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Searching for Diamonds - Minecraft Guide

Updated on May 11, 2013

The Wonderful World of Minecraft

In the world of Minecraft you are free to adventure and do whatever you heart desires. That is the great thing about this wonderful sandbox game. Once you have gotten your fill of all the randomness of this game you might eventually come to the conclusion that you actually want to “beat” the game. When you hit that conclusion one thing that will be standing in your way is Obsidian. This ore is one of the most difficult blocks to come across in the game but it is very important in beating the game. The reason this is so hard to obtain, aside from the difficulty of finding it, is that the only thing you can use to mine it is a diamond pickaxe. The diamond ore is ridiculous to find if you don’t know where to look. And even if you know where to look it is still very hard to find. In this guide I will give you a simple breakdown of the mining pattern I do to find diamond ore. I believe that on the internet they refer to this as “Branch” mining. I don’t really like to read a whole bunch of help guides. I prefer to find stuff out on my own.

One point that you should take into action is always block off sections you’ve already visited and no longer need to visit. This will help prevent mobs from spawning behind you while you work. I would also advise you to block off your entrance. This way you know that behind you is a wall and nothing is going to come up behind you. Make sure you light all of the tunnels you go through along the way. This prevents mobs from spawning. I also like to carry a pumpkin on me at all times, just in case I come across an Enderman. And I carry a few buckets of water in case I run into lava.


The Process

To begin, mine a staircase down to the bedrock. Bedrock is a rock that you won’t be able to mine, no matter what pickaxe you have. Once you hit it you have reached level 5. Now count back up the stairs to level 9. Take some of the blocks you have and wall off the staircase below that level. You won’t need to access any level lower than that and its’ easier if you block it off there because you know you’re now at level 10. At the end of your stairs it would also be a good idea to create a double chest. This way you can always come back to it and drop off all the blocks you will be coming across: ore, gravel, dirt, etc…

Now the process is pretty simple after this. Begin mining a double block width tunnel that is 2 blocks high. Using torches light your way as you go along. From the stairs create four tunnels that run in all four directions from your staircase. Make these tunnels as far as you can or as far as you feel like. The farther the tunnel the more chances you have to find diamonds. These are your main “corridors”. Now from each of those tunnels you will begin mining separate tunnels that branch off from the main tunnel. To begin these tunnels you want to start 1 block on either side of your main staircase. So at the beginning of each of your main tunnels you should have 1 separate tunnel that branches off, giving you 4 starting tunnels and 4 main corridors. Then once you mine down those tunnels go back to your original tunnel. Move down the main tunnel, 2 block width away from your prior tunnel. The reason you do this is because it gives you the greatest chances of finding diamonds. When you dig a tunnel you are tearing away 2 blocks in each stack. This gives you a block on your right and left that you can see. By giving yourself 2 blocks between each tunnel you give room for each tunnel to have the most sight. See the picture for more detail. I know it’s confusing and I don’t really explain it all too well.

Now continue mining down your main tunnels until you have mined as far as you can on each of your main tunnels and on all of your separate tunnels. To continue mining you will either have to create another main tunnel that connects to the back end of your smaller tunnels, or you could dig down to level 7 and 8 to begin another chain of tunnels on that level. I would recommend staying on level 10 and 11 as long as you can. You will find the most diamond there.

I know I kind of skipped over the part about actually finding the diamonds so let’s go back to that. While you’re digging through your tunnels you’re going to come across diamond. I guarantee it! I’ve never come out empty handed when I do this. You cover the most ground in the simplest way. Remember that when you find one block of diamond it will most likely not be alone. There should be at least 3 diamonds in a bunch, and if you’re really lucky you will find 6 to 8.

Once you find diamond I would advise you to build a pickaxe with it first, which you will of course need 3 diamonds for. After that start with either a sword or armor, and if you decide to start with armor make the cuirass. It takes the most diamonds but it provides the most protection.

I hope my guide helps you out in your diamond endeavor. I know finding my first diamond was the most difficult thing ever but once I did it opened up a whole new part of the game I had never seen.

Branch Mining


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    • profile image

      Dragonsrule12321 4 years ago

      Thanks, I really only need nine so I can duplicate so I will just make one tunnel. :-D

    • BraidedZero profile image

      James Robertson 5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Daniel. I'm very OCD and I would like to think that my layout is semi well designed.

    • Danieljohnston profile image

      Daniel Johnston 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Bane of my existence. After a month or two of building giant structures manually I turned to mods and generators for materials because of the scope of what I was building.

      I've played since beta release and seen a lot of diamond ore theories, but your brunt force attack seems to be the least... crazy. Some are like "as soon as you spawn in world dig straight down and you will find some, if not start digging to the left..."