I am playing in a hardcore survival Minecraft single player world where I have reduced debug information. I am currently at my home but I'd like to explore. I cannot write down my co-ordinates and I cannot use a map because they are both limited in size and your position relative to the map disappears after a few hundred blocks.

How do I, without the use of mods or tools (programs, websites, etc), save and come back to my home after exploring my hardcore survival world with reduced debug information?

I have tried walking "only in one direction" however this is very boring and I tend to walk slightly to the left, meaning after 10K blocks I will not be able to "go straight back". Having a path of blocks is also not ideal because they can be difficult to set up properly. If I have a block placed a bit further down for some reason then I might not see it and then go in another direction searching.

  • 1
    People used to set down torches every 30-50 blocks and then go home at night. Maybe not a great option for hardcore mode Commented Feb 6, 2021 at 23:50
  • 1
    build a tower, straight up in the air, lit with torches. You'll see it for "miles", sort of like a lighthouse. Build another just as you begin to not be able to see the previous.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 17:31
  • Just FYI, since you said "your position relative to the map disappears after a few hundred blocks", a map starts at dimensions of 128x128 blocks but can be zoomed out up to a maximum of 2048×2048 blocks, using a cartography table or crafting table. See minecraft.gamepedia.com/Map#Zoom_out Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 21:18

3 Answers 3


Маке а compass and a lodestone. Place the lodestone in your home. Use the compass on the lodestone. The compass will always point to that lodestone.

There is also a cheaper method if your home is close to the world spawn: A normal compass always points to world spawn. Mark a path from your home to the world spawn and then go exploring. With the compass you can always go back to world spawn and from there - to your home.

  • Or to mark a path from world-spawn to your home if you already have established one. Just take a stack of torches and a compass and head to where it points from your home, frequently placing torches and maybe some torches on a higher pole on hills etc.
    – Hobbamok
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 11:27

In early game (before you can build a compass) build towers with torches on them or draw arrows on the ground in torches, or in some contrasting block.

  • This. Even if you can build a compass, this shows you exactly where you came from, not only the general direction. Super useful when exploring the Nether!
    – AJPerez
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 8:43
  • 1
    Yeah, build a giant nerd pole at your base so that you can see where it is from anywhere where it's inside render distance.
    – nick012000
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 10:01
  • 2
    Also campfires. Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 12:13
  • 1
    This is how we used to find our way back to the base before we had maps and compasses.
    – Philipp
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 13:27
  • 1
    An alternative to building a tower with torches is making a pillar with lava to the top of the world. It only costs 1 space of lava and 3 iron ingots for the bucket. Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 16:45

The only way I could think of (without cheating) is holding down F3+C to crash your game. This probably isn't ideal, but you can find you coordinates. Look for something like this in the crash report:

A detailed walkthrough of the error, its code path and all known details is as follows:

-- Head --
Thread: Render thread
    at ?(?:?)

-- Affected level --
    All players: 1 total; [?['Player Name'/1713, l='ClientLevel', x=XPOS, y=YPOS, z=ZPOS]]

where "?" could be anything, depending on the version, "Player Name" is your username, XPOS is the X, YPOS the Y and ZPOS the Z.

This isn't very ideal, so there is a another method that could be considered cheating:

Pause the game, press "Open to LAN", allow cheats, and press "Start LAN World". Now type /gamerule reducedDebugInfo false and press Enter. "F3" should now contain coordinates.

  • 4
    those are some great ideas, however I am not looking for a cheat way! Whilst the first one is not technically cheating I still feel like it is overdoing it a little bit. Thanks for the answer, it was very enlightening!
    – linker
    Commented Feb 6, 2021 at 19:44
  • I forgot Lodestones existed (they are a fairly new addition). Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 9:55

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