Me and my friend want to build a basic 101 mob farm, but we can't decide where to put it. He says it has got to be over an ocean, I say it can just be 128 blocks above ground and it will be just fine.

So the question is:

  • What is the absolute ideal place for a mob spawner?
  • If we build it 128 blocks above ground do we still need to light up caves?
  • If we dig a 128x128 square straight to bedrock will that make a perfect environment?

Please advise!

4 Answers 4


Since you are talking about 128 blocks, I'd assume you're already familiar with the spawning rules, but for others finding this topic, hostile mobs which are further than 128 blocks from a player will rapidly despawn, even though they can spawn anywhere in a 240x240 square from each player. There is also a cap on the total number of mobs which can be spawned at once, which means that if you have many people in different locations you may hit the cap, reducing the grinder's efficiency.

What this means for you is that the important thing isn't so much where your mob grinder is, but rather where the person running it is standing, and where others on the server might be causing mobs to spawn without being killed. To deal with the first, make sure that there are no legal spawn points outside your grinder within 128 blocks of where a person would be standing that would be "running" the grinder. Placing that person at y-level 128 would mean that you need to light up all caves underground, so a safer choice is to put their standing point at around ground level y + 128. You can also completely clear a 128 block square in the ground and build your grinder inside, if you want, or any other combination of tactics that results in no viable space being available for mob spawns within 128 blocks of the player that are not in your grinder. An ocean would partly solve this, since hostile mobs can't spawn in the actual ocean, but the caves underneath would still have to be dealt with or be out of range.

To combat the second, there is only so much you can do. On a private server with only a few people, you shouldn't hit the mob cap, but on a public server the only thing you can do is try to prevent mobs from spawning around players in your base. Generally, this means lighting all caves in the immediate area around your base, and possibly the ground as well if you want to maintain efficiency overnight.

Note that all of the above doesn't actually matter that much for basic mob grinders, since most of their inefficiency comes from having to wait for mobs to actually enter the killzone through random pathing, or through actually being killed by a player. It starts to become noticeable with grinder designs that actively kill the mobs as they spawn.

I should also note that I assume that you mean a mob grinder when you say a spawner - if you actually mean a monster spawner, the strategy becomes quite different since they have very different spawning rules from regular mob spawning.

  • Yes, I meant a grinder. So from your suggestions the easiest way would be to build it 128+ blocks above ground, and that way we don't have to deal with caves. Correct? Dec 14, 2015 at 6:45
  • And let's suppose I want the "afk" point to be near my base at ground level. I can build the grinder 24 blocks above ground BUT also mine out the entire 256x256 square (afk point in the center) until bedrock? Dec 14, 2015 at 6:57
  • @NikolayDyankov You would still have to go a bit higher than 128, since the ground is usually around y-40. As for the second question, that would work, just keep in mind it takes awhile without enchanted diamond tools and beacons. Dec 14, 2015 at 16:01
  • I decided to have the spawner's afk spot at ground level near my base and dig out a 256x256 square around it down to bedrock. Just so it can be quicker to get to. And yes, I have the tools and the beacon so digging that hole should be a joy. That would give perfect spawn conditions, right? Dec 14, 2015 at 17:10

Mobs spawn in dark areas. It's best you build a cobblestone room with no light source in it. You can build a spawner everywhere, even at a ocean. You might want to build that spawner very high above the ocean. Unless you want to make a spawner underground, it doesn't matter where you want to build it, so go ahead and put torches underground, unless you're building the spawner there. Digging at any layer underground works, so bedrock is a good idea.

Above ground:

enter image description here

Underground [Mind the torches, they're just to show the entire area otherwise you wouldn't see how big it is]:

enter image description here

  • That second screenshot is 128x128 below the spawner, or 256x256? Dec 14, 2015 at 6:49
  • And I assume the platforms go until bedrock? Dec 14, 2015 at 6:49

Well I would personaly use mob spawners underground instead of a big, all mobs one but if that's what you want than ok. Lighting up caves so more mobs spawn is only realy if you want maximum loot but its not needed. If you build it too far away from you, mobs wont spawn. But building it over the ocean dosnt make a difference, but less caves to light up. Building it in different places adds some things. Building in the swamp make slimes spawn, desert makes more enderman spawn, and having it near your house is good too. Also is it a xp farm or just loot?

  • I'm still thinking if I want it just for loot or for XP as well. I already have a cave spider spawner which I use for XP, so this grinder might be just for drops, since I could use some gunpowder. And building it in the desert sounds good! Dec 14, 2015 at 6:47

If you need good biom go for dessert or plains.make it a good 20 blocks from your home so if they epcsacape you can shot them with arows

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