Mobile GamesAction-Adventure GamesSimulation GamesRPGsFirst Person ShootersSports GamesMMORPGsFighting GamesStrategy GamesClassic GamesHorror GamesPuzzle GameseSportsConsoles

How to Create Minecraft Maps with WorldPainter

Updated on July 5, 2015
Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl has been playing Minecraft since 2012. She enjoys building, farming, and breeding animals in vanilla and modded Minecraft.

Did You Know?

WorldPainter can also be used to make maps for reference and tabletop games. Just export it as an image file to print it out!

What is WorldPainter?

WorldPainter is an interactive map generator for Minecraft that allows you to “paint” landscapes as you would in Microsoft Paint or another paint program. The program starts users off with a basic Minecraft map, which can be edited with numerous terrain, material, tree and shape brushes. WorldPainter is a great resource for Minecraft players looking to create their own themed or multiplayer maps.

WorldPainter is free to download, use and distribute as open source software licensed under the GNU Public License. The program is not affiliated with Mojang - the makers of Minecraft - in any way, and was created by pepsoft.org. WorldPainter itself is largely self-explanatory; the buttons are all defined and the controls are easy to understand. If you are unfamiliar with paint programs, however, WorldPainter can seem a bit daunting.

 Learn how to use WorldPainter, a paint program that helps you generate and create maps with brushes, layers and other tools!
Learn how to use WorldPainter, a paint program that helps you generate and create maps with brushes, layers and other tools! | Source

How to Make Minecraft Maps

Once you get the hang of it, making Minecraft maps with WorldPainter is both fun and convenient. Your map is entirely customizable, from the default terrain to pyramids, forests, underground caverns and spawn point. The following are some basic guidelines to making a Minecraft map using WorldPainter’s brushes and features. As part of this tutorial, I’ll be making a desert world based around a large pyramid.

1. Create a New Minecraft World

Creating a new world gives you several options about the terrain of your map.
Creating a new world gives you several options about the terrain of your map. | Source

While opening WorldPainter starts users with a default Minecraft world, you can generate a more specific seed if desired. This option makes it easier to generate themed worlds and change the default terrain of the map. To start a new Minecraft world:

  1. Left-click on the “File” menu option

  2. Left-click on “New World”

  3. Alter the topography and materials

  4. Left-click “Create” to generate the world

You can experiment with many different settings here; you can make your Minecraft world hilly or flat. you can raise and lower the water level, change all water into lava and place beaches around water. Most importantly, there is the option to change the surface material of the map, from grass to sand to cobblestone and more.

2. Use Specific Terrain Brushes

Using a solid, round brush will paint on grass more realistically than other brushes.
Using a solid, round brush will paint on grass more realistically than other brushes. | Source

Once you have created your new Minecraft world, you can start altering the terrain to your liking. Do you want a large lake in the corner of the map, or a river to separate one land mass from the other? The options are only limited by your imagination! To change between different terrain brushes, left-click on a terrain in the left sidebar and click and drag it across the map. There are several types of terrain to choose from:

Types of Terrain in WorldPainter

Terrain Type
Terrain Description
Grass
grass with flowers, tall grass and ferns
Dirt
bare dirt
Sand
bare sand
Desert
sand with a cactus or dead shrubs
Bare Grass
bare grass
Stone
bare stone
Rock
mix of stone and cobblestone
Sandstone
sandstone
Obsidian
extremely tough volcanic glass
Cobblestone
cobblestone
Mossy Cobblestone
mossy cobblestone
Gravel
gravel
Clay
clay
Water
flowing water
Lava
flowing lava
Deep Snow
thick layer of snow
Netherrack
netherrack
Soul Sand
soul sand
Netherlike
netherrack with lava, soul sand and glowstone
Mycelium
mycelium
End Stone
end stone
Bedrock
unbreakable bedrock
Resources
stone on surface with coal, ores, gravel and dirt, lava and water
Beaches
grass with patches of sand, gravel and clay

By changing the size of the brushes, you can make a small lava pit or a vast river or ocean. It is easy to make a grassy oasis in a desert world. In our Minecraft desert map, an oasis will be a big help for players, as they will need water and dirt blocks to farm their own food and go fishing.

3. Add Layers of World Materials

I used a small, round brush to apply a jungle layer to this strand of grassland.
I used a small, round brush to apply a jungle layer to this strand of grassland. | Source

WorldPainter includes different layers that can be applied to the Minecraft world. Layers allow users to create different types of forests, as well as caverns and chasms in their Minecraft world. You can also create underground pockets of coal, ores and other resources in specific areas of your map! Layers are applied the same as terrain brushes:

Types of Layers in WorldPainter

Layer Type
Layer Description
Frost
Cover the ground with snow and turn water to ice
Caverns
Generate underground caverns of varying size
Chasms
Generate underground tunnel or ravine-like chasms of varying size
Deciduous
Generate a deciduous forest
Pine
Generate a pine forest
Swamp
Generate swamp land
Jungle
Generate a jungle
Void
Just the long drop into nothingness
Resources
Underground pockets of coal, ores, gravel and dirt, lava and water
Populate
Let Minecraft populate the land with vegetation, snow, resources and water and lava pools
Biomes
Enable Custom biomes in the Edit menu to enable biome editing

By using different brush textures and layers, users can create many different features on their Minecraft map. The jungle layer above the water above was applied with the spike circle brush to create a soft of oasis for players; this way, wood can be obtained outside of the desert. Experiment with different types of terrain to see what you like!

4. Use Tools to Shape Land

The pyramid tool is a fun way to add large, realistic structures to a desert world.
The pyramid tool is a fun way to add large, realistic structures to a desert world. | Source

The tools section of WorldPainter contains features that help to raise and lower the land, as well as flood areas with water and lava and change the player’s spawn point. These can be used to make mountains, valleys, pyramids and more. If you make too much water or lava, you can even dry it up! WorldPainter includes the following tools:

Types of Tools in WorldPainter

Tool Types
Tool Descriptions
Raise Rotated Pyramid
Raises square pyramid out of the ground rotated 45 degrees
Raise Pyramid
Raises square pyramid out of the ground
Flood
Flood an area with water
Lava
Flood an area with lava
Height
Raise or lower the terrain
Flatten
Flatten an area
Smooth
Smooth the terrain out
Raise Mountain
Raises a mountain out of the ground
Spawn
Change the spawn point
Sponge
Dry up or reset water and lava
Global Operations
Fill or clear the world with a terrain, biome or layer

By using these tools, you can create natural features like large, spanning mountains and massive lava-filled volcanoes. The spawn tool allows you to change the spawn point of players, a useful tool when you want to keep players from spawning into lava, voids and other dangerous map features.

5. Change Brush Size and Texture

Using the cracks brush will speckle terrain on your map as opposed to a solid brush.
Using the cracks brush will speckle terrain on your map as opposed to a solid brush. | Source

In the right toolbar of WorldPainter, there are fourteen brush tools of differing sizes and textures. There are also more brush options, such as rotation, intensity and more specific level adjustments. Using these tools properly can help you create a sparse forest, a deep ocean and other natural landmarks. The brush tools include the following:

  • Spike Circle

  • Spike Square

  • Noise

  • Linear Circle

  • Linear Square

  • Cracks

  • Sine Circle

  • Sine Square

  • Constant Circle

  • Plateau Circle

  • Plateau Square

  • Constant Square

  • Dome Circle

  • Dome Square

Different types of brushes are more suitable for different terrain; for example, you’ll want to use a circle-shaped brush to make a large body of water for a more natural look. You can use the cracks brush to sprinkle grassy land with rock or snow. Experiment with the brushes to figure out which ones suit your need best.

6. Change Other Map Settings

Editing your dimension properties is a great way to completely customize your map.
Editing your dimension properties is a great way to completely customize your map. | Source

If you are feeling extra creative, you can test out the additional map options located under the menu bar at the top of the WorldPainter program. These tools have more to do with the properties of the Minecraft map, such as editing the dimensional properties, enabling and disabling the max far view distance and rotating the map. Here is the full list of options:

  • Edit the properties of this dimension

  • Raise or lower the entire map

  • Rotate the entire map by quarter turns

  • Add or remove tiles

  • Move the view to the spawn point

  • Move the view to the origin

  • Enable or disable the grid

  • Enable or disable height contours

  • Enable or disable image overlay

  • Enable or disable showing the maximum (far view) distance

  • Enable or disable showing the five minute, one day and one day and one night walking distances

  • Rotate the direction the light comes from anticlockwise

  • Rotate the direction the light comes from clockwise

Editing the properties of the dimension really allows user to fully customize their Minecraft map. You can have a border of water, lava or even a void to keep players trapped in. You can choose to have underground caverns everywhere, and even to have them break the surface! Depending on the type of map you are making, this tool can really help you set the theme.

7. Export the Map as a Minecraft Map

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Exporting your WorldPainter file is the only way to download it as a Minecraft map.Before exporting, you get another chance to fine-tune the details of your world map.
Exporting your WorldPainter file is the only way to download it as a Minecraft map.
Exporting your WorldPainter file is the only way to download it as a Minecraft map. | Source
Before exporting, you get another chance to fine-tune the details of your world map.
Before exporting, you get another chance to fine-tune the details of your world map. | Source

Once you finished creating and editing your map in WorldPainter, it is time to export it as a Minecraft map! While saving your WorldPainter file saves your project for later editing, exporting it allows you to access it in Minecraft as a playable map. Then you get to see the fruits of your labor! To export your map, follow these steps:

  1. Left-click on the “File” menu option

  2. Left-click on the “Export” option

  3. Left-click on “Export as new Minecraft map”

  4. Edit world name and options as desired

  5. Left-click “Export” at the bottom of the window

Choosing to export your map gives users a final chance to change some of the properties, as well as the type of map to create. Users can export their map in Survival, Creative or Adventure mode and enable or disable cheats. You can also choose the world type - Default, Superflat or Large Biomes. The map will be exported directly into your Minecraft .saves folder unless you choose another location.

Once you’ve exported your world map, take it for a test drive! If something didn’t come out the way you planned, go back into the original WorldPainter file and edit it. Have fun making your own Minecraft worlds, and feel free to leave feedback in the comment section below!

© 2013 Jessica Marello

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Alexandra 2 years ago

      I like to make world for minecraft

    • Dreamhowl profile image
      Author

      Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

      Yeah it will definitely export into those file types. I'd love to hear how it goes if you do! I don't run any roleplaying campaigns, and the GM isn't really that thorough with our roleplaying. I've always thought this could be a big help for campaigns, though!

    • Cameron Corniuk profile image

      Cameron Corniuk 3 years ago from Painesville, OH

      Thanks, Dreamhowl.An image like PNG, or JPG is what I was looking for. It could be a new way to make some of my RPG maps.

    • Dreamhowl profile image
      Author

      Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

      Unless there is another option hiding in the menu, you can only export it as a Minecraft map file, an image file (looks like all types), or as a height map.

    • Cameron Corniuk profile image

      Cameron Corniuk 3 years ago from Painesville, OH

      I'm curious, what other export options are there for this application?

    • Dreamhowl profile image
      Author

      Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

      I haven't messed much with the more advanced features, but maybe you could edit the biome to remove or prevent frost? I'll have to take a closer look - I'll let you know if I figure it out!

    • profile image

      trying to remove frost.... 3 years ago

      my name says it!