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Once the player have survived the first and second days of Minecraft survival, gathered some basic resources, and made a shelter, it's time to start making farms and gathering more resources. This tutorial will give you some tips of what you can do on the third day of playing Minecraft.

Note that this guide assumes that the player is playing in survival mode and on normal difficulty. If playing in a separate mode or difficulty, things may be slightly or significantly different than this guide.


By the third day, the player should have a basic shelter and basic resources, though you probably don't have enough resources to last for a long time just yet. Now it's time to gather more resources and/or improve the house. If you're adventurous, you can also go find caves, dungeons, strongholds and/or mineshafts to fight monsters and/or find ores, which will both be very useful for various reasons. If you don't feel safe encountering caves and similar structures just yet, the player can just explore in the Overworld and look for villages and temples, as they contain various loot. Try to make a few various farms, and use some redstone.

Note: Since Minecraft is a very open and often personal game, each player should decide what to do for themselves. Many gameplay methods exist at this point of your adventure, so you can try doing different things and look for your favorite activity.

Tips to the full Minecraft experience[]

If you are still looking for a common path to follow, start crafting more materials. Use the advancements list or the list below as goals to help you progress, ensuring that you also take breaks to enjoy the sandbox!

  • Start a farm of some type to always have food and other materials on hand, such as a wheat farm.
  • Start a mine down to the bedrock, create a mineshaft if possible, and stockpile ores.
  • Craft a Book and Quill to jot down important coordinates and keep it on you as an alternative to maps. Some players use text files in their PCs in place of this.
  • Make a mob trap and get resources (gunpowder, string, arrows, etc.)
  • Return to your home and further expand it and craft new items.
  • If you go mining and see lava, gather it with an empty bucket:
    • Lava buckets are a very good fuel source – they can smelt over 100 items per bucket. However, be sure to empty the furnace, as once 64 items are smelted and they are not removed, the furnace will still be using up the fuel but will not smelt anymore items. Just take the output stack and refill the input stack, and the furnace will continue until it runs out of fuel. Later you can make hoppers to automate the flow of material. This is especially useful if you are making smooth stones in quantity.
    • With care, lava can also be used to fend off monsters, flooding a hillside or filling a trench to burn them. Try not to start forest fires!

These are the basic activities that you can do on your third day. Remember, don't do too much because you have very limited resources. Also, make sure to always stay close to your shelter.

Gathering Resources[]

Resources are very important in Minecraft. Resources include not just the blocks that make up the world, but also mob drops and farmable crops. These let you build shelters and make food, tools, armor, and much more. Because of this, it's important to make sure that you never run out of resources. For materials that are rare and non-renewable, use them very sparingly, only when you absolutely need them. It's recommended to use common or renewable materials whenever possible. However, note that renewable materials are usually only renewable when a farm of that material is made, so don't use up all of any type of material in one area before you've made a farm of that material.

Preparation Before Exploring[]

Survival Exploring Inventory

A suitable inventory for exploring in Survival mode, containing torches, a bed, tools, weapons, 2 pieces of iron armor, blocks, food, bow and arrows, and compass.

It is highly recommended to bring the following items before exploring:

  • A bed: these reset your spawn point and skip the whole night without having to fend off monsters. Sleeping also fends off phantoms for three days.
  • Weapons
  • A shield
  • Iron Armor: at least 1 piece, preferably the chestplate
  • (Stone/Iron/Diamond) Pickaxe
  • (Stone/Iron/Diamond) Shovel
  • Cooked Food
  • Torches: Lighting up your house prevents monsters from spawning in your house, especially at nighttime.
  • Place any unnecessary items in a chest. Any items placed in a chest will not be lost if you die.
  • [Optional] Clock: If you are in an underground shelter due to having no time to create a shelter with windows and doors, you can use a clock to see what time it is outside without opening a hole, risking a monster spotting you.
  • [Optional] Compass: This tool can help you find your way back to the spawn point.
  • [Optional] Map: This shows a top-down view of the area and can be more useful to find your way home than a compass.
  • [Optional] Empty Bucket or 2-4 Milk buckets: Milk Buckets will help you negate any effects inflicted on you, which is extremely useful if you encounter a witch or a cave spider which gives you poison. For Beginners: to obtain milk buckets, just go up to a cow and use an empty bucket on it and the bucket will have milk in it; this milk can then be drunk to negate any status effects.

Searching for Landmarks[]

To avoid wasting valuable daylight time, search for certain landmarks, blocks, and formations. Some of the features in the world you may want to look for and mark are the following:

  • Farm animals (cows, chickens, pigs, sheep): You'll want to use wheat, seeds or carrots to round up at least two of each kind you see, and fence them in for breeding. Later you can collect any you're missing from neighboring biomes. In particular, if there are wolves around, you want to round up some sheep before the wolves clear them out of the area. If the sounds that animals make annoy you, put your pens at least thirty blocks away from your shelter.
  • Wolves or Cats: If you see either of these around, tame a pair and breed them a bit so you'll have them if you need them. Cats can be tamed with raw fish, and wolves with bones. One way you will know if wolves are nearby is if you see drops of wool on the ground, as wolves attack sheep.
  • Miscellaneous plants and seeds:
    • Each plant has different needs for farming; see the Tutorials#Farming list for full details. In all cases, once you get a farm going, you'll have an effectively unlimited supply of that material.
    • Seeds (that is, the original wheat seeds) come from breaking tall grass. Even if you don't want to make a full farm yet, you can simply use a hoe to till some ground near water, and plant a few seeds for leading and breeding animals, and eventually making bread. Just be careful not to jump on your seeds, as that will destroy them.
    • Sugar cane, pumpkins, melons, cactus, and cocoa plants can all be found in appropriate biomes, and can be variously used to reproduce their kind.
    • Dungeon chests can provide several kinds of seeds. Currently, in 1.16, they can provide pumpkin, melon, and beetroot seeds, but not cocoa beans.
    • Saplings are mostly found when harvesting wood, but can also appear in flowerpots, found in villages or other structures. Each tree has its own habits, each kind of wood has its own virtues.
  • Cave entrances: Good places to find coal and iron ore near the surface, and perhaps better stuff further down. They may lead into larger networks of caves. Make sure to be cautious when exploring these, see various tutorials for tips.
  • Ravines and shafts: Make a waterfall with a water bucket to get down into these safely. These can give easier access to deep underground levels, where you can find gold, redstone, and even diamonds. Ravines especially are almost certain to open into more caves.
  • Mountains: Besides being landmarks, mountains may contain caves, or sometimes even a path to a cave network. However, note that caves above sea level (Y level 64) will contain no ores except coal.
  • Fire: Fire is an indicator of either a burning mob or something flammable. The only 2 naturally occurring sources of fire are lightning or lava. (Undead will burn in the sun, but won't set other things afire.) If there isn't a thunderstorm going on and you happen to have a bucket, by all means, check it out. A conspicuous lack of trees in an otherwise heavily forested area (clearings in a jungle, for example) can indicate the same thing.
  • Beaches: Beaches are a source of water, sand, clay, sugar cane, and the occasional buried treasure or even shipwreck or ruins. If you have any need of these a beach is a good place to look.
  • Dungeons: Repeated appearances of one type of mob, or collected drops of one type close together, may indicate a dungeon nearby. Square, even, dry basins on the ground may also indicate a dungeon beneath.
    • The dungeon itself will have walls made of cobblestone, chests, and flooring including mossy cobblestone. One or two treasure chests will be within the room.
    • However, there is almost always a monster spawner guarding the loot. This will spawn either skeletons, spiders, or zombies, one type per spawner. By lighting the spawner instead of destroying it, and excavating and building around this, most dungeons can easily be converted into small mob farms for experience and drops.
    • If, when exploring a mineshaft, you see a room full of cobwebs, watch out! This is probably a cave-spider spawner. so be very cautious when approaching. Note that these aren't dungeons, and in particular they aren't enclosed in stone walls! Between this and cave spiders' ability to squeeze through small spaces, most players are better off taking a pickaxe to the spawner rather than trying to farm it. They do have treasure chests.
    • You can also find treasure chests in mineshafts, or (eventually) strongholds.
  • Floating Blocks: Sometimes off of high hills, a small clump of dirt or stone can be seen floating in the sky. This was originally a glitch, which Notch decided not to fix. They're useful as landmarks. You can make your own similar landmarks if you like.
  • Lakes: These can be used as landmarks or handy water sources. Also useful if you are on fire, as stepping into water will put out the fire.
  • If you happen to come across a village, do take advantage of this. First of all, grab one of their beds and use it every night until you've thoroughly secured the village.
    • Your first priority should be to build a fence or wall around the village (to keep out wandering mobs), and place torches to light up the area, especially inside buildings.
    • You may also need to place stairs or blocks so that villagers can get into houses, due to bugs in village generation. To protect village houses from zombies, it may help to break down the doors and replace them the other way around—that is, flush with the outside wall.
    • Likewise, fence off any cliffs, cave entrances, lava pools, or similar hazards, as villagers are very stupid and prone to killing themselves off or getting trapped in caves.
    • Even after doing this, you will need to defend the village from regular zombie intrusions, but lighting up and walling off the village will usually help minimize the spawns of other dangerous mobs, such as creepers.
    • Even before securing the village, you will find many resources within, ranging from crafting tables and pre-built farms to treasure chests with equipment and materials, sometimes even diamonds. All villages will have wheat, carrot, beetroot, and potato farms, and some have melon (desert and savanna village) or pumpkin (taiga and snowy taiga village) farms.
    • You'll also be able to trade with the villagers as well, setting up a few large farms of your own can help with that.

Another way you can locate biomes and generated structures is using ChunkBase. Go to seed map and type in your seed. In the features, deselect, then select biome, spawn point, and anything else you want to locate. Click on the structure icon (villager, witch, rail, eye of ender) to find the coordinates of that structure. Go there and loot the structure.


If you see a bee nest, don't break it or the bees will get mad at you. Instead, put a campfire under it. Wait for dripping honey particles, and shear the hive for 3 honeycombs. Craft a beehive and place it near your base, with a campfire beneath. Have flowers nearby. Go back to the bee nest and use a flower or lead to get at least 2 bees. Breed them for more. Don't forget to make more hives for the bees to live in. Now you can get honey bottles, which can remove poison. (Useful for mineshaft and ocean exploration, and witches). Bees can also pollinate crops, so have the hives near the farm. You may also produce bee nests while growing oak or birch trees, if a flower is nearby.

Expansions to the Shelter[]

On your first night, players must have a shelter before the sun goes down, otherwise build strong tools in time to combat the enemies relentlessly hunting the player down, or get to a place where the enemies cannot reach the player. Although, no matter what precaution is taken, there is always some strange possibility that a creeper could get inside any shelter and blow everything up. This could open a few opportunities to expand.

Improving your Shelter's Safety[]

Stone House

A suitable house for the third day. It's made of cobblestone stairs and stone bricks, making it fully fire-resistant and partially blast resistant, and is medium in size.

Although building your shelter out of dirt and wood may seem convenient, easy, and simple, it is not safe, so is certainly not advisable. As you mine, you will collect both cobblestone, and other stone blocks (andesite, diorite, granite). All of these are much stronger than dirt or wood -- once you have enough completely rebuild any above-ground parts of your shelter. You may want to craft the "other stone" blocks into their polished or carved versions, for looks; once you have plenty of fuel, you can also smelt cobblestone back into gray stone and make stone bricks. This is mostly to improve resistance to creepers. Adding glass windows to the home will allow you to look outside of the shelter and identify dangers, especially creepers, so you are not surprised by enemies. If you are in Hard difficulty, zombies can break down doors, in other difficulties they will still bang on the doors but cannot break them. You can also surround your house with a fence, using fence gates so you can get in and out. Placing torches every 7-10 blocks along the fence, and around your house, will prevent enemies from spawning inside your perimeter. As you continue playing, you can expand your perimeter and light up more territory.

Overworld (the world you spawn in) hostile mobs do not climb ladders so you can use height to your advantage. Also remember to avoid looking at endermen (which means placing your cross hairs on it). This will cause the enderman to turn hostile for a short while.

Consider building a safe room, which is a simple room underground with a bed, a chest full of food, a bow and arrows (and/or a sword, if you have no bow or arrows), and a door opening. This is so that you can sleep through the night, minimize monsters, bring your health back up, and kill off the monsters keeping you in.

Expanding Your Shelter[]

The first thing to do is check the time of day. If you're planning on lots of work, make sure it's morning. A good idea is to renovate. This is because unless your base is underground, hostile mobs may spawn and attack you. Expanding requires you to expose yourself to the outside.

Choose a good technique for your extension. A good idea for your early days in Minecraft is cobblestone. "Stone" blocks (cobblestone, stone, granite, etc.) have higher blast resistance than dirt/planks, and cobblestone is the easiest to get in large quantities. It'll be hard for a creeper to do serious damage to a cobblestone shelter, but for a planks/dirt shelter, a large part or all may be blown up. Any form of shelter should be as strong as possible.

An alternative would be to dig your base deeper, possibly collecting ores you may come across along the way.

Many players also choose to start a mine from inside their shelter (that is, start the initial shaft or stair from a convenient indoor spot). This will allow you to mine through the night without danger of mobs coming in. (If it's a stairway, you'll want a fence gate at the entrance.)


After choosing your next course of action, progress to the more advanced tutorials.

Tutorial videos[]

See also[]