I'm planning on building an iron golem farm in Minecraft 1.8, and I want to know how far from my base it can be and still work. All the information I've found related to mob spawning deals with hostile mobs, e.g. the 24-block minimum distance for spawning and the 128-block despawn distance, but those rules don't apply to golems. I haven't found anything describing the distance at which the special village golem spawning happens.

I built a simple test golem farm in creative mode and found that at a distance of roughly 200 blocks taxicab, 140 Euclidean, it doesn't seem to work: I waited about 20 minutes and got no iron. But it works when I'm closer. I could probably determine the threshold distance through trial and error, but that's slow and unreliable (since golems spawn infrequently and irregularly), so I'm hoping someone knows what the actual rules are.

  • Did you add doors and stuff, that is needed for golem spwans?
    – Rajat Jain
    May 11, 2015 at 8:22
  • Yes. It works fine if I'm not far away.
    – Wyzard
    May 11, 2015 at 12:48

4 Answers 4


This problem is caused by chunk unloading. Once you are far, the chunk with the spawner in it is unloaded from memory thus unable to provide you with iron golems or their drops. Try to shift your farm to spawn chunk and check if it starts working, as spawn chunks always remain loaded in memory.

This means, for instance, that redstone machines and iron golem farms will only work if a player is nearby. This can make effective farming difficult when the player spends a lot of time exploring or in another dimension. Since spawn chunks do not get unloaded, they continue to process events, even when no players are nearby. 

From Minecraft Wikia

  • But it's only about 200 blocks away. I can see the spawner clearly, with render distance set to 16 (Far), though not with render distance set to 8 (Normal). Or is chunk unloading independent of render distance, so that things past 8 chunks are loaded enough to display their blocks but not fully loaded for processing game logic?
    – Wyzard
    May 11, 2015 at 12:56
  • I may be wrong, but only 13*13 ACTIVE chunks are loaded around the player, which are able to process entities and farms.
    – Rajat Jain
    May 11, 2015 at 13:02
  • 200 blocks is within 13 chunks (though just barely). Are you sure that applies to distance from the player? Reading about spawn chunks, I've learned that 13 chunks is the distance from the world spawn point where entities are active.
    – Wyzard
    May 11, 2015 at 15:16
  • The 13x13 number is with you in the center. So you need to probably be less than 96-112 blocks away depending on the position of you and the iron farm within their respective chunks.
    – Zoredache
    May 11, 2015 at 17:09
  • Hmm. In a new creative world, I built a golem farm right next to the spawn point (about 20 blocks away), verified that it worked (watched a golem die and drop iron into the chest), then traveled about 600 blocks away and let the game run for about 45 minutes (which should be long enough for several more golems). There was no additional iron in the chest when I came back. I'd expected that there would be, since this farm is (presumably) in a spawn chunk.
    – Wyzard
    May 12, 2015 at 3:15

There is literally zero direct dependence between golem spawning an player location currently (1.15-1.16). As long as the villagers are loaded and in entity-processing chunks, golems can spawn, and they can spawn both practically on top of the player, with player very far, and with no player at all.

Of course for the last case you need some alternative means of keeping the iron farm loaded - at current time there are three vanilla means - first, non-survival: using the /forceload command to define a permaloaded zone, second - might be subject to admin-imposed restrictions or server land claims: build the farm in the spawn chunks, and third, possible in practically any circumstances unless expressly forbidden, build a permaloader.

For example: this iron farm, located a considerable distance from spawn, produces iron 24/7 thanks the permaloader device located deep down near bedrock (the location is chosen to reduce chance of interference with other portals; another alternative is up in the sky near build limit). enter image description here enter image description here


Based From ChunkBase:


These videos show you how to build a fully automatic and expandable iron golem farm using a (fake) village. The position of the doors and floors is criticial; the farm was designed to allow two spawning floors for efficiency. Efficiency

With roughly 10 golems per hour, the yield may not be high (considering the required space), but, to my knowledge, it is almost as high as it can get (the spawning floors could be optimized so that they're on one level, i.e., no lowered central stream). The only way to further improve it would be to build several farms and a shared item canal (repeat the design every 72 blocks or more to be safe). Requirements

The farm needs about 20x20x18 space, plus some overhangs. Skylight is required for some blocks. Also, a village close to your desired farm spot would help a lot. F3 Mod (Village Info)

In the video, I used a mod called Village Info. It shows some basic info about the village you're currently in (or close to). The mod helped me a lot in designing this farm (actually, it was the very reason I created the mod). You can download it here: Village Info World Download

Basic Farm: Download
Basic Farm with option to preserve golems: Download
Multiple farms stacked vertically: Download

this post is very old, yet some people (including me) still get this problem. There is no consistent source for what I will say, but it only comes from my experience and testing.

First thing : don't forget to be patient. For a classic iron farm (3 villagers, 1 zombie, 1 above platform), you need to wait for your villagers to work, then sleep. Sometimes, you have to wait a full day and night cycle for the first golem to appear.

Second thing : In my farm, to 'activate' the golem spawn (villagers work+sleep+zombie fear), I have to be closer than 24 blocks from the zombie. Once it's activated, I can go a bit far and golems still spawn, but after a while they stop spawning. It's like the spawning prerequisites are not valid anymore and I have to come closer than 24 blocks again, waiting for another golem.

The consequence is pretty immediate : if I want it to work as an afk-farm, I have to build an "afk-cabin" closer than 24 blocks from the zombie.

I don't have any precise and technical explanation for this, but I've found many posts on the internet saying "my farm doesn't work if I'm not very close to it !" and people keeping answering about 13x13 activated chunks, or visual range, and most of the time say "your farm should work", so I post my answer. It can help some.

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