Skyblock is one of the most popular survival gamemodes. The idea is that you can create and expand your very own world infinitely with only minimal materials.
You start on a small island floating in the middle of void with a few items and a single tree and you must learn to use and preserve your materials wisely as each one has a strategic use, (for example lava buckets), and to know the basics of Minecraft in order to complete challenges and to expand. It is normal to make beginner mistakes, sometimes requiring many restarts.
There are countless Skyblock maps that can be found over various Minecraft community websites. You can also play online by choosing a Skyblock multiplayer server. Skyblock is widely known as being the most popular map and gamemode ever created on Minecraft while being popular for almost a decade, with gameplay and tutorials from just about every Youtuber including MrBeast, PewDiePie, CaptainSparklez and others.
Since there is no normal terrain to explore, setting up farms for resources is vital to game progression.
Your first day
Your first day will mainly depend on the skyblock map. If you have any grass or flowers, mine them and try to get at least one seed. Then, break the dirt on your island, leave at least a few grass blocks. Place the dirt around the tree so that it catches the dropped saplings. Chop down the tree and make a crafting table and wooden pickaxe. Catch the saplings and replant them. If you have a chest, open it and check the items. You usually start out with a few crops like sugar cane, melons, and pumpkins, some obsidian for a portal. Some maps also give you 2 turtle eggs since you cannot find them anywhere else. There is also a bucket of lava and ice. To make a cobblestone generator, dig a one block deep T-shaped hole. Put a block in the center, water and lava on two others slots. Break the center block, get in the last slot, and break the cobblestone that forms. Make sure that the blocks that surround the lava are not flammable, or they will burn. Mine as much cobblestone as you can and make a full set of stone tools. Make a small shelter out of wood or cobblestone to prevent phantoms and other monsters.
Crops and Trees
If you start with crops, plant them around the water at your cobblestone generator. For your second and third day, you want to gather as much wood and cobblestone as you can. If you have an oak tree, you can get apples for your food. If you started with a melon, make melon seeds and plant them. If you get a melon block, you can break it for melons, which you can also eat.
Hostile mob farms are very important because they are a source of bones, strings, redstone dust, iron ingots, potatoes and carrots, among many other drops. Building a mob farm is mandatory to get the crops to start crop farming. It is also an abundant source of rotten flesh, which you can now eat instead of apples. Multiple mob farms designs are explained in the page Tutorials/Mob farm, however, the vast majority of efficient designs need water or redstone circuits.
This hostile mob farm design shown by ilmango uses the mob pathfinding mechanics to lure them into a drop shaft, without the need of water or redstone circuits (note that spiders can't spawn in this farm) :
|Simple Pathfinding Mob Farm (view on YouTube)|
You should also make a temporary passive mob farm to get animals: to do that, use cobblestone to bridge away from your island, and hope a passive mob spawns.
You can get wheat from the seeds at the start of your island. Along with melon and potato seeds. Killing skeletons will yield bones which can be converted to bonemeal, in order to quickly grow crops in the beginning. On higher versions of Minecraft, killing zombies will also drop carrots and potatoes, which you can farm as well as lure and breed pigs.
Water is extremely useful in a Skyblock world for many uses, and allows you to pillar down easily for building or to save you from death. It is also used to irrigate farmland.
An ice block can be broken by hand to create flowing water.
By using two sources of water, usually included in a chest or as ice blocks apart of the island, you can create an infinite water source. Dig a 2x2 hole 1 block deep, place two water sources in opposite corners, and the merging flows will create new water source blocks. Use a bucket on any of the now-four water blocks, and the removed water will be replaced by a new water source block when the flows merge. If the source blocks are too far apart, the merging flows will be too weak to create a source block, and so cannot become infinite.
Another option is placing a cauldron below open sky and waiting for rain, which will very slowly fill the cauldron with water. When the cauldron is full, you can empty it with a bucket. With 2 bucketfuls of water, you can make an infinite water source. If you're playing on versions above 1.13, you can also use Bone Meal in water to spawn seagrass and more water sources, which you can then pick up with a bucket.
Getting villagers is crucial for your progression, because it is the only way to get emeralds, diamond tools and armor, and the only way to reliably get enchanted books. To get villagers, you will need to cure the rare zombie villagers, which sometimes spawn in mob farms or such.
To cure zombie villagers, you will need to give them the Weakness status effect, and them to use a golden apple on them. There are several ways of doing this: to give a zombie villager the Weakness status effect, you can use a witch (which is more tedious) or make a splash potion of Weakness (which requires to get in the Nether).
To make a witch give Weakness to your zombie villager, you will need to get near the witch with it and have less than 8 health points. There will be then a 25% chance that the witch will throw a splash potion of Weakness. To make your own potion, you need to get a brewing stand, a fermented spider eye and some gunpowder. Note that you will need a brown mushroom to do that, which requires trading with a wandering trader, which itself requires an emerald. In turn, this method is highly impractical for the first villager conversion.
To get the golden apples, you will need gold ingots and apples. Getting the apples is easy, but getting the gold is harder. You can either go to the Nether and kill zombified piglins, smelt golden armor dropped by monsters, or kill drowned, which sometimes drop gold ingots (Note how this will not work in the 1.17 update as a drowned will now drop copper ingots instead of gold ingots).
It is strongly advised to build a villager breeder as soon as possible, in order to avoid doing this tedious process multiple times.
Iron farms are very useful in a Skyblock world, because they allow way easier access to iron ingots. To make the smallest possible iron farm, you will need 3 villagers, 3 beds, and a zombie holding an item (to not de-spawn). Keep in mind that only a small percentage of zombies have this ability, so you will have to try several zombies.
This video by Ray features at the beginning a simple iron farm design, which uses lava in the killing zone but could use another killing system that doesn't need some. The rates are about 320 iron ingots/hour.
|YouTube Video (view on YouTube)|
When your needs for iron get larger, you can just make multiples copies of the farm or build a larger design.
Some Skyblock maps either start the player in The Nether, or give the player access to the Nether through some alternative method.
There are 5 biomes in the Nether, and each of them has unique properties that are interesting in a skyblock context:
- Zombified Piglin farms in the Nether Wastes biome provide gold nuggets.
- You can make Hoglin farms in the Crimson Forest biome, which gives the player an alternative way to get raw porkchops.
- You can make mildly efficient Enderman farms in the Warped Forest biome, which provide ender pearls.
- Magma Cube in the Basalt Deltas biome provide magma cream.
- You can make Ghast farms in the Soul Sand Valley biome, which provides ghast tears and and an alternative way to get gunpowder.
To make a gold farm, make a platform up to 23 blocks away (ensuring the platform is within the Nether Wastes biome) and make a roof out of slabs and wait. A little while later, you should see some zombified piglins spawning. Killing them can give the player gold nuggets, which then gives access to Bartering.
- Blackstone is an alternative to Cobblestone used to create Brewing Stands, Furnaces, and stone tools. While it isn't usually useful, it is extremely important if the player doesn't have a cobblestone generator.
- Crying Obsidian is used to create Respawn Anchors.
- Gravel can be used to create Coarse Dirt, which can be tilled into dirt allowing it to be duplicated, or to obtain Flint used to create Arrows, Flint and Steel and Fletching Tables.
- Nether Quartz is used to create Daylight Detectors, Observers and Redstone Comparators - useful for automation.
- Soul Sand is used to summon the Wither or to create Soul Torches and Soul Campfires, used to repel piglins and hoglins.
If structures are not disabled upon World Generation, Nether Fortresses can still spawn in the void, extending up from the Void. This gives access to a variety of items, such as Coal, Bones, Blaze Rods, Soul Sand, and (most importantly) Wither skeleton skulls. This allows the player to kill the Wither.
The most efficient way to get an item is written in bold.
Ways of getting items requiring cobblestone are written in italic.
With access to the Nether
With access to the End
|From ender dragon (indirect)