Skip to content

Minecraft Day 1: Minecraft Begins

Getting started in Minecraft is tricky and many of the guides you read online miss out on important little details. I’m going to fill you in on some of the little tips and tricks that can make your first day (and night) a little less confusing and a little less boring. This guide is written for people like me who started playing, got confused, quit, started again, got bored etc etc. Heres some tips on how to avoid those confusing, frustrating, zombie filled first days.

*I don’t normally do guides, I was going to write this as more of a diary of my experiences with the game. As I wrote it, I realised that it would be more useful to actually tell people how to do the things I was talking about. Even if you don’t play the game, I reckon its a good read anyway!

Step one:
Start a new game. If you don’t like the way things look at first, just quit out and start again! A whole new world will be created! Once you are happy with how things look its time to get to work. Find a place to settle, and do it quick. No messing around. I prefer a flat area with some mountains and caves near by but it really only matters that you find a place. Exploring is fun, but its for when you have time to explore and relax and you can’t do that till you have a place to shelter. Sure, you could dig a little coffin sizeed hole and hide there till morning, but wheres the fun in that? Minecraft isn’t about surviving, its about thriving so lets get started!

This looks like a good place to start

Step two:
Wood dude! Go and chop down some trees. Hold down your left mouse button and you’ll pound away (tee-hee) on the trunk of the tree till it turns into some logs. Once you have lots (maybe 16 or so) hit the i key to open your inventory and put a stack of them in there, then click the board-looking-things on the right. You’ll use these boards to make a house soon. While you’re here, put two boards together to make some sticks, and put four boards together to make a workbench.

You'll be seeing this view a lot at first
Stick, nothing more to see here, just a stick

Step three:
Get building! Make a house at least three blocks high with a floor area of at least six blocks. This will take a while, but you need this to survive your first night. If you’re quick, the sun won’t be setting yet. Leave a space to get in and out, if we have time we can make a door, or if not we’ll just block it up again.

Chop, chop, dig, dig

Step four:
Make some tools! For now we’re making some basic ones. You’ll need that workbench, so place it somewhere in the house you built. Right click to use it. It has a 3X3 grid instead of your regular 2X2 so it allows more complex tools to be made. Create one that looks like the picture below. This is a pickaxe. You can break rocks without this, but you won’t get the contents when they crack so you need it. While here, we’ll also make an axe to chop trees more quickly. These wooden tools break easily, but they’re essential early on.

Step five:
Now it’s a battle against time and if you’ve been quick, the night will be much more fun and you’ll be off to a good start. We need to find coal. You will find it embedded in the grey rock, so look for mountains and caves. It’s very easy to spot, it’s basically the grey rock but with speckled black bits. Use your pick to get it, and combine it with a single stick to get a torch. You don’t need your workbench, you can do this by hand by once again going into your inventory (press i). These are essential, without them you’ll see almost nothing at night. You can now head back to your house and hopefully block up the entrance before the monsters come out. Well done! If you have time, make a door for your house at the bench, but remember to keep it closed till morning.

"Cribs" will not be calling just yet

Step six:
Relax! This is the point where I felt most lost in Minecraft as many of the guides seemed to stop here. You have done well if you have torches and a house now. More importantly, you don’t need to huddle in darkness! As you created a big house to start with, you have plenty of space to mine down and build under your house. Just remember, monsters spawn in darkness so keep everywhere you build well lit. Now that you are safe you can build underground passages and mine to create better tools, more objects and begin to shape your world. This first house you built will be the least of your creations, but also the greatest. This first sanctuary was where you learned the skills which will one day allow you to shape and mould this whole virtual world.

Impressive? No. This is just the beginning…

Remember to check out the official Gnarley Harley Minecraft server at and meet all the CalmDownTom team, in the flesh coloured pixels.

Published inFeatures