Since the last few releases have nerfed both water elevators and boat elevators, what is left standing as the fastest upward movement method? Ladders? Stairs? Are nerfed boat elevators still the fastest?

8 Answers 8


Hopping with vertically aligned boats or minecarts.

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    Minecarts are more resource intensive since they require iron but I prefer them over boats since they tend to glitch out into the walls. Youtube video of it in action
    – akaGrim
    Commented May 30, 2011 at 16:45
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    @akaGrim - boats do or minecarts do? Commented May 30, 2011 at 19:22
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    @Raven Either will work as the Youtube video I linked shows. The problem with boats is they have a tendency to move into walls rather than being blocked by them. So if a boat is in a wall and you 'exit' it while its bugged out, it will lead to problems.
    – akaGrim
    Commented May 30, 2011 at 21:50
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    @AkaGrim. Got ya. Your first comment was confusing; I couldn't tell if you meant boats glitched into walls or mine carts did. Commented May 30, 2011 at 22:15
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    Wow. Minecart elevators are the fastest by a wide margin. Winner. Commented May 31, 2011 at 14:48

The fastest way to travel upwards is on an upward slope of powered minecart rails.


Tell a lie, there's actually a faster way, our good friend TNT. Use this at your own risk!

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    He survives a TNT explosion standing right next to it, and then survives that giant fall without taking any damage. That looks like cheating to me... Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 16:03

Pistons elevators are the fastest way to go in 1.7.3 and above.

I believe minecarts would still be the fastest, provided that you have enough space and resources for them.

Stairs would probably be faster than ladders, but again require more space.

Boat elevators and water ladders are now fixed entirely. They will not work.

Ladders are pretty decent. Slow-ish, but efficient.

If you had a fast PC, you may be able to fiddle with portals and see if you can get them working such that you enter portal B at the bottom, arrive in the Nether, get back in the portal, and come out in portal A at the top. For long distances, this is probably pretty fast..if a little unorthodox.

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    This saves me from having to learn how to build water ladders and boat elevators. Commented May 27, 2011 at 13:05
  • I recently finished a 60 block tall solid glass water elevator. I got about 3 trips in it. :( Commented May 27, 2011 at 16:00
  • It doesn't look like piston travel is going to be that fast...
    – fredley
    Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 12:03
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    Unorthodox? I thought one of Notch's main reasons for adding the Nether was "fast travel"? Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 16:04
  • @John for getting to place A from place B, not from the bottom of a shaft to the top using glitches. Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 8:06

If you don't consider it cheating, WorldEdit's ascend/descend commands are instantaneous and using Single Player Commands can be bound to any key.

If that's too cheated, there's also an elevator mod (also for SMP if you use bukkit: link).

If you insist on vanilla minecraft, fredley is probably right, you'll have to use a powered minecart or TNT - I guess with enough sand blocks between you and the TNT directly below you, you'll even survive being catapulted up, and maybe use some trapdoor mechanism wired to the TNT detonator to shut just in time so you stay upstairs...

edit as akaGrim linked to this youTube video, a minecart elevator might be quicker and still "legal".


As of 1.6.6 it appears boat elevators work again. http://notch.tumblr.com/post/6035819427/minecraft-beta-1-6-6

  • But perhaps not as fast as they used to? Commented May 31, 2011 at 18:06

I saw something on youtube about "teleportation". It isn't really teleportation. It's more like just really fast travel. The basic idea is to cram a lot of mobs into a small space then move the player next to them. The combined "bump" of most of the mobs will add up, propelling the player very quickly over long distances.

I'm not certain that combined bumps can be used for vertical travel, but I would bet they could (maybe bump into stairs or get bumped from below?). The only problem is that this device, while it works, reduces my framerate to less than one per second, so I can't investigate vertical movement using this method.

It would be interesting if someone could take that guy's idea (I forget his name) and turn it into a vertically-moving "teleportation" machine. I simply don't have the computer power for it, though.


As of 1.13, tridents + pearls provide a fantastic method of quickly launching yourself upwards, by using the momentum of the trident to speed up the pearl. This is usually achieved by holding the trident in your off-hand, then selecting the pearl in your hotbar. You do need something to hit with the pearl, though.


The fastest way to move upwards (faster than TNT!) is the /fly command, when used with an argument for speed.

/fly 255

...will have you so far above your map you can't even see it within a second or so.

This only works in SMP, or with Single Player Commands installed.

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