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How to Play SkyBlock in "Minecraft"

Jessica has been playing Minecraft since 2012. She enjoys building, farming, and breeding animals. She especially enjoys magic modpacks!

SkyBlock is a "Minecraft" survival map that challenges you to survive on a sky island.

SkyBlock is a "Minecraft" survival map that challenges you to survive on a sky island.

What Is SkyBlock?

In Minecraft, "SkyBlock" is a survival map where players live and build on a floating island. The goal of the map is to survive without cheating, expand your island, grow your own food, and thrive. There are many variations of the SkyBlock map—the original focuses on a floating dirt island in an ice biome. Players of SkyBlock begin the game with the following materials.


  • 26 blocks of dirt
  • 1 oak tree
  • 1 chest
  • 1 lava bucket
  • 1 block of ice

SkyBlock can be played solo or by multiple players (as many as can fit on the island). But to make survival a challenge, SkyBlock should not be played on Peaceful. SkyBlock is a great way to take a break from other Minecraft worlds and projects. You can play the map as quick as you can, or you can take your time. But to enjoy the map, players should follow four basic rules.


  1. Do not make a bridge to the mainland.
  2. Do not jump off of the island for max health.
  3. Play on at least Easy difficulty.
  4. Do not use cheats for any purpose.

The goal of SkyBlock is not to make a staircase to the mainland for supplies, though that may seem tempting! Players are also discouraged from jumping off of the island (to their death) to regenerate their health. Instead, players should work toward growing their own food to prevent starvation. They should play on Easy (at least), and turning on Minecraft cheats to fly or spawn something into the world isn’t allowed. Cheats make it far too easy to complete SkyBlock challenges.

What Are SkyBlock Challenges?

On the SkyBlock map download page, there is a list of challenges for players to work toward. Completing challenges doesn’t award anything extra, but many provide important resources. Players are not required to complete all the challenges—it's up to you how you play! Each challenge can be completed with the materials on the island provided to the player. The SkyBlock challenges consist of the following:

SkyBlock 2.1 Challenges

SkyBlock features many challenges, but you aren't required to complete them all.



Build a cobblestone generator


Make 10 cactus green dye


Craft 10 orange wool


Craft 10 trap doors


Build a house


Make 10 mushroom stew


Craft 10 snow golems


Craft 10 stone pressure plates


Expand the island


Craft 10 Jack O'lanterns


Craft 20 paintings


Craft 10 wooden pressure plates


Make a melon farm


Craft 10 bookcases


Build and light a nether portal


Collect 64 bonemeal


Make a pumpkin farm


Make 10 bread


Craft 5 gold ingots


Craft 20 cobblestone stairs


Make a sugarcane farm


Collect 10 enderpearls


Craft 16 glass panes




Make a wheat farm


Cook 10 fish


Collect 50 birch logs




Make a giant red mushroom


Craft 10 black wool


Collect 64 arrows and craft a bow




Craft a bed


Craft 10 gray wool


Craft 10 stone buttons




Make 64 stone bricks


Craft 10 light gray wool


Craft 30 stone slabs




Make 20 torches


Craft 10 lime green wool


Craft 10 signs




Make an infinite water source


Craft 10 red wool


Craft 20 ladders




Craft a furnace


Craft 10 yellow wool


Craft 20 fences




Make a small lake


Craft 10 pink wool


Craft 20 fence gates




Build a platform 24 blocks away for mobs


Craft 10 green wool


Craft 10 levers



Each SkyBlock challenge leads to another. For example, building a cobblestone generator provides an unlimited source of cobblestone. Cobblestone can then be used to make a house. But players don't need to complete the challenges in order. I’ve listed the challenges most related to survival in SkyBlock by order of necessity. The order of this list is not set in stone, but more of a guideline for new players, covering the basics of the map.

1. Build a Cobblestone Generator

Cobblestone forms where lava and water meet. A cobblestone generator provides an infinite supply of cobblestone! Once you start your SkyBlock world, you will find one bucket of lava and one block of ice inside of a chest. To make your own simple cobblestone generator, do the following in a four-block line:

  1. Dig down one block and place the ice block on top.
  2. Dig down two blocks to the right of the ice block.
  3. Leave the next dirt block in place.
  4. Dig down one block and place the lava on top.

Once you have your cobblestone generator set up, break the ice block. The ice will become water and flow into the two-block deep hole next to it. The third dirt block should now be the only thing separating the water and lava. Breaking the dirt block will cause the water and lava to collide, creating a block of cobblestone. Get ready to start mining!

2. Build a House

Once you mine a couple stacks of cobblestone, you can start to build a house. Since you now have infinite cobblestone, it is the best building material to use. You can always swap it out later with something fancier! It doesn’t matter how big your house is, as long as a bed and other valuables fit inside. A cobblestone house will protect you from hostile mobs until you can defend yourself. I like to keep important materials in my house, like a crafting table, furnace, and chest.

Once you start to expand your island, you'll have a floating fortress!

Once you start to expand your island, you'll have a floating fortress!

3. Expand the Island

Access to infinite cobblestone allows you to expand the island and make room for future projects. And you’ll need the dirt from the island to start a farm and provide a food source. The sooner you can start expanding the island and collecting this dirt, the better. You’ll need to get below the island to collect each block of dirt. You can make a waterfall off the edge of the island with a bucket of water to get down and build a platform under the dirt. Do whatever works best for you, as long as you don’t lose dirt in the process!

4. Craft a Bed

Beds are important commodities in SkyBlock. If you die while playing, you aren’t guaranteed to spawn back on the island. You may have to respawn up to eight or ten times before you end up back on your floating island. With a bed, you can set your spawn point to avoid the hassle. While you don’t have sheep in SkyBlock, you can use string to make wool instead. Once night falls, go hunting for spiders where the monsters spawn on your SkyBlock island. This becomes easier once you have a monster spawning platform.

Cutting tall grass often yields seeds, which grow into wheat.

Cutting tall grass often yields seeds, which grow into wheat.

5. Make a Wheat Farm

While you can survive on rotten flesh, who wants to do that? Growing a wheat farm is a great way to ensure a sustainable food source. Wheat takes a couple of days to grow and can be crafted into bread, which restores six hunger points apiece. Wheat seeds come from breaking tall grass. As long as you lay out your dirt blocks in a square and let the grass spread, you will get seeds. Carrots restore more hunger than wheat, but players do not start with carrots in SkyBlock. The only way to get carrots is a lucky drop from a killed zombie.

Pumpkin pie requires pumpkin, egg, and sugar, but fills up more hunger points!

Pumpkin pie requires pumpkin, egg, and sugar, but fills up more hunger points!

6. Make a Pumpkin Farm

While pumpkins are not a necessity, it helps to have a little farm. Players can use pumpkins to make pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie restores eight hunger points (more than bread) and puts your pumpkins to good use! To craft pumpkin pie, you will need one pumpkin, one sugar, and one egg. Sugar is obtained from sugarcane, and chickens lay eggs. Chickens can spawn into your world if you make a platform 24 blocks away from where you spend the most time. On this platform, place all your dirt blocks and allow the grass to spread. Once all dirt blocks become grass blocks, chickens will start to spawn.

7. Make a Sugarcane Farm

Sugarcane doesn’t serve much of a purpose in SkyBlock aside from making sugar for pumpkin pie. Originally, players could craft bookshelves with paper (from sugarcane) and leather (from cows). But the spawn rate of animals has decreased, and cows and sheep are no longer likely to spawn on your island. Chickens and pigs still spawn in large areas of grass blocks.

8. Craft a Furnace

Players craft a furnace with eight blocks of cobblestone in a crafting table. Furnaces heat blocks and transform them into other items. For example, iron ore is only smelted into iron in a furnace. In SkyBlock, furnaces are important for making charcoal and cooking food. You cannot mine coal in SkyBlock because there is nowhere to mine it! Charcoal results from burning wood blocks in a furnace. To get your first few lumps of charcoal, you can burn woodblocks by using saplings or other woodblocks as fuel. You can then place the charcoal in the furnace to cook more items, or in the crafting table to make torches.

Torches keep hostile mobs from spawning in lit areas at night.

Torches keep hostile mobs from spawning in lit areas at night.

9. Craft Torches

Torches are essential to survive mobs in SkyBlock. As you expand your island, you will have more (unlit) surface area for mobs to spawn on at night. Too many mobs can mean disaster, especially if your house isn’t well built or fortified. To craft torches, all you need are sticks and lumps of coal or charcoal. Placing a torch next to a water block also keeps it from freezing into an ice block. Since the original SkyBlock map exists in an ice biome, using torches this way is very handy.

Jessica Peri, Fair Use: "Minecraft"

Jessica Peri, Fair Use: "Minecraft"

10. Craft Stone Slabs

Did you know that mobs cannot spawn on half slabs? It doesn’t matter what material the slabs are made of—cobblestone, stone, wood, etc. To craft slabs, place three of the same building material in a row in a crafting table. For example, three cobblestones in a row makes cobblestone slabs. When you expand your island, try using slabs to prevent hostile mobs from spawning. But placing other blocks on slabs makes them float. And mobs can still spawn on double slabs, so be careful!

An infinite water source means plenty of water for farming and making your own pond!

An infinite water source means plenty of water for farming and making your own pond!

11. Make an Infinite Water Source

An infinite water source lets water be gathered with buckets without depleting the source. The easiest way to make your own infinite water source is to make a 3x1 rectangle of water. By only drawing water from the middle block, you have an endless supply of water for any need! Water is necessary for farms and is great for making waterfalls over the edge of a block to travel through. You can also use water to make your own lake to catch fish in.

Making a fishing rod in the crafting table is simple - it looks just like a fishing pole!

Making a fishing rod in the crafting table is simple - it looks just like a fishing pole!

12. Make a Small Lake

Why make a small lake on your SkyBlock island? While a lake provides an even bigger infinite water supply, you can also use it to catch fish. If you aren’t having much luck with a wheat, melon, or pumpkin farm, fish can be a staple to your survival.

Once you have a small lake, you’ll need a fishing rod. To craft a fishing rod, place three sticks diagonally with two string hanging from the end. To fish, right-click to cast into your lake. When the fishing bob dips underwater (followed by a splashing sound), right-click again. You can cook fish in a furnace for maximum hunger points!

13. Build a Platform for Mobs to Spawn

Building your own mob spawner is a great way to get materials like string, rotten flesh, bones, and arrows. Build a platform 24 blocks away from your SkyBlock home to spawn mobs. Surround the area with a fence or another barrier to prevent escape. Try building a higher platform above this one with a hole in the middle for mobs to fall through. If the platform is high enough, the mobs will die on impact, dropping their loot on the ground for you to gather. Remember, you can prevent mobs from spawning by building the bottom platform out of slabs!

Bows are great for shooting mobs from a distance, especially creepers.

Bows are great for shooting mobs from a distance, especially creepers.

14. Collect Arrows and Craft a Bow

Once you’ve set up a monster spawning platform, collecting arrows from skeletons will be a breeze. You cannot fire a bow without arrows, and crafting arrows in SkyBlock is impossible. To craft arrows, you need one stick, one feather, and one flint. Feathers and sticks are available with wood and chickens, but flint can only be mined from gravel. Since there is no gravel in SkyBlock, skeletons are the only source of arrows you have! Once you have arrows, craft a bow out of three sticks and three strings. Now you can protect your island from a distance!

15. Collect Bonemeal

Trees, wheat and other crops take time to grow, and sometimes it’s time that we don’t have. Using bonemeal on saplings, wheat and other plants make them grow up, but it takes a few tries. Bonemeal comes from skeleton bones, so get to work on your mob spawner! Bonemeal is also great for growing grass and getting more wheat seeds to plant or feed to chickens. Bonemeal is also essential for growing giant mushrooms in dark locations (like the nether).

With a new update, players can also make bonemeal by using a composter. Composters turn food and plant items (excluding bamboo and meat) into bonemeal. Food items have a higher chance of producing compost when added, while plant items like seeds and sugar cane are less likely. Composters are crafted with three wood planks and four wood fences.

16. Build and Light a Nether Portal

Yes, you can go to the nether in SkyBlock! But the nether portal entrance will be on a floating island, too. Going to the nether still opens up new opportunities for you. You can build a platform to spawn pigmen and farm them for gold nuggets. Gold nuggets can be crafted into gold ingots, which you can crafting into armor, tools and weapons. Having gold armor is better than having no armor, after all. Golden apples are also crafted by surrounding an apple with golden nuggets. Golden apples restore four health points, but they grant regeneration for five seconds!

The nether's infinite darkness and space is great for growing giant mushrooms!

The nether's infinite darkness and space is great for growing giant mushrooms!

17. Make a Giant Red Mushroom

The nether is the perfect place to grow giant mushrooms! Giant mushrooms grow by using bonemeal on a red or brown mushroom. Destroying these mushrooms yields more of the type that was grown. A giant red mushroom drops red mushrooms, and a giant brown mushroom drops brown mushrooms. Giant mushrooms need a 7x7x6 area to grow in total darkness. So, using the nether to farm mushrooms is much more effective than your SkyBlock island.

This is a great way to harvest and gather mushrooms to craft into mushroom soup. Mushroom soup restores six hunger points and consists of one bowl, one brown mushroom, and one red mushroom.

Survival Is Key

There is plenty to do on your SkyBlock island, whether you aim to complete all the challenges or build a massive floating kingdom. In the end, survival is key. The challenges listed above are essential to surviving and thriving on your island. Feel free to share your SkyBlock survival tips and advice on how to make your island epic!

Play on a Skyblock Server!

Questions & Answers

Question: How do you make the nether portal in Skyblock?

Answer: A nether portal requires ten blocks of obsidian (at minimum, in the shape of an O) and flint and steel to activate it.

Question: How many pieces of sand do you get on the sand island with the chest that holds the obsidian?

Answer: The island was made up of 27 sand, with 10 obsidian in the chest.

Question: I am building my own skyblock map. What are the items found at the chest in the nether?

Answer: The chest in the nether usually has an ice block, mushrooms, and a birch sapling.

Question: When I'm playing the Skyblock map in Minecraft, wow do I get leather if cows don't drop any?

Answer: Cows, horses, mooshrooms, donkeys, mules and llamas all have the chance to drop leather. It isn't guaranteed though, so some cows you kill may not drop anything! Breed more cows and keep trying.

Question: What happens when I die on lava in Skyblock?

Answer: The lava burns anything you may have dropped when you died!

Question: How do you get iron in Skyblock?

Answer: You get iron by finding iron ore while mining, and smelting it in the furnace into iron ingots.

Question: How do you build a platform to get the sand in Skyblock?

Answer: You can build a platform of cobblestone underneath the sand to safely break and collect the sand blocks.

Question: How do I get to survival mode in skyblock?

Answer: You can set survival mode when you first start your world. Or you can set your game mode to survival with cheats. Try opening your world to LAN in the settings, enabling cheats, and typing "game mode survival" into chat (minus the quotation marks).

Question: Where can I get flint and steel to activate the nether portal when playing Skyblock?

Answer: Flint and steel is made by combining an iron ingot and flint in a crafting table.

Question: Can I play Skyblock offline?

Answer: Yes! If you download a skyblock map, you can play it offline as a single-player world.

Question: How do I get cows to spawn on my island?

Answer: Make sure your platform is at least 24 blocks away from spawn, and that it is made of grass blocks (if still dirt, the grass has to spread). Light up the platform very well with torches, and be prepared to wait - it may take a while.

Question: Can those mobs spawn in the day?

Answer: Hostile mobs typically spawn at night, or in dark spaces.

© 2013 Jessica Peri


Hope Flos on November 09, 2019:

How do I reach the sand island without the sand falling? Literally every single time I get to the sand island, the sand falls along with the cactus!!! I'm not even touching the sand, and it just falls! What do I do? How do I save the sand and the cactus?

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on November 03, 2019:

@Brendan I'm glad it has been helpful!

Brendan1284 on October 25, 2019:

Thanks so much! This really is a helpful guide to the community!

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on September 26, 2019:

@skinow There is another island you build across to made of sand. In a chest on that island there is obsidian, one melon seed and one pumpkin seed. You plant the pumpkin seed to start growing pumpkins.

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on September 26, 2019:

@d2b You can easily play Skyblock offline - just download a skyblock map. You don't need to play it on a server - I never do.

skinow on September 24, 2019:

how am i suposed to make a pumpkin farm if i am in an empty world

i made my own skyblock map but i dont know if it is supposed to have more islands than the main one

d2b on September 19, 2019:

can it be played offline? or is it only a online game play?

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on September 19, 2019:

@Ava Breaking the ice block gives you water, which you need to set up a cobblestone generator!

Ava on September 18, 2019:

What is the ice for

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on August 20, 2019:

@Janne It's been so long, but I believe this was a download of a solo skyblock map - no multiplayer server involved.

Janne on August 19, 2019:

Which server did you use for these examples?

Justin on July 27, 2019:

@lucas the sand is supposed to fall. You need a platform underneath the sand to catch it.

Ash on July 26, 2019:

how do i get a skyblock server on minecraft pe

lucas on July 01, 2019:

i played on a bad map wich had the sand island pure sand so it fell as soon as i broke the cacti :(

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on June 15, 2018:

@grayson No problem - have fun!

grayson on June 14, 2018:

thanks im gonna do this

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on January 03, 2018: