Tutorials/Beginner's guide

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For players who do not know how to begin their Minecraft journey, the Beginner's Guide is a tutorial made to provide a list full of good ways to start! Here, the player can learn how to survive the first night in two different formats: in an overview with goals or in a step-by-step instruction. The player can choose which one they want to use, but both will help the player accomplish the same goal.

In the Java edition, when the player starts the game for the first time, there will be a short in-game tutorial which explains the very basics on how to move and look around. The Controls page will give the player a complete overview of all the controls.

Before reading this page, it's expected for players to have already bought and downloaded the game. The player will need to create a new world before starting the tutorial. For the Java Edition of Minecraft, this page can help with that: Tutorials/Menu screen.


First day[edit]

Controls listed assuming you are playing Java Edition.

As the first day begins, the player will need to collect
. First, the player should look around then go towards any trees. The player needs to collect at least 5-8 blocks of
logs from trees by holding down the left mouse button while their cursor is on the block. This is enough wood to craft the basic tools and items the player needs immediately, though you'll certainly want more a little later.

When the player opens up their inventory (E by default), they will see the inventory window, depicted to the right.

1. Player's armor. 2. Character. 3. Personal crafting area. 4. Offhand slot. 5. Recipe book. 6. Inventory. 7. Hotbar (part of inventory)

The player's avatar takes up most of the upper portion of the GUI, and the inventory below is the space for the player's items. The bottom 9 slots are the usable slots, called a hot bar. Four armor slots are to the left of the player's character (ignore those for now, they don't become useful until much later on), and a 2x2 square to the right of the character as the player's personal crafting grid, which can be used to craft a few basic items. By clicking the recipe book (5) the player can easily craft items in this grid. Place the wood logs into any space in the crafting grid, and
wooden planks
will appear to the right of your wood. Left-clicking the planks will cause the wood to disappear and planks to appear as a newly crafted item. Once you have the planks in your hand, you can drag them down to your inventory, and place using the left click.

Four wooden planks can in turn make a
crafting table
(place 4 wooden planks in a 2x2 square-to seperate the planks right click) and place the crafting table to use it. Right click your crafting table to access it, this crafting grid is a 3x3 square, big enough for all of the craftable items in Minecraft. The first tools the player should craft are a
wooden pickaxe
(3 planks on the top 3 slots and 2 sticks from the middle plank) and a
wooden sword
. If any
blocks are exposed close by, the player can mine them with a
wooden pickaxe
for 19 blocks of
. This is the amount the player needs to create every basic tool they'll need for this tutorial: a sword, a pickaxe (you'll need the upgraded pickaxe for iron and other blocks), an
, a
, a
, and a
. You'll need the furnace to cook meat for food and smelt any ore you mine with your pickaxe. Once the player has a stone axe, they should try to get more wood as time allows; extra wood is useful in many ways, from securing and equipping your base to making charcoal, or simply crafting into planks for quadruple the number of building blocks.

If all goes well, the player can obtain
quickly. With the
they made from their wooden planks and some coal, they will be able to make
(coal above a stick on the crafting grid). With torches in hand, you can make for the nearest cave, because iron ore is your next goal. Underground will actually be safer than the surface when night falls, so mining the first night away is not a bad idea at all. On the other hand, if night is falling and you haven't found coal, use to furnace to smelt more wood ("logs", not planks) to create
, a substitute. (Additionally, you can gather 3 blocks of wool from
and combine it with three planks to make a
. With this you can sleep through the night without the worry of monsters killing you. The downside of this is wasting sunlight the next day mining, or working indoors.)

Night time[edit]

For night time, the primary danger will be hostile mobs (monsters) that only spawn in the dark. These include
, and
. It is a good idea to stay in a well-lit lit shelter (see below).

If you're really seeking adventure you could always arm yourself with a
stone sword
and go fight some mobs; you might be able to get some materials for further crafting and some early experience levels, which will come in handy later on. However, all of these monsters will either die (zombies and skeletons) or become less dangerous (spiders) when morning comes, and it will be much easier to fight them later when you have better equipment. If you must fight monsters this early, be especially wary of skeletons; in the open their arrows can kill you at a distance, and if they're in the water or on higher ground, it's unlikely you'll be able to reach them before they turn you into a (dead) pincushion. If you happen to see any of the more powerful monsters, keep well away from them: At this point an
, or even a
can kill you easily.

If you are repeatedly getting killed (perhaps you got too ambitious, a monster got into your shelter, or you didn't manage to make a shelter), one desperate response is to go into "peaceful difficulty" (see "changing the rules", below), but if you don't want to change your difficulty you can always dig a three block hole cover it up and hide there. However, consider this: This being your first day, you aren't actually losing much until the deaths (at least not after what stuff you've gathered is lost), so you can just tough it out until dawn and start again. Keep on practicing killing mobs until you get the hang of it.


As noted above, you really want to find or make some kind of shelter before your first night, because you won't want to be killed and die. The "Shelters" article above gives a lot of emergency shelters and then more advanced ideas, but it only takes a little thinking ahead to manage a decent shelter for your first night. As you move around collecting wood and so on, look at the landscape for potential homes. Easiest (if you can find it) is a small cave with a single entrance that you can wall or fence off. If it's not quite ideal, consider if you can fix it quickly -- say, fencing off a back door to deeper caves. If you don't have a cave, you may be able to make one, by simply digging into a mountainside or even roofing over a small valley. If instead you have wide, flat space, then go ahead and build a small house. In all cases:

  • Don't be too ambitious the first night, because you want it safe before dark, and you also want to light up the space you claim. You can always expand and decorate your home later, or even rearrange the landscape around it.
  • When picking your location, it's good to have a view of the landscape so you can see if any monsters are waiting for you in the morning.
  • Learn about the awesome powers of wood: Fences can be used not only in the obvious way, but as windows or transparent walls, with fence gates to get in and out. Doors provide a full-height option, but you'll want to surround them with solid blocks (planks, stone, even dirt, but not fences). A few properly-placed ladders can make it a lot easier to get up to your roof or up a hill. A chest will also be useful -- stash anything you're not going to use soon, so you don't have to worry about it if you happen to get killed.
  • If you can manage to make a bed early on, place that in your shelter and use it the first night you have it. Getting killed is much less painful when you respawn into a safe place!(wherever you place a bed you will respawn there) After the first night, you may well want to spend the nights crafting and mining.


Monsters can't spawn within 24 blocks of you, but huddling in the dark is no fun -- and when you do leave your home, you don't want to come back to find a monster has moved in. So, you need to light up your space, and at this point, the light you have is torches. A single torch gives enough light to prevent monster spawns completely within a 7 block range (barring obstructions), and reduce them for about the same distance past that. That includes horizontal and vertical steps, so the safe zone only runs 3 spaces or so diagonally. Even outside the safe zone, having some light will sharply reduce the chance of monsters spawning (depending on how much light), but it's better to use enough torches to keep your whole home well-lit. If you have extra torches after that, try to light some space outside your home (or at least the entrance) too, to push back the area where monsters are likely to spawn.

Food and hunger[edit]

Once you have tools and shelter, your next priority will be food. Hunger will take a while to hit, so it shouldn't be a problem on your first day, but you should try to pick up some food for when it does. However, after you've been moving around for a while, your food bar will begin rippling and start to decrease. If your food bar drops below 90% (Hunger.svgHunger.svgHunger.svgHunger.svgHunger.svgHunger.svgHunger.svgHunger.svgHunger.svg), you will not regenerate health, and if it gets to 30% (Hunger.svgHunger.svgHunger.svg), you can't sprint. If the hunger bar goes down to empty, you will begin losing health. Unless you're in Hard mode (and a beginning player shouldn't be), you can't actually starve to death, but you will go down to 1 health point (Half Heart.svg) in Normal mode or half your health (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg) in Easy mode, and that leaves you quite vulnerable. You don't lose hunger in Peaceful mode, so you don't have to worry about that in peaceful mode.

In recent versions of Minecraft, the primary drain on your hunger is from healing damage. You will have a little grace period (see "saturation" on the Hunger page) when starting the game and after eating, but when that's exhausted, healing a single point of damage (Half Heart.svg) costs the equivalent of 1.5 hunger points (that's 3/4 of a visible "shank"). Avoid taking falls of more than 3 blocks, drowning or burning yourself, or otherwise taking damage that you will need to heal.

A few other activities also cause hunger, though more slowly.:

  • Fighting: Both attacking mobs and receiving damage cost hunger, even before you start trying to heal damage. (60 blows either way, matches healing Half Heart.svg.) You will need to slaughter a few animals but pick your fights carefully. Taking damage in other ways counts for this too, but each time you take damage it counts as one "blow" no matter how much damage you took.
  • Sprinting. If you double-tap the forward movement key (W by default), or press your sprint key (Left Ctrl by default), you will sprint. This moves somewhat faster, but it also uses up food. (60 meters matches healing Half Heart.svg.) However, if you happen to have a sufficient amount of food in your inventory, you can always do it your way.
  • Jumping. Obviously, you'll need to jump some just to get around, but don't bounce around randomly or unnecessarily. (120 jumps matches healing Half Heart.svg.) Sprinting jumps are especially costly, 4 times as much as a regular jump, although they are the fastest mode of transportation early in the game.
  • Swimming and mining blocks cost a little hunger, but those are minimal compared to the items above.

Note that if you're (staying) at full health, and not fighting, sprinting and/or jumping, or mining blocks, then you will use no food. Thus, if your character has a secure place to stay, you can just stay put to conserve food while waiting out the night, a storm, or crop/animal growth.

Consider making a basic crop farm immediately after you have settled in a place. Wheat is where you'll begin:

  • You can use harvested
    to make
  • You can obtain it easily using
    collected by breaking
  • When harvesting wheat, you can use the wheat/seeds to breed
    , thus having a better food source.


1.8 Biomes MixedForest.png

Starting the game[edit]

When the player begins the game, they will be standing in a landscape somewhere. They may want a moment to look around. The general area the player first starts is where they will reappear (also known as respawn) if they die in the game. This is the start of a new Minecraft world. This tutorial is designed to allow the player to learn the skills needed to survive in this world and eventually be able to do just about anything they desire. The player can do the different sections below in any order they desire, but many sections require the player to first complete other tasks first. The tasks listed on this page should all be completed before truly moving on to the second day page, even if it takes the player multiple days to complete all of the tutorial. No matter what, the player's goal for the first day should be creating a bed or shelter so they can survive the night. The other tasks are also very important and can all be completed along with the main objectives while leaving the player with extra time.


To properly play the game, the player will need to be able to move. The controls page is best at describing controls between different systems and can be left open on a computer while first playing the game to check controls. To start, the player most needs to be able to look and move around. After this, the player can also test out jumping (which will be done automatically by the game on most versions).

There are three more important actions for the beginning player, and they are all closely related: attacking, mining, and using. Each requires targeting a spot on the screen. Many versions of the game will have a cursor in the center of the screen used for targeting, but touchscreens will allow the player to click on the screen to act as the targeting spot. Only blocks near the player can be targeted, and they player can tell a block is targeted by it having a box around it. This selected area or block affects the way the player uses these actions. For example, Using is based on what the player is looking at and what is in their hand. Less obviously, the player actions of attacking and mining also use this cursor or selector method. The buttons for both attacking and mining is always the same, but attacking is only a tap of the control while mining requires holding down the control. These actions may use up blocks and change tools that the player is holding and also change depending on the player's held item. Any time this tutorial mentions verbs describing in-game actions, the player may want to test out that action using the controls page as a reference.


The Minecraft world is divided into different areas called "biomes". Different biomes will contain different blocks and plants. The biome also changes the landscape and how the land is shaped. Biomes will affect the player, especially at the beginning of the game, but the player has little need to worry about specific biomes until they have learned to play the game. If the player is curious, they may want to read more about biomes on the biomes page.

An oak tree.


Prerequisites: Movement

To progress in Minecraft, it is important for the player to collect
. The most plentiful wood source is trees which are available in most biomes. Wood is one of many items the player can collect without the use of a tool. All the player has to do is mine any log block of the tree with their hand or any item. Each block will drop as an item which the player can pick up by approaching it. Items automatically enter into the player's inventory. The player may want to collect a couple blocks of wood for later use. There are many different types of trees in Minecraft with each having it's own individual name and look, but any wood can be used the same as the others.
1. Player's armor. 2. Character. 3. Personal crafting area. 4. Offhand slot. 5. Recipe book. 6. Inventory. 7. Hotbar (part of inventory)


To manage all the items they may gather, the player needs to understand their inventory. Parts of the inventory are always accessible, while others require that the player open their inventory. The player always has immediate access to the items in their hotbar, which is represented by the 9 slots at the bottom of the inventory screen. To access any other items, the player must move items around in their inventory to be in the hotbar slots. This system allows players to carry 36 slots worth of items while not overloading the player with too many accessible items at a time. Each slot allows up to 64 of the same item depending on the item type. This is called a stack of items. The player has options to use the cursor to pick up stacks of items from a slot, swap item locations, only pick up or place one item, or spread items out evenly between spaces. If the player wants items dropped on the ground, most versions allow clicking to place items outside the inventory screen or closing the inventory while the cursor is holding the items the player wants to drop. These different inventory management systems can be experimented with and looked at on the controls and inventory pages for specific editions.

There are more slots than the 36 on the bottom half of the screen. For Java Edition players, there are a few more slots which are important at this point. First off, the offhand slot which appears with a shield outline allows players a tenth hotbar slot which doesn't change constantly. This offhand slot allows players to use that item when the player presses the use button if their main hand can't use its item first. The second slot is the recipe book which will help the beginning player learn the recipes for crafting all types of items. Finally, there is also the crafting area. Players can place items in the crafting area but cannot store items there. This area allows crafting to occur only while the inventory is open and is limited to a two-by-two grid.


Prerequisites: Wood, Inventory

As the game's name suggests, crafting is core to Minecraft. While there are a small number of items that can be crafted directly from the inventory, a
crafting table
is required to craft tools and most other items in the game. The crafting table will be the player's main asset throughout the game.

To make a crafting table, the player needs to open their inventory and pick up the logs they collected. Placing one log into the crafting area allows the player to obtain 4
wooden planks

The planks will be different colors depending on the wood the player crafts with. Different types of wood don't stack together in the same slot but all work the same. With a couple of exceptions, the player can mix and match different planks when crafting.

As the player converts their first logs to planks, they may want to consider saving some logs for later. The player can use wood logs in other parts of gameplay but cannot turn planks back into logs.

The player can now create a crafting table. By placing and using a crafting table, the player is opened to a three-by-three crafting grid which allows for more items to be crafted. Players will need to use this item a lot, so it is best for the player to keep one handy.

A crafting table is made of four planks of wood in this pattern:

Tip: Anything that can be crafted in the inventory's crafting space can also be crafted in the crafting table.


Prerequisites: Crafting

In order to obtain better materials at faster speeds, the player needs tools. Tools are items which allow the player to complete tasks other than placing blocks at faster speeds than normal. Most tools can be made out of different materials each better than the last. Using a tool to mine the blocks it is intended to will mine the blocks quicker than normal. Tools lose durability upon each use, even if the use was to hit an entity. Enough damage to a tool will eventually cause the tool to break. Different tools have different properties.

First, to craft any basic tool, the player needs to know how to craft sticks.

The basic tools the player can acquire come in multiple tiers and are such:

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Axe Sticks +
Wood Planks or
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or

Mines wood type blocks faster and is a decent melee weapon
Hoe Sticks +
Wood Planks or
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or

Changes dirt to farmland
Pickaxe Sticks +
Wood Planks or
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or

Mines stone type blocks faster
Shovel Sticks +
Wood Planks or
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or

Mines soil type blocks faster
Sword Sticks +
Wood Planks or
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or

Quick weapon with decent damage

The wood planks required for a wooden tool can be any combination of wood planks, as shown here:

Ingredients Crafting recipe
Any Wood Planks +

The simplest way to gather materials for any basic tool better than wooden tools requires the use of a pickaxe. Most players don't craft any tool other than a pickaxe out of wood as the wooden pickaxe is the only tool the player needs to craft before they can build better versions of all the basic tools. To craft a pickaxe, the player must first craft sticks. This is done with the following recipe.

The player may have noticed that in order to craft a basic tool, they more or less draw it with its components in the crafting square. Other items are crafted in a similar fashion.


Prerequisites: Tools

Once the player has crafted a pickaxe, they can successfully acquire
to make better tools. Cobblestone is collected by finding
then mining it with any pickaxe. Any stone mined with any pickaxe will drop as a cobblestone item.

If no stone appears above ground near the player, stone can also be found within 5 blocks under
grass blocks
or within 8 blocks under
. The player should remember to never mine out the block they are standing on unless they know if there is a drop below that block.

Most players would want to gather about 18 cobblestone in total, which is enough to upgrade all the basic tools except for the hoe and to create a furnace. The hoe is usually skipped at this stage as it's usually unused in the first day.


Prerequisites: Tools

Surviving in Minecraft often requires a knowledge of the game's combat mechanics. There are two combat systems which exist in Minecraft--the system in the Java Edition and the system in all other versions.

The more common combat mechanics are simple. While three blocks away or closer to an animal, monster, or other player, the player can attack that entity by clicking the attack button while their cursor is over the entity. Clicking speed does not affect the combat, instead, a player's skill in combat is based more off of their hit accuracy. Without a tool (except for the hoe) in the player's hand, any attack will deal 1 heart of damage. The basic tools from above each deal multiple hearts of damage when the player attacks an entity while holding that tool. Swords deal the most damage, axes second, pickaxes third, and shovels the least. Each tool deals one more damage than the one below it and each tier of tool adds an extra damage. Using a tool other than a sword as a weapon depletes the durability of that tool twice as fast as usual.

In the Java Edition a different combat system is used. To attack any animal, monster, or other player, the player must have their cursor hovering over the entity and be within three blocks of the entity when they press the attack button. Any basic tool will deal more damage than any other item the player may use, including when the player is not holding an item. Different basic tools have different cool-downs between hits, shown by an animation of the player's hand which holds the weapon and the dropper icon next to the cursor or hotbar. Tools also have different damage amounts. Generally, a tool deals more damage per second the rarer the substance it's made out of. Swords and axes deal the most damage and work well as weapons while the other tools do not work very well as weapons. If the player attacks while still in a cool-down their attack deals less damage, creating an importance in the player's ability to aim before attempting to attack an enemy.

More resources[edit]


Now, with your stone axe, you should chop down some more trees for wood. Although some trees may look different than others, all wood functions the same. However, different kinds of wood don't stack together. While you cut down trees, try to gather the saplings that fall. If you are cutting down oak trees, apples will also drop (see the trees page for more info.)

If the sun is still in the sky, explore the immediate area (making sure you don't get lost), to try and find some coal. Coal has all the same properties as charcoal (and can also be crafted into coal blocks).

If you happen across a coal-like ore with tan specks in place of the black, you have found some iron. This material will be extremely useful for most of your Minecraft career, and if it's within easy reach, go ahead and gather it (you will need to mine it with a stone pickaxe). However, If it's in a difficult-to-reach place, just note its location and save it for later.


Prerequisites: Tools, Combat

Some creatures in Minecraft are not immediately hostile to the player. These are known as passive and neutral mobs. Many passive mobs can act as important food sources.

Passive mobs will never attempt to harm the player. The majority of passive mobs are traditional domesticated farm animals which will usually ignore the player. If harmed, they will quickly run around in circles for a short time. Some animals will run straight away from players who get too near. If a passive animal is killed, it may drop animal specific resources such as raw meat. Most passive mobs drop experience orbs if killed by the player.

Neutral mobs act similarly to passive mobs except that they will harm the player if provoked. Wolves, polar bears, iron golems and llamas will attack the player if the player harms them. These creatures will also attack other creatures that hurt them. Polar bears will turn hostile to the player if it has a polar bear cub with it.

Animals can be bred by the player. If the player holds certain food items (wheat for cows, sheep, and mooshrooms; seeds for chickens and parrots; carrots, potatoes, and beetroots for pigs) then specific animals will start following the player. Right clicking an animal with their specific food item will create heart particles around the animal and enter it into love mode. When two animals of the same species are near each other and are both in love mode, they will run to each other, creating a baby animal at their location and dropping a few experience orbs. Animals do not have genders, so any two animals of the same species can be used in breeding. There is also a 5 minute wait an animal goes through before it can enter love mode after having been in love mode. Because of this mechanic, *it is advised to keep alive at least two of any animal the player wants available at their home.*


Prerequisites: Animals

To make it through the first night, the player has two good options: craft and use a
or build a shelter. An experienced player may be able to accomplish both on the first day but it takes a fair bit of knowledge and efficiency to do so. The best option for making it through the first night is to build a bed as it is faster and safer than a shelter. What a bed allows the player to do is set their spawn point--the location they respawn in if they die--and skip through night entirely. After crafting a bed, the player can place bed to use it, just like a crafting table. Beds are a special block to place in a few ways because they require two blocks of space to be placed in. Beds also are only about half a block tall, an odd shape for what the player has probably thus far seen.

To actually use a placed bed, night must actually have started. If it isn't night time, the player will receive a written warning from the game that beds can only be used during night. The player must also be close to the bed and no monsters (other than the smallest size of slimes) may be near the player for them to use it. When the player attempts to use a bed during night time, they will be moved to be laying on the bed without the ability to move--not even the camera. The game will immediately set the player's spawn point at the moment the player is in the bed. If the player is in a multiplayer game, all other players must also use a bed before night is skipped. It takes a couple seconds of the player being in a bed before the game skips through the night. If the player wants to leave the bed, they should follow the onscreen instructions when they are using a bed.

To actually craft a bed, the player will need 3
of the same color. Wool is gotten from sheep by shearing them (an option unavailable to the player at this time) or by killing them. Sometimes the player may find wool on the ground; this wool comes from sheep which were killed by other players (if the player is in a multiplayer world) or by wolves.

Here is the crafting recipe for a bed. The color of the bed will match the three wool used. The three wool must be the same color.

With a bed, night is easy to survive. All the player has to do is sleep in their bed whenever night falls.

The player should know that a bed only keeps acts as a spawn point for the player as long as the bed is not broken or used by another player since the player last used it. If the bed has no blocks immediately next to it open for the player to spawn in, then the player will not respawn there but their spawn point will still default to the bed.

Taming animals[edit]

Prerequisites: Movement

Some animals can be tamed as pets. By feeding a specific animal its taming item (by clicking on the animal with the item in hand), the animal has a chance with each item to become the player's pet. This works with ocelots when using fish, parrots when using seeds, and wolves when using bones. Some animals change their look when they become a pet. Pets will follow a player unless the player has them sit, an action which is caused by the pet's owner clicking on the pet. If a pet which isn't sitting gets too far from its owner, it will teleport to the owner's location.

Horses, donkeys, mules, and llamas are tamed by the player clicking on them with an empty hand to ride that animal. The animal may kick the player off a few times. After enough attempts at riding the animal, the animal will become tamed and stop kicking the player off of them.


Prerequisites: Stone

To progress in the game and even to stay alive, the player needs to know how to use a furnace. A furnace is used to cook food, smelt ores, and create other specific items such as charcoal. To use a furnace, the player must first have one. This is the crafting recipe:

Just like the crafting table, the player usually uses the furnace by first placing it down in the world then clicking on it with the use button. The furnace acts like stone, meaning it needs to be broken by the player with a pickaxe, else the item will not drop. The furnace will light up, display fire particles, and create popping sounds while cooking items.

The furnace GUI has only three slots and includes two icons to indicate time. The top left slot is where items to smelt are placed. The items are moved from this slot one by one as they are cooked and the products are placed in the right slot. To cook items, the furnace requires fuel which is placed in the bottom left slot.

It's simple to tell how long is left for an item to smelt--just see how much of the arrow icon has turned white. When a valid item is placed in the top left slot and the furnace is either lit or has fuel to use in the bottom left slot, the arrow icon begins filling. It takes ten seconds for one item to be smelted. Luckily for the player, the furnace will continue cooking items even when they do not have the furnace GUI open. To also ease the use of furnaces, a furnace will automatically use fuel from the bottom left as needed to keep the furnace lit until all the items in the top left are smelted. The furnace stays lit by using up flammable items from the bottom left slot of the furnace GUI. Different items burn for different amounts of time, but generally, most items made from wood can be used as fuel. After the furnace uses an item to light itself, the flame icon will show a full flame which has the color's size diminish over time.

While lit, the furnace changes its texture to show flames near its bottom, displays fire particle affects near the bottom, and creates popping sounds. The furnace will also create light around it while in a lit state, allowing the player to use a furnace as a temporary light source.

For the first day, the most efficient use of a furnace would be to smelt some wood logs into charcoal using any wood tools the player has replaced with stone tools, wood planks, and charcoal itself. Charcoal is a much more efficient fuel source than wood logs or planks because it keeps the furnace lit for much longer than the amount of logs or planks it would require to create a charcoal. One charcoal burns for 80 seconds, allowing a furnace lit with a piece of charcoal to smelt 8 items.

Here is the recipe for charcoal:

Once a furnace uses a piece of fuel, the time the fire stays lit will not stop if the player exits the GUI or the furnace runs out of items to smelt. For this reason, players who do not want to waste a lot of fuel ought to only place the exact number of or less than the exact number of items their fuel will smelt in the furnace at any time. Also, if the furnace is unlit while in the process of smelting an item, the progress of smelting that item is immediately lost.


Prerequisites: Smelting

Players are greatly affected by light in Minecraft. First off, any underground space is very dark and half of the time the game is in night. The first aid the player can give themselves to see in the dark is to change increase their brightness in the settings or even in their computer settings. More important, though, is to craft light sources. The absence of light doesn't just affect the visibility of the world but allows monsters to spawn. Any space further than 24 blocks from a player that isn't lit up well enough (about 7 blocks in taxicab distance from a light source) is free spawning ground for monsters. On the first day, a player can create the light source of
. They give off light when placed. Torches work just about as well as any other light source except that they require a block to be set on. Unlike in real life, a torch will forever be lit allowing the player to always use torches as a cheap light source.

The crafts 4 torches at a time, making them an extremely cheap light source.

The most important places to light up are a player's home or base, caves they explore, the outside around the player's home, and anywhere the player will often be in or near that is dark.


Prerequisites: Light (Suggested but not necessary if night or almost night)

The best way to avoid the darkness and accompanying mobs of night time is to craft and use a bed, but this isn't an option easily available to all players as they start their first day. Building a shelter is an important skill for players to learn and important if the player cannot craft a bed. The point of a quick shelter is to keep all monsters far enough from they player that they cannot harm them. Monsters will not even move towards a player who is in a correctly built shelter.

To protect a player, a shelter should be made out of a blocks that cannot be just passed through by monsters or the player them self. Holes of any kind in the walls or ceiling are a safety hazard as baby zombies can fit through a one block gap, skeletons can shoot through open gaps created by slabs
, and spiders can climb over most walls.

The walls and ceiling of a shelter can be made entirely out of blocks the player has gathered but it is usually much faster to dig out a shelter out of a hill not made of an gravity effected block such as
. Many players may already have a hole dug out from gathering cobblestone earlier in the day which can be quickly reused as part of a shelter. Sometimes there may be a naturally generated structure nearby the player could also use as a shelter. Similarly, there may be a cave which is visible from the surface which can have it's ends blocked off to create a shelter. The last option may be more dangerous as there may already be monsters in the cave, so players should be careful if entering a cave to try to use as a shelter.

In an emergency, the player may not have time to make much of a shelter. While digging straight down is ill-advised, an emergency may warrant mining straight down three blocks and quickly blocking off the top. Monsters do not currently spawn in most parts of oceans so the player could swim out into some water or ride a boat out to have some temporary safety, though players should avoid moving towards parts of the ocean lit up beneath. If the player does not want to deal with monsters, they can change the difficulty to peaceful temporarily to remove monsters or use /time set dayto skip night entirely if cheats are enabled.

If the player is successful in creating a shelter then they will most likely find them self in almost complete darkness. Lighting up a shelter and the surrounding area with some light sources such as
not only allows the player to see but the light created by light sources can also prevent monsters from spawning. A
can also be used as a temporary light source. Having light before building a shelter is usually best as it is easier for players to set up light sources when they can still see.

To get in and out of a shelter, the player needs some type of entrance/exit. If necessary, the shelter's exit can simply be some easily broken blocks. A much better way to set up a shelter's entrance is by crafting and placing a
. A door is relatively cheap and can be placed on any solid, opaque block. The door will take up a vertical space of two blocks, similar to how a
takes up a horizontal space of 2 blocks. By placing from the outside, the door will be flush with the outside wall. Doors can be quickly opened and closed and many while closed allow the player to see outside without monsters being able to see or attack the player inside. If the player is playing in hard difficulty, there is a chance a zombie may come that can break down the door. If a zombie begins breaking down the player's door, they ought to quickly cover up the door from the inside with a couple blocks.

Finally, the it is useful for the player to be able to see when the time switches to day. Periodically breaking a block in the shelter can provide this information but leaves the player in mild temporary danger. Instead it is better to use a block the player can see through but mobs cannot. Doors are perfect for this functionality along with
. With some extra work the player can craft
by smelting
in a furnace.
cobblestone wall
can give the player some limited visibility but must be placed so they connect correctly with blocks to form a solid wall or ceiling. If the player doesn't have a way to check for day, they can listen for burning monsters or time the 10 minutes night lasts.

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe
Wooden Trapdoor Any Wood Planks
Cobblestone Wall Cobblestone
Wood Fence Matching Wood Planks +

A shelter is a great place for the player to continue to mine, craft, and smelt items while they waits for day.

Read more: Guide to shelters


Prerequisites: Smelting

If the player is not playing in a peaceful difficulty, every movement will slowly drain away at the player's hunger bar. Similar to the player's health bar, the hunger bar has 20 points which are displayed by 10 icons that each display as either full, half full, or empty. Keeping at least 17 points allows the player to regenerate health and keeping above 6 points allows the player to sprint.

Different types of movements drain the player's hunger bar at different rates and standing still will allow the player to lose no hunger whatsoever. Quicker movements are usually less efficient--using up more of the player's hunger bar for the same distance traveled. For example, walking is more efficient than sprinting, and sneaking is more so but jumping while running is the least efficient action the player can perform.

To replenish the hunger bar, the player needs to eat food. Food has two values: food points and saturation. Food points immediately replenish the player's hunger bar. Saturation is an invisible number to the player which is used up before the player's hunger bar becomes depleted. As general rules, bigger food and harder to cook food items fill up more hunger points while foods which are more filling increase the players saturation. After killing a few animals, the player will have a couple pieces of raw meat in different varieties. A food item easy to make early on is any type of cooked food, made by placing raw meat of any type in a furnace and cooking it.

Certain foods should not be eaten by the player under most circumstances. For example, pufferfish, poisonous potatoes, and spider eyes all poison the player. Another set of foods to avoid are those which give players the hunger effect which include raw chicken, rotten flesh, and pufferfish.

Cooking meat to greatly improve its efficiency:


Prerequisites: Crafting

If you have a couple of logs (or 8 planks) left over after making torches and a bed, you can also make a chest to stash items you don't want to carry around. If you get killed, anything in the chest will be waiting for you rather than scattered around your death site.

A chest isn't really necessary for your first night, but it will become very helpful over the next day or few.


Wait for full light, wield your sword, and carefully leave your shelter. Hopefully, it will be sunny, but even so, watch out for any remaining monsters—this may well be your first fight. If you see spiders, don't panic, they will hopefully have become peaceful in the sun (you can try to kill them for their string). If you see a creeper, your best bet at this point is to run at least 16 blocks away from it, and wait for it to go away (or explode, if it got too close before you got away). If you see any skeletons or zombies (hiding under trees or in water), stay away from them—skeletons can still shoot at you if you are too close (16 blocks or so), and either skeletons or zombies may come out from shade to attack you even as they burn. WARNING: If a burning zombie attacks you, you will be set on fire! If this happens, flee and jump into any nearby (monster-free) water. Once you're out and clear of monsters, look around for and collect bones, arrows, or rotten flesh which may have been dropped by burning skeletons and zombies.

If it is not sunny, you may have worse problems: You may need to kill zombies or even skeletons (or just retreat back in your shelter until the sun comes out). Zombies can be easy to kill by themselves, but if in a pack they can overrun you. However, if a zombie is attacked, it alerts all nearby zombies that you are there, and also some more zombies spawn out of sight to attack you. So even if there's only one zombie, you'll soon find yourself facing a horde.

Skeletons would be easy, but they are pretty accurate with the bow. It can be difficult to dodge their arrows. Also, the closer you get, the more likely the skeleton will hit you. If you get too close, it would only take a couple of shots to kill you. It's best to have a bow (or at least a shield) of your own before facing these undead creatures. If you don't have a bow or shield and they see you, try to run up to them and get in a few hits with your sword before you get shot too many times (at a distance, you can dodge the arrows).

Assuming you made it out of the shelter, congratulations! You've survived your first night in Minecraft! Within the next day or two, you should have acquired some iron armor and better weapons, which will take a lot of the terror out of nighttime. You can also make a more secure shelter, and hopefully a bed.

After the first Day[edit]

A tutorial for your next day is available here: Tutorials/The Second Day. Following are some general tips:

Home safety[edit]

See also: Tutorials/Safe home
A 3×3×2 chamber in stone, filled with 1 bed, 1 furnace, 1 crafting table and 1 torch. Sealed with door and defended by dry moat.

By the end of the first day, the shelter will likely be primitive and small. In the days afterwards, you will be able to build a better home, in any of various forms. Some natural extensions include a back door, windows, a surrounding fence, and even traps for monsters. Remember that any time you pick up your bed, your spawn point will revert to the default (that is, random within 20 blocks of the world spawn point), until you not only place, but sleep in a bed again. For this reason, if your home is not very near the world spawn point, you should eventually use a compass to locate the exact point, and build a shelter there.


See also: Tutorials/Mining

Eventually, you will need to venture below ground to gather iron and other resources. While there are much more advanced mining techniques, the most basic way to find ores is by entering a cave and exploring. Remember, if mining, never ever dig straight down as you might fall in lava or in a group of monsters. You can, however, dig straight down in a 2x1 pattern, standing in the middle of the 2 blocks. This will allow you to have a "safe block" in case there is lava beneath you.

Finding a cave[edit]

See also: Tutorials/How to find caves

You have no problems if you have just spent your night in a cave. If you haven't, the easiest way to do so is to roam the Overworld a little and look out for exposed cave entrances. Extreme Hills biomes will have caves inside mountains, but these are generally not what you want, because only coal ore will appear above sea level (Y=64). For iron and better ores, you'll want to find a cave opening into the ground (these are quite common) and head downwards. Sometimes such caves end immediately, but often they continue into big cave systems. If they seem to end right away sometimes there will be a continuation about 2-8 blocks farther back and below the cave's end; mining in these directions (8 blocks back and down, exploring somewhat to the sides) will reveal this if it is the case. Digging away gravel or dirt can also expose cave extensions, but you may go through a few shovels that way. If you can't find any all day, just sleep away the night, replenishing your resources like wood and food as you use them. If you hear suspicious, hostile noises, just try to listen and follow them.

Cave exploration[edit]

See also: Tutorials/Exploring caves

Cave exploration is pretty straight forward: you light up your way with torches, mine up ores as you see them (check ores and minerals) and kill enemies as you encounter them (see Tutorials/Combat for details). There are also some important techniques that might not be obvious to a new player, such as using waterfalls to descend into shafts, and/or swim back up from them. There are also many options for marking your trail and not getting lost. Also, note that sneaking (on PCs, the ⇧ Left Shift key by default) prevents you from falling over the edge of a block and as such it is useful if you are caving near a long drop, especially a drop into lava.

Tutorial videos[edit]

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