Minecraft is a beloved game that can be played in a variety of ways. There is a bit of something for everyone; from fun PVE and PVP combat, to creating amazing builds.
With so much to do it can be hard to pick a direction and choose one thing to focus on as a new player. It is also hard to master every aspect of the game.
In this article I want to help you be more confident with your Minecraft gameplay.
From understanding the basics to getting better at building and fighting, I’ll cover it all.
Each game of Minecraft begins with you spawning in a random location in a random biome. The game always spawns you in a safe location during day time.
That first in-game day is the safest time and you should use it well.
Take this time to gather your basic materials, wood and stone, and scope out a cave.
Making the most out of the first day is essential. The first day can help you get ahead and survive when hostile mobs start to spawn at night.
Other than basic materials and tools, it’s important to find or make a temporary shelter. Keep the shelter close to spawn in case you die or until you have a bed ready.
By the end of the first day you should have:
- a stone or iron pickaxe and axe
- a stone or iron sword
- crafting table
- chest or double chest
- some food
- a bed
It’s not necessary to remain underground for the majority of the game. You need to explore to get various items and materials which can be found on the surface.
Caves are good for temporary shelter and ores, but most other things you will need you find above ground.
Ores are practically the heart of Minecraft and they are what you use to craft not only tools, but also your armor and functional blocks which are needed to progress through the game.
All ores spawn underground in caves at different ore levels. All of them require a pickaxe to be mined. Different ores require different strengths of pickaxes.
Though, despite the many ores in the game, your main focus should be on just two: coal and iron.
Coal is important because it allows you to make torches. They’re your main light source and stop hostile mobs from spawning.
Coal is also used to cook food and smelt other ores and materials.
Iron is the most efficient and easiest ore to stock up on after coal. An iron pickaxe lasts quite a bit, and iron tools can mine almost all minerals and items in the game, save for obsidian.
You will need a diamond pickaxe or stronger for obsidian. Otherwise iron works just fine.
So, always make sure you’re stocked up on a lot of iron, because you will use it the most.
Diamonds, although valuable, should be reserved for the most essential items; a sword and pickaxe. Make sure to not use them to craft things you don’t immediately need.
Diamond is rare so make sure you prioritize what you need to craft.
To make your diamond weapons really last, make sure you’re ready to put some enchantments on them before using them up.
Having the mending and unbreaking enchantment on all of your diamond items is very important.
Food is what keeps you alive in Minecraft. It keeps your hunger bar full, heals you, and can give you buffs in combat.
It’s important to know which food to prioritize making and having to get the best effects.
The best food to have on hand is always a type of cooked meat:
- cooked salmon
- cooked steak
- cooked porkchop
- cooked mutton
These are easy enough to have at the start of the game and the types of food you should stick to.
These foods will keep you safe and fed for the majority of the game.
Only upgrade when you are preparing to face some of the bosses later on. Apples and carrots, which are usually the weakest food items, can be upgraded to their enchanted versions, golden apples and carrots.
These enchanted foods will give you strong buffs to help you last longer in fights.
They are also a reason to stock up on gold.
So, even though regular apples and carrots aren’t worth much, keep a stock of them to turn them into golden apples and golden carrots later.
Structures are any generated building or set of buildings in the Minecraft world and they are very important.
There are many different types and they can be found in any Minecraft realm.
However, finding them is always tricky, because every structure’s location is completely random.
The most important thing is that when you find them to loot the structure effectively.
Every structure, from a simple village to something as big as a Nether fortress, will be chocked full of chests with loot, but that’s not all.
Some structures have exclusive blocks to mine and mobs to fight. An example is a Nether fortress or the End city.
In the early game it’s good to loot any village you come across, but looking for them may waste your time.
Other than a village don’t enter most structures unless you’re prepared for a fight.
Mineshafts and many similar structures have a lot of loot, but also a lot of mobs you will have to fight. Don’t loot unless you at least have a full set of armour.
When you’re better equipped, that is when you should prioritize going to the Nether and finding a Nether fortress, specifically.
A Nether fortress will provide you with blaze powder which you’ll need in order to make eyes of ender.
It’s an essential structure to progressing in the game.
Other types of mob loot, such as wither skeleton skulls, can also help you progress toward a different boss; the Wither.
There are many mobs in Minecraft, from animals you can use for food to the dangerous hostile mobs that attack you at night.
During the day your focus should certainly be on finding sheep, cows, and pigs. Like I have mentioned before, their cooked meat provides the best food in the game. Though, do not kill them all.
Killing all of them can make it a bit harder to find mobs for food. Keeping them in a farm allows you to control how many there are by breeding them.
In most cases, fighting the hostile mobs at night is not completely necessary. The most useful mobs are creepers and spiders, which give you gunpowder and string.
These items are used in crafting.
But both of these mobs can be found at day when zombies and skeletons are likely not around. It is far safer to farm them then.
Otherwise, the most important thing is learning how which mobs behave and how they spawn.
In many cases you will need to find and kill a specific mob to get a specific item. For example the drowned can drop nautilus shells and tridents. Knowing where to find them is already half the work done.
In other cases there are mobs you may really want to avoid, like the warden or even phantoms.
A few general rules of thumb and tips when it comes to mobs are:
- you are safe in well lit areas
- sleep as often as you can to prevent phantoms from spawning
- shallow water is a safe way to escape zombies, creepers, spiders, and endermen
Just as it’s important to keep safe from hostile mobs, it’s important to make use of friendly mobs.
Tamed horses can help you travel faster. Cats scare away creepers and tamed wolves protect you from anything that injures you.
A strider in the Nether can also be useful, because it allows you to travel across large lava lakes. You can saddle and ride it if you are holding a warped fungus on a stick.
Cows give you milk which clears any status effect.
Building is another core part of Minecraft. With hundreds of different blocks and even more variants to each of them, building can truly be a joy in Minecraft.
Though it’s good to remember it’s not all for aesthetic purposes.
Having a safe space is very important to staying alive in Minecraft.
A good base protects you from hostile mobs that spawn throughout the game, but not only that. It allows you to store your items.
Some general base building tips are:
- make sure the majority of your walls are made of stone blocks (cobblestone, bricks, etc.)
- close off your base with a roof; it protects from climbing spiders, phantoms, and the weather
- light up every corner well, there can never be too much light
- never use an open flame on netherrack inside the base: use a campfire instead
- never use a pressure plate to open your door from the outside
- make sure your storage room is the biggest
When your base is safe for you to be in; then you can start worrying about decorating and aesthetic.
With how much you will be mining and farming in Minecraft, you’ll certainly need to make yourself a lot of storage and learn how to organize it.
The first thing you’ll need is a BIG storage room. The more double chests you can fit inside the better.
Many people settle on having a single double chest for each type of block or item.
Though as time goes on you will find that even that won’t be enough. In many of my playthroughs I would have a full double chest of dirt or cobblestone and would need to make another one, because I’d have too many blocks.
My best advice is to have your storage room sectioned off into categories:
- building blocks
- natural ingredients (leather, slimeballs, string, bones, etc.)
- weapons and tools
The miscellaneous category should be any and all items you’re not hoarding in large quantities. A few chests where you throw unimportant items you may or may not need, but aren’t actively collecting a whole lot.
Once you space out your storage, then the next step would be to make either signs or item frames.
You can put these on your chests to label them and know exactly where your things are.
The final addition would be a trash can.
If you have enough of a single type of item that you can fully fill a double chest, then you’ll likely not need more of it.
Anything that doesn’t fit into its chest should be thrown away.
This will save you both space and time from re-organizing things.
There are several bosses in Minecraft that you can choose to face.
It’s important to remember they’re optional. If you’re the type of player who enjoys playing the game casually, you may never need to fight these.
Though if you want to get all the rewards and the achievement of finishing the game, you can decide to fight the Ender Dragon or the Wither.
Though, before you do make sure you do plenty of preparation.
You’ll need the best possible gear and weapons before facing any of the bosses listed below. This means either having a full set of diamond or netherite armor and swords, along with other weapons.
Diamond is easy to get, but if you can spare the time to make netherite, go for that.
The main thing that will really make a difference are weapon enchantments:
- sharpness (sword)
- infinity (bow)
- power (bow)
- multishot (crossbow)
- quickcharge (crossbow)
Of course, having the best armor enchantments is just as important, making you last longer in these fights.
- blast protection
- projectile protection
- feather falling (boots only)
Finally, there is the food and additional gear you can bring in a fight that will make it much easier.
- totem of undying (dropped in raids)
- cooked salmon, porkchop, mutton, or steak
- golden apple
You do not have to spend your time getting every single one of the enchantments or foods that you see on this list, because you can win without a few of them.
The enchantments don’t even have to be the highest possible level.
They’re simply here to make things easier on you. Get what you can.
The Ender Dragon
The Ender Dragon, as its name may suggest, is the end-game boss of Minecraft.
If you’re looking to make a playthrough or speedrun, the Ender Dragon is your final destination. Like I have mentioned, be sure to have the best possible gear and food ready.
Before you get to fighting the Ender Dragon you’ll have to find the end portal that takes you to the boss’ dimension. The portal will be located in a structure at a random location and eyes of ender will help you find it.
Be ready for a long fight and be well equipped.
Other than the gear I mentioned before, you may also need:
- ladders or scaffolding (plenty of them)
- bucket of water
- ender pearls
- a bow with the infinity enchantment
- a pickaxe
First of all: Be careful where you’re looking. The End is crawling with endermen and the last thing you need is to be fighting them along with the Dragon.
Keep your camera pointed low or high up at the Dragon.
You can also wear a carved pumpkin on your head to avoid the endermen. However, you’d sacrifice a portion of your armor if you do this.
The first thing you should focus on when you enter the End is the crystals on top of the obsidian towers.
Attacking the dragon before that is a waste of time, because the crystals heal it, so focus on destroying them first. This is where you use your ladders or scaffolding.
Using a water bucket is a good alternative if the ladders or scaffolding have been destroyed.
Some of them may be surrounded by iron bars, for which you will need a pickaxe.
Once the crystals are destroyed, your best way to fight the Dragon is to return to the ground and hang around the center piece of the island you’re on.
This bedrock construct is a spot where the Ender Dragon can swoop down and become “stuck” on for several moments. While here it does not attack and you can freely damage it with a sword. Make use of this.
When the Dragon is there, remember arrows don’t deal damage.
To evade the Dragon’s attacks it is best to keep on the move.
Don’t wait for the Dragon to be close to you to run.
Stick to the center of the island to avoid the Dragon from knocking you off the island. Getting knocked off is almost certain doom if you’re not an experienced player.
Eat the food when you see your hunger bar depleting or your health is low so that you can keep running.
If you feel like you are experienced with the bow, you can shoot the Dragon while it flies around. Try aiming for the direction it’s flying to.
The bow can also be a way to destroy the large crystals on top of the towers.
But if you’re not confident in your bow skills, then patience is your best friend. Just wait for the Dragon to come to the center and make the most out of it.
The Wither is an optional boss, unlike the Ender Dragon. It’s one that you have to summon yourself.
To summon the Wither you need 3 wither skeleton skulls and 4 soul sand blocks. To get the skulls you need to kill the wither skeletons in a Nether fortress.
The chance of a skull dropping is relatively small.
Using the loot enchantment can greatly boost your chance of getting a hold of a skull.
One other method of securing the skull is having the wither skeleton killed by a charged creeper, but that may be just as difficult and dangerous as simply fighting them.
The most important thing about fighting this boss is to do it far away from your base or any important structures.
When the Wither spawns it explodes after 11 seconds. The explosion does a lot of damage and can break even obsidian.
The best way to fight the Wither is at a distance, using a bow and potions. Healing potions surprisingly deal damage to it. Splashing it with healing potions is a way to deal damage and also heal yourself.
Switch between long-range and close-range combat and remember to keep eating when taking damage.
The Warden is not officially considered to be a Minecraft boss, but it’s instead considered a ‘regular’ Mob that can spawn in cave biomes. It does not spawn as a single entity either.
There can be multiple Wardens at once.
The issue with a Warden is the fact that it’s stronger than an Ender Dragon and the Wither combined.
It has their combined health and strength.
Many people would likely be very tempted to face the Warden because it sounds like a true challenge and any challenging mob should yield amazing rewards, correct? No.
The Warden is a boss-mob that shouldn’t be fought. Because fighting the Warden isn’t worth it.
It’s one of the boss-level creatures in the game that yields little rewards and will likely kill you many times over before you defeat it.
PvP (player vs player) will become relevant once you enter the multiplayer space of Minecraft.
Whether this be on a public server, a private one, or on a realm you may be sharing with your friends, sooner or later you’ll have to raise your weapons against your friends.
You’ll likely find that your friends are harder to kill than a skeleton.
There are a few things that greatly help with PVP in Minecraft:
- being able to click fast
- having good armor and enchantments
- utilize a fishing rod to gain distance when needed
- lower your mouse sensitivity if needed
- stay on the move
There are many methods to getting better at PVP, but practicing the tips above is essential. Overall, practice means the world in PVP and you should never give up.
We have an extensive guide to improving at Minecraft PvP if you want to know more about that.
Speedrunning can be pretty difficult at times, especially when you consider that many elements of the game are completely randomized. From the way each world looks to how structures spawn.
So no matter how good you are at the game, your biggest challenge will be finding things.
In a speedrun a lot depends on luck and finding ways to cut corners when it comes to crafting or collecting things.
There are different kinds of speedruns, many of them with their own rules often explained online that also help you learn how to do it.
Some general tips for speedrunning Minecraft are:
- use seeds you’re familiar with (that include Nether portals and villages)
- make use of piglins
- use glitches (in glitch speedruns)
- have a plan of action, prioritizing on things you need first
What to do Next
Now that you understand the basics of the game you can take the time to relax and play around. One of the most fun aspects of Minecraft is building.
There are many types of builds you can create with the many different blocks the game provides.