How To Make and Use Minecraft Pistons

Minecraft 1.7, also known as the Piston update, opened a whole new world of possibilities to people playing vanilla Minecraft. Pistons are blocks that can push (and in the case of sticky pistons) pull other blocks. Pistons need to be powered by a redstone source, which can be as simple as a lever or button, or complicated as a redstone circuit. There are a great many uses for pistons, including retractable bridges, hidden doorways, piston gates (in which a post attatched to a sticky piston can be raised and lowered, opening a pathway in a fence) and so much more. But before you can make any of these piston powered creations, you need to be able to make pistons.

How To Make Pistons

Pistons, as we have already established, are blocks that are capable of extending and pushing other blocks. Normal pistons are capable of pushing blocks in all directions. Once the piston is retracted, the block will stay in place, unless it is one of the few blocks affected by gravity (sand or gravel) in which case, the block will fall.

Pistons are crafted from the following materials:

  • 3 Wooden Planks
  • 4 Cobblestone
  • 1 Iron Ingot
  • 1 Redstone Dust

The three wooden planks are placed along the top of the crafting window. These form the extendable part of the piston. The four cobblestone blocks are placed vertically on the extreme left and right sides of the crafting grid. This leaves the center of the grid free for a iron ingot and below that a piece of redstone dust is placed.

How To Make Sticky Pistons

Sticky pistons are pistons that 'stick' to blocks, so instead of just pushing them, they're able to also pull them back again. Sticky pistons are very useful for creating bridges, secret doors and any other creation that requires a block or blocks to be able to slide back and forth.

To make sticky pistons, you'll need all the materials you need for pistons, plus slime balls, which can be harvested from slimes. Slimes are the bouncy gelatinous creatures you spot sometimes deep underground. They inevitably give you a fright because they're green and so look like creepers, which prompts panic until you realize the only danger they pose is pushing you into lava.

When you slay a slime, you will be rewarded with slime balls. These are used to make sticky pistons and can be crafted by placing a piston in the crafting window with a slimeball above it.

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