Ore Deposits

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Typical example of ore distribution.

Finding ore can be quite challenging. A picture of a typical ore distribution is shown (right). Ores are distributed at random heights, in discs at various angles. Some ores have wider discs than others. Most discs average 5.5 blocks wide, though quartz discs are larger. The overall shape of the ore disc reflects the surface above and will always cover the same horizontal area. This means that regions with flat ground will have flat ore discs, and where the surface is jagged, the discs will be tilted and distorted. Thus, in flat areas, mining horizontally reduces the chances of finding an ore disc. This continues to be true until the surface is jagged enough that its slope is greater than the width of the ore disc.

For more information on the prospecting pick and how to prospect to detect ores, see the mining page.

Ore generation

As of version 1.9, ores only appear in certain rock types. Many ores are only found in some host rocks, and different rocks can have different ore qualities. Examining a rock while holding (Sneak + H), will provide information about which ores can appear in that rock type.
Ores are found in shallow deposits and deep deposits. The tables below provide information about disc generation for each ore type.

  • Y min and Y max: Ores are distributed throughout the range given by these values. The Y values reflect proportions of the sea level, i.e. 0.5 is half the world's sea level.
  • Average radius: the average width of the deposit along the X and Z coordinates
  • Average thickness: the average height of the deposit along the Y coordinate.
  • Tries per chunk: how many times the game tries to generate a deposit in each map chunk.

Shallow ores

Shallow deposits are indicated by the presence of loose stones containing ore on the surface of the world. To craft metal tools, copper is the first metal ore players need to find. Surface copper deposits are readily available sources of material available to players during early game stages.

Ore Y min Y max Average radius Thickness Disc Generator Tries per chunk
Lignite 0.48 0.92 10 2 Surface 8
Bituminous coal 0.1 0.9 10 2 Sea level 7
Anthracite 0 0.8 8 1.5 Sea level 6
Copper 0.962 0.968 4.25 1 Surface 0.2
Cassiterite 0.92 0.98 3 1 Surface 0.007
Galena 0 1 4 1 Surface 40
Lapis lazuli 0.05 0.85 2 1 Surface 5
Sulfur 0.3 0.9 8 1 Sea level 15
Borax 0.4 1 8 1 Sea level 6
Cinnabar 0 0.4 8 1 Sea level 1
Fluorite 0.2 0.6 8 2 Sea level 2
Graphite 0.05 0.85 8 2 Sea level 6
Kernite 0.2 0.6 8 2 Sea level 2
Olivine 0 1 32 1.2 Anywhere 0.5
Phosporite 0.2 0.6 8 2 Sea level 2

Deep ores

Deep ores are not indicated by surface deposits in loose stones. Most deep ores can only be found using the prospecting pick. Some ores, saltpeter for example, can't be detected by prospecting with a propick and must be found while exploring caves.

Ore Y min Y max Average radius Thickness Disc Generator Tries per chunk
Saltpeter 0 0.8 10 7 Sea level 7
Deep native copper 0 0.6 6 1 Surface 25
Malachite 0.1 0.9 6 1 Surface 15
Sphalerite 0 0.95 4 1 Surface 10
Cassiterite 0.4 0.75 5 1 Surface 7
Cassiterite, Rare 0 0.6 12 1 Surface 0.1
Bismuthinite 0.05 0.85 4 1 Surface 16
Limonite 0.05 0.85 26 1 Sea level 0.8
Halite 'Salt Dome' 0.45 0.85 10 150 Surface 0.3
Halite 'Lake Bed' N/A N/A 10 3.3 Surface 0.2
Hematite 0.05 0.85 26 1 Sea level 0.5
Magnetite 0.05 0.85 26 1 Sea level 0.3
Diamond 0 0.2 2 1 Sea level 18
Emerald 0 0.26 1 1 Sea level 64
Chromite 0 0.4 3 1 Sea level 6
Ilmenite 0.05 0.85 3 1 Sea level 2
Pentlandite 0 0.4 6 1 Surface 10
Rhodochrosite 0 0.4 3 1 Sea level 5

Ore specifics


Halite spawns in one of two ways:
Salt Domes can spawn anywhere, but must originate in a sedimentary layer. No Sedimentary = No Halite. The Halite readings that the propick detects in permil mode are for salt domes.
Dry Salt Lakes can only spawn in sedimentary stone top layers in deserts. In a typical temperate spawn location, with 'realistic' banded climate, you'll need to travel 13k+ blocks south to find true deserts. Gravel barrens, which you can find in temperate climates, are not hot enough. The dry salt lake will spawn directly on top of the stone in the region, but below the sand/gravel top layers. So it will take some shallow exploratory digging to find them. These dry salt lakes, while much easier to access than salt domes, will not give halite readings on the propick in permil mode, unlike salt domes. They are easiest to find exposed in cliff faces, due to geologic upheaval.


Gold only spawns in layers of quartz. Following a quartz layer is a good way to find them. Ore blasting bombs can be utilized to great effect to clear out quartz.


Silver can be found alongside gold in quartz deposits, but it can also be found in deposits of lead.


There's a 0.003% chance to come across a massive cassiterite deposit in a chunk. Players who locate these are extremely lucky, since the smallest of these deposits are larger than the largest of the normal sized deposits.

Generally Cassiterite is very rare, yet it is needed to make tin bronze. Some players may find this frustrating as bronze alloys are required to advance to the iron working stages of the game. Some traders sell bronze tools that can be used to work iron, but players must find enough ore to cast a bronze anvil.


See Terrain Generation#Deposits for more information on deposit generation.

Ore deposits are generated with specific generators. These generators control how blocks in the deposit are placed. There are 6 generators.

Vintage Story: Vanilla Game Content
Terrain Blocks Rawclay blue.pngClay Grid Gravel Granite.pngGravel Peat.pngPeat Grid Rock granite.pngRock Grid Granite sand.pngSand Grid Barren low fertility soil.pngSoil
Construction Blocks Grid Blue clay bricks.pngCeramic Blocks Grid Glass.pngGlass Grid Oak plank.pngPlanks Grid Diagonal logs plaster.pngPlaster Grid Cob.pngSoil Blocks Grid Polished Granite.pngStone Blocks
Functional Blocks Grid Barrel.pngBarrelGrid Woodbucket.pngWooden Bucket Grid Wooden bed.pngBed Grid Chest.pngContainers Firepit lit.pngFirepit Forge.pngForge Grid Loot Vessel.pngLoot Vessels Grid Ore blasting bomb.pngOre blasting bomb Grid Quern granite.pngQuern
Decorative Blocks Grid Painting.pngPaintings Mediumcarpet-turqoise-ns.pngCarpets Bookshelves-ns.pngBookshelves Flowerpot-earthern-empty.pngFlowerpots Agedwallpaperplanks-green-east.pngWallpaper
Metal Working Grid Copper anvil.pngAnvil Bloomery.pngBloomery Grid Crucible burned.pngCrucible Forge.pngForge Grid Tin bronze helve hammer.pngHelvehammer Ingot Mold Burned.pngMolds Grid Copper Ingot.pngMetal
Tools & Weapons Grid Copper axe.pngAxe Grid Bow.pngBow Grid Copper Chisel.pngChisel Grid copper cleaver.pngCleaver Grid Wooden club.pngClub Grid Copper hammer.pngHammer Grid Copper hoe.pngHoe Grid Copper knife.pngKnife Grid Copper pickaxe.pngPickaxe Grid Copper prospecting pick.pngProspecting Pick Grid Copper saw.pngSaw Grid Copper scythe.pngScythe Grid Copper shears.pngShears Grid Copper shovel.pngShovel Grid Copper spear.pngSpear Grid Copper sword.pngSword
Equipment Armor-body-brigandine-iron.pngArmor Clothes-upperbody-lackey-shirt.pngClothes Grid Backpack.pngBags
Craftable Resources Grid Oak board.pngBoards Grid Charcoal.pngCharcoal Grid Firewood.pngFirewood Grid Copper Ingot.pngIngots Grid Raw hide.pngLeather Grid Flax twine.pngLinen
Plants Berrybush red currant ripe.pngBerry Bushes link=Cooper%27s_Reed_(Cattail)Cooper's Reed (Cattail) Flower-californiapoppy.pngFlowers Tallgrass-tall.pngGrass Tallfern.pngOther Plants Grid Oak sapling.pngTrees Flax.pngWild Foods
Mobs BeeMob.pngBees Bighorn.pngBighorn sheep Rooster.pngChicken Normal Drifter.pngDrifter Fox(Male).pngFox Hare.pngHare Hyena.pngHyena Locust.pngLocust Raccoon.pngRaccoon Pig.pngWild Pig Wolf.pngWolf
Pig.pngAnimal Husbandry Grid Empty skep.pngBeekeeping Grid Crucible burned.pngCasting Grid Blue clay.pngClay Forming Grid Copper sword.pngCombat Grid Spelt bread.pngCooking Grid Lore Book.pngCrafting Recipes Grid Copper hoe.pngFarming Grid Charcoal.pngFuel Grid Flint arrow head.pngKnapping Grid Raw hide.pngLeather Working Heat Torch.pngLight sources Grid Angled Gears.pngMechanical Power Grid Copper pickaxe.pngMining Grid Copper Chunk.pngOre Deposits Grid Ruins.pngRuins Grid Copper anvil.pngSmithing Creature-humanoid-trader-treasurehunter.pngTrading Grid Lore Scroll.pngStarter Guide