Minecraft Tips : 8 Tips for Starting a New Life

by on October 28th, 2014
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Your are birthed into a strange new world of Minecraft. You have no tools, no food, and no shelter. The sun slowly passes overhead as time slips away, leaving you stranded in the darkness, vulnerable to the creatures that come out to hunt. How will you survive? Follow these tips for starting in Minecraft, and you’ll be well on your way, not only to surviving, but to thriving in this danger filled world.

Tip #1: Wood – The very first thing you should do in Minecraft is gather a few trees worth of wood. Wood can be used to craft torches, wooden tools, storage chests, and most importantly (at least at the start) a crafting table! Wood is even required for crafting more advanced iron and diamond tools. Without wood, survival in Minecraft is next to impossible.

Tip #2: Shelter – Setting up a shelter in Minecraft, whether it be temporary or permanent, is one of the first things you should do. Having it set up and save before the first sun sets is critical, as the creatures that come out at night can put a swift end to your existence (you can always re-spawn, but shhhh!). Regardless of where you started in this world of Minecraft, there will be some form of dirt (dirt, sand, etc) that you can use to build. Build a structure for yourself that is at least 3 blocks high (so you can move around inside), and 7×7 blocks in width/depth (see image #2). It may sound like a lot at first, but this will provide enough space to place things such as a crafting table, storage chest, forge, bed, etc. It may not be pretty, but it will keep the monsters away and give you a place to hide. Besides, you can change it any time you’d like.

Tip #4: Food – Hunger generally takes awhile to set in, and fortunately it won’t actually kill you. However, it will take your life down to a measly 4 hearts, making you vulnerable to death by falling short distances, or a couple smacks from an unfriendly creature. Usually there will be several animals around that you can kill for meat (cows, pigs, chickens). You can eat the meat raw (though chicken may poison you), but you get more benefit if you cook the food first. I recommend trying to get about 10 pieces of meat to hold you over, while you get your shelter built up and safe.

Tip #5: Tools – Tools are your route to success in Minecraft. Everything you do, ranging from mining to fighting, requires a tool of some sort. Using the wood that you hopefully acquired from tip #1, you should immediately start out by creating a crafting table (crafting recipes will be linked at the bottom). Once you have the crafting table, you can start creating tools. I recommend making 2-3 wooden pickaxes and shovels, as well as a wooden sword and a wooden axe.

Tip #6: Mining – In Minecraft, you will need to gather all of your resources that you want to use. To follow the next tip, for example, you will need cobblestone and, eventually, iron. To start your first mineshaft for digging, I actually suggest starting it from inside your home (hence the 7×7 floor plan). Just start digging down and forward, making sure not to break the walls of your shelter (see image #3). If you are able to, I suggest putting a door at the beginning of it, just in case you need to escape quickly.

Tip #7: Torches – Minecraft worlds have day and night cycles. The sun provides natural light during the days, as you would expect. But when the sun is down, or in places that don’t get any natural sunlight, monsters can spawn and wreak havoc. Your way to combat this issue is with torches. If you use torches to light up an area, monsters will no longer spawn in that area. During tip #6, you should have come across some coal. You can use the coal, along with sticks made from wood, to create torches. Make sure to light up the inside and outside of your shelter, as well as your mining tunnel. Torches never go out (unless broken by flowing water, lava, if the block it’s attached to is removed, or if struck by you), so you don’t have to worry too much about replacing them. Not only do they keep monsters from spawning there, but they create light so you can see what you’re doing!

Tip #8: Upgrading – Minecraft has several versions available for each tool: wood, stone, iron, and diamond. Each upgrade is stronger, so they last longer and can successfully mine better ore. Once you have your hands on some wooden tools (pickaxes specifically), you should start digging and collecting cobblestone. You can then use this cobblestone to make yourself some stone tools, which are considerably better (and more reliable!) than the wooden tools.

Extra Tip: When gathering more resources in Minecraft, each type of resource requires a minimum quality of tool to gather. I will list each type of resource, and the type of tool that is required to successfully gather it. Each upgrade in tools not only makes it easier to gather the resources, but makes it faster.

Sand, dirt, and wood: No tools required
Stone (cobblestone, sandstone, etc): Requires Wooden Pickaxe
Coal Ore: Requires Wooden Pickaxe
Iron Ore: Requires Stone Pickaxe
Diamond, Redstone, Lapis: Requires Iron Pickaxe
Obsidian: Requires Diamond Pickaxe

Please note: These requirements to not apply to destroying the blocks, but only to successfully gathering the resources. For example, if you use a Wooden Pickaxe to destroy Diamond Ore, you will not be able to gather the diamond from it.

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