How to Make TNT in Minecraft (2024 Guide)

Minecraft is full of iconic blocks, mobs, and features that define this sandbox game. Among them, we have grass blocks, cobblestone, torch, creepers, and other blocks. But we can safely (no pun intended) include one more block in this category, and that’s a TNT block. It has been used for a long time and is quite relevant to the gameplay. Moreover, TNT gives players more options when it comes to dealing with certain challenges, combat, and pranking their server mates. In this guide, we are covering how to make and get TNT, and basically, everything you need to know about this explosive block in Minecraft.

What is TNT in Minecraft

Pile of TNT blocks in Minecraft

TNT is a block that can be primed (or activated), which then leads to an explosion. It is an unbelievably functional block, that is even necessary in some instances in the game. Since this block causes explosions that are harmful to the player, other mobs, and environment around them, TNT can also be rather dangerous.

However, TNT is one of the blocks you want to have in your storage system. If you want to jump straight into the properties of TNT, check out the last section of this article.

How to Make TNT in Minecraft (Crafting Recipe)

You can obtain TNT in two different ways – you can either craft it or find it naturally generated in your Minecraft world. We will learn the crafting recipe of TNT in this section. It’s not a cheap block to craft in Minecraft. To have TNT in bulk, you will need a large amount of crafting ingredients, including gunpowder and sand. That said, let’s look at the steps to craft TNT in Minecraft:

Step 1: Find Gunpowder

Creeper and gunpowder items

Gunpowder is an item dropped by certain Minecraft mobs, creepers, ghasts, and witches. You can also find gunpowder in loot chests in structures such as desert temples, shipwrecks, dungeons, and woodland mansions. It’s also useful in other cases, such as crafting fireworks and brewing potions in Minecraft.

The best way to get lots of gunpowder is using a mob farm, or more specifically, a creeper farm, so feel free to check out the linked guides. A creeper will drop 0-2 gunpowder when killed.

Step 2: Travel to a Desert or Beach

Desert biome

Regular sand is an abundant resource in desert and beach biomes in Minecraft, whereas red sand covers the surface of badlands biomes. Furthermore, sand is smeltable, and it produces glass blocks, which can then be turned into glass panes and traded with the cartographer’s villager job. It’s a good idea to collect sand in large quantities using shulker boxes, as it’s useful for making TNT as well.

Step 3: TNT Crafting Recipe

Once you have gathered enough gunpowder and sand blocks, follow the steps below to craft TNT in Minecraft.

1. First, make a crafting table in Minecraft and place it on the ground.

Crafting Table in Minecraft

2. Then, right-click on the crafting table to access it and start crafting items.

3. Now, you first need to place five pieces of gunpowder in an X-shape in the crafting grid.

4. Then, fill in the remaining cells with four sand blocks (regular or red). Place them in a crafting table in the configuration shown in the picture below.

Crafting recipe for a TNT block

How to Find TNT Naturally in Minecraft

TNT blocks generate as an item in loot chests in desert temples, shipwrecks, and buried treasure chests in Minecraft. TNT blocks can also be found as part of these particular structures in Minecraft. Those are desert temples (9 TNT blocks in the secret chamber underneath the pressure plate) and woodland mansions (fake end portal secret room). You can instantly mine the TNT blocks without a tool.

Secret chamber in a desert temple with TNT

How to Activate TNT Block in Minecraft

The TNT block can be activated (or primed) with a redstone signal, fire, flaming projectile, explosion, or when placed by a dispenser. We have explained all of these right here:

  • Redstone Signal: Priming a TNT block can be achieved by placing a redstone power source adjacent to TNT or powering the block attached to TNT.
TNT detonated with a redstone signal
  • Use Fire to Make it Explode: Using a flint and steel or fire charge on a TNT block will cause it to catch on fire and then be ready to explode. Also, nearby lava can spread the fire and activate the TNT.
TNT detonated with a flint and steel
  • Flaming Projectile: This method implies you have to use a bow with a flame Minecraft enchantment, which will turn all the fired arrows into flaming ones. Additionally, a regular arrow can become the flaming one if it travels through lava or fire. Shooting a TNT block with this arrow will prime it while you are at a safe distance. Blaze and dispenser fireballs also help you activate TNT blocks in Minecraft.
TNT detonated with a flaming arrow
  • Explosion: TNT will get primed because of an explosion occurring due to a regular or charged creeper, end crystal, Wither attacks, interacting with beds in the Nether or the End dimensions, interacting with respawn anchors in the Overworld, ghasts’ fireballs or other TNT blocks. You can create large chained explosions with this method.
TNT detonated due to a nearby explosion
  • Dispenser: When a dispenser places a TNT block, it will automatically and instantly get primed. This method saves the durability of a flame bow or flint and steel, though you’ll still need to create a redstone signal.
Detonated TNT placed by a dispenser
  • Primed TNT Behavior: Primed and unprimed TNT blocks behave differently, and we have explained the mechanics here.

When you place a TNT block in your world, it functions like most other blocks. It has a hitbox and is not gravity-affected. However, when you prime it, the TNT block behaves like an entity. It doesn’t have a hitbox anymore and is gravity-affected, just like regular and suspicious sand and gravel blocks. Primed TNT cannot be broken, but it can be removed with the kill command.

/kill @e[type=minecraft:tnt]

A few seconds after priming a TNT block, an explosion will occur. It creates a crater in the terrain around it, breaking blocks and dropping all destroyed blocks as item entities.

Common Properties of TNT in Minecraft

TNT is quite an interesting block with its own unique features. Here are all the properties of TNT in Minecraft.

TNT & Water Interaction

Unlike a regular explosion with terrain and block destruction, TNT behaves differently in water. When activated TNT is in water, all the damage to surrounding blocks will be negated. It will cause no destruction this way.

Moreover, all the blocks in water will be preserved even if the activated TNT is placed on land. So, do make sure to place the TNT block in water if you don’t want to damage any builds. However, keep in mind that it only goes for the damage to blocks, not mobs or players.

Blast Radius of TNT

Different explosion types' blast radius
Explosions caused by a creeper (left), TNT (center) and charged creeper (right).

A regular TNT block usually destroys an area of 2-5 blocks in each direction. This depends on the location of the TNT block and also the blast resistance of surrounding blocks. Check out the blast resistance section below to learn more about it. The image below represents the blast radius from three different explosions.

How Much Damage Does TNT Deal

With no armor, TNT explosions are fatal, no matter the difficulty you are playing on. Furthermore, players take no damage from TNT explosions in peaceful mode. The following table shows how the difficulty and armor affect the damage from TNT block explosions at the minimum distance.

Unenchanted ArmorResult depending on the difficulty
Leather ArmorExplosion causes death in all difficulties.
Iron ArmorExplosion causes death in all difficulties.
Gold ArmorResult depends on the difficulty
Diamond ArmorExplosion leaves you at a few hearts on easy difficulty and causes death on all other difficulties.
Netherite ArmorExplosion leaves you at a few hearts on easy difficulty and causes death on all other difficulties.

What is Blast Resistance?

Blast resistance is a behind-the-scenes value that determines how difficult it is to explode a certain block. If a blast resistance is high, an explosion will either hardly break that block or not break it at all. If it’s low, the block will easily break due to an explosion. The table below shows the TNT blast resistance of some common blocks in Minecraft.

BlockBlast Resistance
Stone/Cobblestone/Cobbled Deepslate6

The highest blast resistance in survival Minecraft has blocks like Bedrock and end portal blocks. They will never explode, no matter how strong the explosion is. Blocks with low blast resistance, such as netherrack, dirt, or sandstone, don’t only explode easily and quickly but are insta minable with a suitable tool. A common block that can be obtained but not blown up by explosions is obsidian. So, it’s useful to have it on hand when making some farms.

Does TNT destroy items in Minecraft?

Yeah, the TNT block in Minecraft is quite destructive, and similarly to lava, its explosions will completely delete item entities.

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