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How To Make an Empty Map in Minecraft

howchoo   (467)
August 11, 2023
15 minutes


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gaming • 85 guides
Minecraft is an epic sandbox video game developed by Swedish game developer Mojang Studios.
minecraft • 66 guides

An Empty Map is a type of map in Minecraft that players use to record and view the areas they have explored. It can also show a player’s location and any marker you leave within the map’s scope using Banners. With how big Minecraft is, an Empty Map is useful to have in your inventory if you want to keep track of your exploration progress and avoid getting lost on the way home, or back to your bed if you’re just starting out. 

When Empty Maps are filled, they turn into Maps in your inventory. You can use these to decorate your base and let others know how to navigate the surrounding terrain.

To make an Empty Map in Minecraft, follow the recipe below.

Ingredients required:

8 Papers

1 Compass

Tool required:

Crafting Table

For Bedrock Edition, using these ingredients will give you an Empty Locator Map. To create an Empty Map in Bedrock Edition, you only need 9 Papers.

Let’s find out get these ingredients and make an Empty Map by following the steps in this guide.

1 – Make Paper

Harvest at least 9 Sugar Canes. Sugar Canes generate naturally beside bodies of water, so you can find them growing near rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Once you have the Sugar Canes, put three in a Crafting Table to make 3 Papers.

Do this 3 times to get the 9 Papers required for the Empty Map.

2 – Craft a Compass

A Compass requires 1 Redstone Dust and 4 Iron Ingots to craft. Both can be acquired by mining or looting.

To get Redstone Dust, you need an Iron Pickaxe or higher to mine a Redstone Ore or Deepslate Redstone Ore. You can also get Redstone Dust from looting.

To get Iron Ingots, you have to mine Iron Ores for some Raw Iron using a Stone Pickaxe or higher. Smelt the Raw Iron using a Furnace to get an Iron Ingot. You can also smelt Iron Ores or Deepslate Iron Ores, put 9 Iron Nuggets or a Block of Iron in a Crafting Table, or loot chests to get Iron Ingots.

Once you have Redstone Dust and Iron Ingots, combine them in a Crafting Table to make a Compass.

3 – Make an Empty Map

Prepare your Papers and Compass and combine them in a Crafting Table as shown below.

Take the result in the output slot and you have your Empty Map!

How to Use an Empty Map in Minecraft

An Empty Map can be filled out and turned into a Map

Maps can be displayed using an Item Frame and expanded when you run out of space. You can also add map markers to signify important locations, clone a filled Map, and lock it to prevent new details from being recorded. However, it needs to be filled first.

To fill an Empty Map, go to the area you want to record and equip the Empty Map through your hotbar or the off-hand slot in your inventory.

For the Java Edition, simply right-click to immediately record your surrounding terrain. For other editions, you can use the following controls:

  • Bedrock Edition:
    • Keyboard & Mouse: Right-click and hold.
    • Controller: Press the LT/L2/ZL button and hold.
    • Mobile: Tap the screen and hold.
  • Education Edition: Right-click and hold.

The Empty Map will then turn into a Map in your inventory.

A Map can be viewed on your hand once it’s filled. It will update and fill out automatically as you explore the world as long as you have it equipped.

A downside to this is you can’t undo what is already recorded, so use your Empty Maps wisely. If you have the resources, you can craft a few extras for emergencies. You can also expand the Map if you want it to record more terrain in the same area by combining the filled Map with Paper using a Cartography Table.

How to Get an Empty Map in Creative Mode

You can get an Empty Map using the Creative Inventory Menu in Creative Mode either by looking for it or searching for its name.

If you have access to console commands, you can also input the following in the chat window:

/give @p minecraft:map 1
  • give: This is the main command. You can learn more about this command in the Minecraft Wiki.
  • @p: This refers to the nearest player. You can also replace this with your username.
  • minecraft:map: This is the item you want to have. In this case, this will give you an Empty Map.
  • 1: This is the amount of the above item that you want to have.

What are Other Ways to Get an Empty Map in Minecraft?

Empty Maps have a chance of generating naturally in chests found in shipwrecks, strongholds, and villages. You can also get them by trading with cartographers in villages.

Where Do Empty Maps Work in Minecraft?

Empty Maps can only record areas and structures on the surface level. This means it cannot display underground or underwater details once used. It also does not work in the End.

Using Empty Maps in the Nether technically works, but they will not display the terrain. A workaround for this is leaving Banners behind, which will still show on the Map. However, it can still be difficult to navigate to them due to the unpredictability of the Nether.

What Are the Differences Between an Empty Map and an Empty Locator Map?

Both Java and Bedrock Editions have an Empty Map item, but only Bedrock has an Empty Locator Map. All Empty Maps in Java Edition require a Compass and 8 Papers. Meanwhile, Empty Maps in Bedrock Edition are created using only 9 Papers.

In Bedrock Edition, an Empty Map does not show player markers, but adding a Compass to create an Empty Locator Map allows it to show where players are once the map is filled.

Empty Maps in Java Edition automatically show the owner’s location. However, needing to craft a Compass to make one can be expensive for beginners. The advantage of being able to craft Empty Locator Maps in Bedrock Edition is that players have the option to only record terrain if they do not need to see player markers as well.

How to Make an Empty Locator Map in Bedrock Edition?

To create an Empty Locator Map in Bedrock Edition, you only need to combine an Empty Map with a Compass using either a Crafting Table or an Anvil. This also works with a Map that has already been filled out.

How to Show Other Players Using an Empty Map in Java Edition?

On its own, an Empty Map cannot show the location of other players. If you want to see other players’ location markers, you have to clone a filled Map and have each player carry a copy so their locations can appear on it.

You can clone a Map by combining it with an Empty Map using a Crafting Table or a Cartography Table.


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