Minecraft is a game renowned for the depth and variety of things to explore within its cubic worlds. One area of the game many players engage with is Redstone, Minecraft's answer to circuitry and electronics. To others, though, Redstone can be a daunting prospect - a confusing world of components and machines that's difficult to get into.
It's not as tricky as it seems, however - there are a wealth of simple contraptions that are fast and easy to build; such machines can do everything from saving you time to generating vast quantities of resources without needing you to lift a finger. In no particular order, here are 10 of the most beginner-friendly Redstone builds that will prove invaluable for your survival worlds.
Related: Minecraft: The Ultimate Redstone Guide
Updated March 30, 2022 By Matthew Pendleton: As Minecraft continues to evolve and expand, so too to the possibilities offered by redstone. We've added some more helpful contraptions to give you some inspiration if you're looking for something technical to build. You'll always find tutorials online, or why not challenge yourself to find a unique solution?
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15 An Automatic Sorting Machine
Anyone who's played survival knows the struggles of trying to stay organised - random chests everywhere, filled with mismatched junk, and finding anything takes several minutes of searching. What if you could just put all your items in one chest, and have them taken to nice, organised areas for you to easily retrieve later?
That's exactly what sorting systems do - as big or as little as you need, they have a dedicated chest for each item and can filter your items into them. Once you have one, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
14 An Automatic Smelter
Smelting takes time; loading your furnaces up, filling each one with your items, retrieving the outputs - that's not a fast process. Introducing super smelters - like sorting systems, they can be as big or as little as your require, and are incredibly simple to build and expand.
Related: Minecraft: Best Items To Use As Fuel In A Furnace
Simply drop all your items in one chest, all your fuel in another, and fetch all your newly smelted good from a third. Even the simplest smelter design with just two furnaces halves the time you spend smelting things, so what are you waiting for?
13 Magma Block/Soul Sand Bubble Elevators
Many things in Minecraft require tall towers, and in some case players build them simply because they look cool. Ascending these towers is slow and tedious, however, thanks to ladders; descending is similarly annoying due to the dangers of falling. In a pillar of water, soul sand and magma blocks have unique properties, allowing you to safely ascend and descend respectively when placed at the column's base.
Using a simple block swapper like the one pictured, you can easily build a two-way elevator to get up and down even the tallest tower in a matter of seconds.
12 Piston Doors
A mainstay of redstone for as long as pistons have existed, piston doors can get incredibly large and complex. They don't have to however - simple ones like the Jeb door (named after one of Minecraft's developers) pictured above are easy to make, look great within a wall, and work well for protecting your base from mobs or hiding secret rooms.
Related: Minecraft: How To Make A Piston Door
They're also a fantastic way to learn more about the quirks of how pistons work - definitely worth giving a go for any budding redstoner!
11 A Zombie Villager Curing Station
The Village and Pillage Update revolutionised Minecraft, making trading with Villagers far easier and more powerful; it's possible to get some of the strongest items in the game just by giving the NPCs some emeralds. This can get pricey, but fortunately discounts are available - if a Villager is zombified and you then cure them, they'll be grateful for you and give you massive, permanent price drops.
A holding chamber in front of a Zombie on a piston allows you to take care of their zombification yourself, and then withdraw the Zombie to revert the Villager for that sweet, sweet discount.
10 Basic Automatic Farms
Farming items such as sugar cane, bamboo, melons, and pumpkins is a worthwhile enterprise, and the fruits of your labour can be very valuable. This process is also time-consuming, though, and - like so many other aspects of the game - it's possible to cut that time-sink out with a bit of automation.
There are simple designs that work for both bamboo and sugar cane, and ones for melons and pumpkins; these machines will net you plentiful amounts of crops in the background while you do other things, and they're easy to expand when the time comes.
9 An Automatic Chicken Cooker
Maintaining a sufficient supply of food during Minecraft's early game can be a nightmare; fortunately, auto-chicken cookers exist. While they may not be the most humane devices, their ingenious simplicity is inarguable: trap a bunch of chickens on a hopper and automatically hatch the eggs they lay using a dispenser.
The baby chickens are held on a slab, then, once they grow up, their increased size pushes them into the water which transports them to some burning netherrack. You'll never have to worry about food again!
8 An Automatic Armour Equipping Station
Having to put on armour might not be as much of an inconvenience as some of the other problems being solved in this list, but an armour station can speed up respawns if you're a PVPer, and more importantly, it makes you feel like Iron Man. It's remarkably simple - four dispensers connected to a pressure plate is all it takes.
Related: Minecraft: Every Armor Set And How To Get Them
It might not be the most useful of contraptions, but it'll make you the coolest player on the server every time you leave your base and suit up.
7 A Potion Brewing Machine
Like smelting and organising your stuff, brewing takes time. And like smelting and organising, this can be automated with redstone. Simply load up your ingredients in bulk and then the machine will take care of every stage of brewing the potion at the push of a button.
Whether you use potions all the time, or just occasionally for underwater exploration, combat or parkour, this machine is a must-have - simple to build, easy to use, and massively convenient.
6 A Basic Flying Machine
Flying machines have a ton of uses - they're super helpful for everything from large farms to transportation. In modern Minecraft, with observers and honey blocks, you can do some incredible things with flying machines, but if you're just looking to gain an understanding of the basics, it needn't be too complicated.
There are a few different designs for simple flying machines, but for one of the most basic, two sticky pistons, two observers, and two slime blocks are all you'll need to make a simple two-way flying machine, so you'll be able to get airborne in no time.
5 An Ender Pearl Station
Ender pearls are something of an essential if you're going exploring, but the fact they stack to 16 can make them a bit awkward to story and carry. An ender pearl station is an elegant way to quickly equip yourself with exactly one stack of ender pearls before setting out.
It takes advantage of redstone torch burnout - when a redstone torch powers itself, it rapidly turns on and off eight times. Connect this to two droppers, and you've got yourself a nice simple ender pearl
4 A TNT Duper
TNT dupers see use in all kinds of redstone contraptions, and are useful for mass land removal, or automating processes like cobblestone generation or tree farming. Making one can be a bit finnicky, and uses some odd materials (particularly a coral fan) but once you get it down it's one of the most helpful machines to be able to build.
Something to be aware of is that many multiplayer servers that run Paper have TNT duping disabled, so if you're playing online, this one unfortunately might not be an option.
3 An Ender Pearl Stasis Chamber
Ender pearls see frequent use for traversing difficult terrain, but what you may not have known is that they can also be utilised for long-distance transportation. An ender pearl stasis chamber allows you to throw a pearl into water and leave it there until the chamber is activated later.
Once the chamber is activated, a trapdoor flaps down for the ender pearl to collide with, teleporting you back to the stasis chamber. Building one of these at your base and linking it to a daylight detector so you warp back when it gets dark, can be a great way to quickly get home.
2 A Minecart Loading Station
Minecarts aren't exactly the best way to travel, but if you need to move large quantities of items, then they're the best option there is. Unloading a hopper or chest minecart is pretty simple - just place some track over a hopper. Loading a minecart properly, however, requires some redstone.
The best way to do it is to run a comparator out of a detector rail in order to detect when your minecart is as full as you want it, or a timing circuit to allow just the right number of items to be loaded, then use a piston to remove a block that will allow the cart to travel off.
1 An Iron Farm
This one might be pushing the definition of "simple", but its usefulness is undeniable. An infinite supply of iron at your fingertips - no more tedious mining trips every time you want to craft some armour or rails. You'll have to corral some Villagers and capture a Zombie, but the reward is more than worth it.
Iron farms are standard fare on multiplayer servers for a good reason - once you get used to having iron on tap, you'll be amazed you ever played without it.
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