The last two updates to Minecraft have seen the addition of new materials, from Netherite to amethyst and now copper. Copper isn't a brand-new idea for many Minecraft players who have been playing the game and its mods for years now. In fact, a lot of modpacks have already played with the idea of copper as an important crafting resource, but with 1.17 this has become official.

Copper is still very new, and its uses in Minecraft are somewhat limited. However, it does bring an interesting aspect to the game when it comes to seeing time pass in your Minecraft world, since copper ages visibly. There are some cool block variations to decorate your builds with, as well as a few useful crafting recipes worth trying. First, however, you'll need to get your hands on copper ore.


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Updated October 8, 2021, By Helen Ashcroft: As we find out more about Minecraft's new resources we also find more uses for them. We also know more about where to find copper and how best to get it to age. This guide has been updated to include everything you need to know about copper.

How To Get Copper In Minecraft

Minecraft Copper On Mountain Side

There are two ways to get copper in the game, mining and killing drowned. It isn't an extremely rare resource, so you generally shouldn't struggle to find any. You'll recognize its ore version from its turquoise and orange patterns.

Where To Find Copper In Mines

Minecraft Smelting Copper

Copper ore generates almost anywhere between Y=0 and Y=96. However, it's in abundance somewhere around Y=47 or 48. It appears in clusters similarly to coal and iron and needs to be mined with at least a stone pickaxe.

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Once mined, it drops as raw copper, which needs to be smelted in a furnace or blast furnace. Raw copper will then turn into ingots, which can be used in a couple of crafting recipes.

Where To Find Drowned To Kill For Copper

Minecraft Drowned

Drowned are the best mobs to kill in order to get copper ingots. There is currently an 11 percent chance for a drowned to drop one copper ingot. This is increased by two percent per level of looting enchantment on your weapon.

Drowned spawn naturally in ocean and river biomes - except warm ocean biomes - when the light level is seven or less. You will find them anywhere the water is two blocks or taller. In oceans they spawn at least six blocks below the surface and are most common below Y=58 and near ocean monuments.

Mining still remains the best way to find copper.

Copper Block Variations

Minecraft Copper Inside Stonecutter

To craft a copper block, you'll need nine copper ingots to fill the entire three-by-three crafting grid. This block can then be placed into a stonecutter to be cut and then crafted into different types of block. The variants are:

  • Block of Copper
  • Cut Copper
  • Cut Copper Stairs
  • Cut Copper Slabs
  • Waxed Block of Copper
  • Waxed Cut Copper
  • Waxed Cut Copper Stairs
  • Waxed Cut Copper Slabs

Each variant comes in four stages; standard, exposed, weathered, oxidized. These are all different colors, ranging from a vibrant copper to an oxidized turquoise color. Due to this variety copper makes for an excellent decorative block, with a few special effects.

Weathered Copper Blocks

Minecraft Copper Variants

Copper blocks will eventually change color as time passes. They go through a slow process of oxidization, turning several shades towards turquoise from their original orange color. The stages of aging and oxidization are as follow, from least aged to most aged:

  • Block of Copper: most orange, least aged.
  • Exposed Copper: washed-out orange, barely aged.
  • Weathered Copper: washed-out turquoise, quite aged.
  • Oxidized Copper: most turquoise, most aged.

If you want to oxidize copper the fastest way is to place copper blocks four blocks away from each other. You can place them together but they will age far slower.

If you want to deoxidize them then lightning will revert them back to a regular block, while an axe will revert them back one stage.

How To Wax Copper Blocks

Minecraft Waxed Copper

If you'd like to avoid a copper block oxidizing when struck by lightning or through aging, you can combine a copper block with a bit of honeycomb to create a waxed copper block variant.

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The blocks of this kind work exactly the same when placed in a stonecutter, but they won't react to lightning when struck or the passing of time. If you'd like to get rid of the waxing, just use an axe on the waxed copper block.

Uses Of Copper In Minecraft

Minecraft Copper Roof

There are currently three different uses for copper ingots. They can be used to craft blocks for decorative purposes, or to make two important new items for Minecraft 1.17: a spyglass and a lightning rod.

How To Craft A Copper Block

Minecraft Copper Block Crafting Recipe

To make a copper block, fill the crafting grid with nine copper ingots. Variants of this block can be accessed by placing the block inside a stonecutter UI.

How To Craft A Spyglass

Minecraft Spyglass Crafting Recipe

Place two copper ingots vertically in the crafting grid, with one amethyst shard on top.

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The spyglass is a permanent tool that allows you to zoom into the distance.

How To Craft A Lightning Rod

Minecraft Lightning Rod Crafting Recipe

Place three copper ingots vertically on top of each other in the crafting grid. A lightning rod can soak up damage from a lightning strike and protect an otherwise flammable surface (such as a wooden roof on a building).

The lightning strike sends a redstone signal through the lightning rod and also affects copper blocks in its vicinity by oxidizing them.

NEXT: Minecraft Complete Guide And Walkthrough

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