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Minecraft Dungeons Runes: Where to find Rune locations and what Runes unlock explained

How to solve the end-game mystery.

Minecraft Dungeons Runes are perhaps the biggest mystery you'll come across in the game.

Available as an optional post-game quest, you must find the locations of Runes in order to unlock one final secret.

This page explains where to find Rune locations and what Runes unlock in Minecraft Dungeons.

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Looking for more advice? Our collection of Minecraft Dungeons tips can help!

Runes in Minecraft Dungeons explained

Once you have completed Minecraft Dungeons on the Default difficulty - defeating the Arch-Illager in the story - you'll return to the Camp area as usual.

Here is where there a new area can be accessed. If you go to the north-west of the camp, you can take a newly added spring pad to the south-east. Now go south then west (in the direction of the main camp) and you'll appear on the other side of a drawbridge, a location which has been teasing you this whole game.

Throw the switch here to lower it, allowing you to travel over it by foot in future. Of course, that's not really what we're really here for, as next to this switch is the entrance to a chapel area.

Inside is a large hallway with a portal at the end, with the prompt to 'Place Runes'. Doing so will light up one of the panels on the wall.

On your first visit, just one Rune will be lit up, indicating you have one Rune. This is one you receive automatically for completing the story and reaching the chapel.

To find the remaining Runes, you must find a secret area within each of the main levels. These Runes only appear once you have defeated the Arch-Illager for the first time, so don't be surprised that you searched each level extensively and didn't come across any on your first playthrough.

Though these Rune locations are well hidden, there's some useful things to know to help you narrow them down:

  • Though each level is procedurally generated - meaning the route is different every time - the 'chunks' of level Rune locations appear in will be the same every time, from their general orientation to when they will appear amongst other objectives.
  • Each location requires you to find a hidden switch to throw, revealing a doorway taking you to the Rune.
  • Once you have completed the game, Runes will appear on any difficulty - even the Default difficulty you just completed. This means if you prefer to just speed through each level on this easiest difficulty just to get to the Rune location, you can. (We recommend going for 0.7x difficulty, which will be easy enough to race through while still giving you some decent XP for your efforts.)
  • After you have found the Rune, you can leave the level by pausing and quitting back to Camp - there is no requirement to go on and finish it. This is particularly useful as some Rune locations are close to where you begin.
  • Each of the Rune shapes are assigned to a specific level, allowing you to narrow down which ones you need if you are missing one or two.

With that explainer out of the way, here are all the Rune locations in Minecraft Dungeons in the order they appear in the Chapel, going from left to right, top row then the bottom:

Creeper Woods Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

Once you have rescued all the villagers at the end of the level, go to the south-west of this village to find an usual stone formation in the ground.

There is switch just to the north, which you can activate to open up the formation.

Travel through this underground lair to find the Rune location.

Pumpkin Pastures Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

This Rune location is easy to miss. In the first built-up village-like area you come across, explore the north-west until you find an elevated stone passage going to nowhere, with a pile of crates halfway down.

Depending on the level generated, it can be tucked away on a cliff, so look at the map to see the jagged passage sticking out to the north-east.

Once you find it, investigate the crates for the hidden switch hidden just behind them.

Doing so reveals a door at the end for the Pumpkin Pastures Rune location.

Soggy Swamp Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

After you have defeated the Cauldron boss and opened the gate to the end door which finishes the level, go to the north-west of this very small area and find a corner column.

The switch is on the ground, revealing a door beyond with the Rune location inside.

Redstone Mines Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

This level has you rescue sets of villagers. During the second set (where there's a total of six to find), look to the west side of the area, to where a minecart track runs out against a northern wall.

There is a switch tucked away here next to the wall.

Activate it and enter the doorway for the Rune location.

Fiery Forge Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

This Rune location is fairly close to the start. Travel through the opening cave area until you find a doorway, which is the only way onward. This takes you to a set of steps with a destroyed Redstone Golem to the left.

Go to the north-west corner close by where you can find the switch.

Throw it and enter the door as usual for the level's Rune location.

Cacti Canyon Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

About two-thirds of the way through, there is a gated area on the south-west side where you must survive an Arch-Illeger ambush, then get a key from behind the gate that opens.

To the left and outside of the gate is a hidden switch which appears as you walk over it.

Activating it opens a door behind where the key is, revealing the Rune location.

Desert Temple Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

Play the level until you come across the objective of finding a Gold Key. This takes you to a series of rooms to the south-east.

Go north of the room with the key location, where you can find a switch on the back wall.

Throw it and head through the door which reveals for the Rune location.

Highblock Halls Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

About a third of the way through, you'll encounter an outdoor village which allows you to take two routes into the castle to crash the banquet - a way through the north-west, and a hidden well you can travel down to the north-east.

From this well, go up the steps to the northern edge, continuing to the upper corner, where you'll find a switch you can throw.

This reveals a door with the Highblock Walls Rune location.

Obsidian Pinnacle Rune location in Minecraft Dungeons

About a third of the way through the level you'll go indoors into a castle. Proceed until there's a banquet hall-style area which stretches out to the north-west.

At the end of this hall is a library bookcase, which hides a switch.

Throw it to reveal a secret area beyond.

Unlike other Rune locations, this one is within the level itself - as well as two chests you can open for some valuable loot.

What do Runes unlock in Minecraft Dungeons?

This section explains what all the Runes unlock in Minecraft Dungeons. Beware of spoilers ahead if you prefer to discover it first hand.

Once you have found every Rune across all levels, return to the chapel within the Camp and place the Runes at the back portal, revealing a doorway.

Inside is a scroll with a 'New Location', as well as two loot chests.

The New Location in question is named ???, and will appear on the map in the upper left, just above Creepy Woods and Creepy Crypt.

The ??? level is a cow-themed level, populated by Mooshrooms, a rare enemy type also seen in the original Mineraft, and a homage to Diablo 2's secret Cow level (something which was later added into Diablo 3.)

There's even a special end boss named the Mooshroom Monstrosity. Beyond that, there's nothing else earned for completing this level - so consider it a fun Easter Egg more than anything else.

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Matthew Reynolds


Matthew Reynolds edited guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer from 2010 - 2023. When he wasn't doing that, he was out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.