Minecraft is an open world game with the main gameplay loop being survival and crafting. It provides players with near infinite amount of resources, ample in both quantity and variety. Amongst them, coal and charcoal are some of the most useful. In this article, we are going to showcase Coal vs Charcoal Minecraft, including their features, differences and acquisition methods.

Coal In Minecraft
Coal is an important type of fuel.

1. Uses of coal vs charcoal Minecraft

Basically, what is charcoal used for is the same as coal's usage. The two materials Coal and Charcoal are commonly used either as fuel or as crafting material in Minecraft.

Fuel for Smelting

Does charcoal burn longer than coal? Both these materials, when used in a furnace, last around 80 seconds and can smelt 8 items with a single unit. They last longer and burn better than wood when used as fuel. Therefore, people often consider them to be the most efficient types of fuel in the game.

Charcoal Vs Coal Minecraft
Coal vs charcoal Minecraft, which is better?

Furthermore, they can also be used in a number of recipes and material conversions. They are also the only kinds of fuel accepted by the powdered minecarts in mines. Despite having the same purpose as fuel and being very similar, these two items are not the same and cannot be stacked together.

A block of coal is more efficient for smelting than individual coal pieces. They are 10 pieces worth of efficiency while crafted from 9 Coal. Therefore, if you are going to use coal as fuel, it is best to keep them in the block form.

Ingredient for Minecraft recipes

  • Torch: Coal + stick
  • Campfire: 3 logs + Coal + 3 sticks
  • Block of Coal: 9 pieces of Coal
  • Fire charge: Blaze powder + Coal/Charcoal + Gunpowder

2. Difference between coal and charcoal in Minecraft

The major difference between coal vs charcoal Minecraft is how players can obtain them. While coal can spawn naturally and be traded with villagers, charcoal cannot.

How to get Coal in Minecraft

Coal is mainly acquired by mining Coal ore blocks from underground veins. Players can mine them using a pickaxe with the conversion rate of 1 block = 1 coal. However, if the mining tool is enchanted with Fortune, it will yield more coal per block mined, up to a maximum of 4 with Fortune III.

Players can also get Coal from mob drops: Wither skeletons have a 1/3 chance of dropping Coal when defeated. By combining multiple pieces of coal, players can craft a Coal block.

Furthermore, coal is tradable with villagers such as weapon-smiths. By using a coal farm, players can easily acquire emeralds.

Coal to diamond armor
Coal has much better trading value than charcoal.

Players can also find coal pieces inside chests in various locations. Below is a list of all spawn points:

Chest type Chance of finding Stack size
Small underwater ruins 84.2% 1-4
Big underwater ruins 81.0% 1-4
Igloo 70.4% 1-4
Village fisherman 43.0% 1-3
Snowy village house 41.2% 1-4
Shipwreck supply 40.0% 2-8
Stronghold storeroom 34.3% 3-8
Chest minecarts in Mineshafts 31.6% 3-8
Stronghold storeroom [Bedrock Edition] 28.5% 3-8
Village butcher 27.9% 1-3
Woodland mansion 26.6% 1-4
Dungeon 26.6% 1-4
Village toolsmith 9.9% 1-3

How to get Charcoal in Minecraft

Charcoal is often obtained by using fuel to smelt wooden logs of any type. Players can even use Coal as fuel to get Charcoal from logs. Any type of wood (log, stripped log, wood, stripped wood) can be turned into Charcoal.

Dissimilar to coal, charcoal cannot form a block and is used as-is. Furthermore, unlike coal, charcoal is not tradable anywhere. It does not spawn naturally either.

Coal vs charcoal Minecraft can both be used as fuel.

3. How to make charcoal Minecraft without coal

Despite the same exact functionality, charcoal is easier to get than coal. This means Charcoal is a potent resource to use in an area where coal is scarce.

Below is a step by step guide on how to make charcoal without coal:

  • Combine 8 blocks of cobblestones in a square, with one empty space in the middle to create a furnace.
  • Put wood in both the fuel and smelting slot.
  • The furnace will automatically turn wood into charcoal. Repeat the process as needed.

Overall, this allows you to have all the benefits of coal without having to look for it by mining. Only cobblestones and wood are required to get charcoal, and they are everywhere on the Minecraft map.

A furnace (or multiple) is the fastest way to get Charcoal in Minecraft.

4. How to build a Minecraft coal farm

As coal cannot be created naturally, players can only farm it using a Wither Skeleton farm. It is a mob grinder that involves creating a spawning pad inside a nether fortress, while removing all other mob spawning points nearby.

This farm also yields bones, stone swords, and rare wither skeleton skulls. These skulls can in turn be used to create a Wither, which drops a Nether Star when killed.

>>> Read more: Top 5 Structure Changes In Minecraft 1.18 Caves And Cliffs Update