The ultimate guide to Minecraft redstone and logic gates

Minecraft is a game in which players can let their creative ideas flow. While many blocks let you build cool things, some players with a knack for technology wanted more. That's where Redstone comes in.

Redstone is essentially a Minecraft equivalent of electricity that allows players to build useful and clever contraptions. From automated farms to automatic doors, Redstone enables it all. It's a bit like building what real engineers do but on a smaller scale.

In this guide, we walk you through everything you need to know about Minecraft Redstone, how to obtain it, its components, and some basic logic gates that every Minecraft player should know about.

How to get Redstone

You can find Redstone deep underground, typically between Y-levels 8 to -64. When mined, each Redstone ore drops approximately 4-5 Redstone dust. But if you're using a Fortune III enchanted pickaxe, it can increase the yield. 

To obtain Redstone from its ore, you must use either an iron or diamond pickaxe.

When you're mining underground and come across large veins of Redstone, you can quickly fill up your inventory. To reduce the load on your inventory, you can combine 9 Redstone dust into a single Redstone block to condense it. When you get back up to the surface or whenever you want to use the Redstone dust, you can put the Redstone block back into your crafting grid and convert it back into 9 Redstone dust.

You can also get Redstone dust by trading with the Minecraft villagers with the Cleric occupation. If you are ever wandering around the swamps and come across a Witch, she can also drop some Redstone.

A novice Cleric always sells Redstone dust.

Redstone Components

Minecraft has a variety of Redstone components, each with a unique functionality of its own. Some Redstone components act like power sources, and others are activated using these power sources. Some of these components emit a strong signal, and some emit a lower signal. The strongest signal can light up Redstone dust spanning across 15 blocks.

After the 15-block limit, you will need to add a repeater to extend the signal. You can think of repeaters as extension leads, extending your signal by another 15 blocks. More on these components below.

Redstone Dust

Redstone Dust is the purest form of Redstone and can be placed on the ground to create a Redstone wire. This Redstone wire is used to transfer signals from one Redstone source to another. You can use power sources such as a a Redstone torch, a button, a lever, or a Redstone block to send power through the Redstone dust.

Powered Redstone (left) and unpowered Redstone (right).

Redstone Torches

Redstone torches are the most basic Redstone craftable item you can create. You craft them the same way as a regular torch, except you use Redstone dust instead of the coal or charcoal above the stick in a crafting grid.

One stick and a Redstone dust creates one Redstone torch.

Redstone torches can emit power to up to 15 blocks of adjacent Redstone dust. These torches can also activate components beside them or directly above them.

They never power the block you place them on.

Redstone Blocks

As mentioned earlier, you can place nine Redstone dust into your crafting table grid and combine them to create a single Redstone block. The block also emits a signal strength of 15 blocks. If you place any other Redstone component beside it, it will activate that block.

9 Redstone dust crafts one Redstone block.
Crafted Redstone block.


Whenever you place down Redstone dust and it reaches the 15-block signal limit, you can extend it by using a repeater. These handy devices stretch the signal by another 15 blocks.

two Redstone torch, one Redstone dust and three stone blocks. You can create stone by burning cobblestone in the furnace.

Repeaters are also fantastic for introducing delays to your signals. A simple right-click on the repeater adds a single-tick delay, and you can stack up to four tick delays. Upon placement, a repeater has a default one-tick delay.

You'll notice the signal weakening as the red glow dims toward the end. But when the signal is renewed, it shines brightly once more.


A Redstone comparator is a block that can read chests, lecterns, beehives, barrels, and similar blocks and produce an output signal from its front. It can also repeat a signal without changing its strength. It has two distinct modes: normal and subtract.

Comparator can be crafted using three Redstone torches, one nether quartz, and three stone blocks. Nether quartz can be mined from the Nether.

In the normal mode, if the signal from the side is stronger than the signal being fed into its back, there will be no output signal.

This state is indicated by the front light of the comparator turning off.

In the subtraction mode, the signal coming from the side is subtracted from the signal originating at its back. This results in an output signal that reflects the outcome of the subtraction.

And the resulting signal will pass through which is indicated by the front light turning on.


Levers serve as devices capable of transmitting a Redstone signal across a maximum distance of 15 blocks. They can be toggled, causing them to emit a continuous signal to any connected Redstone components.

Lever is easily crafted with readily available components such as a cobblestone and one stick.

This signal persists for an extended duration until the lever is switched back to its original position, effectively discontinuing the signal transmission.

Lever providing power to the Redstone dust next to it.


Buttons function in a manner similar to levers. But they only possess the capability to send a momentary pulse of signal up to a distance of 15 blocks.

These buttons can be crafted from materials like wood or stone.
The button sends the power through the block it is placed on.

Pressure Plates

Pressure plates are sensitive mechanisms that can be crafted from either stone or wood. When stepped on by players or mobs, they emit a signal that travels up to 15 blocks. These plates can trigger blocks positioned directly beneath them as well.

You can also use planks to create wooden pressure plates, as mentioned before.

It's worth noting that pressure plates can also be activated when items are dropped onto them.

This dynamic feature adds to their utility in various Redstone contraptions.

Weighted Pressure Plates

Weighted pressure plates provide an interesting twist to the standard pressure plates. Crafted from either iron or gold, these plates function similarly to their regular counterparts but require a specific number of entities to activate. The strength of the signal they emit also varies based on the number of entities placed on them.

Iron ingot or gold ingot can be used to craft weighted pressure plates.

For heavy weighted pressure plates (crafted with iron), you'll need a minimum of 141 entities (equivalent to 2 stacks of 64 plus 13) on top of the plate to trigger a signal that travels up to 15 blocks. On the other hand, light weighted pressure plates (crafted with gold) demand a minimum of 15 entities to produce a signal of the same range.

Dropping one Redstone dust doesn't activate the pressure plate.
After placing a few more, the pressure plate is activated sending power to the Redstone lamp through the Redstone dust.

Notably, the gold plates maintain a 1:1 ratio, making them more valuable in terms of signal activation efficiency compared to their iron counterparts.


Creating tripwires is a simple process that involves using tripwire hooks and strings. By placing two tripwire hooks on opposite sides and connecting them with a string, you establish a functional tripwire circuit. When a player or a mob interacts with the tripwire, it emits a signal that can travel up to 15 blocks.

You just need a plank, a stick and one iron ingot.
Two Tripwire hooks connected to each other with a string.

Daylight Detectors

Daylight detectors in Minecraft function similarly to solar panels, responding to the changing daylight conditions.

You need three glass blocks, three nether quartz, and three wood slabs.

These detectors send out signals according to the time of day. The signal strength peaks at 15 blocks around noon and gradually decreases to zero as the sun sets.

Daylight detector sending a full signal of 15 blocks at noon.
The detector stops working at night time.

Interestingly, you can transform a daylight detector into a night detector by right-clicking on it. In this mode, it emits signals during nighttime hours.

While it detects darkness, its maximum signal output is 11 blocks, occurring at midnight.


The piston stands as a fundamental Redstone component in Minecraft. Within the piston category, two types exist: Normal Pistons and Sticky Pistons. Pistons, when powered, extend by a single block.

Regular piston recipe.
This extension capability allows for the movement of items or entities over a single block.

But if you want to push and pull a block, getting a sticky piston is imperative. This variant adheres to adjacent blocks, enabling it to shift them forward during extension and return them to their initial position when retracted.

You just have to place a single slime ball on top of an already crafted regular piston to convert it into a sticky piston.


Droppers are quite simple to understand. They do exactly what their name suggests: when you activate them with a Redstone signal, they drop an item. But here's the clever part – if you position a chest right next to the dropper, the dropped item goes right into the chest instead of falling to the ground. It's a handy way to manage items with Redstone mechanics.

You need some cobblestone and a Redstone dust to create a dropper.
The dropper will drop whatever it has inside of it upon receiving power.


Dispensers work like droppers in terms of releasing items when a Redstone signal is sent to them. However, they have a unique ability – they activate items as they're dispensed.

Add a bow in the middle of the Dropper recipe and you get a Dispenser.

For example, if you load an arrow into a dispenser, it won't simply drop the arrow. Instead, it will shoot the arrow, dealing damage to players or mobs.

This functionality extends to other throwable items like splash potions, equipable armor, buckets of lava or water, and more.


The Observer block is a handy component that watches for changes on a block placed right in front of it. When it detects a change, it sends a quick signal pulse that can travel up to 15 blocks, much like a button's signal.

You need two Redstone dust, one nether quartz, and six cobblestone blocks to craft an Observer.

This block proves especially useful in automating tasks, like in a sugar cane farm. By placing an Observer at the tallest height a sugar cane can grow, it can detect when the cane reaches that point and trigger a piston to harvest it from below.

The signal sent from the Observer block when we used bone meal to grow the seeds directly behind the Observer block.

Beyond this, the Observer can identify a range of events, including when other components are powered or turned off, crop growth (as explained in the sugar cane farm example), block movements, and more.


Hoppers act like funnels and are essential components for all things related to Redstone in today's Minecraft. Whether you're setting up automated item sorting storage or creating an automated farm, hoppers are your go-to tool.

You need a single chest in the middle with five iron ingot creating a funnel shape around the chest.

When you place an item into a hopper, it gets pulled toward the direction its open end is facing. If the hopper is connected to a chest, the item is deposited inside. However, if the open end is facing a solid block or a wall, the item remains trapped inside the hopper until it's accessed or the hopper is broken.

You can even keep items within a hopper by applying a Redstone signal to it.

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Hassan Sajid

Hassan Sajid // Articles: 694

Gaming has been a part of Hassan’s life for as long as he can remember, and he has an excellent grasp of all types of games. Hassan is best known for his the in-depth written and video guides that he produces for Xfire. He graduated with a degree in engineering from the National University Science & Technology (formerly known as Caledonian College of Engineering). The research and technical writing skills he earned throughout his time in the university have allowed him to contribute to the gaming community by creating guides. Find Hassan on LinkedIn or find him gaming on Steam.
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