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A Nomadic experience is generally for experienced players or players looking for a fast-paced, thrilling gameplay experience. With the addition of the Hunger system in Beta 1.8, this style has become an even more challenging and engaging experience. This style is based on the real-life nomads who roam the Earth without a permanent residence. There are certain rules and styles for this way of playing.

The basic rules are:

  • Keep moving
  • Keep game on hard mode
  • Only build shelters for 1 night
  • Don't stay in one area for more than a night.

There are more specific styles which specify where you can go, where you stay, and even how you should survive.

Nomadic shelters[]

Nomadic shelters can range anywhere from absolute simplicity to an easily deployable craft station. In principle, Nomadic shelters should be easy to make and accessible from almost anywhere on the various maps of Minecraft. Below are a list of Shelters that are organized by complexity. The most basic utility for the nomad is the bed. It's easy to make - just 3 blocks of wool and 3 blocks of wooden planks are needed to craft it. Note: You can use any color of wool. You can even use multiple colors of wool and wood, but the bed will remain red. The only way to change the bed color is to change the texture pack.

Ingredients Input » Output
Wool + Wood Planks


Place a bed before sunset and go to sleep as early as possible to prevent monsters from spawning. Keep away from caves, as this supplies no protection.

"Instant shelter"[]

Instant shelters are the absolute basic, and while they keep you safe, you lack many luxuries and abilities. These shelters are useful when exploring a map or finding rare resources like clay or cacti. They are meant to be built in 5 to 10 seconds, anywhere on the Overworld or in a cave.

There are 2 types of instant shelters you can do :

The first one is simply a hole in the ground. This is exactly what it sounds like. All you need is to dig a hole according to the schematics below.

This design protects you from mobs even if you build the shelter at midnight. You should stay careful when going out of it, as a mob may fall into your hole. If there are any mobs on top of your hole, you might not be able to sleep due to them being too close. If you do not place a torch inside to light the shelter, it will be dark enough for a mob to spawn.

The second type of instant shelter is a pillar on which you will sleep. This method will only work if there are no mobs nearby.

This shelter is useful if you don't want to be surprised on your wake by mobs (you can clean the area around with a bow and an arrow). However, building a pillar without overhangs is not advisable since after the Beta 1.2 update spiders can climb walls - or in this case the pillar. This is easily circumvented by making overhangs on top of the pillar to prevent spiders from climbing up the pillar and harming the player sleeping in bed.

Huge mushroom shelter or PESS (Portable Emergency 'Shroom Shelter')[]

There is another instant shelter that is easy to make all you need is 1 red mushroom, some bonemeal, 13 soil, a torch or two and 1 bed.

First plant your red mushroom on a dirt block then use your bonemeal on that mushroom, remove the central stalk and build a 1×1 tower up the center of the mushroom where the stalk was. Fill the bottom floor of the mushroom with the remaining dirt, place a torch or two and finally place your bed and you've finished your makeshift base. Some people like to think of it as a tent. It also has the plus side of producing even more mushrooms to make your breakfast.

If you dig a 1-block hole in the ground to plant the mushroom in, it will usually (but not always) grow its walls all the way to the ground, so you don't need to make a way to scale the mushroom.

Brown mushrooms can also be used as a safe place to snipe mobs from with the bow and arrows.

Basic hut[]

It's just what it sounds like. It's a ground level structure that can be a bit bigger than the "Instant Shelter". Just place your bed and build a space around it that mobs cannot penetrate.

Mountainside hut[]

Again, like the name implies, this is built on a mountainside for maximum protection. If your "bridge" to it is one block wide, mobs will have no chance of getting to you (invalid as of beta 1.2). Thankfully, Mountains have been increased in size and rarity since the beta 1.8 update.

Tree "house"[]

This might be one of the most efficient, and safest, ways of making a one-night shelter. All you do is go up in a tree and barricade yourself with any material. This works especially well with larger trees (the ones with branches). Note that spiders may be able to get up the smaller trees. Also, a plus-side to this shelter is that you have a natural way to see outside.

With the introduction of jungle trees you can make a really high tree house or even make a tree village in a jungle biome connecting each tree via a walkway/bridge. However, making an entire village is not the easiest thing to do when you have to keep on moving.

Cave dwelling[]

If you happen to have a pickaxe with you (which there is a good chance you will), this is an easy one. If you stumble upon a cave, you only have to barricade the entrance and you're done. Of course, barricading the side of the cave that leads into the earth is also a good idea, since lots of hostile mobs might spawn. Like always, proper lighting is a must-have. Besides natural occurring caves, you can also dig a hole into the side of a cliff or mountain yourself, and seal off the entrance.

The Roofed Forest Dwelling[]

To the average nomad, the Roofed Forest is a lethal place. To the expert nomad, this biome is the best. To make a shelter find a red giant mushroom and build a floor out of what you have. In the morning, harvest the mushroom and make some stew. Boom! Instant shelter, and fast food.

Forest Roof Shelter[]

Go on to the leaves on top of a Roofed Forest and build your shelter there. Mobs cannot spawn on leaves, but they can climb there!

Dirt Towerish[]

This peculiar structure allows sunlight in while keeping the mobs out. Basic design:

However, you should never build out of dirt , because Enderman can pick it up, so you should build with cobblestone.

The overhang keeps spiders out.

Icy Dwellings[]

Thanks to 1.7, you can make your house in an ice spike. The packed ice doesn't melt or produce water. Carve a small room and be sure to light up the entrance. And if you don't have a bed, take out the first block in the one block wide pillar. Mobs can't get through and you can tell the time.

W= packed ice I= broken block

                          WWWW WW
                          W     W
                          W     W

Trapdoor Ground Bed[]

This is a simple design requiring 1.9 or up where you break two blocks of ground and place a bed. Then, place two trapdoors above it. You can now open the trapdoors and sleep.

Covered Ground Bed[]

This method of making a simple bed is as easy as it gets. All you need is a bed, 4 dirt, and optionally a trapdoor (for 1.9 and up) and a torch.

Dig a hole in the ground for a bed. Then, place the bed down. Next, place two dirt on top of the blocks next to the base of the bed. Fourthly, place a block of dirt directly on top of the pillow side of the bed. After that, you can place a final block of dirt 2 blocks above the base of the bed. If you have a trapdoor and are playing Minecraft 1.9 or up, place the trapdoor on the block in front of the base of the bed. Then, close it before getting in bed. If you have a torch, you can place it above the base of the bed on any of the dirt blocks.

You can also alter this design, saving one block of dirt, by using the bottom log in a tree as what is normally the dirt block on top of the pillow side of the bed.

Enterable Covered Ground Bed[]

This design is similar to the Covered Ground Bed, except that you can enter it and there is a layer of protection. This method requires 1.9 or up for the trapdoors.

Dig a hole in the ground of the bed, like the Covered Ground Bed. Then, place the bed down. Next, place two dirt on top of the blocks next to the base of the bed. Fourthly, place a block of dirt directly on top of the pillow side of the bed. After that, you can place a slab 2 blocks above the base of the bed. Remove the dirt at in front of the base of the bed and place a slab. You can now walk into your shelter for the night, and place a trapdoor on the block in front of the base of the bed above the cobblestone slab for protection. Close it so no mobs can get in. However, you have to destroy this trapdoor to get out. The section above the trapdoor when closed can be used for archery, or can be replaced with another trapdoor. If you have a torch, you can place it above the base of the bed on any of the dirt blocks.

Inventory management[]

The biggest part of this experience is the traveling. You'll need to pick up all your gear every morning and make off for the horizon. Storing your goods in chests won't help you (Ender chests can if one is on the ground and the other stored in your inventory) come morning when it all has to fit into your personal inventory. Note that a pickaxe with silk touch can mine an ender chest safely. So as long as you have one you can use that ender chest without worry but when the pickaxe breaks make sure to get a replacement QUICKLY, otherwise you may put the ender chest down without thinking and then be unable to retrieve it. As of 1.11, shulker boxes will also make a good storage system, granted you can get your hands on one.

You also need to pack in the most economic way possible. Try to only carry the base materials, that way you can hold more per stack. For instance, carrying wood instead of planks will allow you to hold four times as much materials. Carrying wood (logs) instead of sticks will allow you to hold eight times more! Only craft as many items as you need and carry the rest in raw materials. Also, try not to mix things like the different types of wood or planks, as that takes up space, too. Although it isn't as compact, you could craft the mixed wood into sticks, as they will match then. If you are using shulker boxes, it is advisable to use the different colors of shulker box for categorization.

Then you have to decide what is worth taking and what is easy to make more of later on. Is taking up a whole slot for your crafting table worth it, or is four planks easy enough to come by to build another? What else could you carry instead of that, a whole stack of wood? Another weapon or pickaxe?

Another good tip is to use those rare materials early. Using those couple of iron ingots to make a faster axe or pickaxe will save you a lot of time versus chopping with a wood or stone tool. That time is crucial when you're fighting the clock each day and night.

If you like inventory management but think a whole chestful is too much space, you can add additional limits such as only holding items in your inventory bar (that you can access without pressing e) or setting off each day with only 9 items. Excess items could be incinerated, buried, placed or just thrown in a lake.

Another way to carry around a lot of items would be to have a donkey. Put a chest on it and have him store the extra things while you use a lead to have him follow you around. Having an ender chest and a donkey with chest (plus your own normal amount of storage slots) will give you the second most amount of storage, the most being shulker boxes within a donkey chest. Be sure to store the ender chest in your own inventory (not in the donkey's chest) so that if something happens to the donkey you don't lose as many slots.

Tips & tricks[]

  • Placing a bed is one of the basic things to do to your shelter, as this will make it your new spawn point -you might die, after all-, and it provides a unique opportunity to skip the night, at least in survival.
  • Passive mobs such as cows and pigs should be killed on sight to get their resources, as you will not have time to set up an animal farm.
  • Make sure your shelter is properly lit. If you don't, then you'll probably have the living daylights scared out of you when you hear the hissing sound of a creeper right beside you. However, mobs don't always spawn when you are in a bed, because you put the game on time fast forward while sleeping. NOTE: Things like wheat, trees and other stuff won't grow any quicker. It's only the time of day that is skipped.
  • It's always a good idea to have a hole in the wall of your shelter, or have a clock with you. That way, you'll be able to see when it's day again. (Remember, spiders can't enter holes one block in width, though cave spiders can.). However, creepers can see you through the hole and may explode if you are close enough to the hole, so be careful in small shelters.
  • You can use glass for windows, but 16 glass panes can be made from 6 glass blocks, so glass panes are a more economic choice. Using glass is a luxury and will be a waste of resources and time as you cannot retrieve any glass after placing them unless you have a silk touch tool. You can obtain both glass and glass panes with silk touch.
  • If you have enough to do so, use fences as windows, as you can see out and mobs cannot see in. NOTE: Spiders can see through fences as all other blocks.
  • Make some shears. Always shear sheep of their wool, so you can keep your previous bed where it is. This way, if you die, you won't spawn back at the world spawn.
  • As of 1.6.1, horses and donkeys spawn in plains biomes. If you are lucky enough to find a saddle, you can tame and ride a horse or donkey, greatly increasing your travel speed.
  • If you cannot find a saddle, you can try fishing, which will give you a good food source as well as the chance to get saddles.
  • If you find a donkey you can attach a chest to it, allowing for extra mobile inventory space.
  • Shulker Boxes are one of the best ways to maximize your storage.
  • If you are using a donkey consider using F3 to plan your route. Following a line (i.e: "x increases, z stays 0") can help you get back to your Donkey if you die (assuming you're leaving your bed behind every night and building a new one so you spawn there and not back at the worldspawn). If you do follow a line during your nomadic experience consider starting your journey from the Origin (x=0 z=0). A quick teleport code at the beginning of the game can get you there no matter where the original spawn was (might want to use /setworldspawn once you get there to make the origin the worldspawn, although it will randomize every spawn there by 20 blocks or so).
  • As of 1.11, llamas spawn in extreme hills, and can transport up to 150 items per lead you use.
  • You should consider using the cheat code /gamerule keepInventory true. This will make it so you don't lose anything when killed (other than your life!) Not only will you not drop any of your items, you won't lose experience points because that would count as "dropping exp orbs". It does however take the sting out of dying, to the point where some players may find the game less interesting that way, much in the same way creative mode does (not many people just play on creative 100% of the time do they?).
  • Lastly, for a real challenge consider playing Nomad style on hardcore.


This nomadic style of play lets you see and explore the world with only a few tools and items, stripping Minecraft down to the basics. It will also give a higher chance of you finding different biomes. It is also much more challenging than normal build-a-house-and-stay-there survival and therefore to an experienced player more fun. When playing like this you 'see the world', and your knowledge of Minecraft increases significantly.


As you could probably tell, the save files for the world will be huge. If you choose to use a mapping program, it will most certainly take quite a long time to load the simulated map of the entire strip of the world. Also, it is difficult to dig down and find diamond and other ores in a single day, so you will not have as many ores as you would otherwise. On top of these, this play style can easily become repetitive, as there is only much you can see in a minecraft world, and building gives a lot more long-term enjoyment.


Tutorials/Nomadic experience/video