On a SMP server that I play, there's been some raids by other players to grab my stuff, and occasionally killing me and taking my inventory. So, I'd like to make some traps for them the next time they come in. What's the best way to make a trap for them?

Attributes I'd like would be

  1. Simple: Although I likely have enough redstone dust and such to make a complex trap, I'd prefer a design I'm unlikely to mess up, as I've blown myself up before trying to make a TNT-related trap.

  2. Inescapable: Well, this goes without saying. I suppose anything can be escaped/avoided with the right foreknowledge and equipment, but I'd like something they're nearly certain to fall into. That said, I'd prefer it if the trap wasn't something I could accidentally kill myself with as I go around my house.

  3. Finally, I'd like a trap that doesn't destroy all the equipment along with the enemy player, is it would be nice to loot their diamond swords instead of burning them. (Although, I'd be fine with some lava traps as a last line of defense if they avoid everything else.)

To clarify, in the servers I mainly play on, it's usually just default gameplay, as abusing admin powers to raid is not allowed. So assume the enemy players have the best possible equipment (diamond pickaxes, swords, armor, bows, TNT, water/lava blocks, etc.), but no admin ability.

  • google how to make a block update detectror. it has a very elabrate tuturial for turning a wooden door into pure destruction...
    – user28027
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 5:40

27 Answers 27


Unfortunately on a server where there are no rules against griefing and everything is destroyable, there is no foolproof way to "trap" enemy players.

  • Any redstone contraption can easily be avoided, as it requires stepping on a pressure plate which can be seen by anyone looking for them.
  • Traps in pitch black can easily be avoided by small investments in torches by an opposing player.

  • Any wall can be tunneled through.

  • Aside from triggering redstone traps, the environment won't "update" in response to a player, thus any crafty player can avoid all traps with a little resources.

The best way to keep your stuff secure is to hide it. The best way to do this is to use a servers /home and /sethome commands. Simply go deep into the wilderness. Dig deep into the ground and ideally try to find a naturally occurring lava source. Replace the blocks above you and put your chest inside the lava source and /sethome. Even players using x-ray tools will only see the natural lava source (torches are a dead giveaway of a base) and won't be able to see the chest.

TL;DR: Bases can not be secure, and hiding is difficult from x-raying players. Put a chest in lava and walk away.

  • 8
    You can also hide chests behind paintings, and access them right through the painting.
    – Keaanu
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 17:48
  • 1
    Hiding your base and loot is definitely the best option. The only other option to effectively prevent thieves and griefers is to play on a server which doesn't allow it. Traps just won't cut it for you, sorry.
    – Jesse Webb
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 18:44
  • 2
    +1 for hiding it under lava, best idea i've heard all day. Griefers with x-ray stealing my chests makes me sad.
    – Cory J
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 19:45
  • 2
    @TheAdamGaskins no, they don't burn.
    – Resorath
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 21:44
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    "Even players using x-ray tools will only see the natural lava source" - This is false; it is not hard to hack the client to show all the chests (or diamonds, or whatever), and nothing else, on a button press. However, most people do not have these clients, so it's still a good idea. Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 16:07

The most effective SMP traps are not the most complex ones, or the ones with best disguise, but the ones that are inevitable and unexpected against common mindsets. The art of SMP trap lies at how you can discover and exploit the common mindsets, think in the way raiders think. The following is a small list of the exploitable mindsets that I have thought about:

  1. Players will dig straight down in order to obtain resources (wood, ore) under certain conditions. A deep pit underneath is unexpected. (Also called tree trap at the Minecraft Wiki)
  2. Players will be distracted by items of interest, or decoys. Traps in the opposite direction will attract less attention.
  3. Players will get annoyed by and overlook terrain irregularity because of the failure to keep continuous movement. A deep pit hidden in a long and messy circular or slanted mine shaft is likely ignored, even with full lighting.
  4. Players will take the shortest path when possible, especially for impatient players. A deep pit under a diving pool is unexpected.
  5. Players will try to use blocks to clear incoming water or lava, sometimes. A popped up furnace (workbench, chest) interface is unexpected and disruptive.
  6. Players will make incorrect predictions on how high and far they can jump, especially when there are blocks above them or they try to jump onto a halfblock.
  7. Players will forget the details on the way they come. Unexpected things can happen when they go back, in a panic.

Only pitfall trap is used here because it can be easily built and resetted. I also prefer pitfall trap without lava or cactus because that wastes more time for raiders to get stuff back. Once I fell into my own type 3 trap (with lava) because I wasn't concentrated and forgot the trap. Hopefully there will be more creative variations than the above crude ones.

There are also some standard security advices:

  • Your home will go through X-ray inspection. You'd better have idea on how it looks like and what will be discovered.
  • Your home will attract less attention if it looks worthless, uninhabited, messy, or raided.
  • Artificial traces (cobblestone, dirt) around your chests hiding place will be examined. Make them consistent to the environment.
  • Multiple false targets can divert effort of search.
  • Furnaces are better than obsidian for robust construction. Obsidian takes immense time to collect and only attracts lots of attention and gets easily destroyed. For example, I have experience tunneling through obsidian wall with bare hands for 1 hour.

Dig a large hole in front of your front door, with water at the bottom. Put a block of TNT just under the surface layer, then put sand/gravel over it, and put a pressure plate on top of it. Don't forget to make a secret entrance to your house so you can get in.

Now, if someone tries to get in your house through the front door, they will step on the pressure plate thinking it will open the door. Instead, it will trigger the TNT and it will fall, the gravel will fall, and they will fall. If the fall doesn't kill them, the TNT will. But because the TNT will be submerged in water, there will be no explosion, but they will take damage and most likely kill them.

If you want, you can make a one-block wide tunnel at the bottom of the hole for their items to go through, and you could link it to an underground part of your house for you to take. The only downfall to this is that you need to reset it each time, with one more TNT and gravel/sand each time.

If you want, you could replace the dirt/stone at the bottom with multiple layers of obsidian, so that if in the unlikely event that they survive, it will take them ages to get out.

Hope this helped!

  • the main problem with this solution is the gravel that falls will void the water at the bottom making the water redundant
    – Flaunting
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 11:57

I just came up with this, my idea would be to use a falling floor into a pit of water with obsidian walls. This is only if you are really getting into it. They step on a pressure plate, and lava destroys a torch supporting the ground under them. They fall, hopefully faster than lava, and land in the water. Then the lava hits the water, turning the top level into stone or obsidian if you used a water tile. and they are trapped. In water the tiles always take longer to destroy, and obsidian takes forever. So this could be done. But two water tiles, torches, sand/gravel, a pressure plate, torches, and mainly obsidian would be needed. And a way to disguise the trap.

  • 1
    How would you trigger the lava to move with a pressure plate?
    – GnomeSlice
    Commented Apr 16, 2011 at 2:01
  • You could simply put a bucket of lava in a dispenser connected to the pressure-plate. Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 11:48
  • @MarcoGeertsma This is a new feature unavailable back in 2011. I'd suggest using a piston instead, as the block they stand on won't have to be sand/gravel, and you won't have to use up torches.
    – Timtech
    Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 22:47
  • the main problem with this solution is the gravel that falls will void the water at the bottom making the water redundant
    – Flaunting
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 11:56

What I do is choose a natural area as a home, usually a mountain. However, I do not make a visible door showing the house, I make a secret trap door that leads to the home. I also make a few other trap doors that look exactly the same, all having small tunnels.

The raider will eventually find out that it there is nothing but useless tunnels in the trap doors, and will walk away.

There's another thing I do.

I dig a one block put that is about six blocks deep, and put a pressure plate beside it, with a trap door where the pit is. At the very bottom, I put in lava, and I cover the surroundings with furnaces.

This way, if a raider gets trapped, he will have no other way but to break the furnaces, but we all know that furnaces take half a minute to break, so the raider will be killed from the lava by then.


If /home works, you can surround your whole base with multiple layers of obsidian (cast it!). Since even with a diamond pickaxe each block takes 30 seconds to break, raiders will probably figure it's not worth spending so much time after the forth layer or so...

An advanced construction could of course involve some maze of obsidian that almost certainly forces one to dig up at some point. and then... lava :) Or something more sophisticated (since you want their droppings): Water on the horizontal which triggers a dispenser-wall behind lava.

Also, in the most extreme case you could ask and admin to surround you entirely with bedrock. Obviously you cannot get out yourself then unless you have /tp permissions and at least one friendly player as well.


As a few people have mentioned, the best form of defence against raiders is to conceal your valuables. I usually make redstone circuits to secret rooms, which require a lever or button to activate, but I will remove said trigger or cover it, so that it cannot be activated.

One of the best strategies may be to build your base extremely far away from spawn. That way, it is unlikely that players will even venture close to your base, and may be heavily unprepared if they do.


Try placing a fairly valuable item on a wooden pressure plate, connected to an inverter, connected to your trap. Works best with wooden planks for flooring.

  • The item disappears after a while. Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 3:22
  • The item disappears after 5 minutes. @TomWijsman
    – Timtech
    Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 22:48

I would just dig down in front of an iron door as a fake entrance with a pressure plate on sand or gravel(preferrely gravel in a cavern) with tnt underneath it, then place lava two blocks beneath the tnt. then under the tnt have glass pane or iron bars right below that with an empty space and path there fromthe inside of the base so you can get the droppings. It should look like this:

d p b
b g b
b t b
b s b
b s b
b l b
b g b
s s b
s b b
b b b

p=pressure plate
g=glass pane
d=iron door
s=empty space

Hope it helps!


I found this Snow Mine Field Trap a while ago, I have yet to test it in beta to see if it still works. As the video shows it during Alpha. It may still work, I don't see why not.

I would like to point out the use of the water flow under the holes to keep the trapped encased against the glass walls. Only disadvantage is that it requires snow to fall on the blocks to create a layer of snow to hide the trap.

It meets your above criteria, as the items would not be destroyed. However there's a small chance the player may survive if wearing armour as protection from the blast damage. Worth a try I guess.


Make a 3x3x3 hole and a 1x3 pillar of obsidian with a pressure plate on top and trapdoors around the hole and run redefine down the obsidian connecting to every trap door this works best on a server were you can own a block but it's obvious with the pressure plate

Alternatively, you could place obsidian over a chest with TNT behind it. A player that doesn't pay enough attention will accidentally hit the TNT and cause an explosion

  • 3
    The obsidian/TNT setup will no longer work as a trap. After a recent update, TNT must be activated with fire or redstone current.
    – sjohnston
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 13:56
  • 1
    After a more recent update, using a trapped chest outputs a redstone signal which will activate underlying TNT.
    – Timtech
    Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 22:49

You can use Soul Sand to make your traps (such as one-way entrances), or combine them with lava and redstone dust to make something more elaborate. I'd suggest using a lure, like a seemingly innocent and misplaced item that is triggered when you get near it or something.

  • Soul Sand one-way doors were removed in 1.8
    – pppery
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 3:22

There is also the Dispenser Array, the wall is only visible with low fog or can be placed high in the air.

enter image description here


Just putting in my $0.02, I found this amazing Proximity Mine. It works by hiding a block of dirt on a pressure plate behind a painting; when anyone walks by the painting, picking the item up, the trap is set off.


In my server, there is the /back command, and you can't place lava (if you do, it is deleted after 1-2 seconds), so if they die normally, and not by magma, they just press /back and they are back to their death point, so that has no effect. There is also the /home + /sethome command, so I also can't trap them, and they have diamond picks, swords and total armor. They are unstoppable.

But, I have a hint: make a boat, and go to the closest ocean. Use the boat and go as far as possible, then make your house on a really far isle, so they can't find it. Then, dig a tunnel to the bottom of the ocean, and fill it with water from the top. If they get into it, they are sucked to the ocean, and they die by drowning. Make the tunnel 2 high and make it a strong water force, and make the water always 2 high, or else make it such that they fall into a really deep hole with fire on the bottom. Then they die, can't get up, and loose all their stuff.


Here is a link to a tutorial on how to make a very effective, fairly simple and undetectable (to the naked eye at least) pitfall trap. You could easily disguise this into a mineshaft or other form of tunnel, and you even get to keep the items. Unfortunately there is no reasonable way for you to get past it yourself without setting it off, however when I built this to protect my house this was just a decoy entrance, and the actual entrance was off to the side at the bottom of a small lake. This was incredibly effective at stopping them and I even managed to snag a decent amount of high value items from wannabe raiders who fell for it (Including an impressive stack of 64 TNT, and 28 Diamonds from the same guy haha) and since most raiders wander aimlessly looking for houses to grief, they usually cannot find their way back.

Enjoy :)

Oh, and if you can find the right formation of bedrock, it is possible to "trap" players by putting water in a 3m deep pit surrounded bedrock at the bottom of the map. The water makes it impossible to jump high enough to place a block underneath you to get out so the only escape is to teleport out or die of hunger.

  • Could you describe the trap? If this video ever goes down, this answer becomes pretty empty of content. Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 17:10

I dig a hole two blocks wide so deep that they hit the bedrock, then get to the top and put four to six ladder segments so the wannabe raider feels confident. (Extra rage points for cactus or lava.) Make sure the room lures them in somehow. I use the sign that says, "ADMIN STORAGE, NO TRESPASSING!" or "(random name)'s DIAMOND MINE...PRIVATE!"—very effective in stopping them, and undetectable (unless they have an x-ray mod). I personally have around 50 or so trap houses with 20 blocks of TNT rigged to blow when the door is opened.


Blending in with the environment is my best bet, I try to look for an area with trees and mountains. Caddy-corner your base against the mountain and try to blend the top of your home with the mountain, making the sides of the base as inhuman as possible, basically random. Then plant trees in random areas and just disappear.

If they happen to find your base, make it look as you have a couple of chests with some valuable items and some not. Make it look as if you are poor. Keep all your things like 30-40 blocks under the mountain in a safe room lined with obsidian, then lava then obsidian again. Put traps from your home to your safe room to discourage anybody.

  • Good advice, but we're a focused Q&A site, not a general discussion forum, and this doesn't answer the question about building traps. Being off-topic isn't useful in our format. Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 17:07

I sometimes make secret entrances to some "fake chests". Once they have found the chests, they'll either go home disappointed or keep searching in which case is a good time to ready a trap. as they're looking they'll notice a lever or something they didn't see on the way in, pull it, and fall into a pit or whatever you want.

One of my favorite traps is one where you'll have a chest, it will be one block lower than where you are standing. then as they jump down that one block, they jump on a pressure plate (providing that the ceiling doesn't allow you to jump.) triggering a piston or two hidden in a wall to the left or right behind stone, which pushes them into a hidden hole on the opposite side of the pistons.

Basically, they see a chest, stand on a pressure plate, and get pushed into a pit, either visible or not. You can also set up whatever kind of item flowing device you want, this may work better if you have your house near a pit or maybe have a tunnel to the pit.


S: Sand or Gravel T: Torch, button, or lever B: Dirt or other quickly breaking block X: Air








(Note: Trap can be expanded for more coverage, blockage, and damage.)

Break your B Block when an enemy is chasing you to drop the sand or gravel. Breaking the B block will break the first torch, dropping the sand it supports, which in turn will break the next torch and so on. It will take a while to tunnel through the dropped sand or gravel, or possibly suffocate them. Either way, you have quite a lot of time to run.

I was running from a rival faction when I used this trap. It was absolutely HILARIOUS. When they died, I took their loot and ran. (Build a floating island, it WILL help you survive. I have one now, and nobody attacks me.)


Try and ask an admin on a server to make your house out of bedrock. Since bedrock cannot be broken out of, it's perfect for protecting your house. But be sure to type /sethome when inside your house, or you cannot get in. You should also have a friendly player that has access to the /tp command. You could also make a "redstone trick". To do this, have a door in plain sight. Put a pressure plate around the edges of the inside of your bedrock house. Then put TNT next to the plates. Then hide. When the enemy walks in and the TNT activates, hurry towards the door and replace it with bedrock. Then RUN!!!! Your chest and enemy will explode, but not your house! So just reset your chest items and TNT, and you are ready to go!

  • So you are saying that everything in your house explodes, but you don't mind so long as your house is still intact?
    – user28379
    Commented Nov 3, 2012 at 0:27
  • Most server admins won't give regular players bedrock.
    – Timtech
    Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 22:51

Make an underground base with walls of iron ore. That way X-Ray can't see it.

  • 3
    But someone with x-ray would see a giant box of iron ore. I would think that would be kinda suspicious. Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 16:21
  • 2
    @JohntheGreen You're right, better make it out of diamond ore.
    – fredley
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 22:17

it's a bit complex but you connect a sticky piston to a pressure plate and then on a different circut still connected to the one pressure plate and an inverter then a sticky piston it makes a trap like this. one piston in the wall hiden with say a cobblestone block stand on the pressure plate and you get pshed back and the other p plate hidden in the floor pulls back to reveal a one block deep pit they fall in, it closes, they suffocate, yay free diamondsss!

  • 2
    Can you work up some screenshots to illustrate this a little more clearly? That would make your answer a little easier to follow, and understand. =]
    – GnomeSlice
    Commented Apr 8, 2012 at 16:37
  • You could also put a hopper at the bottom of the pit where they suffocate to collect their items.
    – Timtech
    Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 22:57

Here's what you do:

First, you have your regular house, but then have a hidden vault with multiple traps leading to it. Make the vault itself out of layered obsidian or bedrock, if you have access to it. The entrance was concealed behind a painting and when the griefer continued through the vault, they'd trigger a pressure plate and be pushed by pistons into a deep chasm. If they managed to survive that the vault would be locked with a redstone lever combination. The vault has a lava block over the iron door so if griefers breaks it they'll burn.


The best thing would be to as said before, hide your valuables.

Out of experience though, if you want to kill them and get their stuff, the best traps are just manually activated. This means imply, hiding somewhere, and waiting for some random player to walk into your house. Just make a trap and when the time is right activate it, there's no pressure plate for them to see, just wa-bham and he's dead.

Or as I like to do, just cover your entire floor in pressure plates, confuses a lot of people, not very dangerous but it can help.


Just got an idea. Make a passage to a fake chest inside your house. Have a pressure plate open it from the outside. Then they go in, realize the chest has nothing, and then try to exit. The door, though, appears to be activated by a lever. However, the lever actually activates some pistons that open a very deep pit. Just kindof branched off Sirzobs idea.


I find a very effective trap to be a very deep 1 by 1 pit with a hopper and chest(s) at the bottom. At the top, there should be a button that opens a piston leading into the pit. The top part of the tunnel should be disguised as a water elevator with a sign saying "This is a trap. Trust me." When they start down the elevator, they will reach the part with no water, fall down, die, and have their items moved into the chest(s) at the bottom.

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