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The Quickest Way To Find An Ancient City In Minecraft

Despite its status as a largely free-for-all sandbox game, "Minecraft" does have dungeon-like challenges much like those found in RPGs. Players have the option to fight their way through and loot structures like Woodland Mansions, Ocean Monuments, Jungle Pyramids, and — as of the 1.19 "The Wild Update"Ancient Cities. Located deep underground in the Deep Dark biome, these sprawling ruins house a plethora of rare and valuable loot with even a couple items and blocks not found elsewhere — including the Sculk Sensor, a redstone component block with basically no limits.

While hostile mobs can't spawn in Ancient Cities, these structures number among the most difficult challenges the game has to offer. Players have to be mindful of the sounds they make, sneaking around and using wool to avoid setting off the various traps and alarms that, if activated too many times, will summon the Warden: a nigh-unkillable mob that does massive amounts of damage and is almost impossible to survive without high level gear and an Elytra to aid your escape.

Before players can skirt the dangers and reap the benefits of an Ancient City, they must find one. Blindly strip-mining along the y-level they spawn at won't get you very far. Fortunately, there's a quicker way to find a Deep Dark biome with an Ancient City in "Minecraft."

Knowing the right spawn conditions goes a long way

Deep Dark biomes — and subsequently Ancient Cities — have specific conditions they can spawn in, much like the Lush Caves biome introduced in the "Minecraft" 1.18 update. They can only generate underneath biomes "with a low erosion value," which basically means more jagged and mountainous areas. You'll want to look for deep ravines running through mountain peaks to get you as far down as possible, as Ancient Cities only spawn beneath y-level 0 and usually close to the bedrock layer itself. If there are no such ravines, simply dig down carefully as you would during any other mining endeavor — with any luck, you should pop into the Deep Dark soon enough.

Unfortunately, luck will largely determine how fast you find an Ancient City, as is the case with most aspects of "Minecraft." However, you can improve your chances by looking underneath the largest mountain ranges with the highest peaks that you can find: the larger and higher the mountains, the wider the area that's eligible for Ancient Cities to spawn. Of course, speaking on a purely technical level, the fastest way to find an Ancient City is to simply copy the survival world and import it into creative mode before using the "/locate ancientcity" command. However, if you don't have access to your server's world data — or simply want to explore organically — you'll just have to gear up and head for the hills.