How to Use Coordinates in Minecraft

by Tadog21

Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at 12:57:55 PST

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Having trouble understanding how coordinates work? Then you have come to the right place!

Coordinates are the very foundation of what we use In Minecraft. They are very useful, helpful, and can solve many problems if they are used right. Have you found yourself asking:

What do the three numbers mean in for Coordinates?

How do I find where these coordinates are in-game?

Someone sent me only 2 Coordinate numbers, why?

I died and I can’t find my grave!

If you are finding yourself with these questions, and cannot find an answer. Or you want to know more about coordinates, or how to use them better, Read on! I know this tutorial might seem long, but if you stick to it, it will be pretty fast, and be sure to read the Headers, as you may not need help with certain concepts. But regardless, I will be covering all concepts.

If you are still having trouble with coordinates after reading this tutorial, scroll down to the bottom for a quiz!

First of All, What Are Coordinates?

Coordinates represent the location of anywhere in a Minecraft world, based on the units of blocks. It has been said that one block represents one cubic meter. While that is probably true, for this we will just make it simple and say that these are just regular blocks.

Blocks can be anything. From dirt, stone, grass, water, and air, all of Minecraft is made of blocks, no matter if some things don’t seem to be. Coordinates represent where in the Minecraft world these blocks are based from the center of the world. The center of the world, being (0,0,0).

Coordinates also represent where you as a player are located too. For understanding coordinates, knowing about the center of the world is not important. But for those who are interested in that stuff, for any coordinates to work, there has to be starting point. Similar to how the Equator is the start of Latitude lines on Earth. Knowing the distance from the center of the world is not very important, but the number 10 represents more than just distance from the center. We will be covering that later.

What do Coordinates Represent?

If you dont really care to know how coordinates work in a deep matter, and just want to know how to find your grave or a location, you can skip past this section.

How Coordinates Work

As you may know, Minecraft coordinates are 3D, or three dimensional. For you math people out there, it lies on an XYZ plane, so there are three views. Now before I start adding math into this, for those who know how graphs work: Notch for some reason decided to be "different" or whatever, and messed up all the directions, and coordinates. So while Minecraft coordinates are the same as a graph, they are not the EXACT same as a graph, for example usually the Z coordinate is up, but in Minecraft, the Y coordinate is up.

To make this simple, we will take the Y coordinate as the elevation. Similar to how you have elevation of somewhere on earth, the second coordinate is the elevation. This coordinate is usually left out when someone tells you only two coordinates. More on that later. For the others, X and Z, are the 2d plain of which Minecraft exists, we will pretend this is a graph. As said earlier, all graphs have to have a starting point, somewhere where it is tied to the real world. This is at (0,0,0). Like a graph, there are 4 quadrants. The X axis goes positive in one direction, negative in the other. The same foes the the Z coordinate. This divides the graph into 4 quadrants. If you dont understand, look up a graph on google, or look at my representation of the world as a graph:

In this image, I have drawn a graph at (0,0). I have also labeled the quadrants. Unlike a real graph, these quadrants are not identical in terms of where negative-negative, positive-negative, etc. are at. However, it still operates the same way. I have also included polar directions. While the coordinates are messed up in terms of the signs, the polar directions, North, West, etc. are all correct. Like a real life map, going up is north, own is south, etc. If you ever find yourself needing to go in a direction defined as north/south, then you can use the live map to help. Later too, I will show how to find out which direction you are going in-game.

For elevation, in mathematical terms, the Y coordinate is the third dimensional direction. This one is more related to real life, as this number represent your height in the world, from the 0 Coordinate. Which, as most of you should know, USED to be the very bottom of the world. Now, the bottom of the world is somewhere near (-65), which means you are 65 blocks BELOW the 0th block in height. In real life, height is measured from sea level, but in Minecraft, ocean level is typically 62, so it does not work quite the same, however it is similar.

How Do I See My Coordinates?

Finding where your coordinates are, or how to get them is slightly different in each version, however they somewhat work the same:


Minecraft coordinates appear in three different locations. To open up this menu seen here in the photo, simply press f3. If you are on a laptop like me, then you may have to press fn + f3. Since the f3 key is the computer brightness toggle on my laptop. Circled in the green, red, and blue circles are where your coordinates appear. These do not all mean the same thing, however. While they are all coordinate readings, they are of different aspects. Read below:

The Red circle represents the coordinates of where your, the player, are standing. As seen by the numbers inside the red circles, the first and third numbers are not rounded off. This is because these coordinates represent the spaces between blocks. If you did not read the earlier section, imagine a graph. when you plot a line on a graph, you use coordinates that are on the lines. Think of the same way as in Minecraft. Each block is like a square on the graph paper, so these coordinates represent the "lines", which are the spaces between blocks. If you are trying to find a specific location, like a grave, these coordinates will not help you very well. Read on more

The Green circle represents what block you are POINTING at. In the picture above, you can see that I am pointing at a block, and it is outlined in black (I drew the line darker to make it easier to see, but its there normally). The numbers in the green circle represent the coordinates of THAT block, and that block only. Unlike the red circled coordinates, these coordinates represent the graph paper square instead of the spaces between. While these aernt true coordinates, specific locations such as a grave will appear as a block, not in between, so these coordinates are very useful for that. If you point at the open sky, however, nothing will appear there. If you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, just simply point at the ground to do this.

The Blue circle represents coordinates of liquids such as water and lava. This works in the same way that the green circle does, only with liquids. As seen in the picture, if no liquids are present then it will display the same coordinates as the green circle. However I would avoid using these coordinates, as they can be misleading if you accidentally point at water and don’t know it, or if you are underwater, they will give you a weird number. This is only useful for finding things like, height of a water/lava pool. If you point at some blocks that have more entity data, you may find that these coordinates are more toward the bottom right instead.

In case you did not carefully read what was above:

For this tutorial at least DO NOT USE THE COORDNATES CIRCLED IN BLUE, and do not rely on the coordinates circled in Red. We will be using the green ones only. For the Tutorials though, I may say to use the Red circled coordinates, as for certain situations, those ones are easier. Read along and you will see what I mean.


On bedrock, as far as I know, the only option for coordinates is a toggle you can do in the settings…. Somewhere. I am not sure, but Google probably knows. The bedrock coordinates I believe appear in the top right. The Bedrock coordinates represent the block that your legs occupy. Bedrock coordinates do not go into decimals like they do in Java, so it can be easier to follow bedrock coordinates.

If you are using bedrock, the rest of this tutorial will be the same, but just remember you will have to use your standing location. But remember that it is where your legs occupy. Not the block below your feet, or the block where your head takes up.

How To Find Given Coordinates

If you ever receive a message from someone saying, “come to these coordinates…” of if you die, and your grave says “your grave is at…” or if you find anything at all, be sure to read this section carefully.

Finding Direction

Below is the image of the downtown, and at the center of the black lines, is (0,0,0) This is the world origin. For this next section, you do not need to understand how the coordinates relate to a graph, but if you are interested, scroll up to where this image is posted again.

Underlined in red is the representation of what the coordinates mean.

X = East/West

Y = Up and Down

Z = North/South

Personally, I do not memorize these. They are only useful in the most advanced of situations such as using commands.

Circled in Green represents the direction you are currently facing. If you are looking to travel in any polar direction, such as north, south, northeast, etc. Use the information that is circled in green. This represents the direction you are looking at. Circled in Yellow is the curser. DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE LITTLE LINES. Those represent the positive directions of the X,Y,Z directions. If you want to know more about those, go up to the previous sections which goes into more detail on how it all works.

The first direction is North/South. To find out which direction you are facing, refer to what is shown circled in red. Wherever you are facing, is the direction that is displayed. Similarly, if I am facing north, then I am facing "up" the map.

Second is the coordinate numbers, which you use more common. The best way to find out is to just simple more around. Watch your coordinates, either in the red circled ones, or the green. As you move, be sure you are walking straight, and not diagonal to the blocks. Observe how your coordinates change. They will get bigger or smaller. Only the first and third coordinate are used this way, the second coordinate is easy. If you are going up, then your coordinates will get bigger, down, they get smaller.

If you are not strong in understanding how negatives work, read this section. Say you started at (100,64,100) and you are now at (75,64,100) That means you moved in the negative direction for the first coordinate. If your coordinates are negative, the opposite happens. If you start at (-100,64,-100) and end up at (-75,64,-100) that means you moved in the positive direction. Because even though 75 is less than 100, NEGATIVE 75 is bigger than Negative 100. If that doesn’t make sense, go to a calculator and put in: [-100 + 10] and you will see what I mean.

What If I am Given Only Two Coordinates?

Why are only two coordinates sometimes given? The short answer: For convenience. Typically, if you are asked to meet somebody at specific coordinates, or are told the location of a base, you will sometimes only get two coordinates. If you encounter this and don't understand it, read on:

As discussed earlier, the three coordinates, X,Y,Z each have their own direction. The Y direction is up/down, or height. When given only two coordinates instead of three, this is because the Y coordinate, of the Height coordinate, is left out. This is because typically, everything you deal with in Minecraft is on the surface. If you are trying to find a base/player, they are on the surface, and the surface will change heights due to mountains, rivers, etc. So there is no point in specifying a height coordinate. That would be like telling the elevation of your house when telling a friend how to get to your house.

Finding Locations & Directions On the Server Live Map

For this section, I will only be using two coordinates. This is because the live map does not specify what heigh blocks are. The live map coordinates operate in a 2D plane, so no matter where you point to, the height will always say 64.

Even if you do not have access to the live map, this can still be useful. Reference the image below:

This is the live map of the Downtown. In the center of the image (where the black lines intersect) is the center of the world. Coordinates (0,0). Like a typical map (idk about you Aussies out there, or maybe I’ve been lied to) North is up, East is to the right, etc. Also written down is the labels of which direction is positive or negative.

Circled in yellow in the top left is the location marker. This is where your curser is pointing on the map. Since the curser is larger than the block size of the map, it is not 100% accurate, but accurate within 5 blocks or so.

Typically when trying to find somewhere using coordinates, you are not close at all, so it is helpful to get a general idea of where you are going. I have labeled all which directions are positive or negative, and which coordinate it is. For example in the east direction, if you run your curser down the black line and go to the left, you will see that the first number in the three coordinates will become negative. If you can’t visualize this easily, try this yourself: Go to the live map, and hover over the Aquaspawn building (orange thing near the (0,0) platform) And run your curser up and down the stone pathways and observe the “location” numbers.

Finding Specific Coordinates

Finding the General Area

If you are trying to find specific coordinates such as your grave, be sure you understand how directions work. You will not need to know about North/South type directions, just about negative/positive. To help you understand how this works. I will use a real life example:

You were running around the snow biome, seeing who would win in Iron Golem vs. Snowman fight! As you are building the snowman, you accidentally place the pumpkin in the wrong spot. Of course, right when you go to break it, the iron golem walks in front of you, you hit him, and he kills you. You have no idea where you were, how you got there, or how to get back! You run / graves, and it says your grave is at: (1785, 83, 2053)

To start, you are most likely way too far away from your desired location. To get an idea of where you are going, go into the live map. Using what you have learned from the live map, move your curser around the live map until you get the right direction. Remember, the live map does not properly display the height, so only worry about the first and third coordinates for now. Both coordinates are positive, so make sure that your curser is going the right direction. You may have to do some searching around the map.

I suggest to expand the map to the max possible size. Round off the original coordinates to 1700 and 2000. Once your mouse curser is around those numbers, zoom into the map and zero in onto the location. Once you found it, move on.

Looking For Ways to Get There Using The Live Map

Even if you don't have access to the live map, the solutions discussed here may still be of use:

Now that you have found the location (maybe within 5-10 blocks or so), you will want to find teleporters to get there. Hover your mouse over the three stacked squares above the “Location” marker, and a menu of checkboxes will appear. Make sure “Biome Portals” and “Public Teleporters” are both checked. For now, you may want to uncheck “Claims” so the map isn’t so cluttered and is easier to see.

You are now looking around for the nearest teleporter, either the pink or green flag. The green flag represents a Biome Portal, which can be found at spawn. The pink flag represents public teleporters, which are ones that people place. Generally, the public teleporters are unreliable. Some may be underground, in the air, or no longer active. There is no harm in trying though. Looking around, you should see a green flag called “Snow Portal” This is a biome teleporter. Find it at spawn, and teleport to it. Then move on.

Finding the Location Radius

For this part, you may use either the red or green circled coordinates, since for now we do not need a specific location yet. When you teleport to it, your coordinates should be around: (2332, 64, 1518) For this part, we can exclude the second number, height coordinate. This is because our grave is at a height of 83. If you have played Minecraft long enough, there is probably a 99% chance this grave is on the surface. So, there is no need for the height coordinate, since the ground height will change as we move anyway.

Looking at our coordinates, we are at (2332, 1518) but need to go to (1785, 2053). Looking just at the first number, our current location is at 2332, but we need to go to 1785. This means we need to move in the NEGATIVE direction for this. Walk around in all 4 directions until you find out which way is negative for the first coordinate. If you did this right, you will see we need to go West.

Looking at our second coordinate, we are currently at or around 1518, but we need to be at 2053. This means we need to move in the POSITIVE direction for that coordinate. Walk around in all 4 directions again, and you will see we need to move South.

This means we need to move southwest, or in the Negative, Positive directions to get to our grave. If you want, you can head southwest, or just go west until you reach the coordinate needed, then head south. MAKE SURE TO WATCH YOUR COORDINATES AS YOU MOVE. Once you get within 10-15 blocks from the grave, move on.

Finding the Specific Block

If you don’t see your grave, follow these steps:

Now what we are within precise range, do not use the coordinates circled in red. Use the green only, the “Targeted block” ones. Same as you were doing before, point at the ground and observe your coordinates. You may have gone too far in one direction, too little, or whatever. Move your curser to an adjacent block on the ground and see what its coordinates are. The adjacent block might have a different height, so do not pay attention to that. Find out which direction(s) you are supposed to move, until you find your grave.

If you have made it this far, you have now mastered basic coordinate use!


If your grave is not where its at, it means one of two things:

1: your grave is underground or above you. I this happens, check the location of your grave, but this time DO pay attention to the second coordinate. If it is higher/lower than the block you are pointing at, then it is above or below you.

2: A creeper or tnt blast blew it up. But no worries, now that you know coordinates, you can ix this yourself! First, make sure you have some granite or andesite on you. If you place a regular andesite or granite block where the grave is supposed to be, you can click on it, and it will act like a normal grave! If you cant figure this out, just ask an admin or another player we can help you out.

Other Helpful Tips:

Calculating Distances

Now that you can use Coordinates, you can use them to calculate distances!

Calculating distances is easy. If you take one coordinate and subtract the other, that’s your answer! If I want to calculate the length of my stone wall in one direction, I only need to mark one direction. Say if one end is at (651, 86, 165) and the other end is at (651, 86, 238) the first two coordinates are the same, so I don’t worry about them. So I calculate 238-165, and I get a length of 73 blocks… However, that is not the right answer. There are two main concepts you have to know:

1. Block Length

2. Coordinate Locations

I will visualize this. Refer to the Image Below:

If I want to calculate the total length of this line here, I can easily count that it is 11 blocks. However. If I look at the coordinates, it tells me 10. The X coordinate of the emerald is 240, and the X coordinate of the Emerald is 250 (Remember, the Height and Z coordinate for them both are the same, because this is a line going in only one direction). So if I do 250-240, I get 10?

Why is this happening? This is because coordinates technically count the spaces between blocks, not the blocks themselves. When using the "Targeted block" coordinates, I said that those count the actual block to make everything else simpler to understand. In reality though, those are just rounded up coordinates of the corner it is actually counting. If you count the spaces, then you can see that there are only 10. An easy way to combat this is to just add 1 to your calculation when trying to find the total length. If that doesn't make sense, here's another way of thinking of it:

If I want to calculate the overall length, I have to remember to count the first block, because for coordinates, we have to remember to count starting from the 0th block, not the first block. If that doesn't make sense, look at the diagram to the left, and imagine the Emerald block has a 0 on it

So back to the Original Question at the start of this subtopic. What would the correct answer be? If you guessed 74, then good job! Or if you cheated and just looked at the answer, don't blame me for your off-centered builds.

Placing A Specific Block

If say you want to place a block in a specific location, or know where to find it, if you have gotten this far, this should be easy. Start by looking at the Targeted Block coordinates (The green circled one) and point somewhere. Move around in all 4 directions with your pointer, until you figure out which directions to go. Once you are at your spot, all you have left is the height. Since you are probably pointing at the ground. That means your height is wrong. However, if you’re pointing at a block with coordinates (125, 65, 125) and you want a block at (125, 66, 125) Then place a block directly above the one you were just pointing at. You will see that it is now in the right place!

Quiz Time!!

If you are having trouble still with some aspects of coordinates, answer these questions to see if you can get them!

1. What are the coordinates of the Teleporter Block for Spawn?

2. Travel to the Swamp Biome Portal. What is the height (Y Coordinate) of the block at (-3310,-95)

3. Locate (-2878,-7054) On the live map or in person. What is the nearest teleporter?

4. What block is placed down at (6527, 75, 2830)?

5: Find the sign at (-6467,-5214) What direction are the WORDS facing? (So like, if you were the words on one face of the sign, which Direction would you be facing?)

Answer Key is located at: (7585,81,-3917)

Need any help? Always ask me (Tadog21) for any coordinate related help!

Discord: Tadog21 (You can just ping me in #minecraft or wherever)

Minecraft: trevordog21 (contact with: / mail send trevordog21 [your message])


February 23, 2023

GrenFlem wrote...

I agree, awesome tutorial

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Creating an account is easy. You literally just type in a name and a password.
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