How to Reshape the Landscape for Your Minecraft Construction

By Adam Cordeiro, Emily Nelson

Though landscapes allow for lots of neat-looking creations in Minecraft, sometimes the landscape you have isn’t quite the one you want. Fortunately, you can change the world however you want — it just takes some time.

A common problem when building is finding level ground to build on. Even plains aren’t completely level, which makes it tricky to build structures with flat floors. Fortunately, you can rebuild your surroundings in many ways.

Leveling mostly flat surfaces

If a surface has a few bumps and dips, you can make it completely flat by following these steps:

  1. Get the largest piece of flat land you can find.

    Look for a lot of blocks that are all at the same elevation.

  2. Destroy any small hills inside the land.

    Make sure it has no blocks taller than the stretch of land.

  3. Fill any holes in the land.

    You can use any block you want for this step, including dirt or sand. And you don’t necessarily have to fill the holes entirely — you can probably get away with just covering the top of the hole.

    Some issues might arise from covering just the top of any holes. These hollow spaces might create spawning spaces that slow down mob spawning, and they could make it harder to terraform the land later. In other words, it’s probably in your best interest to fill up holes completely rather than just covering them in a layer of dirt, but that’s up to you.

  4. Level other hills and holes at the edge of the land, extending the land until it’s big enough to support your building.

Leveling large structures

Sometimes you want even more room to build a structure. You might destroy an entire hill to make way for your building, for example, or hollow out a mountain to build an underground home.

Some players dig out these structures by hand — beacons and enchantments give you Haste and Efficiency power-ups so that you can mine out an area quickly. However, if you have a plentiful source of sand and gunpowder, you can use another method to clear out land: TNT.

To mine out a large areas with TNT, you can follow one of two different methods:

  • Maintain a distance of at least 3 to 5 blocks between each block of TNT you use. This method is the safer one. When you spread out explosives this way, you can carve out holes in any shape you want, hollowing out caves or reducing hills to flatter surfaces.

  • Place a cluster of TNT (for example, a 3x3x3 cube) at the center of the place you want to destroy. This method is riskier and inaccurate — but it’s easier to complete.

When TNT is in close quarters like this, some of the explosives tend to launch off-course and can destroy other structures (even those you want to keep).

You can light TNT in lots of simple ways after you place it. You can use pressure plates, redstone torches, flint and steel, bows with the Flame enchantment, and many other tools. None of these methods changes the way the TNT detonates, so use whichever one is most convenient.