A water elevator in its simplest form is a stream of water that allows both the player and many mobs to safely navigate big drops or even reach higher areas. You can use a temporary one on a ledge to get down from a cliff quickly without taking damage. Water elevators can be great for quick access to mines or elevated homes. You can even make them look extra cool by using glass blocks to construct them. Tell us if you do anything differently.
There are several types of water elevators you can make. Crafty players have found ways to make some amazing elevator designs, including faster elevators and breathable elevators. You can even use a well-placed elevator to reach areas filled with hostile mobs safely by using the overflow of your elevator.
In all types, you need buckets of water to place your water sources. The simplest version only needs a cleared block in a ledge and a water bucket.
More complex options need solid blocks like glass, wood, or brick depending on how you want it. If you want a breathable elevator, you can either use 1 soul sand block with plenty of kelp in Java edition or lots of signs. The goal is to make a column of water sources. Not all elevators work in all versions, so be sure to check what works in the version you’re playing. For instance, you don’t need kelp to convert flowing water to water sources in the Bedrock edition if you want to make a soul sand bubble elevator.
This guide will cover a soul sand elevator since they tend to be one of the faster designs and aren’t too difficult for beginners. This works for versions 1.13 and later.
For this tutorial, you need 1 soul sand block, glass panes or fences (your choice), water buckets and a water source, and kelp. You can construct from the bottom, but some may find it harder.
Decide on your elevator design and gather your materials
A simple elevator only needs a bucket of water and a gap to create. A soul sand elevator requires a bucket of water, enough kelp to reach all the way up the height of your elevator, soul sand, and a sign. Kelp isn’t really needed in Bedrock, since the bubbles from soul sand turn your flowing water into water sources automatically.
Dig or build your elevator shaft
This is obviously easiest in Creative, but it can be done in Survival. You can dig down or build up your elevator shaft out of any solid block you like. Your only need to make it a single block shaft. Make sure you dig one block down from your intended bottom so you can have space for your soul sand. At the bottom, replace two-block high sections of adjacent walls with glass panes or fences. This makes a diagonal entrance to your elevator.
Head to the top of your elevator and pour your bucket of water down the elevator shaft. If you are playing in Bedrock, you may not need to do step 4.
Place your kelp
Head to the bottom of your water column where your soul sand will go later, and place kelp on every block going up. Keep placing until you reach the top of the shaft. This will change the flowing water to water sources in the Java Edition.
Place your soul sand
Head to the bottom and remove the bottom kelp block and replace it with your soul sand. You should now have an elevator that takes you up quickly without risk of drowning. You still need a way down though.
Build your drop shaft
Near your elevator, dig or build a single block shaft to the right height. Next, make a two-block high entrance, and place your sign at two blocks high. This is eye-level in Minecraft.
Place your water source to catch you
Two blocks up from your sign, place your water. You should end up with 2 blocks of flowing water. This will catch you when you drop and let you land safely in front of the sign. Now you can reach your deep mines very easily and quickly.