How many blocks do you need for a 4 level beacon?

In Minecraft, beacons are block structures that provide status effects to players within a certain radius when activated with an item. The range and strength of the beacon effects depend on the height of the beacon pyramid. A level 4 beacon pyramid, which is the maximum level, provides effects up to 50 blocks away. So how many blocks do you need to build a full 4 level beacon pyramid? Let’s break it down.

Beacon Pyramid Levels

Beacon pyramids can have up to 4 levels. Each level requires a different number and pattern of blocks:

Level 1 9 blocks
Level 2 34 blocks total (9 on level 1 + 25 on level 2)
Level 3 83 blocks total (9 on level 1 + 25 on level 2 + 49 on level 3)
Level 4 164 blocks total (9 on level 1 + 25 on level 2 + 49 on level 3 + 81 on level 4)

So in summary:

  • Level 1 requires 9 blocks
  • Level 2 requires 25 additional blocks for a total of 34 blocks
  • Level 3 requires 49 additional blocks for a total of 83 blocks
  • Level 4 requires 81 additional blocks for a grand total of 164 blocks

Beacon Base

The bottom level or base of the beacon pyramid must be 3×3 blocks. There are 9 total blocks on the base level. The base can be made of the following mineral blocks:

  • Iron Block
  • Gold Block
  • Diamond Block
  • Emerald Block
  • Netherite Block

Any combination of these mineral blocks can be used for the 3×3 base. Most players use iron blocks as they are the cheapest and easiest mineral to obtain in large quantities.

Second Level

The second level of the pyramid must be 5×5 blocks, which is 25 total blocks. It must be centered directly above the 3×3 base. Any mineral block like the base can be used. Typically iron is used for cost savings.

Third Level

The third level is 7×7 blocks, so 49 total blocks. It must be centered above the second level. Again, any mineral block can be used but iron is typical.

Fourth Level

The top fourth level is 9×9 blocks, requiring 81 blocks. This maxes out the pyramid at level 4. The 81 blocks must be centered above the third level. Iron blocks are commonly used.

Block Summary

To summarize the total number of blocks needed:

Level 1: 9 blocks
Level 2: 25 blocks
Level 3: 49 blocks
Level 4: 81 blocks
Total: 164 blocks

So in total, you need 164 mineral blocks such as iron to construct a full 4 level beacon pyramid in Minecraft!

Beacon Pyramid Layout

The beacon pyramid levels must be centered precisely above each other and require the following mineral block amounts per level:

Level 1: 3×3=9 blocks
Level 2: 5×5=25 blocks
Level 3: 7×7=49 blocks
Level 4: 9×9=81 blocks

So in summary, the full 4 level pyramid has the following pattern from bottom to top:

  • 3×3 base
  • 5×5 second level
  • 7×7 third level
  • 9×9 fourth level

Constructing the Beacon Pyramid

Follow these steps to build a proper full 4 level beacon pyramid:

  1. Lay out a 3×3 base of mineral blocks like iron
  2. Build up 5 blocks on each corner of the base, so you have a 5×5 platform
  3. Fill in the 5×5 platform with mineral blocks
  4. Build up 7 more blocks on each corner of the 5×5 platform
  5. Fill in this 7×7 platform with mineral blocks
  6. Go up 9 more blocks on each corner of the 7×7 platform
  7. Fill in the 9×9 platform to complete the pyramid

Things to note:

  • Each level must be centered perfectly over the lower level
  • Lighting the beacon will fail if the levels are misaligned
  • Use pillar blocks on the corners to help keep levels straight
  • Count out the edges to ensure the dimensions are accurate
  • Mix and match mineral block types if desired

With a properly constructed full 4 level pyramid centered over the beacon block, you will have a max power beacon providing effects up to 50 blocks away!

Beacon Pyramid Efficiency

Some players choose to build more efficient beacon pyramids that use fewer mineral blocks while still providing a level 4 beacon. This is possible by making certain modifications.

For example, instead of a full 9×9 on the 4th level, you can build a 5×5 and place the beacon in the center block. This reduces the number of blocks needed from 164 down to 119. The range will still reach 50 blocks.

An even more extreme optimization is reducing the pyramid down to a 3×3 base, 4×4 second layer, 5×5 third layer, and 5×5 fourth layer with beacon in the center. This requires only 82 blocks while maintaining the top beacon power.

So in summary, while a full 4 layer beacon takes 164 blocks, optimized designs can achieve similar range and strength with as few as 82 blocks – saving over half the resources!

Beacon Base Materials

The beacon base and pyramid layers can be constructed from the following mineral blocks in any combination:

  • Iron Block
  • Gold Block
  • Diamond Block
  • Emerald Block
  • Netherite Block

Iron blocks are the cheapest and easiest to obtain in bulk. Diamond and Netherite blocks are more costly and time consuming to amass.

While any mineral block can be used for all pyramid levels, it is common to use cheaper materials like iron for the upper layers and reserve the rarer blocks like diamond and netherite for the bottom layers.

This optimizes material cost while still activating the beacon. The effects provided are the same regardless of mineral type used.

Iron Blocks

Iron blocks are crafted from 9 iron ingots arranged in a square. Iron is extremely common and renewable, making iron blocks the easiest source for beacon bases.

An iron golem farm can provide endless iron for turning into blocks. Mining also produces plenty of iron.

Gold Blocks

Gold blocks require 9 gold ingots each. Gold is rarer than iron but also renewable. Gold blocks can be substituted for iron or mixed in.

Farming nether gold ore and mining badlands biomes offer renewable gold sources. Gold blocks add a prestigious appearance.

Diamond Blocks

Diamond blocks are crafted from 9 diamonds. Diamonds are challenging to obtain in quantity for blocks.

Non-renewable diamond ore must be mined. Fortune mining and villager trading help collect diamonds for blocks.

Emerald Blocks

Emerald blocks require 9 emeralds each. Like diamond, emeralds are non-renewable and hard to acquire.

Mining and villager trading offer the only ways to get emeralds. Emerald blocks add unique flair.

Netherite Blocks

Netherite blocks are extremely expensive, needing 9 netherite ingots per block. Ancient debris mining and material crafting produce netherite.

Netherite blocks are purely for showing off wealth given their steep cost. The effects are identical to cheaper options.

Beacon Activation

Once built, the full 4 layer beacon pyramid must be activated by placing a beacon on top and inserting an item.

The beacon block acts like a container. Right click the beacon to access the GUI and insert an item in the empty slot:

  • Iron Ingot
  • Gold Ingot
  • Diamond
  • Emerald
  • Netherite Ingot

The inserted item is consumed to activate the beacon. Then the primary and secondary powers can be selected from the interface.

A level 4 beacon allows choosing two powers. For example, Speed and Haste or Resistance and Jump Boost.

The tier of mineral used to activate the beacon determines the duration of the effects. The more rare the mineral, the longer the effects last.

Mineral Effect Duration
Iron Ingot 6 seconds
Gold Ingot 9 seconds
Diamond 12 seconds
Emerald 15 seconds
Netherite Ingot 20 seconds

Using a diamond, emerald, or netherite ingot is recommended for longer effect duration from the activated beacon.

Beacon Effect Range

At max level 4, the beacon effects have a radius of up to 50 blocks from the pyramid. The range depends on beacon height:

Beacon Level Effect Range
Level 1 20 blocks
Level 2 30 blocks
Level 3 40 blocks
Level 4 50 blocks

So maximizing the size and height to level 4 will provide effects for a 50 block radius from the beacon block.

Beacon Effect Stacking

The effects of multiple beacons can stack up to 4 times. With clever placement, you can get some supercharges combos:

  • Speed II + Speed II = Speed IV
  • Jump Boost II + Jump Boost II = Jump Boost IV
  • Strength II + Strength II = Strength IV

For example, building 4 level 4 beacons around your base 100 blocks apart means you can get Speed IV and Jump IV when in range overlapping all 4 beacons!

Beacon Tips & Tricks

Use these tips to get the most out of your beacon:

  • Center beacon pyramid perfectly under the beacon block for maximum range.
  • Light with sea lanterns or glowstone to prevent mob spawns.
  • Use glass blocks to see beam colors from mineral blocks.
  • Combine speed and haste for super fast mining.
  • Stack multiple beacons just outside activation range for effect combos.
  • Use iron for cost savings on upper layers.
  • Toggle effects on/off with redstone mechanisms.


Constructing a full 4 level beacon pyramid in Minecraft takes 164 mineral blocks like iron or diamond. Arranging blocks in a stacked 3×3, 5×5, 7×7, 9×9 pattern ensures proper activation and 50 block effect range.

With clever designs, reduced block pyramids can conserve resources while still hitting level 4. Activate the beacon with iron, gold, diamond, emerald or netherite for buff status effects across your base!

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