Tutorials/Island survival

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Warm Ocean, Deep Ocean, Deep Lukewarn Ocean, Cold Ocean, Lukewarm Ocean, Frozen Ocean

Consists of
Can generate


If you spawn on an island, you will have very limited resources. Because it is a new world, you can simply go back, delete the world, and create a new one, but perhaps you want to challenge yourself and survive in a unique world.

Know your environment[edit]

Islands generate in very remote areas. Usually, you will not see any other land, and the island you are on has only one tree, or just a few trees. If your island has no trees, village, or abandoned mineshaft, and you did not turn on bonus chest, it is strongly recommended to either delete the world and start a new one, or try to find a different island.

When on an island, there is most likely no animals. However, there are monsters at nighttime and at dawn, so try to light the island up as soon as possible.

Surviving your first night[edit]

Before you do anything, go to the tree and collect all the wood. Because resources are low, only craft things a certain number of times.

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Wood Planks Any Wood Repeat this recipe four times to get the necessary amount of materials.
Crafting Table Any Wood Planks

Stick Any Wood Planks Do this recipe once.

Once you have done this, collect any saplings and place them throughout the island. Fortunately, most trees will drop 2, 3, or 4 saplings, and will almost always drop 1.

Building a shelter[edit]

Go to the far end of the island and place your crafting table. Craft a door and a wooden sword.

Now that you have some basic materials, it's time to make the shelter itself. Again, resources are low, so make a small structure out of dirt.

An overhead view of a good first shelter

Build the walls two blocks high in the arrangement shown on the right. Make sure that the opening is facing the rest of the island. Once you have done this, place your door.

Enter your shelter at sunset. Once you're in your shelter, start making some basic tools. It is recommended to dig down and find cobblestone, so that you don't waste wood. Make a stone pickaxe, sword, axe, shovel, and optionally a hoe.


Even without animals, there are ways to get food:

  • Fishing
  • Growing wheat and crafting it into bread
  • Apples
    • Only available if the tree on the island was an oak tree
  • Carrots and potatoes
    • Not usually available on second day
  • Kelp
    • Kelp is a good source of food as it can now be found underwater in plenty as you are surrounded by the ocean. You will need to smelt it in a furnace first to get dried Kelp.
  • Rotten Flesh
    • If all else fails, wait until zombies spawn at night and go kill them, or wait until morning when they burn in sunlight to get Rotten Flesh.

Despite these alternate food options, you will still be low on food during the first few days. Therefore, try not to move around too much, and avoid sprinting and jumping altogether if at all possible.


Islands have limited space. Therefore, you won't have much room to maneuver with if you build your house on the island itself, especially if it is a small island. A better approach is to build a house on the water and connect it to the island with a bridge.


Although there are usually no sheep on the island, you can still get string from spiders and craft wool. Once you have three wool, you can make a bed.


To make a compact mine, craft ladders with sticks, and start digging down. Optionally, you can make a staircase, so that you don't need ladders to get back up. To look for a cave, listen for the sounds of bats, and go towards the sound.

Once you find a cave, start mining. However, make sure that you have decent tools and weapons, and preferably a shield and armor, before attempting to go through caves, as it is likely that monsters will spawn.

Mining on an island is similar to how it is in normal survival. However, it is recommended to mine deep down, so that you don't accidentally burst into the ocean. It is most necessary to find, in this order, coal, iron, flint (from gravel), diamond, and obsidian. Once you have obsidian, flint, and iron, you can make a Nether portal.


Ideal hotbar for exploring

Start by making sure you have the materials shown above. Now you can place the boat and start travelling away from the island. Once the island is out of sight, you can start searching for another island, or the mainland.


If you find a beach, start looking for sugar cane. Then return to the island and craft the sugar cane into paper, then a map. Then travel in the same direction with your map, this time bringing a lead. Use the lead to bring pigs to the island.

While you are filling your map, be sure to stop by any islands you see, as they may have strongholds.


If you see another island, head for it immediately, light it up, and dig down. Chances are that there is a stronghold underneath.

If there isn't a stronghold, pillar jump back up, retrieving the ladders as you go. Then travel the same distance from your home island as you were when you discovered the other island. In other words, your compass should face sideways.

The End[edit]

A game of Minecraft is never complete without a trip to the end. If you have found a stronghold, use it. Otherwise, bring potions of water breathing, throw an eye of ender, and travel in the direction that it went. After you have travelled a while, throw another, particularly if you see another island.

If the stronghold appears to be under a mushroom island, you will still need to use eyes of ender, as mushroom islands are bigger than regular islands.

If the stronghold turns out to be underwater, drink a potion of water breathing and dig down. Use an efficiency-enchanted pickaxe, and/or Aqua Affinity enchantment as mining underwater is slow.

Once you find a stronghold, it is a normal trip to the End (see Tutorials/End survival and Tutorials/Ender dragon slaying).

See also[edit]

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