Shulker BoxAuthor: Gianni Smirnoff
Shulker boxes are a renewable, craftable storage item added in Minecraft 1.11. In order to obtain a Shulker box, however, the player must first travel to the end dimension, making them a somewhat end-game item.
However, regardless of their difficulty to obtain, Shulker boxes prove to be invaluable tools in all aspects!
Where to find a Shulker Box
Shulker boxes aren’t naturally generated, in order to obtain one, the player will need to first complete most of the Minecraft game progression sequence. This being namely; killing endermen, obtaining ender pearls, travelling to the nether, locating a nether fortress, defeating a blaze, obtaining a blaze rod, crafting eyes of ender, locating a stronghold, locating the end portal, unlocking the end portal, travelling to the end, defeating the ender dragon, travelling to the outer islands of the end, then finally, locating an end city, killing a shulker, and obtaining at least two shulker shells.
Crafting a Shulker Box
After the player has completed all of the aforementioned tasks, or has devised an alternative route to reach the outer end and conquer an end city; the player can then proceed to craft a shulker box. The crafting recipe for a shulker box requires two shulker shells, which can be obtained by defeating Shulkers, and one chest.
In the crafting table, regardless of which row it is put in, the shulker shells must be placed above and below the chest, in such an order:
What Makes Shulker Boxes Unique
Shulker boxes are extremely unique, especially when compared to the other storage items in Minecraft. In ordinary chests, you can expect to see your items scattered across the floor if the block is broken. This case is the same for all other storage blocks, such as dispensers, droppers, hoppers, furnaces, etc…
However, the only storage item that this seemingly fundamental principle doesn’t apply to, is the new Shulker Box. With this item, as we’ve alluded to previously, the player is able to store items, break the item, then carry a Shulker Box filled with their items throughout their world. The Shulker Box allows the player to store the same amount of items as they would be able to in a regular sized chest. With this storage, however, the player can also place additional, full shulker boxes inside other Shulker boxes, allowing for potentially infinite storage.
Uses for Shulker Boxes
Shulker boxes can prove to be invaluable in some instances, or a curse in others. For example, when working on a large build, the player could avoid constant trips to a chest or base station to retrieve more materials by making use of Shulker Boxes. This would be done, in theory, simply by filling a few Shulker Boxes with the various building materials required for the build, then possibly color coordinating the boxes based on the materials stored within them.
Slightly diverging from the topic at hand, it’s also somewhat important to point out that Shulker Boxes are able to be dyed by using all of the currently available dyes in Minecraft. This feature allows for a quick, visual differentiation process, allowing the player to quickly determine the location of whatever specific Shulker Box they may need to access to obtain more building materials.
In addition to being extremely useful for item coordination and maximizing inventory capacity for builds of all sorts, shulker boxes also prove to be useful in other ways as well, however, these uses typically tend range to the extent of item organization and storage, mainly. Another example, and perhaps the most common use of Shulker Boxes outside of inventory maximization and item organization, is to allow for extremely dense, compacted storage for item farms and item transportation.
To further expand on this, what we mean by “compacted storage for item farms and item transportation”, is that instead of lining up tens and tens of double chests to store items for a highly efficient farming structure, the player can condense this by transferring all items into shulker boxes, then storing the shulker box. The great part about this solution is that Shulker Boxes are “redstone-friendly”, allowing for use with hoppers, and other redstone apparatuses. Meaning, that a large mob-farm or some other similar structure can be fed into a system of hoppers and shulker boxes, allowing for a compact, easy-to-use, yet expensive item storage system!
The Dangers of Shulker Boxes
Although the advantages of Shulker boxes are abundant, cases in which shulker boxes can prove to be rather dangerous certainly do exist. If all your items happen to be stored in Shulker boxes, you risk losing everything with one item. For instance, if you happen to be wandering around a cave and fall in lava, your items will scatter about the premises, and you have a chance of recovering some things if they happen to land on a surface above the lava. This is not possible with Shulker Boxes. If you happen to lose one Shulker box, everything stored within it will also be lost. However, many will argue that the benefits that Shulker Boxes easily outweigh the potential downsides of using them, making these risks certainly worth taking!
Arguable Renewability of Shulker Boxes
While Shulker boxes do prove to be beyond convenient and exceedingly useful in a variety of scenarios, their applicability can certainly be limited due to the difficulty of obtaining them. For instance, the aforementioned item condensation and organization solution may only be achievable for the players that spend hours hunting down end cities and farming shulker shells, or to those who use exploits of some sort. Since Minecraft is technically infinitely generating, and with the new update adding the outer end, end cities are also, technically, infinitely generating structures, and therefore, renewable resources. The difficulty that lies here, as was alluded to previously, is that Shulkers can’t be farmed in the traditional sense; such as with witch huts.
Shulkers do not respawn in the end city which they were killed in. Seemingly in an attempt to add a “scarcity” aspect to the somewhat game-breaking Shulker Box, Mojang developers have made Shulkers into a pseudo-rare mob.