I've been trying to learn more about Redstone after doing some research for another Minecraft question. I've never played Minecraft before, although I'm familiar with Terraria, which I believe is similar.

I'd like to build a simple flip flop using Redstone, but I'm not sure exactly how much time I'd need to sink into such a project, and what resources I'd require. Do I need to have played to a certain point in the game before I could start? Are there any tools or mods that would make this project easier?


1 Answer 1


You can start making basic "redstone" devices as soon as you have enough wood to make a door and a pressure plate: make the door and the pressure plate, and put them next to each other. Voila! Your first "redstone" device without needing any redstone.

If you want to start getting into more complex devices like flip flops, you need redstone dust: you can find it by mining redstone ore deep underground: 16 layers above bedrock or lower (sea level is at the 64th layer).

The best way to learn how to make redstone devices like flip-flops is to watch the myriad of tutorials on YouTube: figure out what you want to make, search for a tutorial on how to make it, and repeat it1.

For example, Rolf-David's tutorial shows you how to build a basic T Flip Flop:

The basic flip flops (and most redstone devices) are pretty simple, but aren't very efficient because of the way redstone works: they take up a lot of space and because power doesn't travel instantly across redstone, larger circuits are incredibly slow.

So what people have been doing is exploiting buggy implementations of blocks not intended for redstone circuitry to make them smaller and faster. Etho is probably best known for exploiting what's called the "block update"; a quirk of Minecraft where blocks send power when they update their status:

For the most part, if you never got into advanced features like this, you'd still be fine.

Note 1If you want a more comprehensive education on Redstone, there are couple of channels that focus on it pretty heavily: Etho's Lab and SethBling probably the two biggest ones. Etho's Lab is more "Let's Play"-ish (although he does do stand-alone tutorials from time to time), whereas SethBling is pretty heavily focused on tutorials.

  • Thanks Mark. This seems quite a bit easier than what I was looking at over on the Redstone wiki. It looked inordinately complex. Seems like something I could ease myself into a bit more smoothly if I can start with simple devices and work my way up.
    – agent86
    Dec 18, 2011 at 1:20
  • @agent86 Yeah: the biggest thing to keep in mind is the difference between redstone as it was intended (pretty simple: levers/buttons/plates connect to doors/pistons via wire) and redstone as it's used in advanced applications due to exploiting buggy functionality (tons of weird things cause power to be generated faster than normal redstone)
    – user3389
    Dec 18, 2011 at 1:26
  • is there any way to take a set of blocks together and duplicate them? ie, if I make a gate, can I copy and paste that gate somewhere else, or do I have to build it up from scratch again?
    – agent86
    Dec 18, 2011 at 1:29
  • @agent86 Yes, you can use MCEdit to create exportable schematics and duplicate parts of your world. CaptainSparklez had a good recent demonstration.
    – user3389
    Dec 18, 2011 at 1:40
  • Fascinating. My background is partially in EE, so seeing my background and my hobbies mesh is exciting, to say the least.
    – agent86
    Dec 18, 2011 at 1:59

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