Minecraft Tutorial: Surviving Your First Night

Minecraft Tutorial

So you finally got Minecraft and now you have no idea what to do. Start by creating a new world. Make sure it's "survival" and not "creative". When you create a world it places you in a totally random location in a world 8 times the surface of the Earth. (Tutorial continued after the page break.)

If this is your very first time playing Minecraft, I recommend changing some settings in the options. First of all, the sound and music levels are almost always too high at 100. Set them a bit lower, or to your liking. Second, the view distance is a huge FPS hog. If your PC is getting low frame rates, I recommend setting the view distance to normal or below. .

Far is great, but it really isn't worth the FPS loss. Also go into controls and change your "Drop" key to something else. I usually set mines to either Z or X. This way you won't drop your brand new diamond pick axe into lava by accident.

Before anything, remember that once it gets dark, things get dangerous fast. So you should try to do everything as fast as possible so you will have time to get some food, and some supplies before hiding out.

Note about beds! Please note that I do not accept beds as part of the survival in this game because they can be abused too easily. If you really want to spoil your fun, use a search engine to find out how to make a bed in Minecraft. Then find a place to sleep and you can skip the night....but where is the fun in that? Back in the day when beds didn't exist, we had to actually survive the nights instead of skipping them, and it was fun! So in this tutorial I will assume you want to do it the good ol fashioned way. Trust me, you will learn more, and have more fun.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's get back to the game. Before anything, lets mark our spawn. Directly below where you first appear in the world is your spawn, mark that somehow. What I like to do is collect some dirt and stack it right on top of the spawn so that I can find it easily later on. Try to stay near your spawn so that if you die, you will be able to find the items you dropped easily.

 Your first priority should be to gather some wood. Wood is the basic building block of everything in Minecraft. You can use it to make tools, to build shelter, and so on. So first go punch some trees. When you have about 5 or 10 pieces of wood, open your inventory and put that wood into the crafting box.

Minecraft Wooden Planks
This will allow you to craft a bunch of wooden planks. The first thing you will want to make with those planks are some sticks. Put some planks on the top and bottom of the crafting box to create sticks. Make sure you save some planks because we are going to be using them to make some tools in a second.

Now that we have some sticks and some planks, it's time to create a crafting table. Put 4 planks in each of the spots in the crafting box to create a crafting table.

Now it's time to make some tools! Place the crafting table into your inventory toolbar, and then place the crafting table on the ground somewhere in front of you by right clicking.

To create your very first tool, right click the crafting table. The first tool you want to craft is an axe. Using the axe will allow you to chop down trees much faster, giving you a lot more wood to create your first shelter. 

Here is how to create your first axe, it takes two sticks and three planks:

Use this axe now to gather more wood. You will need a large amount of wood to build your first shelter, unless you want to dig into the ground or the side of a mountain. Once you gather some more wood, it is time to create a shovel and a pick axe. 

To create a shovel you need two sticks and one plank:

To create a pick axe you need two sticks and three planks:

Using this pickaxe you will want to find some stone quickly. It is probably getting dark in your game, and that is when the monsters come out, and you won't want to be around for that. Look around for any exposed stone, or if you can't find any, dig down with your shovel. Digging Tip: NEVER dig straight down. Especially in the newer versions of Minecraft, we have ravines, so you could be standing on top of one, and if you dig down, you will fall to your death pretty quickly without knowing what happened.

Before the next step, it would be wise to look for some coal. To create torches just place a piece of coal above a stick, this will create 4 torches. Coal can be found anywhere that stone appears, if you can't find coal, you can use charcoal for now (burning charcoal in a furnace creates light for quite some time). For charcoal all you need is wood, not wooden planks, but the wood itself. 

You will want to get some food as well because your hunger bar is probably getting low now. If your hunger bar reaches 0 (pieces of food) your health will start going down. To get some food, you will need a sword to kill animals you find. Pigs, cows, chickens, pretty much everything except sheep drops some kind of meat which can either be eaten raw or cooked for a greater effect. Later you can also farm, but I won't be covering that in this tutorial.

Creating your first sword: 

Equip this sword and go kill some animals. About 5 or 6 pieces of food will be more than enough if cooked.

So make sure you some wood, and some food then continue on to the next step. 

Hopefully you also have enough wood and food with you because for now, we are going to make this our first temporary home. By now I am sure it is dark in your game, and you don't want to go back outside just yet. 

Instead, dig out a nice hiding spot for yourself and block off the entrance, leaving a tiny crack open at the back so you can get a bit of light, and so you can tell when it's day time again. Make sure the crack isn't accessible by an enemy monster, to do this, just make sure the hole is 1 block high, no more.

Put down or create another crafting table, and let's make some stone tools. First create a stone pick axe, this will be your main tool for a while in Minecraft. 

Go ahead and create a shovel as well. And you will need a sword to protect yourself while exploring the depths. 

(Note: At this point it is probably pretty dark in your hiding hole, if you don't have any coal, a way to light up the place is to create a furnace and burn some wood in there. This will create charcoal which can be used to burn wood for a longer period of time. You can also use wooden planks as fuel to burn wood which will create charcoal.)

Now right click the furnace to place some wood in there and get some charcoal while lighting up your hiding hole at the same time.

Charcoal can be used as a fuel to cook food and other things.

Place some charcoal in the furnace and cook some of the food you have, use it to fill your hunger bar to the top. (When your hunger bar is at the top or near the top, you can sprint by double tapping W.)

At this point you should have the following:

1. A stone pick axe
2. A stone sword
3. A stone shovel
4. A stone axe
5. Some food

Now you're ready to take on Minecraft! The first thing you want to do is find a bunch of coal and create 64 torches for yourself so you can explore underground, and light up the area around where your first house will be.

After you find some coal and create some torches, go back up to the surface and gather a bunch of wood. Use this wood to build your very first house, I recommend starting very simple, and then upgrading it over time. Collect some sand which can be cooked in a furnace to create glass.

And create a door using wooden planks:

So now you have your tools, some food, and your own little home. From here, it is up to you what you want to do next. You could collect a bunch of seeds from grass and make a farm for an endless food supply (bread.) Or you could go exploring the depths and find iron and maybe even diamonds. It's up to you..the possibilities are endless. Just remember, you want to keep your hunger bar high so that you can sprint and cover more ground (double tapping w), so I would stock up on a lot of food before doing anything else, especially exploring underground cave systems.

I hope you enjoyed this small Minecraft tutorial on surviving your first night, and I wish you luck in your future adventures.

(Note: if you find something wrong with in the tutorial, or you would like to contribute something that you think I missed, please leave a comment below. Thank you.)