Taking Inventory: Recovery Compass

Now where did I drop my items again?

Dying in Minecraft isn’t that big of a deal. You drop your stuff, you respawn, you walk back to where you dropped it, you pick it up again, and get on with whatever you were doing.

But there are a couple of situations where it’s a bit more annoying. The first is when you die in lava. Most objects burn up in lava, so you’re not going to be picking them up again – wave goodbye to that enchanted diamond pickaxe. You can avoid this by avoiding lava. 

The second is when you don’t remember where you died. Maybe you popped your clogs at the bottom of a twisty cave, in the depths of a huge forest, or far from your portal in the Nether. That’s where our item of the week comes in – the recovery compass!

The recovery compass was added in the Wild Update in June 2022, and it has one job – pointing to the location where you last died. It’ll do this constantly, unless you’ve not died or you’re in a different dimension to your death location. In these cases, it’ll just spin around randomly. 

A recovery compass isn’t easy to craft. You’ll need to use a crafting grid to surround a regular compass with echo shards. Those echo shards are only available in ancient city chests, so be prepared to get friendly with the wardens before you venture forth.

Here’s an important tip – don’t take your recovery compass with you when you’re adventuring. It’s only useful in a situation where you’ve died, and if you die holding it then you won’t be able to use it to find your way back to that location.

Leave it in a chest at home instead – ideally with a set of high-quality armor and a decent sword and pickaxe. This is your emergency kit in the unhappy event that you do perish, and should allow you to recover all your possessions with minimum fuss.

In the real world, there are no recovery compasses because dying works the same as it does in Minecraft’s hardcore mode – it’s permanent. Scientists are pretty much unanimous that there’s no coming back from death, though some major religions disagree. 

Either way, my official advice is to do everything you can to avoid dying, just in case!

Duncan Geere
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Duncan Geere
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