The XBox 360 version of Minecraft gives you a map at the beginning of the game. How does this map work? Does it work the same as the PC version?

  • How many game blocks make up a map pixel?
  • How big is the map/world?
  • What does each color represent?
  • How is it oriented?
  • Is there any way to determine an approximate map location from (X, Z) coordinates?
    (The XBox version currently has no way to get the coordinates of your current location, although it has been confirmed that this is coming in the first update.)
  • 1
    Yes, the Sun rises in the North map orientation. – Amy B Jun 8 '12 at 15:08
  • 1
    Simplified the question quite a bit, making it much more readable, hopefully. – BradC Jun 13 '12 at 19:13

The map item on the XBox 360 version of Minecraft works similar to the PC version, with three main differences:

  1. XBox version gives you a free map at the beginning of the game. In the PC version, you must gather the necessary resources to craft a map item.

  2. The PC version world size is (essentially) unlimited. The entire world in the XBox version is less than 1024 x 1024 only 864 x 864. The PC version of the map extends to the edges of the paper, the XBox version has wider "margins": Map with extended border

  3. Every map crafted on the PC version is different; it covers a 1024x1024 area centered where the map was originally crafted. All crafted maps in the XBox cover the entire 864 x 864 world, centered at (x=0, z=0). In fact, each crafted map in the XBox version is an exact copy of your original map, including all mapped areas. Even if you throw your map in lava or lose it after respawning, any new map you craft will be populated with all areas you'd previously mapped.

Regarding the other questions:

  • How many game blocks make up a map pixel?
    8 game blocks per map pixel.

  • How big is the map/world?
    Now that the update has been released, we can confirm that the world is 864 x 864 (although you cannot mine or place anything in the outermost block, making it effectively 862 x 862). That makes the map 108 x 108 pixels.

  • What does each color represent?
    Each pixel has a primary color based on what material is most represented in the 8x8 blocks (as visible from above). Most should be obvious (snow, ice, water, sand, grass, trees), but see the chart on this page for the materials that correspond to each base color. This base color is then shaded based on terrain elevation.

  • How is it oriented?
    There are two conflicting evidences for orientation: if we assume that the top of the map is North, then the Sun on the XBox version actually rises in the North and sets in the South (in the PC version this was fixed in beta 1.9.4). Alternately, you could say that the Sun behaves properly (rises in the East and sets in the West), and that you are holding the map so that North is on the left (but this would be an unusual way to hold a map). As such, any discussions that use cardinal directions (N, S, E, W) should clarify which they mean.

  • Is there any way to determine an approximate map location from (X, Z) coordinates?
    Since the game update was release on June 15, 2012, the map shows the coordinates of your current location. Here's a brief explanation:

    • The center of map is (x=0, z=0) (the crosshairs are slightly below that point, don't use the crosshairs to determine the center point).
    • Unlike normal integers, there is both a +0 and a -0.
    • X coordinate is left-right on the map: right is positive, left is negative.
    • Y coordinate is depth/height: 0 is the bottom-most bedrock layer.
    • Z coordinate is up-down on the map: down is positive, up is negative
    • Since the xbox map/world is only 864 x 864, that means that the max reachable coordinates are only +/- 432. In addition, the edge of the XBox world nearly always ends in the ocean (see map image above), so I suspect that some of these furthest outside blocks may not match those same locations in the PC map.

Here is how maps work in multiplayer:

  • Each player has their own, independently drawn map.
  • If a player crafts a map, it becomes a copy of their own original map.
  • You can "share" map contents with another player by giving them your map and having them view it. Both player's maps will update with all visited areas.
  • 1
    Revised after further testing. Crafted maps are exact copies of your original map. Confirmed the center of the map is (0,0) and that you can count map pixels to estimate coordinate locations and successfully find known dungeons!! Added some multiplayer map detail. – BradC Jun 14 '12 at 14:19
  • 1
    Revised after 6/15/2012 game update was released. Coordinates are now visible when viewing the map. – BradC Jun 18 '12 at 15:52

The next update for Minecraft on XBLA is confirmed to include the world coordinates when viewing the map. So you won't have to wait long to actually see the coordinates in game (as opposed to estimating them).

A full list of upcoming features and bug-fixes in the next title update for Minecraft XBLA can be found here: http://www.minecraftforum.net/news/520-mcx360-updates-you-are-minecraft-more/

What units are the x and z coordinate values measured? Game blocks, I assume?

Yes. In Minecraft each block represents a 1x1x1 metre area. X, Y and Z essentially count the number of blocks in each direction from (0,0,0)

Spawnpoint can be anywhere on a map, right? You aren't always spawned at (x=0, z=0)?


Since release, some have claimed the XBox map size is only 862 x 862 instead of the announced size of 1024 x 1024. Is this confirmed?

The map is in fact 862x862; being 430 squares on each side of the center (-0 and +0). [Reference]


The xbox world is in fact 1024x1024, however, the game builds a barrier around the 864x864 area. This is why you can see chunks loading outside the border of a map. Also, in the games save file, the map data is stored in a 128x128 "image" (Hex values) So with each block representing 8, the world is 1024x1024.

  • 1
    While that might be technically true about the game save file (whether it is or not isn't particularly interesting to me), the playable world is only 864x864, and more importantly (for this specific question), the mapped area is only 864x864. – BradC Apr 23 '13 at 21:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.