Minecraft: How to make and use a map

Screenshot of a map in Minecraft

Source: Minecraft screenshot

The map can be an essential tool in Minecraft, and knowing how to make a map will allow you to include it in all your adventures.

There is a lot to know about maps, but to make one and get started, is not that hard. This guide will discuss how you make your first map and how you use it.

Crafting a map

To craft a map in Minecraft, you need the following:

  • 8 paper
  • 1 compass

You place the compass in the middle slot of a crafting bench and fill the remaining slots with paper, this will give you a blank map.

Minecraft Empty Map, Compass, and Paper recipes

Paper and compass are items that can be found in chests, in a stronghold, for example, but if you have no luck with these, you still can craft them.

To craft a Compass, put a Redstone in the middle of the crafting table, and iron in the top, left, right, and bottom slots, creating a + sign.

To craft Paper, fill the middle row of the crafting table with Sugar Cane.

For the Sugar Cane, you can find it in desert biomes, or next to sand in other biomes, you can also make a farm of Sugar Canes.

Obtaining a map

Besides crafting your map, or finding it in a chest, there are other ways to obtain a map in Minecraft.

  • If you have villages around you, you can try to find the cartographer villager and trade emeralds for a map.
  • You can create a map without any markers if you don't have a compass, using paper instead of a compass for the middle slot of the crafting table.
  • If you have a Cartography Table you can create the map with only one piece of paper and one compass. You can also skip the compass, but again, it will leave your map without any markers.

As you may have noticed, there are multiple ways to get a map in Minecraft, you may get it already crafted, or get the ingredients needed for its recipe, and craft it yourself.

I would suggest exploring the world, as you may find a villager with a cartographer, but also other villagers that can be useful for your playthrough.

The basics of using a map

To start using a map, right-click the empty map you crafted after putting it in your hand.

After right-clicking, the map will get colored, and you will be able to see oceans, trees, and mountains, the map is not very detailed, but at the same time, it is not hard to distinguish its elements.

It is recommended to craft your map with a compass because you will notice that it will allow you to see your "arrow" indicator on the map, the white arrow is your location and the direction that you are facing.

After you can identify yourself on the map, the next basic step of using a map is placing markers on it.

This is how to add marks to a Minecraft map:

  1. Craft or obtain a banner
  2. Add your banner to an anvil
  3. Name your banner, the same name as the marker
  4. Place your named banner somewhere
  5. Put the map on your hand, and right-click the banner
Marking a map in Minecraft

You do not need a name tag to create a marker, just place the banner on the anvil, and you will be able to input a custom name.

Using the Cartography Table to zoom out

The Cartography Table allows you to craft map-related recipes.

To craft a Cartography Table you need the following:

  • 2 paper
  • 4 wood planks

Place the two papers on the first two slots of the crafting table, and fill the four slots below with wood planks.

Alternatively, you can try to find a Cartography Table in a village.

Now, you can place a non-empty map in the first slot of the Cartography Table, and for the second slot add paper on the second slot to zoom out.

You cannot zoom back in!

Hopefully, this guide gave you some insight into Minecraft maps. There are more interactions for the Bedrock Edition that we didn't disclose here, but zooming out and setting markers are essential!

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