The Heart of the Sea in Minecraft Explained

Want to build an underwater civilization? You'll need to spend some time farming Heart Of The Sea items from buried treasure chests!

With the sheer number of block types and items to be found in Minecraft, you can be forgiven if you occasionally come across something with no apparent purpose.

Wondering just what in the heck the Heart of the Sea is and why you should want to collect them? 

While this rare item previously did nothing when first introduced to the game, after the 1.13 update is now used in crafting Conduits, which can radically change the game in survival mode if you like to play underwater.

How To Find Heart Of The Sea In Minecraft

While you can come across treasure chests containing a Heart of the Sea randomly, the most sure fire way to pick one up is to look for shipwrecks in oceans or on beaches. 

If you don't know where to find one in your current seed, try feeding a dolphin, as they will then lead you to a shipwreck.

Check the inside of a shipwreck for a chest, which will usually have a buried treasure map.

If you aren't near an underwater biome with a shipwreck, note that you can also come across buried treasure maps by using cartography tables in a village, or by trading a compass and emerald to the village cartographer.

Pull out the map and follow the white dot that indicates your location until you reach the red X.

In most cases, the buried treasure will spawn at a beach, although in a few instances you may have to actually go underwater to reach the treasure.

At the Red X location, dig until you find a treasure chest, which is guaranteed to spawn at least one Heart of the Sea.

Buried treasure chests can also potentially spawn:

  • Iron ingot
  • Gold ingot
  • Cooked cod
  • Cooked salmon
  • Leather tunic
  • Iron sword
  • TNT
  • Emerald
  • Prismarine Crystal
  • Diamond

What Is Heart Of The Sea Used For?

The only (current) purpose for a Heart of the Sea is to craft a Conduit, which can only be placed underwater and needs at least a 3 x 3 set of water to be set down. To craft a Conduit, you need:

  • Nautilus Shell x 8
  • Heart of the Sea x 1

Not sure where to pick up a Nautilus Shell? They are rarely acquired as a fishing treasure, and can also be purchased from a wandering trader for 5 emeralds.

Nautilus Shells can also be harvested from drowned zombies, who have a small chance to spawn one in their offhand upon death.

So, what do conduits do and why did you go through all that work to find Heart of the Sea and Nautilus Shells?

When activated, Conduits provide better sight underwater as well as underwater breathing to nearby tiles, which makes heart of the sea farming critical to building an underwater city.

 Creating a Conduit cage (thanks to OMGcraft for the screenshot)

To activate a Conduit, set a 5 x 5 open square cage of the appropriate block type around the object.

You'll know you have enough blocks when the Conduit starts to glow. You can use any of these block types to activate a Conduit:

  • Prismarine
  • Dark prismarine
  • Prismarine bricks
  • Sea lantern

Note that the more blocks you place around the Conduit, the larger its sphere of Conduit power that allows water breathing and increased underwater view range.

You will need at least 16 blocks to activate, and the Conduit will keep increasing its range until you've placed 96 blocks. When you hit that final maximum number, the Conduit will also damage enemies that enter in close range.

Have you managed to build an underwater civilization yet with Heart of the Sea to craft a Conduit? Let us know your build layout for activating and be sure to leave a comment if you've found easier ways to farm any of these items!

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Need help with any other part of the game? Check out the rest of our a Minecraft guides here:

Featured Contributor

Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.

Published Jul. 4th 2019

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