Minecraft: Differences Between an Empty Map and a Locator Map Explained

Difference Between an Empty Map and a Locator Map

Maps sure do help us a ton in our vast Minecraft worlds but many don’t seem to be aware of their full potential. Furthermore, some might not even know that there are multiple map types in Minecraft so what are the differences between an Empty Map and a Locator Map in Minecraft if there are any and how do you tell them apart? this

  • Article Breakdown:
  • There’s virtually no difference between an Empty Map and a Locator Map in Minecraft.
  • Empty Maps are simply Locator Maps that have not been used yet.
  • In Bedrock Edition, this sort of Map is called an Empty Locator Map, and once you press use on it, it’ll transform into a Locator Map.

Crafting an Empty Map

Crafting an Empty Map in Minecraft is easy: All you need is eight pieces of paper and a compass. You’ll craft the Map in the Crafting Table, and if you’re curious about how you can craft a Compass, it’s easy to do so with a few Iron ingots and some Redstone Dust. Here’s a photo of the arrangement of items to craft them.

Empty Map

The exception

There is an exception to the rule of what can be considered an Empty Map, but it only holds for Java Edition Minecraft. Since in Bedrock Edition, a map you craft with a compass is called an Empty Locator Map; there is no confusion about which is which when you add in the fact that you can craft a map without a compass, which is then called an Empty Map.

So, in Java Edition, both an Empty Locator Map and an Empty Map are called Empty Map. There’s another, but that’ll make your life a bit easier when it comes to telling the two apart. In the sense of Bedrock Edition, Empty Maps do not exist in Java Edition, so what’s the difference between the two in Bedrock Edition?

An Empty Map crafted without a Compass will not show you location markers when you press use on it. Those little things that indicate where you are on the Map? Yeah, they don’t exist on Empty Maps, so using the Map to make your way around a Minecraft world easily will be hard, if not impossible.


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One way to maneuver using a map without location markers is to make banner markers that will indicate which structures are located where but still won’t help tell you where you are. If you want to make these banner markers on maps, follow these steps(you can only do it in Java Edition Minecraft):

  1. First, create a banner using wool and sticks in your Crafting Table
  2. Then, take the banner and color it whatever you like, you have 16 different colors to choose from. Simply put the banner into the Crafting Table and a dye next to it.
  3. Now, take the banner and put it in an Anvil.
  4. Rename the banner whatever you want to mark on the Map.
  5. Place the banner somewhere where you want it to be and take your Map. Press right-click while pointing to the banner with the Map in your hand and it’ll set a location marker for that banner with the banner’s name on it.

Maps in general

By default, when you create a first map in the Crafting Table, it’ll reveal a 128X128 block area. It isn’t a lot to work with, but luckily, you can make the Map even bigger. To do so, you’ll need a cartography table and a job site block for cartographers in villages. Go into the cartography table and place one piece of paper on the top spot and the Map you wish to zoom in on at the bottom. The Map that appears on the right will be larger. this

Before you do this, make sure to explore the entire 128×128 block area. Otherwise, the Map will look unusually small, which might make it confusing. You can zoom in on a map a total of 3 times. The biggest Map of the bunch is usually used to create a world map where players connect multiple maps together and place them on item frames to get a better view of their entire world.

A quick note, if you want to be able to view your base with a map, it’s best to use the first Map that fills out an 8×8 chunk area because, with other, larger maps, it’ll be hard for you to decern where exactly your base is and how it looks. The largest Map that fills out a 64×64 chunk area is best used for landscape mapping.

As a word of advice, you can also make maps in different dimensions. It’s easy to get lost in The Nether with the abundance of red hues, and maps can quickly help. If you want to use the Map from another dimension in the other, in Java Edition, the player marker will point to where you last were in that dimension, whereas in Bedrock, you can use a map from another extent while in another.

Things you can do with Locator Maps

Tagging crucial spots on a map isn’t the only thing you can do with maps in Minecraft, either. You can actually track other players using Locator maps as well. Of course, these players must be willing to be followed, but it’s an excellent way not to lose your friends when you’re building on different areas of a Minecraft world.

To tag your friend and make them appear on the Map, you’ll need to copy the locator map, which can be done in the cartography table, and hand the other copy to the player. When they carry the Map, it’ll indicate where they are and where they’re moving. To make a copy of a map, you need to place an empty map on one slot and the Map you wish to copy on the other.

If you want to be able to track players without using a map and without their knowledge, you’ll need to have cheats turned on. You’ll then use a compass to track the players and find them.


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You can make use of maps for building as well. The Map will act as a wallpaper of sorts, and to do this, you need to fill out a 128X128 block area with a pattern of your choice above ground. Then you can copy the Map as many times as you’d like to create these wallpapers. You can make truly unique things with this mechanic and even illusions. Take a look at a quick wallpaper I made for my world. Note it’s not fully filled in, but it should give you a general idea of what is possible and how it looks.

Mc Wallpaper

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