The world of Minecraft is massive, therefore it is easier to keep track of everything by using a map. Crafting maps is not that hard but understanding them is. You might have encountered a lot of blank maps or empty maps while trying to figure this mechanic out.
Maps can get confusing, especially in the Bedrock version where you have the option to craft a map with or without a position marker. However, is an empty map really a bug or is it working as intended?
Whenever a player first creates a map in Minecraft, it is always blank. A map only starts filling with information after you press the use item button on it. Therefore, having a blank map is completely normal, it simply uses a two-step activation.
Such maps are officially named the “empty locator map” in Bedrock Edition and the “empty map” in the Java Edition. Here is how they work along with the crafting process.
How to Craft a Proper Map in Minecraft
A map can be crafted with or without a compass in its center. A non-compass map will not show any kind of location markers but is cheaper to produce. You can add a marker by combining a compass to it in the later stages of the game. With that said, here is the crafting recipe for maps in Minecraft:
Simply add papers on the edges with a compass in the center of your crafting suite.
Fill all the blocks with paper and you are good to go. You can add an anvil or a compass later on in order to add the marker functionality.
How to Record a World on the Map
In order to record a world, one must do the following:
- Hold the map in your hands.
- Move around the world.
The world will be recorded as-is during your travels. Any kind of modification will not show unless the said area is recorded again. Therefore, it is recommended to make clones of your map to keep everything updated.
Can You Use Maps in the Nether?
While a map can be opened in the Nether, it will only show a red and gray pattern. You will be able to see your pointers, but the terrain recorded will be useless. Compasses don’t work as intended in the Nether alongside other factors too.
Therefore, the pointer will also spin rapidly regardless of the direction, making it untrustworthy during exploration.
It is recommended to use a smaller map in the Nether to locate your footings around a smaller area. Large ones can get confusing rapidly and are unreliable in terms of terrain and direction.
How to Obtain Maps Naturally in Minecraft
Aside from the crafting methodologies, there are more natural ways to obtain a map. Most of these are luck dependent. However, there are times when you might obtain a pre-recorded map leading to an interesting place. Here is how you can obtain such maps:
Related: How Many Blocks Are In Minecraft?
Drops from Chests
There are multiple terrains in the open sandbox of Minecraft. Some of such terrain features chests that can drop these maps. Here is how it works:
Java Edition (Empty Map)
Bedrock Edition (Map)
Through the Cartography Table (Bedrock Edition)
The Bedrock version features empty map creation by using a single piece of paper. You can also add a compass in order to create a locator map. The production cost is significantly reduced and it is much easier to produce.
How to Craft a Cartography Table
While the table can be obtained from cartographer villager houses, it is also quite easy to produce through crafting. Here is the recipe:
Using the Starting Map Option (Bedrock Edition)
A player can specify the option to spawn with an empty locator map in the Bedrock Edition. Simply click on the “Starting Map” option during the world creation. However, the map will only be updated when the player holds and uses it.
Trading With Villagers
You can choose to initiate a trade with the villagers in order to gain single empty maps. A single map should cost around 7 emeralds from a Novice Villager. However, this number can increase depending on the demand.
This means that you might have to witness an increase in prices if you empty the map stock from a villager. Whenever it is restocked, the prices will be a bit higher and this effect will be synced with every villager in the said village.
With that said, cartographer villagers can also bestow an empty map with the Hero of the Village effect. However, this feature is limited to the Java Edition only.
How to Add Player Markers to a Normal Map
In the Bedrock Edition, normal maps are unable to show player markets. However, this feature can be added later on with the help of an anvil and a compass. Here is how the recipe works:
- Place and click on the anvil to open the Repair and Name section.
- Add the Map and the Compass in the given slots.
- Press enter and you are good to go!
Here is how it will look:
How to Clone a Map In Minecraft
Map cloning is a basic mechanic in Minecraft that allows a player to create an identical copy of the map. Here is how you can clone maps through an anvil:
- Click on the anvil and open the Repair and Name section.
- Add the original map and a piece of paper in the given slots.
- Press Enter and your map will be cloned into two.
All in all, a blank map is not a bug or error. It is an intentional mechanic that requires you to record an area in the map before being able to use it. Both map variants use the same logic, and it is not recommended to use them in the Nether where everything is a mess.