->'''Will''': How can we sail to an island nobody can find with a ''compass that doesn't work?''
->'''Mr. Gibbs''': Aye, the compass doesn't point North. But we're ''not trying to find North'', are we?
-->--''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''

A compass is used to point to magnetic north, which allows travelers to get their bearings and find their way. The Magic Compass works on different principles to point to something else. Whether it only points to one specific place or object, or to different things at different times, its use is to lead whoever holds it to something that is lost or hidden.

To be a magic compass, it must indicate a direction. It cannot be something that leaves a trail nor is it a map. It's method of operation should be something inexplicable and/or incomprehensible, quite often artifacts of a [[AWizardDidIt wizard]] or a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien.

Forms may take a traditional spindle compass or some object that indicates a specific direction by some means. May also be used alongside a MagicMap, probably by TheNavigator.

!Examples
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece:''
** Rather than point north the Log Pose, a special compass used to navigate the Grand Line, instead points to nearby islands. This is because islands on the Grand Line have magnetic fields of their own so powerful they make any normal compass useless. Once you arrive at an island, the Log Pose "logs" the island after enough time passes and begins pointing to the ''next'' island.
** There is also the Eternal Pose, a compass permanently locked onto a specific island which can be used to navigate to that island and only that island.
** In the second half of the Grand Line, the New World, a Log Pose using ''three'' needles is used. The force with which the needles move are an indication of the danger level of the island to boot.
** A non-magnetism example would be Vivre Cards, slips of paper which are linked to a person's life force and can show where they are located. Put the paper on a table or in your hand, and it will move on its own in the general direction of the person it's linked to. Luffy had once for his brother Ace, which he used in his rescue attempt in the Impel Down arc.
* The way to ''{{Laputa}}'' is shown when Sheeta accidentally activates her pendant which, in addition to activating a dormant robot that absolutely trashes a military base, shines a beam of light in the direction Laputa is.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* ''FanFic/TheInfinityLeague'': The chain of events that led to Ash training to becoming an Aura Guardian began with a friend of Cynthia's giving her a compass that is supposed to point to people with large amounts of Aura.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* Jack's compass in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' which points to whatever the one holding it wants.
* The Alethiometer in ''TheGoldenCompass'' pointed to the truth.
* From ''{{Titan AE}}'', the star chart embedded in Cale Tucker's hand reorients its pointer while Cale stands on the precise spot where his father once stood on the planet Sessharrim.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In one of the ''Literature/LordDarcy'' stories, Master Sean enchanted a splinter left behind by a murder weapon and used it to find the rest of the weapon.
* In Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/SkylarkSeries'', it was possible to create an "object compass" which, once attuned to something, would always point towards it.
* Inverted with the ''Point Me'' spell in ''Literature/HarryPotter'', which uses magic to make the caster's wand briefly [[MundaneUtility point north]].
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', this is one of Harry's most commonly used spells in his job as a detective. However, it can also be weaponised as a remote cause of YourHeadAsplode.
* In ''Literature/TheScar'', when pirates are on long voyages away from the floating city of Armada, they have compasses that always point to Armada to find their way back.
* In ''Literature/TalesOfTheKettyJay'', Grayther Crake makes daemon-bound compasses for the crew of the Ketty Jay that always point towards their captain Darian Fray.
* On ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' compasses point to the Sardar Mountains, home of the Priest-Kings (the gods of the world).
* ''TheKaneChronicles''
** In ''The Red Pyramid'' Amos throws sand into the air which forms into an arrow pointing to Las Cruces. It even seems to tell him how far it is. Sadie apparently has learned something similar by the second book.
** In ''The Serpent's Shadow'' they find Apophis' shadow using the Book of Thoth, which Carter describes as a combination compass, tour guide, and farmer's almanac.
* In the ''[[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Demigod Files]]'' short story "The Sword of Hades", Persephone gives Percy, Thalia and Nico a flower that points the direction the thief who stole the titular sword is in. It loses petals the closer said thief gets to escaping.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'':
** In the finale of the first season Rumpelstiltskin enchants Prince Charming's ring so that it will lead him directly to Snow White.
** In another episode [[Literature/PeterPan Captain Hook]] leads Emma [[Literature/JackAndTheBeanstalk up the beanstalk]] to steal a compass from the giant that will let them find a way between worlds back to Storybrooke.
** The Spinoff ''Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland'' has Cyrus' Lost and Found, a compass which points to the thing you desire most.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr'' Socrates is given an object which glows when pointed towards an Orb. (Orbs being the MacGuffin of the HalfArcSeason.)
* The ol' Gilbert pocketwatch on TheVampireDiaries was in actuality a vampire detector.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Religion and Mythology ]]
* ''Literature/TheBookOfMormon'': As Lehi's family is journeying toward the promised land, one morning outside Lehi's tent, they discover an exquisitely crafted sphere-shaped compass. One of its spindles points the direction they should go in the wilderness, but only when they are righteous and trust in the Lord. For example, it stops working when they quarrel and tie up Nephi, and it works when they're working together and praying for guidance.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** 2nd Edition ''Tome of Magic''. The Elemental Compass glows yellow when its owner is headed in the direction of a planar portal or planar boundary the owner is seeking.
** The Arrow of Direction could be thrown in the air and commanded to point toward the nearest example of one of eight things: stairway (up/down), sloping passage (up/down), dungeon exit/entrance, cave, cavern. When it fell to the ground it would be pointing the correct way.
** ''Al-Qadim'' setting spells
*** The Wind Compass spell allows the caster to know when he's facing in a particular compass direction (south, north by northwest, etc.).
*** The True Bearing spell allows the caster to know the direction in which a specific landmark or geographical site (city, town, significant land feature etc.) lies. It only works if the caster has been there before and the location is on the same plane of existence.
* Compasses in the ''{{Ravenloft}}'' setting ''do'' point north, but this is presumably a magical effect because the Land of Mists is not a globe, so doesn't have poles. Just what force it is that attracts compass-needles there is a bit of a mystery.
* ''The Hole-Delver's Catalog'' has the Enchanted Lodestone. It points to the nearest source of low-grade zinc.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* A ''{{Minecraft}}'' compass points to the world's player spawn point.
* Finding ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' and the ghost ship of the undead zombie ghost pirate [=LeChuck=] tends to involve constructing one of these.
* ''VideoGame/{{Soulbringer}}'' allowed you two different compasses at the same time: the usual and a magic one that points to [[PortalNetwork hex stones]].
* The compass is ubiquitous to ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' games. In the first games it only showed the boss's room or the room after that, but in later games it also showed unopened treasure chests and sometimes keys.
* Luigi's quest in ''Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door'' revolves around one of these. According to Luigi, the face of the so-called Marvelous Compass was split into seven shards, and each shard points to the location of the next.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'' there is a [[http://www.lfgcomic.com/page/552 compass]] that uses a [[BloodMagic person's blood]] to locate them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In ''ThePiratesOfDarkWater'' Ren has a necklace that shoots a blue beam in the direction of a nearby [[MacGuffin Treasure of Rule]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda'' had Link and Zelda using a magic compass to locate parts of the Triforce of Wisdom, which had been split into three pieces.
* Gargamel and his magically-created clone made one from a magic stone that would help him track down Smurfs in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode "Papa Smurf, Papa Smurf".
[[/folder]]