Mar 8, 2017

What are custom maps in Minecraft, how to use and create them?

Screenshot of Minecraft map
Particular worlds with pre-made buildings, traps, tasks, and other objects are called custom maps in Minecraft. They can be installed on a computer to play not in a randomly generated location, and even not in a chosen type of the world, activated by seeds. Using a map, we can easily bring into our game a majestic castle, a maze of gloomy mines, a huge modern city, and just almost everything that we can imagine. There are a lot of map types to choose from and an amazing possibility to create your own world. Let’s talk about custom maps in more detail!

A map is not something unique and hard to make. In fact, every time we start a new game, the Minecraft program creates a map for it. But of course, such maps are not interesting for the community of players. Really a good custom map is a location, in which the creator has put his imagination, his creativity, his work... It can take long time and a lot of efforts to create a good map. But the process of doing so may be as exciting as playing in this location.

Which types of Minecraft maps exists?

It depends on things, which can be found in those locations. If there is a story within a map, and the game hero should perform a mission there, it can be called an adventure map. If there is a difficult track with many obstacles, and the hero will demonstrate his deftness there, it can be called a parkour map. If there is a lot of brain-teasing tasks, and the hero has to resolve them for reaching a main goal, it can be called a puzzle map. Some maps propose survival tasks, a horror experience, creative possibilities, fighting arenas…

Of course, such a division is conditional, and many maps have aspects of different types. 

Screenshot of a city map in the Minecraft game

How to take a map into your Minecraft game?

All the locations, in which you play, are saved in a special folder - \saves. A map is just a pack of files, which the game creates for a particular location. If put them into the saving folder, the connected location will appear in the game menu. 

Usually, Minecraft maps are packed into an archive - .zip or .rar. Use an application on the computer to unpack such a file and put its content into the \saves folder. The way to it depends on your system. For example:
  • in Windows XP – “C:\Documents and Settings\*UserName*\Application Data\Roaming\.minecraft\saves”;
  • in Windows 7, 8, 10 – “C:\Users\*Username*\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\saves”;
  • in Linux: “~/.minecraft/saves”;
  • in Mac: “~/Library/Application Support/minecraft/saves”.

(~ - is the main directory)

From where to take a Minecraft map?

A lot of different maps have been published in the special section of the official Minecraft forum – here!

There are so many of them, and usually it takes some efforts to find a decent one. So we in Very Good Games plan to make a collection of the best in our opinion custom maps – it is in developing at the moment!

How to create your own custom map?

On the one hand, this is quite an easy process. You can go to the \saves folder, take there any saved game, pack the files into an archive – and this will be a map. But on the other hand, a creating a custom map is complicated. Just any random world will be not interesting at all. You should put an idea into your map, fill it with objects and tasks, create something awesome, something that will make even you play there if you were not a creator of it.

To make a nice custom map, it will be essential to have experience in the Minecraft game. Without understanding internal processes you just can’t imagine what Minecrafters would like to have on a new map. So it will be useful to play in basic game – for example, following the Minecraft tutorials for beginners on our blog. Then, try out different mods, play on different maps…

And if you feel ready for creation, here are a few tips for you:
  • Think properly about your idea. It should be interesting from the very beginning to the very end.
  • Answer for yourself the question: “Do I have enough time and enthusiasm for this?”. This is a long process, so better to begin only after answering “yes”.
  • When a map is ready, set “survival” mode for it (of course, create in the “creative” mode).
  • Don’t be in a hurry. Check everything. Think about your map. Try to make it perfect. Just enjoy the process!

You may use a special program, such as MCEdit, to make the creating easier and to port your world for a new version of Minecraft. 

Maps are nice for bringing a stream of fresh air into your game experience. The same can do Minecraft mods. We explain what they are in this tutorial.

A Minecraft tutorial for beginners about mods. Read it on the gaming blog Very Good Games

If you like creating things for your Minecraft games, consider making a new appearance of the main character. Read our tutorial “What are skins in Minecraft and how to change them”!

Tutorial about skins in the Minecraft game

All the Minecraft materials on the gaming blog Very Good Games