We all know the old rule of thumb. Dig down to about Y=11 and build a branch mine with two rows of blocks between each tunnel. That’s because in the old system, diamond, redstone, iron, lapis lazuli, and gold were all found in significant quantities at this one level. There was no variety in block height aside from the much newer copper which was more likely to be found around Y=48. All of this has changed with the release of Minecraft 1.18, however. So let’s dig into the changes and explain where diamond is now found.
What Did Minecraft 1.18 Change?
Just about everything, it turns out. The build height is now 320 with blocks found as high as 256. Y=0 is no longer roughly the layer of bedrock. Instead you can dig as deep as Y=-64. That’s a whole lot of new blocks to fill!
In an attempt to make things more diverse and reward the exploration of different biomes, Mojang has completely rebalanced ore generation. That means you’ll need to target different world heights for the various materials going forward.
What is the Best Level/Height to Find Diamond?
Diamond used to appear between Y=0 and Y=15 with most generated between levels one and five. While the ore still starts generating at 15, it now becomes more and more common as you dig deeper into the earth. Diamond has the highest odds of spawning at Y=-64. You don’t want to go all the way to the bottom, however, because you’ll constantly be interrupted by bedrock. We recommend digging one level above the lowest bedrock. After all, even if the bedrock is part of your floor, that’s one less block that could have been useful. If you want the smoothest and fastest mine possible, you should be digging at Y=-57. Since -59 to -64 have a lot of bedrock, this way you can avoid those layers completely and still get info on -58 below you.
If you don’t know what level you’re at, hit F3 to display your current information and look for the XYZ values.
An important change, however, is the added effect of reduced air exposure. From a technical standpoint, this means when the world is being generated and a diamond ore block is about to be placed in a location where it would be exposed to open air (like in a cave), there’s a chance that the ore will be skipped instead. In short, this means there is a higher chance of finding diamond ore if you’re mining. If you’re the type of player who prefers to delve in caves and only mine the diamonds you visually come across, you’re going to get fewer diamonds.
It’s worth noting that you can still find redstone, lapis lazuli, iron, and gold at these levels, but there are now more optimal heights if you’re searching specifically for those materials.
Want to see the changes for yourself? Here’s the official ore distribution map from Mojang.
It’s a bit hard to parse, but you see that solid light blue block in the comparison? That means diamonds were equally likely to spawn at all of those levels. In the new distribution on the left, the ore now becomes more and more prevalent as you approach the bottom of the world.
While you’re here you can use that chart to figure out where to get the other ore types, but we’ll also be writing up guides to help decipher it all since it can be a big confusing. Hope this was helpful!