A Gnomie recently bought Minecraft and asked for some tips in the Gnomies Facebook group, so Chris pointed them in my direction. Since there are many people who buy Minecraft and then have no idea what, where, or how to start with the game, I figured I may as well share these tips with the community at large.
Minecraft — as I’m sure many of you know — is a sandbox game. The whole ethos of a sandbox game is that it allows you, the user, to do whatever you want. If you want to build and you don’t want to be disturbed by monsters, use creative mode. If you want to collect, craft, and build with the additional challenge of monsters trying to kill you, then survival mode would suit you best. If you think that you are MLG Pro enough, you can try hardcore mode, which gives you just one life — when you die, that hardcore game is deleted, never to be seen again.
In this article, I will try to be mindful of new players over established players who know what they’re doing. I will also point out that, because Minecraft is a sandbox game, there is no “right way” or “wrong way” to do something. And just like in my first article, better is always relative. These tips are in no particular order.
Find or build shelter.
The first thing that is usually on the agenda when it comes to Minecraft is survival. In creative mode, it isn’t important as you are invincible. There are two options when building a shelter: either build it out of dirt, wood, or cobblestone, or tunnel into a stone cliff. The choice depends on a few factors like time and experience. You can also find shelter in the form of an NPC village. If you manage to find one, you can take over one of the houses and use it as shelter — just be aware that the “Testificates” will come and go as they please and may leave you open to attack from a monster.
Find coal or make charcoal.
Coal and charcoal are extremely important if you are going to survive your first night. You can build your shelter and keep it dark, but it would probably be more comfortable if your first shelter was lit. Coal is an ore that is scattered throughout the world and is quite easy to find. If you can’t find coal and daylight is fading fast, you can always make charcoal. Charcoal is produced with a furnace and raw wood.
Tools are always helpful.
Crafting tools will make the job of gathering supplies and resources a lot easier. Starting off with a wooden pickaxe, you can gather coal and cobblestone. You can then build a cobblestone pickaxe, which will gather coal and cobblestone faster as well as gather iron ore. The stronger the material, the more efficient it is. You may think that gold is hard, but it’s not, hence the reason that gold is the fastest material to gather, but is less efficient than wood. Diamond is the most efficient and is also the hardest to find.
Have a sword? Blocking helps!
This feature is overpowered; there is no denying that. If you have a sword, you can right click and hold to block attacks. To prove just how powerful this feature is, I’ve taken a creeper attack — the “little green guys” that blow up — at point blank range whilst using block and I lost five out of 10 hearts. This means that blocking — give or take — halves the damage on any given attack. This can be insanely useful when you are a new player. Just don’t get too overconfident because — as they say — pride cometh before a fall.
Monsters aren’t all bad!
They may kill you and scare the living daylights out of you, but they aren’t all that bad. Skeletons drop bones, which can be turned into bonemeal, or can be used to get a pet dog. Creepers drop gunpowder, which is used for crafting TNT. Zombies drop rotten flesh, which poisons you nine times out of 10, but it does keep your hunger bar full, which allows you to regenerate health and thus kill more monsters (known as mobs — short for mobile — so they’re pronounced moabs).
Shift to sneak.
The sneak button — shift button, in my case — gives you the ability to not fall off a block, as long as the button is held. This is especially useful when you are next to lava or on the edge of a deadly drop. I’m not sure if the bug still exists where you can be holding down the sneak button and the sneak function suddenly fails and you fall to your death, so be careful!
Use the Minecraft wiki
The community wiki page is extremely helpful for new players as it gives you the crafting recipes, descriptions of mobs, and other such useful information. I use the wiki from time to time to find out or double-check information. The information certainly seems to be kept up to date and has always been able to help me.
Use the Minecraft forums.
I don’t know everything about Minecraft and I certainly don’t try to know everything about it, either. If you have any problems with Minecraft, then The Minecraft forums are the place to go. They are far better qualified than I am with regards to everything Minecraft-related.
Multiplayer — read the rules!
I really shouldn’t have to make this a tip, but it certainly seems as if 90% of the Minecraft user base doesn’t know how to read and understand the rules of a multiplayer server. Although it isn’t always the user’s fault, sometimes the rules are so vague that it’s difficult to understand what the owner or administrators want of you. The point is: Read the rules and abide by them.
Play the game.
These tips will help you, but I have always found it a hundred times easier to just play the game. Make mistakes, get killed, and have fun. I can tell you what mistakes I’ve made and how to combat them, but nothing compares to making your own mistakes and learning your own way. You’ll find your own way of fighting mobs and your own unique way of dealing with situations that Minecraft will throw at you. The simplest and easiest way to learn about a game is to play it and, when you come across a difficult problem, ask.
The next tip is yours.