How to Make a Water Elevator in Minecraft

Transportation in Minecraft can be excruciating due to the limited options. But it gets more tricky when you want to travel vertically. For going up, you either have to place several blocks or create items such as ladders. And while going down, you have to try hard to avoid fall damage in Minecraft, which can instantly kill you. We can’t solve the issue for your entire world, but there is a method to smoothly travel up and down in your Minecraft house or base build. You need to learn how to make a water elevator in Minecraft, and we’re here to teach you just that. It is one of the most reliable one-time investments that can significantly help you in the long run. That said, let’s get the ball rolling!

Our step-by-step tutorial to make a water elevator works on both Minecraft Java and Bedrock editions. We tested the water elevator in the latest Minecraft 1.20 update. But before moving to the primary process, we will first cover how the elevator actually works. Though, you can directly skip to the process using the table above.

How Does a Minecraft Water Elevator Work

Many blocks in Minecraft are known for creating gaseous bubbles in the game’s source water blocks. Depending upon their stream’s flow, these bubbles can move entities around within the water. So, if an entity enters a bubbling stream going upwards, the entity will automatically go upwards with the stream. The same rules also apply to downward streams.

Water Elevator in Minecraft

The water elevator in Minecraft works with this mechanic at its core. But since a single stream can’t move in two ways, you need to create two separate water elevators – one for going up and the other for traveling down.

Items Required to Make a Water Elevator

You need the following items to make a water elevator in Minecraft:

  • Two buckets of water
  • A stack of Kelp
  • Solid blocks for building (preferably Glass or Stained Glass)
  • Four wooden doors
  • Soul Sand block
  • Magma block

You can get any solid building block to make the outlet of your elevator, but most players use glass blocks for aesthetic purposes. Others prefer cobblestone because it is easily available. You can use any solid block that fits your preference. The number of blocks will depend upon the height of your elevator. That said, let’s look at how you can get the items on this list:

Get Buckets of Water

Bucket in Minecraft Recipe

Since we are making two elevators at once, you need two main water sources. For that, you have to make buckets and use them on a river, lake, or ocean to collect water. You simply need to equip the bucket and click on a water source to collect it.

Get Kelp in Minecraft

The bubble streams in Minecraft only work with source blocks of water. So, for every floor of your water elevator, you need a separate source of the water block. But before you run away collecting stacks of water buckets, there is an easy way to turn flowing water into source blocks.

Kelp in Minecraft

Placing kelp in flowing water turns that water into a source water block. For that, you have to find kelp, a common plant that grows in all oceans of Minecraft. Pieces of kelp are easy to collect as breaking each plant drops dozens of kelp at once.

Craft a Wooden Entrance Door

Crafting Recipe of Door

Doors are essential for keeping water from flowing out of the water elevator in Minecraft. You can place wooden planks on a crafting table, as shown in the recipe above, to make doors.

Collect Soul Sand And Magma Block

Magma blocks make the entities flow downwards with the stream of bubbles. Meanwhile, soul sand makes the entities and the bubbles float upwards. Both of these blocks are commonly generated in the Nether dimension of Minecraft. You can create a Nether portal to travel to this dimension to find soul sand and magma blocks.

Collect Soil Sand And Magma Block

Alternatively, you can also find magma blocks at the surface of Minecraft’s oceans. But since you are already taking a trip to the Nether, it’s better to get both soul sand and magma blocks from there.

Steps to Make an Elevator in Minecraft

Follow the steps below to make an upwards or downwards water elevator in Minecraft:

  1. First, create three towers of glass (or any other solid block) around a single block, leaving its fourth side empty. These glass towers should be as high as you want your elevator to be.
Three Glass Towers in Minecraft

2. Then, in the place of the fourth tower, create a small doorway-like structure (see image below) and add a door at the entry to keep the water inside the elevator.

Entry to Elevator in Minecraft

3. To finish the water elevator’s structure in Minecraft, create the fourth tower right above the doorway.

Glass tower in Minecraft

4. Now that the “elevator” part of the water elevator is complete, it’s time to add water. For that, go to the top of the structure and use the bucket of water to place a block of water inside the elevator. It will automatically go down to the bottom of the elevator.

Place water in water elevator  - How to Make a Water Elevator in Minecraft

5. Next, you need to place kelp inside the elevator to turn flowing water into water source blocks. Start from the bottom and create a kelp tower by placing one kelp piece on top of another.

Place kelp in Water tower

6. Finally, break the bottom-most piece of kelp to make the whole kelp structure crumple, leaving behind independent water source blocks.

How to Make a Water Elevator in Minecraft

How to Use Minecraft Water Elevator

With everything in place, you simply need to place a soul sand or magma block at the bottom to make the elevator functional. Here’s how to go about it:

Create Upwards Elevator (Soul Sand)

 - How to Make a Water Elevator in Minecraft

If you place a soul sand block at the bottom of the water elevator in Minecraft, it will start an upwards stream of bubbles. Any entity, including players, mobs, and items that enter the flow of bubbles, will be immediately pushed to the top of the water elevator. Once at the top, you can get off the water flow and onto the top glass block. You can also choose to create a platform at the top to make your landing smoother and navigation easier.

Create Downwards Elevator (Magma)

 - How to Make a Water Elevator in Minecraft

To reverse the flow of bubbles, you have to place a magma block at the bottom of the water elevator in Minecraft. It pulls water down, and the entities in the water flow towards itself. You can keep changing the blocks at the bottom to switch the functionality of your elevator, but we suggest making two separate elevators.

Make Double Elevators in Minecraft

Make Double Elevators - How to Make a Water Elevator in Minecraft

If you don’t want two separate elevators, you can also expand a single elevator to include two water channels. To do that, you must make your water elevator two blocks wide. Then place a magma block and a soul sand block at its bottom. You can jump into the magma bubbles to go down and into the soul sand bubbles to go up.

Uses of Water Elevator in Minecraft

You can use a water elevator in Minecraft for the following purposes:

  • To travel vertically around a Minecraft base.
  • For transporting items and mobs in Minecraft farms.
  • To trap mobs or other players in complex flows.

We already have a guide on how to create a mob XP farm in Minecraft. It’s the perfect structure to include a water elevator.

You are now ready to create your own upwards and downwards water elevator in Minecraft. And if you don’t feel the need for an elevator, it’s time to upgrade your base using some of the best Minecraft house ideas to fit in the elevator. Though, some of the best Minecraft mods can provide you with even better alternatives. But until you figure them out, do you have a plan to improve water elevators? Tell us in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you still make water elevators in Minecraft?

Yes, you can and players do it very frequently, as they help you achieve your goals more easily.

What block makes the water elevator go up in Minecraft?

As mentioned in the text above, it’s the soul sand block. Magma blocks are the ones making the water elevators go down.

How to make a water elevator in Minecraft with magma blocks up?

If you place magma blocks above the water sources, it won’t pull you up. It just works if you have water sources above the magma block. For making a functional downwards water elevator in Minecraft, read the Create Downwards Elevator (Magma) section in this article.

How do you make a water elevator without kelp in Minecraft?

Kelp only turns flowing water into water sources. So, any other way that lets you place water sources will work just fine. You can fill buckets with water and place every individual water source in the water column or you can place ice blocks and then break them.

comment Comments 1
  • Shagzter says:

    For a more minimalist water elevator, you can get away with just 2 columns of glass, diagonally with the water between them. Think of a phone keypad, – the water column at 5, and glass at 1 and 9, or 3 and 7. You can then coat the two glass surfaces closest to the water column on each glass column with glow lichen (if glass is 3 and 7, put lichen at 2 and 6 on 3, and at 4 and 8 on 7). This stops the water from leaving the column, but has no hotbox, so it literally doesn’t get in your way at all.
    Get a tonne of bonemeal using a composter and your farm, collect lichen with shears, place it on your glass, feed it with bone meal to spread it, and place your water when you’re done. You may need a temporary block at the top to place your water against.

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