Skyblock is a popular challenge, where the player starts the game in a small island in the void, including a tree and often a chest, which contains items you couldn't get without it (for example lava buckets).
Many different variations of the skyblock map are available online. You can also make your own map suited to your play style by making a Superflat world with no blocks, and building your map from scratch.
The most efficient way to get an item is written in bold.
Ways of getting items requiring cobblestone are written in italic.
With access to the Nether
With access to the End
|From ender dragon (indirect)
Since you cannot explore the terrain, setting up farms for resources is vital to game progression.
Wood is crucial at the beginning of a skyblock map because it is the only renewable block available at the beginning of the game (unless you have immediate access to lava and water, in this case, you can make a cobblestone generator).
First, chop down your island's tree, and make sure to get all of the dropped saplings. Then, dig all the dirt of island, except the first layer. You will then use (almost) all of the dirt to create a tree farm and use the wood you collect to make wooden slabs and expand your terrain using them.
Note that, at this stage, your only food available is apples, which has a 0.5% chance to drop from oak leaves. Also, try not to sprint or jump, in order to be able to eat enough. If your hunger is low and you do not have food, you can put all your items in a chest and jump into the void. However, this will not work if you are playing on Hardcore.
It is quite hard to get a bed, so you should think of making a small shelter for the night to prevent being attacked by phantoms.
To farm cobblestone, you will need a lava bucket and water, obtainable from a water bucket or normal ice. If you don't have immediate access to water, you will have to make a mob farm before, in order to get iron for a cauldron.
To make a cobblestone generator, dig a one block deep T-shaped hole. Put a block in the center, water and lava on two others slots. Break the center block, get in the last slot, and break the cobblestone that forms. Make sure that the blocks that surround the lava are not flammable, or they will burn.
Hostile mob farms are very important because they are a source of bones, strings, redstone dust, iron ingots, potatoes and carrots, among many other drops. Building a mob farm is mandatory to get the crops to start crop farming. It is also an abundant source of rotten flesh, which you can now eat instead of apples. Multiple mob farms designs are explained in the page Tutorials/Mob farm, however, the vast majority of efficient designs need water or redstone circuits.
This hostile mob farm design shown by ilmango uses the mob pathfinding mechanics to lure them into a drop shaft, without the need of water or redstone circuits (note that spiders can't spawn in this farm) :
|Simple Pathfinding Mob Farm (view on YouTube)|
You should also make a temporary passive mob farm to get animals: to do that, if you're in a biome where animals can spawn you can remove the saplings from your tree farm, get back and wait for some to spawn. Keep in mind that you won't be able to attract them or breed them, since you don't have any crops yet.
Water is especially useful in Skyblock worlds since it allows you to pillar down easily. It is also used to irrigate farmland. To get some, you can place a cauldron below open sky and wait for rain, which will very slowly fill the cauldron with water. When the cauldron is full, you can empty it with a bucket. Once you got 2 water buckets, you can easily make an infinite water source to be able to get water more easily. If you do not have a cauldron, then head out to the swamp island and get a bucket so you can collect water. You can use this and the cobblestone generator’s water to make an infinite water source. Remember, you put water in one pair of opposite sides.
Getting villagers is crucial for your progression, because it is the only way to get emeralds, diamond tools and armor, and the only way to reliably get enchanted books. To get villagers, you will need to cure the rare zombie villagers, which sometimes spawn in mob farms or such.
To cure zombie villagers, you will need to give them the Weakness status effect, and them to use a golden apple on them. There are several ways of doing this: to give a zombie villager the Weakness status effect, you can use a witch (which is more tedious) or make a splash potion of Weakness (which requires to get in the Nether).
To make a witch give Weakness to your zombie villager, you will need to get near the witch with it and have less than 8 health points. There will be then a 25% chance that the witch will throw a splash potion of Weakness. To make your own potion, you need to get a brewing stand, a fermented spider eye and some gunpowder. Note that you will need a brown mushroom to do that, which requires traveling to the mushroom island or to trade with a wandering trader, the latter of which requires an emerald, which makes this method highly impractical for the first villager conversion.
To get the golden apples, you will need gold ingots and apples. Getting the apples is easy, but getting the gold is harder. You can either go to the Nether and kill zombified piglins, smelt golden armor dropped by monsters, or kill drowned, which sometimes drop gold ingots.
It is strongly advised to build a villager breeder as soon as possible, in order to avoid doing this tedious process multiple times.
Iron farms are very useful in a skyblock context, because they allow way easier access to iron ingots. To make the smallest possible iron farm, you will need 3 villagers, 3 beds, and a zombie holding an item (to not despawn). Keep in mind that only a small percentage of zombies have this ability, so you will have to try several zombies.
This video by Ray features at the beginning a simple iron farm design, which uses lava in the killing zone but could use another killing system that doesn't need some. The rates are about 320 iron ingots/hour.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
When your needs for iron get larger, you can just make multiples copies of the farm or change for a larger design.
There are 5 biomes in the Nether, and each of them has unique properties that are interesting in a skyblock context:
- you can make zombified piglin farms in the Nether Wastes biome, which give you gold nuggets;
- you can make hoglin farms in the Crimson Forest biome, which give you porkchop;
- you can make mildly efficient enderman farms in the Warped Forest biome, which give you ender pearls;
- you can make magma cube farms in the Basalt Deltas biome, which give you magma cream;
- you can make ghast farms in the Soul Sand Valley biome, which give you ghast tears and gunpowder (even though ghast tears are pointless without nether wart).
To make a gold farm, make a platform up to 23 blocks away and make a roof out of slabs and wait. A little while later, you should see some zombified piglins spawning. Kill them to obtain gold and use it to barter with piglins.
- Blackstone is an alternative to cobblestone used to create brewing stands, furnaces, and stone tools. While it isn't usually useful, it is extremely important if the player doesn't have a cobblestone generator.
- Crying Obsidian is used to create Respawn Anchor.
- Gravel can be used to create coarse dirt, which can be tilled into dirt allowing it to be duplicated, or to obtain Flint used to create arrows, flint and steel and fletching tables.
- Nether Quartz is used to create daylight detectors, observers and redstone comparators, useful for automation.
- Soul Sand is used to summon the Wither or to create soul torches and soul campfires, used to repel piglins and hoglins.
Branch out and see if you can find a nether fortress in the surrounding areas. Kill a few blazes and make a potion brewing stand. These are the basics for nether survival!