Content: Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Background: Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Pattern: Blank Waves Notes Sharp Wood Rockface Leather Honey Vertical Triangles
Welcome to TerraFirmaCraft Forums

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

  • Announcements

    • Crysyn

      Only help if you can be helpful

      Hey All, A topic has come up of late in the IRC channel in regards to the general feel of the forums and the community that supports them. Things have progressed further than I would have liked with out this being addressed more publicly because I would much rather have snubbed this out sooner rather than later.. but I have been busy. Here is the general rule I would like people to follow: Wheaton's Law "Don't be a dick." Those of you from the IRC channel know that this is the only rule I ask people in there to follow and we generally have a good and lively time chatting about all manner of things. This is basic rule that just about everyone understands and I am going to expand it to the forums from here moving forward. If you can not help people in a helpful and polite manner then I simply ask you to stop. Now I generally take a back seat to moderating the forums as I like to participate in the suggestions forum fairly heavily at times and would rather do so as a forums user than a moderator. But I am also fairly well known for being the person who constantly puts their foot down and so I am stepping up and doing so on here. If you find yourself unable to respond to a message politely then I ask that you do not respond. This mostly focuses on the increasing level of hostility found within the Suggestion forum as well as the Server forum. I do not care if this is the 30th some odd time you have seen someone make the same suggestion. Or even if the new post on an older topic is one entry above the old one. I expect the members of this forum to respond politely to the user, new or old, and point to the older topic if it applies and even go the extra step to suggest they either add in new information or to summarize the outcome of the previous discussion based upon the new post's entry into it. That is what we are here for, that is why I close most topics instead of deleting them, so that they can be found and referenced down the road. The next topic is the slew of derailment attempts I have seen as of late. If you want to have fun and joke around that is what the off topic forum is for and pretty much anything goes there. I do not expect to read a suggestion thread and have to go through 3 pages of image memes people have shot back and forth. Quite simply this is a waste of my time to read and then have to clean up. Now for the summary. I am going to start taking a more active role, especially in policing the suggestion forum, and handing out warn levels to people whom I see doing this. These will be indiscriminate and applied not to just the first person who derails or is impolite on a topic or response, but to everyone whom follows the lead of that person. As I do not like doing things with out giving you all warning this post shall serve as that warning. If you have a desire to bring this topic up with me then I invite you to do so on the IRC channel. Lets raise the level of quality and grow the community. Let us not descend into the quality often found on the minecraft or league of legend forums. There is simply no need for that here. Be passionate about things, just do not be abusive.
    • Kittychanley

      Offline Servers

      Recently I've seen a few server listings showing up on the first page of the Servers forum that have been closed for an extended period of time, but have recently gotten a reply from a new member who didn't realize the server is offline. To help prevent this from happening in the future, it would be greatly appreciated if you could use the report function on the original post of any servers that have been confirmed as offline, so that the topic may be locked. If you are the admin of a server and plan on taking the server offline, please use the report function on the original post of your topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be locked. If you are the admin of a server that has a locked topic, and would wish to bring the server back online, please use the report function on the original post of the topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be unlocked. As always, please remember to follow rule #3 of the servers forum and update your topic title to contain the version of TFC that the server is currently running. You can do so by editing the OP, and then clicking on "Use Full Editor."
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Surface prospecting with prospector's pick

5 posts in this topic

Hello, this is my first post and I want to start with a tutorial.


Most tutorials are centred in the use of the prospector’s pick while digging, but sometimes you want to supply your almost empty collection of ores and you do not want to waste the durability of your tools way too much at the begging. That is why this tutorial is designed for the time when you get your first prospector’s pick and tier 1 or 2 pick. This is one of the fastest methods to find a supply of basic ores and it is also less intensive in your picks, reducing the chance of breaking it before finding ores. Just to be clear, this works with ores that can be found no deeper than 12~13 blocks from the surface (due to normal restriction from the prospector’s pick, see the wiki for more information about this pick).


The first thing that you should do is to find ores in the surface (the ores that you are looking for). If you want more copper to keep working with your first metals, you must have marked the land where you found that ore (and coded it*, since you don’t have signs at that point).


Let’s start.

Step cero: The basic marking:

  • Harvest the mineral.
  • Put an easy to spot block (I suggest cobblestone rather than thatch, you see why latter).


Step one: Finding the starting point.


Now that we have the basic marking you are going use them to find a random spot close to one of the cobblestone marks. You want a spot that says something like “found an x’ quantity of y’ ore”, where 'x' can be any quantity (from traces to very large), when you find that spot you put a mark (thatch is good since is movable and it is really easy to see), that mark is going to be your starting point.

Special note: you might want to find and mark the largest quantity you obtain, that is why it is important to mark all ores in the surface (you can have a rough estimate of the area of the vein). Do not worry if you only found traces, this method work with any quantity (bigger than "nothing", obviously ^_^ )


Step two: Finding the centre of the vein.


  • From the starting point you are going to walk in a straight line (the direction does not matter, choose one randomly) until you find a change in quantity (e.g. from larger to medium) and mark it with thatch (this is going to be mark 'A'). Just remember that the prospector’s pick gives you “nothing found” even if there is something.
  • If you are working with “traces” because you could not find anything better you need to be sure that you will not find “traces” after two or three “nothing”.
  • From 1 start walking in the opposite direction (to your starting point) and, after passing through your starting point start testing until you find a change in quantity and mark it (mark 'B').
  • Found the centre of ‘A’ and ‘B’ and that be your new starting point. Just to avoid confusion delete your first starting point (that is why thatch is better than wood and cobblestone).
  • From the new starting point choose a different direction but now perpendicular to the line ‘AB’ and repeat the step 1 and 2. Those are going to be mark ‘C’ and ‘D’.
  • To be sure that you do not ended in a strange shaped vein just check diagonal to get 6 points like in a six shaped star. It is not necessary but helps to increase accuracy.
  • Now trace a centre using your 4~6 points and mark it.
  • Start digging in a 3x3 square until you find the ores. It can be done with a 2x2 but if you were not good enough to determine the centre you might miss vein.


That is all. By the way, English it is not my first language, if you see a mistake tell me and I fix it (and, even if it were my first language, just tell me).


* Due the block-ish nature of minecraft I like to code the ores I found on the surface in a binary style, for example:





G= ground

X= block other than dirt, like thatch)

P= Block that mark the beginning of the code, different from 'X'

_= Nothing, air block or a block of other color if you wish (can be dirt).





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the time I have to dig 10 to 20 blocks down before I get a "traces of" reading on the pro-pick, then i dig about 14-15 blocks lower then start my prospecting. I think it would be easier to dig in the middle of the small nuggets you found and prospect underground. As soon as you find the ore, you have enough metal to replace the used tools (of course, go for copper ore first)


To be honest, I think that the techniques explained here is only an hybrid of the two techniques I analysed here. The only difference is that you try to find the center of then vein, when it is not required to find a vein. You would use less propick if you only used the level change technique I explain.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they are similar. What I posted is not a new technique to find veins per se (there are several tutorials out there as I stated at the beginning of the tutorial that hit this issue). The problem with those technique is that they always start digging after placing the marks from the ore they found at ground level, even if they have readings of ores in the surface. That is a problem at the beginning of a game, where if your prospector's pick is destroyed and you didn't find the ores you are almost out of luck. Also, for beginners it is a nice way to get some ores if you couldn't find them in nearby mountains or you are afraid to go cave exploring especially playing in hardcore. With that in mind I attacked that problem and propose a technique (a mixture of techniques if you wish to say). What are the advantages of this technique? Since it is surface level it is really easy to do and it does not waste durability from your tools and save you a lot of time. The cons? that you need to have a little luck. I have mined most of the basic ores that way (copper and tier 0 ores, mostly) and prepare my self to do deep mining.


Another thing, with this technique you can test at ground level even if you do not found ores (just to try your luck) and yield possible results. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This guide helped me. Even if there are others like it, this is the one I saw and it made the whole mess clearer. Thank you. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked this technique too, it makes a good way to get your foot in the door, in metallurgical terms.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0