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.
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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.