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How can I get string in Minecraft? Spiders are so few and far between (for me anyway), and I don't like to venture outside at night for fear of mobs, and even in the daytime there are creepers to watch out for.

Is there some sort of trap I can use to trap spiders?

Since spiders can climb walls, but not with a lip, I thought maybe a pen with a wall like this would work:

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Would this work to trap spiders? I need some way to get spiders so I can get string.

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You could always up the difficulty to Hard. The spiders will be hard to miss then! –  njallam Sep 20 '12 at 18:46
    
How much string do you really need? I mean, I don't think I use it very frequently...a few encounters with an abandoned mineshaft full of cobwebs and I'm basically set for awhile. –  TARehman Sep 20 '12 at 19:58
    
@TARehman I just want enough for a bow, and a bit more for other things. I haven't hit anything like an abandoned mine shaft yet, and I don't know how long that will be. –  Kendall Frey Sep 20 '12 at 20:10
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@njallam Contrary to the popular belief, changing difficulty (other than Peaceful) does not affect the quantity of spawned mobs. The only exception currently being Pig Zombies near an overworld portal. –  Kcats Sep 21 '12 at 7:49
    
@Kcats You are correct. –  Timtech Aug 17 '13 at 20:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Once approach would be to make a mob spawning area where various monsters can spawn, but everything except spiders falls out. Perhaps a large dark area with some 1x1 or 2x1 holes in the floor, that lead to lava pits.

Many monsters will spawn here, but zombies, skeletons etc will fall into the pits and die. Spiders need a 2x2 opening to move through, so they will remain, and presumably accumulate. Then you can add a 1x2 opening (such as a door) to open and kill the spiders through.

Another approach is to try to build an area where only spiders can spawn. According to this post, if you make a wide room with glass blocks 1 space over the floor, spiders can spawn there but not tall mobs. I'm not sure if this is (still) correct, but it could be worth a try.

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That sounds pretty effective. Thanks! –  Kendall Frey Sep 20 '12 at 18:44

The AI pathing code generally prevents mobs from taking fall damage, so you wouldn't be able to make the pit very deep. Since the pit isn't deep, a spider may be able to effectively jump out. You could also use water to guide the spiders into such a trap, but at that point you might as well build a full fledged mob spawner/grinder.

Instead of trapping a spider, you're probably better off to go caving and find either a spider spawner or an abandoned mine-shaft. You can set up a spawner so that there is only a 1 wide by 2 block high exit, which the spiders can't travel through, allowing you to keep a safe distance while you kill them. Mine-shafts contain cobwebs, which when broken by a sword produce string. Obviously, these methods are more dangerous, but I would suggest that the rewards are significantly better in the form of resources that you find along the way.

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Thanks. I guess I'll have to do this the hard way and make an expedition of it. –  Kendall Frey Sep 20 '12 at 17:56
    
Abandoned mines are significantly safer if you bring an axe: harvest the posts (fences) and use them to wall off any dark areas or side-passages you're not ready to explore. I've yet to be surprised by a mob since starting to do this, and now mines are my favourite places to explore. –  SevenSidedDie Sep 20 '12 at 23:41

You can get string without worrying about spiders (sort of) by finding an abandoned mineshaft. These will contain a fair amount of cobweb, which can be broken with a sword to get string.

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