Minecraft guide to surviving your first day.

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Minecraft guide to surviving your first day.

If you have no idea where or how to begin your Minecraft journey, the Beginner's Guide is full of good ways to start! Here you will learn how to survive your first night in two different formats: in an overview with goals or in a step-by-step instruction. You can choose which one you want, but both will accomplish the same goal.

If you have not done so already, take a look at the Controls page to learn how to move your character around. Once you have grasped movement, you will be ready to forge on!


Minecraft is a sandbox game, so there's no "correct" way to play the game. In Survival, food and shelter are essential, but everything else is optional. Even the essentials of food and shelter have countless solutions. This guide will show you the more common and straightforward solutions to surviving the first day.

First day

As your first day begins, you will need to collect wood. Use this to make a crafting table (place the crafting table to use it) your first tool should be an axe, which makes collecting wood a lot faster. Then make a wooden pickaxe to dig a small stairway into the ground to collect at least 29 cobblestone for a full set of stone tools, and a furnace (8 cobblestone). You then want to make a shelter (dirt or wooden shack), or if available, stay in a village. After that put down your crafting table and furnace and smelt some wood into charcoal, and make some torches with that.You could use coal for torches.

Alternately, after you gather wood, you can create a crafting table and make a wooden pickaxe. Find stone to mine, and gather a few cobblestones, then make stone tools and sword. Gather coal to make torches and you are ready to go caving.

You can also avoid dealing with hostile mobs by building a bed. Three wool and three planks make a bed. You'll need to kill three sheep or shear the wool from them with shears. Instead of building a home, you simply put down the bed and go to sleep at sunset. Skipping night like this prevents most hostile mobs from spawning above-ground.

Night time

For nighttime, the primary danger will be monsters. It is a good idea to stay in your lit shelter. If you don't have full iron armor and a sword,do not try to engage any monsters! The worst way to die early on is to be killed while trying to hunt monsters, so don't do it! Stay indoors at night!

One way to avoid being attacked by monsters is to put torches, glowstone, or a jack-o-lantern by your house. You will learn how to make all these things later on, but just a heads up. The torches are easy though, you just need to craft charcoal/coal on top of a stick.

If you are repeatedly getting killed, one desperate response is to go into "peaceful difficulty" (see "changing the rules", below). However, consider this: This being your first day, you aren't actually losing much by the deaths (at least not after what stuff you've gathered is lost), so you can just tough it out until dawn and start again.


Normally in survival mode Minecraft, when you die, all items you were carrying or wearing in your inventory are scattered around your point of death while you respawn elsewhere. Until you sleep in a bed, you will spawn somewhere within 10 blocks of the world spawn point. This includes the first time when you started the game, so you can respawn anywhere within 20 blocks of where you first entered the world.

The traditional advice is to build your first shelter as close as possible to the spawn point, so if you die, you can easily find it again, or even spawn in a now-protected area. Even with the variation in where you'll come back, it's good to have a lit shelter nearby the spawn point. However, a problem with sheltering away from spawn is that if your death site is too far from where you respawn, your items may despawn while you're trying reach them. (See below for more details.)

Like any dropped items in Minecraft, the items you drop when you die will despawn (disappear) after 5 minutes, unless you're more than 180 blocks or so away, that is outside of chunk update radius The problem is that if you died at night, you will find yourself stranded without your weapons and armor, so you are quite likely to get killed again, or at least find your stuff guarded by monsters. Meanwhile, some of the monsters can actually pick up your stuff and use it against you! And if you spawned near your death scene, that 5-minute timer can easily go by before you can actually get back to and keep your stuff.

However, the above only applies until you have made and used a bed in a secure shelter. Once you've done that, you have a new option: If you get killed at night, you will respawn next to your bed, so you can just go back to sleep, and wake up the next morning — the items don't “expire” while you're asleep. It still may be worth keeping your bed out of chunk update range from where you're endangering yourself, but at least you won't be stranded outside at night.

Food and hunger

Once you have tools and shelter, your next priority will be food. Hunger will take a while to hit, so it shouldn't be a problem on your first day, but you'll try to pick up some food for when it does. However, after you've been moving around for a while, your food bar will begin rippling and start to decrease. If your food bar drops below 90%, you will not regenerate health, and if it gets to 30%, you can't sprint. If the hunger bar goes down to empty, you will begin losing health. Unless you're in Hard mode (and a beginning playershouldn't be), you can't actually starve to death, but you will go down to 1 health point ( [Half Heart.svg] ) in Normal mode or half your health ( [Heart.svg] [Heart.svg] [Heart.svg] [Heart.svg] [Heart.svg] ) in Easy mode, and that leaves you quite vulnerable. You don't lose hunger in Peaceful mode, so it's the least of your concern there.

Walking, mining blocks, and even placing blocks all cost some hunger, but all of those are minimal compared to the items below. These are the things that cause the most hunger, in order of cost.

Healing damage of any sort. Avoid taking falls of more than 3 blocks, drowning yourself, or otherwise taking damage, as healing damage costs a lot of hunger. Especially avoid…
Fighting: Both attacking mobs and receiving damage cost hunger, even before you start trying to heal damage. (10 blows either way matches healing  [Half Heart.svg] , one health point.) You will need to slaughter a few animals, but pick your fights carefully.
Sprinting. If you double-tap the forward movement key (W by default), or press your sprint key (Left Ctrl by default), you will sprint. This moves somewhat faster, but it also uses a lot of food, especially if you go any distance. (30 meters matches healing  [Half Heart.svg] .)
Jumping. Obviously, you'll need to jump some just to get around, but don't bounce around randomly or unnecessarily. (15 jumps matches healing  [Half Heart.svg] ) Sprinting jumps are especially costly, 4 times as much as a regular jump, although they are the fastest mode of transportation early in the game.

Note that if you're (staying) at full health, and not moving, fighting, mining or placing blocks, then you will use no food. 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.

Starting the game

When you begin the game, you will be standing in a landscape somewhere. Take a moment to look around. This is the general area (within 20 blocks) where you will reappear if you get killed. It's a good idea to mark it immediately, by punching out an X of dirt and/or sand, then using the dirt or sand to build a pillar in the middle of that. If you're standing on rock, look around for some dirt or sand to use, remember where you are, and go get it to build your pillar. You can also use the Debug screen to save the coordinates of the spawnpoint for later use (see the page to learn how).

Tough and easy starts
If you are standing on and surrounded by sand, you are likely in a desert biome. After marking your spawn point, head for high ground and look around for green grass and/or trees (cacti and sugar cane don't count.) Head that way to gather your wood. If you can't see anything but desert, pick a random direction and head that way, occasionally going to high ground for a look around.
If you are on an island, completely surrounded by water as far as you can see, you are in an ocean biome. This is perhaps the toughest start possible, and as such is highly discouraged for play by beginners. If the island is devoid of trees, you will need to swim to another island or mainland to find wood. When you swim you may see squids. Squids are mobs but they are not hostile like creepers, skeletons, and zombies. They are friendly like cows, sheep, and chickens. If you kill them you can receive XP and/ or and inc sac. Inc sac's can be used to die white wool black. Inc sac= Black dye.
In either case, “looking around” is a good time to increase your render distance to 16 chunks.
If, looking around, you see purple land, your game just got a lot easier: you are on a mushroom island, where monsters will not spawn (if it's connected to the mainland, congratulations, you found one of the rarest landscapes in the game). Monsters can still come in from other biomes, but if you head toward the middle, you can spend the night in safety outdoors. Also, with a bowl, you can get free food from the mooshrooms which live there. However, one thing the mushroom biome does not have, is wood—so before you go there, head for green territory to get some wood and stone first.
If, looking around, you see houses and/or farms, you are near an NPC village. This is a good place to live in general, if you can make a bed: the farms will solve your food worries for now, you can trade with the villagers, and if there's a blacksmith (stone slab roof), it will contain a chest with bonus items. You can also scavenge a fair bit of wood even without trashing the place (try replacing logs with planks). However, at first you'll need to avoid hanging out near there after dark, because zombies can spawn and kill the villagers. You can avoid this fate by making a bed (see below), and consistently sleeping through the night until you can properly fortify the town against monsters):

If there are no sheep around, look for “lamp posts” in the village — the black block on top is wool (break it with your hand).
If you can't get enough wool for a bed, your best bets are (first choice) either get far away (150 blocks or so) from the village before nightfall, or (second best) to spend your first night(s) atop a really tall pillar, 40 blocks high or more (64 is even better). By the second night you will hopefully have managed to find a bit of wool....

If you find yourself surrounded by many very large trees, and leaf blocks on the ground, then you have found yourself in a jungle biome. the jungle biome is a good place to start because there are large trees everywhere, however, these can cause you to easily become lost. Also, the cramped quarters can make it difficult to build there. Jungle biomes are the only place to find ocelots (you'll need fish to tame them) and cocoa beans.

Warning: Switch to fast graphics on old computers! If not, you could crash and corrupt your world from the amount of leaves.

If you find yourself surrounded by thick, short trees and dark grass, you are in a roofed forest biome. These biomes are especially dangerous because the canopy of leaves can sometimes become so thick that monsters will spawn, even during the day. However, this biome does provide ample supplies of wood and naturally spawning giant mushrooms which can be used for food and shelter for the night.
There are many other biomes in Minecraft, and to see a more in depth look at all of them, check the Biomes page.

Punching wood

Look around for a few things in particular, in order of priority: trees, visible stone (and especially coal ore), animals, and tall grass. As you move around, break any tall grass in your way, and collect any seeds that drop. For that matter, collect any loose item you see, as most of them will eventually be handy.

Your first priority is to find a small tree, bash through the leaves if needed, and punch (don't rapidly click on the block, hold left-click—or whatever you've set "attack" to—instead) the wood until each block drops as an item. Don't bother with huge trees at this point, but also don't be upset if you can't reach the top blocks of wood — you can always come back and collect them later. This first tree should give you at least 4 blocks of wood ("logs"). You'll punch more wood in a moment!

Wood is essential for things like pickaxes which can be used for mining cobblestone and later iron ore. You can also use it for multiple things for your home such as, doors, wood planks, fences, and fence gates. You can turn wood into sticks which can be used to make torches when crafted with coal, and/or charcoal.

Your first crafting

As the game's name suggests, crafting is core to Minecraft. While there are a small number of items that can be crafted directly from the inventory, a crafting table is required to craft tools and most other items in the game. The crafting table will be your main asset throughout the game.

To make your crafting table, first open the inventory and pick up the logs you should have collected from trees. Place a log into the crafting area to obtain 4 wooden planks.

[Birch Wood Planks]

The planks will be different colors depending on what sort of wood you have. Different types of wood don't stack together, but all work the same. With a couple of exceptions (slabs,stairs) you can mix and match different planks when crafting. In particular, sticks don't care what sort of wood they came from, for they all stack together.

As you convert your first logs to planks you may want to consider saving some logs for later. Usually, 3-4 logs' worth of planks will be enough to get started. In particular, you want to save logs to make charcoal later on.

Then, take four of your newly crafted planks and arrange them to make a crafting table:
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