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Minecraft: Surviving the First Night

The first night of Minecraft can be a truly terrifying experience, but if you are well prepared, it can be as relaxing as a day at the spa! As soon as you spawn, take a quick moment to get your bearings. Try to commit this area to memory because, if you die, this is the region where you will respawn.

The ideal set-up for your first night consists of:

  • a set of basic tools
  • a small shelter
  • a crafting table & furnace
  • a bed

This may seem like a lot to do on your first day, but it really isn’t.

Your First Tools

The first step to surviving your first night is to gather wood. To gather wood, run up to any tree and hold down the attack button. You should aim for around 8 blocks of wood. This will be enough to craft your first few items that you’ll need.

Next, you need to open up your inventory and convert those wood “logs” into planks by placing them in your 2×2 crafting area. Just put the logs in one spot, and you will be able to create planks from them. You can convert all your wood into planks, or save a few. You’ll then want to make a crafting table. This is done by taking 4 planks and putting each in one square of your 2×2 crafting area. The crafting table is what you’ll use to craft virtually everything in Minecraft.

Now that you have a crafting table and some resources, you’ll want to create a few tools. Place your crafting bench in front of you and open up the crafting menu. Ideally, you’ll just need two tools for now. A wooden pickaxe and a wooden sword. To create either of those, you need to have sticks. Sticks can be made by taking two wooden planks and putting them in a vertical line on your crafting table. Sticks can also be created in your 2×2 crafting area. You can create as many sticks as you want, but keep in mind you’ll need at least 5 wooden planks for your tools and even more later for a few other objects.

Once you have your sticks, go to your crafting bench. Take 3 wooden planks and fill up the top row of the 3×3 crafting area. Take 2 sticks and fill up the 2 empty spots in the middle column. This will create your wooden pickaxe. To create a wooden sword, place a stick in the middle square in the bottom row and place wooden planks in the remaining squares in the middle column. This will craft your wooden sword.

Pick up your crafting bench and continue moving. Your next goal should be to find stone and ideally some coal. You don’t necessarily need coal right now, but more on that later.

Stone, Coal, Food, & Upgrades

As you’re moving through the world, keep an eye out for cows, chickens, pigs, and sheep. Basically, kill everything you see to gather food. Keep particular watch for sheep, because they drop wool when killed which we will need to craft a bed. Once you find some exposed stone, use your wooden pickaxe to mine a minimum of 19 pieces of cobblestone. This will be enough to craft every basic tool you’ll need and a furnace.

Take your wooden tools and throw them in the garbage! You won’t be needing those anymore. Make yourself a new stone pickaxe and stone sword using the same recipe as before, but instead of wooden, planks put cobblestone in. In addition to the pickaxe and sword, you can also make a shovel, a hoe, and an axe.

To make the shovel, place a piece of cobblestone in the middle top row, then place 2 sticks in each spot remaining in the middle column. A hoe is similar to the pickaxe recipe, but instead of having the entire row filled with cobblestone, you only haveĀ  two squares filled. Removing either the top right or top left will create a hoe. Finally, an axe is created by placing cobblestone in the top middle, top right, and middle right squares while placing sticks in the remaining squares in the middle column.

If you haven’t noticed, the crafting recipes for the tools look a lot like the tools they create! A furnace requires 8 cobblestones. Fill up every space in your crafting area except the middle square. That will give you your furnace. The furnace is used for cooking food and smelting ores. It is also a small light source. Your focus should now be shelter. This is Minecraft, so what you do here is up to your imagination.

A Simple Shelter

A quick and easy way to build a shelter is by burrowing into a hill or cliff-side. Using your shovel on dirt and your pickaxe on stone, make a 3x3x3 hovel. That is more than enough space for your first home. To store your resources, you can create a chest. A chest utilizes the same recipe as the furnace, but instead of using cobblestone you use wood. If you place two small chests next to each other, they’ll automatically form into a big chest.

It will be dark in your new home, this is where the coal comes into play. You need 1 coal and 1 stick to create torches. Place the coal over the stick in the crafting area, and you’ll get 4 torches. You can place these torches on the walls or floor of your hovel for light and safe feelings. If you don’t have any coal, it’s okay. You can make charcoal out of any wood logs you have left over. If you don’t have any left over, just go gather some more.

Charcoal is made by *cooking* wood logs in the furnace. The furnace works by burning fuel to smelt/cook materials. Put the logs in the top slot of the furnace and whatever you want to use as fuel in the bottom. You can burn wooden planks, sticks, more logs, or even your old wooden tools if you still have them. Making torches with charcoal is exactly the same as coal. If you were lucky enough to find wool, make a bed by filling up the bottom row of your crafting area with wood, and the middle row with wool. Place your bed where you see fit.

It’s probably getting close to dark at this point, so you’ll need to protect yourself. Make a door for your hovel to stop enemies from getting in. Use your crafting bench and wooden planks to create a door. Fill any 2 consecutive columns to make a door. Once again, the recipe kind of looks like a door! Place your new door at the entrance of your hovel.

Congratulations! You have survived your first night! You can either sleep in your bed or mine around in your hovel all night to gather resources for further adventures!

Good luck out there!