At first glance, a regular Minecraft world might not seem like much. It’s somewhat rare to find generated structures around the world that would be classified as dungeons, and which hold some valuable loot for the player. With the exception of villages, many dungeons and structures tend to be fairly rare and sometimes even difficult to find, unless you dig deep enough.
That being said, with some exploration and adventuring, players are bound to come across these structures at some point. Some structures appear only in certain biomes, will others can spawn almost everywhere. There are even dungeons that are so rare that you’ll need to go quite far to even find one. The real question is, which of these structures are the best in terms of loot and other features? Shipwrecks aside, as those are not generally dangerous to explore, let’s take a look at some of Minecraft’s best dungeons.
Igloos are small snow structures that are usually found exclusively in cold biomes. However, not just any snow biome will spawn them. They’re most commonly found in snowy tundras, but can also be found in snowy taiga biomes. There’s usually a bed, a furnace and a crafting bench inside, which makes them great temporary homes.
The real secret is the basement, however. Some igloos will have a ladder hidden under the carpet hiding a room deep underground, with a villager and a zombie villager. There’s also a chest, a cauldron and a brewing stand, with everything the player needs to cure the zombie villager. In terms of loot, the best that can spawn here is emeralds and the guaranteed golden apple used to cure the zombie villager.
Pillager Outposts were introduced in the 1.14 update, and can spawn in a variety of biomes, including plains, savanna, desert, snowy tundras and most taiga biome variants. The more space there is, the more likely they are to spawn, so any vast plains biomes will have a chance of spawning this structure.
The loot isn’t that noteworthy here. If you’re lucky, the chest up top on the tower can spawn an enchanted book, which is as good as it gets. Other notable items are iron, bottle o’ enchanting, crossbows and food like carrot and potato which are usually otherwise found in villages. The main reason to go here would be to get the Bad Omen status effect and then start a raid at a village.
Found in deeper ocean biomes, ocean monuments are large underwater structures that accommodate a bunch of guardians, as well as three Elder Guardians, which must be defeated to avoid getting Mining Fatigue. There are no chests inside the monument, which makes it weak in terms of loot. That being said, since the 1.16 update which has made gold more important as a trading resource with Piglins, ocean monuments are even more important.
Within the largest room inside a dark prismarine block is typically eight full gold blocks, which are great for trading in the Nether. Moreover, there are dedicated rooms where sponges, one of the rarest utility blocks in the game that suck up water, can also be found. Finally, anyone making a Conduit will want to find a monument to mine out some of its prismarine blocks, making it pretty valuable.
Added in the 1.13 update, ocean ruins have become a common dungeon populated mostly be the drowned. For that reason, there’s a chance of finding a trident-wielding drowned and potentially get the rare weapon as a drop. Even the loot isn’t half bad, especially fairly early on into the game.
Typically, there’s two types of chests. One will contain lesser loot such as coal, wheat, leather gear, treasure maps and potentially enchanted fishing rods. On rare occasion, it might even have emeralds. The second type of chest has a chance of having enchanted books and golden apples on top of the lesser loot found in the first type of chest.
It might be surprising to see the abandoned mineshaft so high on the list, but as one of the most common structures in the game, they provide so much for players. With ready-made tunnels, mining is made much easier, and there’s a ton of chests lying around with some very nice early game loot, including potentially enchanted books and an enchanted golden apple.
Moreover, there’s usually several cave spider spawners which yield quite a bit of experience points if the player decides to farm them for some XP. Regular chests will have melon, beetroot and pumpkin seeds which are rare to find otherwise, as well as iron, name tags and even bread and torches which are a necessity during a mining trip. Mineshafts are simply fantastic when it comes to finding ores and other resources easily, and with how common they are, they’re worth the exploration.
Finding a desert is usually a good omen in Minecraft, despite how unlivable this biome is. However, it has a high chance of spawning villages and most importantly desert pyramids, making it a great biome to explore further. Pyramids can be spotted from afar, and have four chests hidden under the main floor, next to a TNT trap, so tread carefully.
The chests are some of the best in the game for a fairly common structure. They can often contain diamonds, enchanted books, gold, iron, emeralds, enchanted golden apples, gunpowder and saddles. Horse armor is usually found in them, too. There are no enemies present either, though mobs can spawn inside the crevices of the temple, making it potentially dangerous to explore.
It’s quite rare to find a jungle biome unless you actually spawn into one, but if you do, it’s well worth traversing the dense environment in search for a jungle pyramid. These cobblestone structures are easily spotted from afar, and are riddled with traps and potentially some mobs. Make sure to disarm the trap wires in the first hallway, and check the hidden second chest behind the levers.
The two chests located here have loot quite similar to the desert pyramid. There’s diamonds, gold, emerald, iron and even bamboo. Enchanted books and horse armor can also be found in these chests.
Extremely rare and quite difficult to find, if you set out to a woodland mansion, it’s best to buy a map from a cartographer villager to lead you to the closest one. Keep in mind that mansions can sometimes spawn as far as 50 000 blocks away, if you’re particularly unlucky, and they don’t always carry their weight in gold when it comes to chest loot in particular.
Depending on which rooms the mansion has, the loot will differ greatly. The obsidian room will have a block of diamond encased within obsidian, and the Illager statue room has a lapis block inside the statue’s head. Random chests scattered around can have enchanted books, diamond chestplates, enchanted golden apples, music discs, melon, beetroot and pumpkin seeds, leads and nametags. The main reason for coming here is however the Evokers and the Totems of Undying they drop.
Dungeons are the second best structure, which might come as a surprise for many. After all, the loot is usually inferior to many other structures, but depending on which type of dungeon it is, it can continue to provide experience points indefinitely for the player, making it insanely useful. Skeleton dungeons are generally considered to be the best type of dungeon due to skeleton drops (bows, arrows and bones), being very useful in combat and farming.
Dungeons are common structures, and can appear at any elevation, but usually next to a cave of sorts. It’s possible to find dungeons that open at surface level. Chests within can contain, at best, music discs, enchanted golden apples, gold ingots, iron ingots, name tags and occasionally enchanted books.
A rather rare dungeon which is unlikely to be found by accident, strongholds are a necessary structure to find if you want to defeat the Ender Dragon and access the End and its cities. Finding them is quite a hassle, requiring Blaze rods and Ender pearls to create Eyes of the Ender. However, in terms of loot, they are among the best.
Depending on the rooms, strongholds might spawn with a library which can be mined for tons of books. The library’s two chests contain enchanted books, some of which are extremely good. Regular chests will have iron gear, diamonds, emeralds or even Ender pearls which can come in handy after passing through the portal. Given that they’re the only passageway to the End, it’s impossible to rank them anywhere lower.
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Tea lover and video game obsessed writing enthusiast with her very own Overwatch team, Anastasia writes about games that leave an impression on her and make her come back time and time again.
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