Minecraft – Surviving the First Night [Guide]


Minecraft is a sand box game where you can build stuff from the resources you gather everywhere in the Minecraft world. This revolutionary game took the world by storm right from when Markus “Notch” Persson first released it in Java. Everything in the “first person” genre had always been about killing and destroying, but this game is the exact opposite. You build and create in Minecraft….everyone should experience this game at least once.

Return to Top Basic Knowledge

When you first step into the Minecraft world, you don’t really have much on you but your own hands. There are day cycles, so you get day and night in the game. You’re then faced with a few implied objectives — get tools and survive the night. In fact, you have to survive at night as zombies and creepers spawn at dark places and they will kill you. Therefore, you must seek shelter with a light, or build it.

When you die in the game, you drop all of your items. In case you know where you died, you can still retrieve those items as long as they’ve not been destroyed by things like lava and fire, picked up by some inconsiderate player, or disappeared after five minutes from being dropped. So as long as you stay alive, you get to build your own houses, do what you want, and of course try to survive.

There are caves to explore and mine for basic minerals like iron, coal, gold, and diamonds, although you can dig/mine anywhere for materials. Minerals require a pickaxe to mine since mining ore with bare hands yields nothing and makes no sense.

Return to Top Building the Essentials

Before you do anything, you need to have the staples for crafting — a crafting table and a furnace. Right now, you need wood and some coal or charcoal so you can get up to speed. Since you always start with you own inventory, you also start with a 2×2 grid for crafting, which is pretty small. In that case, you’ll need a crafting table made of wood, which can be obtained by chopping down trees. You can get the wood even without using an axe, but it will take a lot longer.

Once you have the wood, convert it in your 2×2 crafting grid to get 4 wooden planks for each one. With those 4 wood planks, fill the 2×2 crafting grid to make a crafting table. Right clicking the crafting table opens a window with a 3×3 grid in it. With that slightly larger grid, you can build almost everything you need to progress in Minecraft.

With the crafting table, you should then make the most fundamental tool in Minecraft — the pickaxe. For now, you can only make one out of wood, which is less durable, but it will have to do for now until you can get some stone. Get at least 5 planks of wood, which you then put into the 3×3 grid in the crafting table to make various parts of your pickaxe. Put in 2 planks to make 4 sticks, then put the remaining 3 planks and 2 sticks into the crafting table to make your pickaxe.

With that pickaxe, you can then mine for cobblestone. When you find stone in the world, just whack away with your pickaxe until you get those cobblestone cubes. You can then use those and some sticks to make stone tools like a stone pickaxe, stone shovels, stone axes, and stone swords. Of course, you’ll need the shovels to dig deep into the earth, while the stone axes are for chopping down trees so you don’t have to karate chop them all day, and the stone swords are for defending yourself against baddies during the night.

Get at least 8 blocks of cobblestone to make a furnace. Once you’ve made it from your crafting table, you can then place it nearby. With the furnace, you can convert wood into charcoal, which you can then use to make torches to start fires. Place some wooden planks on the bottom slot (fuel), then some wood blocks on top (smelting). The process then begins automatically and completes after a few seconds, then you get your charcoal. A wooden stick combined with a piece of charcoal in the crafting table yields 4 torches. With that, you can light interiors and set things on fire.

With these basic necessities, you can then make other stuff. But before that, you must build your own shelter.

Return to Top Building a Shelter

You can gather building materials like dirt, wood, stone, sandstone to make a shelter. You can either make one from scratch out in the open or just create a door in front of a cave or hole. If you’re opting for the latter though, remember that there may be enemies nearby.

Whatever method you may choose, remember that a proper shelter should follow certain principles to be considered safe. The first is lighting so that no monsters can spawn within your humble abode. If you fail to find coal or make charcoal for torches during the day, you may have to spend the night outside.

Your shelter also needs walls, which is obvious enough. Make sure that there are no big enough openings for enemies to go in from. You’ll need a door though so you can enter and exit the premises. Finally, you need a safe place for your crafting table and furnace so that you always know where it is. They are the most crucial tools to your survival in Minecraft, so keep them safe.

Another thing that you may need in your shelter is somewhere to sleep in. For that, you’ll need a bed, which can be constructed by putting 3 blocks of wool on top of 3 blocks of wooden planks. Once you have your bed, you can assign a bedroom of sorts that is well-lit and place it at least one block away from the wall so you have somewhere to go to whenever mobs of enemies are after you. You can then right-click on it to wait out the night. But if it isn’t safe, you’ll wake up to an aggressive mob ready to lynch you.

If you have to stay outside during the night, dig a foxhole near the side of a hill or cliff that is at least 3 blocks deep. That’ll be safer than just being there flat out, and you can keep digging deeper to create an underground dwelling of sorts.

Return to Top Things to Remember about Digging

There are two cardinal rules in digging — don’t dig straight down and don’t dig straight up. Digging vertically is an absolute no-no since you may never know what could be on the other side, either it’s a long drop down into lava or some enemies right above you that may drop on your head if you’re stupid enough.

Horizontal and diagonal is fine, just like in real life. But if you dig straight down, you’re basically standing on the block that you’re about to destroy. So once that’s gone, you’d never know if there’s another block right below. Same thing applies with going straight up, so be smart when you dig and always plan your approach while keeping these rules in mind.

Return to Top Conclusion

Once you have that out of the way, it’s all about mining, expansion, survival, and doing whatever you want, then more expansion. The great thing about Minecraft is that you can go for bigger things as you go along.


About Avoiderdragon

I'm a freelance writer and a borderline hardcore gamer. I contribute game reviews and other content here in CheatMasters for my fellow gamers.
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