Tutorials/Tips and tricks
Here are some tips and little hints for those who are new to Minecraft. Remember, however, that there are often tips under the 'Trivia' section of an item's page, and those tips are likely to be more in-depth.
- 1 Sand and gravel farming
- 2 Directions without compasses
- 3 Peaceful mode
- 4 Tree technique
- 5 Remember the pattern
- 6 Set your spawn
- 7 On beds and bases
- 8 LAN world
- 9 Emergency shelter
- 10 Zombie-proof Door
- 11 Building a house
- 12 Darkness
- 13 Light Tip
- 14 Upper-tier ores
- 15 Item durability
- 16 Ravine mining
- 17 Farming techniques
- 18 Stuck in the nether?
- 19 256 Tips and Tricks about Minecraft
Sand and gravel farming
Instead of wasting a shovel's durability by digging gravity affected blocks other than anvils (such as sand or gravel), the player can use torches instead. To do so, the player should break the bottom-most block while holding a torch in their hand then immediately place a torch on the floor of the block. The pillar of gravity affected blocks will turn into falling block entities which will break if they land and stay within a block such as a torch. If the torch is placed too fast, the gravity effected blocks may not turn into entities and use the torch to hold them up, in which cases, the torch should be broken and re-placed with a fraction of a second more delay before re-placing the torch. Breaking gravel using this trick will never drop flint, which should be considered by the player depending on the resources they desire.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
Directions without compasses
The player can figure out the cardinal directions inside the Minecraft world without needing a compass in a couple of ways.
First, the player can find north by hitting a block and checking the directions of the cracks which occur on a block as it is mined. For the cracks, if a block is hit on its side, there should be one crack going almost straight up, one to the right, and one going almost straight down. If the player hits a block on the ground and looks for the same crack patterns on the top of the block as seen on the side of the block, the crack which appeared to almost go straight up on the side of the block points north.
Alternatively, the player can watch which direction the sun, moon, stars, or clouds are moving as these objects in the sky always move toward the west.
In the Java-Edition, bringing up the debug screen by pressing F3 gives the player information on which way they are facing.
If you are having difficulty with hostile mobs, such as a zombie or a creeper, or can't find any food to eat, simply set the world difficulty to 'peaceful' and your problem is solved. Your health will quickly regenerate, your hunger bar won't hurt you, and all hostile mobs will instantly disappear. This becomes very helpful when building large structures or pixel art; however, most players dislike this, as it takes away much of what they see as the challenge and fun of Minecraft, especially when most people use it as a 'panic button.' You do, however, have the option to lock world difficulties and eliminate this option, keeping you 'honest' in your gameplay.
If you want to get every block of wood on a tree but just can't reach the top block, try leaving the bottom block intact, then jump on it to get the rest. Once done, harvest the bottom. If you still can't reach the top after using this, you'll have to place a block such as dirt below you to boost yourself up higher. If you are harvesting wood in a forest biome, you might want to leave those 'tree stumps' until later, as when you return you will find all the drops - apples, saplings - around the last block of wood. The next day is a good time to clear those last blocks, before you start harvesting again.
Remember the pattern
If you're struggling to remember crafting patterns, try taking a closer look at a pattern, like the fishing rod pattern. Take notice of how the sticks and string line up to look like a fishing rod. Many patterns follow this trait, such as doors, which use two columns of wood planks to make the rectangular shape of a door, and swords, which use two wooden planks, cobblestone, iron ingots, gold ingots, or diamonds for the blade and a stick for the handle. (Or you could pause the game and then visit the Wiki page for that item for the recipe.) Also, stack some items to avoid excess item dragging, which wastes time. For example, try putting two diamonds in a helmet shape on top of diamond pants to get a helmet and pants quickly.
|Diamond Leggings or
|Diamond Chestplate or
Diamond Helmet or
Also, you can make a 3x3 wall with item frames in the shape of a recipe.
1.12 added a recipe book, making it easier to craft as well as remember recipes, so you can alternatively use recipe books for crafting. Note that this is only true on the Java Edition and Bedrock Edition.
Set your spawn
If your house is far from your spawn point, and if you have 3 wool and 3 wooden planks, you can make a bed. If you sleep once in a bed at night, it will set your spawn point to the bed. However, make sure to be careful, as if you break your bed, you will lose that spawn point and will spawn at the original world spawn point. Therefore, it would be a smart idea to make a second bed, place it, and sleep in it before you get rid of the first bed. That way you won't die and spawn at the original spawn point whilst moving your first bed.
Be careful when decorating around your bed. Some block placements will allow you to access your bed, but will prevent your bed from acting as a spawn point. Never completely surround your bed, even with half-height blocks, such as stone slabs. Also, if you put glass beside your bed, you may not be able to spawn beside it, as players cannot naturally spawn on glass. If your bed is obstructed and you die somewhere, you will end up at the original spawn point with a message saying that your bed is missing or obstructed.
Also note that you need to be able to stand on your bed if you want to set a new spawn point, meaning that your spawn point won't be reset if you sleep in the bed with a block above it.
On beds and bases
If you've discovered a structure that could yield you many items, such as an abandoned mineshaft or a stronghold, you may be tempted by the riches. However, you may not enter if it is far from home and you're afraid that if you die you will lose your valuable items, and not able to reach them in time. To solve this problem, set up a new spawn point at the outskirts of the discovered structure by placing a bed and sleeping in it. This does involve thinking ahead though, so any time you're exploring far from home, carry a bed with you if at all possible.
Consider that when you die, you will respawn without your possessions. If you died someplace deep underground, you are likely to have monsters between you and your dropped items. If you plan to create a spawn base nearby, that base had better have enough resources for you to equip yourself properly before you go charging back into the fray! Your basic "kit" for a spawn base should be at least half a stack of iron (or the equipment it makes, see below), at least half a stack of wood and a quarter-stack of coal, plus bow and arrows, and food. Supplies of other equipment (torches, fences, ladders, etc.) are also helpful. Another technique is to use ender chests. This way, you can access resources from your main base. However, for this to work, you need another one in your main base, and also remember to stock it with items! This technique is better for more advanced players who have the necessary resources.
If you don't have enough to spare to stock the base, you may be better off respawning at your distant base, well out of chunk loading range from your death. Your items will not disappear in unloaded chunks, so you can re-equip yourself at leisure, move to a few hundred blocks from the death site, and then zip back there as fast as you can before the five-minute timer runs out. As preparation for this, you can thoroughly mark your route from the surface to the mine, especially the proper entrances.
If you do decide on a nearby spawn base, the first priority is safety—you need to pick an area that is well lit and closed off from dangerous areas, and especially protected from creepers (stone/cobblestone walls, a door, and glassed or fenced windows to view the area in front of the entrance). A small room will do, but you need enough space for a crafting table, a furnace and at least one double-chest to store your supplies (these can be embedded in the floor if needed.) Of course, you also need space for the bed, and free space next to the head of the bed for you to respawn. You probably should also make room for an infinite water source, which can be tucked half under a wall.
What you need for the base will be a bed, crafting table, furnace, and a chest. If you haven't any wool for the bed, you can use string (plentiful in abandoned mineshafts) to make some. The chest should contain at minimum a full set of iron armor, iron sword, a bucket, and either a second bucket, an iron pick, or shears and a flint-and-steel. (By an amazing coincidence, this is exactly what you can make with half a stack of iron.) You will also want stone pick, shovel, and axe, a bow and at least half a stack of arrows, preferably a full stack. While you're at it, pre-craft some tools: you'll want to toss in another chest (in case you can't carry all the stuff you dropped when you died), and at least half a stack of torches. Some fences, gates, and ladders, a door, or whatever, may come in handy too. You'll want a fair bit of food, at least a quarter-stack of steak/porkchops or more of lesser foods. Just to be careful, stick some spare blocks in there too—a half-stack to a stack apiece of cobblestone, dirt, and gravel, as well as extra wood. (Sand is less useful, but some glass might come in handy.) Having some extra raw materials handy—coal, string, redstone, etc., is always good. If you can, top off the selection with a spare copy of your map, and a clock—these can be in frames if you like.
Before delving into the depths, remember to sleep in that bed at least once. Just placing it is not enough! (When you go home, likewise remember to sleep in the bed there to reset your spawn point there.) Now when you die, you will reappear not helpless in the midst of a dangerous cavern, but in a secure base with a full set of supplies to go back and seek revenge, or at least your stuff. (Creeper attacks and other liabilities not covered....)
If you have a LOT of valuable items with you like diamond armor, a diamond sword, diamonds, gold and iron, then you will be more afraid to have all your hard work come to nothing. Unfortunately, this means that if you dug a hole into lava, all of your valuable items you carried with you will be lost forever. Many players delete the world when this happens; however, never delete any world. Just think about your effort of building your base. It took more time to build it than to find the stuff you need. If you delete it, then your world is gone forever. There is an alternate way to get your items back. There is LAN world in minecraft so if you lost your items, this will allow you to enable cheats. When cheats are enabled, you can go into creative mode and replace your lost items. Plus, set
/gamerule keepInventory to true! However, note that many players see this as cheating. Many players believe that it's better to think about their mistake and start over. (It's not like start over again! Just a few steps back.)
However, if you are on Multiplayer mode, if you don't host the server, then LAN world is disabled. In that case you could ask the one that hosts the Multiplayer game to replace your items or create a new world in singleplayer.
If you are stuck outside in the middle of the night with many hostile mobs coming to attack you, you can make an emergency shelter. Dig three blocks down and place a block above you, and now you're safe! Make sure you have a torch though; if not it will be pitch black as there is no light source. You may want to expand the boundaries so you may place a bed. You can get out of the hole Pillar jumping if you have no ladders. This method is not recommended though, as you're completely exposed to mobs as you leave. Pillar jumping, instead of digging into the earth is another solution. Simply make a pillar directly under you: 10 or 12 blocks will put you out of reach from a skeleton's arrows, and out of range from monsters in general (be aware of spiders, though). Pillar jumping rather than digging down also removes the possibility of digging into a pit of lava or a cave, although it is rare for one of these to generate 3 blocks from the surface. Also, as a last resort, you can simply set your difficulty to peaceful mode and relax. (See Peaceful mode.)
Zombies can break down your door, if the game difficulty is set to hard when night falls. Here's a solution that doesn't require you to craft an iron door or compromise your base's security. Simply break down your door (during the day, of course,) turn so that you are perpendicular to where the door just was, and place your door. Get out of the hole the door is occupying, and open it by right-clicking. Now, if you placed it the right way, zombies will think that your door is open and avoid it! One can also place any regular block such as dirt or cobblestone in front of the door to prevent zombies from getting to it. If the block is placed on the outside side of the door, the zombie will not be able to damage the door. If the block is placed on the inside side of the door, the zombie can break down the door, but cannot proceed further inside.
One can also place sand or gravel above the door, that way, if the zombie does break the door, it will fall and close the entrance off; or can make a water or lava ditch after the door, also preventing zombies and other mobs from entering. Make sure that your house is not a flammable substance, or that anything is around the ditch.
The simplest solution is to use a fence gate instead of a door, as zombies do not recognize them as doors. One must, however, guard against creepers, which will treat fence gates as fences as per priming-time detection range mechanics (creepers will start the countdown even if blocked by fences, as they are in the same space as the fence). The laziest way to protect against undead intruders is to dig a 1x3 trench in front of your door—to break down doors, zombies must destroy the top half of the door. If zombies are in your door trench, they must jump to attempt to break the top half of the door, which resets the zombie door breaking mechanic. *This method only works if your door was installed flush to the outside wall of your dwelling!* Also, putting a block underneath the door forces the zombies to jump, break, fall, fail, repeat, exact same mechanic, simply make a (for example) 3 high doorway and instead of a door and another block on top, put a block on the bottom and door on the top two block spaces, allowing villagers to still use these doors.
Another way is to build a door frame around your door outside. Then, add a trapdoor to the middle blocks. Zombies will not be able to break down your door.
Legitimate Motion Sensor
Have you ever thought about detecting mobs in their tracks? Well, now you can! Simply surround your house with a ton of wood planks. The mobs should walk on the planks and make plank sounds, therefore warning you of their presence. You can dig down or prepare for battle! Preferable radius is 5 blocks out.
Note: Your volume must be somewhat high for this to be effective.
Adding pressure plates can increase the loudness and allow you to detect invisible mobs/players by the seeing which pressure plates are pressed down.
A trick to defend your house that works best once you're settled in, and have enough iron to make track and a minecart. (Powered rails are also helpful, so some gold and redstone is a must.) Ring the house with rail or powered rail, craft a few minecarts, and set them spinning around the perimeter. Any mobs that come close to your house will be scooped up by the minecart and taken for a ride. This trap can be modified with one-block-high tunnels to suffocate any mobs in the cart. You can, of course, ride the carts yourself - you'll travel fast enough that most mobs can't hit you. This, however, takes much more skill to use, and can still trigger creeper explosions. Additionally, mobs will not walk across tracks because they are coded not to!
Mining is most important as you can tell from the game's name. You need to mine to get resources. Keep 32 torches on you at all times. Have 9-10 pickaxes for back up. Shovels are useful too. Keep some on you. The last rule is to be safe and have fun!
When trying to find ores, you can conserve valuables (diamond, gold, or anything that you're having trouble finding in your mine) by making a few pickaxes out of valuables and a lot out of stone. Use the stone ones to expand your mine to search for veins, and use the valuable ones to actually mine the ores. If you just use your valuable pickaxe for everything, it might break before you find another vein of the valuable--and worse, the ores might not re-replenish the valuable you spent getting there (if you used multiple pickaxes)!
Protip: If you are playing on PC, press F3, BL and SL show the light if its 7 or under monsters will spawn.
This is perhaps the safest method of mining, with higher rewards. This method consists of digging a staircase down to level 11, blocking off any caves you may find along the way. This is the ideal level to find diamonds. Diamond ore can be found between levels 5 and 17, but lava pools make a real hazard below level 11. Keep a water bucket in your hotbar, just in case. Press F3 in Java Edition or use a map on consoles to see what level you're on (Y axis). When you're at Y:11 (the block you're standing on is Y:11), start mining a 3 block tall, 1 block wide tunnel, or branch, in any direction. Continue for about 30 or 40 blocks, gathering all resources, placing torches intermittently, and blocking any caves along the way. If you want to explore the caves go ahead, but you're no longer branch mining. Go back to the beginning of the branch, move 3 spaces over, and repeat the same process. Here's an example :
The reason you leave a 2 block wide space in between each branch is that if you only left one, you'd be seeing it as the right wall in one tunnel and the left wall in the other.
When mining, always make sure to have at least a half to a full stack of wood, iron ingots (or cobblestone), and coal/charcoal. This ensures you have a large renewable supply of tools and torches that takes up very little inventory. Just craft more as needed.
For large sections of mining on many levels, move 4 spaces over. This might be a bit more dangerous, but it will save pickaxes.
|_|_|_|X|_|_|_|X|_|_|_| |_|X|_|_|_|X|_|_|_|X|_| |_|_|_|X|_|_|_|X|_|_|_|
This can be any size so for example, dig 1 block down 8×8. Then, mine all of the blocks down 1 more, but don't mine a block that was in one of the corners. Then, repeat this, but instead of not mining that one block, mine the block next to it. As it gets deeper, it starts to form stairs. This is possibly the best way to get lots of ores, and the safest, but by far the hardest to make, recover, and get blocks. You will need about 1-2 stacks of torches, glowstone, etc., and a lot of pickaxes.
Make a 1×2×2 doorway in the back of your home. After that easy step, make a huge room and have several different ways to mine. Low and high, left and right - you're sure to hollow out a mountain soon, getting hefty supplies of coal and iron, however you will not encounter gold, redstone, lapis lazuli ore or diamond ore, and there is still a slight danger of lava.
Find a cave, and explore a branch of the cave. If the cave branches off while exploring your current branch, go down one of the paths at random. When you reach a dead end go back and mine the coal, iron, etc. that you passed (leave at least some of the torches you placed, to keep the area lit and prevent monsters from spawning). After you do that, go down another branch of the cave, and repeat the above process until the cave is done. Now, mark the cave in some way so that you know you've mined out this cave. This is best for peaceful mode or easy, as whilst the ores are more obvious, there is more danger of mobs attacking.
Mineshaft with a water drop
Once you have done that, (or as you go down) place ladders along one side, so that you can climb back out of the hole. Place the sign 3 blocks above the bottom on the opposite side of the ladders. Place your water just above the sign. Now, you don't have to use the ladders to go down; instead you can just fall down.
Similar to branch mining, except make 2×2 tunnels instead of 1×2, and dig a new tunnel every 16 blocks, creating a grid pattern. This method isolates chunks (if built on a chunk border) which can then be mined out for ores.
Obtaining coal without mining
You have made your shelter, already mined some cobblestone and can't find any coal to fuel or light your environment? Just make a furnace, and smelt some wood logs (not already crafted to planks). Use the logs for fuel—2 logs for every three logs you want to cook. This will get you charcoal, which is equal to coal, except that it cannot be used to make coal blocks.
Building a house
There are some recommendations for early building:
For beginners, you might want to hollow out the side of a hill or mountain. This can be done quickly and turn into a good shelter, but keep in mind it will be harder to find your home if you wander off, or you could place torches if you have any around the entrance. Good thing mobs can't track you down by light sources, except zombies. A second design is to collect a lot of wood and build a house of wooden planks. These stand out easily, look good, and function well. The bad thing is they are flammable (please note that as of 1.3.1, wood slabs are flammable) and may be set on fire by lightning.
A more durable shelter can be made of cobblestone, but don't use dirt for anything but strictly temporary shelters (dirt is easily demolished by creepers). Don't build with or on sand or gravel—they are influenced by gravity, which will make things very difficult when you decide to expand the shelter or dig a basement. The best material you can make a house with is obsidian since it is impossible for creepers to blow it up, although obsidian is hard to get.
These are some recommendations for later building:
Take the time to make a dedicated storage area with a good amount of chests. Reorganizing every 30 minutes is a pain.
Make some farms that are modular and therefore can be easily expanded.
Out of coal or charcoal? Remember that hostile mobs require a light level of 7 or less to spawn. Use this knowledge to save some torches in your shelter: even if things are a little dim, any space within 6 blocks of a torch is spawn proof. Also, monsters won't randomly spawn near you (24 blocks): You do want to light up a perimeter just to see what's coming, and light your home so you don't come back to find a new tenant, but monsters won't be appearing in front of you.
To avoid vision problems (trying to see ores in dark places is very hard for your eyes, they get tired and vision degrades) change the brightness by going into settings. By default, Minecraft has "moody" brightness setting. Set it up (bright recommended). This will save your vision. Moreover, you will not need as many torches. Especially in the Nether, where everything is somewhat lit without torches on "bright" setting, and mob spawning never depends on light level. In order to save torches while mining you can always place a torch along the floor every 13 blocks, since a torch has a light level of 14, and that spacing will ensure the light level never drops to 7, where mobs will be able to spawn.
See some redstone, diamond, or some fancy ore? Don't use low-level pickaxes to mine them! When the ore mines as slowly as breaking stone with bare hands, that's a hint that it won't drop anything! Indeed, if any ores or stone except obsidian takes more than two seconds to mine, you are using the wrong pickaxe. The rules are that wood (or gold) pickaxes only mine coal and stone, while stone mines iron, coal and lapis lazuli ore. Iron mines all blocks except obsidian, and diamond pickaxes can mine every block, even obsidian. Though, if you are visiting the stronghold and want get an end portal frame, don't waste your time, its unbreakable! Be careful - upper-tier ores are deep enough that you are likely to run into lava lakes. Remember your water bucket!
If you are new to Minecraft, you may not know what happens if you are mining with a tool, and suddenly it turns into your hand and the tool is gone. This is because the durability of whatever tool you were using has run out. Take care to look at the 'health' of your item (the little colored bar underneath the item) before departing on any long trips, be it exploring or mining, as the last thing you want to do is to take the long trip back home just for an axe, or a pickaxe. Time is precious, so try bringing along a crafting table, or stock up on tools if you have to. Try not to use tools up completely—instead, hang onto the almost-dead tool while you switch to a new one. Then, when the new tool is itself mostly used up, you can combine the two. This pools their remaining durability, with a "repair bonus" for good measure. Also, if you press F3+H, it shows the durability of your weapon/armor.
Ravines are a structure in Minecraft that are deep cuts into the world, often exposing ores such as coal or iron, or even gold or redstone if the ravine goes low enough. Many players are tempted by this, and decide to jump right down into the ravine. However, if you do this, it will be much harder to get back up, and you will take fall damage. Instead, you will need to make a safe way to get down to the bottom of the ravine. There are several ways to do this.
One way is to get plenty of sand or gravel. Place blocks in midair (next to the edge), and allow them to fall to the bottom of the ravine in a stack. When they reach your own level, jump on and dig down. (Note: This is the only time when digging down should be attempted.) When you reach the bottom, give yourself a high-five, go get the ore, and re-stack the blocks to get back up. (See Pillar jumping.) You can also use shears to get vines from trees (jungle and swamp biomes have plenty) and place some at the top of the ravine edge. They will grow down over time and can be used the same way as a ladder, allowing you to return to an easier climb each time you come back.
Another method is to make a waterfall. Build a simple pool on the edge of the ravine, leaving the side that borders the ravine open. Make a bucket, fill it with water, and fill the pool so that it overflows into the ravine. (Or you can just dump your water bucket a block or two away from the edge.) The water will leak out of the pool and fall to the bottom of the ravine. This can be used as an easy way to get down and back up. If you're really impatient, you can actually jump down the ravine into the water at the bottom, which will protect you from fall damage. Be careful however, as most ravines found underground have lava pouring from the sides or in lakes at the bottom. Don't miss. Doing this over lava is dangerous: The water will quench lava directly under it, but if the lava extends more than 7 blocks away, you'll have a water current trying to carry you into the remaining lava! Be prepared to swim back up or deal with the situation: Fences or blocks might contain your original waterfall, or you can bring a second water bucket to dump (and then retrieve) closer to the edge of the lava. Either way, the idea is to get you some water-free obsidian to stand on.
Passive mobs will spawn very seldom after they have been killed, which means that meat will eventually run out if you keep killing animals without breeding them. The same is true for plants. A solution to this is to make farms.
Most people like starting a wheat farm first because seeds are one of the first items one can acquire. Note that all methods for wheat will work identically for potatoes and carrots, except that those don't have separate seeds—you replant the crop.
Besides seeds, you will need dirt/grass, a hoe, light, and water. One source block of water will hydrate farmland four blocks in every direction, including diagonally. Therefore, the most effective (using a small area) wheat farm is 9×9 with a source block in the middle. Again, that one source block extends to all tilled soil in the 9×9 area. That area yields 80 wheat after fully grown (9 x 9 = 81, minus one for the source block is 80). This not only saves water sources, but also gives more room to grow crops for less water. However, wheat grows faster when planted in individual rows, so for maximizing growth speed and return over time other setups are more efficient.
If you want to farm more efficiently with only having to use a single bucket of water/Water source, it's best to make a multi-level greenhouse. Here is one plan:
Make the floors 12 long by 13 wide it will allow for a walkway to put torches on. The plots go as follows: 8 rows by 4 columns, a trench 8 blocks long, then another 8 rows by 4 columns. Make each level 5 blocks high minus the foundation layer. Place an extra layer of cobblestone or wood beneath each new level to prevent water drops from leaking. Place a hole in the ceiling where the water will enter from the top levels and on the ceiling of each floor, torches or glowstone can be placed to accelerate crop growth. Repeat for as many levels as desired. When flooding the trench at the top, remember this, it is necessary to have the holes in a zigzag pattern to allow the water to flow from level to level. This will net 64 Wheat per floor and will allow faster crop growth since the crops will all be in the same confined area. To clarify the trench system: If the ceiling of one level has a hole on one side of the water trench, make the hole of the floor above or below on the other side of the water trench. This allows for only one bucket of water to be used for optimal farming. Water flows 8 blocks in a trench and will spread the same for each level it goes to, the last block is purposely made to be a hole to capitalize on this.
Villagers can be used to automate breaking and replacing of the crops. Just make sure the villager is brown robed and is holding 8 stacks of seeds or interact with the villager.
You'll likely find pumpkins first, and these are far more useful—melons provide small-change food (similar to cookies) and are used for brewing, but pumpkins provide jack o'lanterns, which are valuable for marking your way and the direction home. They can even provide light underwater! They can be used to create golems and make pumpkin pie as well. You can also wear them on your head to prevent endermen from seeing you. However, the two crops grow almost identically. They do use farmland, so that 9×9 plot with a water block works well, but instead of planting the whole field, you will plant half the squares, in strips. These will grow into stalks, each of which needs dirt or farmland next to it to place a fruit. When you harvest the pumpkins or melons, leave the stalk to grow another fruit. See the appropriate tutorial for advice on how to arrange the fields. Observers and pistons can automate this!
Sugar cane Farms
Once you are past the initial stage in your world where you eat any food you can without bothering with extra preparations and are ready to craft some more complex items, you may want to start sugar cane farming in order to craft sugar and paper, sugar being a key component of cake, pumpkin pie, and some potions; and paper being required to craft maps, books, bookshelves, enchantment tables, and firework rockets. When you come across a patch of sugar cane (it grows near water), break it down and take it to your base. One more tip is that you can place sugar cane underwater (doesn't matter how deep) on sand or dirt that is adjacent to water. Doing this should create an air bubble so you can breathe underwater. You can use this trick to aid in the creation of underwater structures.
This bug has been patched, and in turn, may not work with some exceptions.
Once you have string, fishing becomes an extremely viable source of food, especially as fish are infinite but passive mobs do not respawn. Catching 7 or 8 fish will easily earn you a couple of levels per day, depending on what level you are at. Fish, while they do not replenish a lot of hunger compared to other foods, can be much easier to obtain. Try building a small island in the middle of a lake, as this will prevent mobs from attacking from behind at night. Also remember, if you ever find yourself just a couple of levels short for an enchantment, fishing will get it for you. (Although, a better option is to kill mobs at a spawner). If you are playing PC release 1.7 or higher, you also have a chance to fish up treasure such as saddles and enchanted bows and fishing rods. See fishing for more information.
If you are more advanced in your world and have more resources you may want to build an AFK fishing farm. There are many designs on YouTube if you would like to make one. If you are looking for the most fish in the shortest amount of time, fish under the sky, and while it is raining with lure enchanted fishing rod (if you don't have one, don't worry, you can get them by fishing!).
Ranching, or animal farming, usually refers to breeding animals so that there can be an infinite supply of meat and other passive mob drops. All you need to do is simply right-click an animal with their "desired" food to breed, and then right-click the same animal with that same food (see "Breeding" for more) To make an animal farm, simply make an enclosure with fences and one fence gate so that you can get into the farm. Then, lead at least 2 of whatever animal your making a farm for to the enclosure. It is recommended to have plant farms nearby, so that you can harvest the crops to breed the animals quickly.
Stuck in the nether?
Everyone knows that you should always have a flint and steel or a fire charge on you in the nether, just in case. Though, if you are stuck in the nether because of a ghast blowing up your portal and you are stuck without a flint and steel or a fire source, there is still a way to relight the Nether portal. Kill a ghast for gunpowder, kill a blaze for a blaze rod, and a wither skeleton for coal. Craft the blaze rod into blaze powder, and craft a gunpowder, a blaze powder and a coal to make 3 fire charges. Use these to light your portal.
Another option is to take advantage of the fact that ghast fireballs cause fires. You can make a ghast shoot fireballs near your portal and hope that one of the fires hits the portal and lights it. Fortunately, ghast fireballs do not destroy obsidian.
If you are lost in the nether often or go adventuring, a good thing is to ALWAYS remember the XYZ of the portal, so you can come back home.
256 Tips and Tricks about Minecraft
For people wanting to find out more information about Minecraft and learn new tricks. This is basically a big collection of general information about Minecraft.
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