How to Use Sculk Sensors to Create Redstone Wirelessly in Minecraft

The Wild update brought the Deep Dark to Minecraft – a spooky biome hidden deep underground containing the remnants of cities from past civilizations, guarded by a terrifying monster. On almost every surface in this disturbing environment is a mysterious substance known as sculkwhich interacts with sound in a curious way.

Related: Minecraft: How to Find an Ancient City

There are many blocks and materials in the sculk family – sculk catalysts turn nearby blocks into sculks when nearby mobs are killed, and this sculk contains the XP that dead mobs would have dropped. Sculk Screamers emit a scream when triggered that can summon the Guardian, but perhaps most interesting of all are the sculk sensors, which allow redstone to operate wirelessly.


What are Sculk sensors and where can I find them?

Sculk sensors are special Sculk blocks that specialize in detecting and transmitting vibrations. The ideas of sound and vibration are sort of patterns in the Deep Dark, as howlers are activated by receiving vibrations and sound is the guardian’s primary means of detecting prey. What’s special about sculk sensors, however, is that not only can they sense nearby vibrations for activation, but when they activate, they can interact with the red stone.

Sculk’s sensors naturally generate anywhere in the Deep Dark, both inside and outside of ancient cities. Any patch of sculk you can see has the ability to spawn sculk sensors on it. Additionally, if a mob dies near a sculk catalyst and there are no other sculk sensors nearby, the catalyst has a nine percent chance of producing a sensor. as part of the sculk it generates – provided it has enough XP. It works both with catalysts in the Deep Dark and with those brought in elsewhere.

How to Get Sculk Sensors

If you want to grab a sculk sensor that you found capable of using it for your redstone, you will have to mine it with an enchanted tool with Silk Touch — hoes are the fastest for all thatch-based blocks. However, finding ground sensors in the Deep Dark and generating them through catalysts isn’t the only way to get them.

All Ancient City Chests, except Icehouse Chests, have a 23.2% chance of spawning with between one and three Sculk Catalysts inside. This lets you get your hands on it without needing Silk Touch.

How to Transmit a Redstone Signal Using Sculk Sensors

The Sculk sensors will detect all vibrations within a nine block radius of them, and when they do, they will emit a redstone signal. The distance at which sculk sensors can send a signal depends on how close the vibration is to the sensor. A vibration directly above the sensor will produce a signal strength of 15, while a vibration nine blocks away will produce a signal strength of one.

Vibrations are more or less anything that makes noise – walking, jumping, eating, placing blocks, etc.. Performing any of these activities near a sculk sensor will activate it and cause it to emit a redstone signal. This makes them great for detecting players or mobs – vibrations pass through walls, so hiding a sculk sensor to detect nearby players and activate a defense mechanism would make a great trap. You can even flood it with water, to keep it from making noise and warn intruders.

Related: Minecraft: Simple Redstone Machines to Make Your Life Easier

How to Use Wool with Sculk Sensors

Maybe you don’t always want your sculk sensor to direct vibrations, or maybe you only want to detect vibrations from a specific direction. This is where wool occlusion comes in. This fancy term simply means using wool to dampen vibrations and prevent a sensor from picking them up, like wool is the only block that vibrations cannot pass through.

The vibrations will always travel towards the sensor as the crow flies, so any vibrations that should pass through the wool will simply not reach the sensor. In the same vein, walking on a carpet does not produce any vibration, and neither does placing or destroying wool.

This is useful in many scenarios. For the aforementioned trap, you can occlude all directions outside of where you’re expecting intruders from, to avoid triggering your own trap as you move around your base. It’s also very handy for big redstone gear with lots of moving parts – you can make the sensor only trigger when you want it to, instead of being triggered by random pistons and dispensers.

Wool occlusion is part of what gives sculk catchers such potential. Because they emit redstone signals when activated, you may have a sensor that activates something that makes noise when it triggers, like a trapdoor, but close the sensor so that the hatch does not reactivate it. In place, the hatch triggers another sensor nine city blocks, and it can repeat itself endlessly. Wireless Redstone!

How to Use Comparators with Sculk Sensors

As if passing redstone wirelessly after over a decade in the game wasn’t enough, sculk sensors can do even more. Like many blocks, they can be linked to a comparatorwhich produces outputs of different signal strengths depending on what the block in question is doing.

With sculk sensors, the comparator can actually detect what vibrations the sculk sensor is picking up. Each type of vibration corresponds to a different power output, which opens up almost limitless possibilities for how sculk sensors can be used as detectors. Here is a complete list of vibration types and the signal strengths they correspond to:

Vibration Signal strength
Walk (players or mobs) 1
Flapping (e.g. bat wings) 2
Swimming 3
Sliding of the elytra 4
  • Take fall damage (players or mobs)
  • Teleportation (ex. Endermen)
  • Block state change (things an observer would detect, for example, a disk placed in a jukebox)
  • Minecart moving, splashing (entering water, boats on bubble columns)
  • Wolves shaking water
  • Notepads playing
  • While drinking
  • Fuses (TNT on, Creepers ready to explode)
  • Projectiles fired
  • Feed the crowds
  • Projectile landing
  • While eating
  • Take damage (players and mobs)
  • Equip armor or place it on an armor stand
  • Use of shears
  • Roaring Ravager
  • Closing doors, hatches and fence gates
  • Disable buttons, levers, pressure plates or tripwire hooks
  • Detach the tripwire from a hook
  • Distributor failure
  • Opening doors, hatches and fence gates
  • Activation buttons, levers, pressure plates or tripwire hooks
  • Attaching a Tripwire to a Hook
  • Place blocks
  • Place entities (from spawn eggs, as well as “blocks”, the game treats entities as paintings)
  • Fluid placed, from a bucket on the ground, or in a cauldron with a drip bucket or stone
  • destroy blocks
  • Destroy entities (don’t kill mobs, just destroy things like armor racks)
  • Pick up fluids – take honey from beehives, fill a bucket, use glass bottles on cauldrons, or dragon’s breath
  • Wrap a fishing rod
  • Close a container (ex. Chests or Shulker Boxes)
  • Piston contraction
  • Opening a container
  • Piston extension
  • Use goat horn
  • Explosions – TNT, Creepers and Fireworks
  • lightning

With that, plus some clever comparison circuitry, you can detect just about anything you want. If you need to detect someone swimming specifically in your base, you can. If the space for the red stone behind the wall you want to place a button on is tight, you may have a button that isn’t actually wired to anything, but still activates a circuit with the sound of the press. How about a circuit that detects when the rain has stopped, using a shaking dog to dry off?

Sculk sensors are a fantastic addition to the pool of redstone components, and their interactions with redstone, wool, and comparators not only enable wireless redstone, but a level of detection never seen before. They may seem a bit complex at first, but get started and experiment, and you’ll be crafting all kinds of exciting contraptions in no time!

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