Monday, May 13, 2013

Slime Farming

If you’re new to Minecraft you may not yet realize the need for slime in the game, but it serves some vital purposes. Both sticky pistons (useful in a number of applications) and several brewing recipes use slime balls as part of their crafting recipe; as such these little balls of slime become a valuable commodity. In order to obtain slime balls you have to kill slimes… carefully. Too much damage and the larger slimes won’t split into as many smaller slimes and the smaller slimes won’t drop the items you’re trying to get. This means that if you want to maximize your slime ball drops you’ll have to punch the creatures to death (rather than use a sword) or come up with another gentle system. While it may not seem like that big a deal to just go out one night and hunt some slimes, unless you’re next to a swamp, you’re not going to have much luck. Slimes only spawn in a swamp or in particular chunks (16x16x256 block squares) as determined by the seed used to generate your game world. Finding these special slime chunks and maximizing their spawning potential is what slime farming is all about.

Finding the Chunk
Slime Chunk Map
There are a couple ways to do this and one is easier than the other. Slime chunks are randomly dispersed throughout your world so that there’s one slime chunk in every ten chunks on average. Knowing this allows you to set up a large grid (9 16x16 divided rooms at no higher than 39 on the Y axis). Each grid section will correspond to a different chunk. Once the grid is set up, make sure you’re at least 25 squares away and wait for a few hours. When you come back, some slimes will more than likely have spawned in one or two of the sectioned off chunks. It’s important to make sure the walls are at least 2 blocks high to make sure slimes don’t jump from one to another. If this happens, you won’t be able to know for sure where they’re spawning.

If you prefer an easier approach a handy web application called Slime Finder exists which will map out your world and highlight all the slime chunks in green for you. This application can be found here. In order for this to work, you’ll have to enter the seed from which your world was generated. To find out what seed your world was generated from you’ll need to hit the “T” key in game to open your command prompt dialog and enter the command “/seed” (without the quotes). If you’re playing with a newer version of Minecraft this will cause the game to display a long number; this number is your seed. Record the number and enter it into the Slime Finder application and you’ll soon have a complete map for your convenience.

Regardless of the option you choose you’ll need to use your information dialog in game to know where you are as far as coordinates and chunks so you know where to build. You can open this by pressing F3 in game.

Building the Farm
A Slime Farm Under Construction
Once you’ve found your slime chunk (and preferably several side by side) you can start building your farm. The idea is to maximize spawning, but only for slimes. Unlike other mobs in the game slimes will spawn even when an area is well lit, so be sure to keep it lit up in order to prevent other types of mobs from spawning. This is also fairly handy during construction. There are some things to remember when building your farm about mob spawning. A mob will need to have enough space to spawn in an area (typically) and so for the purposes of slimes you’ll want an area at least 3x3x3 in order to allow room for the largest of the slimes, though for an effective farm you’ll want much more surface area to work with. Mobs won’t spawn on bedrock, so make sure your lowest spawning floor is at 6 or higher on the Y axis (as bedrock is present from layers 1-5). Slimes won’t spawn directly on top of torches or glowstone blocks so you’ll want to use either jack-o-lanterns or redstone lamps with redstone blocks in order to light the farm. If resources are a bit thin, torches will provide as much light, but they’ll slightly reduce the spawning rates. Finally, mobs will not spawn within 24 blocks of your character so make sure you have your waiting area at least 24 blocks away from your farm, but no more than 200 blocks away from the far as this will cause the slimes to start despawning. You can also use this as a loot collection point for convenience. Taking all this into consideration you’ll build your farm by creating floors with 3 blocks worth of space in between them as spawning floors for the slimes. These floors can be created anywhere from layer 6 to layer 39 on the Y axis. Try and fit as many floors as you can into this area as the more surface area you have for the slimes to spawn the more slimes you’ll have spawning and thus the more efficient your farm will be.

Setting the Trap
Once the spawning areas are complete you’ll want to consider how to get those precious resources you’ve made a place for. There are literally hundreds of trap designs to choose from assuming you don’t wish to simply make your own or hack and slash your way through each floor in a mad rampage for slime balls. Whatever design you select should be something you have the resources for and that will make the whole thing very convenient for you. Bear in mind for this the typical behavior of a slime left to its own devices. When not chasing a player a slime spawned in your farm will move to the nearest wall and continue from there to the nearest corner. As such, you can use this information to get slimes from the very top of your farm all the way to the trap at the bottom. Remember however that it can be a long way down and you want to kill them gently so if you opt to have them fall from on high, provide a pool of water at least 3 blocks deep for them to land in so they don’t die prematurely and without splitting reducing the effectiveness of your farm.

While it may seem like a lot of work for some slime balls, the slime farming process will save you a great deal of effort in the long run. So set up your farm and get ready for all the slime balls pouring in to your N3rd C0rn3r.