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Using the new Structure Blocks in Minecraft

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Rubydust avatar Rubydust
Level 51 : Grandmaster Architect
Hello readers,

I am the minecraft user SpringBonnet, and lately I have been releasing chunk builds through the use of the new structure block. As such, I looked up guides on how to do such, and most of what I found was either incomplete or poorly written and confusing.

So I am making this tutorial for all of you who do not know how to access and use structure blocks to load in new buildings into your worlds. You will need to know three things for this:

  1. How to access your save folders

  2. How to use minecraft commands

  3. What is considered an Entity by minecraft

We will start off with a the basic command to receive a structure block, make sure you are in creative mode because it will not let you access it in any other game-mode. Then, open chat (default set to the T key) and type out "/give [name] structure_block 1" to receive a structure block. If you plan to save a build then you will need 2, unless you know the exact dimensions.

When you place the block it will initially be in data mode, to change modes just click the bottom left where the mode name is.

Now that you have a structure block lets talk a bit about it's modes.

The first mode you will find after placing the block and accessing its menu is "Data" which is used to load in default minecraft structures like the Igloo. I have not used this function yet myself so I have no idea how to code it.

The next mode is "Save", this provides a lot of options and is where you name and create the structure file. Remember to have Entities on if you used items like item frames and armor stands or mobs.

The third mode is "Load", which is pretty self explanatory, now depending on how the structure is saved it will always spawn directly on top the structure block along the X and Y axis with the block marking 0.

Finally you have the "Corner" mode, this mode works in conjunction with the save mode and is used when you do not know the exact specifications.

Since loading a structure is simpler then saving it, I will start there.

To load a structure:
  • First go to your minecraft save folder and see if it has a sub-folder called "structures", if it does not then create one. If you have previously saved a structure then it will have automatically created the folder.

  • If your are adding a new structure from another world, open its location (extract or view archive) then drag and drop the .nbt file into the structure folder in your save.

  • Pay attention to the name of the .nbt, you will need to write out this exact name later.

  • Now, start your game and load the save.

  • Find where you want to place your build.

  • If the .nbt does not include ground then dig a one block hole and place the structure block there.

  • If it does then dig the whole two blocks or more down until it is one block deeper then the ground of the structure.

  • Now access the block and switch its mode to "load"

  • Type in the name of the .nbt file in the space bar at the top

  • tick Show Bounding Box to ON, then press the load button once in the bottom right hand corner. This will spawn a box given you an idea where it will load. I suggest loading the structure in a test world first to figure out how it saved so you know which way is front.

  • Use the numbered options to rotate the box along the Y axis until it is in the space you want it.

  • Finally hit load again and the structure will spawn.

  • If you load in the wrong place you will have to dismantle the structure by hand, unless you have a void of air saved of the same size.

  • If the structure is in the right place but facing the wrong direction, do not fret, just dig up and move the block to it to the same corner of the side you want the front and repeat the process, it will replace the entire area of the existing build if they are of the same footprint and height. I use 16x16 base patterns to make this easier.

Now if you built something you want to save it is a bit more complicated. How I do it however is easier to fallow but you will need two blocks for this.

  • Start by finding the bottom left most corner of the area you wish to save

  • Place the structure block one block diagnal and down from the corner block on the outside of the area.

  • Change the mode of the block to save

  • type in the name of the file to be created.

  • Now take the second block and find the top most outer corner oposit of the first structure block.

  • Again place the structure block one block out but this time one block higher then that corner.

  • Change this blocks mode to corner and name it the same thing as what you typed in the save block, be sure it is exactly the same.

  • Go back to the save block and click the detect button, this will form a bounding box of the area that will save.

  • Check to make sure all edges of the structure are inside the bounding box.

  • If outside make adjustments

  • If all set then go back and check if include entities is on if there are mobs or special blocks like armor stands.

  • Once you are happy click the save button in the bottom right hand side.

  • Find your structure file in the structures sub folder of your save and copy it to desktop.

  • add it to a zip archive and upload it the same way you would upload a world save.

Finally here are some important information about structure blocks:

They have a limited area they can save, a 32x32x32 cube of space is the maximum area. So if your structure exceeds that it would be best to break it up into multiple files numbered in load order along with adding instructions to the post or a text file.

You have to make make sure entities is turned on when saving and loading if you are using structures that contain them. If you want the structure only, tick them off.

Supposedly you can add void areas that will not replace existing blocks in that location when loading a structure, but I personally do not know how to do this, nor do I have a reason to figure it out at this time. IF you do know then feel free to share it in comments.

Ultimately it will take a bit of trial and error to get used to using them, but they are extremely useful tools for map making, sharing, and backing up structures.

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