Along the topic of this question, I was wondering whats the minimum amount of stuff you need from the surface to be self sufficient living in the sky?

I tried living in a cave for long time and it wasn't a challenge enough. I though that I could build a floating sky platform a live up there.

Consider the following problems:

  • grass: of course you could build a dirt stair and wait for it to grow, but isn't there a much easier way? something like bonemeal maybe?
  • animals: they are pretty hard to bring up there
  • metals: I heard you can create stone putting together lava and water, but what about iron and coal and other fundamental metals?
  • ...

How would I manage it?

  • 6
    Grass is easy if you have a silktouch tool. Commented May 16, 2012 at 22:44
  • Minecraft has carbon now? Guess I need to update.
    – Michael
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 20:16
  • @Michael, Jesus... I've edited my question.
    – Shoe
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 20:51
  • 2
    If you want to try surviving in the sky, the skyblock survival map is great : minecraftforum.net/topic/600254-surv-skyblock - You start your game on an island in the sky with just the resources to be self-sufficient (a tree and lava and ice to produce water, cobblestone and obsidian).
    – Djorak
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 8:27

5 Answers 5


The renewable resource page on the Minecraft Wiki is a great help.

I did something like this on an adventure map ("Land Claster" or something like that) where you're thrown onto a floating island and there are a half dozen others you can build towards. I might recommend a pre-made adventure map like this so you can learn by experience.

As far as what you need to build stuff versus living in a cave; the easiest renewable building material is wood. You need dirt to grow it, but you never consume it. Metals, strictly speaking, are renewable, but you can only get gold from Zombie Pigmen (in the nether), and iron from killing (personally, mob grinders don't work unless they just weaken them) Zombies. In order to get into the nether to get gold you'll need lava, water and diamond (or loose blocks of obsidian). Lava and water can also be combined in a cobblestone generator to create infinite amounts of stone (using a slightly less infinite amount of wood).

Animals yes, and you'll want some grass to feed the sheep and be able to use bone-meal to force some tall grass to get wheat seeds or flowers. Bone meal is free; almost too easy in a sky map with limited spawn space; you'll be rolling in it once you get a grinder going, along with tons of absolutely useless gunpowder.

Sand/glass is another non-renewable resource, along with other minerals; gravel, redstone, lapis lazuli, etc. "Coal" proper isn't renewable, but you can make the next best thing; charcoal, endlessly with your tree farm.

  • Wither skeletons drop coal, if you can get to the nether.
    – L. F.
    Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 7:13
  • grass: of course you could build a dirt stair and wait for it to grow, but isn't there > a much easier way? something like bonemeal maybe?

Bonemeal will not turn dirt into grass. You can also use a tool equipped with the Silk Touch enchantment (Thanks to Raven Dreamer and Mr Smooth).

  • animals: they are pretty hard to bring up there

All you need are two animals. Once you bring the animals, you can use wheat to breed animals.

  • metals: I heard you can create stone putting together lava and water, but what about iron and carbon and other fundamental metals?

Using water and lava, you can create a cobblestone generator. You can also create an obsidian farm with the same materials.

Most resources that you'll require are renewable, like wood (tree farm) and food (wheat farm). However, some are not: metals (like diamond and iron), for example, are not renewable and can only be found by mining.

The bare minimum to be able to function in the sky is a cobblestone generator, a tree farm, and wheat farm. With those three facilities, you'll be able to have a virtually infinite food supply and stone tools.

Something else you may want to consider is a mob grinder. This will allow you to acquire more resources, such as arrows from Skeletons and gunpowder from Creepers.

To complete the aforementioned tasks, you'll need water. You should probably have an infinite water source in your sky platform.

tl;dr -

  • You can breed animals.
  • You can farm cobble, food, wood, and mobs.
  • You should have an infinite water source in your platform.
  • 2
    It should maybe also be noted that making obsidian will consume the lava (or redstone) neither of which are renewable.
    – tugs
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 23:13
  • 1
    Obsidian only comes from lava source blocks, and as far as I know there's no way to make an infinite lava source. Tip number 4 on the obsidian farm wiki link you provided states, "Bring many buckets at a time because depending on how close your portal is to the "lava ocean", it might take a while to get there." Which seems to agree?
    – tugs
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 23:51
  • 3
    @kuyan I just want to add that coal is functionally equivalent to charcoal, which is a renewable resource (by cooking wood logs in a furnace); @
    – Kcats
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 5:47
  • 1
    @kuyan Also tugs is saying that there are 2 ways to make obsidian - one of them consumes a lava source block and the other consumes redstone dust.
    – Kcats
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 5:54
  • 1
    @John Infinite lava is no longer possible, they removed the method you described from the game.
    – Kcats
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 5:54

You want a challenge?

Skip the sky and head straight for the nether. As of note you will not be able to bring water in (except in buckets, and you can store it in Cauldrons).

Metal will be scarce (you can get gold with great effort) and cobblestone is non-renewable in the nether (because you don't have water) - this means wood tools for trivial work.

  • This is not an answer to my question, but I'll close both eyes. I'll try this, thanks.
    – Shoe
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 6:08

Zombies drop iron ingots, and zombie pigmen drop gold ingots, rotten flesh, potatoes, and carrots. You could use those to help provide resources if you can find a zombie spawner to put up there.


Lava, some dirt, a grass block, and an oak sapling. Add 10 obsidian blocks and a piece of flint for a serious expansion of your possibilities.

With the sapling you get infinite wood. You can get iron from zombie drops. You can bonemeal grass (spread onto dirt) to get seeds for wheat. Spider drops - string - will enable wool and a bed. You can also get carrots&potatoes from the zombies. With wood you can build away from your dirt (converted to grass by now) and let passive mobs spawn (providing there are none in the spawn chunks). With iron you can get a cauldron which will fill with water during the rain. With water and lava you can create cobble and smooth stone. These allow building a furnace, smelting charcoal and making torches. With two water sources you can have infinite water, create a fish&drowned farm and get gold from drowned. With gold and an apple from the tree you can craft a golden apple. Using a witch, a zombie villager and the golden apple you can get a normal villager; with two of them and carrots/potatoes you can get a villager breeder going and get lots of valuable resources through trading - including diamond gear and tools. Mushrooms from wandering trader for mushroom stew and suspicious stews done with flowers. Fishing will provide a number of enchanted books, you can also obtain bamboo in a jungle biome. You can also afford some automation with redstone dropped by witches.

If you started with obsidian, you can go to the Nether. Infinite bounty of lava, nether quartz needed for more advanced automation, blaze rods for brewing, a shortcut to finding mushrooms. A pigmen farm will earn much more gold than a drowned farm. If your sky world has an End portal, you can make eyes of ender and go to the End, fight the Ender Dragon; you'll also be able to get shulkerboxes and elytra, never mind all the random loot (including normal diamonds, allowing you to build enchanting table). If you got sugarcane from a wandering trader, you'll be able to make rockets to power your elytra too.

  • 1
    Only 9 obsidian is needed to enter the nether; you can solidify the lava to make the tenth portal piece.
    – pppery
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 20:59

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