How to get a Lightning Rod in Minecraft and use it

Minecraft Lightning Rod
(Image credit: Mojang)

The Minecraft Lightning Rod is a device that is particularly useful if you find yourself caught up in a storm, as it can protect you from the damaging wrath of Zeus. Lightning strikes are usually harmless if they land out in the open, but they can easily zap your livestock or burn your wooden Minecraft house to the ground if you're unfortunate enough to sustain a direct hit. The last thing you want it to return home and find a smouldering pile where you once lived, so you should prioritize constructing a Lightning Road for some peace of mind.

The Minecraft Lightning Rod is pretty easy to craft, but the recipe and finding the materials to do it can be a little tricky, so we'll guide you through both of those elements below. We'll also explain some of the less obvious applications for this device in Minecraft, so you know how to use it as effectively as possible.

Minecraft Lightning Rod

(Image credit: Mojang)

How does the Minecraft Lightning Rod work?

A Minecraft Lightning Rod will divert lightning strikes, making it hit the rod instead of any other blocks surrounding it. In Minecraft Java Edition, the area covered by the Lightning Rod is 32x4x32. In Bedrock edition, it’s 64x64x64. You should mount it on a block that isn't flammable, such as stone, otherwise the base and other nearby flammable blocks could be ignited by a strike.

Naturally, a Lightning Rod won’t do anything during clear weather or normal rain. You can tell the difference between normal rain and a thunderstorm by looking at the Lightning Rod: if it emits tiny white sparkles, lightning strikes are coming so get ready!

You can always remove your Lightning Rod and place it elsewhere, but make sure to use a stone or better quality pickaxe to remove a Lightning Rod, otherwise it won’t drop anything.

How to get a Lightning Rod in Minecraft

(Image: © Mojang)

The crafting recipe for a Minecraft Lightning Rod is simple – just place three Minecraft Copper Ingots on top of each other, which is the same shape as the Lightning Rod itself. The only difficulty you may encounter is to find Copper Ore, but if you just look at some nearby cave entrances or dig around a bit, discovering enough Copper Ore shouldn’t take too long. You can then smelt them in a furnace to get the three Copper Ingots required.

How to use the Lightning Rod in Minecraft

Minecraft Lightning Rod

(Image credit: Mojang)

As mentioned before, the Minecraft Lightning Rod can protect your wooden house from lightning strikes, but that’s definitely not the only use of the Lightning Rod in Minecraft. Here are some examples of its other functions: 

  1. Prevent mobs from transitioning into something more dangerous. For example, a villager struck by lightning turns into a witch. 
  2. Create mobs on purpose (and collecting their drops). Just put a villager in a tiny space with a Lightning Rod in the middle, and wait for it to be struck. It’s a bit mean, but effective.
  3. Remove oxidation from copper blocks. Just place the Lightning Rod on top of the copper and wait until it gets hit; the greenish color will disappear.
  4. The Lightning Rod sends a redstone signal when it’s struck by lightning, which means you can use it in a redstone circuit.

All you need to do is head out and find some Copper Ore, and you’ll have a Minecraft Lightning Rod in no time!

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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.