Everything you need to know about Minecraft shipwrecks

Everything you need to know about Minecraft shipwrecks

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When you play Survival Minecraft, you will need a lot of precious loot. Iron, diamonds, and even emeralds are crucial to your survival success and reaching the end. There’s a great tip for picking up some of this without destroying pickaxe after pickaxe and getting an easy lead during your early game of Minecraft: Shipwrecks.

Depending on where you spawn, shipwrecks can often be found immediately, and their valuable loot tables mean you can get a real head start on your survival adventure. They also spawn quite frequently and are generally overlooked as one of the best Minecraft structures to hunt. So if you haven’t thought about using the wooden ruins to your advantage in survival mode, here’s everything you need to know about Minecraft Shipwrecks.

Structure and generation of the wreck

minecraft wreck capsized
An entire Minecraft shipwreck dumped at the bottom of the ocean

Shipwrecks in Minecraft can spawn in all ocean biomes, but can also spawn on a beach, partially or fully on the ground. They can also spawn in other structures, such as Ocean Monuments or ravines.

A whole shipwreck consists of a bow and a stern. The bow is on two floors, the outer deck and an area below deck. The stern consists of three floors, with two rooms. The lowest room is behind a door that may or may not spawn. Doing so provides an unwaterlogged area in which the player can retrieve the air supply. As we’ll see in a moment, there can be up to three chests in a shipwreck, one in the upper aft room, one in its lower room, and one in the area below the foredeck. Knowing the location of these chests will prove invaluable when you’re struggling to breathe underwater.

Minecraft Shipwreck Chest Locations
All three chest locations in a Minecraft Shipwreck

The image above the minecraft wiki shows the location of all three chests in a full shipwreck. If the shipwreck spawns upside down or on its side, the chests will still spawn in a similar location, but in the correct position.

The problem with this lies in the fact that you are not guaranteed to find a complete wreck. In fact, a Minecraft Shipwreck can be spawned whole, slightly worn, or halved. In the case of the latter, only the chests that would appear in that section will appear (read on for the types of chests and their location within the ship). You can also find your ship on its side, or completely upside down, making it difficult to access when you’re holding your virtual breath.

How to find a shipwreck in minecraft

Unless you have cheats enabled and can use the /locate command, then the best way to locate Shipwrecks in Minecraft is to simply go swimming. So rowing.

One of the first things you can make in Minecraft is a boat, using just planks of wood (and a shovel in Bedrock Edition). From there, you can simply navigate, keeping your eyes on the ocean floor. To make this even easier, it’s worth looking at the horizon as it renders and keeping an eye out for shipwreck-like structures as they appear. One final tip, paddling around the seas at dusk or dawn makes underwater structures even easier to spot because the water lights up.

Minecraft Shipwreck Loot Tables

As mentioned, there are three different types of chests that can appear in a Minecraft shipwreck; Supply Chests, Treasure Chests, and Map Chests. All three will spawn on a full shipwreck, but if the shipwreck is partially destroyed, only some, or even none, of the chests will spawn.

Minecraft Shipwreck Treasure Chest

supply chests

Supply chests appear on the lower deck of the ship’s bow and contain items that help you survive, such as leather armor and food. They also contain some items you might want to leave behind, like poisonous potatoes and rotten meat. The following table shows all the items that can appear in a supply chest and the probability that they will do so.

Article Possibility of editing Java and Bedrock
fishy stew 54.3%
Paper 46.4%
Wheat 42.1%
Carrot 42.1%
poisonous potato 42.1%
dad 42.1%
moss block 42.1%
Coal 37.3%
rotten meat 32.2%
Gunpowder 20.8%
enchanted leather cap 20.8%
Enchanted Leather Tunic 20.8%
enchanted leather pants 20.8%
Enchanted Leather Boots 20.8%
Bamboo 14.4%
Pumpkin 14.4%
TNT 7.5%
All the statistics of minecraft wiki

You can find multiples of each item per chest, and with Wheat, Carrots, and Fishy Stew available, you’ll likely find enough food to get you through your first few days of Minecraft.

treasure chests

This is the big one, of course. Treasure chests. The best loot you’d hope to get from a shipwreck. Depending on your luck, this one could really set you up, especially if you find two or three shipwrecks close to each other. Since you can find multiples of each item, you could find enough diamonds to craft a diamond sword or even a pickaxe, and enough iron to craft your other essential tools. The treasure chest always spawns in the upper aft room; if you’re lucky and find a shipwreck on the surface of the water, it might not even be underwater. However, it is the easiest to jam. We recommend cutting a hole directly from above.

Article Possibility of editing Java and Bedrock
iron ingot 97.4%
iron nugget 94.5%
Emerald 73.7%
lapis lazuli 61.5%
gold nugget 36.6%
Gold ingot 26.5%
Bottle O’ Enchantment 14.1%
Diamond 14.1%

map chests

Finally, map chests. These are most useful for the buried treasure map, which can again lead you to more diamonds and is the only way to find the heart of the sea. These always spawn in the lower room at the stern of the ship.

Article Possibility of editing Java and Bedrock
Buried Treasure Map 100%
Paper 89.4%
Feather 60%
Book 34.5%
Watch 7.7%
Compass 7.7%
empty map 7.7%

More Tips on Looting Shipwrecks

Finally, here are some recommendations to stay safe when looting shipwrecks at the bottom of the Minecraft ocean.

The safest and fastest way to find your treasure is with a Potion of Water Breathing and/or an enchanted Helmet of Breathing and enchanted tools of Water Affinity. However, if you’re making this game early, when it’s most beneficial, chances are you won’t have them. So keep a close eye on your air supply bar, the one that appears above your hunger bar when you’re underwater. Don’t wait until it’s gone. If you’re running low, head back to the surface, with or without your loot. His health deteriorates rapidly as he begins to drown.

In that sense, it’s best to do a little reconnaissance before trying to get your items. Swim out to the wreck a couple of times to find out exactly where the chests are, then head back down with a full air supply to clear them out.

One more tip, use a door! As mentioned, if there’s already one there, then great, if not, why not create one and take it with you? A door won’t waterlog, which means you can create a small space in which you can breathe and recharge your air supply.

minecraft shipwreck door
Catch your breath in an underwater gate

That’s it for Minecraft Shipwrecks. We hope this guide helps you get off to a good start in your survival world, and good luck finding those diamonds! While you’re learning about useful structures in Minecraft, why not check out our guides on the newest structure in Minecraft: the Old Town?

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