The mining of resources is generally done with a pickaxe, but can be done with anything. Mining drains Stamina and causes your tools to lose durability. The lower your Stamina and tool durability, the slower you will be able to break blocks.
In this picture, the player chances upon four ores (from left to right): Lead, Potassium Nitrate, Iron and Coal.
Basic Mining Information
Since the Alpha 11 update, random ore deposits have decreased in abundance, but the introduction of caves and subterranean tunnel make finding ore far less time and resource intensive. Although it appears to be possible to mine ore anywhere as before, the effort required renders it highly ineffective compared to spelunking.
- The following mineral will make a stone sound when being mined: Coal Ore.
- The following minerals will make a metallic sound when being mined: Lead Ore, Potassium Nitrate, Iron Ore and Tungsten Ore.
- Ores tend to be generated in the map as ore veins - deposits of the same ore that are placed right next to each other. As of Alpha 8.7, it is very common for veins to intercept each other, allowing a single vein to potentially lead into many others.
- The most common tools for mining are Stone Axes (for early mining), Pickaxes (for mid game mining), Augers (for late game mining), TNT for clearing mines and a weapon to detonate the TNT. Note that Stone Axe mining is very time-consuming, and relying on surface boulders for rocks and iron before obtaining a Pickaxe is advised.
- To use TNT, seal it in a hole and use a firearm (not a crossbow) or a Pipe Bomb to detonate it safely. The trick to get maximum effectiveness for a TNT is to have it as covered as possible. The blast radius isn't that big - players can stand 5 blocks away without getting damaged.
Mining a tunnel is more or less safe, however there are some things to keep in mind.
- Be careful if you are thinking of mining big rooms, as mining too big without supports will cause your mine to collapse on your head and possibly kill you. To counteract this make sure you leave support pillars.
- Sometimes when mining, the block you just mined will sink into the blocks around it making it hard to pick it up. Walk right on top of them and hold E.
- Lighting is very important while mining. There is no minimum spawn radius, so if you are underground and it's dark, there is a chance that a zombie can spawn and attack you before you are ready. So place lots of torches to ensure there is not a sneak attack. Torches also help you visually distinguish ores from stone.
- A bunker is a good safe house, however it can be difficult to get food and water.
- It's a good idea to have two exits, a main one and a secondary one. This second one can be used if your normal exit is blocked off.
- If your mine is directly accessed from your house, be sure to build a secure Door to prevent other players from accessing your house, should they manage to dig into your mine.
- As of Alpha 9.0 there are 3 minerals per layer. There is stone and iron ore in every layer. The third mineral changes every twenty layers down starting with coal, then potassium nitrate, then lead, and finally tungsten.
- Bedrock will be found at the bottom, preventing a mine from going any deeper.
With the introduction of caves, cave exploration (spelunking) and mining have become the most efficient means of obtaining mineable resources. Large veins of ore are commonly exposed in cave walls, making their harvesting quite easy once found. The trade-off is that caves are widely spaced apart in the world, and usually in the middle of nowhere, requiring the player to travel from their established base to mine.
Exploring a cave system to uncover a specific ore type can be time-consuming and dangerous, so be prepared with sufficient resources and lighting. Ores do not appear to be distributed evenly along the caves and tunnels, nor do they spawn in as close adjacency as before, and are not always surrounded by gravel. Caves and tunnels often connect into larger tunnel systems, and can become quick maze-like, so marking your trail is always a good idea. Steep tunnels and sharps drops are also common, so ladders or other climbing resources are highly recommended.
Zombies will spawn in caves, and are home of the fearsome Feral Zombie, so don't forget a weapon or two. Hordes do not appear to spawn inside caves as of yet, so players sufficiently deep to throw off the zombie AI need not fear a flood of zombies (note, this has not been tested on 'feral' 7th nights).
Additional Tips and Issues
- Mining stalactites or stalagmites drop Potassium Nitrate
- Subterranean lakes will often have ores beneath their surface; use Wood Frames or other recoverable blocks to 'dam' the water to access them
- The hanging moss in caves can be un-hittable at some angles, and may also prevent the mining of blocks past it
- Zombies sometimes spawn inside the walls of tunnels