Minecraft Wiki

This starter guide provides advice for players who do not know how to begin their Minecraft journey. It mainly teaches you what to do on your first day, so you can safely survive the first night.

Before reading this page, it's expected that you have already bought and downloaded the game. You must create a new world before starting the tutorial.

Your character can die in this game, but if you aren't in Hardcore, that doesn't end the game. Instead, it's mostly an inconvenience. If you take enough damage to die, your things drop where you died, and your character respawns elsewhere. Initially this is near where you started (the "world spawn"), but using a bed lets you pick the spot.

Controls and interface[]

Main article: Controls

Minecraft is a sandbox game in which your character wanders around in a world, collecting resources and utilizing them to craft various items. To gain an advantage, you need to understand all the different techniques and abilities of the control system. If you are having trouble, you may want to start with a Peaceful Mode world to practice and, if necessary, change the keyboard bindings. The world in Minecraft is composed of blocks, mostly cubical and of various shapes, giving everything a blocky and pixelated appearance. These blocks not only represent objects in the game but also serve as a standard measure of distance, with each block being officially defined as a one-meter cube. Your character can occupy a single block's space and stands a little less than two blocks tall.

Time passes within this world, and a game day lasts for 20 real-world minutes. Nighttime is much more dangerous than daytime: the game starts at dawn, and you have 10 minutes of game time before nightfall. The primary purpose of this guide is to help you "find your feet," acquire basic equipment, and build shelter before nightfall. Hostile or neutral mobs spawn when night falls, and most of these mobs are dangerous, trying to attack you. It's essential to craft a bed so that you can sleep through the night and quickly transition from nighttime to daytime.

This article mostly assumes you are playing on Java Edition or desktop versions of Bedrock Edition, where you use your keyboard and mouse to interact with the game. The Controls page gives you a complete overview of all the controls and every control that does a action, or shows up a certain GUI.

This and other articles generally refer to controls by their default bindings. Most of the controls can be changed in the game's options menu, by clicking on the one you want to change, and then pressing the key you want to use for that control. If you are already using that key for something else, then it turns red.

In Java Edition, when you start the game for the first time, a short in-game tutorial appears to explain the basics of how to move and look around in the corner of the screen.

When moving around the world and dealing with blocks and creatures in the world, there are four basic operations, each discussed below:

  • Movement in four directions, as well as looking upward and downward, jumping, and sneaking. Variations include sprinting and swimming.
  • As you move around, you occasionally see or produce items floating "loose" in the world. Interacting with those is simple: when you move close enough to them, they fly toward you and you automatically take them into your inventory (unless your inventory is full, see below). At the start of a game, just pick up every loose item you encounter. You may eventually find uses for them, and it takes a little while to fill up your inventory. You can also drop ("throw") items back into the world.
  • "Mining" or breaking blocks, which is the usual way to collect resources from the landscape. As long as you use the right tools,a broken block usually drops one or more items. Attacking mobile creatures ("mobs") uses the same controls as breaking blocks, and they also usually drop items when killed. In general, attacking requires brief taps of the relevant control, while breaking blocks requires holding down the same control. Some blocks, such as grass, break instantly.
  • "Using" items or blocks. This is more complex, since it can apply to blocks in the world or to tools in your hand. The same controls are used for some interactions with creatures (such as shearing sheep or trading with villagers), but this is a matter for later days in the game.
  • Your character can also work with items in a GUI, especially managing your own inventory, crafting new items, and working with storage items such as chests. This uses the mouse and sometimes the keyboard differently, while you are focused on your inventory and/or a crafting task rather than the world around you.
Keyboard/Mouse Overview
Action Control
Move forward W
Sprint/swim (if in water) Double tap W or hold W and Control
Move backward S
Move left A
Move right D
Jump Spacebar
Sneak/crouch Left Shift
Move camera Mouse (move mouse up to look up)
Attack or hit Left click
Break (mine) block Hold down left click
Use/interact/place block Right click
Open/close inventory E
Throw/drop item Q
Pause/menu Esc

Control related[]

Again, most of this article assumes you are using keyboard and mouse, but here is a brief summary for other control methods such as game controllers or touchscreens:

Mining, attacking, and "using" items all require targeting a spot on the screen. Many versions of the game have a cursor in the center of the screen used for targeting, but touchscreens allow the player to tap on the screen to act as the targeting spot. Only blocks near you can be targeted, and you can tell a block is targeted by it having an outline around it (or, in the case of touchscreens, being brighter). This selected area or block affects the way you use these actions. For example, using is based on what you are looking at and what is in your hand. Less obviously, the player's actions of attacking and mining also use this cursor or selector method. The buttons for both attacking and mining are always the same, but attacking is only a tap of the control while mining requires holding down the control. These actions may use up blocks and change tools that you are holding and also change depending on your held item. Any time this tutorial uses verbs describing in-game actions, you may want to test out that action using the controls page as a reference.


Moving the mouse (or trackball, for simplicity we refer to the mouse) forward and back causes your character to look upward and downward. Moving the mouse left and right causes your character to turn in that direction, changing which direction is "forward". The keys AWSD moves your character left, forward, backward and right, respectively; note that none of these make your character turn around or even look in the direction you're moving. Be careful about moving to the sides or backward without knowing what's there, as you can fall off cliffs or otherwise run into danger! Looking around also lets you pick out individual blocks or creatures to interact with, see below. Walking off of the edge of a horizontal surface results in you falling. If you fall more than three blocks (and not into water) you take damage depending on the distance fallen. If you fall into the water below your head, you end up drowning unless you swim back to the surface. And if you fall into lava, you quickly burn to death! So, moving around in the Minecraft world, you need to exercise basic caution at all times.

Double-tapping and holding the "forward" key (again, W by default), or pressing Ctrl while moving forward, causes you to sprint, running faster (but this consumes food more quickly). If you fall into water, the same keys let you swim around.

The Spacebar lets you jump; you can jump one-and-a-quarter blocks high, and can also jump across a two block gap in the ground (four blocks if sprinting). By default, walking into a one-block-higher edge automatically makes you jump up to the new level, but there are still many situations where you need to jump upward. If you turn off Auto-Jump you need to explicitly jump up to higher terrain. If you fall into water (or lava!), this same key is how you move upward toward the surface, and jump out onto the shore.

The ⇧ Left Shift key makes you "sneak". While sneaking, your viewpoint gets a little lower, and you move slower than the casual walking speed. The benefit of sneaking is that you cannot fall off the edge of a block; in fact, you can sneak slightly over the edge of a block, to look at and interact with the side of the block you're standing on.

It is also a possibility for your character to crawl, but this is more of a complex control. See the article "Crawling" for full details and how to use the crawling control.

Breaking blocks and using items[]

Main article: Breaking

To interact with blocks, you need to move relatively close (within four or five blocks distance), and "focus" on the block by moving your cursor (the crosshairs) over the block you want to interact with.

Pressing the left button Mouse 1 hits whatever you are focused on. Suppose you want to dig a piece of wood, focus on that piece of log and keep holding the left button until it shatters and drops a log.Mouse 1 This is also how you attack animals or monsters later. Holding down the button on a block continues hitting it, eventually breaking it, making a block pop up in your inventory. This is generally how you collect materials from the world. Some blocks require particular tools to collect them, like diamond ore, but the first two sorts of blocks you collect are likely wood and dirt (grass blocks count as dirt), and both of those can be gathered with your bare hands, and no tools. Holding something that is not a tool (such as wood blocks or dirt) or using the wrong tool to dig blocks is still the same speed as unarmed, does not improve mining efficiency, and if you use the wrong tool to mine, the tool will be deducted of durability! Generally when you start a world, the first thing you should do is to find some trees and break a few blocks of wood out of their trunks ("punching wood"). Once broken, the blocks drop as loose items, leaving a floating block on the ground, representing the block you broke, which you can move toward to collect. Holding something that isn't a tool (say, the block of wood or dirt you just picked up) still counts as "bare hands". Other things seen around you, such as tall grass or flowers, still count as blocks despite not being square, but they don't necessarily "drop themselves" when hit. For example, tall grass usually drops nothing, but sometimes drops seeds, which you can later plant to grow wheat for making bread to eat.

The right button Mouse 2 is more complex: This is the "Use" command, with effects that depend not only on what you're pointing at, but on what you're holding. There are special blocks (such as the "crafting table" discussed below) that open a interactable GUI when used, but if you are not pointing at one of these, you just use whatever you currently hold. There are various tools that are used for their respective purposes, but at first you're probably holding a block of wood or dirt, and the "use" of a block is to place the block you're holding down into the world. When you place this block, it leaves your hand, using up 1 block leaving −1 of the number of blocks you had in the beginning. Simple blocks like these can be placed on any surface of a block that's already in the world having a block on top, but more complicated blocks such as flowers can be put only in particular places (e.g. the top of a grass or dirt block) and can not be stacked with another block. If you are pointing at a block that does have its own use, but you want to place a block on it (instead of, say, opening the GUI for a crafting table), you can "sneak" while placing the block, and you have the block on top of the block with the GUI, without opening and interacting with the GUI on the block. To place a block underneath you, press Spacebar and click right click Mouse 2 before you hit the ground, and you end up on a block you placed.

When you eventually encounter a villager or a wandering trader, you can also right-click on them to buy and sell items, trading for emeralds to buy the item.


Main article: Combat

Surviving in Minecraft often requires a knowledge of the game's combat mechanics. There are two combat systems that exist in Minecraft – the system in the Java Edition and the system in all other versions. In Java Edition, without a tool in the player's hand, any attack deals 1 health point (♥) of damage. In Bedrock Edition, a bare-handed attack deals 2 health points (♥) of damage. Tools in general do a great deal more damage, and do more damage the higher their tier. In general, swords do make the best weapons, followed closely by axes. Pickaxes do less damage, and shovels do the least. Hitting a creature with a sword uses up 1 point of its durability, while using any other tool uses up 2 points of the tool's durability. When a creature is hit, it turns red for a half second, marking its "invulnerability period". A second attack in this time does no damage.

The combat mechanics for non-Java platforms are simple: While three blocks away or closer to a mob, the player can attack that entity by clicking the attack button while their cursor is over the entity. Clicking speed does not affect the combat, instead, a player's skill in combat is based more on their hit accuracy. The basic tools from above each deal multiple hearts of damage when the player attacks an entity while holding that tool.

In the Java Edition, a slightly different combat system is used. To attack any mobs or players, the player still must have the cursor hovering over the entity and be within three blocks of the entity when they press the attack button. However, after attacking, the weapon enters a brief "cooldown" period, indicated by the position of the weapon in the player's hand, and also by an icon in the hotbar. This happens even if you missed, or if the target was still invulnerable for a previous attack! Different basic tools have different cooldowns between hits. If the player attacks while still in a cooldown period, the attack deals much less damage, making it more important to aim your attacks. In Java Edition, axes do far more damage per hit than swords, but their cooldown period is much longer, giving them lower overall damage than swords over time. They also still wear out twice as fast as a sword.

In addition to attacking, the player can also block attacks with the shield. (Crafting a shield requires first obtaining an iron ingot, so it's unlikely to get one for your first day.) A shield completely negates any damage when it is raised with the Mouse 2 right mouse button‌[Java Edition only] or sneaking‌[Bedrock and Pocket editions only]. In Java Edition, a shield can be temporarily disabled if attacked with an axe.

If the player jumps right before he hits an enemy,the hit will be critical and deal much more damage.

Items and inventory[]

Main article: Inventory

Picking a loose item up is as simple as walking over or near the item. To drop the item in your hand (see below), use the "throw" key, which defaults to Q. The item gets tossed two or three blocks in the direction you are looking. Pick it back up by walking over to it. In multiplayer, you can use this to give an item to another player — just throw the item toward them and they pick it up. You can also drop items or stacks of items using the Inventory GUI, discussed below.

Pro tip: On standard keyboards, the Q key is right next to the movement keys. This makes it very easy to accidentally throw away the item you're currently using, which may be a valuable tool. Many players prefer to change the "throw/drop" function to another key, such as O or K. (OK) All of these controls and more can be viewed by pressing Esc -> Options -> Controls.

From the start of the game, you can see nine special inventory slots, called your "hotbar", but you also have more slots that are normally hidden. As you pick up items, the first few appear in your hotbar slots, but once those are full, they go into the 27 slots of your main inventory. At any given time, one of your hotbar slots is "selected", and the item in that slot is considered to be "in hand". (You can see your item in hand in front of you.) You can press keys 1 through 9 (or use a mouse-wheel if you have one) to choose which hotbar slot is active, thus you can quickly switch among up to 9 handy tools or other items.

Multiple items of the same type usually "stack", showing a number indicating how many of them there are. Most items stack up to 64; other items (like chicken eggs) stack only to 16. Weapons, tools and armor are more individual, and do not stack at all. When you use, place, or throw items from a stack, you generally use one item at a time, counting down the stack.

To get at the rest of your slots (and the beginnings of crafting), press E to open your personal inventory. (This also announces your first advancement or achievement; you can safely ignore all such announcements.) This is your first GUI ("Graphical User Interface") and shares many features with the other GUIs encountered in the game:

  • Your cursor no longer controls your view. Instead, you use it to pick up and drag items among various slots. Left-click picks up or drops an entire stack; right-click picks up half of a stack or drop one item at a time. There are more complex options, see the "Inventory" article linked above for details.
  • Opening a GUI does not pause the game, but while you are attending to the inventory you can see only a little bit of the world around you. Be careful about fooling with your inventory while monsters are around! On the Java Edition, opening any GUI also allows you to switch away from Minecraft and to another desktop window, without pausing the game.
Inventory sectioned

1. Player's armor. 2. Character. 3. Personal crafting area. 4. Offhand slot. 5. Recipe book. 6. Inventory. 7. Hotbar (part of inventory)

Looking to the right, you can see an image of your inventory screen. There is a little image of your character, showing their current appearance. Left of that image are four slots for any armor you are wearing -- these can each contain only an appropriate armor piece, for helmet, chest, legs, or feet. (This guide does not discuss armor.) Just to the right is a slot marked with a shield, which is your "offhand slot". This one can actually contain almost any item, but most common is indeed a shield (which isn't available on your first day). If you are wearing a shield, you can use it with the same "use" key as for other items -- in general, you can "use" any item in your offhand, as long as neither the item in your main hand nor the block you are looking at has a "use" feature.

Below these are the 27 slots of your main inventory. You can drag items around from these slots to your hotbar and back, armor pieces can be moved to and from their armor slots, and items can be dragged to the personal crafting grid. Dragging items completely out of the GUI's rectangle and releasing them there drops the items into the world, much like the Q key (or whatever you rebound that to), but it is easier to drop a whole stack this way.

The hotbar and main inventory add up to 36 slots for general storage, which is the limit for how much a player can carry around and transport on their person. There is no sense of "weight" or encumbrance for items; a player moves at normal speed regardless of how full their inventory is, or what particular items they are carrying. (It is a running joke that a player can bounce around while carrying what "should be" hundreds of tons of stone and/or metal.) If your inventory becomes completely full, you cannot pick up new items, although you may still be able to pick up more of any stackable items that you already have.


Main article: Crafting

Also on your inventory screen is a 2×2 arrangement of squares. This is your inventory crafting grid. Here you can take some of the items you've collected and turn them into new items. Below the crafting grid is the Recipe Book icon, which provides assistance with remembering and using crafting recipes (see its page for full details). You do not actually need to use the Recipe Book, but for a beginning player, it can be helpful in finding out what your options are, and even for advanced players, it adds a bit of convenience. In general, you learn new recipes automatically when you pick up (or craft) a key item for the recipes in question. Actually crafting an item certainly gets you its recipe, if you somehow didn't learn it by picking up the ingredients.

Example of Crafting: Say you want to craft wood planks. Mine a wood block and place it in your 2×2 crafting grid in your inventory, and you have acquired wood planks. To make a crafting table; spread the 4 wood planks you crafted with the right click button and spread all of the planks all over the 2×2 grid. You now have a crafting table. You now have a 3×3 crafting grid.

When starting a game, your first craft typically involves two steps: First, take a single log of wood and put it in the 2×2 crafting grid. The output slot then shows a stack of four matching wooden planks, which you can then take. Then take those planks and put one in each of the crafting grid's four slots by holding the right mouse button. The 2×2 crafting grid is now spread with wood planks. The output slot then shows a crafting table, which you should take, put on your hotbar, and place down in the world to begin more advanced crafting. Without the crafting table it is impossible to beat the game, so this is the most useful tool. Having placed the table, you can right-click on it ("use", as above) to open a UI similar to your inventory, but with a 3×3 crafting grid. This lets you do many more recipes, as you can craft any block craftable. you can also use it for any recipe you could craft in your inventory, but the larger crafting grid allows many more possibilities, like weapons, armor and tools. Notice that the crafting table also has a Recipe Book icon, as do several other utility blocks you encounter later in the game. Any of these recipe books show only the recipes that apply to its block. So your inventory's recipe book shows only 2×2 recipes, but the crafting table's recipe book shows all of its crafting recipes. Similarly, the furnace's recipe book shows smelting recipes, and so on.

Having set up a crafting table, your next step should be to make some sticks; you can actually do that in the 2×2 crafting grid in your inventory, the recipe is two planks arranged one over the other. (Remember: as long as a recipe can fit in a 2×2 space, you can craft it in your own inventory.) Having a stick unlocks the recipes for your first tools, discussed below. (Note: A stick is not a club! Using it to hit something is no better than using your bare hands.) When you are done with your crafting table for the moment, you can break it like any other wooden block: Your bare hands can do, but it is much quicker to break it with an axe, which you might have just crafted.

Tools and swords[]

The basic tools the player can acquire come in multiple tiers based on your materials, and they include the pickaxe, the axe, and the shovel, for mining, respectively, stone-type, wood-type, and dirt & sand-type blocks. Each tool has a certain damage on certain blocks. The pickaxe is slow at mining dirt, and the shovel can break lots of dirt at a time. The fourth tool is the hoe, which is a little different than mining — it is mostly used later, as part of farming, but can also be used to break some lightweight blocks such as leaves faster. Swords are similar to tools, and come in the same tiers, but these are used for attacking animals or monsters rather than breaking blocks. Swords cannot mine anything as it does absolutely nothing when you try to mine with a sword. The six tiers are wood, stone, iron, gold, diamond, and netherite, but for the first day you are limited to wood, stone, and possibly iron. Higher tier tools break blocks faster and last longer, and swords do more damage. For pickaxes in particular, many blocks require a minimum tier for you to collect them: pickaxes can collect stone and coal ore, but iron ore requires at least a stone pickaxe, and more advanced ores (again, unlikely on your first day) require at least an iron pickaxe. Gold is a special case; it probably isn't relevant for your first day, but don't make gold tools, swords, or armor — they are usually high-speed but they are weak and fragile. If you happen to find golden items in chests, you can use them as long as they last.

Once you have sticks, the Recipe Book for the crafting table includes recipes for the wooden tools and weapons. The wooden pickaxe lets you harvest cobblestone, and once you have that, you get the recipes for stone tools. Later, iron or gold ingots, and diamonds, likewise appear in the recipes for those tiers. That said, all the recipes for each tool follow similar patterns, making a little picture of the tool in the crafting grid, and different tiers vary only in the material used. For wooden tools, any combination of planks can be used. If you can't immediately find stone, you might want to make other tools out of wood; once you upgrade to stone or iron, you can always use the wooden tools for furnace fuel.

Tip: If your tool or weapon breaks, you can get the materials to make the tool or weapon again.

Be thrifty with your first few iron ingots. The "Second Day" tutorial has more information, but briefly, the most important things to make first are a shield, an iron pickaxe, and a bucket. After that you can move on to an iron sword, other tools, and eventually iron armor.

New players should always have a balanced first world and day. It isn't much fun when things are unbalanced, such as when your armor or weapons are over-powered.

Here are the recipes for the first three tiers of pickaxe, followed by the stone and iron versions of the other tools and swords:

Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Sticks +
Planks or
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots

Mines stone blocks faster.

Mine stone/iron and craft:

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Axe Sticks +
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots

Mines wooden blocks faster. Can be used as a melee weapon that deals more damage than the sword, but is slower and loses 2 durability when hitting a mob instead of 1.
Hoe Sticks +
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots

Use to change dirt to farmland, and can break leaves and hay bales faster.
Shovel Sticks +
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots

Mines soil type blocks faster, including sand and gravel. "Use" (right button) to change grass, rooted dirt, mycelium, dirt, and coarse dirt into a path.
Sword Sticks +
Cobblestone or
Iron Ingots

Fast weapon with decent damage.

These tools make your game easier, and more natural.


Game Progression[]

This guide deals only with the beginning of the game, but here are a few words on the shape of the game as a whole. "Progression" in Minecraft is simpler and less linear than most other games, mostly a matter of finding various materials and resources, each of which allows new capabilities and options. For example, making a wooden pickaxe lets you mine stone to make a stone pickaxe and a furnace; this in turn lets you mine and smelt iron ore; the iron pickaxe lets you mine diamonds, and then a diamond pickaxe lets you mine any block that can be mined. Similarly, various crops let you breed different animals, each of which provides different resources over and above "better food". Various enemy drops likewise each have their uses (some more useful than others), and combining various resources from mining, farming and breeding, let you enchant your equipment. Collecting and crafting various materials also lets you build with them; even beyond the practical factors of secure bases and farms, building your own structures is a big part of the game experience.

Progression beyond the Overworld is fairly limited: Eventually you can build a Nether portal to reach the Nether, where you can get materials for more complex crafting, the resources to brew potions, and the top tier of tools and armor. The Nether materials also let you reach the End dimension, where you must defeat the Ender Dragon to unlocks the outer End Islands, where you can get an elytra that lets you fly, and shulker boxes for more storage. There are also two optional bosses: the elder guardians in the Overworld oceans, and the Wither, which is summoned with Nether materials.

First day[]

For the first day, you have just a few basic objectives:

  • Look around to see what your environment is, and if necessary go someplace else. (See "Biomes" below for more details on this.)
  • Acquire resources and tools: Get wood, make wood tools (at least a pickaxe), use that to get cobblestone, make stone tools.
  • Get coal (or make charcoal) to make torches, and find or make a shelter for the night.
  • Optional goals include:
    • Killing animals for meat
    • Killing sheep in particular for wool to make a bed to skip nighttime or a place to respawn
    • Breaking tall grass to collect seeds, and perhaps tilling the edge of a pond or river to start a wheat farm.
    • Collecting some iron ore if you spot some near the surface. You need to acquire a stone pickaxe first.

As the first day begins, you need to collect logs. First, you should look around for trees, and go toward any you find, and break their trunks by "punching wood" as discussed above. Always collect all the wood on the tree so you make more things to craft weapons and tools. You need to collect at least 5-8 logs for your first round of tools and items you need immediately. You should make more a little later, but a few tools now make collecting more wood go much more quickly. As discussed above, the first thing to make is a crafting table, followed by a few sticks. The first tool you should craft is a wooden pickaxe (3 planks in the top 3 slots, and 2 sticks down from the middle plank). Crafting other wooden tools is not recommended, as you can quickly get cobblestone and make stone tools.

If any stone blocks are exposed close by, you can mine them with your new pickaxe to collect about 20 blocks of cobblestone. This is the amount you need to create every basic tool needed for this tutorial: a stone sword, stone pickaxe, stone axe, shovel, and a furnace. If you are efficiency minded, just mine 3 blocks of stone with your wooden pickaxe, immediately make a stone pickaxe and mine the rest of the stone with it, as it is about twice as fast. While you're doing this, keep an eye out for coal ore, and mine any you find. Depending on the position of the stone blocks, mining them might well make you a mini-cave to spend the night in, otherwise keep an eye out for possible places to lair up.

Food is required to keep you alive and to not take damage. Make a sword and kill animals for them to drop food. It is not recommended to eat the food when raw, so craft a furnace (8 cobblestone blocks with a empty the middle slot) and place down the furnace you crafted. Mine coal ore for fuel and put the food you have into the furnace. Wait for it to cook and when the cooking is done, you can eat it.

Once you have a stone axe, you should try to get more logs as time allows; extra logs are useful in many ways, such as building, crafting, securing your base and much more. If you have difficulty finding coal, you definitely want an extra dozen or more logs to make charcoal! With coal or charcoal, you can make torches (coal or charcoal above a stick on the crafting grid) for the night.

Optional goals: While you're doing this, break any tall grass you pass and collect any seeds that drop (but don't waste time on this), and once you've got a sword or an axe, kill whatever food animals you pass, especially sheep (up to 3 of them), collecting whatever they drop. Not all animals are food animals: Only pigs, sheep, cows, chickens, and rabbits drop meat. Other animals are all best left alone for now. Don't spend too much time chasing down animals though: a few pieces of meat are plenty, and for wool, you need 3 pieces of the same color. If you happen to spot some iron ore, wait until you've got your stone pickaxe, and then mine that too.

If you are next to a river or an ocean, you might want to get some fish for food. Cod and salmon are some of the best food sources in the game, and new fish reappear soon after you killed some (or even all) of them, so you don't need to worry about preserving them for future breeding (they can't be bred anyway). Before entering water, you should first make sure it is not too deep, and the bottom of the river/ocean is well illuminated, because not only are you more likely to drown in deeper water, but it is more likely to spawn drowned, a variant of zombie that may be dangerous to fight. While in water, you can still use WASD to move around, but your movements are much slower than on land. press space to move upward in water (also for getting back onto the shore), and ⇧ Shift to descend. pressing ctrl and W together allows you to swim faster, and you can change directions flexibly by moving the camera. Remember to always watch the oxygen bar above your hunger bar, as when all bubbles are gone, you start taking drowning damage. Cod and salmon can be easily killed with a swipe of a sword. After this tiny fishing trip, remember to cook your fish in your furnace to get cooked cod and cooked salmon, which work longer to prevent hunger.

By the time you've done this, sunset is likely imminent or in the past. If you're really ahead of the game, you might take a moment to hoe some grass or dirt next to a river or pond, and plant seeds to get a head start on wheat. Place a torch near these so they can grow overnight. But at that point, it's time to finish for the day: Head for cover, and either prepare a cave as your first night's lair, or make a mini-house. If you were able to make a bed, you don't strictly need a shelter, it's better to have it someplace safe where you can leave it be, but you can also just find an open space to place it. Either way, use the bed as soon as you can.

Night time[]

For most players, the first night is time to set up your crafting table and furnace, cook your meat and perhaps some logs for charcoal, and maybe craft a few things for the next day. If you managed to pick up some iron ore, smelt that too, and consult the "second day" tutorial for what to make with it. If you've settled into a cave, you might want to mine overnight to look for coal or iron ore, but don't go too deep because you want to get an early start for the next day. If you managed to get wool for a bed, you also have the option of just skipping the night; if you managed to make yourself too hungry or hurt, or didn't get much in the way of other resources, that might be a good idea. If you're neither in a or near a cave, you can build a small "house" with a crafting table, furnace and torch if you have one. Close this house up like a lockdown so no mobs can get in.

At night time, the primary danger is hostile mobs (monsters) that spawn only in the dark. These include zombies, skeletons, spiders, creepers, and more. All of these are good reasons to stay put in a well-lit shelter. But if you are really seeking adventure, you could always arm yourself with a sword or an axe and fight some monsters. While you might be able to get some materials for further crafting, it is dangerous, and if you die, all of your items and experience levels drop where you died, and you respawn at your bed (or at your world spawn if you don't have one). So a good idea before adventuring out is to sleep on the bed and leave it, or right click on the bed during the day. When you see "Respawn point set" in the chat message, you can be sure that you respawn in your base next to the bed after dying, instead of in the wild where you first spawned next to a bunch of monsters. However, most of the monsters you can fight at this point either burn (zombies and skeletons) or become less dangerous (spiders) when morning comes, and it is easier to fight them later when you have better equipment. If you must fight monsters this early, be especially wary of skeletons; in the open their arrows can easily get your ♥ health quite low or even kill you at a distance, and if they're in the water or on higher ground, it's unlikely you can reach them before being killed at this stage. If you happen to see any of the more powerful monsters, keep well away from them: At this point, an enderman, a witch, or a creeper can kill you easily.

If you are repeatedly being killed (too ambitious, a monster got into your shelter, or you didn't manage to make a shelter), you can always dig a three-block deep hole, cover it up and hide there. However, consider that because this is the first day, you don't actually lose much when you die (except for what has already been gathered that day), so if you do end up being killed you can just tough it out until dawn and start again. Keep on practicing killing mobs until you get the hang of it. If you're completely desperate, you can consider switching to "peaceful difficulty", which causes all the monsters to disappear until you switch back.


Main article: Tutorials/Shelters

Shelter is one of the most important features in the game, as this is useful for you to build shelter. As noted above, you should really want to find or make some kind of shelter before your first night, to avoid being killed. The "Shelters" article linked above gives a lot of suggestions for emergency shelters and more advanced ideas, but it takes some thinking ahead to manage a decent shelter for the first night. As you move around collecting logs and so on, look at the landscape for potential homes. Easiest (if you can find it) is a small cave with a single entrance that you can wall or fence off. If it's not quite ideal, consider if you can fix it quickly – say, fencing off a back door to deeper caves. If you don't have a cave, you may be able to make one, by digging into a mountainside or even roofing over a small valley. If instead, you have wide, flat space, then go ahead and build a small house. In all cases:

  • Don't be too ambitious the first night, because you want to be safe before dark, and you also want to light up the space you claim (see "Light" below). You can always expand and decorate your home later, or even rearrange the landscape around it.
  • When picking your location, it's good to have a view of the landscape so you can see if any monsters are waiting for you in the morning. You might need to leave your shelter at a sprint to escape a pesky creeper. Similarly, don't set up next to a pond where skeletons might take refuge in the morning.
  • Learn about the awesome powers of wood! Fences can be used not only in the obvious way but as windows or transparent walls, with fence gates to get in and out (and no mobs can operate fence gates). Doors provide a full-height exit for solid walls, but not fences! A few properly-placed ladders can make it a lot easier to get up to your roof or up a hill. A chest is also useful – stash anything you're not going to use soon, so you don't have to worry about it if you happen to get killed. You save some of your precious 36 inventory slots by making planks and sticks only as you need them. Even if you don't have a chance to do anything fancy before nightfall, you can spend part of the night exploring the recipe book for your crafting table and furnace.
  • If you can manage to make a bed early on, place that in your shelter and use it the first night you have it. Getting killed is much less painful after that because sleeping in a bed sets the spawn point next to it, so you reappear inside your home rather than somewhere out in the wild. After the first night, you may well want to spend the nights crafting and mining. Phantoms are not an immediate concern, but you really do want that bed by at least your third night, or simply don't venture out at night until you have a bed.
  • Living like a nomad is a possible way to survive, although you need to break your crafting table, furnace, and bed if you have one, each and every time you leave in a sprint. This is one of the best way to get out of the way of a hostile mob. Just beware tall jumps or else you die of fall damage... and you will lose all your stuff if you're too far from spawn!


Main article: Light

Monsters can't spawn within 24 blocks of you, but huddling in the dark is no fun – and when you do leave your home, you don't want to come back to find a monster has spawned or moved in. The usual way to fend of monster spawning is by light -- daylight or artificial. So, before night falls, you need to light up your space, and at this point, the only light sources you have are torches.

The power of torches has been sharply increased in recent versions of the game; as of version 1.18, they completely prevent monsters from spawning (naturally) anywhere within reach of their light. This light stretches for 13 spaces of taxicab distance; each square east, west, north, south, up, and down, counts independently. This if you have a torch at head height at one corner of a large room, the safe area stretches 6 spaces diagonally on the floor (one space downward from the torch). On a hill, the light can stretch 4 blocks diagonally and up- or down-hill. Most solid blocks also block light – light can often travel around blocks, but any detour counts against its range.

Before version 1.18[]

Before 1.18, more light is needed prevent monster spawning: A single torch prevents monster spawns completely within a 7 block range (barring obstructions), and reduces them for about the same distance past that. That range is in taxicab distance, with each square east, west, north south, up and down counting independently. Accordingly, the safe zone runs only 3 spaces or so diagonally, and steps up or down can shorten it further. Even outside the safe zone, having some light sharply reduces the chance of monsters spawning (depending on how much light), but it's better to use enough torches to keep your whole home well-lit. If you have extra torches after that, try to light some space outside your home (or at least the entrance) too, to push back the area where monsters are likely to spawn.

Food and hunger[]

Once you have tools and shelter, your next priority is food. 🍗 Hunger takes a while to hit, so it shouldn't be a problem on your first day, but you should try to pick up some food for when it does, just so you don't get into an emergency situation. Just killing a few animals and cooking their meat can tide you over for long enough to make more permanent arrangements. The occasional apple or sweet berries can help a bit, but mind those damage-dealing bushes! You can go up and read the food section for more information. Don't starve to death!

Making a crude wheat farm early on (break tall grass for seeds, hoe grass blocks next to existing water, plant seeds in your new farmland) is listed as an optional objective, but if you can pull it off your first day, it gives you a definite head start on the game. Having wheat gives you more options: Harvested wheat can be used to make bread, or to capture and breed sheep and cows, and extra seeds can be used to capture and breed chickens.

Making food really quick is possible if you make a food farm, but this is more of the more advanced things in Minecraft as it is no ordinary farm. You should instead make a normal crop area with your hoe instead of food farms for beginners, as food farms requires redstone, water, and many other things that are not for beginners.

The primary drain on hunger is from healing damage, and for quite some time, eating is your only way to heal damage! Fighting (even before healing damage), sprinting, and jumping are also energy-intensive. (Be careful about going uphill with auto-jump!) You have a little grace period (see "saturation") when starting the game and after eating, but when that's exhausted, your food bar starts rippling. At this point, healing damage, or getting too athletic, starts to drain your hunger bar.

If you get too hungry, you start suffering: Below 90% you can't heal damage, below 30% you can't sprint, and if the hunger bar goes empty, you'll lose health to starvation. You can't actually starve to death unless you're in Hard difficulty, but you are still quite vulnerable. You do not lose hunger at all in Peaceful mode. See the Second Day guide for slightly more detail, or the Hunger page for the whole story.

Note that if you are staying at full health, and not fighting, sprinting and/or jumping a lot, swimming long distances or mining many blocks, then you use almost no food. Walking at normal speed does not use up food (neither does sneaking). Neither does crafting, and even mining and placing blocks use only a tiny amount per block. Thus, if your character has a secure place to stay, even if you've started to get hungry, you can just stay put to conserve food while waiting out the night, a storm, or crop/animal growth.

There are also a few items you technically can eat, but shouldn't. Raw chicken (the only one of these you might see the first day) has a 30% chance of giving food poisoning that can leave you even hungrier, and if you eat rotten flesh, that has an 80% of giving you food poisoning. Eating a spider eye outright poisons you, and eating a pufferfish poisons you badly.

If you can manage to kill a couple (or more) spiders, you may get a couple of pieces of string, which lets you craft a fishing rod. This is a perpetual source of food if you have water nearby. Cod and salmon are both good food items (especially when cooked), replenishing both the hunger and saturation levels. Now, if you are next to a body of water, you can just jump into the water and kill some of the fish, but proper fishing can also catch a few useful items along with the fish. You do not need bait of any kind, but the fishing rod eventually wears out.


Getting started[]

A player begins the game standing in a landscape somewhere. This is the general area in which a player reappears (respawns) upon death. If you have slept in a bed (and the bed's still there) you respawn next to that. This is the start of a new Minecraft world. This tutorial is intended to teach you the skills needed to survive in this world and eventually be able to do just about anything you desire. You can do the different sections below in any order you desire, but many sections require you to first complete other tasks first. The tasks listed on this page (except those noted as optional) should all be completed before moving on to the second day tutorial, even if it takes you multiple days to complete all of the tutorials. No matter what, your goal for the first day should be creating a bed or shelter so you can survive the night. The other tasks are also important and can all be completed along with the main objectives while leaving you with extra time.

See the first section of this guide for information about controls and getting around in the world. You need to master those skills in order to complete the following tasks. Again, the game starts at noon, and you have 10 minutes of game time before nightfall. Your overarching goal here is to acquire basic equipment and a simple shelter in that time. You do have some time to practice your basic skills and learn about your inventory, but don't take too much time at that. If night falls and you still don't have any shelter or basic equipment, it is fair (for your first game) to switch the game to Peaceful mode for the night.

While following the steps below, break any tall grass you see and collect any seeds that drop. They become useful later. In fact, collect any loose items you come across; almost everything can be potentially useful. Also keep an eye out for orange pumpkin blocks and (if you happen to be in a jungle) green melon blocks. If you find any, break some of them and take the results with you for later farming. Also watch out for sweet berry bushes. "Using" them can provide berries for a bit of food, but actually stepping into them hurts!


Main article: Biome

The Minecraft world is divided into different areas called "biomes". Different biomes contain different blocks and plants and change how the land is shaped. There is an advancement that includes finding all the biomes; this is better explained on the advancements page. Biomes affect you, especially at the beginning of the game, but you need not worry about specific biomes until you have learned how to play the game. If you are curious, you may want to read more about biomes on the biomes page. That said, there are a few cases you should worry about:

  • You start on a small island in the ocean: Go to the highest point on the island and look around for other land. If you see a reasonably-sized continent with trees and animals, swim there. If you see no large land and no animals in sight, you have an "ocean spawn". For a player's first game, it is entirely reasonable to exit this world and try again with a different seed.
  • You are standing on sand, with no trees or water nearby. You are in a desert. Again, go to high ground and look around for trees and green grass. If you see some, go there before continuing with this guide. If there's no green in sight, this is another situation where you can reasonably toss the world and try again. Deserts are much easier when encountered from outside, but they are missing important things like dirt, wood, and accessible stone, all of which you really do need to start off the game.
  • You are in a dark forest with thick trees, a thick leaf canopy, and giant mushrooms scattered around. This is a particularly unsafe place for a starting character and a beginning player, because the canopy can create areas dark enough for hostile mobs to spawn in daytime. However, if you move quickly, you can probably make it to more open ground in a reasonable amount of time, and start setting up in a more reasonable biome. Don't leave the dark forest behind completely, though — once you have basic armor and weapons, it's a resource-rich area. Grab some of that plentiful wood once you reach the edge! The giant mushrooms also offer a plentiful source of food, so don't forget to grab some of those! There is a rare chance for a woodland mansion to generate in this biome. They are dangerous, but provide you a lot of good resources, so make a note where it is!
  • The land around you is greyish-purple, with dusty particles, giant mushrooms, and red "cows": Rejoice, for you have received a miracle: a spawn in a mushroom fields biome, where hostile creatures cannot appear (except for underground dungeons). You do need to go elsewhere to find wood, crop seeds, and some other resources, but otherwise, you've gotten into a golden situation here. Once you have even a bit of wood, you can get unlimited food from the mooshrooms, and you have a large area in which you barely need to worry about your safety even at night, a great place to set up your long-term base.


If you see houses and other buildings nearby, this is not exactly a biome, but it means that you are near a village, which is a good thing. In fact, a village lets you skip past much of the first and second-day activities (due to ready-made shelter and beds) but it requires a bit of care. It's worth exploring the village and looting any chests you find; if you happen to find any emeralds, you might even be able to buy some useful items from the villagers. Besides providing equipment, food and other resources, a village also lets you collect the seeds for all four of the basic crops up front, from their farms, and you can also take one of their beds with you when you leave. You can even grab a few blocks of wood or stone from their houses, but try not to damage the village too much -- your best bet may be to disassemble one of the smaller houses and move its bed to one of the intact houses. (Don't bother doing this in a desert village, the sandstone is pretty but fragile, and you can't make tools out of it.)

If you see an iron golem trundling around, be careful — If you attack it or the villagers, it becomes hostile to you!

Right-click (use) on the villagers to open the trading interface. Do not left-click (attack) on them as they become upset, raising their prices... and if an iron golem notices, you're in trouble.

As you originally encounter them, villagers can sell useful early-game items like iron tools, armor and weapons, but remember that eventually you can mine for your own iron and such. Don't bother buying stone tools unless you're in a desert, and maybe not even then. You can also harvest wheat and vegetables from village farms, but be sure to replant them afterward, they don't look like much newly planted, but they grow back over time. You can even sell the crops you harvested back to the farmers. You can also harvest any hay bales from the vicinity and craft them back into wheat, and sell the wheat to any farmer you find (or make bread out of it for yourself).

Any time you are near a village, you can sleep in one of their beds overnight, as soon as night falls. Trying to stay up overnight can expose the village to attacks by monsters, which can easily wipe out the villagers. It's okay if a villager has already claimed the bed — trying to use the bed the first time simply kicks the villager out, and then you can use the bed again for yourself. If you have a village, you should probably travel some distance from it (say, fifty or a hundred or so blocks from the edge) to make your own lair, to avoid having monsters appear overnight due to your presence. If monsters (such as illagers) do appear during the day, your best bet at this point is to ring one of the bells in the village, and hope that the village's iron golem can deal with the invasion. It is difficult to repopulate a village that has been wiped out.

Certainly remember where the village was, because as you accumulate more resources, the trading becomes more exploitable. For the first day, the most obvious tricks are:

  • Take any food or other resources from the chests. Some items like obsidian or horse armor may not be immediately useful, so you can leave those for later.
  • Collect any hay bales and harvest any crops that are ripe,. Try to replant what you harvest, but make sure you keep seeds for each of the four crops (wheat, carrots, potatoes, beetroot). If there are pumpkins or melons around, collect samples of those.
  • The hay bales can be turned into wheat, which, along with any harvested crops can be sold back to the farmers, or crafted into bread. If you have a fair bit of extra wood, and can find a Fletcher, you can turn the wood into sticks (see below) and sell those, getting 1 emerald for 2 logs' worth of wood. With those emeralds and any you find in the chests, you may be able to buy a couple more useful items, most likely leather armor or iron tools.
  • If you really need wood or stone, try harvesting a few logs or cobblestone from above head height in the houses, so as to minimize the damage.
  • Sleep in a bed overnight, and take it with you when you go.

Getting Logs[]

Main articles: Wood and Log

Wood is the most basic resource in Minecraft, and you need to collect some up front. The usual and most plentiful wood source are logs from trees, which are available in most biomes. Logs are one of many items that can be collected without the use of a tool. All you have to do is mine any log of the tree with your hand or any item. Each block drops as an item that you can pick up and put in your inventory by approaching it. You should start by collecting 6-8 logs for your first tools. There are many different types of trees in Minecraft, each having its own individual name and look. Each kind of log can easily be crafted into a matching type of planks. All logs and planks work for any recipe requiring logs or planks respectively, but a few recipes require that all the wood you use be the same type (for example, when making a boat, you can't mix oak and spruce planks). If you mine all the wood from a tree, the leaf blocks atop it start decaying (you can also break them yourself), dropping sticks, saplings, and perhaps apples. For your first day, don't wait around for leaves to decay, but as usual, pick up any items they do drop and save them for later. Once you get to making axes, harvesting wood becomes much faster!

A rarer source of wood is sunken ships, which are made of logs and planks and are found in ocean biomes, but dealing with these is probably best saved for later. Abandoned mineshafts (found on the surface in a few biomes) also contain planks, but these are definitely better saved for later. Your Recipe Book provides an assortment of useful recipes for wood, including each type of wood as you encounter it.

In order to obtain better materials at faster speeds, the player needs tools. Tools are items that allow the player to complete tasks other than placing blocks at faster speeds than normal. Most tools can be made out of different materials each better than the last. Using a tool to mine the blocks for it is intended mines the blocks more quickly than normal. Tools lose durability upon each use, even if the use was to hit an entity. In fact, using tools as weapons generally wears them out more quickly. Enough damage to a tool eventually causes the tool to break. Different tools have different properties and abilities. If you are using a tool on a block and it seems to be taking an unexpectedly long time, you may be using the wrong tool for that block. Stop to look at the block and reconsider your approach.

Having acquired wood and made a crafting table, the first tool to craft is a wooden pickaxe. This starts by crafting a couple of logs into planks, and then at two of those planks into sticks. The planks required for a wooden tool can be any combination of planks, as shown below.

You probably don't need to craft any other tools out of wood, because you can soon start upgrading to stone, but if you're starting in a forest, making a crafting table and wooden axe from your first three logs can help you get more wood quickly.

The basic tools are:

  • Pickaxe: used to break and gather stone, metal, and related materials such as ores.
  • Axe: used to collect wooden materials more quickly.
  • Shovel: used to gather dirt-type blocks: dirt, sand, gravel, clay block, and their variations."Grass blocks" are a variation of dirt.
  • Hoe: used to break some lightweight blocks such as leaves, but its main use is to turn dirt or grass blocks into farmland.
  • Sword: in addition to breaking cobwebs, a sword is used to attack animals or monsters.

See the overview above for tool crafting recipes, but the reader may have noticed that in order to craft a basic tool, they more or less draw it with its components in the crafting grid. Other items are crafted in a similar fashion.

Entering the Stone Age[]

View of cave entrance showing some stone.

Cave entrances usually expose stone, but be cautious about going into the depths!

Once the player has crafted a pickaxe, they can successfully acquire cobblestone to make better tools. Cobblestone is collected by finding stone, then mining it with any pickaxe. Stone mined with any pickaxe drops as a cobblestone item. Besides the "original" gray stone, there are three other kinds of rock you can find, which are good for building, but you cannot use them to craft tools. White diorite and reddish granite are fairly obvious, but andesite is also gray, and can easily be mistaken for proper stone; when you start mining, check the block that you get in your inventory to make sure it's actually cobblestone instead of an andesite block.

If no stone appears above ground near the player, stone can also be found by digging into the ground. The stone layer usually appears within 5 blocks under dirt and grass, or within 8 blocks under sand and sandstone. Remember to never mine out the block you are standing on, unless you know that what's below that block isn't a long fall, lava, or other dangers! Another warning here: Unlike most blocks, sand and gravel can fall, and if they fall on you they can suffocate you. If that happens, don't panic, just dig yourself out as quickly as you can.

Most players should gather at least 19 pieces of cobblestone in total, which is enough to make a furnace and all the basic stone tools including the sword and hoe. Taking extra cobblestone is good in case you use up some of your tools and need to replace them. At your crafting table, you should have all the recipes you need for a full set of stone tools.

At this point, you have a set of basic tools and both of the basic crafting blocks. And while you're not really prepared for a fight, you at least have a basic weapon to defend yourself or hunt animals for food.

Your options for "what to do next" have opened up: The top priority is to arrange for a shelter for the night, a bed to sleep in, or both... but you should also have at least some time left to gather more resources (especially light and food) as you explore and/or build. These extra resources can give you a solid head start for the next day and the remainder of the game. Read the following sections, and attend to them according to what you find in the world around you.

A stone surface with some coal ore showing.

Coal ore exposed on the surface.

A good start is to take your axe, and cut down some more trees for logs, trying to accumulate at least 10 or even 20 logs. Although some trees may look different than others, all logs work the same. However, different kinds of logs don't stack together, and likewise for their planks. While you cut down trees, try to gather the saplings, sticks, and perhaps apples that drop from the leaves.

While doing this, explore the immediate area (making sure you don't get lost), to try and find some coal ore. Coal is a key resource for making torches and smelting materials, but if you can't get it, you can fill in with charcoal, which is smelted from logs. If you get some, craft a few torches up front, but don't use up all your coal -- save some for later smelting. If you happen across a similar ore with tan specks in place of the black ones, you have found iron ore. Iron is extremely useful for most of your Minecraft career, and if it's within easy reach, go ahead and gather it (a stone pickaxe is required). However, if it's in a difficult-to-reach place, just note its location and save it for later.

Along the way, keep an eye out for useful plants. Keep breaking grass for seeds as you pass it, and grab a few of other plant types that you encounter, except perhaps for flowers. Flowers are not useful yet (though dandelions might be helpful for catching rabbits), but more useful finds (depending on where you are) include pumpkins, sugar cane, melons, cactus, and sweet berry bushes. If you find any of these, break some of them and take the results with you for later farming. Be careful with cactus and berry bushes, as they harm you if you touch them! "Using" a berry bush can drop the berries without breaking the bush, but the bushes are common (not to mention hazardous), and if you do want more bushes, you can just plant the berries.

Basic necessities[]

Providing light[]

Main article: Light

Players are greatly affected by light in Minecraft. Any underground space is dark, and half of the time the game is at night. It is possible to see a little better by altering the same settings to raise the brightness level of the display, but it's not just about visibility; monsters spawn in the darkness. Specifically, any space further than 24 blocks from a player without any light is a potential spawning ground for monsters. Accordingly, a player "claims" territory by lighting it up so that monsters cannot spawn. From the first day, a player can create torches, a basic light source that remains useful throughout the game. Torches (and any other light source) need to be placed in the world to give off light. They can be placed on the side or top of any solid block, and some that aren't entirely solid (for example, you can put a torch on top of a fence). Unlike in real life, a torch remains lit forever, allowing the player to use torches as a cheap and permanent light source. One stick plus one coal or charcoal crafts into 4 torches. At the beginning of the game, you should make torches 4 at a time as you need them, once you have a reasonable supply of coal and/or charcoal you can keep a stack of torches handy.

The most important places to light up are a player's home or base, caves explored, the outside around the player's home, and anywhere the player is often at or near that is dark.

Torches are also useful to prevent getting lost in caves as well as to prevent monsters from spawning in them. On the way into a cave, for example, a player can place torches on the left side wall (especially near where tunnels branch, and then the player knows that to find the way out, the torches should be on the right.

Getting food[]

Main articles: Hunger and Food

Even though you probably aren't hungry yet, collecting some food up front, and arranging for more, is a good thing. Just now, there are three things you can do about that:

  • You can find apples and sweet berries, which are immediately edible, but these are not good food, and also don't warrant much further discussion. Grab them as you find them, eat them if you need to.
  • You can start a crude farm, which does not provide food immediately, but it pays off well later, as a head start toward a permanent food supply.
  • You can kill animals and cook their meat, to get some high-quality food for your first few days of the game.
  • You can kill spiders to get string, from which you can craft a fishing rod to catch fish, which you can cook for good food.

As with your health bar, you start with a full hunger bar, with 10 icons ("shanks") representing 20 hunger points. After you have been moving around (and perhaps fighting) for a while, the hunger bar begins rippling and start decreasing. If the hunger bar drops below 90% (🍗 × 9), you cannot regenerate health, and if it gets to 30% (🍗🍗🍗), you can't sprint. If the hunger bar goes down to empty, you begin losing ♥ health. Unless you are in Hard mode (and a beginning player shouldn't be), you can't actually starve to death, but your health declines 1 health point (♥) in Normal mode, or half the health bar (♥♥♥♥♥ in Easy mode), which leaves you quite vulnerable. If you are playing in Peaceful mode, you do not have to deal with hunger at all.

The primary drain on hunger is from healing damage, and for quite some time eating is your only way to heal damage! Fighting (even before healing damage), sprinting, and jumping are all food-intensive as well. (That includes going uphill with auto-jump.) You have a little grace period (see "saturation") when starting the game and after eating, but when that's exhausted, your food bar starts to ripple, after which healing damage or getting too athletic starts to drain your hunger bar. See the Second Day guide for slightly more detail, or the Hunger page for the whole story.

If you are staying at full health, and not fighting, sprinting, jumping, swimming long distances, or mining many blocks, then you use almost no food. Walking at normal speed does not use up food. Neither does rowing a boat. Thus, if your character has a secure place to stay, you can just stay put to conserve food while waiting out the night, a storm, or crop/animal growth.

First farming[]

Previously, you learned to break tall grass and collect the seeds. Now you have a chance to use those. Look for any water (pond, river, ocean) with dirt or grass nearby at the water level. Use your hoe on the dirt or grass, within 4 blocks of the water itself (diagonals count). Wait a moment to make sure the new farmland darkens instead of reverting back to dirt, then plant your seeds, one per block (save one or two seeds for possible chicken-wrangling, below). Later you can make a more organized farm, but for now, you have just gotten a head start on a permanent food supply. When you come back here tomorrow or the next day, the seeds may have grown into wheat, which you can use to make bread or to lure and breed cows (see "animals", below). You also get extra seeds from harvesting the wheat, which you can use to plant more wheat, or to lure and breed chickens. Pro tip: If you have any torches, place one to light the field overnight.

If you have found a village, it should have farms that may include any of the four food crops: Wheat, carrots, potatoes, and beetroot. See their respective pages to see how to recognize the mature plants, and how to prepare each of these for eating. Having done so, you can harvest any mature plants you find and replant the crop afterward, with a seed (wheat or beetroot) or one of the several carrots or potatoes you just harvested. Be sure to save some seeds, and extra carrots and potatoes, for your own later farms. If you're doing this in a village and don't want to plant the seeds yourself, you can give them to a farmer to plant for you.

Main article: Mob § List of mobs

Those creatures in Minecraft that are not immediately hostile to the player, are known as passive and neutral mobs ("mobs" for "mobile", this is a common term on this wiki). Many passive mobs can be killed for meat. Raw meat is not as nourishing as cooked meat. See "Smelting" below for details on how to cook food.

Passive mobs never attempt to harm the player. The majority of passive mobs are traditional domesticated farm animals that usually ignore the player. If harmed, they flee for a short time. Some animals (such as rabbits or foxes) run straight away from players who get too near. If a passive mob is killed, it may drop resources such as raw meat. Most passive mobs at least drop a few experience orbs if killed by the player, but baby animals never drop anything. These passive mobs include the several meat animals... and now you've got a new stone sword! Look for sheep, cows, chickens, and pigs, use your sword to kill a few and collect the meat and other drops. In particular look for sheep, and try to kill at least 3 of them for their wool. That said, don't slaughter everything you see. Try to leave at least two of each kind alive for later breeding. If you have sufficient wood and are doing well on time, you might even set up a small corral of wooden fences and fence gates, and use seeds to lure some chickens in there for later. Unless you found a village, you don't yet have the wheat you'd need to lure cows and sheep, nor the root vegetables that pigs prefer, but you might perhaps be able to use dandelions to lure rabbits into a secure pen.

Neutral mobs act similarly to passive mobs except that they harm the player if provoked. {Wolves, polar bears, iron golems, llamas, dolphins, pandas, and bees attack the player if the player harms them. These creatures also attack other creatures that hurt them. A polar bear is hostile to the player if a bear cub is nearby, and bees attack if you molest their hive. Bees and wolves both attack as a group: if one of them attacks, all the others in the vicinity join in! For all of these, plus the passive horses, donkeys, and cats, just leave them be for now. They don't drop meat, and you don't have the means to tame or breed them yet. Endermen are a special case, because they are angered not only by being attacked, but simply by looking at them.

For more information on breeding, see the page Breeding. Taming mobs is more complex, but you might look at the pages for wolves, cats, horses, and llamas.

You may also see fish in nearby rivers, and you can go into the water to kill them with your sword. Cod and salmon are edible, but you should cook them like other meat. Be careful about playing in the water. Aside from the risk of drowning in deep water, there may be monsters in there like drowned, and pufferfish can hurt you badly if you approach them. Then too, moving in water is slow, and you don't want to spend too much time there.


Main article: Smelting

To progress in the game, the player needs to know how to use a furnace. A furnace is used to cook food, turn raw iron and raw gold into metal, and create other specific items such as charcoal, all of which are collectively called "smelting". To use a furnace, the player must first have one. This is the crafting recipe:

Just like the crafting table, the player uses the furnace by first placing it down in the world then clicking on it with the use button. The furnace itself counts as a stone-type block, so to pick it back up you need to break it with a pickaxe.

The furnace GUI has only three slots and includes two icons to indicate time. The top left slot ("input") is where items to smelt are placed. The items are moved from this slot one by one as they are cooked and the products are placed in the right slot ("output"). To smelt items, the furnace requires fuel, which is placed in the fuel slot at the bottom left. (The example below shows how to smelt 3 logs into charcoal.) The "fire" icon burns down to show how much of the current fuel item is left, while the arrow shows how far along the smelting of the current item is. An item cannot be partly-smelted: If smelting is interrupted (you pulled the item out of the input, the fuel ran out, or you broke the furnace), the input item remains unchanged.

Smelting takes some time, but you don't need to stay in the GUI, as the process continues while you go do something else. A furnace automatically uses fuel (one item at a time) from the fuel slot as needed, until either all of the items in the input are smelted or all of the fuel runs out. If the input items run out before the fuel, the furnace stays lit until the current fuel item is used up. You can put in more items to use up the rest of the burn time. While the furnace is lit, the furnace block becomes a temporary light source, displaying fire particles and making popping sounds.

It takes 10 seconds for each item to be smelted. Different fuel items burn for different amounts of time; most items made from wood can be used as fuel, but coal or charcoal are more efficient, and other fuels may become available later in the game. Some common fuels: Any wooden tool (or sword) can smelt one item; a wooden plank can smelt 1.5 items (that is, 2 planks smelt 3 items, as shown above), and a piece of coal or charcoal smelts 8 items. Don't use logs directly as fuel; the log burns no longer than each of the four planks you could make from it.

In Java Edition, an efficient fuel is charcoal produced by smelting logs using planks as fuel. In Bedrock Edition, slabs smelt twice as many items as the planks they were made from -- this means that smelting items from slabs is actually more efficient than making charcoal from the wood. (You may still need charcoal to make torches.)

For the first day (or the night afterward), you should start by cooking any raw meat you have, and smelt some logs into charcoal if needed. If you have a bit of extra coal or charcoal, you may want to make a campfire, which burns indefinitely and can cook food without using fuel. Be careful around a campfire, it also burns you if you walk on it! Unlike most things you make, if you break a campfire it does not drop itself, but you at least get a piece of charcoal back.

If you got any raw iron, smelt that too, and craft items according to how many ingots you have: In order, start with a shield, then an iron pickaxe, iron sword, and a bucket. (More details can be found in the "second day" guide.)

For fuel, start with any wood tools the player has replaced with stone tools, and planks (2 at a time, in Bedrock use slabs instead) to smelt a little meat and/or your first charcoal, then move on to coal and/or charcoal for larger jobs. Note that charcoal is a more efficient fuel source than planks, as it keeps the furnace lit longer than the wood that went into it would have.

Smelting items in a furnace also produces experience, which is automatically awarded to the player upon removing any smelted item out of the furnace.

Safety (sleep and shelter)[]

Sleeping on beds[]

Main article: Bed

To make it through the first night, the player can do either (or both) of two options: build a shelter, or get hold of a bed. If you have to choose, the bed is likely easier and safer... if you can find those precious three blocks of wool. If you were lucky enough to run into a village, you can sleep in one of their beds, and probably swipe it afterward.

A bed is a special block with an unusual shape: It takes up two blocks of floor space, but is only about half a block tall. When crafting a bed, the three wool must be the same color, which becomes the color of the bed. However, the planks need not match. Wool is obtained from sheep}}; for now you need to kill them for it, but later in the game you can shear sheep to get a steady supply of wool without harming them. Sometimes you may find wool lying on the ground, especially in a forest; this wool comes from sheep that were killed by wolves or by other players. If there are no sheep to be found at all, you can eventually collect string from killed spiders, and craft wool from the string.

With a bed, the night is easy to survive. All you need to do to do is place the bed somewhere suitable (see below, but almost any open ground works) and use it (sleep in it) whenever night falls. If you try using it as sundown approaches but are told "you can only sleep at night or during a thunderstorm...", just wait a few seconds and try again, it works once sundown has properly begun. You also cannot use a bed when hostile monsters are within 10 blocks, or you get the message "you can't sleep now, there are monsters nearby". On successfully using a bed, you change to lying position on the bed without the ability to move – not even looking around. It takes a few seconds after getting into bed before the game skips the night, giving you a chance to change your mind.

A bed allows you to do three important things:

  • It lets you skip past the night (or a thunderstorm, which can also be a fairly dangerous situation for a new player). No time passes in the world: crops do not grow, furnaces do not smelt, etc., but the game time advances to dawn, upon which monsters stop spawning on the surface and any skeletons or zombies caught in the sudden sunlight burst into flame.
    • If you are in a multiplayer game, all other players must also use a bed before night is skipped, though various game mods can alter that rule.
  • Using a bed sets your spawn point, that is the location you respawn in if you die. Without a set spawn point, after dying you reappear somewhere, without your possessions, within 20 blocks of the world spawn point (usually outdoors), and if it was night time, it's still night when you respawn. This is not a pleasant situation! In current versions (1.17 or newer) of Java Edition, using the bed during daytime sets your spawn point even if you can't sleep yet.
  • If you have not slept (or died) within the last three days or so, phantoms can spawn at night and even during thunderstorms. If you go outside, these swoop down from the sky to attack. Sleeping in a bed prevents this not-so-minor inconvenience. Phantoms burn like other undead monsters after the sun rises. Luckily, this is only your first day.

A few warnings about using beds for a spawn point:

  • To actually respawn at the new spawn point, the bed needs to stay put! If you pick up the bed to take with you, then if you die the bed is counted as "missing", and it's back to somewhere near the world spawn.
  • You also need to have some open space next to the bed, on the same level or the level below -- someplace where you could stand when you respawn. This has to be a solid, opaque block to stand on; glass, slabs, fences, or other non-solid blocks do not count. If there is no such space when you die, the bed is considered "obstructed", and again, it's back to the world spawn. However, your spawn point still defaults to the bed, if you clear the area out later.
  • In multi-player, if another player has since used the same bed, your spawn point is also lost.

These limitations are why the best option is to have a secure shelter of your own, with a bed permanently installed inside it. That way, after death you come back safe at home. If it's still night or storming, you can go back to bed and sleep through to daylight, before you go back in search of your fallen possessions.

Building your shelter[]

Main article: Tutorials/Shelters

The best way to avoid the dangers of nighttime is to craft and sleep in a bed, but this may not be possible if you couldn't find any sheep during the day.

For more detailed instructions on how to build shelters, see Tutorials/Shelters.

To build a safe shelter, follow these guidelines:

Make sure there are no gaps in the walls. Baby zombies and spiders can climb in through one-block gaps, and creepers will blow up if they see you though any gaps.

Make sure your shelter is well lit. Mobs won't be able to spawn inside if your shelter is well lit, and you'll be able to see better.

Use strong materials. Creepers will be able to blow up a weak shelter.

Emergency shelters[]

If night starts to fall before you can create/go back to your shelter, you do have a few options:

  • Digging a hole into a hill and sealing off the entrance.
  • Digging down three blocks and sealing off the top.
  • Riding a boat out to sea for the night. (Be careful of drowned)
  • Changing the difficulty to peaceful to remove all monsters and changing it back in the morning.

Make sure to light up any shelter with a torch, so you can see what you are doing and mobs can't spawn in your shelter (if it's big enough)

You'll also need a way in and out of a shelter. You can seal the shelter with dirt or wood, or you can make a door using six wooden planks in a crafting table. In hard difficulty, zombies will be able to break doors, so you might want to also seal the outside of your door off with the beforementioned dirt or wood.

You may also reinforce a door with a fence gate, placed outside your door. Monsters cannot open or break fence gates, even in hard difficulty.

Useful crafts[]

There are a few things the player can craft that are particularly useful when making a shelter. In all cases, see their respective pages for more details. For all but the chest, the planks you use must all be of the same type (the ladder uses no planks).

  • Doors make a 2-high entrance that can be quickly opened or closed. Depending what wood they're made of, you may be able to see through them a little, but regardless they let light through, which can tell you when dawn comes even if they have no transparent parts.
  • Trapdoors are the vertical version of doors, providing a one-block entrance in a floor or ceiling. (Ladders are helpful here, see below.) They likewise let light pass through, but you may or may not be able to actually see through them.
  • Fences are a versatile barrier; placed in a line on the ground, they block most monsters (and animals). While they look like they're only one block high, they are in fact 1½ blocks high, which is too high to jump over. (But watch out for blocks within the couple of blocks behind them, which can let monsters climb up on those to jump onto the fence.) One drawback is that spiders can climb such fences, like other blocks. If placed in a wall (that is, surrounded by blocks on all sides including the top), fences can provide a cheap window, since you can see through them (but monsters can't). Make sure the fence is visibly joined to all blocks on each side; they do not join to doors, trapdoors or glass. You can also make similar walls out of cobblestone or other kinds of stone, but these don't provide visibility.
  • Fence gates are a cross between doors and fences. They are 1 12 blocks high like fences, but can be opened and closed.
  • Ladders are flat blocks that you can place against a wall to let you climb them. If you leave the bottom block (against the ground) un-laddered, you need to jump to get onto the ladder, but monsters can't climb after you. As usual, spiders can still climb the wall.
  • A chest isn't really necessary at this stage, but it's a convenient way to stash items you don't want to carry around. If you get killed, anything in the chest remains there, waiting for you rather than scattered around your death site. It needs to be placed as a block, then "use" the block to open its GUI and get at the contents. If you break a chest (use your hand or an axe), everything that was inside spills out as loose items, along with the chest item itself. Two chests next to each other can combine into a "large chest", see the Chest page for full details.
Name Ingredients Crafting recipe
Wooden Door Matching Planks
Wooden Fence Matching Planks +
Wooden Fence gate Stick +
Matching Planks

Wooden Trapdoor Matching Planks
Ladders Stick
Chest Any Planks

Read more: Guide to shelters


When dawn comes, you should wait for undead creatures (zombie, skeleton) to start burning before you exit your shelter.

Once all zombies and skeletons have died, take out your sword and exit the shelter with caution.

Watch out for creepers. They don't burn in daylight. If you see a creeper, stay away from it, and let it despawn or wander off. You could also try killing it or making it explode in a safe way, but be careful not to get blown up; a creeper can kill you nearly instantly, as you have no armour.

Watch out for zombies and skeletons with helmets on (Normal+ difficulty) or in water, as they will attack you. Burning zombies can set you on fire (Normal+ difficulty). If this happens, go into water to put yourself out.

You can safely ignore spiders, as they are neutral during the day and won't attack you unless you attack it.

After the first day[]

A tutorial for the next day is available here: Tutorials/The Second Day. In general, your options increase over time, and you have more choice about what tasks to focus on next.

Following are some general tips:

Home safety[]

First Day House

A 3×3×2 chamber in stone, filled with 1 bed, 1 furnace, 1 crafting table, and 1 torch. Sealed with door and defended by a dry moat.

By the end of the first day, your shelter is likely to be primitive and small. In the days afterward, you can build a better home, in any of various forms. Some natural extensions include a back door, windows, a surrounding fence, and even traps for monsters. Others are beautiful houses. If you build one and you don't like it, just build a different one. Remember that any time you pick up your bed, your spawn point reverts to the default (that is, random within 20 blocks of the world spawn point), until you not only place but sleep in (or at least "use") a bed again. For this reason, if your home is not near the world spawn point, you should eventually use a compass to locate the exact point, and build a shelter there, or keep enough wool and planks to build new beds in new locations to keep your respawn point nearby as you explore the world.


See also: Tutorials/Mining

Eventually, you must venture below ground to gather iron and other resources. While there are much more advanced mining techniques, the most basic way to find ores is by entering a cave and exploring. Remember, if you are mining, "never dig straight down" is a great rule to follow as you might fall in lava or in a group of monsters. You can, however, dig down in a 2×1 pattern, standing in the middle of the 2 blocks. This allows you to have a "safe block" in case there is lava beneath you. Or you can dig your shaft a few blocks at a time and put in ladders as you go, or just dig a staircase down instead of a straight shaft.

Finding a cave[]

You have no problems if you have just spent your night in a cave. If you haven't, the easiest way to do so is to roam the Overworld a little and look out for exposed cave entrances. Mountains biomes have caves inside mountains, but these are generally not what you want, because only coal ore appears above sea level. For iron and better ores, you want to find a cave opening into the ground (these are quite common) and head downward. Sometimes such caves end immediately, but often they continue into big cave systems. If they seem to end right away, sometimes there is a continuation about 2-8 blocks farther back and below the cave's end; mining in these directions (8 blocks back and down, exploring somewhat to the sides) can reveal this if it is the case. Digging away gravel or dirt can also expose cave extensions, but you may go through a few shovels that way. If you can't find any all day, just sleep away the night, replenishing your resources like wood and food as you use them. If you hear suspicious, hostile noises, just try to listen and follow them.

Cave exploration[]

Cave exploration is pretty straight forward: you light up your way with torches, mine up ores as you see them (check ores and minerals), and kill enemies as you encounter them (see Tutorials/Combat for details). Some important techniques might not be obvious to a new player, such as using waterfalls to descend into shafts, and/or swim back up from them. There are also many options for marking your trail and not getting lost. Also, note that sneaking (on PCs, the ⇧ Left Shift key by default) prevents you from falling over the edge of a block, and as such it is useful if you are caving near a long drop, especially a drop into lava. There are also open ravines, which can be explored by daylight, a bit more safely than underground caves. If you have spent a long time in a cave, be wary of coming back to the surface at night — at night there can be more monsters on the surface than there were in the caves, and if you spent long enough down there, there might even be phantoms! If there are, then try to avoid them or bring a spare bed with you while mining so you can sleep and get rid of them.

Tutorial videos[]