How the Coordinate System Works in Minecraft
The Minecraft coordinate system is based on the 3-dimensional coordinate system. This means that any point on the Minecraft map can be accessed using 3 coordinates, depicted by X, Y, and Z. Each point on the massive map has a unique combination of X, Y, and Z.
The X coordinate determines the East/West location or position on the map. A positive value means that you are towards the East, while a negative value indicates that you are more towards the West.
The Y coordinate indicates how high or low you are on the map. Since it is possible to mine downwards, this coordinate is important to locate dungeons, mineshafts, and other locations underground. A positive value suggests that you are going upwards. A negative value indicates that you are increasing your position in a downward direction.
The Z coordinate controls your North/South position on the map. A positive value means that you are more towards the South. A negative value suggests that you are closer to the North.
The absolute coordinates are a very specific location on a map and are indicated by numbers. They are not dependant on the current location of the player. For instance, 123 653 642 is an absolute coordinate and refers to only one point on the map.
When coordinates are written using a tilde (~), then it is a relative coordinate. The relative coordinates are always dependant on the current location and coordinates of the player. For example, ~2 ~4 ~8 is a relative coordinate with respect to the current coordinates. This means that the relative coordinate refers to a location that is 2 blocks to the East, 4 blocks in the upward direction, and 8 books to the South of the current position.
How to See Coordinates in Minecraft
Knowing your current coordinate is very important, especially when you are using game command such as /execute, /setblock, /tp, /summon, /spawnpoint, /fill, and /clone. There are a few ways to find out your current coordinates in Minecraft.
Using the Debug Window
On the Java Edition of Minecraft for PC and Mac, you can view the coordinates using the debug window.
In the newer version of Minecraft, however, the amount of information displayed on the debug window has been reduced drastically. You need to first enable the full debug screen from the options. Open Options, and look for ‘Chat Settings’. A new window will open. Disable the ‘Reduced Debug Info’ option on this screen,
To bring up the debug window, press Fn and F3 on Mac, or just F3 on Windows. On newer Mac devices, you may have to press Alt, F3, and Fn together. In the debug window, on the left, you will find the XYZ coordinates of your current location. The exact coordinates with the decimal point and the Block coordinates can be seen on the screen.
To hide the debug screen after viewing the coordinates is exactly the same as opening the window. On Windows, press the F3 key, and on Mac, press the Fn and F3 keys together.
On the console editions of Minecraft, you can use the map to find your coordinates. All players have a map in the console editions when they start a new game. Open the map to see the current coordinates at the top. The three coordinates will be displayed separately.
Using the Chat Window
Step 1 – Enable Cheats
If you are playing in Survival mode on PC, you need to enable cheats. In Creative mode, cheats are enabled automatically. Go to Game Settings, and switch on the ‘Activate Cheats’ option to enable cheats.
Step 2 – Chat Window
You can bring up the chat window on the Java, Education, and Windows 10 Editions by pressing T. For the Pocket Edition, tap on the message icon present on top of the screen.
Step 3 – Commands
Use the /tp command to find the current coordinator. Type in ‘/tp ~ ~ ~’ into the chat window. As you are typing this out, you will see it appear in the lower-left corner of the screen. Select it and press Enter to run the command. The /tp command is used to teleport yourself. Since you are teleporting yourself to the current location, the current coordinate (including the decimal points) will appear on the screen. These are your current coordinates.