Minecraft: BEST Iron Level [Thoroughly Tested]

Iron is one of the most valuable Minerals in the game as it helps you craft tons of useful Items.

One of the most important features of the game is to be able to mine minerals. Iron ore was the earliest mineral added to the game.  You can smelt the Iron ore into Iron ingots and craft many new items in the game. You need to learn about the Best and Optimal Levels of Iron Veins in Minecraft version 1.18 because that changed the game.

Key Takeaways

  • Iron is mainly found at two completely different levels in Minecraft.
  • You’ll find Iron up on Stony Peaks, at Y=232, to be precise.
  • Whereas underground, it will be found at Y=16.
  • Iron is one of the most abundant minerals, so finding it won’t be hard.
  • You’ll have to prepare for Iron Mining by getting the Best Pickaxe.
  • Once you have acquired Pickaxe, you can head towards your preferred location and get Iron.
  • Iron Ores have Bronze spots on the rock and are easy to spot from a distance.
  • There are tons of Items that you can make craft Iron. You can make better Swords, Axes, and Armor, such as Helmets.

Best Iron Mining Levels

The Minecraft 1.18 update, released in November 2021, brought forth some major updates. It is named ‘Caves & Cliffs: Part II’. Although the previous update brought several new ores to the caves, v1.18 completely changed the game. It introduced bigger caves, taller mountains, a new cave system, mountain biomes, and even the concept of flooded caves. The new heights and depths of the game’s world with the previous version were fully utilized with the 1.18.

In the versions before the ‘Caves & Cliffs,’ you would only find huge quantities of Iron underground, below sea level. But the update changed everything in the game. After update 1.18, it is more common to find Iron in the mountains rather than underground.

If you have the goal to mine Iron in Minecraft, then it is best and optimal to look for Iron or Iron Veins on the Y=232 Level or Y=16 level in 1.18. According to a post shared on Twitter by one of the developers, these are the best levels to find Iron in Minecraft version 1.18. While looking at the picture, you come to understand how the Ore distribution work, and you can utilize it to your benefit too.

1.18 ore distrubution minecraft.
The Tweet shared by Minecraft Developer.

The Vertical distance tells the range where you’ll find Iron or any other mineral in the game. Whereas the Horizontal length tells the density or how much you’ll find there. It shows that mining in the Mountains is the best option to go for.

Best Level To Find Iron

We gave an overview of what levels you need to go to get Iron in 1.18. Now that you know where to find Iron, you will have to plan your everything around that and ensure that you’re getting the most out of it. To do that, as we’ve mentioned before, you’ll either have to get to the Y=232 level up in mountains. Or that you will have to go down underground to get to Y=16. Where you go, you will get the most out of it.

But that doesn’t mean that you will only find Iron at these spots. It is available on other levels, but you’ll find the most concentration there. If you’re targeting the Y=232 level, then you have a variety of ranges. You’ll find Iron in between the ranges Y=128 to Y=320. The same goes for Iron underground.

Best Mountain Level

In Minecraft, there are many different Mountain types in the game. With the Caves & Cliffs update, the game introduced a bunch of other mountain types, especially targeting mineral harvesting. With the different varieties of Mountains available, the question arises of which one to go for to get the best out of it all.

The best type of mountain to get Iron is the ‘Stony Peaks’. These mountains are usually stone-covered grey mountains. They are stone-covered because it would be difficult to spot something on snow-covered mountain biomes. To better understand where to mine, you need to go to Y=232 to get the best out of mining Iron.

Best level for iron minecraft 1.18
Mining Iron up on the Mountains. [Image Credit: eXputer]
To mine efficiently, it is better to make a cave system wherever you’re mining. Once you get to your desired level on a mountain, you can proceed with mining Iron on it.

Best Underground Level

The update didn’t make it obsolete to find Iron underground. You can still find Iron there as the whole area will be covered with blocks, unlike mountains. But remember, if you have a mountain with the optimum Iron level, you’ll find much more Iron ore there than underground. That is mainly because it will be much more concentrated on the mountain. To evaluate, the update made it more probable for you to find Iron ore above surface level. You can still find significant reserves underground too. That means there is plenty of Iron to go around.

The most probable range you can find Iron underground is between Y=-24 to Y=54. Again, it is the vertical position or depth. The best level in 1.18 is still at Y=16, and Iron Veins would be more abundant at the range in Minecraft. It will decrease as you move further toward the endpoints of the range. Iron ore layers are often below the cobblestone layer. Players digging straight down can use it as an indicator.

best underground level for iron minecraft 1.18
Mining Iron Underground to get the most out of it. [Image Credit: eXputer]
The underground caves are the best places to look for Iron. These places cut through the terrain, and it’s easier to spot Iron alongside the caves’ walls, ceilings, or floors. Yet, you should be careful as mobs here are more likely to attack you. Lava would be the biggest of your problems. If you are not careful where you dig.

How To Check Level

Now, before you can head down towards the mines or up to the mountains, you need to understand how Coordinates work. In addition, you must know how to check your level in Minecraft so you don’t waste your time at a place where you won’t find the most Iron. For that, you’ll have to learn how to properly know what level you are on.

Minecraft’s Location System

Minecraft’s location system is based on the XYZ coordinate system. The Y-coordinate here is similar to the ‘Cartesian Coordinate System’ in Mathematics. It represents the height. Apart from that, the XYZ coordinates help locate resources, locations, and structures in the game. You can utilize it to efficiently mine minerals in the game, as you must go to specific depths to get the most out of it.

The location of the minerals in Minecraft can also be found using these coordinates. Many Players have been able to gather information on certain Y levels. The reason for it is that it is more likely to find the items you are looking for. At a certain range, you’ll find more of one item than another, whereas, on other ranges, it will be a different scenario.

Checking Coordinates

Previously, it’s been explained what levels are best for mining Iron. However, the coordinates are not displayed on the screen by default. But, there is an easy fix for the problem. The players just need to press the F3 key on their keyboard, which displays the debug screen in the top left corner of your screen. Here, you can search for the line labeled “XYZ,” which is divided into three segments X, Y, and Z, respectively. It will be using a “/” (forward slash) symbol. It means that the first one is for X, the second is for Y, and the third value is for Z coordinates.

Minecraft coordinate system.
XYZ Coordinates help locate different spots in the game. [Image Credit: eXputer]
Furthermore, players can use these segments to keep an eye on their vertical location. They can also reach the heights/depths that are required. It can prove as a very important tool for players looking for a specific mineral that is found at a specific height. The X and Z coordinates can also prove to be very useful in finding a player’s horizontal location on the plane. Similarly, it can be useful in marking specific locations on the map.

Preparation To Mine Iron

Once you have found an Iron ore, you must be prepared with the necessary tools to mine. You can only use very specific tools to mine for Iron and not every tool mines with the same efficiency. In Minecraft, you can make different tools and equipment to help make it easier to mine Iron in the game. We’ll explain what you’ll need to mine with efficiency.


The pickaxe is the most important tool in the game. You must always remember that pick is your best friend in the game, and a good pickaxe will take you a long way. Iron ore can only be mined using Stone, Iron, Diamond, or Netherite pickaxe. You’ll require their respective Ingots or minerals to make these pickaxes.

Crafting Pickaxe

Open your crafting menu, which shows a 3×3 grid. Add the three minerals on the very top layer of the grid horizontally. Then, add two sticks in the middle column vertically. It will somewhat form a ‘T’ shape. (Note: it is very important in how you place items on the crafting table. The changes in the pattern will change the entire recipe). Once the items are placed on the grid, the Pickaxe will appear to the right, then just craft and put it in your inventory.

Crafting Pickaxe.
To craft a pickaxe, you need to make a T-shape. [Image Credit: eXputer]

Starting Pickaxe

If you just started mining for Iron, then you can begin with a Stone Pickaxe. Although the first pickaxe that you’ll make will be the Wood Pickaxe, it isn’t strong enough to mine Iron ores. But, it can mine cobblestone, to begin with. Once you have three Cobblestones, quickly craft a Stone Pickaxe and start using that.

Best Pickaxe

If you already have acquired a bunch of all minerals and want to collect as much Iron as possible to do your mega project, it changes everything. Then you must make a better Pickaxe because they will require much less time to mine Iron. Your preference should be getting a Diamond Pickaxe, or if you have the materials available, the Netherite Pickaxe is the best Pickaxe available.

Best pickaxe for Iron 1.18 minecraft.
Diamond and Netherite Pickaxes are the best Pickaxes to mine Iron. [Image Credit: eXputer]
Throwing in a bunch of Enchantments such as Efficiency and Unbreaking will make your Pickaxe much more efficient. One of the best enchantments when mining would be the Fortune Enchantment. It will completely change how you mine Minerals in the game.

Mining Iron

To mine Iron, you’ll first have to locate it. For that, you’ll either have to go up to the mountains or down below. Now, if your only goal is to get Iron, then it is better if you head toward the mountains. There, you’ll find a high concentration of Iron veins with Iron Ore. But, if you are looking for Iron, but other minerals are fine, then we’d suggest that you mine underground. There, you’ll find a bunch of minerals, including but not limited to Diamonds, Copper, etc.

Early on in the game, it is better to go up to the mountains as you won’t be better equipped to mine efficiently. There, you’ll find Iron Veins in the mountains which will allow you to get early Iron.

First Time Mining Iron

If you are mining Iron for the first time, you’ll first have to get the Wooden Pickaxe. Use it to get a few cobblestones, and then as I have mentioned above, make the first Stone Pickaxe.

Now with a stone pickaxe, click and hold on the left click of your mouse. It will enable your pickaxe to strike against the Iron ore and keep holding on to the left click until the block is mined. You will know you have mined the Iron once the ore breaks into smaller blocks. These smaller blocks will float on the ground, indicating that Iron ore has been mined. Make sure you quickly pick up the Iron ore you have mined before it disappears.

Once you have picked up the ore, it will appear in your hot bar and should be kept in inventory for later use. Iron ore in itself is not that useful and needs to be smelted to form Iron ingots. You would need a blast furnace and any fuel available, such as coal or charcoal.

Next, place your fuel (charcoal or coal) and Iron ore in the furnace grid. After doing so, you would see flames indicating that the ore is smelting. Upon completion, you would be able to acquire an Iron ingot which can be used to craft several very useful items to help you progress in the game.

Mining Tons Of Iron

Once you have learned how to mine Iron and have learned other aspects of the game, then it’s time to move ahead. I recommend that you head down towards the mines. You should have enough food to survive for longer durations. Take one or two extra Pickaxes, so you don’t have to come back for them. Make sure that you have a bunch of torches because otherwise, the Mob found underground will ruin your mining sessions.

It will be best to put a few enchantments on your Pickaxe. The best ones would be Efficiency and Unbreakable. They will make the Pickaxes a lot more Efficient and Durable to use. You can use them for a lot longer.

Why Should You Mine Iron?

Okay, so you have collected a bunch of Iron, or you are about to mine Iron but don’t have any idea what to use it for. Then you have come to the right spot. There are a lot of different uses of Iron that make the game a lot better. You can craft tons of different items.

Iron can be used to craft several important items in the game, such as armor, tools, and other very useful items such as compasses, anvils, and Buckets. Iron tools are very important as they allow the player to mine other valuable resources such as Diamonds or Gold. If you get the hang of it, you can also make Iron golems to protect your Base from several threats that the game has to offer.

Once you get the hang of it, you can make whole transportation networks with Rails and Minecarts. As you improve it, you can make everything automatic using Iron and Redstone. That will completely change how the game works and will make it a lot easier for you.


You must possess a keen eye, a knack for discovery, and clear knowledge of levels to mine Iron. Iron is easily one of the most significant minerals in the game, as Armor, axe weapons, and even stronger pickaxes can be crafted using Iron. For that, you’ll need to know the Best Level to mine Iron in Minecraft 1.18.

Iron is abundant in the game. However, it’s not available everywhere, so a player must reach new heights and even newer depths in order to discover and mine for the mineral. You must journey to big tall mountains and deep dark caves in order to find minerals, and sometimes these journeys may lead you to places you have never seen before and open you up to new exciting opportunities.

Iron only makes 0.6 percent of the total world in Minecraft; however, it’s not that difficult to find Iron if you know the level and the places to scour. Although it is important to remember that Iron is a non-renewable resource meaning that once you mine it, it is not generated again, and to mine for more, you need to head out and deeper in the world to find it.

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Daniyal Sultan Malik

Daniyal is a Guides Writer and Editor at eXputer with over 1 year of content writing experience. He's had a passion for tech and gaming for more than 15 years. Ever since his first console, the PS2, he's constantly branching off to different genres, and his go-to at the moment is the Souls experience pioneered by FromSoftware, which is evident by his 1,500+ hours of game time on Elden Ring. You can learn some more about Daniyal's gaming journey on his Steam profile. Experience: 1+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Computer Science || Published 100+ Guides || Mainly Covers Guides 

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