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Minecraft ocean bases are a delicate balance of slick design and looming disaster

Minecraft
(Image credit: Jaypeg01)

Scrambling around trying to build a base is always the highest priority on Minecraft's survival checklist. If you're like me, your first base was probably a haphazardly thrown-together oak block box with enough space for a bed, crafting table, and my blocky body to squeeze into. But Minecraft bases have become much more than that, and builders have been experimenting with all kinds of impressive designs like huge underground lairs, epic treehouses, or grand stone fortresses. 

There have been plenty of spectacular Minecraft builds (opens in new tab), but one design that continues to blow my mind are ocean bases. In short, the water physics in Minecraft are hard to grapple with. The way water flows and fills spaces is pretty confusing and thinking about how the current of one water block is affected by its four horizontal and vertical neighbours is headache-inducing. 

That's why it's always impressive to see ocean builds. The engineering and design that have gone into building them is made more amazing by the manipulation of Minecraft's water physics. The risk of having one block break when your build is surrounded by water is always there, but the results are worth it. Slap some realistic Minecraft texture packs (opens in new tab) and shaders (opens in new tab) on your game, and you've got an amazing base surrounded by crystal clear water.

A tremendous amount of effort goes into planning an ocean base—underwater or not—and it's something that should be celebrated, so I've listed a couple of my favourites below. If you're keen to build an underwater ocean base yourself, I would start with the house building basics (opens in new tab) first and work your way up from there.

Minecraft

(Image credit: SheepGG)

SheepGG (opens in new tab)'s tutorial shows how to build a cozy underwater base made from glass, stone, and oak wood. The interior is lovely too, with lots of plant life and crops. They've also chosen to build in one of Minecraft's coral reef biomes, making it extra gorgeous. 

Minecraft

(Image credit: FreePaleontologist69)

Reddit user FreePaleontologist69 (opens in new tab) has built an entire city in the middle of the ocean. This ocean build's design is super sleek and its open-top means you can gaze at the stars above you.

Minecraft

(Image credit: ManDooMiN)

I love the way ManDooMiN (opens in new tab) has built their base into the side of a slope. It's a small two-floor base and the tutorial is easy to follow, making it perfect for beginners who want to try their hand at underwater base design.

Minecraft

(Image credit: Jaypeg01)

Jaypeeg01 (opens in new tab)'s ocean base looks like a Legend of Zelda temple. They've built the surrounding walls with translucent blue blocks, making it look like the ocean has created a wall to protect what's inside—a great idea.

Minecraft

(Image credit: Frank_de_bot)

Reddit user Frank_de_bot (opens in new tab)'s base was built in Survival, which adds to the effort and makes it potentially even more impressive than a 'regular' underwater build. The several dome-like buildings are connected through several walkways and plenty of glass means you can gaze out into the surrounding murky world.

Minecraft

(Image credit: ItsMarloe)

This underwater base created by ItsMarloe (opens in new tab) is another small and cosy design which also hides a brilliant entrance system. The entrance is a trap door that lets in a pillar of water than you can swim down, but instead of it flooding your lovely build there's a drain right under the entrance the water disappears into.

Minecraft

(Image credit: Random Steve Guy)

Random Steve Guy (opens in new tab)'s crystal-clear underwater base is completely made out of glass and it's incredible to behold. It's a simple design, but the contrast of the dark underwater biome against the lamps that they've put around the outside of the build is perfection. 

Minecraft

(Image credit: Minecraft Today)

Minecraft Today (opens in new tab)'s base is another cosy underwater build. It has a sleek modern design to it, with a cute rooftop garden connecting to the land. But, the best detail is the single block of water they've left standing above the building where underwater plants can grow.

Minecraft

(Image credit: TheNeoCubest)

TheNeoCubest (opens in new tab)'s underwater survival base has two handy entrances. There's an external ladder that goes to the surface or a door that opens straight into the water, allowing you to swim out. The square design is super slick and coupled with the windows letting you look out into the sea makes it a great ocean Minecraft base.

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Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.