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A Good Enough Guide to Ore Distribution in Minecraft 1.18

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CraftyGamer_ avatar CraftyGamer_
Level 54 : Grandmaster Procrastinator
A Good Enough Guide to Ore Distribution in Minecraft 1.18

A Good Enough Guide to Ore Distribution for Minecraft 1.18

Since Minecraft Caves & Cliffs Part II has been released ore generation has gotten a major overhaul within the overworld with different ore distributions, the deepslate layer, and the new world generation. These changes make so that Y 11 is no longer the optimal height for mining out for those diamonds. However there is no need to worry figuring everything out as some people have been making handy guides around YouTube (and some that I have used here in this blog) but I wanted to make a guide that is simple to understand but makes sure it has everything covered without it being too complicated. A guide that is "good enough" for people to use.

Knowing the Terms

But before we dig in to the ores themselves, there are some key terms you need to know about, as they are factors that play a major role within ore generation and can help form a strategy to mining. The first terms are the two forms of random distribution the ores generate in: Uniform and Triangular.
  • Uniform distribution means that there is an equal chance of finding an ore anywhere within a height range. This is what most of the ores used in 1.17 prior.
  • Triangular distribution means that the ore is much more common within the center of the "triangle" within the height range. Digging at the center of the center will yield the best chances of finding an ore, but digging halfway towards the triangle will mean half as likely as finding that ore there, yielding half as mush as the center.

A Good Enough Guide to Ore Distribution in Minecraft 1.18

  • Batches are another factor in ore generation that go along with the forms distributions. Ores come in these batches, which are groups that determine the height range and the frequency of the ores. Some ores have more than once batch, and they can be either high above the mountains, or down deep at the deepslate layer.
  • Buried ores (also known as Air Exposure) are the next factor for ore generation. It determines whether an ore will generate if they are placed next to air. Ores that are 50% buried will have a 50% chance to not generate next to air. Ores that are fully buried will mean that they won't generate next to air at all, but not all ore batches are buried. Buried ores balances the fact that since you can see so much more of the caves now that they are bigger, you can find more ores by simply caving if they weren't buried otherwise. If there is no mention of an ore being buried, then it can generate exposed to air.
  • Deepslate is a block that will be very abundant in caves, transitioning from Y=8 and below, down to Deepslate Layer, (or the Abyssal Zone as I like to call it) that ranges all the way down to y=-64. Deepslate takes twice as long to mine as regular stone, as well as its ore variants, and that can be an obstacle itself since it can't be insta-mined unlike stone. But within the deepslate layer also exists patches of Tuff, a block that is rather quicker to mine down in the depths, since it has the same mining speed as stone. Now that you are familiar with these terms, it's time to get into the different ores and where they generate.
  • Note: All ores will only generate if there is terrain available to place those ores. This means that ores will not generate at all below y=-63 or above Y=256, due to the lack of available terrain. Keep this in mind when reading about ores that can generate higher up. Now that we are familiar with the terms and how ore generation works, let's now focus on the different ores and where they generate.

Coal A Good Enough Guide to Ore Distribution in Minecraft 1.18

Coal generates in two batches. The first is a triangular distribution between heights 0 and 192, and is 50% buried. The second batch generates higher up in a uniform distribution between heights 136 and 320. The optimal height for getting coal is ay Y=96, but you can stil find more coal higher up in the mountains, but due to the lack of terrain higher up, there won't be as much. Coal will not generate below Y=0, so it's a good idea to get a good amount of coal before you head down into the depths.
Frequency: Very Common


Copper can generate in large ore veins, mixed with granite above Y=0. These ore veins can yield a lot of copper and even sometimes a raw copper block. The ore veins themselves are very rare, but it's worth for the huge amount of copper they can have. Aside from ore veins, they generate in a triangular distribution between heights -16 and 112, with the optimal height for getting copper being at Y=48, but they can generate twice as much in dripstone caves within that distribution.
Frequency: Common, Very Common in Dripstone Caves


Iron generates in a way that you can easily get iron high terrain, but can also get some while mining. Iron has two triangular distributions, one ranging from height 80 to 384, and the other ranging between height -24 to 56. It can also generate uniformly in small blobs from Y=72 and below. The optimal height to search for iron is at Y=16, but it's also viable to find some that are high up some mountains or a hill. Iron can also generate in large ore veins below Y=0 mixed with tuff, along with a chance for a raw iron block.
Frequency: Common


Gold has two batches that are 50% buried. One is a triangular distribution between Y=-64 and Y=32, and the other generates uniformly between Y=-64 and Y=-48. The optimal height to mine for gold is at Y=-16. However like earlier versions, if you're in a badlands biome, then you'll have an even greater chance at searching for extra gold, as it generates uniformly between Y=32 and Y=256.
Frequency: Rare, Common in Badlands


This is what most of you all are here for, so let's just jump into it while we can. Diamonds will generate in a triangular distribution between Y=-144 and Y=16, but since we can't go past Y=-64, the generation just simply means the lower the better. Diamonds generate three different blobs; small blobs generate 50% buried, medium sized blobs generate fully buried, and large blobs that can generate up to 12 diamond ore and are 70% buried, but only once every nine chunks. Since the center of the triangle is below the bottom of the world there still won't be that many and since these ores are buried, branch mining is the preferred method, with a 4 block space between each branch. The optimal height for diamonds is at Y=-59 just above bedrock, however there is a risk of running into lava while mining at that height. If you prefer to avoid lava, then mine at Y=-53.
Frequency: Rare

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli generates in two bathes. One's a triangle between Y=-32 and Y=32, while the second is a fully buried uniform distribution between Y=-64 and Y=64. The optimal height for mining for lapis would be Y=0, but you can still get a good amount of lapis below Y=64. You can also avoid mining deepslate by mining above Y=8.
Frequency: Uncommon


Redstone generates in two batches, one uniformly and one triangularly. The uniform batch generates between Y=-64 and Y=15, while the triangle is between Y=-96 and Y=8. Similar to diamonds, the best height to mine for redstone is at Y=-59 (and Y=-53 to avoid lava), but caving around for redstone is also a viable option since they're not buried. You can as well mine above Y=8 to avoid some deepslate.
Frequency: Uncommon


Emerald still generate only in mountain biomes, even including the new ones. It only has one triangular batch, generating between Y=-16 and Y=480, but more emeralds generate the higher up you go, so the optimal method is to go high up at mountains. Note that it's possible for deepslate emerald ore to generate, but the chances of that are really low, so if you see one, make sure to mine it with Silk Touch to keep it as a valuable.
Frequency: Uncommon

Special Guest: Amethyst Shard

While amethyst isn't really an ore, I figured that I would included it in this guide, as a special shoutout. They are found in amethyst geodes that generate below Y=30, and while that are rare, they can contain an abundant amount of budding amethyst blocks that make the amethysts themselves. However mining a budding amethyst will cause it to break, so it can't be obtained, not even with Silk Touch. Amethyst will grow as buds that come in four sizes: small, medium, large, and the amethyst cluster. Only the amethyst cluster can be mined in order to obtain the amethyst shards, but mining with Silk Touch will drop the cluster itself; that also applies to the buds.

That basically covers up the ore generation in Caves & Cliffs Part II, so I hope you find this blog to be helpful in some form. Here's a graph of a rather more simplified guide to the ore distribution that you can use, along with the additional notes mentioned.

Here's a simpler more simplified chart of ore distribution, with an accurate visualization of the distribution. May these help you in your mining trip.



2 Update Logs

Update #2 : by CraftyGamer_ 03/03/2022 7:51:23 pmMar 3rd, 2022

Included another chart with an accurate visualization of the ore distribution.

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01/06/2022 10:51 am
Level 1 : New Explorer
feverboat avatar

thx so much, very helpful
Planet Minecraft


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