How to Make a Minecraft Map
By Matt Durrant
Updated September 22, 2017
Minecraft is a popular, independently developed game where players mine for stone, craft objects, defend themselves from monsters and build vast structures. The game offers both single-player and multi-player modes. Although you can build whatever you want inside the game, fans have created numerous tools for creating and editing more extensive maps. MCEdit Alpha supports Windows, Mac and Linux and offers a 3D editing mode, while NBT Forge supports Windows and uses a 2D editing interface.
Download MCEdit Alpha and install it on your computer.
Open MCEdit Alpha. From the main menu, you can click on a previously created world to edit it, or you can generate a new world by clicking "Create World."
Name your world by typing "World" and a number from 1 to 5 in the "File Name" box; for example, type "World3." Click "Save."
Use the "W", "S", "A" and "D" keys to fly around in the 3D world. Hold down the right-mouse button and drag to change your direction.
Press the "2" key or click the gray circle at the bottom of the screen to select "Brush" mode. Press the "R" key to decrease brush size and the "F" key to increase brush size. Click the yellow text next to "Brush" to change the shape. Click the "Rock" icon to change the brush type.
Click anywhere on your level to place blocks. Experiment with different brush sizes and shapes to design your map as you want.
Press the "8" key or click the icon of the player surrounded by a blue box at the bottom of the screen. Click anywhere in your level to place the player's spawn point. Press the "7" key or click the player icon at the bottom of the screen. Click anywhere to place the point where the player begins the level.
Press "Ctrl" and "S" to save your map. Open "Minecraft," click "Single Player" and select the number of the world you saved in Step 3; for example "World3." This will load the level.
Download "NBT Forge" and extract it to somewhere convenient on your computer.
Double-click "Editor.exe" in the folder where you extracted "NBT Forge." Click "Open Alpha Map" and click on a world to open it. "NBT Forge" can only edit pre-existing "Minecraft" levels.
Click the "Alpha Panning" arrows to move your view. Click the "Layer" arrows or use the scroll wheel on your mouse to move up and down vertically between layers on your map. Use the "Zoom" buttons to zoom in and out.
Adjust "Brush Radius" in the top-right corner to change the size of your block brush. Select "Round" to place a circular brush, or deselect it to place a square. Selecting "3D" will place a cube or a sphere, depending on whether you have "Round" selected. Click the arrow next to "Stone" to change the block type.
Click anywhere in the map to place blocks with the brush. Move between layers in the editor to build vertical structures. Think of the layers as horizontal "slices" of your map that are laid on top of each other to make a 3D world.
Click "File" and then "Save" to save your map. Open "Minecraft," click "Single Player" and select the world you edited. This will load the level.
Save frequently to avoid losing changes to your level.
Test the level often in Minecraft to make sure everything works.
Editing a previously existing world may affect your saved data.
Matt Durrant began writing professionally in 2008 and has been published in Malaga's "Boutique," Tokyo's "Metropolis" and "Leeds Guide." He enjoys travel writing, especially about Japan. Durrant is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese and English at the University of Leeds.