How to Find an Ancient City in Minecraft: Tips, Seeds, and More

Wondering how to find a Minecraft Ancient City? Unfortunately, they can be very elusive, but once you know what to look for and where, unearthing this wondrous metropolis is much easier. Ancient cities are spectacular structures buried deep underground – one of the earliest underground monuments aside from fortresses, in fact – so now you have something to look out for while you dig for diamonds in Minecraft.

Beware though, as ancient cities harbor a dangerous mob within their walls – the Guardian. This blind but brutal creature is the toughest enemy in Minecraft history, but it guards some exciting loot. Here’s what you need to know to find a Minecraft Ancient Citywhat to expect when you get there, and some of the best seeds in Ancient City if you want to skip the hard part.

How to Find an Ancient City in Minecraft

The first thing to know is that unlike Ocean Monuments and Wooden Mansions, there is no Ancient City map to find or buy in Minecraft. This time, the job is entirely on you. The best you can do to narrow your search is knowing where to look and what signs to look for.

Despite their terrifying nature, Ancient Cities are located in the Overworld, so you don’t even have to go to the Nether to get scared. This means, contrary to popular belief, that no Ancient City Portal is required to get there, and you can start looking for one right away (if you’re brave enough). Instead, subterranean structures are only found in the Deep Dark biome, which is well below surface depths. You will know you are in a Deep Dark biome by the presence of black and turquoise Sculk objects, such as Sculk Veins and Sculk Blocks, as they only generate in this exclusive underground biome.

Ancient Cities also only generate at level Y -51, so our recommendation for finding the Keeper’s House is to mine at that level, paying close attention if and when you spot Sculk Blocks. This way you don’t waste time, because it’s the best level to find both diamonds and ancient cities.

Minecraft Ancient City: An ancient city crossing a fortress, with the final portal in sight

Best Minecraft Ancient City Seeds

Here are three of the best seeds to play on if you want to start a new world with an ancient city nearby.

Ancient city near the bridge

  • 2265063769536625355: If you just want an ancient city that’s quick and easy to find, then this seed is a great place to start. Not only is there an Ancient City near the spawn point, there is also a dungeon with a spider spawner and two chests directly below you upon spawn. For the Ancient City, simply mine east of the spawn point to X=86, Z=10.

Ancient city with a mine shaft and a lush cave

  • 8897873426518916880: This ancient city is slightly further from the spawn, but still very close, while being almost adjacent to a large and beautiful, lush cave. Head southwest at coordinates -130387 for the city, with the lush cave a bit farther at -176489. Directly above the ancient city is a mineshaft with even more loot at collect.

Ancient city with a fortress and a mine shaft

  • -6542427500181432213: For those who enjoy heading to The End, Reddit user Jereaux has found the perfect Ancient City seed. While you have to travel about a thousand blocks to find it (-1036, 1124), a fortress generates in an ancient city, with the portal room directly in front of the central structure.

Ancient Cities Explained

Ancient Cities are unlike any other structure in Minecraft, down to their naturally generated redstone contraptions – otherwise only found in Jungle Temples. There’s a lot to explore when you find one, and it probably took you a while to get there, so make the most of it. Familiarize yourself with everything you need to know about these strange and sacred rooms before you go, and keep your eyes and ears open for the guardian. Here are the main things to look out for when exploring:

  • The central statue of the Guardian: Marking the center of the ancient city is a gigantic statue, representing the Face of the Guardian with new reinforced Deepslate blocks. Reinforced Deepslate looks cool, but unfortunately it can’t be mined, and that’s the only place it spawns. Although this central monument may look like a portal to the ancient city, it won’t transport you anywhere, but stands above a secret red stone doorway.
  • Secret redstone room: In front of the central monument, you’ll find either a loot chest with a golden carrot or apple inside, or a chiseled Deepslate bridge – these are the triggers to open a secret red stone door. Walking on the bridge or munching on the golden food triggers a Sculk sensor under your feet, and you should hear the door open behind you. Head inside for a quick lesson on redstone gear.
  • Coolers: Icehouses are small rooms located away from the long corridors of the ancient city and are evident by the presence of blocks of ice on top. They are worth investigating, as a loot chest is hidden under its trapdoor. Simply operate the correct pressure plate to open it. Trigger the wrong pressure plate, however, and you could irritate the Director when the Note Blocks chime sounds.
  • Blocks: While you can’t collect the new Deepslate variant, there are plenty of other interesting and unique blocks to collect while in an ancient city. Soul Sand generates in Ancient Cities – the only location outside of the Nether – as its shimmering blue flame lights up the city. You can also gather candles and even skeleton mob heads from the city ruins around you, while the floors are lined with carpets and woolen blocks to soften your steps, preventing them from triggering Sculk sensors.

Minecraft Ancient City: A Lonely Chest

Ancient City Loot

Several loot boxes are spawned in Ancient Cities in Minecraft and, with the exception of Icehouses, are all clearly visible and easy to access. Many interesting and useful items can be found in these chests, including Snowballs (throw one to send a Guardian wandering the other way), Echo Shards (used to craft a Recovery Compass) and music disc fragments (can be placed in a Crafting Table to make a complete record). Echo Fragments and Music Disc Fragments are exclusive to chests in the Ancient City.

All items that can be found in chests in the Ancient City:

  • Amethyst Shard
  • Baked potato
  • Bone
  • Book
  • Bottle O’ Enchanting
  • Candle
  • Coal
  • Compass
  • Damaged Enchanted Diamond Hoe
  • Disk Fragment (5)
  • Echo Shard
  • enchanted book
  • Enchanted Diamond Leggings
  • Enchanted Golden Apple
  • Enchanted horse armor
  • Enchanted Iron Leggings
  • Bright bays
  • golden carrot
  • Conduct
  • Music disc (other side, 13 or cat)
  • Psuedonym
  • Packaged ice cream
  • healing potion
  • Regeneration Potion
  • Saddle
  • Sculpt
  • Carving Catalyst
  • Sculpin sensor
  • Snowball
  • soul torch
  • suspicious stew

Minecraft Ancient City: A guardian watches the player

The Guardian

The main feature of Minecraft’s Ancient Cities is the deadly mob of Guardians. We have a separate guide to the Minecraft Warden, with all the details on how to spawn, avoid, or fight the creature. In short, though, be careful where you step as you roam the Ancient City and keep an ear or an eye out for the monster emerging from the ground if you trigger nearby Sculk sensors too many times. If you anger the Guardian, you better stay still and quiet until he disappears – attacking the mob is more likely to end in your death than his.

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Now that you know everything there is to know about Minecraft Ancient Cities and the secrets hidden in the Deep Dark, sharpen that pickaxe and mine mining. To increase your chances of survival, we recommend using your Minecraft Brew Stand and equipping some of the best enchantments. Good luck there – you’re going to need it.