Tutorials/Survival with no enabled data packs

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This tutorial will teach you how to survive in Minecraft without any data packs enabled. When data packs are disabled, gameplay in Survival mode much more difficult.


With the advent of 1.13, data packs have been added to the game and can be enabled and disabled. Many of the vanilla game mechanics, such as advancements, mob drops, chest loot, the vanilla crafting system, smelting, and similar gameplay mechanics, are now stored in a default data pack called vanilla. Disabling the vanilla data pack, without adding any custom data packs, will cause all that to disappear, which considerably adds to the difficulty of the game. It causes the conventional tech tree of wood to stone to more advanced technology is no longer operant, and searching through chests in generated structures is of no use, as the chests will have nothing in them. Also, killing mobs are useless as well, as they no longer drop anything. As a result, even basic survival becomes a challenge in such a world, and very different approaches are required in order to make actual progress.

Disabling data packs

To disable the vanilla data pack, you need to have access to commands. Upon initial entry into the world, type in the chat,

/datapack disable vanilla.


This tutorial assumes you are playing on a snapshot of 17w48a or higher.

Finding a Farmer Villager

All villager trades, separated by profession.

When you first spawn in the world, the first thing you need to do is to find a farmer villager. This is important, because although one may survive on only apples from chopping down oak and dark oak trees, the only way to make progress up the tech tree is through trading with villagers - this is because there is absolutely no crafting whatsoever in this world. The farmer villager is necessary, because it is the only way to gain emeralds from this world at start, as its initial trades include a trade of wheat, potatoes, or carrots for emeralds. All other trades are either trades that require you to trade in emeralds, which you do not have initially, or it requires you to trade in an item you cannot get as crafting and mob drops are unavailable, or for the cleric villager and shepherd villager, you simply do not have the tools yet to get the item.

Finding a villager is a hard task to do, as villages within a typical world are usually hundreds of blocks apart from each other, and many villages will have not even a single farmer villager. Find a desert, Savannah, or plains biome and look for villages here, as these are the only biomes that will spawn villages. When you come upon a village, if the village has a farm or multiple, harvest all the crops in the farm of the village, as even though there may not be a farmer villager in the village, it is important to gather as much crops such that when you do finally encounter said farmer villager you can finally trade your crops for emeralds. The crops also provide an alternative source of food for you instead of the apples derived from cutting down trees. However, do not destroy the farmland, as you would have no way of restoring the farmland once destroyed, because of the fact that it is impossible to acquire a hoe with data packs disabled.

Trading with Villagers

Once you have found a farmer villager, your survival has now been made much easier. You now have the ability to get emeralds, allowing you to progress further into the game. However, you may need to farm some more, as you will need a lot of emeralds for the various trades you need to make. Once you think you have enough emeralds, it is now time to find other villagers, most importantly the armorer, the toolsmith, the weaponsmith, and the fletcher. The world outside of villages and your temporary houses on your search for villages is still a very dangerous place, and it may be wise to get some protection and means of defense against mobs such as creepers and skeletons.

By trading with villagers, you can get some important tools and weapons without having to craft. The armorer will provide the necessary armor for protection, with various enchantments as well, the weaponsmith will provide handheld close-range weapons such as the sword and the axe, and the fletcher will provide bows and arrows. Meanwhile, the toolsmith will provide you with a pickaxe and shovel, useful for breaking and gathering more blocks. You can also get items from the shepherd, the librarian, and the leatherworker villagers if you wish to. If you find that a particular type of villager is not available at the village where you found your farmer villager, you will need to go to other villages that you have either visited previously or new villages in order to find the villager you wish to trade with.

It was possible before 18w06a to trade with a cleric, but now it is no longer possible, as furnace recipes have been added to the vanilla data pack, instead of being hardcoded into the game, which causes all furnace recipes to be disabled when the vanilla data pack is disabled. As a result, gold ingots are now impossible to get.

Entering the Nether

In order to enter the Nether, you will need to find or create at least ten obsidian blocks, to make the portal. Obsidian blocks are usually found in the Overworld, when water flows above a still block of lava, usually falling from a source block down to either an underground pool of lava or the natural layer of lava on the y-coordinate 11 and below in caves and ravines. If you find none, you may attempt to lead water to the lava by digging a tunnel from a lake, a river, the ocean, or a single water source block to a lava pool or the natural layer of lava, as you have no method of directly transporting source blocks for buckets are unobtainable.

Once you have created and mined the necessary obsidian for the nether portal, it is now time to open the portal. Although it is impossible to acquire a flint and steel in this world, a nether portal can be activated by any flame, including one spread from neighboring lit blocks and lava. Thus, build your portal by a lava source block, and wait until the random ticks allow the lava fire to spread to the portal and light it. Now you can enter the Nether. When going to the Nether, make sure you have the necessary food, tools, weapons, and armor. Most of these supplies can be acquired by trading with a villager.

See also

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