In the expansive world of Minecraft, having a map is essential for navigation and exploration. Whether you're charting new territories or keeping track of your progress, learning how to make a map in Minecraft is a fundamental skill. This guide will walk you through the steps to create and use maps effectively in your Minecraft adventures.

Gathering the Essentials: Materials for Map Making

The first step in creating a map is gathering the necessary materials:

  • Paper: Paper is crafted from sugar cane, which is commonly found near water. You'll need nine sugar cane to make three pieces of paper.
  • Compass: A compass requires four iron ingots and one Redstone dust. Iron can be mined underground and smelted in a furnace, while Redstone is often found deep underground or in cave systems.

Crafting Your First Map

Once you have the materials, follow these steps to craft a basic map:

  1. Open the Crafting Table: Access your crafting table to begin the crafting process.
  2. Place the Compass: Put the compass in the center slot.
  3. Surround with Paper: Surround the compass with paper in the remaining slots.
  4. Retrieve Your Map: Click the map to add it to your inventory.

Expanding Your Map

To get a broader view of your Minecraft world, you can expand your map. Here's how:

  • More Paper: You'll need eight additional pieces of paper.
  • Upgrading the Map: Place your map in the center of the crafting table and surround it with paper. This process can be repeated multiple times to further expand the map.

Using Your Map

  • Activate the Map: Right-click (Java Edition) or tap and hold (Bedrock Edition) with the map in your hand to activate it.
  • Exploring: As you travel, the map will begin to fill in. Unexplored areas appear blank.

Marking Points of Interest

You can mark points of interest on your map by creating banners:

  • Craft a Banner: Use wool and a stick to craft a banner.
  • Place and Name the Banner: Place the banner where you want to mark and use an anvil to give it a name.
  • Link to Map: Right-click the banner with the map in hand to add its location as a marker.

Advanced Mapping Techniques

  • Cloning Maps: To share your map with friends, clone it by surrounding an existing map with blank maps on the crafting table.
  • Locking Maps: Prevent a map from updating by combining it with a glass pane in a cartography table.


Creating and using maps in Minecraft is a skill that enhances your gameplay, making exploration and tracking your adventures easier and more enjoyable. With these steps, you'll be well on your way to becoming an expert cartographer in your Minecraft world.