Minecraft copper – how to make a lightning rod

Minecraft has a new metal in town, here's everything we know about copper from where to mine it, to how to make the lightning rod and spyglass

A minecraft house with a copper ore roof

What is copper in Minecraft? Yes, we have a brand new resource to play with, which you can smelt, wield, and craft until your heart desires. The new material arrives in the upcoming Minecraft 1.17 Caves and Cliffs update and as part of Mojang’s promise to the community to spruce up the cave and mountain system.

As well as copper, the upcoming update will also add new Minecraft mobs such as adorable mountain goats, sweet little axolotls, and the warden – a blind monster mob found lurking in your newly excavated caves. For everything we know about these updates, check out our guides on the Minecraft 1.17 update and Minecraft 1.18 update to get the full Caves and Cliffs release dates, how the new cave system works, and of course the biomes themselves.

It also has a fun quirk that veteran players will adore, in that copper turns green over time as it’s naturally exposed to the elements, so long term players can celebrate their turquoise trophies. Or passing players can marvel at your greening Minecraft house – or whatever you decide to build with copper in Minecraft.

How does copper in Minecraft work?

Raw copper, or copper ore mined with the Silk Touch Minecraft enchantment, can be mined underground from ore veins and work similarly to other metal ores when dropped and broken. However, mining copper requires at least a stone pickaxe or harder to harvest the ore.

You can also find copper in Deepslate copper ore, which is more difficult to break. You can smelt down your ores by using a Minecraft blast furnace, creating copper ingots you can use for crafting.

The roof of a house that is made with a copper roof. Several blocks are oxidising.

What can I do with copper in Minecraft?

You can use copper to make an industrial-style material for creative new Minecraft builds like factories or get an oxidised copper look over time.

Copper can also be used to craft lightning rods. These are semi-defensive objects that you can place on top of buildings or high areas and will attract lightning to hit them. To make lightning rods, place three copper ingots in a straight vertical line down the middle column.

The recipe for a lightning bolt made from Minecraft copper ingots.

This ensures that lightning from thunderstorms will not damage your wooden buildings, as without the lightning rod, any wayward bolt of lightning will burn wooden buildings to the ground. You may need to place the lightning rod on top of a stone block to earth electricity. When lightning strikes the rod, it can trigger a redstone signal.

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The other key item you can create using copper in Minecraft is a spyglass. Crafting a spyglass requires two copper ingots and one Minecraft amethyst shard – amethyst is another item that is introduced in the Caves and Cliffs updates. The spyglass can be used to zoom in and focus on a specific point in your field of view. Your walking speed slows down while looking down the lens.

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