How to Make Minecraft Machines & Defend Your Base

By Adam Cordeiro, Emily Nelson

Machines can help you survive and defend your building in Minecraft from both enemy players and hostile mobs. For example, if there is a zombie siege on your village, as a player you are only able to cover so much ground in the defense of your base. More commonly on Player-versus-Player (PvP) servers, groups of players may plot against you and attack your building. Having the ability to activate machinery that can either attack foes or provides enhanced security can mean the difference from surviving and watching your keep get pillaged.

In this guide, we’ll discuss two of the best machines for defending your base: the arrow-shooting dispenser (offensive) and the locked iron door with pressure plates (defensive). Learn how to make the dispenser and iron locked door as well as use them properly during an emergency!

How to Make and Use a Dispenser That Shoots Arrows

The way the dispenser works is that redstone gives the dispenser power. Redstone is an ore that can be mined into redstone dust; the dust is what powers the dispenser. The dispenser then shoots out its contents, so when you power it up and place an arrow inside, it becomes an arrow-shooting dispenser.

To build an arrow-shooting dispenser in Minecraft, you need 7 cobblestones, 1 bow, as many arrows as you can make, a redstone torch, and at least 2 units of redstone dust.

Collecting all of the Materials

To get cobblestone, mine stone and pick up the cobblestone that drops when you’re finished. To create one bow, you need 3 strings and 3 sticks. Place the strings in the right column of the crafting table, filling all the boxes. Then, place 2 of the sticks in the top and bottom boxes of the middle column. Now, place the last stick in the center box of the left column.

To make arrows, you need a flint, a stick, and a feather. Mine gravel to get flint, and kill a chicken to get feathers. Place the flint in the top box of the center column, and the stick in the box below it. Then, place the feather in the bottom box.

You’ll need a redstone torch to activate your dispenser. To make one, you need 1 redstone dust and 1 stick. Place the stick in the lower box of the middle column in the crafting table; place the redstone powder in the box above it.

Crafting the Dispenser

Now, you need to build the dispenser. To make a Minecraft dispenser that shoots arrows, you need 7 cobblestones, the bow, and redstone dust. Here’s what to do with them:

  1. Place the bow in the middle box of the crafting table.

  2. Place 1 unit of redstone dust in the lower middle box of the crafting table.

  3. Place the 7 cobblestones in the remaining boxes.

  4. Exchange the redstone powder, the bow, and the cobblestone for the dispenser.

Now your dispenser is ready. You can place it anywhere in the building. If you want to kill zombies and other enemies when the sun goes down, place the dispenser at eye level and outside.

Using the Arrow Shooter

To use the arrow-shooting dispenser, follow these steps:

  1. Place the arrows inside the dispenser.

    To do this, just right click the dispenser and place the arrows into one of the boxes of the dispenser. It doesn’t matter which box you use.

  2. Place the redstone dust in a line until you reach the spot where you want to stand when you turn on the dispenser. It’s recommended that you find a safe spot inside to trigger the arrow shooting dispenser, so you remain safe.

  3. Set a red torch next to the end of the redstone dust trail.

    This step turns on the dispenser so that it shoots arrows. If you want to turn off the dispenser, just destroy the torch.

How to Make and Use a Locking Iron Door

Another useful machine is a locking iron door. You make it out of 6 iron ingots and open it using a lever or button. Iron is a stronger and more durable material that is less easy to break down. In fact, zombies and villagers cannot break down iron doors with normal attacks. Iron doors can typically only be opened with redstone power (button, circuit, lever, or pressure plate). Using iron doors as your access point for your building helps create an impenetrable defense!

To make an iron door in Minecraft, follow these steps:

  1. Place the ingots on the crafting table.

    The bars should fill the left and middle columns of the table. An iron door appears.

  2. Take the iron door in exchange for the bars.

  3. Place the door where you want it, and place at least 2 vertical blocks next to the door.

    You do this so that you can place a lever or button on the block to open the door.

  4. Get a piece of wooden plank or a piece of stone to make a button.

  5. Place the stone or plank on the middle block of the crafting table.

  6. Take the button in exchange for the planks or stone.

  7. Place the button on a block next to the door.

    You now have a functioning steel door that you can open with the press of a button!

How to Open Iron Doors in Minecraft

Opening iron doors in Minecraft require redstone power. When crafting an iron door, you can do so in a way which creates a button that allows you to open or close the door. Another way to open an iron door is with a lever. To create a lever, you need 1 block of cobblestone and a stick. Making a lever is easy — follow these steps:

  1. Place the cobblestone in the lower middle box of the crafting table.

  2. Place the stick in the center box of the crafting table.

  3. Take the lever in exchange for the cobblestone and the stick.

  4. Place the lever on the block next to the door.

You can use the lever by right clicking it. The door will stay open until you manually shut it. After you open the door, place a second lever or button on the other side. The first lever opens the door, while the second lever closes it.

How to Make a Pressure Plate

You can also use a pressure plate to open an iron door. A pressure plate, like the name implies, is a plate that opens a door when you put pressure on it. The crafting ingredients include 2 stones or woods.

To make a pressure plate in Minecraft, follow these instructions:

  1. Place 2 wooden planks or 2 stone in the middle row’s left and middle boxes of the crafting table.

  2. Take the pressure plate in exchange for the planks or stones, and place it on the ground in front of the door.

  3. Walk on the pressure plate to open the door.