What's the difference? I get what branch mining is but people keeping referring to strip mining and I never know what it is. ;-;
Strip/surface mining is basically clearing out an area of every single block to get absolutely everything that's there. That would be fine if the ore veins were very large. But because they're not, branch mining is better since you cover more ground and thus find more veins. However, it also means you will miss some veins unless you use a more intricate pattern with multiple floors etc. Very first mine I did was a large quarry. Looking back it was wasted time as I didn't get nearly as much coal/iron as I do with branch mining or even just exploring caves and ravines
If you really want to guarantee finding every vein, use branch mining with two blocks between branches, and do multiple "floors", with the branch position offset.
However, unless you're limited to mining certain chunks, you'll get better results by staying at layer 8-12 and just spreading out horizontally.
The only purpose to strip mining is if you want to excavate a large area. Even if you want huge quantities of cobblestone, branch mining will generate plenty, and some good stuff to go with it.
Spelunking, however, is another option. IME, Spelunking gives faster results for iron, coal, and lava, as long as you can handle the occasional mob. For gold and diamond, mining works better. Redstone and lapis are a gray area - spelunking might be faster to find a small amount, but for large quantities go mining.
Started an epic branch mine with 2 floors and going to make it bigger tomorrow. So far no diamonds. I've done this before but I was kind of unsure about strip mining because i have never done it before.
It can still be hit and miss if you don't stick with it... I recently started a hardcore game, went down to 12 and did 3 branches in one direction about 50-60 long.. struck out... Was ticked of so went in a different direction down one branch for the same distance and ended up with something like 16-20 diamonds..
Branch mines work the best for diamonds, by far. In between levels 10 and 14, so that level 10 is your floor and level 15 is your roof, is where your branch mine will be super effective. In my world I started a branch mine on level 11 and found diamonds within 10 minutes. I walked out of the shaft with 23 diamonds in maybe 45 minutes to an hour.
I usually do strip mining, but I do it on a 16x16 chunk at a time. However, I have dug a stip mine that is over 132 blocks wide and 64 deep and not finding very much stuff. Keep in mind that it usually leave the ground area pretty much useless, my personal suggestion is to strip mine in a biome that you know you absolutely hate building in.
The problem I have with branch mining is when you get into areas such as ravines, and caverns. I tend to wander off when I am mining. Like so many people on minecraft are, I am OCD, so I have a problem where every tunnel, every thing much align right. So I tend to lose focus when I am mining in a branch pattern, because I am fixing up walls, tunnels, whatever. With strip mining, or chunk mining in my case, I don't have to worry about that.
both are great. digging down to bedrock a 7x7 or so square makes for a great railway entrance/rollercoster to your mine, with a strip of lava down the middle to light it... then you start branch mining.
The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
in my opinion branch mining i like to make the branches 2 block apart (like most people) i strip mine on level 11 diamonds are common on level 12 but if your standing on 12 then your mining on the levels that are less common making mining on 11 or 10 better another good level to branch mine on is level 6 or 7 i found 8 diamonds within a couple of seconds once i started my outpost before i started branch mining
I find that branches 200 blocks usually takes one round trip to fill my inventory, with some cobblestone left behind. Branches that long also ensure that the one does not grow so fast, Although I still need rail transportation on my more serious worlds.