Minecraft: Tips for Your First Day & Night

One game that I play on and off to relax is Minecraft. If you've never heard of or played Minecraft before, it's a sandbox construction game. You are thrown into a world that you need to adapt, explore, and survive. Plus there is no tutorial, you just have to figure it out yourself. So here are a few tips to get you started.

Which Mode to Choose?

When you first get into the game you are given the option of creating a new world if you aren't going to hop onto a server/realm owned by someone else. Here you receive three different modes:

  • Survival: Gather resources and survive. Die and you lose everything but you will respawn either wherever your bed is or at the default world spawn.
    • Peaceful: No mobs or hunger, but you still deal with everything else.
    • Easy: Mobs will spawn but don't damage you as much. Spiders can't poison you and you can survive if your food meter runs out.
    • Normal: Mobs will spawn and will deal you more damage. You can still survive if your food meter runs out, but it will run down to half a heart.
    • Hard: Mobs deal out the most damage. If your food meter runs out, your health will slowly deplete until you die. Zombies can also break down wood doors.
  • Creative: Break blocks with one hit but you won't collect the resources. You don't need to worry about health or hunger, and mobs can't hurt you. Same goes with lava and jumping off a cliff. Plus you can fly around the world.
  • Hardcore: Like survival mode but you only get 1 life, and it's on the hardest difficulty.

How Long is a Minecraft Day?

One day in minecraft is the same as 10 minutes of real time. So you need to get to work!

What You Need to Do Right Away?

Gather wood! Just go up to any tree and hold down your left mouse button to start breaking away. You do not need to click every single time you want to hit something. Make sure to get every piece of wood from the tree as you will need it all. Once the first resource is gathered, it's time to hit your inventory. Open by pressing "E". Turn all your wood into planks from the first tree, you can get more later. With those planks on the 2x2 crafting grid place planks in each space so you can get a crafting table that gets you a 3x3 crafting grid. You will need this for pretty much everything in the game. The inventory crafting grid is basically only good for torches, buttons, sticks and crafting tables.

Craft Yourself a Shelter

This is going to be your first shelter so it doesn't need to be amazing or big by any means. You just need something to get you through the first night since you probably won't have any weapons. And mobs will attack if you're on any mode other than easy or creative mode. So get yourself a shelter right away. Typically this will just be a hole in the ground, side of a hill, or a cube. And typically will be made up of dirt. Your options on how to protect yo' self that first night are the following:

  • Block yourself in completely make sure to give yourself a light so a mob doesn't spawn inside.
  • Create a door to the outside of the shelter. You can craft this at your crafting table using 6 wood planks in a 2x3 pattern. Some doors do provide viewing to the outside, it just depends on what type of wood you were able to find on your first day. Remember on hard mode, zombies can get through these.
  • Block yourself in expect for one 1x1 hole that you can see through. Almost nothing can get inside and you will be able to see when daylight comes. Archers can still attack you through this hole.
  • Block yourself in with glass so you can see outside. Note, if you break glass it is gone forever. So be careful where you place it. This can be crafted using sand, furnace (crafted using 8 stone blocks, use every square but the middle one), and some sort of lighting material (wood, charcoal, etc.).

Most likely it won't be the glass one as you need to get a lot of materials in order to do that and if you want to use this shelter in the future for expansion, you won't really be able to. I personally like homes in the side of a hill or if I find a natural small cave, I will take it over and fill in the entrance/exit with dirt, wood or stone then place a door. If it's a big space, I'll fill it with torches so mobs don't spawn inside. And then later, I'll just build it up to be my amazing permenant base.

Make Yourself Some Tools

You will need wood to make these and stone if you want stronger ones. To create these you need to get planks and sticks. Here are the basic recipes for each tool you will need at some point during the game:

Axe: Cut Down Trees

Axe: Cut Down Trees

PickaXe: Mine Stone

PickaXe: Mine Stone

Sword: Defeat Mobs

Sword: Defeat Mobs

Torch: Light the night, prevents mob spawning

Torch: Light the night, prevents mob spawning

There are more tools and things to craft, but these will at least get you through the first day and night. Also depending on the version of Minecraft you have, it may just give you a recipe list so you don't need to know the order in which to place everything. Mine used to make me go look them up and now I don't have to. So it really just depends. But in case they don't, here is the list of everything. You have to make sure the items are in your inventory or you can't craft them.

What Next?

While by this point, it's probably night and the mobs are outside your shelter. If it's dark, do some mining make sure not to dig straight down and leave yourself a path to get back up. If it's daylight, go explore or forage for materials. It's also a great time to find food/animals. You will need to find sheep to get wool so you can make yourself a bed. This will become your new spawn point once you sleep in it. Also when you sleep in it at night, you can't get attacked by mobs and will bring you back to daylight. Mobs may still be around as they take a few minutes once it's daylight to die in the sun.

Got any tips for the first day/night that I didn't mention? Leave them in the comments!