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In the Android app "Minecraft Canary" there is a whole bunch of game info, essentially a game guide. One of the pages says "A single location on the map has been discovered to cause the most mobs to spawn. There are some tutorials on the internet which show how to find this location". It then says to build a huge tower which drags mobs into a grinder and drops the loot into your base.

I searched but couldn't find this info. Is it still relevant to the current version of Minecraft, and if so, where are these tutorials? I don't know how to find this mythical mob spawn, nor do I know about the tower trap it says to build there.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

I believe this is referring to the zero chunk, or chunk 0, 0.

Note that since the Halloween update, the zero chunk can't be exploited as the most efficient spawn location, so you're better off just building a mob tower anywhere, rather than trying to find your zero chunk.

Minecraft Forum user Ruzhyo2000 posted a little tutorial on how to find your zero chunk.

  1. Download cartographer.

  2. Make a map of your world using cartographer.

  3. Make a backup save of your world.

  4. Go into your world folder (the one that is still in the .minecraft/saves folder) and go into folder 0. From there, go into folder 0 again. The chunk file in this folder is for chunk 0,0. Delete it.

  5. Now make a map of your world using cartographer again. The chunk that is missing is chunk 0,0.

  6. If you have MCEdit, use it to go into your world folder that has chunk 0,0 deleted. Using this, you can find the exact location of the chunk's 16x16 bounding box, down to the exact coordinates, by visiting this chunk location. You cannot do this in game because the chunk will just regenerate.

  7. You have two options. If the chunk was in the middle of nowhere (such as the ocean) you can outline the bounds of this chunk with cobblestone or something using MC edit and then go back into the world. When you get close enough to chunk 0,0, it will just regenerate. However, if the chunk was over structures you placed or a mine that you wish to keep, just note where the chunk is exactly and replace your changed save with your back up.

  8. Profit!

Now, the second part of your question sounds like it's referring to a mob spawning tower. Different from the mob spawner block you find in dungeons, a mob spawning tower is basically a really dark set of rooms that, using currents of water, funnels mobs that spawn in it into into a single stream, kills them, and brings the items somewhere. See this answer on Gaming.SE for more info.

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What about the zero chunk made it so exploitable in the first place? –  Raven Dreamer Jan 24 '11 at 3:45
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Okay, I've read about how spawning used to work. In short, the game picks chunks to spawn mobs until it finds an invalid spawn location. The 0,0 (the zero chunk) was always picked first if it was present as a possible spawn site, so you could exploit this to guarantee which chunk mobs would spawn in (otherwise, it picks randomly from those nearest the character). If you know where mobs will spawn, it's trivial to make the conditions in that area most ideal for spawning mobs (dark and flat), hence the exploitability of the "zero chunk". –  Raven Dreamer Jan 24 '11 at 3:54
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If you explore enough, you should come across a dungeon or two, which has a mob spawner inside. These will definitely spawn the most mobs, most reliably. Be aware, though, that a mob spawner only spawns one type of monster per dungeon.

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And the spawn is one of - skeleton, archer, spider - no creepers, alas... –  Cyclops Jan 28 '11 at 22:50
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It was once the case that the spawn rate at the world origin (chunk 0,0) was always much higher than any place else on any map. There were ways to use an external program to analyze a saved world and find that chunk, allowing the player to build a special trap there.

However, that spawn rate anomaly was a bug and has since been fixed.

This post at the official Minecraft forum explains some things about how mobs spawn, but the stuff it says about chunk 0,0 is outdated (as noted at the start).

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