Ancient cities are the hardest structure to explore in Minecraft. While it is mostly dark, normal mobs do not spawn there outside of Wardens. However, they are more than dangerous enough, with powerful attacks that can easily kill players even in full Netherite armor.

Therefore, in this article, Gurugamer is going to showcase a complete guide on how to explore an ancient city in Minecraft 1.19.

1. How to find an Ancient City

To prepare yourself for an expedition to an ancient city, there are a few things you need to do.

Minecraft Ancient Cities 2

Finding a city

If you are using an Ancient City seed, just dig on the coordinate of the ancient city. However, if you are playing in your own world, a different approach is needed.

Firstly, dig deep underground until reaching the deepslate layer, close to bedrock. Once you get to somewhere between Y=-44 and Y=-52, begin strip or branch mining. This gives you the highest chance of finding a city.

You should approach and reach the ancient city either from the same level or from below, as if you mine into it from above, you run the risk of falling directly into it. If you survive fall damage, you might get killed by the Warden instead. The ancient city is also more likely to spawn under the new mountain biomes.

Item Preparation

Netherite Ingots Ancient Debris Minecraft 2

Must have

  • The best possible armors, weapons and tools
  • A significant supply of good food, like cooked porkchops or golden carrots.
  • Multiple stacks of wool/carpet and a pair of shears. These blocks can be used to block off vibrations.
  • Silk Touch hoe to collect sculk blocks and destroy sculk shriekers.
  • Night vision potions.
  • Infinity bow/Snowballs/Eggs to distract the wardens.


  • A full set of netherite armor, ideally with Protection IV
  • Some golden apples or enchanted golden apples for quick healing.
  • Some ender pearl for escaping.
  • Milk buckets to remove the Darkness effect.

2. How to explore Ancient Cities

Sneak at all times

The most important thing is to sneak at all times unless you are in the corridors with gray wool walkways. Sneak diagonally by pressing two directional keys at the same time for faster speed.

Destroy Sculk Shriekers

Ancient Cities Sculk Shrieker Sculk Catalyst More

This is the most important thing to do when exploring an ancient city. Players need to destroy or place wool around the sculk shriekers to prevent them from calling the wardens. However, breaking them triggers nearby sculk sensors, which can in turn alert other shriekers nearby.

To prevent a shrieker from alerting others, surround it with wool first before breaking. A sculk shrieker has a spherical range of 40 blocks so it might actually be a good idea to use wool every time you break one.

As that method is rather tedious - players need to prepare to run away when needed. Ideally, the player should have a safe escape route leading all the way out of the Ancient City, toward the surface, to be safe.

If the warden is burrowing back into the ground, quickly rush to destroy all sensors and shriekers. No Warden can spawn during this period.

3. Looting Ancient City chests

Ancient City chests may be surrounded by several sculk shriekers and sculk sensors. If this is the case, prepare an escape route, break all the sculk blocks with your hoe and run out as fast as possible.

  • Always break the shrieker closest to the escape route first. You may use the wool-covered corridors as a safe pathway to sprint-jump away from the sculk shriekers, without the danger of triggering any sculk sensors nearby.
  • If there is a group of multiple sculk shriekers close to each other, you can quickly place high-level light sources around the 11x11 proximity of the shriekers. This prevents wardens from spawning despite the shrieking. However, it is important to check if there are any other shrieker nearby that is not covered by the light source. If the player failed to disable any shriekers, a warden definitely spawns at this point.

Ancient City Redstone Wooden Chest Door

4. Evading the warden

When the warden spawns you will have 7 seconds to get as far away as possible. However, this risks triggering even more shriekers that spawn more wardens. This is why players need to have an escape route ready at all times.

Warden In Minecraft 1280x720

If you can't get away because of their sniffing, try to shoot Arrows or throw Eggs/Snowballs around to distract it. However, to distract the warden successfully, there are three rules to follow:

  • Don't shoot the warden by accident.
  • Make sure there is a reasonable distance between the warden and the block your projectile lands on (larger than 5 blocks).
  • Don't fire multiple projectiles in rapid succession. Wait 5 seconds or more before firing the next projectile.

If you are chased by the warden:

  • Pillar-jump upward by placing blocks underneath your feet until you are higher than the warden. You need to be much higher because the warden can melee attack up to 5 blocks above itself, and 30 blocks with its ranged sonic boom attack, which it can use 10 seconds after it has started chasing you. Once you are a couple blocks up, continue upward (if possible) until you can reach the cave ceiling,
  • One escape method is to sprint to somewhere the warden cannot follow, such as through a two block high gap (wardens are just as tall as Endermen) and then try to get further away from there. Be warned that if you didn't create a hole about 30 blocks long before, the warden can still attack and kill you with its sonic boom attack.

>>> Read more: Minecraft 1.19 - How To Find The Redstone Room In Ancient City