The Art of Griefing and Avoiding It

Bohtauri & The Art of Griefing and Avoiding It

We all know how it feels to login on in the evening after work, or morning to find your little house on the prairie or house in the tropical cove torched by a huge fountain of lava, or your cathedral you and a buddy made and you turn up to find a hiroshima project was tested in your basement… well… where you think your basement… or city… was?


Lets face it, Griefing is here to stay, Humans are all immature and griefing cannot be a thing of the past, just like burglars, anyone can break into someones house if they really want to.


Be smart. Dont leave your keys in your front door if you dont want that 5,000 dollar tv to suddenly disapear. Make it more effort to grief than their personal satisfaction can afford. Heres the maths to help you out:

Math Fact 1: There is a direct correlation to the speed of the grief to the personal satisfaction of the griefer. So if something take 5 seconds to grief, you have a very happy griefer. If something takes 5 hours to grief then you have a very happy builder. What kind of griefer would spend 5 hours to grief when so many people on so many servers build smaller houses?

Math Fact 2: Its takes 1% of total build time to destroy something than to build it. So the longer it takes to build the longer it takes to destroy

Location, Location, Location

Yes, your real estate location has and will always be a major influencing factor of what the griefer will target. Follow these strategies to help avoid your real estate’s location to the beeline for griefers.

  1. If it can be seen from spawn/warp point, it has a 90% higher chance of being greifed.
  2. It it is located N, S, W or E of the spawn/warp point you have a 60% higher chance of being griefed.
  3. If it is within a 3 minute walk of the spawn/warp point you have a 50% higher chance of being griefed.

Why all Related to the Spawn Point?

Well, do you think that a majority of griefers are those that are regulars on a server for months that already know their way around? or a newbie that just landed here for the first time? Griefers get banned, they arent welcome so they move from server to server to deal the most damage. Servers who get regularly hit by griefers tend to end up not being griefed as the regulars will smarten up with their building strategies. You may not notice already but when you teleport/warp or login somewhere you dont know, you always look up at the sky if your on the surface to help find your bearings?

Strategies with Choosing A Location

This is going to be your hard work and pride so its best not to build in the easiest spot.

  1. Griefers tend to go in straight lines so they can find their way back easier, to grief more and enjoying seeing their destruction, if the griefer walks around randomly they will get lost so griefers tend to stick with the compass points. Build your creations to the NW NE SW and SE.
  2. Person with the high ground wins the war right? well lets win the war against griefers, build on top of cliffs, have a hidden route up to make it look impossible to reach and the griefer will continue along their way.
  3. Building near the spawn may mean new visitors will marvel at your work first, but it will also mean they can grief it the fastest and leave before you even have a chance to yell at them.

My recomendation

Why build near the spawn point anyway? thats the same as putting instructions at the spawn point saying “come to XXX and grief me” Server admins, create a no-build zone of 100-200 blocks around the spawn point, lets users marvel at the expanse and they’ll see the cities in the distance and then choose which direction to go. This would also allow more things to be seen by visitors than the skycrapers people build right next to the spawn.

Popular Griefing Strategies


TNT is by far the griefers choice, it can be used to makes the blocks literally disapear, meaning the builder has to put in more effort than is needed to repair the hole/s.


Lava is second favorite choice, Burnable & tall buildings are top targets. Wide and tough to access buildings are not.


Fire can be a favorite for a small few griefers. A wood house next to a forest is an easy target because of the “run-away” effect is what those kind of people like


Something easy to pick up is something easy to grief. If you login and find your torches and sand missing, you know what I mean.

So How To Build Wisely?

Anti-TNT Indestructible Create your building out of Iron Blocks or Obsidian, they are impervious to destruction by TNT,Lava and Fire.
Build Cheap Avoid grief by TNT by avoiding using precious metals and materials in/around your structure. Griefers will make a beeline for your statue made out of diamond and gold blocks. 10 seconds of planting TNT and when you return, all your rare materials are gone… forever!
Build Thick If the walls are 3 blocks thick, you would turn up with a giant hole. Reduce the blast radius of the TNT by increasing the amount of blocks they have to blast though. A middle layer of Obsidian can also protect the inside of your house from fire damage if they torch it from the outside.
Anti-Lava Tricky Accessibility. Griefers need to get on top of your building to pour that lava over your building. Dont make an obvious path to on top of your building.
Build Wide Very wide buildings made out of non-burnables are not popular targets due to needing a lot of buckets of lava to cover it.
Build Tough Lava can burn objects. Building a lighthouse out of wool can be an obvious beeline for griefers, plant some lava at its base and poof, gone in seconds of griefing.
Anti-Fire Spacious Building Create your “burnables” with a reasonable distance between each of them. This will avoid the desired “chain-reaction” griefers are looking for.
Stone houses survived the london Blitz They survived the citywide fires too. Building wooden houses have their major drawbacks.
Anti-Thieving Smart Chest Placing. See the next section for this.
Build Cheap Ok, that redstone circut that took you 3 days to make may look awesome, but is it gonna be just as nice when you have to rebuild it? if you feel like you cant rebuild something thats expensive, build it elsewhere.
Build Many Yay, you put up all 12 torches again… and tomorrow and tomorrow… Put up thousands, even if a few disappear it wont matter. Im using over 8,000 at the moment.
Build Tough Block that take longer to dig up will be stolen far less by a huge margin. An obsidian house griefed is far rarer than finding a 1,000 block diamond vein underground.
Build Hidden What cant be seen, cant be stolen. Create hidden rooms, hide valuables in secret chambers, create those delicate treasures somewhere only you and those you trust can find them.

Building The Perfect Hidden Chamber

This I have to point out can be the most well hidden chamber ever, below I will describe the steps and process to build. I guarantee that no one will grief it unless they specifically know where it is and is fully equipped with appropriate gear.

  1. Build a giant underground chamber
  2. Start by placing an obsidian block floor 1 block above the ground level.
  3. Fill the lower layer below your floor with lava
  4. slowly build the walls and remember to full the outer part with lava
  5. Before closing off the room set your /sethome to this room.
  6. Cover the roof with lava, then complete filling up the overhead cavern with lava.

This room is now grief proof, unless a griefer has god mode and knows exactly where it is and really wants to get into there. I use one myself for my special gear.

Protecting your Valuables

So, that covers strategies to help avoid your building to be griefed but who every carries everything they have dug up and not used? almost no one. So your chests that store your valuables are also targets to being griefed. Use these formulas to help strategise how to avoid your inventory

Build fake Chests Chests arent that hard to make, far harder to destroy than to make. so build a huge room full of them, and have a system where you use a certain few ones. Griefers wont spend 20 minutes searching every chest to find the right one, they’ll move along.
Build Obvious Chests Build chests into your house, in the floor, in the walls, then have some built into the corners or under the floor layer, so each time you need to access it, u just lift up one floor board and tada, your favorite chest.
Build Hidden Chests Build them under your floor, inside the walls, in a hidden cave 10 blocks away from your house. Almost no griefer will start digging randomly to find your chests when so many ppl keep them in plain sight.


So What does Bohtauri do?

  • I build to the Northwest, not even most of the regulars have seen my projects until i explained how to get to it.
  • I build big giant megaliths at least; every time. It may take 1% of the total time to grief a building, but when it takes 300 man-hours to build, no griefer will spend 3 hours to destroy it.
  • Well I use the fake chest strategy, my house is full of over 800 double chests, i only use two of them…
  • Sandstone is my favorite material to use. Easy to collect, Easy to Dig Up, Doesnt Burn and Easy to keep things hidden under the floor
  • My house has over 500 different rooms, and a few are hidden from everyone except me

Out of the hundreds of manhours I have has 1 minor incident of over 50 torches gone. When i am using several thousand, they were not missed at all. The forest fire though was probably from my own fault of miscalculating the lava lol


Build things with the question of “How would a griefer grief this?” and build accordingly. Don’t leave the game expecting to see it the same in multi-player. Minecraft although is simple is a truly dynamic game and anything can happen. If a griefer really wants to grief something specific, they will find a way. just sigh, learn and move on.

A Small Guide Note: This guide is about how to avoid griefing without plugins, there are plugins you can use to avoid anonymous griefing zones and regions but there is no true grief-proof server. Build smart and enjoy the lower chance of being griefed. Plugins don’t have to be the answer. Check out Bohtauri’s other projects at his website.

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