How to Build an Arrow Gauntlet

Lethal tips excerpted from Exploded Builds: Medieval Fortress!

For more build tips, you should have a flip through Exploded Builds: Medieval Fortress. Check out the book here.

If invaders make it past all your other defenses and are closing in on your position, then this sneaky trap may just save you. You can build it into any wall within your castle, so each and every hallway can be rigged to release a hail of arrows on invaders, or anything else that happens to wander in.

Getting it Right

The arrow gauntlet is one of the simplest traps you can add to your castle, with a very simple redstone circuit triggered by a large set of pressure plates. However, it can also be one of the most dangerous as it covers such a large area, which makes it very difficult to escape alive.

Redstone Arrangement

The redstone used in this trap is split into two sections: the lower and upper. The upper section controls the dispensers, while the lower section consists of a grid of redstone. The grid is powered by the stone pressure plates above and a pulse circuit, a simple system that creates a redstone signal that repeatedly reacts to the pressure plates, firing a constant stream of arrows.

Dispenser Layout

When the signal reaches the upper section, it simultaneously powers four dispensers on either side of the trap, sending a flurry of arrows across the room. The dispensers are arranged so that they don’t fire directly at the dispensers opposite them. This means that every block of the trap is in range of a dispenser, so there’s no escape from the arrows once invaders have made it this far.

Rapid Pulse Mechanism

The mechanism consists of two blocks with redstone running between them, and a redstone torch on the front and back of each block. When a pressure plate is pressed, the signal flows through the redstone grid and repeatedly turns the mechanism off and on, sending intermittent signals through a repeater on each side of the trap towards the upper section.

Pressure Plates

The entire floor of the arrow gauntlet room is covered in pressure plates, and each pressure plate has a corresponding block of redstone beneath it, in the grid of the lower section. This overall coverage means that every step an intruder takes will start the arrows flying again.


To make life really difficult for intruders, the hallway can be made even longer. The redstone grid will need
to be continued as far as the pressure plates and arrangement of dispensers extends above. Most importantly, however, a redstone signal can only travel fifteen blocks, so redstone repeaters will need to be placed in four separate places every fifteen blocks. Two of them are shown in the image below, and two more need to be added to the opposite side. Make sure that they are facing in the direction shown, otherwise the circuit will be broken.

You can download a printable version of this guide here.