Minecraft guide: How to survive your first night in Minecraft
Surviving the first harrowing night.
Despite Minecraft being in the hands of well over a hundred million people through a long decade of success, the game continues to grow at an astounding pace. That means a ton of new people who are unfamiliar with Minecraft's survival mechanics coming face-to-face with the dreaded first night. This is our guide on all the tips you'll need to conquer that first night, and all those to come in Minecraft.
How do you prepare for your first night in Minecraft?
If you're a newcomer to Minecraft, initial impressions may be a tad intimidating. It's no over-exaggeration to imply that Minecraft has a mind-boggling number of mechanics to master, so that first time getting started can be rough. There are a few things you might want to at least skim before diving in, so it's lucky that we here at Windows Central do our best to have all the biomes covered.
The first thing you'll need to do in Minecraft is to create your own world. World creating is really quite simple, but there are a ton of options and settings you can configure to get the perfect blend that you desire. If you want to know more about how to manage your worlds and create new ones, check out our comprehensive guide on the subject.
Next stop is the mechanic that quite literally makes up half of "Minecraft:" crafting. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of recipes to choose from, all requiring different ingredients, placements, and more. Out of all of these recipes, however, there are a few that are essential to success, and recipes that every Minecraft player should know by heart. You guessed it, we also have a fantastic guide that tackles exactly that, complete with all the ingredients you'll need and pictures to show you how.
How do you survive your first night in Minecraft?
Once you're all cushy that you have the basic knowledge you need to start your world, it's time to face Minecraft and the first night. The first night is tough because you essentially have one day to gather enough resources to build a beginner shelter, complete with a bed, and the equipment you'll need to hunt prey and defend from monsters. Unless you enabled the helpful beginning features when you created your world, like starting with a map or with a chest filled with basic supplies nearby, you're going to start with nothing.
Either way, once you conquer the first night, every night after that is (mostly) a piece of cake, besides the occasional creeper-induced death or oops-I-fell-from-a-really-high-place moments. Here's the order in which to tackle objectives in the first night, in order to set yourself up for long-term success.
Get the basics out of the way
Every person who plays Minecraft will have to carry out the same basic tasks when they first start a game: punch some trees, expertly shape the wood fragments into a functional and portable workbench, and masterfully craft functional tools from the remains. Trust me, it's not as hard as it sounds in Minecraft.
To get started, follow these steps:
- Once you've spawned into your world, look for the nearest trees. You'll need a supply of wood to get started.
- Using your bare hands, punch some trees until they drop logs. Four or five will do the trick in the beginning, so punch down a whole tree.
- Now we test your knowledge from our basic crafting guide. Take your wood logs and craft a bunch of planks. one wood log becomes four wood planks.
- Take your planks and immediately turn them into a crafting table. Four wood planks becomes one crafting table.
- Place your crafting table on the ground and use it to craft some sticks. Two wood planks becomes 4 sticks.
- Use your sticks to craft a wooden pickaxe and wooden sword. You'll need a total of three sticks and five wood planks to craft both.
- Using your hands, punch the crafting table until it falls on the ground. You can then pick it up and take it with you.
Explore and find shelter
Armed with a pickaxe and a sword, it's time to explore your area a little bit. Unless you, unfortunately, spawned on a desolate island or in the middle a vast desert, you shouldn't stray too far from the place you spawned. Until you've found a safe place and have slept in a bed, dying will mean resetting at your spawn point. Moving too far away could mean a longer trek should the worst happen, and a lower chance of successfully getting your stuff back.
What you're looking for are exposed caves, holes, wildlife like pigs and cows, and a good variety of different resources. A shallow cave makes for a great temporary shelter (and a great permanent one if you get creative,) and it's never a bad idea to make sure you have a good amount of stuff nearby. Especially important to look for is exposed coal or, even better, iron. Stay away from deep caves, however, as you don't want hostile mobs to attack you from behind.
Once you've found a good area to nestle in, feel free to place your crafting table. It might also be worth digging up a few blocks of dirt with your hands just to build a small tower next to your soon-to-be-shelter. This helps if you get turned around and need some help finding your shelter again.
Gather resources for the shelter
Now that you've found your area to hang out for a while, it's time to gather some resources and supplies. You want to be prepared for the first night at minimum, but it doesn't hurt to get a little extra to help get a head start for the future. This means making sure you have the ability to build and light your shelter, sleep through the night, and have food to prevent you from starving.
You'll want to look for:
- Coal. Coal will always be useful in Minecraft, even if you'll eventually have far too much of it. This is useful for crafting torches, as well as cooking and smelting things in a furnace.
- Iron. Iron isn't as important on the first day, but if you find an exposed iron vein you should absolutely go for it to upgrade your tools as well as build armor.
- Cobblestone. Cobblestone (or just stone before it's mined) can be found almost anywhere, and you're pretty much guaranteed to run into some. You don't need a ton of cobblestone, but 20 to 30 blocks can net you a furnace, as well as make sure you have the right equipment to get iron.
- Wood. More wood doesn't hurt, since wood is involved in a ton of crafting recipes. To speed things along, it might be useful to invest in an axe.
- Food. Food is important in Minecraft, as hunger can lead to decreased health regeneration and eventually weakens you considerably. Food can come from a ton of places, but the easiest method early on is to find and kill livestock like cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens.
- Wool. Finally, you need wool. Wool comes from sheep, and is needed if you want to build a bed. Why build a bed? Because you want to sleep, that's why.
Cobblestone, coal, and iron can all be found in the same places, and may even be in the shelter you chose. Cobblestone and coal can both be mined with a wood pickaxe, but before you hack away at that iron, be sure to use your crafting table and some cobblestone to build yourself a stone pickaxe — otherwise you'll get nothing.
Wood can be found in trees. You can never have too much wood, but you also don't want to spend too much time mining it. It might be worth using your crafting table to craft a wooden or stone axe to speed things up, but two or three trees will probably do the trick.
Finally, food and wool can also be found in the same places. Cows drop beef and leather (useful for armor,) pigs drop pork, chickens drop, well, chicken and feathers (useful for arrows,) and sheep drop mutton and wool. Sheep will probably be the most efficient since you need three pieces of wool to build a bed. Use your sword to hunt things down.
Bunker down for the night
Now that you've gathered as much as you can, you've probably noticed that the sun is beginning to dip into the distant horizon. This is your cue to hightail it back to your makeshift shelter, where you'll make some last-minute adjustments and prepare yourself for the first night, and every night to follow.
Here's what you need to do:
- Retreat back to your shelter before night comes. You'll want to get back to your shelter the moment you notice the sky beginning to darken.
- Use some of the resources you collected to shore up your shelter and make it into a makeshift home. There shouldn't be any openings to the outside world, and if you did move into a deeper cave you should build a wall between you and the caverns.
- Using your crafting table, craft some torches and a furnace. one stick a one piece of coal becomes four torches, while eight blocks of cobblestone becomes one furnace.
- If you feel it would be useful, and you have enough wood, you can also craft a door and a chest. Six wood planks becomes three doors, and eight wood planks becomes one chest. That way you can have a proper entrance and exit to your home without having to mine down a wall, and have a place to store nonessential or extra supplies and resources.
- Finally, use your crafting table to craft a bed. A bed is crafted using three pieces of wool and three wood planks. The three pieces of wool should be the same color, but consider that the color of the wool dictates what the color of your bed will be.
- Now you can take some time to set up your makeshift home by placing torches around, and setting up the furnace, chest, doors, and bed. There's no particular order or way to organize this, just whatever you fancy.
- Take any food you have and cook it in the furnace with some coal. That way you'll have a couple of meals prepared for later on. Depending on how active you were on the first day, you may already be looking for some food.
- Whenever everything is ready, feel free to sleep in the bed until morning. While you can go out and brave the night if you want, I recommend spending the first night in a bed to establish a new respawn point for you. It also gives you a little more time to get better equipment.
A survivor of Minecraft
Once the first night has passed, you're usually in a much better place to survive going into the second day. Collecting iron is a distinct possibility, which means a big upgrade for your tools and even some shiny new armor to protect yourself. After that, you could even brave the night in search of materials and items you can claim from Minecraft's assorted enemies. Plus, the plans begin to build your permanent home. Whatever you decide to do after that is entirely up to you.
A game you can play anywhere with anyone.
The only thing that could make Minecraft even better is if you could play it in more places. Wait, you can? That's right, because Minecraft is available on almost every platform imaginable including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS. Get it everywhere, play it anywhere.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.