What Is Copper Used For In Minecraft: You 100% Need to Know

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This post was last updated on September 1, 2023

Copper is a unique metal in Minecraft with a bunch of useful features. Unlike most metals in the game, copper can’t be used to make armor and weapons, but is instead used to make a few specific tools like the lightning rod, spyglass – or blocks.

This guide tells you all the important details about copper in Minecraft. You’ll learn where to find copper ore, how it works, what you can make with it, and why it can be so useful.

What Is Copper Used for in Minecraft?

Copper has a few uses in Minecraft. While you can’t create armor or weapons, copper is used for creating a few unique tools.

These tools work differently from other tools in the game. You can’t make a copper pickaxe or axe for example. Copper is instead used in Minecraft to make very specific, but equally as helpful tools.

it’s also worth noting that the tools you can make out of copper can’t be replicated with any other materials. That means if you want to use these tools, then you’ll have to get digging for some copper.

We’ll explain the best ways to find copper later in this guide!

What can you Make out of Copper in Minecraft?

Copper ingots are used in three recipes in the game:

  • Blocks of copper
  • Lightning rod
  • Spyglass

We’ll explain each of these items in more detail below.

How To Craft A Copper Block

Copper blocks are unique blocks that are ideal for decorative purposes. We think the aesthetics of copper makes it one of the coolest building tools out there. With so many different shades and types, you can build some very attractive structures.

To make a block of copper, simply fill your crafting table with nine copper ingots. This will give you one copper block.

Just like in real life, copper blocks tarnish (oxidize) and fade green as time passes. There are four stages of this tarnishing which take a few days to progress.

  1. Unweathered copper blocks
  2. Exposed copper blocks
  3. Weathered copper blocks
  4. Oxidized copper blocks

You can prevent this from happening by waxing your copper blocks (explained later).

The Copper Aging Process

You can scrape away the tarnish by using an axe on the block. This will reduce the weathering by one stage per interaction. Lightning bolts also remove the weathering although can’t be controlled.

How To Wax Copper Blocks

You can create waxed copper blocks to prevent them from oxidizing. All you need is a honeycomb. Simply equip the honeycomb and use the interaction button when aiming at a copper block.

You can wax copper blocks at any stage of the oxidization process, and it will keep it preserved at the current oxidization condition.

If you want to remove the wax, simply use an axe on the waxed copper block. This will re-activate the aging process.

Copper Block Uses

Copper blocks can be crafted into a bunch of other decorative blocks, such as – slabs, stairs, cut slabs, and cut stairs.

Using these unique blocks is a cool way for Minecraft players to decorate their buildings.

There are a bunch of crafting recipe varies for copper blocks, so here is a full list of each type you can make:

  • Standard copper blocks
  • Cut copper block
  • Copper slabs
  • Copper steps
  • Cut copper slabs
  • Cut copper stairs

You can craft with any level of oxidized blocks of copper too, so if you want to make some rusty green stairs then you can.

Copper variations

If you want to make any of the cut copper blocks (for example, cut copper slabs or cut copper stairs), you need to make the cut copper block ingredients.

These are easy to make, simply put four blocks of copper in a square on the crafting table. You will receive 4 cut copper blocks.

How To Craft A Lightning Rod

Lighting rods are a useful tool that attracts lightning strikes during thunderstorms in the surrounding area. We’ve all experienced it – you craft a cool wooden house, only to find it bursting into flames and burning down when the wooden roof gets hit by lightning.

Minecraft Lightning Rod Recipe

This is where a lightning rod comes in handy. All lighting strikes in a nearby storm will be directed to the rod, instead of striking random areas. This can be a great way to keep your flammable house safe.

You should know that sometimes fire will still happen around the lightning rod, so make sure you place it somewhere safe and not on your wooden roof.

Lightning rods are easy to create, all you need are three copper ingots stacked on top of each other in the crafting grid.

How To Craft A Spyglass

Spyglasses can be a super helpful item if you need to scan the surrounding landscape. These tools let you zoom in on your view, and can let you see much further into the distance. These are quite a new addition to the game but can be a lot of fun to use.

To make a spyglass, place two copper ingots in a stack, and put one amethyst shard at the top.

Minecraft Spyglass Recipe

Using the spyglass increases your camera zoom by 10x. It also slows Minecraft players’ movement speed when active.

If mobs are too far away to be rendered or simulated based on your game settings, then they won’t be shown by the zoom.

Spyglass Zoom

You can find an amethyst shard by mining an amethyst cluster. These can be found in any cave, although they are particularly common in ancient city biomes.

Where To Find Copper in Minecraft

There are two ways to find copper in the game:

  1. Mine copper ore
  2. Find copper ingots when killing drowned mobs

There are several principles behind the generation of copper ore that help to understand. Knowing how the generation works will help you to find it easier.

(Note, you can only mine copper ore with a stone pickaxe or higher).

Copper Ore

Copper ore is generated between Y0 and Y96. You will find a higher concentration of copper halfway between these values – so look between Y40 and Y50.

Copper ore blocks are relatively hard to come by. Sometimes looking for a copper mine might yield the best results. Alternatively, dripstone caves are more likely to have large veins of copper ore.

You also have a higher chance to find copper ore when digging under beach biomes and other sandy areas.

After the copper has been mined, you will receive raw copper. Unlike other ore types, when breaking copper ores you can receive a few pieces of copper. This means you can often make a few copper ingot items from one ore.

Copper ore (or raw copper) is smelted into copper ingots like any other metal ore – by putting the raw copper in a furnace. One piece of raw copper will give you one copper ingot.

You can smelt copper twice as fast using a blast furnace – which is a key item for players who like to work with metal!

Where To Find Drowned To Kill For Copper

Drowned mobs are found underwater, although there are several location types where there is a higher chance of finding them.

You can find Drowned in Dripstone caves, ocean, and river biomes. They are more common in dripstone caves and rivers than in oceans.

Ocean ruin structures also have a high chance of being generated with Drowned mobs.

Standard zombies can also be converted into Drowned zombies if their head is underwater for at least 30 seconds.

Killing a Drowned mob has an 11% drop chance for a copper ingot. If you use a weapon with the looting enchantment it increases the drop chance by 2% per enchantment level.


Copper is a unique type of metal in Minecraft with a few uses. This is an unusual one as it is only used in three crafting recipes. Unlike other tools, the tools you make out of copper can only be made with copper and no other metals.

Copper blocks are also a great block with fantastic decorative purposes. You can use these to make some really cool constructions – and the weathering effect can be used creatively too!


Is Copper Worth Getting in Minecraft?

Copper is definitely worth getting in Minecraft. Copper ingots have a few uses – namely making spyglasses, lightning rods, or blocks of copper. No other materials can be used instead of copper in these recipes, so you should always mine copper ore and hold onto it if you find it.

Is Copper Better Than Iron Minecraft?

Copper isn’t better or worse than iron in Minecraft. They are both used for different crafting recipes. Unlike iron, copper ingots can’t be used to make armor or weapons. You can only use it for spyglasses, lightning rods, and copper blocks.

Are Copper Tools Good in Minecraft?

Copper tools aren’t like other tools in Minecraft. Unlike stone, gold, diamond tools, etc, copper can only be used to make two tools. You can’t make an axe or a pickaxe (or any other standard tool) with copper ingots. That said, the tools you can make with copper (and only copper) are pretty good and have unique uses. Check out the rest of this guide to see what tools you can make out of copper ingots in Minecraft.