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Ready, aim, redstone!

Until the 1.16 update, if you wanted to host an archery competition, you had two not-so-great options. The first option was to shoot at live mobs - either hostile mobs from a mob spawner, or naturally generated passive mobs like cows, chickens or sheep.

The second option was to shoot at a button. Unfortunately, buttons are tiny, so it just makes the whole thing exasperating and difficult. That’s why, at Minecon Live 2019, the Minecraft team introduced just the perfect solution: the target block, which has recently made its way into the 1.16 Nether Update!

To make a target, all you’ll need is 4 redstone dust and one hay bale. Craft it, and here’s where the magic happens. Plop down a target, take a few steps back, and then throw something at it. An egg, a snowball, a splash potion, a firework rocket, an ender pearl, a trident, or a good ol’ fashioned arrow from a bow. All of them will work.

When hit, the target will give off a few ticks of redstone power, with the amount of power proportional to how close your projectile hit the centre of the block. Hit the edge? You’ll get a signal of 1. If you manage to hit it right in the bullseye, though, you’ll get a signal strength of 15. An observer will also detect if the block has been hit.

Once the archery competition is over, you can break the target again and take it home. A target can be broken with any tool, or even your bare hands, but a hoe is the fastest way to do so.

Circles don’t exist in Minecraft, of course, so targets are squares instead. This is good news for you, the player, because it gives you a larger area to hit. That in turn will make you look more impressive to your friends and family – just one of the little services the Minecraft team performs for you every day. :)

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