minecraft guideIf you haven’t jumped on the Minecraft bandwagon yet, then this is the perfect place to start since it’s a complete Minecraft guide for beginners. Let’s assume you’ve already bought the game and are playing it in single-player survival mode on a difficulty setting other than peaceful.

Minecraft started off as online Lego where you mined, built and had to survive against the occasional onslaught of monsters. Now, it’s turned into something so much bigger with all sorts of people teaming up to create the most amazing things. (For example, the Starship Enterprise.)

There’s no right or wrong way to play Minecraft but to begin with you’ll need to create tools, find food and avoid monsters.

Launching the game for the first time

Launch the game and log in. For your first game it might be worth checking a few extra options while you get used to the game. Check ‘Allow Cheats’ and ‘Bonus Chest’. These two options will help you as a beginner.


We’re just going to look at the PC controls for now.

W – Move forward
A – Move left
S – Move right
D – Move backward
Space – Jump
Left Shift – Crouch/sneak
Left Control – Sprint
E – Access inventory
Q – Drop what you’re holding

You can use your mouse to look around. Left click and hold on the terrain to start mining blocks. Right click will place the item currently highlighted in your inventory and the mouse wheel will cycle through items in your inventory.

F1 – Toggle the heads up display that will give you an overview of your situation
F2 – Take a screen shot
F3 – Debugging info, you probably won’t need this other than to find your coordinates
F5 – This will cycle through the different views of your character
F3+F – Toggle render distance

Your first day

A good place to start is by collecting wood. From this you’ll be able to create your own tools. In your inventory (E) you’ll find a crafting section. By placing materials you’ve collected in here you’ll be able to turn them into something else. Start by turning your wood into planks.

You can then combine planks to create a stick. Then start to collect cobblestone, combine this with your stick and you have an axe. An axe makes it much faster to collect materials.

You should get to work on creating your first shelter because night comes around very fast. This could be anything as simple as a hole in the ground. Or, if you’ve been quick at mining and crafting you may have already built something a little more sophisticated.


If you do find yourself out at night, it’s likely you’ll get killed by one of a number of monsters. If this happens you’ll lose all the stuff you’ve collected. Annoying but it’ll all be scattered around the area you respawned. Of course, it will disappear if you leave it too long (five minutes) so you can either choose to hunt it down and risk getting killed again or you can dig yourself a hole, forget about your items and wait until morning.

You’ll soon learn that it’s best to have a shelter close to the spawn point (you’ll always respawn within 20 blocks of your starting point — unless you have a bed). This means that if you die, you can find it easily.

Food and hunger

Not only do you have to worry about monsters but you’ll also need to sustain yourself.

All sorts of activities will cost hunger and if you have low health it’ll cost hunger to heal. Food can be found out in the world or in chests. Sometimes you might need to cook your food (raw food might give you food poisoning, causing you to deplete hunger quicker!). For this you’ll need a furnace (naturally occurring in NPC villages or you can make one out of cobblestone).

Avoiding monsters

When avoiding monsters at night time you have a few options for a shelter. You can build a huge pillar and sit safely on top of it. Or, and these following two ideas are preferable, you can dig a hole in the ground and give yourself a roof.

You could even create yourself a hut. Make four three-block-high walls around you and add a roof. Cobblestone is the most robust of materials but dirt will do. Wait out night time here (7 minutes) then get back to work.


If you create a bed (wool and wood), you’ll spawn next to it when you die. You’ll also be able to sleep through until day. This is very handy as you’re never going to find yourself stuck outside at night time.

What next?

From here the world is your oyster. Experiment with combining materials and other blocks to create new tools and items in the crafting screen. Try mining all sorts of materials and build ridiculous structures.

You’ll soon find yourself with plenty of shelter, armour, food, your own farm and the weapons to go out and defeat the monsters that have plagued you for so long.

What’s possible?

Take a look at some Minecraft videos to get an idea of what’s possible in the game. In your first world, you’re probably not going to be doing anything too ambitious but it’s great to get an idea of what’s possible.

Author bio: Jess Shanahan is an avid gamer who loves driving fast cars, avoiding zombies and getting lost in RPGs.