Minecraft is a sandbox game released in 2011 for PC, suitable for the whole family, with a primary focus on crafting. The game offers several modes, each providing a slightly different experience.

Today, we’ll focus on the survival mode, which centres around, well… surviving in the blocky world and presents players with various challenges, including hostile mobs and other dangers. How do you start playing in this mode? What should you remember from the very beginning? Here are some Minecraft survival tips and tricks to help you embark on your adventure!

Starting Out: Your first day and night

When you begin your adventure in Minecraft’s survival mode, your character spawns “in the middle of nowhere” and is entirely self-reliant. You need to take action from the very beginning because a Minecraft day lasts only about 20 minutes, and nights are not safe.

This means that from the start of the game, you have about 10 minutes to find shelter and gather essential resources. So, what do you need in the first days, and what should you pay attention to? Here’s a brief Minecraft strategy of survival!

1. Gather some resources

The first thing you need to do is… chop down a few trees. Don’t worry if you don’t have the right tools for it yet; you can easily cut down Minecraft trees with your bare hands, although it takes longer than using the appropriate tool. Later on, you’ll gather stone, dirt, coal, and various other materials, which you’ll find effortless and intuitive. However, wood is the primary building material in the game, so it’s a good idea to collect as much as you can in the first few minutes of gameplay.

2. Craft some useful things

When you think about crafting, do you immediately envision a workbench or some other crafting station? Don’t worry; you can perform simple crafting in Minecraft directly from your inventory, which is how you’ll continue your gameplay.

Once you’ve gathered some wood from a few trees, go to your inventory and place a few wooden blocks in the “crafting grid.” Automatically, you’ll get wooden planks in your backpack. Use this method to process all the wood you’ve collected. The next step is to place planks in all four slots to create a crafting table, which will expand your crafting possibilities and allow you to make more items.

Minecraft has an interesting crafting mechanic, where the arrangement of different items in the crafting grid determines what can be created from the given resources. Your initial steps should look like this:

  • Using the crafting table, place 2 wooden planks (one above the other) in the crafting grid to obtain sticks.
  • In the middle column of crafting slots, put two sticks, one above the other, and then place three planks (horizontally) above them to create a simple wooden pickaxe, which allows you to mine rocks and thus build shelter.
  • Arrange wood in two columns and three rows to create doors.

3. Build your first shelter

Once you have a good supply of sticks, the doors, and a pickaxe, it’s time to start the fight for survival. Quickly find a hill or mountain where you can carve out a cave, or start digging down (using a pickaxe) at least five blocks into the ground and begin carving out a cave there.

Remember not to make the entrance larger than two columns by three rows of blocks, as it needs to fit your doors. After digging a small cave, quickly install the doors, and (a pro tip) DON’T FORGET to close them! Congratulations! You’ve found shelter for the first night. Now it’s time for more adventures!

Why is building shelter necessary? As mentioned earlier, nights in the Minecraft world are dangerous. After sunset, various evil mobs roam unlit and uninhabited areas, such as Zombies, Skeletons, Creepers, Spiders, or Phantoms. Your character at the beginning of the game (as in most titles) isn’t strong or well-equipped enough to deal with them. Escaping and finding shelter is essential.

For the first few nights, a cave equipped with doors will be sufficient and will provide easy access to valuable minerals underground. After a few days and replenishing your inventory, you can consider building a different house if you wish.

4. Walls and torches for life

Nighttime creatures burn when exposed to the first rays of the sun. Fire is also dangerous to them, so after digging your shelter, it’s essential to quickly add some lighting in the form of torches (at least one per wall). To make torches, you’ll need sticks and some coal, which you can easily find while digging your cave. So, before you finish creating your underground space, your inventory should already contain several lumps of coal. A shelter with thick walls and proper lighting is your guarantee of survival.

(Best to remember also to carry a few torches with you during later exploration of unknown, uninhabited areas – they may come in handy if things get too hot during battles with nighttime creatures.)

5. Essential crafting recipes for first days

As mentioned earlier, the Minecraft mechanics are designed for straightforward and intuitive item crafting. The arrangement of materials in the crafting grid affects the resulting item.

In addition to the essential tools for surviving the first night, there are a few other items worth crafting at the beginning of the game. Here are some of the most important crafting recipes for the first days:

  • Wooden sword: Crafted with two wooden planks stacked vertically and a stick beneath them in the crafting grid. A wooden sword deals 4 damage and has a speed of 16, making it useful for battling nighttime creatures and other mobs.
  • Wooden axe: Crafted with three wooden planks in the first two slots of the first row and two sticks in the second and third slots of the second row. The axe is useful for both combat and quickly chopping down trees.
  • Wooden shovel: Crafted with one stick and two wooden planks in a vertical arrangement in the centre column of the crafting grid. Shovels are handy for digging blocks like sand, gravel, and dirt.
  • Furnace: Crafted with eight blocks of stone, excluding the centre square of the crafting grid. It’s useful for smelting ores into ingots, cooking food, and processing blocks.
  • Bed: Crafted with three blocks of the same colour wool in the second row and three wooden planks in the third row of the crafting grid. Beds are essential for sleeping and regenerating your character’s health.
  • Armour: You can craft armour from various materials like gold, diamonds, or leather. However, leather armour is the easiest to obtain early in the game. Armour improves your defence and increases your chances in combat. Each piece of armour requires 4 to 8 pieces of leather. You can find more detailed instructions on crafting different types of armour at https://minecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Crafting/Armor.

6. Mining and resource gathering

As the name suggests, Minecraft is based on mining resources and crafting. When playing in survival mode, you need to continually gather or mine resources and convert them into useful items to survive (tools, food, basic house supplies, armour, etc.).

However, not all resources in the game need to be mined, and not all require specialized tools like a pickaxe. As mentioned earlier, you can obtain some materials, such as wood, manually. The same goes for various plants, mushrooms, and even certain animal resources like meat, leather, and wool, which you can gather through melee combat. Although, attacking animals or mobs with a weapon is faster and easier, and some animal resources can be obtained without bloodshed, such as by shearing sheep.

7. Establish a reliable food source

As you expand your base in the early days and mine resources, your character becomes susceptible to fatigue and, consequently, hunger. You start the game with a half-filled food bar (depicted as steak icons), which depletes gradually. A hungry character loses strength and speed, and in hardcore mode, extended hunger can lead to the loss of HP and death.

It’s crucial to ensure you always have something to eat in your inventory, especially when embarking on longer explorations, anticipating encounters with enemies, or planning to dig deep underground for treasures.

You can replenish your hunger bar by eating various fruits, vegetables (which you can find or grow on a farm as your game progresses), animal meat, fish, and mushrooms. However, remember that raw items have a much weaker effect than those cooked in a furnace or used to craft complex dishes.

8. Keep an eye on the durability of your tools

Just as your character’s energy depletes and generates hunger, the tools you use also wear out and become unusable when their durability reaches zero. Therefore, it’s essential to have several spare tools in your inventory, especially if you’re going on a long journey or planning to spend several days mining.

Over time, consider upgrading your toolset. As you acquire more durable materials, you can experiment with crafting (or consult crafting guides) to create more advanced and longer-lasting tools made from stone, metal, or even diamonds. Combining several damaged tools can yield one fully functional tool. Upgrading your existing tools is also possible.

9. Look for safe regions

Even in survival mode, Minecraft offers a respite. If you’re not interested in settling permanently in your respawned area and are searching for a safer place, consider searching for safe biomes like Mushroom Fields or Mushroom Field Shores. These biomes, often located near water and sometimes on islands in the middle of the sea, are areas where no hostile mobs spawn. Days and nights in these biomes are safe.

10. Don’t rush!

Remember that Minecraft, like any other game, is primarily meant for entertainment. While the first few minutes of the game may require some quick thinking and action, as you become better equipped, you can take your time to explore the world, build your dream house, and tackle various exciting tasks. Don’t rush; having fun is the most important!

Summary: The road to Minecraft mastery

You’ve just learned several tips on how to survive your first days on a Minecraft survival server! We hope our guide will help you start your gameplay safely and be useful in further exploring the mysteries of the blocky world!