Minecraft Copper Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Copper block and item family is one of the biggest and most diverse in all of Minecraft. They have various textures, purposes and complex mechanics that make them stand out from all other blocks. Today, we’ll be taking a look at all the copper blocks and items present in Minecraft and explaining how you can get them as well as how they behave.

All Copper Items and Blocks in Minecraft

Let’s start by first focusing on all the copper items and blocks in the game, as well as how you can find, obtain, or make them.

1. Copper Ores

Copper is generated naturally in the form of ores, like other precious materials. You’ll come across regular copper ore and far rarely, deepslate copper ore. These ores generate anywhere between Y levels -16 and 112, being the most frequent around Y level 47 and 48.

In most biomes, copper appears in decently sized ore blobs, but in the dripstone caves, these blobs are much larger and more frequent.

Regular copper ores replace stone and its variants, whereas deepslate copper ores replace deeplsate and even tuff blocks – but only on the Java edition. So, deeplsate copper ores can generate in the deeplsate layers, which start appearing around Y level 5 and go all the way to Y level -16.

Regular and deeplate copper ore in Minecraft

It’s even possible to find a huge copper ore vein above Y level 0. In these special terrain features, copper ores and granite blocks create a huge spiraling system with a ton of ores at your disposal. You’ll even occasionally find a unique copper block, which we mention in the next section.

To mine the copper ores successfully, you should use at least a stone tier pickaxe. With a silk touch Minecraft enchantment, the ores will drop themselves in item form, allowing you to move them to a different location.

2. Raw Copper

Raw copper blocks and items

If you break copper ores without silk touch, they’ll drop up to 5 raw copper. However, mining the ores with fortune, one of the best enchantments, you can get up to 20 raw copper with the highest level of this enchantment.

Raw copper items can be smelted or turned into a raw copper block. This block requires 9 pieces of raw copper and can be broken down into its ingredients or used as decoration.

Crafting recipe for raw copper blocks

3. Copper Ingot

After you smelt raw copper items in a furnace or blast furnace, you will get copper ingots. Smelting copper ores directly also yields copper ingots, but it’s not at all recommended as you’re limiting the outcome from the ores to only one ingot.

Smelting of raw copper and turning them into copper ingots

Copper ingots are processed copper items that are most frequently used. They are part of numerous crafting recipes and are even a smithing ingredient used to make armor trims. An alternative way of acquiring these ingots is through killing drowned zombie variants.

4. Block of Copper

Block of copper can be crafted with 9 copper ingots completely filling the crafting table‘s grid. It is a storage block, as you can easily break it down into copper ingots. Other than that, its primary use is as a building block that slowly oxidizes over time, changing its color.

The oxidation is a rather unique mechanic that we’ll be covering later in this article. Copper block is also a crafting ingredient for cut copper blocks.

5. Cut Copper Blocks

Cut copper blocks in Minecraft

Cut copper blocks include full cut copper blocks, cut copper stairs, and cut copper slabs. You can craft full cut copper blocks using four regular copper blocks. Then, you can craft stairs and slabs from the full cut copper blocks in the crafting grid.

  • Cut copper recipe
  • Cut copper slab recipe
  • Cut copper stair recipe

However, the more efficient way of making these blocks is with a stonecutter. By placing one copper block or one cut copper block in the input slot of the stonecutter, you can get a much better deal. So, feel free to follow our linked guide and make use of this amazingly useful utility block. Also, do keep in mind that these blocks cannot be crafted back into copper ingots.

  • Cut copper stonecutter recipe
  • Cut copper slab stonecutter recipe
  • Cut copper slab stonecutter recipe using full copper blocks
  • Cut copper stair stonecutter recipe
  • Cut copper stair stonecutter recipe using full copper blocks

6. Chiseled Copper

Chiseled copper is a cool-looking building copper block. It has a distinct “X” mark on the textures with a square in the center. You may craft it by placing two cut copper slabs vertically attached.

Chiseled copper block in Minecraft

But it’s better to use a stonecutter for crafting the chiseled copper. Placing a copper block inside the stonecutter will convert it to 4 chiseled copper, as well as 8 cut copper slabs. So, the ratio is the same as crafting, but you’d be wasting a lot more copper just crafting cut copper slabs in the first place.

7. Copper Door and Trapdoor

Yes, you read that right. There are copper doors and copper trapdoors present in the game. The upper part of the doors is see-through with an “X” design. The bottom part is chiseled and includes a massive door handle, which makes the door look great as an entrance to a player-made dungeon build.

The trapdoor is similar to the top of the door, and the square in the center is transparent as well. Although these blocks are technically made out of metal, they do not behave like the iron door and trapdoor, but like ordinary wooden variants. This makes them easily openable and closable just by right-clicking them.

These blocks are crafted with copper ingots in the crafting table. Fill two adjacent rows with copper ingots to make trapdoors and two adjacent columns to make doors, as shown in the images below. Also, there is no way to make these two blocks in the stonecutter.

8. Copper Grate

Copper grate is a see-through decorative copper block that kind of behaves like glass blocks. It is not a solid block, so mobs cannot suffocate in it, nor can hostile mobs spawn on top of it.

Furthermore, the copper grate texture has tiny holes all over it, signifying that it lets light through completely. Because of all these properties, grates are unable to conduct redstone power.

Copper grate placed in the world

You can craft four copper grates by placing four copper blocks in a diamond shape in the 3 x 3 crafting grid. But to stay on brand with almost all other copper blocks, it’s much better to use a stonecutter for the same. It’ll consume only one copper block and grant you 4 copper grate blocks in return.

9. Copper Bulb

The copper bulb is one of the most special copper blocks from the Minecraft 1.21 update. It is not only a great-looking building block but is also a redstone component and a light source block. It emits different light levels depending on the oxidation stage it’s at (explained below).

Moreover, you need power to activate and disable the copper bulb. So, placing a lever on top and activating it will turn on the bulb. But, deactivating the lever will not turn off the bulb, but powering it again will.

When the bulb is receiving constant redstone power, it’ll display a red dot in the center of its texture. All of the state changes can easily be detected by an observer, which has lots of game-changing uses in the redstone side of Minecraft.

Activating and deactivating a copper bulb

You can craft the copper bulb using three copper blocks, one blaze rod, and one redstone dust. This recipe will yield at least four copper bulbs. Unfortunately, similarly to the copper door and trapdoor, there is no recipe for the copper bulb inside the stonecutter, so our only option is to craft them.

The crafting recipe of a copper bulb in Minecraft 1.21

How Oxidation of Copper Blocks Works?

The most special feature of copper block variants is the oxidation process. These blocks will slowly start changing the color from orange to green. There are four stages of oxidation for copper blocks:

  • First Stage: Block of Copper (regular orange copper block)
  • Second Stage: Exposed Copper (block with greenish spots on it but is still mostly orange)
  • Third Stage: Weathered Copper (block that already oxidized decently and is more green than orange)
  • Fourth Stage: Oxidized Copper (oxidized block that’s fully green)

Every single type of copper block, including regular copper blocks, cut copper blocks, copper grates, chiseled copper, copper trapdoor, copper door, and copper bulbs, all oxidize over time. So, the four stages listed above apply to all of them.

Therefore, the copper block family is one of the biggest in the entire game. Moreover, the oxidation process is only determined by the random tick speed, just like saplings and other natural blocks like cactus.

Different stages of copper blocks

In Java edition, the oxidation of copper blocks is far slower when these blocks are grouped together. This has to do with the technical way the game calculates the distance between these blocks. Placing copper blocks at least 4 blocks apart will speed up this process significantly.

Therefore, if you’re planning on using only fully oxidized copper blocks, spreading the non-oxidized blocks out is the fastest way of turning them green. Moreover, when the copper block reaches the final stage, it cannot oxidize any further.

Spread out copper blocks and grouped up copper blocks

However, what if you don’t want the exposed copper block to oxidize and you’d like it to keep its current stage? Thankfully, this is very much possible, thanks to wax.

Waxing and Scraping Copper in Minecraft

By right-clicking any copper block with a honeycomb selected, you can apply wax to it. This is going to stop the copper block from oxidizing any further, completely locking its stage.

Waxing a copper block with honeycomb

You are free to break and pick the block up and its name will be updated with the “waxed” prefix. You can also craft a waxed copper block by simply combining the copper block and a honeycomb on the crafting table. This will definitely save some time, especially if you are working on a house build containing waxed copper.

Crafting a waxed copper block

On the other hand, what if you have an oxidized copper block and you’d like to use the first stage of that block? Well, that’s where scraping mechanics come into play. If you right-click a copper block with an axe, it’ll go back one stage, unless it’s already on the first stage. Essentially, this allows you to get any stage that you want with an axe and a fully oxidized copper block.

Reverting the stage of a copper block with an axe

If the copper block was first waxed and then scraped with an axe, the wax gets removed, instead of the copper block going back one stage. This way, you can continue aging a copper block even if you accidentally waxed it. Both putting and removing wax on copper will grant you a separate Minecraft advancement.

Taking wax off of a copper block with an axe

In addition, if lightning strikes a non-waxed copper block in one of the last three stages, it’ll convert directly to the first stage. This also affects any nearby non-waxed copper blocks, deoxidizing them randomly.

Best Uses of Copper Items and Blocks

Now that you’ve learned the basics about copper, it’s time to go over the functions of copper items and blocks. Copper ingots are part of several crafting recipes in the game. Those include a brush, lightning rod, and spyglass.

1. Craft a Brush

Brush is an archeology tool that you can use to unearth hidden items inside suspicious sand and suspicious gravel blocks.

For crafting a brush, you’ll need one copper ingot, one stick, and one feather. Place a feather in any slot in the top row of the crafting table. Then, place a copper ingot below the feather and the stick below the ingot. And you’ve got yourself a brush.

Crafting recipe for a brush

2. Craft a Lightning Rod

Lightning rod is a block that attracts lightning strikes when placed in the Minecraft world. It will keep your builds, villagers, and aging copper safe during thunderstorms in-game.

To make it, fill any column of the crafting grid with copper ingots, and you’ll be able to make one lightning rod.

Crafting recipe for a lightning rod

3. Make a Spyglass

Spyglass is an item that players can hold and right-click with to zoom in to look at farther places. To make it, place one amethyst shard in any slot of the top row of the crafting table’s grid. Then, place a copper ingot below the shard and one more ingot below the first ingot.

Crafting recipe for a spyglass

4. Used in Armor Trims

Copper ingots are also used as an orange color option while trimming your armor with a smithing table. Add a piece of armor, one copper ingot, and an armor trim of your choice in the mentioned utility block. You can see the preview of the trim and the chosen color on the right.

Applying an armor trim to a piece of armor with a copper ingot

5. Light Source

As we mentioned in the previous section, copper bulbs are also light-emitting blocks in the game. The light level they release depends on the stage of oxidation. For easier understanding, we have listed the exact values below:

  • No oxidation (fully orange): light level 15
  • Exposed version (mostly orange with green spots): light level 12
  • Weathered copper bulb (mostly green with orange spots): light level 8
  • Oxidized copper bulb (fully green): light level 4
Copper bulbs emitting different light levels depending on their oxidation stages

As you can notice, the more the copper bulb is oxidized, the dimmer light it’ll provide. However, you can affect this by scraping the bulb to revert it to previous light stages. To preserve its light level, you can wax the copper bulb with honeycomb.

6. Build Better Bases

The main reason players spend so much time and resources gathering raw copper and then smelting it into ingots is so they can make copper blocks. Thanks to the oxidation mechanics, these blocks are more special than most other block families.

You may wax the copper blocks so they keep the stage and color before you use them in a build. Or, you can skip that process and watch your build slowly turning green over time, giving it a medieval vibe.

This can be a great reminder of how long you’ve been in that world. Moreover, sometimes using all four stages might be the perfect solution for you. This way, you can make an insanely cool gradient, since these blocks were kind of made with that in mind. Opportunities are endless with copper, so boredom is not an option.

And with that, now you know everything about copper items, blocks, and mechanics. Thanks to the Minecraft 1.21 update, we received so many more copper blocks, which makes this block family one of the biggest if not the biggest in the game. So, what’s your favorite copper block? Does the oxidation feature blow your mind? Tell us in the comments below!

Is iron better than copper?

There are no copper tools or weapons in the game and iron is used in a lot more recipes than copper is. So because of that, iron is more valuable than copper.

Can you farm copper?

Yes, you can make a copper farm. The community has come up with various drowned farm designs that also produce copper. You can check out ianxofour’s copper farm, which is not just incredibly simple but also highly efficient.

Does copper age in the Nether?

Yes, the copper does age in the Nether dimension. The warm environment of the Nether does not stop copper blocks from aging, nor does the rain or water speed it up in the Overworld.

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