From Tolkien Gateway
Video game
DeveloperMojang, Conquest Reforged
Release date15 November 2014

ArdaCraft is a Minecraft build server recreating the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth.[1] The project began on 15 November 2014 and as of August 2023 has completed around a third of Middle-earth at a 1:58 scale. The final size of the map is estimated at around 2300 square kilometres (~890 square miles), making it the largest re-creation of Middle-earth ever attempted, outside of works relying on procedural generation.


Rivendell was completed in 2018

The project was founded by players Fornad and dags, who believed that they could use Minecraft to re-create Middle-earth in the late Third Age in a larger and more accurate way than had ever been attempted before in any video game. Given its popularity and shallow learning curve, Minecraft was a good medium in which to work. However, the limitations of the game led ArdaCraft towards a modded approach, where it was able to use more textures and models than were available in the normal game. Eventually it adopted the Conquest Reforged mod in order to do this.

The project is run by volunteers and funded by donations, and is an entirely non-profit endeavour.


ArdaCraft's Hobbiton drew heavily upon Tolkien's watercolour

Despite being built in the blocky environment of Minecraft, ArdaCraft focuses on geological, botanical, and historical research in order to make its world as believable as possible. This includes researching historical farming techniques, understanding the likely climate of various areas in order to predict the kinds of plant species which should occur there, and examining analagous historical cultures for various regions - for example, Iron Age Celts for Dunland, or the Anglo-Saxons for Rohan.

In addition, a heavy emphasis is placed upon lore accuracy. Tolkien's legendarium, letters and sketches are all analysed to create as good of a representation of his world as possible, given the constraints of the game.


As of August 2023, regions and locations which have been completed or are being worked on include The Shire, The Blue Mountains, Lindon, Bree-land, Arnor, the Angle, Forochel, Rivendell, the Vales of Anduin, Lothlórien, Isengard, Emyn Muil, Rohan, Dunland, Tharbad, Moria, and Gondor. Regions such as Mirkwood and Erebor are planned for the future.

See also

External links


  1. Lauren Keating, "Minecraft Users Recreate The Shire From 'The Lord Of The Rings'" dated 4 September 2015, Tech Times (accessed 28 October 2020)
Licensed video games set in Middle-earth
 Melbourne House: The Hobbit (1982) · Lord of the Rings: Game One (1985) · Shadows of Mordor (1988) · War in Middle Earth (1988) · Crack of Doom Software Adventure (1989) · Riders of Rohan (1990)
 Interplay Productions: The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I (PC) (1990) · The Lord of the Rings, Vol. II: The Two Towers (1993) · The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I (SNES) (1994)
 Vivendi Universal: The Fellowship of the Ring (2002) · The Hobbit (2003) · War of the Ring (2003)
 Electronic Arts: The Two Towers (2002) · The Return of the King (2003) · The Third Age (2004) · The Battle for Middle-earth (2004) · Tactics (2005) · The Battle for Middle-earth II (2006) (The Rise of the Witch-king (2006)) · Conquest (2009) · Heroes of Middle-earth (2023)
 Turbine/Standing Stone Games: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (2007-) (Mines of Moria (2008) · Siege of Mirkwood (2009) · Rise of Isengard (2011) · Riders of Rohan (2012) · Helm's Deep (2013) · Mordor (2017) · Minas Morgul (2019)) · War of Three Peaks (2020) · Fate of Gundabad (2021) · Before the Shadow (2022) · Corsairs of Umbar (2023)
 Warner Bros: Aragorn's Quest (2010) · War in the North (2011) · Guardians of Middle-earth (2012) · Kingdoms of Middle-earth (2012Armies of The Third Age (2013) · Shadow of Mordor (2014) · Shadow of War (2017) · Rise to War (2021)
 Glu Games: Middle-Earth Defense (2010)
 Traveller's Tales: Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game (2012) · Lego The Hobbit (2014)
 Daedalic Entertainment: The Lord of the Rings: Gollum (2023)
 North Beach Games: The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria (2023)