Can we create a kind of sonar / scanner to scan for deep resources ?

  • Notice that when you dig deep underground, there are usually a lot more large veins of ore than on the surface.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 1:27
  • This pre-release blog post mentions an ore scanner which is "craftable fairly late in the game". I haven't obtained it yet, so I don't know how to get it.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 12:33
  • There's a mod that does the same thing, if you don't want to use Vanilla. Ultimately, it's boils down to how the device works (interface and all)
    – aytimothy
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 9:05

5 Answers 5


Nope, no such technology exists.

The best you can do is light the dirt to see about 6-8 blocks into it. Beyond that, you're better off just looking underground.


As of 1.0, you can create an Ore Detector at an Agricultural Station.

Creating the ore detector

When used, a green circle is emitted which temporarily highlights any ores in a block color:

Using the ore detector

From my testing, this seems to highlight all ores but coal.

  • This seems like the best answer to the quesiton to me Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 20:01

Actually, there is a way to do this. If you have the matter manipulator out, it highlights any blocks the cursor is over, even if it's out of mining range. This allows you to see any block on the screen simply by mousing over it.

  • Good news I'll try this Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 12:31

I know this probably isn't what you're looking for but there is another way to find ores in the ground without having to create anything or using the matter manipulator to see, that is to use the command /fullbright having admin privilege.

(I don't recommend that, it would spoil the fun)


If you're into mods, there are alternatives to the Ore Detector.

The Illuminated Ores removes the need for a detector and instead makes all ores glow and thus revealing their positions.

Alternatively, the Ground-penetrating Radar Station works the same as an Ore detector, but shows a wider range and is stationary (without digging it up and placing it again of course).

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