Minecraft Wiki

For new players on Minecraft, fending off monsters and harvesting materials can already be a very painful and confusing job. This tutorial will help you construct some of the most useful as well as some of the most impressive buildings available to Minecraft.



Basic house[]

A basic house is anything from a 3×3 square to a castle. They can be made of any material, in any biome, anywhere.

The cube[]

The Cube is the smallest house possible. it only uses about half a stack of material and is just a 3×3×3 cube. There is a little space for a bed, furnace, crafting table and a chest to be put into the ground/wall. For first night of Minecraft. People often take out the corners because, even though it looks ugly, it will conserve their precious blocks.

The Fortress[]

This is your best choice if you want to create a permanent base. This consists of a large fortified wall with an overhang to keep spiders out, as well a Wet/Dry moat (optional). This will surround your entire settlement. This means your Farms, Houses and any other buildings you have. You may also wish to build a secondary fortification inside as well like a Castle (see topic below), just in case of a breach. In addition you will want to build guard towers in each corner of the compound. This is to help keep your walls clean of mobs. These towers if possible should protrude from the corners so that you can clearly see and shoot anything up against your wall. And be able to do this for the entire length of the wall to the next corner, or minimally to the half way point between the two towers. This type of building is recommended for a player with large amounts of resources at His/Her disposal.

The castle[]

Essentially the cube, except it has battlements containing (imaginary) snipers and cannons. One of the major differences between the castle and the cube is that the castle is supposed to actually look good. To make it look good you can extend out your cube and add blocks or slabs on every second block.

The cobblestone can be replaced with any block.

Build this on all 4 sides of your castle using cobblestone, wood or both!

Example of a survival-mode castle build (along with additions to it):

Above-ground bunker[]

A half-buried structure, it has the conveniences of underground shelters with the provision for windows which double as above-ground firing ports.

Also Iron doors or trapdoors are a good choice when keeping the Hordes out, or even better an underground system of tunnels connecting to multiple pill boxes or a base.

Free-standing structure[]

A basic house that is built on flat land and is completely open. These houses are easy to spot, and may be of multiple floors. On average, these houses use anywhere between 2 to about 10 stacks of material.


Instead of having to build a house, use what Minecraft provides you, and build your house in a cave or other naturally-generated structure. They use minimal resources, but may cost a significant number of pickaxes. They are hard to see, and a landmark is recommended.


A house that is part-free-standing house, and part-cave. Ideal combination of both worlds. The pickaxes are used here to gather materials for the main house, while making more room underground.

Space needle[]

These houses are basically a large point leading up to a crazy height. They offer excellent views, and are quite creeper-resistant, especially if the bottom few layers are made of obsidian. However, they are very hard to expand, cost extremely high amounts of materials, and are rather monotonous to ascend. Building an elevator, preferably a two-way design, would solve the third problem.

Bunk mates[]

If you find an NPC Village, you can make your house in a villager's house! These are already-generated houses ready for you to use, and expansion can be done with the help of a few spare materials. Please note that if you are not on peaceful mode, you may cause a zombie invasion.

Simple framed building[]

A simple and good looking house can be made by making 4 to 5 block high pillars arranged in a square or rectangle. These pillars can be made of cobblestone. Join them at the tops with cobblestone beams. Then fill in the gaps with wooden planks. You can also add windows. To make a roof cover the top and place wooden stairs on it, arranged in a pitched fashion. Logs and white stained clay (or wool) can be used instead to make a Tudor house.

Underground shelter[]

This is a type of building under the ground, like bombing shelter and nuke shelters for a more hidden type of shelter under the ground/ocean and makes a nonpublic shelter. They may be hard to find, so create a landmark to let you know it's there. It is safer than a shelter above ground. Advantages are no one/thing can find you, and you are more protected. You can also use it as a point where you can have a mine. Disadvantages are you can't have windows, so you have to actually exit your shelter to see outside (or make a hole in the ground to see outside) and the fact that every expansion requires a pickaxe. Also, if you break a hole and there's lava or water, you are stuck and it is more possible to die. Or you could do it in creative.

Cast and molding[]

Casting and molding is slightly different to other methods. For molding, one uses dirt or some other cheap, non-flammable material to fill in all blocks they want hollow. Then, they fill it in with lava, wait for it to settle, cover the source block, cover in water and lastly break the dirt.

Casting means one fills layer by layer with lava source blocks and pours water over them, turning it into obsidian. It is very difficult as one needs a diamond pickaxe for mistakes and large amounts of buckets for effective transport of water and/or lava, not to mention the high danger of working with lava. For the large amount of lava needed, it is advisable to either find one or more lava lakes, or to go to the Nether. (more to come)

For something new, try Lava on a tree, then just add Water when it seems right to you.

Nether house[]

This is basically any type of house built in the Nether. It is highly recommended that you make it out of a blast resistant block, such as cobblestone.


Mountain marking[]

A simple way to mark a spot, if it is next to mountains, is to put some torches on the top. You can also add LAVA on them.


Statues, especially big ones, can be used to indicate a certain spot.

Things needed:

  • Cobblestone or stone. They are a preferred building material, but any block, for example wool or blocks of gold can be used as well.
  • Optionally, glass blocks or panes.
  • Signs. Again, it is optional, but it may be used to tell which statue is which, if you want to build many statues.
  1. Start by making the base of your statue. 10×10 should do.
  2. Place the blocks to make up the figure you want. It can be from creepers to slimes, from busts to full sized, be creative in making your statues!
  3. Mark the statue with a sign. Again, it is optional.

Light beacon[]

Beacons/Pillars can be used to mark where your house/favorite mine is.

Things needed:

  • 4 torches, a bucket of lava and 5 blocks of glowstone and 4 blocks of glass
  • Lots of sand/dirt etc.
  • 2 buckets of water
  • Some cooked pork (if you get damage, although this is optional, you can make it on peaceful)
  1. Start by making a pool of water that is 3 blocks deep (make sure it's 2 blocks away from your pillar).
  2. Use the dirt/sand etc. and use the "pillar jumping" method to continually make a pillar up to cloud level. You now have the pillar.
  3. Now for the light. Start by putting the four torches one block lower than the topmost block, then change the topmost block with glowstone, and put the four remaining ones around it. Put glass above the four blocks and put the lava in the middle.
  4. Then jump into the water (don't worry- the water stops fall damage) and there you have it, your own light beacon.

You could also use a beacon block, but these are expensive to make and cannot be crafted early in the game.

Navigational towers and lighthouses[]

Navigational towers and lighthouses can be created to help you find your way home after a trip to say, the beach. You'll need at least enough of some kind of block to make a tower of your desired height, a light source, and enough ladders to climb that tower.

  1. Start by using the pillar jumping method to create a tower, it is recommended that you use a more stable material, such as cobblestone. This tower should be built to your desired tower height. Feel free to add a balcony around you, but make sure to leave a hole where you can climb up. If desired, you can add glowstone, a torch, or a redstone torch to the top, otherwise this can be accomplished later.
  2. Fall off the side of your tower. As you fall, stick against the tower, and place ladders right below you. If you're not worried about the damage, you can choose to simply fall off, and then place ladders as you climb up to reach the top. If there is water nearby, it's recommended to jump into deeper water.
  3. You should now be able to access the tower with ease. If you didn't do so already, place some sort of light source (Glowstone is preferable if you have some) at the top.
  4. Other more complicated options are redstone torch blinkers, and even clocks that are attached to note blocks.

Lava pillar[]

Another useful landmark tool is a lava pillar. Though slightly more costly than a lighthouse, it can be spotted much easier, during day or night. To build one, you need one bucket of lava, and enough materials to build one pillar of your desired height.

  1. Dig a 3×3×1 square in the ground. Ensure that the square is walled on all sides.
  2. Build a pillar right outside the grid (two blocks away from the center). This one should be made out of a weak and preferably collapsible material such as sand.
  3. Once you have reached the desired height, build a two block long walkway directly over the center of the pit.
  4. Go back to the pillar and destroy the single connecting block between the block over the center and the pillar.
  5. From the pillar, step as far back as you can and place your lava on top of the center block. Then destroy the outer pillar. Bear in mind, this could result in you being set on fire if you touch the lava.
  6. You now have a 3×3 column of lava that spans the height of your pillar. Because the lava falls into the 3×3×1 hole you dug in step one, it won't flow outwards, risking damage. If you still feel unsafe, feel free to build walls of glass around the pillar.

Flaming Netherrack pile[]

You can also find your way home with burning netherrack piles. Just put a lot of netherrack on a hill or a mountain, and set the whole thing on fire.


Farms are ways of getting renewable resources in a relatively time-efficient manner. See the item and mob farming tutorials for more information.

Mines and mining[]

See the Tutorials/Mining Techniques page for more information.