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Redstone: 101 - Intermediate

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mshailz avatar mshailz
Level 43 : Master Engineer
The Resource Pack I am using for these tutorials is Redstoner's Resource Pack, made by me!

Now that we have covered the basics of Redstone, let's get into more complicated Redstone stuff. If you haven't covered the basics yet, go check out Redstone: 101 - The Basics

In this tutorial, we're now going to go over Pistons, Observers, Droppers, Dispensers, Hoppers, Targets, and Sculk Sensors.

I know that sounds a lot, I will make sure to keep this short and sweet!


We'll start with the easiest block in this tutorial and that would be the two types of Pistons; Piston and Sticky Piston. These blocks are great for moving things around in your Redstone build.

The regular Piston has no Slime on the block, so all it does is PUSH things. On the other hand, the Sticky Piston has Slime on the block, so it can PUSH and PULL things. Sticky Pistons are frequently used for making doors, for example.

Redstone: 101 - Intermediate
As you can see, the top is the regular Piston, and the bottom is a Sticky Piston.


Observers are fantastic; they're so useful in making compact Redstone builds (making the build as small as possible, using fewer resources.) The main purpose of the Observer is that they detect a change of a block. For example, if the Redstone Dust is behind an Observer and the Redstone Dust becomes turned off, the Observer will detect that the power is off and sends out a signal to whatever is in front of the Observer.

Examples of what an Observer can do:
  • Detect changes in a block itself - Grass block turning into Dirt Path block
  • Detect when a block is placed down or removed
  • Detect when items are placed into or removed from a Hopper, Dispenser, Dropper, Shulker Box, etc

Example of the Observer detecting a block being place down/removed.

Redstone: 101 - Intermediate


Hoppers are a great way to transport items from one place to another. It's called "Hopper" since the items "hop" around. Hoppers are directional. This means when pressing the SHIFT key and placing a Hopper down behind directly onto the Chest, the Hopper will directly transport items into the Chest. You can place Hoppers on top of each other, creating a system for sorting items or transporting items.

NOTE: Hoppers cannot transport items upwards. Items can only be transported side to side, or downwards.

Redstone: 101 - Intermediate


Droppers are blocks that drop items automatically. Droppers are great for auto-sorting Redstone builds or auto-farms. Droppers work hand-in-hand with Hoppers, allowing items to be transported. This can get confusing because they work pretty similarly. The difference is that Droppers can spit/transport items upwards whilst Hoppers can't.


Dispensers look similar to Droppers, but they work differently. Dispensers require something to activate the block to drop an item, while the Dropper automatically drops the items. Another notable difference is that Droppers spits out items, while Dispensers turn the items into projectiles (shooting arrows.)

Side-by-side comparison of the Dropper and Dispenser

Target Block

Target Blocks are good for redirecting Redstone Dust power, making them great for compact builds. You can see the examples above in the GIFs with the Dropper and Dispenser. Target Blocks are also great to provide a temporary power charge when the block is hit by a projectile (example: arrows being projected by the Dispenser.)
Sculk Sensor

Sculk Sensors are very new; they were added into Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Update 1.17+. You cannot find these blocks in the inventory. In order to retrieve a Sculk Sensor, you need to do the /give command.

The command:
/give @YourUserNameHere minecraft:Sculk_Sensor
Analogy: Think of Sculk Sensors like a wireless Lamp that becomes activated when you clap your hands. This works the same way in Minecraft by detecting vibration when you are walking, or placing down blocks, or even activating a different block. I have made myself a wireless door (like the ones you go through going into a grocery store) and they work very well.

You can connect Redstone Dust to the Sculk Sensor for your build if you were to make a wireless door.

NOTE: Sculk Sensors also detect mobs and will activate when mobs are nearby. The farthest a Sculk Sensor can detect a vibration is 8 blocks.

- Mentioned by Melonness: Sculk Sensors do not detect if wool is placed in front of the player's or a mob's feet.

Check out the other Redstone tutorials to learn more!

Let me know if this was helpful or not. I'm open to feedback. :)
If I miss anything or explained something wrong, please let me know and I will update/correct the blog.

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08/27/2021 6:59 pmhistory
Level 47 : Master Artist
Melonness avatar
Sculk Sensors do not detect if wool is placed in front of the player's or a mob's feet. (Mumbo Jumbo demonstrated this.)
08/27/2021 8:55 pm
Level 43 : Master Engineer
mshailz avatar
Thanks! I'll add that to the blog. :)
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