Minecraft has a notorious history of players struggling with directions. With the game’s huge random worlds, players need a reliable way to get around. But since exploration is a big part of the game, the developers don’t plan on including a HUD-based mini map in the game. So a common practice across the community is jotting down coordinates, but that feels like too much of a hassle. Some players even resort to the best Minecraft mods for help. But if you know how to make a map in Minecraft, the things don’t have to be this complex. It’s a super handy tool for regular players, speedrunners, as well as professionals. And fortunately, the process of making a map in Minecraft is as simple and reliable as trying the game in your browser. With that said, let’s not waste another moment and learn how to make a map in Minecraft.
Make and Upgrade a Map in Minecraft (2022)
The map we are making in this guide is an in-game item and not a downloaded map (or world) that you can load into your game. You can also obtain it by trading with a cartographer (one of the many villager jobs) or find it in a rare chest. But let’s figure out how to craft a map manually in this tutorial.
What Do You Need to Make a Map in Minecraft?
Just like every in-game item, maps are crafted by a combination of raw materials on a crating table. To make a map, you need one compass and eight pieces of paper. If not obtained through a chest, both of these items can be crafted using other raw materials. So, to first make paper and a compass, you need the following raw materials:
- Nine Sugar Canes
- Four Iron Ingots
- A Piece of Redstone Dust
- A Crafting Table
If you don’t know how to make a Crafting table, here’s the quick recipe. You can collect wood from any tree and form it into planks. Then, you need to place them in your crafting area to create a crafting table. We already have a detailed guide on how to make a crafting table in Minecraft, and you can find it linked right here. With the Crafting table ready, let’s now focus on the other ingredients.
How to Make a Compass in Minecraft
To make a compass, you need 4 iron ingots and a piece of Redstone dust. If you are on the Bedrock edition, you can also make a map without a compass, but more on that later. In any Minecraft world, iron can be found if you start digging straight down. You can also refer to our Minecraft 1.18 ore distribution guide for additional support.
Once you have collected iron, you can smelt the iron ores to make ingots using a blast furnace or a regular furnace. Unless you already have an iron pickaxe, this is also the time to craft one to mine Redstone dust. Refer to the following recipe to craft an iron pickaxe with ease.
Redstone isn’t as common as iron, but you can find it around lava if you are careful enough not to fall into it. Once you have both the ingredients, namely iron ingots and Redstone dust, go to your crafting table and follow this recipe:
The piece of Redstone dust has to be in the middle of the crafting area. Meanwhile, the iron ingots need to be placed on all four sides of the dust, leaving the corners empty. Once crafted, players can pick up the compass and move it to their inventory.
How to Make Paper in Minecraft
Making paper is simpler than the compass because you only need sugarcane as the ingredient. It’s fairly easy to find sugarcane near water in swamp or desert and sometimes even forest biomes. Once you have them, you need to place 3 sugar canes in a straight line in the crafting area to craft paper. You get three pieces of paper with this recipe, as shown in the screenshot below:
We need at least 8 pieces of paper to make a map in Minecraft. So, you have to collect at least 9 sugar canes. If you can’t find that many at the same time, you can even plant one and wait for it to grow tall enough. The process is similar to growing other crops in Minecraft.
How to Make a Map in Minecraft
Now that we have the ingredients we need to make a map, open the crafting table, and place the compass in the middle of the 3 x 3 crafting area. Then, place the pieces of paper in all empty slots surrounding the compass. If placed correctly, your map will be ready. You can move it to your inventory and start using it in no time.
Note that if you are on the Minecraft bedrock edition, you can make a map in Minecraft without a compass. While crafting, if you leave the slot where the compass is placed empty, the map will still be formed. However, it will have a key feature missing. The map won’t have an indicator of your current location. I personally recommend spending the effort to get a compass because maps formed without it are just a decorative item.
How to Use the Map in Minecraft
Using a map is simple. Once you have it equipped, you need to right-click or use the secondary action key to make it register a portion of the world around you. If you created the map using a compass, you can notice a white indicator that will tell you where you are on the map. The white indicator is the current location of your character on the map.
You can also equip the map in your empty hand by pressing “F” for easier usage. If you look at the size of the Minecraft worlds, the map covers only a negligibly small portion of it. So, you have to keep making new maps if you plan to explore the best Minecraft seeds to their edges. Though, some players think that map expansion is a better solution.
How to Upgrade and Expand Map Size in Minecraft
To upgrade a map, you first need to get more paper. You need 8 pieces of paper to expand the map once. If you want to go all the way to do the allowed 4-time expansion, you need 32 pieces of paper. The recipe to expand the map size in Minecraft is really simple. You need to place your existing map in the middle of the crafting area and surround it with paper pieces. That’s it.
You can repeat the process three more times to upgrade the map to its full potential. By equipping this zoomed-out version of the map, you can walk around and record a larger portion of your Minecraft world. It can be even more useful with the ability to mark locations on it and with the use of the cartography features in-game.
How to Mark Locations on a Minecraft Map
Your map is a great way to understand the geography of the Minecraft world. You can see major structures and biomes on it, but they are usually not so detailed. To make better use of the maps, you can try adding custom location marks to keep track of specific spots.
1. To mark locations on the map, you need to place banners in your Minecraft world at every location you want to mark. You only need 6 pieces of wool and a stick to make the banner. All wool pieces have to be of the same color. You can collect them by killing or rearing sheep in Minecraft.
2. To craft a banner, you need to place the woolen pieces in the top two rows of the crafting area and the wooden stick in the middle of the bottom-most row.
3. Once it’s ready, place the banner at the location you want to mark on the map. Once you do, equip the map and right-click or “use” it on the banner to register it on your map. You can take a step further by naming banners using an anvil. The names will then show up on your map too.
Maps must look a lot more useful than the empty pages they were at the beginning, right? Well, now is the time to take Minecraft maps to the next level.
What Is a Cartography Table and How It Works in Minecraft?
A comparatively recent addition to the game and similar to a crafting table, a Cartography table in Minecraft lets you combine ingredients with maps and related items to craft new items. Usually, it spawns in villages with a villager that has a Cartographer job.
Alternatively, you can also craft a Cartography table with two pieces of paper, four pieces of wood planks, and the following recipe:
Once ready, you can use the table to create, copy, expand, lock, and zoom out maps. It usually requires way fewer ingredients than a general crafting table to craft the same items. You can expand your map with a single piece of paper on a Cartography table, but it takes you 8 paper pieces on a crafting table.
You can also add map pointers or rename an existing map using this item. The cartography table only has two slots, so the recipes are easy to remember. Here are a few of the recipes from the official Minecraft wiki:
Make Your Own Map in Minecraft
With that, you have all the tools in your inventory to go out and start exploring Minecraft with maps. You can use them to explore all the Minecraft biomes without ever worrying about getting lost. But if you get lost, you can use them to find your Minecraft home easily too. With that said, it’s time for you to go ahead start making maps and recording your loots, villages, and more. Plus, if you have Minecraft with RTX, or the best shaders, don’t forget to markdown those breathtakingly beautiful sceneries too.