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How to survive your first night in Minecraft

Stay alive with helpful tips and tricks!

The Overworld, the blocky landscape the player finds themselves in when they spawn into a new Minecraft world, is a bright and carefree place. Well, at least during the day! The night, however, can be an experience some would call scary – especially if it’s their first nocturnal adventure in Minecraft’s Survival mode.

As the sun sets and darkness falls upon the world, hostile mobs will start appearing. For new players, dealing with these mobs can be challenging, and no one likes to get defeated over and over again! Especially if you don’t know how to fight them, or even avoid them all together. So, how do you stay alive when monsters are creeping and groaning all around you? Luckily, there’s more than one way to handle it, and how you deal with it is all up to you!

What is a hostile mob?

A mob is a non-player character that comes in all shapes and sizes. Some fly over the biomes, while others swim in the ocean. Mobs can either be passive, which means they won’t attack you, or hostile, which means they will! Cows, chickens, and axolotls are a few examples of mobs that exist within Minecraft. These are passive and can even be helpful to the player. Then there are hostile mobs, such as the explosion-happy creeper. Hostile mobs are dangerous because they’ll deliberately try to hurt the player. Why, you ask? Well, maybe some mobs just want to see the world burn!

Most hostile mobs will only appear when the game’s light source reaches 0 in an environment close to the player. In other words: the less light there is around the player, the bigger the risk of a hostile mob spawning in their vicinity. The light level is important because sunlight can help you out of a sticky situation! Many hostile mobs in the Overworld will actually burn up if exposed to the sun, such as zombies and skeletons. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, mobs such as illagers, pillagers, and Endermen can appear in broad daylight. 

So how can you survive between sunset and sunrise?

Tip #1: Hide!

Daytime in Minecraft lasts about 10 real-life minutes, which is a short period of time for a new player who is busy learning the ropes, gathering materials, or exploring the surroundings. A player might not have the tools or the protection to deal with hostile mobs at the beginning of a play session. Others simply don’t like to fight mobs and would rather avoid them, if given the opportunity.

One way to deal with the approaching night is to quickly wall yourself in with blocks like dirt or cobblestone. Minecraft is a game that has an infinite source of these, so don’t worry about finding materials! 

Whether you build a makeshift house or dig a hole in the ground – the goal is to prevent mobs from reaching you by putting blocks between you and them. A hostile mob won’t attack you if it can’t see you. Now, hiding in a confined space until the sun rises might not be the most riveting experience, but it will keep the mobs away!

Tip #2: Place torches!

Hostile mobs will only spawn in dark areas. Therefore, one way to reduce the risk of them appearing is to surround yourself with light sources. This can be done by placing torches all around you. 

To craft a torch, you can either use a crafting table or the crafting menu in your inventory. You also need two of Minecraft’s most common – and essential – resources: wood and coal. Wood can be found almost anywhere and harvested by simply punching or chopping tree blocks. Placing four wood blocks in your crafting menu will allow you to create the crafting table. Coal can be mined with a pickaxe from coal blocks, which spawn in veins around the world. These are usually found below a certain height level, either buried underground, inside caves, and sometimes even visible on the surface. 

Tip #3: Go below ground!

Spending an entire night below ground is a good way to avoid zombies, skeletons, and creepers – or at least it will limit the numbers you encounter. It’s also a great opportunity to gather resources through mining where you can pick up materials such as iron, gold, or ore! Productive – and a way to avoid conflict!

Since hostile mobs can spawn wherever it’s dark, there’s always a risk of encountering them below ground where there’s little light, such as in caves or tunnels. But compared to the open terrain of the Overworld, where hostile mobs can approach from all directions, an enclosed space such as a mining tunnel is much more manageable. Plus, if you only stay in the mineshaft you’ve dug and are diligent about placing torches, then you’re pretty much safe.

Mining is also a great way to build a bank of resources to use later in the game. These resources include materials such as iron, copper, or coal.

Tip #4: Fight!

Minecraft is not just a game about mining and crafting – you can fight, too! This is important if you ever need to defend yourself against hostile mobs. Using the break block button (left-click on computers, ZR on Switch, R2 on PlayStation, and RT on Xbox) allows you to punch things in front of you, which can be used for self-defense if a mob is approaching you. 

It’s also possible to craft weapons such as swords, axes, or bows, which allow you to deal more damage, and defeat mobs more quickly. Early in the game, it’s easiest to craft swords and axes, which can be made with just a couple of materials and a crafting table. To craft a sword, simply make a stick out of wood, then place it in a straight line together with two items like wood, stone, or iron, on the crafting table. 

If you don’t like the idea of fighting, you can try and dodge attacks from hostile mobs! Also known as the time-honored tradition of running away.

Some mobs, like the skeleton, love to attack you from afar, using ranged weapons. One way to deal with these menaces is to hide behind blocks, or move sideways to avoid their projectiles. Think of it as a dance! Just keep moving left and right and you will see that these cowardly mobs are actually pretty terrible archers. 

General advice

Surviving your first night is a feat on its own, but there will be many, many more – and some more challenging than others. The more prepared you can be for them, the better! 

Once you have created a place to call home, try crafting a bed! A bed allows you to sleep through the night, and also sets a new place spawn point – the place you re-appear after you have died. To set your spawn point, simply rest in a bed. To craft a bed, you will need three wool blocks and three wood planks. You can make planks out of wood blocks using a crafting table, and you can get wool by shearing a sheep, using the shears tool. 

In addition, building a furnace allows you to smelt materials and prepare food, which is essential to managing your hunger. To craft a furnace, place eight pieces of cobblestone on the crafting table. 

There are many ways to survive a night in Minecraft, so even though it might feel tough at first – don’t give up! Just be creative and you’ll be able to face any challenge the game might throw at you. Good luck!

Per Landin
Written By
Per Landin

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