Each of these will be an individual elevator.

Elevator Shape

Because we have a way of making this a quick trip you do not need to worry much about keeping the elevators short.

Make sure that the middle blocks of each tower are left empty, with a 1 block hole going into the floor. This is where you will put down the Magma and Soul Sand blocks.

Create a 2 block opening on each floor and close it off with a Door. This will allow you to exit the elevator without Water spilling out.


Once you are sure the Water cannot flow out, add a Bucket of Water on top of each Tower and let it flow down. Now, this will not make the elevator work immediately, because this will all be flowing Water. To make it work you need Water source blocks.

The easiest way to turn this Water into source blocks is by planting down a single piece of Kelp in each tower.

Kelp in Elevator

Then simply remove the Kelp and add your Magma Block and Soul Sand to the very bottom of each elevator. Magma block will pull you down, while the Soul Sand will push you up.

The outer walls of the tower can be made out of any solid block material that you want, including Invisible blocks.

Preventing the Magma From Burning You

Magma blocks in Water can actually pose a bit of a threat when they pull you underwater. Not only does there exist the risk of drowning if you are underwater for too long, but a Magma block will burn you even underwater.

If you aren’t careful you will easily burn yourself multiple times on the Magma block when using your elevator. It won’t kill you, but it can be pretty annoying to deal with.

Crouching as you reach the bottom of your ‘down’ elevator will prevent you from taking damage from the Magma even if you touch it. It is a safe method that will always work.

However, you can also put the Magma block much deeper into the ground. This means that when you reach your final floor you won’t touch the Magma block as it would be further down. However, this means you have to time your exit out on the bottom floor.