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I recently found a dungeon in Minecraft, and I have decided to make an XP farm out of it. From watching youtubers do it, I know that you need to have an 8x8 hole around the spawner to maximize spawning space. Since this is an even number and there is only one (1x1) spawner, the spawner cannot be in the center. How do I know what side to put it on? I know that it matters what side you put it on, I just don't remember how I can find out what side.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

What I do is stand where the spawner is, and find which corner moving to causes both the X and Z coordinates to decrease. This is the corner that should be four blocks from the spawner. (Likewise, when both coordinates are increasing you should move three blocks out from the spawner.)

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I've never heard of this. What significance does it have? –  John the Green Mar 2 '12 at 3:35
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@JohntheGreen You could just dig out a 9x9 area with the spawner centered in it, but the spawner only reaches an 8x8 area. It's a little tricky to figure out (since the spawner isn't centered when the area is 8x8), so this is a quick way to verify the correct way to position the spawner trap. –  Kevin Y Mar 2 '12 at 3:57
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technically its the best to dig a 10x10 hole around the spawner, not a 8x8 because the spawner picks a block and then picks a 'pixel' (thats the best explenation I can come up with) of that block as middle for the mob. if that pixel happends to be so close to the wall that the mob can't fit in anymore, then the mob can't spawn.

many people don't know this. too many.

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Do you have any proof of this? Everything on the wiki suggests that it's only tied to the block and nothing more precise. –  MBraedley Aug 22 '13 at 10:36
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