Minecraft Guide - Surviving the First Night

It's dangerous to go alone on your first night in Minecraft. Take this guide.


The world of Minecraft is rife with danger, whether it be a simple misjudged jump or lethal potion-tossing witches. Your first night in the game is arguably the toughest one to get through, but making it through is more than doable. You need shelter, light, and food to get started; they're like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, but for Minecraft. Once you have these, you can begin to worry about things like armor, farming, and building a memorable home for yourself. Here's how to survive the first night in Minecraft, step by step.

Punch The Heck Out Of Some Trees

The first thing you need is building material. Namely, some wood. Even just one tree--it doesn't matter what kind--should get you started. Punch the tree with your fist to turn it into wood blocks, which you can use to make stuff that'll help keep you alive. You'll probably start in a Plains or Forest biome, but make sure to check out our guides on Minecraft biomes if you pop up somewhere else!

Build A Crafting Table

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Using the wood you've gathered, immediately build a crafting table--this takes four wooden planks, which you can craft without a crafting table. This essential item will allow you to make tools that will allow you to gather other important materials to make structures and, most importantly, weapons for self-defense.

Get Your Basic Tools Ready

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Next, you'll want an axe, pickaxe, shovel, and sword. The axe will help you take down more trees so that you can do the rest of this that much faster, and the shovel will help you pick up a bunch of dirt. The pickaxe will come in handy when you start to dig downward, and a sword is useful for feeding and defending yourself. Check out our guides on Minecraft tools to know what you need and when.

Make A Dirt Shelter

The shovel is key for building a quick-and-dirty (pun definitely intended) shelter made of dirt blocks. This doesn't have to be big--two blocks tall, three blocks deep, and three blocks wide will do just fine. You just need a structure that can keep you away from monsters after nightfall.

Start Mining Downward

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This is where the pickaxe comes in. You'll be able to plow through the dirt layer quickly with that shovel, and then you can use your pickaxe to start digging into the rocks beneath and collecting cobblestone, which will both allow you to build a stronger shelter and significantly more durable tools. Just don't mine straight down--never mine straight down! You never know what's under you, and mining straight down can lead you to fall into a huge subterranean cave or a pool of burning lava.

Get Coal

Once you're digging into the stone layers, you'll quickly find some coal. You don't need a ton to get started, but it's generally pretty plentiful, spawning in rich groupings and with relative frequency even just a few layers underground.

Make Torches, Start Smelting

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Once you have some coal and cobblestone in your inventory, you can really start to build a stable base to work from. Craft torches to light your shelter, which will keep enemy monsters (or mobs) from spawning in the dark corners. Next, construct a furnace to start baking things like glass, cobblestone, and, of course, food to keep you alive.

Feed Yourself

You don't need to drink water to survive in Minecraft, but you do need to eat. What you eat will depend on what's around you. You can probably make it through the first night without any snacking, but your hunger meter will drop every time you jump or sprint. Any farm animals that happen to spawn near you can be killed with a sword and cooked. That tree you punched down might drop an apple or two, as well.

Depending on where you spawn, you might also be near a watermelon patch or even a village with wheat already growing. Don't worry, villagers won't attack you if you take their delicious wheat. They might look at you judgmentally, but that's it.

Regardless of what you find, make sure to keep some food on hand to replenish your strength, as it's easy to forget about your hunger as you explore and build your home.

Build A Bed

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This one is a little more optional at this point, and a bit more challenging. If you can find a few sheep nearby, kill them for their meat and their wool, and then use wool and wood to build a bed. A bed placed in a shelter can be used to sleep and allow the morning sun to vanquish the horrible night instantly, taking away a lot of the struggle to survive. Additionally, if you go without sleep too long, bat-like phantoms will circle you at night, making anything you try to do that much more annoying. Most importantly, though, using a bed creates a spawn point in your base. If you die while out exploring or gathering materials, you'll now respawn in the safety of your home, rather than out in the world.

And You're Off!

Every Minecraft world is different, but these first steps are always going to be the same. What Minecraft becomes after this--an exploration adventure, a construction zone, a roleplaying game--is up to you.

Eric Frederiksen on Google+

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