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How to Build an Arena Battle Mini-Game in Minecraft

This isn’t really a mini game, but more of a dedicated place of action. PvP (player vs player) arenas are often one of the most used places on servers, especially when the arena is the only place where pvp is enabled. Many players love to fight each other and take each other’s items, though there’s probably an equal amount of players who prefer to build, design and create while not having to deal with players coming to kill them.

For this reason, dedicated PvP areas are the best solution for servers who want to offer both, though even on PvP servers an arena would look nice and could add some exciting elements to a battle.

Building an Arena

Arenas can be of any shape, size and form, though most of them have at least one thing in common and that is a large, open platform on which players can attack and kill each other without any obstructions.

For many this might be all they need, though an arena can offer much more than simple fighting. Why not add traps, obstacles, spawning monsters and other challenges to the battlefield. These extra challenges are especially perfect for battles with rules, like a team vs team or 1 vs 1 gladiator battles.


There are various traps, obstacles and other obstacles you can build, most of which are also used as normal traps in other situations. But if you don’t know what to build or if you just need a little bit of inspiration, why not build a few of the following obstacles.


Cobwebs are perfect as both an obstacle and as decoration. They can make a building look old and unused, but they can also be used as walls or “mines” in the floor to slow or trap a player, turning them into sitting ducks. If you really want to get creative, build a huge spiderweb in which players can be pushed into by weapons with a knock back enchantment. Perhaps with a large spider or a large pit under the web with spider spawners to finish off any player who managed to survive in the webs.

Hostile Mobs

Those of you who have seen Gladiator (or almost any other gladiator-type movie) will probably remember the tigers on chains coming out of the floor. This can easily be created with a few pistons and either a dispenser popping out spawn eggs or a simple mob spawner.

Depending on how advanced you want to make your system, you could either try to copy the system in Gladiator as close as possible. Which is an openable floor section with a small room underneath it. Mobs will be waiting in this room, ready for their moment to shine.

If you want to keep it easier, make a 2 block deep pit and put some mobs in there. By using pistons on the sides, a small staircase could be toggled, which the mobs can then use to get out and start killing. When the staircase isn’t toggled, the pit will still serve as a nice way to dispose of your opponent by hitting him into the pit.

You could also simply use gates on the side of your arena and open them when you (the emperor?) want to unleash them, by simply pulling a lever.

Remember to make your arena dark enough when using certain mobs, like skeletons, spiders and zombies, otherwise they’ll catch fire or become neutral and won’t attack.


Water can be a great way to slow down players. A simple togglable waterfall or a large pool can both be used by players as an advantage or disadvantage. Some players might know tricks to get around the water or furter into the water, while others might be hopelessly lost. Which is pretty much what a gladiator battle is all about.


A floor of ice or perhaps just a few patches will allow players to sprint-jump large distances. Running on ice and then jumping will make you go further and faster than any other way of moving, unless you use mods of course. By placing a few patches of ice, players will have to use it in tactical ways, rather than just always being able to sprint-jump when the entire floor is made out of ice.


Another fun way to slow players down, but it can also be used to kill players. If a player steps on soulsand that has a lava block next to it, the player will catch fire and take lava damage. This can be of great tactical use for players with a knock back enchantment.


A maze can be great fun, especially if some of the walls change by using pistons. Players who are more familiar with the maze will have a big advantage over new players, so try to change your maze on a regular basis. You could always combine the arena with a maze escape type of mini game.

Lava and Bridges

Lava can be used in some obvious ways, like lava pits, lava falls on other fiery death traps. But by building a lava moat and building a piston draw bridge on it, the lava becomes like a divider between 2 places, especially when you attach a redstone clock to the piston draw bridge. Players will have to time their movements on the bridge or risk dieing.

If you’re feeling a little mischievous, make the bridge toggleable with a lever. Then the emperor can decide who lives and who dies.

TNT landmines

A simple pressure plate on a block of sand, on top of a TNT block will act as a great mine. Any player who steps on the plate will cause the TNT block to activate and fall, along with the sand, pressure plate and player. By making the TNT fall into a pool of water, the environmental damage will be contained while the player will still be killed, as long as the pool isn’t too deep (though deeper than 1 block so the sand doesn’t replace the water).

Land mines may seem like an easy and obvious thing to avoid, but players will usually be too busy fighting other players or they’ll get pushed onto a plate, which makes these mines very effective.

Note that a TNT block with a pressure plate on top of it will work just as well, but by placing sand or gravel on top of it, it will look better with the surroundings. Especially when the arena is made with a sand, gravel or sandstone floor.

Thumbs up, thumbs down

If you really want to feel like a Romam emperor, judge your fighters based on how bravely they fought. If you think they’re not worthy, open a piston floor below them and drop them in lava.

This requires some cooperation of the players, as they have to stand in the right spot, but perhaps some other players are willing to be your royal guard and escort the player to the right spot.

Battle Types

There are many battles you can fight in the arena, though if you’re looking for ideas or if you can’t think of any, try one of the following battles.

1 vs 1

There’s nothing better than a simple 1 vs 1 gladiator battle, especially when the arena looks epic and a huge crowd has gathered to watch the fight. You can add as many obstacles as you want, but 1 vs 1 battles can be a great way to find out who the strongest player on the server is.

x vs x

Team battles are a great way to create organised battles between clans, villages or kingdoms. Those with the best tactics, fighters and perhaps gear, will win and will have bragging rights on the server. This could also be used to stake pieces of land, buildings or materials. Whoever wins will take the spoils.

This could be done on a weekly basis as a type of RP (role playing) event, both on RP servers as normal servers. This way the strongest clans will grow stronger and can expand at the costs of the weaker clans. Eventually you’ll be left with some very large, but just a few clans.

Make sure you set strict rules though, people can and will get upset over the smallest things when they lose and think the battle was unfair.

x vs y

These battles are often the most challenging battles. By having unbalanced teams, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, a battle could become really interesting. You can create all sorts of battles like this.

Perhaps the smaller team will have diamond armour while the larger team will only have iron, or no armour at all. Or one team will have healing potions while the other one doesn’t, the possibilites are (almost) endless.

A maze could be used perfectly in this situation. Make the smaller, but stronger team hunt the other players who have to try to get out and find the exit.

Player(s) vs mob(s)

Who doesn’t like an epic battle between 20 players and 100 mobs. Player vs mobs battles are great fun, though they could lack a lot of coordination when players don’t work together. The most epic battles are those fought by well organised teams, perhaps with dedicated healers, melee fighters and archers.

Champion(s) of the server

I personally love huge, server wide events. Arenas are the perfect place to create events for the whole server to enjoy. A great way to keep the server active and make people play with each other is by holding a fighting contest. Let people sign up for 1 vs 1 battles or ask them to form groups and let them compete in battles. Set up different rounds in which players or teams will fight each other, the winner will go through to the next round untill only 1 player or team is left, the champions.

Make sure to reward the winner(s), though don’t make the reward something that gives them a huge advanatage over other players. I personally like the idea of building a statue of the winning player or team, right in front of the arena or at spawn. This way everybody will know who’s not to be messed with. By holding these contests on a weekly or monthly basis, the statue could change regularly, though they’re pretty much 3D pixel art so it’s easy to change them.