You can craft an in-game map in Minecraft. It will show you an overhead view of your immediate surroundings in the game. One individual map is small, but you can expand them with a crafting table or a special cartography table. You can even create several adjacent maps and then place them together on a wall or other surface to provide a more complete overview of an area in the game.
To make a map, you’ll need two ingredients: paper and a compass.
How to get paper
Paper is one of the basic crafting items in Minecraft, and is used to create and expand maps. To craft paper, you’ll need at least 3 sugar cane and a crafting table. Arrange 3 sugar cane in a horizontal row in the middle to generate a stack of 3 paper. You will need 8 paper in total to craft your map.
How to get a compass
You’ll also need to craft a compass in order to make a map. You’ll need one redstone dust, four iron ingots, and a crafting table. Place the redstone dust in the center, and surround it on all four sides with iron ingots.
How to craft a map
Once you have your paper and your compass, you’re ready to assemble your map. Use your crafting table once more and place the compass in the center. Surround it completely with 8 pieces of paper. Now you have your empty map.
Are you ready to turn your empty map into a drawn map of your surrounding area? Drag it to your hotbar and then “use” it. This will imprint a map of your immediate surroundings. Your current location is marked by the white dot on the map.
How to craft an expanded map with a crafting table
Your initial map shows a relatively small area of 128 x 128 blocks, or 8 x 8 “chunks” of 16 blocks — a standard measurement in Minecraft. You can use more paper to “expand” your map to show a much larger area using either your crafting table or a special cartography table (see below).
To expand your map using the crafting table, place the map you want to expand in the middle and surround it with 8 blank sheets of paper. This creates a “zoomed” version of your map. Each time you expand your map, it creates a map with a higher zoom level. Your initial map is at zoom level 0, and it can go all the way to zoom level 4. At the highest level, the map covers 2048 x 2048 blocks, or 128 x 128 chunks. You need 32 total pieces of blank paper to expand your initial map to the maximum level.
The Cartography Table
A specialized cartography table has several map-related functions, and allows you to expand maps much more efficiently than with a regular crafting table. Here are some of the things you can do with a cartography table.
- Expand maps with just one piece of paper instead of eight.
- Clone your maps
- Lock your maps
How to craft a cartography table
To craft a cartography table, you need four planks of wood (any combination of planks will work) and two pieces of paper. Place the four planks in the bottom left corner and place the two pieces of paper on the top row, above the planks like this:
Now you’ve got your own cartography table and are ready to do some pro-level things with maps in Minecraft!
You can also find cartography tables in villages that have a cartographer’s shop. These tables can be used in the village or “mined” so that you can steal them and place them wherever you like.
How to clone maps with a cartography table
Using your cartography table, place a map you want to copy alongside a new empty map, and your original map will be cloned. This clone map will change whenever the original is changed. Cloned maps are great for hanging in different locations or for providing to friends in multiplayer games.
How to expand maps with a cartography table
You can expand your maps on a cartography table and it will use much less paper than when you expand them on a regular crafting table. To expand your map to the next zoom level, just place your map with a new piece of paper.
How to lock maps with a cartography table
Maps in Minecraft update whenever the terrain changes. For example, if you have a map of an empty field but later build a giant castle on it, the map will update to show the castle.
If you don’t want your map to update with changes, you can “lock” it using a cartography table. To do this, combine your map with a standard glass pane on your cartography table. Note you need to use a standard clear glass pane — colored glass panes won’t work.