Redstone Guide by Alpha218

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    Redstone Guide by Alpha218

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 01/22/11 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Version History:

    • 1.0 (1/21/11)
      • Guide finished and submitted for posting on GameFAQs. All of the important basic stuff you'd need for your run-of-the-mill redstone circuit is present and accounted for. Still to add: the really complicated stuff that I don't understand. Yet.


    Hello, and welcome to the Redstone guide for Minecraft. Redstone, which is found pretty far down in the ground (close to the lava layer and the diamond layer) can be a very confusing material to the uninformed player. Heck, for about a month I would not touch the stuff because I had no idea how to use it properly. Then, after griefers basically broke into my house on a multiplayer server and stole my stuff, I decided to take precautions against thieves and intruders. I made an iron door and wired it to a redstone circuit that was activated by either one of two different switches: one on the inside in order to get out, and one hidden on the outside that only I knew the location to. Using just one of the many applications of redstone, I was able to keep people away from my stuff when I was out mining. Want to learn how to do stuff like this and more? Then read on!

    Redstone as a Crafting Material

    Yeah, yeah, I know. You want to learn about logic circuits right? What makes redstone work its magic? Wait a sec. Before we do that we should probably go over what else redstone is good for first. You know, in crafting.

    Redstone Torch

    This item simply requires a piece of redstone placed atop a stick; a crafting bench is not needed.

    Probably the most important thing you're going to make with redstone if you're here for the circuit portion. It acts as an inverter in circuits, which basically means that the output of a circuit is opposite of what it is (if it is lit, then the output isn't and vice versa). Also it acts as a great power source in redstone circuits - it powers the wire for 15 blocks. However it can't be flipped on and off by itself unlike the other triggers that can be used in a circuit.

    All it takes to make one is a stick and a piece of redstone. However, unlike normal torches, which make 4 with their recipe, you only get 1 redstone torch with this crafting recipe.

    An important thing to note about this torch: it is in no way a replacement for a normal torch. It has half of the light output of a normal torch and never prevents enemies from spawning.


    The Compass requires 4 iron ingots and a piece of redstone in the center.

    The Compass is a very nice tool to have if you wander far away from your starting point. Why? Because the needle on it points exactly to where your spawn is located. So you can use it find your spawn to load up a chest full of stuff if you die, or to find your way back to your main base if you built it around your spawn area.


    The Clock has the same recipe as the Compass except you replace the iron with gold ingots.

    Tells the time of day. Not very useful unless if you're underground/in the nether and have no way to just look outside to see whether it's dark or not.

    Note Block

    Here is how you make a Note Block. It requires 8 planks surrounding a single piece of redstone.

    The Note block does exactly like you think it would - it plays a note when activated. It can be activated either via redstone torch underneath it or by wiring redstone dust on the side. Want to make that symphony of yours? Just wire them in a giant redstone circuit and see the results.

    A note block's range begins at F#/Gb, and resets to that value whenever placed on the ground. Right clicking a note block changes the pitch to the next highest one until it hits the same note, except two octaves higher (making for a grand total of 25 different tones from it). Depending on what kind of block is underneath it, it can play different instrument sounds. At this point you can get 5 different sound types.

    1. Double Bass (Wood-Type Blocks)
    2. Snare Drum (Sand or Gravel)
    3. Clicks/Sticks (Glass or Glowstone)
    4. Bass Drum (Stone-Based Blocks, Netherrack, Brick)
    5. Harp (Dirt and any other block type)


    The dispenser requires 7 cobblestone blocks, a piece of redstone, and a bow.

    Now this one is interesting. This block can eat up a lot of resources but can also be quite useful. It's yet another redstone contraption, sure, but this time instead of being there just for show (like the note block), the dispenser can be a nifty item for traps. Yeah, that's right, traps. You see, most items the dispenser ejects just get softly thrown a few feet forward. However, if you want to rig a trap, all you need to do is make a redstone circuit with the dispenser being the output (and a pressure plate as the input) load up some arrows into it, and presto! You have your one nasty death trap. One that could really kill them if there are many of them. If you just want to mess with them though, load it up with snowballs or eggs, as they get launched as well. Seeing a bunch of chickens appear around your friends is hilarious.

    Redstone Circuit Components

    Here are 4 of the power sources that exist in the game, along with the redstone wire that they power.

    Now, onto the part you guys came here for. Before we get into actual circuits, we need to go over the components of it.

    Redstone Wire

    Redstone wire when laid on the ground.

    You know that redstone dust that you mined? Well it's not just for crafting stuff with. No, you can lay it down on the ground (by right-clicking) and it'll serve as a wire that can connect power sources to outputs. Basically this is the single most important part of a redstone circuit. Can travel up or down one block if placed against a block of different height.

    Power sources

    In order to power the circuit, you'll need to connect a power source to the wire that you've laid down. Each source of power is different from the others. Use whichever one works best for your circuit.


    Arguably the go-to power source when you're choosing what to attach to your input wire. Can toggle ON and OFF, and doesn't automatically revert to the ON position unless hit.


    This input source can only be attached to the side of a block. On being hit, the button makes the input the opposite of what it was for a few moments before reverting.

    Wooden Pressure Plate

    A piece of redstone weighing down the wooden pressure plate and activating the circuit.

    You step on it, and whatever it's wired to will be powered. You walk off of it, and then the power is cut. Can't get much simpler than that. Oh, and dropping items on this pressure plate will activate it as well.

    Stone Pressure Plate

    Same exact deal as the wooden pressure plate except it's made of stone and throwing items on it doesn't push it down, only players or mobs can.

    Redstone Torch

    Permanent Power source. However, unlike the lever, the redstone torch is always in the ON position when serving as an input power source.

    Logic and its Representation in Redstone Circuits

    Redstone circuits basically are built in the form of logic gates. Some are hard to figure out if you're not familiar with logic terminology. So I am here to lay them out for you. But first, you'll need to know the terminology and how inputs and outputs work in Minecraft.

    Input and Output: How They are Represented in Redstone Circuits

    You know what you want to be your input and your output in this circuit, but how do you tell the game that? Simple.

    Redstone wire coming in from a different level than the block functions as input (it mimics the behavior of the wire attached to the switch).

    Redstone wire coming in at the same level as the block acts as output. In other words whatever comes into the circuit is the opposite of what leaves it.

    Simple enough.

    Truth Tables

    If you are unfamiliar with logic truth tables, then the information you need to know on them is right here. The inputs will be listed first, in this case as the letters 'A' and 'B'. Then the output will be labeled, in this case as A (Gate type) B. Underneath each column will be either the letter 'T' or 'F' to label whether that specific element is either ON or OFF, respectively.

    The truth tables for each circuit will be listed at the end of each description so that you can see what effect each combination has on the overall basic gate you are building.

    The NOT Gate

    One variant of the NOT Gate is shown above. The input is OFF so the output is ON.

    The simplest type of logic gate. You simply connect the input to a block, which is holding a redstone torch. The redstone torch (and consequently any other output) displays the opposite of the input.

    ANOT A

    The OR Gate

    The minimum requirement to power the output is having one input set to ON. Therefore the output is ON.

    In this type of logic gate, there are multiple inputs, however the output is set to ON if at least one of the inputs is ON.

    ABA OR B

    The AND Gate

    An example of an AND Gate. Both switches are ON so the output is ON.

    The output is ON when both inputs are active in this setup. This makes it so you can have more than one switch for a door to be activated, meaning if someone accidentally finds just one of the switches they still can't enter.


    The NOR Gate

    Two of the three switches are active, making the output OFF.

    The inverse of the OR gate. If any of the inputs are in the ON position, the NOR Gate's output will be OFF.


    The NAND Gate

    Only one of the inputs is ON in this NAND circuit, and as a result the output door is in the ON position.

    The NAND Gate is the inverse of the AND Gate, essentially. When both inputs are ON, the output is OFF.


    Redstone Logic Gates for Proficient Users

    The below gates take more skill to construct and understand than those thus far. In some cases I took screenshots of larger variants of these circuits so I could have most of the wiring exposed for your viewing, and because they were easier to understand.

    The XOR Gate

    In the picture the bottom switch is ON and the top one is OFF, therefore making the output ON.

    This Gate type only becomes active if the switches are in opposing positions (one is ON and the other is OFF). The XOR Gate is useful for having multiple switches to lock doors (one for each side).


    The XNOR Gate

    The inverse of the XOR Gate. Neither of the switches are ON so the output is ON.

    Like the XOR Gate; however this Gate is active when both switches A and B are in the same position.


    The IMPLIES Gate

    Shown here is the configuration where the 'A' input (the top lever) is true and the 'B' input (the bottom lever) is false.

    If input A is 'true' (ON) but input B is 'false' (OFF) then the output will be OFF. Otherwise the logic of this circuit dictates that it is ON.


    Complex Redstone Circuits

    Coming soon! Some of these are complicated to describe and actually get my head around but rest assured I will post them here as soon as I can get them set up!

    Practical Uses

    Use of a redstone torch has switched the position of this curved Minecart Track.
    • Security purposes.
      • Hiding a lever and the connecting wire that activate the iron door protecting your house.
      • Placing redstone-wired wooden pressure switches at the end of enclosed waterfalls means that you have drop an item into the waterfall in order to activate the switch, making it a good switch to throw off smarter thieves who try to break in.
    • Making songs using redstone circuits and Note Blocks.
    • Altering Minecart Track direction between two different possible receiving tracks.
    • Remotely detonating TNT. Wiring TNT so you can set it off a safe distance away.
      • TNT traps activated via a redstone pressure plate will blow up any intruders and all of their stuff. That'll teach them to mess with you!
      • TNT mining, while not practical for getting resources near the detonation crater (TNT completely destroys 70% of the blocks it blows up), can be used to get through rock very fast. Useful if you have a lot of resource types commonly found on the layer of the underground you're on and you want to get down to the better stuff quick.

    And more!

    Legal Stuff and More

    Copyright owned by Andrew (Alpha218), 2011

    This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

    Special thanks to:

    Afrocious_ - For gifting me a copy of the game. If it weren't for him this guide wouldn't exist because I would never have played this game.

    MagicToaster - For running a fun multiplayer server. It was on his server that I began to mess with redstone and look for uses for it.

    SBAllen - For approving this guide so I can show others how to use redstone in a multitude of ways.

    You! - I made this guide for you to read and gain knowledge from. Thank you for reading my guide!

    If you would like to email me with either questions or comments about this guide, feel free to shoot something over to and I will try to reply in a timely manner if possible.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope this guide has helped you to understand the mechanics of redstone and what you can do with it.