The best XP sources in Minecraft vary depending on what you're willing to do. If you want to make the most XP, you possibly can in a short space of time, though; this top ten list is the best way to do just that.
Top Ten Best XP Sources in Minecraft
- Cooking and Smelting
- Mob Spawner Farm
- Animal Breeding
- Bottle o' Enchanting
1. Cooking and Smelting
Regardless of what you're doing in Minecraft, you need to cook, and you need to smelt. When out in the world, you'll find yourself gathering a lot of raw meat and minerals. It only makes sense to do something with these, and you can get yourself some decent XP for it.
Food cooking grands 0.35XP per item. Smelting actually provides much less at 0.7XP per block, though Gold Blocks provide 1XP per block.
Ultimately whatever you cook or smelt, you'll earn experience. If you don't want to do a lot of fighting, or even leave your base. You can spend a good few hours cooking and smelting efficiently, earning a lot of XP in the process.
You can trade with Villagers for between 3 and 6XP per item. Not only does this give you more XP, but it'll help level them up to be more useful to you in the future. While you can only perform 5 trades with a Villager per day, you could have way more than a single Villager in your base.
If you create a small prison filled with Villagers who all have various jobs, you could earn hundreds of XP each in-game day. Just position them all in their relevant wings, one for Clerics, one for Fisherman, and so on, and then get selling. Their quality of life might be awful, but you'll be rich in XP as a result.
In a game that started out being all about mining, you might have forgotten that it's actually quite important. You need resources and blocks for building, and even just the resources to survive. Mining is something that you should be doing without even thinking about it, and it's earning you XP!
You can earn between 1 and 7XP depending on what you're mining. Over time, that's going to add up to be a lot of XP. You may not see your XP levels ticking up as you plug away in your mine, but by the time your pickaxe falls apart, you'll have a lot more than you started with.
I find that mining in long lines like you do in real life, is the best way to keep track of where the best resources are.
4. Mob Spawner Farm
This is one of the best XP sources in Minecraft, but it's also a lot of work. A Mob Spawner is a cube that you'll come across while you're mining in Minecraft. It spawns enemies, and is generally a pain in the ass. Destroying it stops enemies from spawning, but there's a better way to deal with it.
Most players who want to farm mobs will build a room around the Mob Spawner. It will keep the enemies contained until you're ready to fight them, and they'll just keep spawning.
I find that building a fairly big room is the best method. It offers enough space for a good number of mobs to spawn. That way when you let them out, you can be prepared with a long tunnel, and kill them all one by one.
You could also put a nice window in for the mobs to await your visits. Or you could just use it as a way to look into some sort of terrible experiment. Just watch out for any missing blocks.
Fishing will net you up to 5XP per catch. The best thing to do is to use a Lure, which will guarantee a catch once every 10 seconds.
It's not all about catching fish though. Sometimes you'll catch an Enchanted Book, Bow, Saddle, or some other valuable items. You can then go and sell these for some additional XP, but also some Emeralds.
This is a task for when you just want to relax in Minecraft. It's pretty dull compared to the rest of the game. You just stare at water and do nothing else. However, if you feel like you need a long break from doing anything, it's a great way to pass the time and still be efficient.
Illager Raids are an odd entry on this list. They do earn you a decent amount of XP for killing all of the raiders, but the real benefit comes after. If you complete a Raid, then Villager prices will be in your favor for a while, so they're well worth doing.
To trigger a raid, head to a group of Illagers and beat them all. This will give you a debuff that should trigger a raid in the future. You'll have to fight between 3 and 7 waves of enemies, but when it's over, you'll be pretty rich in XP from all of their deaths.
It's worth having some defenses in place before you intentionally trigger a Raid. On top of your own armor and weapons, maybe get a Golem.
7. Animal Breeding
After a short time in Minecraft, you'll realize that having a farm is better than needing to get out there and find animals to kill for meat. Starting a farm is the best thing to do, and that means breeding animals.
When you breed an animal, you'll get up to 7XP per animal born. After a while, you can build up the animals on your farm to have hundreds, as long as you keep breeding them well.
You could keep them just to look at and have as pets, but most players do like to kill a few animals for meat when necessary. If you're one to get attached to digital animals, my advice would be to keep chickens. They produce eggs, whereas the alternative is eating the creatures you've reared.
Withers may just be the most valuable mob, and one of the best XP sources in Minecraft in terms of enemies. Killing one will net you 50 XP, which is enough for a single level up, depending on if you're a higher level or not.
Some players like to build arenas and summon Withers in for regular fights. It will build up a collection of wither Skulls, which have their own uses, and might be good for making a video or two.
Combat is generally a great way of earning XP in Minecraft, but killing Pigmen gives you a useful focus. They're everywhere in the Nether, so some players like to find a good spot with a few and start farming them for kills and XP.
The best method is to build a stack of three Blocks up. Then shoot a single one of the Pigmen with your Bow. They'll all agro once you hit one, and then come running to you. They can't actually hit you on those three Blocks, but you can hit them. Swing down with your Sword and start earning XP. Don't worry; they're Pigmen, they don't have feelings.
10. Bottle o'Enchanting
You can buy a Bottle o'Enchanting from a Cleric at max level for 3 Emeralds. They're also found in Rare Chests and can come from some Illager Raids.
This item is so good because it'll grant you between 3 and 11 XP for throwing it on the floor. If you need a boost and have these available, you know what you need to do.
I will say that this is probably the most disheartening way to earn XP. You'll feel like you're cheating, even though you're not.
Those are the top 10 best XP sources in Minecraft. However, we understand that you might have some questions. Hopefully, we've answered them below.
Why do I Need XP?
XP is important because it pushes up your character's level. You can't use certain items unless you are a certain level, which means you need to earn some XP. The game is built in such a way that more content becomes accessible the more you play. If you just try to summon the Ender Dragon from the first day in the game, you're going to struggle because you'll be too underleveled.
Why Would I Need to Earn XP Fast?
You might find yourself in a situation when you need a lot of XP in order to get through your next challenge. This could be Enchanting an item, building a particular structure, or taking on a project that requires a lot of complex resources. You don't want to waste time earning XP slowly, which is why you'd use some of these quicker methods for earning it.
Will I Even Notice I'm Earning XP?
Absolutely! There's an in-game bar for your XP and level. As you earn more, it will increase, and it'll show your level as well. This is a great way to encourage yourself to go up just one more level, even when you've been fishing for 3 hours straight.
If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please let us know what they are in the comments.