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How to find and use Copper in Minecraft

Minecraft 1.17 Copper
(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft Copper is a metal resource that was added as part of the 1.17 update, and you'll need to smelt it's ore form to get usable Copper ingots for crafting. Depending your Y-level, Copper ore is actually quite common and you'll easily spot the orange and green fragments poking out of stony ore blocks. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind while you mine, smelt, and craft with Copper, mainly that it oxidizes and turns a bluish-green colour. Of course, if you want to get a Lightning Rod or a Spyglass, you'll need to go hunting for Copper. We've laid out everything you need to know about Minecraft Copper, including where you can mine for it, how to get Copper Ingots, and how to wax Copper.

How to find Copper in Minecraft

Minecraft 1.17 Copper

(Image credit: Mojang)
Minecraft Amethyst Shards

Minecraft 1.17 Amethyst

(Image credit: Mojang)

You might want some Minecraft Amethyst Shards to go with your copper for a Spyglass

To get Minecraft Copper Ingots, you need to find Copper Ore. This resource spawns in the form of a Copper vein, meaning that you usually find several Copper ore blocks clustered together. Bring a Stone Pickaxe or higher quality pickaxe with you, as Copper Ore mined with a wood pickaxe or other item won’t drop anything. 

Copper Ore spawns from Y-level 0 to 96, but with a higher spawn chance around the middle layers - around Y48. It’s therefore wise to start searching a little below sea level (Y63). If it spawns between layers Y0 and Y16, the Copper ore will take the form of Deepslate Copper Ore. The latter has a higher hardness level than normal Copper Ore and takes longer to mine. As it’s also quite rare, it’s best to just go for the normal Copper Ore type. Dripstone cave biomes can also contain large veins of Copper ore.

How to get Copper Ingots in Minecraft

Minecraft 1.17 Copper

(Image credit: Mojang)

However, mining Copper Ore will only get you Raw Copper. You need to smelt this raw material in order to make Minecraft Copper Ingots. This is a fairly simple step which most Minecraft players will already be familiar with: just put the Raw Copper in a furnace and add some fuel (wood will do). Then wait until your Copper Ingots are ready. Now you can start crafting!

How to use Copper in Minecraft

Minecraft 1.17 Copper

(Image credit: Mojang)

Now that we have our Copper Ingots, it’s time to start crafting. Copper Ingots can be used to create the following items:

  • Copper block. Use nine Copper Ingots to create a smooth, solid copper block.
  • Lightning Rod. Place three Copper Ingots on top of each other to create a Lightning Rod. You can check out our separate Minecraft lightning rods guide too.
  • Spyglass. Place one Amethyst Shard on top of two Copper Ingots to craft a Spyglass.

How to wax Copper in Minecraft

Minecraft 1.17 Copper

(Image credit: Mojang)

Just like in real life, Minecraft copper changes its color due to oxidation. You can see the different stages of Copper oxidation in Minecraft in the above picture. If you don’t want your copper to change, you can wax it (this will preserve the current color, not reset it). Just equip a honeycomb and use it on the copper block.

Alternatively, you can use an axe on a Copper block to scrape it. This will reset the level of oxidation by one (weathered copper would become exposed copper). Finally, while you can’t really plan this, a lightning strike will fully remove the oxidation.

Let’s head back to those Caves & Cliffs and get ourselves a Minecraft Copper house!

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Marloes Valentina Stella
Marloes Valentina Stella

I’m a freelance journalist who (surprise!) kind of has a thing for videogames. When I’m not working on guides for GamesRadar, you can probably find me somewhere in Teyvat, Novigrad, or Whiterun. Unless I’m feeling competitive, in which case you should try Erangel. You can also find my words on PCGamesN, Fanbyte, PCGamer, Polygon, Esports Insider, and Game Rant.