How to Make a Dropper in Minecraft

In Short
  • Dropper is a redstone component you can make with seven cobblestone, one redstone dust, and a crafting table in Minecraft.
  • The dropper is usually used to eject items in the direction the block is facing or to push items in a container.
  • Dropper cannot use items like a dispenser, but dispenser cannot put items in a container.

There are various redstone components in Minecraft, ranging from those that interact and transmit the redstone signal to those that extract and move items around. Today, we will be teaching you about one of those blocks called the dropper. It’s a fairly useful redstone block that has special interactions with items and other container blocks. So, if you’re ready, let’s learn how to craft and use a dropper in Minecraft.

Resources You Need to Make a Dropper

Thankfully, dropper is nowhere near as annoying to make as its cousin dispenser, which we’ll be talking about a bit later in this guide. The crafting recipe for dropper requires the following resources:

  • 7 Cobblestone (must be cobblestone, no other stone blocks are viable in this crafting recipe)
  • 1 Redstone dust
  • Crafting table

Cobblestone is a basic block you get by mining stone with a non-silk touch pickaxe. If you want to create droppers in bulk, or any other block that requires cobblestone, we highly recommend you make one of the cobblestone generator designs from our linked guide.

Redstone dust is an item you get by mining redstone ores with a non-silk touch pickaxe. You may also acquire it from trading with cleric villagers. Finally, the crafting table is a utility block that provides a 3×3 crafting grid. You can make it with four planks.

Dropper Crafting Recipe in Minecraft

Now that you have the needed resources, let’s make a dropper in Minecraft.

  • Place the crafting table in your world and right-click it or use the secondary action button to open its interface.
  • Put the redstone dust in the middle slot of the bottommost row of the grid.
Redstone dust placed in the middle slot of the bottommost row of the crafting table's grid
  • Then, fill every other slot with cobblestone leaving only the central slot empty.
  • And that’s it. The dropper icon will appear on the right. To craft the block, hover over the output slot and click to move it to your inventory.
Completed crafting recipe for a dropper in Minecraft

Alternatively, you can also use a crafter in Minecraft 1.21 to make the dropper, but to craft any item with it, you’ll need to power the crafter using a redstone power source like a lever, button, or redstone block.

How to Use a Dropper

After you make a dropper, let’s figure out what to do with it.

Once you open the dropper’s inventory, you can see it’s a 3×3 slot grid with Dropper text above it. Dropper is a container block. This means you can leave items in it, walk away and they’ll be safely stored. Though it only has 9 slots worth of space.

Dropper interface in Minecraft

What the dropper is mostly used for is for its ability to put items in other containers and also spit them out. You may place the dropper facing in any direction you want. This will help you funnel the items exactly where you want them to be. To activate a dropper, you need to provide with redstone power. You can use some of the following to do so:

  • Lever
  • Button
  • Redstone block
  • Observer
  • Redstone torch
  • Pressure plate
  • Tripwire hook
  • Just activated redstone dust
  • Adjacent just powered solid non-transparent block
  • Activated redstone repeater and redstone comparator
  • And more

Note that dropper requires one pulse to activate. So, if there is a constantly activated lever on top of it, that won’t cause the dropper to constantly get activated, but only when the lever activates. To make the dropper consistently active, you can create a redstone clock such as a hopper clock or observer clock that will quickly activate the dropper many times.

Dropper spitting out items

If there are no containers in front of the output side of the dropper when it gets activated, the items will simply get spat out. You may then collect them via hoppers or a water stream. In case dropper has multiple slots filled with items, then the items will be ejected randomly. You can use this simple mechanic to create randomizers for whatever reason you want.

However, if there is a container in front, such as a chest or even another dropper, the items will end up in it. If the container is full, the dropper won’t activate in the first place. What’s super useful about the dropper is that you can link multiple droppers together to make a “dropper pipe”. This will allow you to transfer items pretty much wherever you want. You can even move the items upwards using the dropper pipe, which is in that case called droppervator.

Many droppers linked together creating a dropper pipe

Dropper vs Dispenser: What’s the Difference?

Dropper and dispenser both seem and look fairly similar. So, what’s the difference?

Dropper mainly puts items in a container or simply ejects them, while dispenser can also eject items, it can use certain ones like shears, buckets, flint and steel and more.

Dispenser cannot put items in a container and dropper cannot use items, but only eject them. Most of the time when you’re making a farm, you’ll be using dispensers. They mimic player action, therefore, they allow you to automate the farms. On the other hand, you’ll use a dropper to easily and quickly transport items around.

Showcase of differences between a dropper and a dispenser in Minecraft

Not many players use this redstone block, as there are alternatives like water streams and hoppers in Minecraft. Though, in some cases, it’s much better to use droppers than any other redstone component. With that said, how often do you use droppers? Tell us in the comments below!

How do I make my dropper constantly drop?

You’ll need to use a redstone clock to make a dropper constantly drop. The simplest one is the observer clock. Simply place two observers so they’re looking at each other and place a dropper attached to the end of one observer. This will power it as soon as possible.

Can a dropper plant seeds?

No, dropper cannot plant seeds, but only eject items or put them in containers.

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