Long-time Minecraft players are familiar with the different types of building blocks in Minecraft: wood, stone, sand, iron, and more. The 1.17 update added a new type of material: copper. You can’t use copper to make tools like axes or swords, but it adds many new options in terms of both utility and aesthetics.

Copper is also the first block to take advantage of the new weathering element. While the uses are still limited, there is a lot of exciting potential for this new block, and Mojang will likely expand copper’s use as the game progresses. 

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    Where to Find Copper In Minecraft

    Copper is not a particularly rare resource in Minecraft. It’s more common than iron and can be generated anywhere in the Overworld, but is commonly found between Y-47 and Y-48. In the Java edition of Minecraft, copper ore tends to appear about six times per chunk in veins of zero to 16 blocks.

    Copper blocks can replace other blocks during generation. If a copper vein spawns in deepslate, it becomes a deepslate copper block. Despite the different names, deepslate copper and regular copper are functionally the same. 

    When mined, a copper block will drop anywhere from two to three pieces of raw copper. If you mine with a pickaxe enchanted with Fortune, it can drop as many as 12 pieces of raw copper per block. 

    How to Use Copper In Minecraft

    Raw copper must be smelted down just like any other piece of raw ore by using a Furnace or a Blast Furnace. A single piece of raw copper yields one ingot. 

    Copper can craft the following three main items: 

    1. Spyglass
    2. Lightning Rod
    3. Copper Block

    The new items have different functions:

    • With the Spyglass, you can zoom in on a location you can see within your field of view, which can be very useful when searching for a Nether Fortress or a village. Note that it doesn’t clear up the fog, though. If you’re searching for things right at the edge of your vision, the Spyglass won’t make it easier to see blurry objects.
    • A Lightning Rod diverts lightning to a single location within a given radius. It also emits a redstone signal, so if you want to create a machine based on lightning, the Lightning Rod is the best bet. Its effective range is 128 blocks Java edition or 64 x 64 x 64 blocks in the Bedrock edition.
    • A Copper Block is a decorative item you can place down to build structures. It’s unique in that it oxidizes over time. After exposure to the elements, it will slowly take on a greenish hue until it turns entirely green. You can place Beeswax paper on the copper to prevent oxidation.

    You can also place four Blocks of Copper in a 2 x 2 grid in a Crafting Table to create Cut Copper. It’s another decorative block, and it will also oxidize over time at the same rate that a Block of Copper will. 

    How to Craft a Spyglass

    Crafting a Spyglass requires a Crafting Table, one Amethyst Shard, and two Copper Ingots. 

    Place the two Copper Ingots in the bottom-middle and middle sections of a 3 x 3 crafting table, with the Amethyst Shard at the top middle. 

    How to Craft a Lightning Rod

    Crafting a Lightning Rod requires a Crafting Table and three Copper Ingots.

    In the middle of a 3×3 crafting grid, place the Copper Ingots in a row from top to bottom. 

    Lightning Rods can be placed on top of items, underneath items, and on the side of blocks. 

    How to Craft a Block of Copper

    To craft a Block of Copper, you will need a Crafting Table and nine Copper Ingots.

    Fill the crafting grid with ingots. You can craft more than one Copper Block at a time if you have enough ingots.

    If you want to use Copper Blocks for their decorative elements, know that it takes between 50 and 82 in-game days for the copper to oxidize fully. Once a block oxidizes, you can change it to normal by using an axe to “scrape” it clean. 

    Copper-Related Achievements

    If you like to pursue achievements in games, Minecraft added a single copper-related achievement with a recent update. It’s called Wax On, Wax Off. The wording is a bit confusing: It says you have to apply and remove wax from all the copper blocks.

    The achievement means you need to apply and remove wax from a copper block in each stage of oxidation. There are four stages delineated in-game:

    • Block of Copper
    • Exposed Copper
    • Weathered Copper
    • Oxidized Copper

    Blocks of Copper left to oxidize will slowly transition from one of these to the other as time passes. If you’re seeking the achievement, craft three Blocks of Copper. Place them on the ground outside and apply wax to the first and remove it. After this, the blocks will continue to oxidize. Pay attention to each and use the wax on it as it reaches each stage.

    You will need three blocks because when you remove the wax from one, it will restore it to its original state, and you will have to start from scratch. 

    As of now, there are no other uses for copper in the game; however, many players request that Minecraft and Mojang add copper tools into the game as another option outside of wood, stone, iron, and diamond. Will it happen? That’s not clear — but given that many updates are planned for Minecraft, it’s worth keeping an eye on patch notes.