Minecraft, quite possibly the most impactful game to come from the 2010s, is heavily centered around player creativity in construction, as well as exploration, both above ground and deep underground. Unfortunately, tethered to every survival world is the inevitable grind of resource gathering and farming.
Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to worry about needing to manually harvest your crops or hunt enemies for their drops, but instead you woke up every morning to chests upon chests of food and items? Well, you can, and it's much easier than you think! This list will cover completely automated farms, with screenshots you can replicate in your own world, to take some of the weight of the grind off your shoulders.
Updated on February 14th, 2021 by Anastasia Maillot: With every update, new resources and redstone mechanics are introduced into the game. This creates a need for players to farm them, especially when older resources become even more relevant. For instance, as of late, the 1.16 Nether update actually gave some utility for gold, which allows players to trade with Piglins for valuable and rare items.
With this in mind, there are even more farms and automated builds that players are encouraged to make to get the most out of their Minecraft world. While some will be easy to make, others require a bit more redstone knowledge, as well as time and effort to create.
15 Gold Farm
One of the big staples since the 1.16 update is a gold farm. Now, these are generally massive farms which are considered a bit more endgame, but there are ways to make smaller and less intense versions of them. The most ideal way to make one is to get into the Nether roof, an area which can be glitched into with an Ender Pearl.
Gold farms will have a turtle egg trapped in the middle, which will aggressively pull Zombie Pigmen towards it, only to have them killed. Since Zombie Pigmen drop gold, this is a fantastic way to farm a relatively rare ore quickly. The process is automated thanks to hoppers and chests. For a great full tutorial, check out LogicalGeekBoy's version.
14 Wheat Farm
Any type of food will be a necessity for beginning players, and this automated machine also works for carrots and potatoes. It can be used for beetroot as well, but will require more bone meal to fully grow it. This micro-farm basically uses observer blocks and dispensers filled with bone meal to quickly grow a bunch of food for the player.
Wheat especially is the ideal choice since it feeds cows and sheep, which are both better farm animals than pigs due to their additional drops of leather and wool. Leather is something every player will need anyway at the beginning in order to build an enchantment set up with full 15 bookshelves around the enchanting table. For a handy tutorial, check out T2 Studios' design.
13 Cow Farm
Speaking of cows, they really are the best mob to farm in the game due to their sheer utility. Cows not only provide steak, which has one of the best hunger saturations in the game, but they also drop leather used for books, armor and item frames. Moreover, milk is a powerful tool when it comes to removing adverse status effects quickly.
An automated cow farm is really quite simple, and will require an observer as well as some dispensers, lava and hoppers. It takes very little space as well, and allows you to quickly and easily breed the cows, then wait approximately ten minutes before cooking them with lava. 2ManySkillz has the perfect tutorial on this farm.
12 Iron Farm
An iron farm is definitely considered more of a late-game build since the need for iron actually rises significantly after the player has successfully gathered plenty of diamonds. Unlike diamonds, iron can't be mined with a Fortune III pickaxe, which means getting iron from caves can feel like a drag. Luckily, there's a workaround for players who don't mind a bit of building.
The iron farm uses villager mechanics to spawn iron golems in a certain vicinity. The golems will then be dropped down a shaft into some lava, and the iron is transferred into chests through hoppers. Iron golems are a solid source for emergency iron and frequently used by speedrunners, which is why this is a great strategy. Check out this design by Voltrox.
11 Villager Farm
Now that AFK fishing no longer gives players enchanted books, it's even more important to set up a good villager farm in a survival world to secure those coveted Mending books. However, farming villagers for trades is one of the trickiest tasks in the game and is pretty difficult to automate, which is why many designs require some degree of interaction from the player.
The part that's automated about this farm is the breeding, which will be the player's main concern anyway. After that, it's up to you how you handle your villagers. The farm involves creating a separate farm, from which only baby villagers will be able to escape through a shaft with water. As they grow into adults, they can be transported away with minecarts. LogicalGeekBoy has a very easy to follow tutorial on this specific design.
10 Cooked Chicken Farm
This incredibly cheap build is an absolute essential, automatically creating, killing and cooking chickens for you. The chickens in the glass up top will lay eggs into the hopper beneath them, leading into a dispenser facing right. The dispenser will automatically fire the egg onto a half-slab, with some lava a block overhead.
A chicken has a 12.5% chance of spawning from the fired egg, and if it does, it will spawn on the slab and grow to an adult 20 minutes later. Once an adult, it will be tall enough to reach the lava and will be cooked instantly. The cooked chicken meat is collected into the hopper below, conveniently placed in a chest. The more chickens in the glass, the better, so breed them regularly.
9 Egg Farm
If you're looking to make numerous amounts of cake, then the above contraption will be very useful for you. Chickens sit in a 2x1 glass cage, with water pushing them towards a hopper. When they lay an egg, it falls into a hopper that leads into an upward-facing dispenser to its side. Underneath that hopper is another hopper leading into a chest. The redstone contraption to the right will make half of the eggs go into the chest for you to keep, while the other half are fired into the cage to make more chickens.
In the redstone contraption, there is a single dispenser facing downward into an underground 1x1 hole. In this dispenser is a water bucket that will empty or fill after each time it is powered. If the bucket is empty, the eggs will go to the chest. If it is full, it will fire into the cage.
8 Sugar Cane Farm
One of the simplest designs of all, this contraption will harvest sugar cane whenever it grows to be three blocks high. Sitting underneath the sand that the sugar cane grows on is a hopper-minecart, placed on a rail on top of another hopper that leads into the chest.
Hopper-minecarts have an interesting property, where they can pick up dropped items through blocks that they are under. That means that sugar cane will fall on top of the sand, but get sucked through it and into the chest below.
7 Cactus Farm
This cactus farm design requires no redstone wiring, but some tricky hopper-work. Place a hopper leading into a chest, then a hopper-minecart on top. Break the rail so that the minecart is resting freely. Place a block to the side of the minecart, then push sand into it with a piston from the side.
You can then destroy the block next to the minecart and build the glass hat above. When the cactus grows, it will automatically break due to the glass next to it, and the hopper minecart will pick up the cactus drop through the cactus block itself, before it is destroyed.
6 Pumpkin/Melon Farm
This design is what you call "tile-able", meaning that it can be comfortably built multiple times side-by-side without any mechanical interference. Observers are placed, looking at the melon/pumpkin stems. When one grows, it will randomly grow to either the left or right.
The observer will detect that the stem is now curved and will power the two pistons beside it. The pumpkin/melon will be pushed off its block, destroying it and dropping the item into the hopper. You could also place the water under the pistons, and have a hopper-minecart drive back and forth in the "trench" in front, if you'd prefer the drops to all go to one place.
5 Mushroom Farm
Mushroom farms are typically as ugly as they come, so any mushroom farm that can be hidden in a ceiling is a good mushroom farm. This design is exactly that, though do note that mushrooms only grow on blocks of light level 12 or less, so this must be built somewhere dark (like in a ceiling).
The observer monitors the center block, so when a mushroom is spread to it, it sends out a redstone signal and turns off the torch, retracting the sticky piston and dropping the mushroom into the chest. This blueprint is very cheap and very small and will supply you with plenty of mushrooms for your various stews.
4 Bamboo Farm
This design is very similar to the sugar cane farm design, though this one harvests three blocks at a time instead of two, and is tile-able unlike the sugar cane design. Numerous stalks of bamboo could be placed side by side, with the same observer/piston system set up for all of them.
This works by observing when the bamboo reaches the desired height, which sends a signal to the torch and inverts it. The second observer detects the inversion in the torch and powers the piston, harvesting three bamboo blocks. If this design is tiled, you could use the same hopper-minecart for all stalks.
3 Hostile Mob Farm
This is an absolute must. Eight-block long canals that are two blocks deep have water flowing through them into a central hole. That hole leads to a 24+ block tube that falls straight down, which will kill enemies that fall down it. Zombies, skeletons and creepers will all spawn in this box and wander into the streams.
Make sure to give it a roof, or build numerous layers of spawning platforms on top of each other, with the central holes aligned vertically. Lighting up the surrounding regions around the mob farm will increase its spawning production and provide you with all kinds of loot. If the tube is made to be 23 blocks, it will leave enemies at one-shot, making for easy XP farming.
2 Honey Farm
Easily the most technical of all the farms here, this honey farm is technically semiautomatic, as every-so-often, you will need to refill the dispenser with glass bottles, but they are reusable and a hopper system could easily be used to supply many more bottles to the dispenser. The dispenser is facing into the beehive and is filled with glass bottles. The hopper beneath it is directed sideways and has one honey bottle in it, with 18 total other items (can be anything, 18 cobblestone, 18 dirt, etc.) filling up the last four slots.
When the beehive is full, the dispenser will automatically fill a bottle with honey and filter it through the hopper system to the chest. It is important that they area is filled with tall flowers so that bees will create honey. You can also choose to wall the bees into the farm area so they don't leave.
1 Wool Farm
Ideally, the player would create 16 of these automated wool farms, one for each color of wool. This system works by having an observer send out an input whenever the grass is eaten, powering a dispenser filled with sheers. Again, the shears will need to be replaced every so often, but one shear-filled dispenser will get you between 2142 and 6426 wool before it runs out, which is plenty.
Sheep regrow their wool whenever they eat grass. Eating grass updates the block and turns it into dirt, and the observer is facing into the dirt to detect this. The grass blocks to the side of the dirt are there so that the grass can regrow for the sheep to eat. The sheared wool will drop onto the dirt and get sucked into the hopper minecart below.
You've never seen a space opera like this.