On May 17th, 2009, Markus “Notch” Persson brought to the world the game that would leave hundreds of thousands of people very happy – Minecraft. This amazing game started as a sandbox construction game but eventually progressed to the adventure-like challenge that it is today. For the beginning player, Minecraft can appear to be a little confusing and perhaps a bit overwhelming. A few Minecraft tips can go a long way towards getting them on their way.


Your character starts out in the middle of a randomly generated world with nothing on his person. By looking around you may notice some things, such as trees and animals roaming about. You may also notice that it is day outside, though the sun is moving steadily across the sky. Once the sun goes down the monsters come out, so getting together a shelter is the first thing that needs to be done.

Pressing the “E” button will open up your inventory, but also allows access to the crafting box. In the upper right-hand corner there are four squares where items can be placed to mix them together and create new, useful items. For example, by placing a piece of coal on top of a stick a torch is made. Actually, four torches are made, as Minecraft generally gives things in multiples when you craft.

Now, in order to start crafting anything, the first thing that is needed is some wood. Punching trees (by using the mouse button) until they break will allow you to pick up the piece that broke off. Taking that piece of wood and putting it into the crafting box will turn it into a stack of planks. Once four planks have been collected they can be placed in each of the four squares of the crafting box and turned into a workbench, which allows a crafting box of nine squares and the ability to create more items.

You will find yourself running around beating up on a lot of trees in the beginning. The first thing to make is that workbench. From there, a pick can be made. First, take two planks and place them one on top of the other to make some sticks. Then two sticks, one on top of the other with three planks across the top in a “T” formation will produce a wooden pick. This pick will allows stone and other hard objects to be mined. Then you need to run around and find some coal. After mining that you will need to make some torches using coal and sticks as mentioned above.

Now that you have some torches, a pick, and a workbench you need to hide. Find a nice piece of the landscape and mine your way into it. Hollow out a little area and put some torches up for light. Monsters can only spawn in areas without light, so torches will keep them away. Cover the entrance with some more blocks (to keep monsters out) and wait for daylight again. Nighttime is a good time to go digging into the ground as well, looking for more resources to use to make better items. The most common resources you will find at the surface of the world are iron and coal. Iron can be used to make better weapons and tools as well as some armor to keep you alive.

After the first night is up, you can go out into the world again and explore. Once you know how to survive the night, the rest is easy. Experiment with the workbench and different materials to create things. If you really need a boost, some Minecraft cheats are available online as well as many pages that show all the recipes for crafting items. Once you have the good materials you can make anything from railroad tracks to musical instruments to electrical powered pistons. By using all these items, you can build a world for you and your friends to enjoy and explore, complete with castles, towers, underground railroads or whatever else your can imagine.