Minecraft Dungeons Runes Locations Guide

Here's how to find of all of the runes in Minecraft Dungeons and activate the symbols so you can unlock the secret ??? cow level.

Here's how to find of all of the runes in Minecraft Dungeons and activate the symbols so you can unlock the secret ??? cow level.

If you’re not already playing Minecraft Dungeons, it’s likely your kids are. In our review, we likened the game to a fun, family-friendly Diablo, which seems to be exactly what Mojang was going for. To add to all of the content Dungeons has to offer, there are a number of hidden runes spread across the game, and finding them can be a tall task if you don’t know where to look.  

Once you’ve beaten the final boss in co-op or in solo mode, the fun isn’t over. With nine hidden Runes to locate and one final secret level unlocking once you’ve found them, there are still stones to overturn.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to find each of the nine hidden Runes so you can reach the cow level.

Minecraft Dungeons Rune Locations

Before You Begin…

Before we reveal each hidden Rune location, there are a few things to know about how Minecraft Dungeons operates. While each level contains elements of randomization, these bits are actually somewhat predictable.

Only certain sections of any level can be changed, and when they are, it’s more like the devs rotated a modular part of the level, keeping its shape but changing its direction. 

Thankfully, the sections that contain the hidden Runes don’t seem to change with multiple playthroughs, so when you see where we found each Rune, rest assured that you’ll find it there too, even if the paths we took may differ. 

What Are Runes in Minecraft Dungeons?

Runes are a hard to find collectible with more incentive than an achievement to pop. You can insert Runes into the cathedral at your home base. This cathedral is unavailable until you’ve beaten the game at least once. Before that, the drawbridge leading to it is inaccessible.

Once you have beaten Minecraft Dungeons, however, head to the northeast corner of the home base, to the right of your home, and you’ll find new jump pads. Follow these jump pads and the path eventually takes you to the cathedral beside the drawbridge.

You can now lower the bridge for easier access in the future and head inside. Once inside, you’ll find what we’re guessing are developer portraits along the walls, and one portrait of a dog, whom we do not expect contributed directly to the creation of Minecraft Dungeons, but we could be wrong.

Past that, at the end of the hall, there is a large monument with symbols above it waiting for your runes. You can insert them here in any quantity and order, so don’t worry about that. Once you’ve found all nine runes, the fifth and most elusive secret level is revealed, but that loops us back to where you may find all those runes and other secret levels in the first place. Let’s jump into it.

Minecraft Dungeons Rune Locations

In total, there are five hidden levels in Minecraft Dungeons, though the last of them can only be accessed once you’ve found all nine Runes detailed above.

Rather annoyingly, the other four are always found in the same levels, but different areas given the semi-procedurally generated levels. Those four levels, and where to find them are:

  • Creepy Crypt (within Creeper Woods)
  • Soggy Cave (within Soggy Swamp)
  • Arch Haven (within Pumpkin Pastures)
  • Underhalls (within Highblock Halls)

We go into greater detail below. 

Creepy Woods Rune Location

When you’re prompted to free five villagers, look for the cobblestone platform in the middle of a grassy area. There’s an interactable button hidden there. Press it, follow the path through the level, and acquire the first Rune.

Soggy Swamp Rune Location

Destroy the final cauldron  it’s your last objective of the level  but before you exit through the victory doors, seek out the vine-covered pillar to the right of the doors. Another hidden button awaits, with another Rune behind it.

Pumpkin Pastures Rune Location

When you come to a castle area, turn back a bit and look for a grey bridge wall going off to the right. Follow it to its end and touch the boxes near the oddly colored stone wall at the end. Surprise! It’s another Rune.

Cacti Canyon Rune Location

In the middle of the level, you’ll find a blue key. In this same area, there are some cacti doing very well to hide another hidden object. Interact with it like you see in the screenshot above, and it will lead you to the fourth Rune.

Redstone Mines Rune Location

In the large area where you must free six villagers (note: not the earlier section where you free three villagers), travel to the end of the area, either before you’ve freed them or not, it doesn’t really matter so long as you don’t die.

Search along the walls once again for a hidden button for hiding another Rune. After this, I’m never playing hide and seek again.

Desert Temple Rune Location

When you’re tasked with finding the gold key, head to the next room over from where you find the item and search along the wall for another hidden button revealing a new Rune location.

Fiery Forge Rune Location

Head to the left of the collapsed Redstone Golem and once again, search along the wall for a hidden access point. Guess what’s in there. Yup, another Rune.

Highblock Halls Rune Location

Once you’re told to “crash the party,” and before you head down a narrow hallway, search along the wall in the screenshot here to find your second to last Rune location.

Obsidian Pinnacle Rune Location

We’re nearly done now. In the game’s final level, search the library near the very end of the level  don’t go outside without doing this! Once more, there will be an access point within a bookshelf. Behind that, you’ll find your last Rune.

Secret Cow Level, aka “???” Level

The final secret level, called “???” is actually a nod to Diablo‘s secret cow level. Once you’ve unlocked all nine runes and placed them in the monument with the symbols inside the cathedral, the cow level in Minecraft Dungeons will reveal itself on your map table.

Good luck against the boss, the Mooshroom Monstrosity. Our suggestion? Use this chunk of landmass to your advantage. The boss gets udderly stuck behind it often.

Each of the secret levels offers more chances to acquire rare or unique loot and amass more emeralds. Once found, you can replay these secret levels from the map screen just as you would any other level. 

Related Guides

And that’s it for our guide to Minecraft Dungeons runes and the secret ??? cow level. Be sure to check out our other tips and tricks articles over at our Minecraft Dungeons guides hub

About the author

Mark Delaney

Mark is a dad, husband, bicyclist, animal rights activist, and a gamer, of course. You can find him on all platforms covering co-op, indies, horror, battle royale, or whatever else he's obsessing over right now. In addition to GameSkinny, he's been published on GameSpot, IGN, GamesRadar, EGM, Escapist, Official Xbox Magazine, and a bunch of other great outlets.