Understanding Minecraft

Objects commonly associated with Minecraft

If you take a step back, there is not much you have to know to understand Minecraft. Basically you can interact with the world of Minecraft in two ways:

  1. Attack Things
    Everything except materials can be attacked using bare hands or suitable tools. Attack blocks to gather resources, creatures to defend your self, etc.
  2. Use Things
    Some things in the world can be used; like a crafting table to craft things, a bed to sleep on (resets where you appear if you die), brewing station to create potions, switches, doors, etc. You can even use some characters in the game to trade goods.

In addition to this, you can interact with your inventory (what you carry in your enormous pockets) in two ways:

  1. Place Something
    Move an object from your pockets to the world; blocks to build something, a crafting table to shape things, torches for light, etc.
  1. Craft Something
    At any time you can craft simple things using resources in your inventory, or more complicated things with a crafting table.
Shapeless (left) vs Shaped Recipes (right) like a pick axe and torch.

Complicated items are created using Shaped Recipes which require the 3 × 3 grid offered by a crafting table, and specific resources placed in assigned slots in the grid (hence the term “shape recipes” as the resources in the grid roughly resembles the shape of the made object).

So these are the 4 basic ways you interact with Minecraft as you move around in the Minecraft World.

The Minecraft World

When you play Minecraft you play in a procedurally generated world consisting of blocks.

The world is created from a single alpha-numeric string called a seed (2151901553968352745, -573947210 or frt7g5). You can enter any value as the seed, and the entire world is generated from it. In other words, there are basically endless different seeds, which is why sharing good seeds that create a fun or interesting world is quite popular.

A block in Minecraft is one cubic meter. Officially a world in Minecraft is 256 meter vertically, and 900 million square kilometers horizontally. However, players have been able to move horizontally beyond these official limits, but the game breaks more or less in the process.

In other words, every world of Minecraft has 76% more surface area than Earth.

What makes Minecraft fun?

Combine all of the above and you may start to understand why Minecraft has become so popular:

  1. Adventuring / Exploring
    You can easily explore a world that no other human has ever seen; creating the starting point for practically endless discoveries and exploration.
  2. Building / Creating
    You can use blocks to assemble large constructs that go way beyond your normal buildings. Entire cities, an entire country (Denmark), massive working machines, functional computers and much, much more.

Day 1 – Getting Started

When you start playing Minecraft, you will spawn during daytime. A day lasts 24000 ticks, which equals 20 minutes.

When you start playing the day begins, and you have 10 minutes until night. The first things you will want to do is:

  1. Build a shelter
    You’ll need a place to hide because when the sun sets, creatures emerge that wants to end you. If you die you drop your inventory and re-spawn where you started when the world was created, or at the most recently used bed.
  2. Craft a Crafting Table
    To save time, you want to use the appropriate tools when gathering resources (use shovels to dig dirt, pick axe to mine minerals, etc). These tools are shaped recipes, so create a crafting table as soon possible.
  3. Craft bed, torch, shovel and pick axe
    You need to light up the interior of your shelter, cause baddies don’t spawn in a sufficiently lit area. Place the torches 8 blocks apart, and you will have a light level high enough to deter baddies. Then create a bed, a shovel and a pick axe.
  4. Go to sleep!
    Place the bed you crafted in your shelter or next to a torch, and use the bed (eg. go to sleep). This creates a safe re-spawn point should you die.

And that is day one in Minecraft! Of course the internet is littered with additional guides if you want more inspiration.

Let the adventure begin!

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