Minecraft Compass

Since it first appeared in Alpha 1.1.0, the compass has proven to be an easy-to-use navigating tool for Minecrafters that wandered a little too far from home. This tool allows you to find your way back to your original spawn point regardless of your current direction and distance. Compasses can be held, stored or placed in a player’s inventory. Regardless of where it is, the needle always points towards the player’s original spawn point. Even if you bind to a new location by sleeping in a bed, the compass needle will not adjust to the new spawn point. Compasses are not useful in The Nether or The End. When a compass is brought to either dimension, the needle will move around randomly and point in various directions.

While you can certainly benefit from crafting a compass, you can also gain its functionality without actually finishing the crafting combine. By placing the materials required to make a compass in a crafting grid, the player can look at the direction that the needle points in the crafting output window without actually expending the resources to make it. As compasses only require redstone and iron, this method is only useful in scenarios were resources are inaccessible or extremely limited. Players can also benefit from a similar trick by looking at the compass entry on the item statistics page.


Type: Tool
Renewable: No
Stackable: Yes (64)
Data Value (Piston)—Dec: 345, Hex: 159

Compass Crafting Square

Crafting a Compass

Name Input >> Output Description
Compass 4 Iron Ingots and 1 Redstone Dust Crafting Compass from Iron Ingots and Redstone Dust

Always points to your spawn point.
Map 8 Paper and 1 Compass Crafting Map

Used to record and find locations that you have explored. It records the areas you explore when you are holding the map in your hands.

Interesting Facts

  • The compass is currently one of two stackable tools, although there is no practical reason to do it.
  • Compasses actually point to the northwestern corner of the original black that the player’s character was first generated on.
  • Some modified servers give compasses additional functionality by allowing players to use them to travel through solid blocks.
  • If you bring it into The Nether, the needle will constantly change directions, making it useless for navigation.
  • An important thing to note is that you don’t have to actually build a compass to find what direction your spawn point is in. All you have to do is put the items required to craft it into the proper places on a crafting table and the compass in the output slot will point towards your spawn. This is a great way to save resources, but it does take some time to do.
  • A compass is quite useful because you can set the point you want it to point towards by sleeping in a bed.

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