Redstone Tutorial for Minecraft: What Can Redstone Be Used For?

More Than Just a Red Stone...

Redstone is a hidden gem in the Minecraft world. Its possibilities are endless, and everyday people are finding new and amazing ways to use redstone. One player even posted a video on YouTube of a working Mac PC keyboard using redstone circuits through the computers mainframe.

How cool is that?


Now in reality, no one's expecting to have that much free time and for the most part, you'll be using redstone for simpler things like torches and traps. For now, I'll give you some cool things that redstone can do, and how to make some items powered by it. Here we go!

1. Sliding Door

Yes, you read that right. Sliding doors are possible in Minecraft. Redstone can be used to power pistons that will move blocks aside either by using a lever or pressure plates. Look at the picture below.

A bare look at sliding redstone doors. Note that the pistons can be hidden by adding blocks in front of them so that the only thing seen are the golden blocks.
A bare look at sliding redstone doors. Note that the pistons can be hidden by adding blocks in front of them so that the only thing seen are the golden blocks.

Here's what you need to create sliding redstone doors:

  • Sticky Pistons
  • Blocks of your choice
  • Redstone dust
  • Pressure plates or lever


Place pistons on their side, so that when they are activated, they will push the blocks aside, just like a sliding door. Like in the picture, wire the redstone behind the piston and circuit it to where you want it to be activated at. In this picture, the door will be activated by pressure plates. The player here used redstone torches, however, I recommend not using redstone torches. Instead, I suggest you use redstone dust to power the entire thing. Wire the redstone back to a pressure plate or lever, and take care to hide the evidence. For instance, in the photo above, by placing blocks in front of the pistons, you can hide the ugly schematics for your contraption, so that when it is completed, the only thing that will be seen is your golden door powered by plates.

2. Redstone Lamps

Everyone needs lighting. In Minecraft, lights is what keeps enemies away and also what keeps them from spawning in your house. So how can redstone light your house? Well, by redstone lamps of course!

Focus your attention on the middle block. This block can be controlled by redstone to light anything you want. Note the lever.
Focus your attention on the middle block. This block can be controlled by redstone to light anything you want. Note the lever.

Redstone lamps will go off once redstone dust or a redstone torch is placed beneath it. A redstone torch will keep the lamp lit indefinitely, but if you wish to control when the lamp goes on, wire redstone dust underneath it and lead it back to a pressure plate, lever, or button.

In a world I recently created, I constructed a glass sphere from glass blocks and placed redstone lamps inside and powered them all so that the sphere lit up! And the best part? I controlled the lighting of the entire sphere via a lever. It took me a while, but it is definitely possible.

Here we see a floor constructed with redstone lamps and pressure plates. Stepping on the pressure plate will trigger the redstone lamps to light. It's a cool idea, and not the only one! Be creative!
Here we see a floor constructed with redstone lamps and pressure plates. Stepping on the pressure plate will trigger the redstone lamps to light. It's a cool idea, and not the only one! Be creative!

3. A Working Elevator

Yes, redstone can be used to create a working elevator. Don't believe me? Check out this video below. The instructions are too complex to simply write in a Hub, so this video tutorial will give you all the detail you need to start constructing your own working elevator!

Zipper Elevator Tutorial (Compact)

A piston elevator, powered by redstone.
A piston elevator, powered by redstone.

4. Traps

Traps are common in Minecraft. Whether it be to catch unwary zombies off their guard, or to protect a chest full of diamonds from plundering thieves, redstone can power the traps that do just that.

Dispensers can be used to shoot deadly arrows, a plus if you know how to use them right in the art of trap making.
Dispensers can be used to shoot deadly arrows, a plus if you know how to use them right in the art of trap making.

A few of these examples include:

Dispenser/Arrow Traps:
Redstone can be used to power pressure plates that, when stepped on, will trigger dispensers to shoot arrows at unsuspecting victims. A good idea in protecting hard-earned loot.

Piston-Pusher Traps:
You can create a ledge with a single block walkway. A pressure plate can be placed on the ground, powered by redstone. Once the redstone is activated, a piston can push an unsuspecting victim off the ledge, causing them to fall to their death.

Lava Traps:
Pistons can be used in the same way as the piston-pusher trap. However, instead of pushing someone into lava, a pressure plate can activate pistons above that can open and allow lava to drop, or even lock a player in a room with bedrock so they cannot break their way out, and then fill the room with lava. It's a harsh death, but hey, it's Minecraft.


A simple sketch of a lava trap powered by pistons.
A simple sketch of a lava trap powered by pistons.

Piston-Gravel Trap:
Pistons can also be powered from up above, and once triggered via redstone, can close and allow gravel to fall on your victim and suffocate them

Mob Grinder:
This trap is perfect for enemies that you don't want to come into your home. The design is quite complex, so for instructions, visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWWkCpm39jk

There are plenty of more traps available, it's all a matter of being creative and tinkering around with pistons and plates/levers/tripwires, etc. There are endless possibilities!

5. Hidden Staircase

This redstone powered contraption is the neatest. You can actually create a hidden staircase using pistons, and have it concealed to perfection so that it looks like plain old grass or sand. Check out this video below:

Hidden Staircase

6. Hidden Platforms

Pistons can be hiding blocks underneath lava and be activated with a lever or button so that they push blocks up so that your character can jump across the lava safely via these elevated blocks.

This lake could have hidden pistons underneath that can be activated with a button or lever. Once activated, they would push blocks up and allow you to jump across safely.
This lake could have hidden pistons underneath that can be activated with a button or lever. Once activated, they would push blocks up and allow you to jump across safely.

More, More!

Redstone possibilities are endless. It can be used for so many things, traps, hidden contraptions, and functioning appliances. By using a little creativity, you too can create amazing redstone ideas that you can put in your home or elsewhere. And if you recall earlier in this Hub, I mentioned the guy who made a working Mac PC out of redstone? Well you're in luck, because I've offered you the video so that you can see what it looks like. He does not, however, give you the instructions to make it (which I'm sure would take an eternity), but it's there just so you can see the power of redstone and what it can do!

Keep Minecrafting my friends, and stay tuned for more Hubs on this topic!

Cheers!

Redstone Powered Mac PC

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