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How to Minecraft

Create! Explore! Survive! The basics for getting into the game!

Welcome! Minecraft is a game about placing blocks and having adventures. It's a survival experience about staying alive in your own fantastic world that's also a creative space to build almost anything you can imagine!

We know Minecraft can be intimidating to newcomers so we've assembled this simple guide to get you started. Trust us, you'll be a miner expert in no time!

We'd recommend starting this guide with Starting Out and Survival Tips. But however you choose to play Minecraft is the right way to play. So how do you want to play Minecraft?

  • Starting out and Survival Tips (A Good place to Start!)
  • I Want to Craft Stuff!
  • I Want to Build Stuff!
  • I Want to Explore My World!
  • I Want to Fight Monsters!
Scroll below to find out how!

Starting Out and Survival Tips!

Select Singleplayer in the Main Menu, then Create New World. You'll see this:

The secrets to survival are having a steady supply of food and staying safe from monsters. Luckily, building a shelter is easy. Your hand is your first mining tool, so use it to hit trees or dirt until they turn into blocks. These blocks will appear in your toolbar, and you can then place them right in front of you.

Build your shelter, making sure there’s no way for monsters to get in! Later, you'll be able to build doors, windows, etc, but for now, focus on surviving! Most monsters come out at night, so stay inside until sunrise and you'll be safe.

Animals are everywhere and only take a few attacks to finish off. They’ll drop meat which restores health. There's also apples, melons and other veggie options to be found if you're vegetarian, or just think hitting pigs with pickaxes is cruel. Hmmm, you've got a point.

I Want to Craft Stuff!

Let’s start by punching some trees! The blocks that make up the tree will break and drop wood. Certain blocks need stronger tools than fists to break, but this is the basics of how Minecraft works – break (or 'mine') a block, pick it up, then place it somewhere else to build something beautiful!

Now open your inventory screen. Here you'll find everything you pick up in the world. Those four squares in the top right are your personal crafting area. Drag some of that wood over into a crafting area square. Four wood planks will appear in a fifth square. Drag them into your inventory and they're yours!

This is called crafting. As you may have noticed, it's easy!

Keep crafting wood until you have four planks. Then, put all of these in your crafting area to get a crafting table. You can now drag your crafting table to your toolbar, allowing you to hold it in your hands and place it in the actual world! Just stroll up to it and use it - a new (and better!) crafting window will pop up. Here, you'll be able to craft more complex recipes thanks to its wider 3x3 grid. 'Recipes' are the mixture of items you need to create stuff. E.g. the recipe for a pickaxe is two sticks and three planks:

I Want to Build Stuff!

The Starting Out and Survival Tips above will show you how to build a shelter. Building is just removing blocks from one part of the world and placing them somewhere else! But if you'd rather build without worrying about survival, why not try Creative Mode?

In Creative Mode you can’t die, have access to every block in the game and you can even fly (just double-tap jump )! Perfect if you just want to focus on building.

To access Creative Mode, select Singleplayer and Create New World. Then keep pressing the Game Mode button until it says Game Mode: Creative.

I Want to Explore My World!

There's tons to see in your world. Freezing snowscapes, barren deserts, oceans of sea creatures, and much more! A basic pickaxe is handy if you want to explore underground (click here for help crafting one) but you don't need tools to explore. Just pick a direction and start walking! Or running! Long as you're not 'falling', you're doing it right. Explore the sea too! You can swim for ages in Minecraft without getting exhausted.

There’s all sorts of stuff that helps you explore further. Legend tells of a pair of Elytra wings that let you glide over all...

I Want to Fight Monsters!

You're pretty safe during the day in Minecraft, so long as you're not taking naps underwater or trying to drink the lava. But monsters will come out at night. So let's learn to fight!

Being good at combat is more about personal skill than the weapon in your hands. A pickaxe, shovel, and even your bare fists can be deadly with good timing. When enemies like the zombie or spider come towards you, make sure you're timing your attacks to when they're within range of you.

Get the timing right, and you'll be taking down monsters in no time! Later you’ll discover swords, bows and arrows, and even potions that make you tougher. You're ready to survive and thrive in the world of Minecraft! Good luck!

Tom Stone
Written By
Tom Stone

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