Minecraft Guide

Minecraft is a paid sandbox game that was once an indie game created by Markus Alexej Persson, under the common username “Notch”. The game which is a tribute to 8-bit games attracted a large group of teens and children, making it more known to gamers. It is currently available to most consoles including phones and the popular ARM/Linux board Raspberry Pi. In this guide, I’ll be specifically using Minecraft for the PC (you can also use Apple and Linux). Since Minecraft have periodical updates, the version this guide has been written is meant for 1.6.4, while yours is probably a higher version. For a full list of version logs and change logs, there’s a section on the Minecraft Wiki for that. Now with that out of the way, I’m going to assume that you’ve never played Minecraft before, or maybe even heard of it. This guide for experienced players will be completely unnecessary to read, so be wary of what I’m about to do.


You can’t just jump into Minecraft. Like for all games, there are requirements along with system specs and the actual game itself. You might be saying, “System requirements for an 8-bit game? Hah! We don’t live in the late 90’s anymore”, it’s actually a lot more complicated than you think. Because the game is rather large and created in Java, you may find yourself needing more RAM than you have. The common 4 gigabytes of RAM is typical for a fine environment, but I like to use 8 gigabytes for a perfect, 60 solid Frames per Second gameplay. You will need to install Java before doing anything in Minecraft, since the game is based off of it. If you have a 32-bit system (32-bit Windows 7 for example), you would just normally install it directly from the site. However, a 64-bit version of Java will speed things up if you happen to have a 64-Bit system (64-Bit Windows for example), you can download it from the list of downloads here. A keyboard and a mouse is suggested to play (I cannot stress enough how difficult it is to play on a touchpad, the movement of the mouse also lags on some models of laptops). As obvious, you’ll need Minecraft which is the game itself. With that out of the way, we can finally get started to play the game, or set it up at least.

Setting up our game

There’s really no backbone to it, installing the game is painless. You can get the client from the official Minecraft site here. When starting up the client, you are greeted by a login screen. Type in the credentials you have used during your Minecraft purchase. After that, you will look upon a screen with Minecraft news and maybe a version change log. All you have to do is press the “Play” button on the bottom of the window, and it’ll start downloading and updating the files from the server. Pretty much, that’s it for starting the game, but setting up the options never hurts anyone. When the menu screen pops up, you should click the “Options…” button and check everything out. I’ll give you the most preferred video settings for common computers (but it really takes experimenting to know what is good for you). I would keep the graphics on fancy, as this allows you to see through certain objects in the game (like leaves on trees). Keep your render distance on normal if you don’t have that much ram or a fast CPU, and take smooth lightning off also if you have low system specs. Place performance on “Max FPS”, as this will prevent you from limiting to 30 FPS. It’s up to you for what scales do you want your GUI at, I keep mines at normal just for my viewing pleasure. If you have a rather high end system with a good video card, you may want to turn on Advanced OpenGL, other than that leave it off. Brightness will only create a huge issue when entering dark areas, like a cave for instance, turn that up if you feel for some night vision. I would keep Particles to “Decreased” since it could be a problem visually and performance wise, and ALWAYS keep VSync off unless you really have a high end system. Now that you’re done with the Video Settings, you can take a look in the controls and learn them beforehand, as well as the root screen. You are now done with the settings, so it’s finally time to start up the actual gameplay. Back at the main menu, click the “Singleplayer” button, and press “Create New World”. What you get here will probably vary from what I have, but I have my game mode on “Survival” and I left everything as if. It’s obviously up to you for the game name. You are free to press “Generate” and enter the realm of a 8-bit pixelated world!

Day 1 – Rev up those resources!

First thing in a new game is to get used to your controls. WASD are your movement keys, E is your inventory along with your crafting grid, double tap W or the forward key to sprint, hold left click to break, right click to place blocks, shift to crouch, space to jump and ESC to pause. You’d probably know already by the controls menu, but just in case. The first thing to do in your first day is to gather resources. Likewise in any survival game, the goal is to pretty much survive and what else is a better way to survive is off of resources. You will find yourself collecting wood, as it not only is the raw material to build a good percentage of items in the game, but also easy to collect as a building resource. Right now, you’re going to have to destroy everything with your bare hands. You will want to be hasty, since there is only 12 minutes per day cycle. That totals 24 minutes per day (like 24 hours in real life!).

Monsters will spawn depending on your difficulty setting in “Options…”, a setting like “Normal” is fine for now. On peaceful, you regenerate health if you get damaged and enemies can’t spawn. The harder the difficulty is, the more damage mobs and the environment can do to you. With limited time, try to only chop down a few trees. With half a stack of logs in your inventory, you can make a bench, some tools and a little shack for now. Place the wood in your 2×2 crafting grid which is on the top right of your inventory. There should output 4 planks, this means each log you use will create 4 planks. Leave 4 logs for later as they will come in handy. Place four planks in a 2×2 area in the grid to create a crafting table. If you don’t know how to place a block one by one, you can right click an item. You can also right click before picking up a item, and select half of that stack. Picking up multiple items and dragging them around empty squares in your inventory will spread them equally. With that out of the way, you have a crafting table! Basically, it allows you to build a lot more items, in a 3×3 crafting grid. Place that block down then right click it. Now that you have a larger grid, you can finally make tools and other blocks. Place two planks in a vertical position (stacked on top of each other) and you will get 4 sticks. Two planks equal 4 sticks which is enough for two tools. You will want to place the sticks in the middle and bottom of the grid, then three planks on the top. This will create a wood pickaxe, the first pickaxe of doing anything. You will be able to mine commonly stone and coal, which is what we just need. You will also need an axe so you can cut down trees faster, place three planks on the top left corner which will create a wooden axe. Now you can gain wood faster! Before we go off to a cave, you should probably build or find shelter.

Wherever you want to reside is up to you, just make sure you have the time and resources to do it. Ultimately, you’ll end up mining stone and dirt after making some shelter. In order to upgrade your tools, all you need is two sticks and the required amount of stone that we needed when making the wooden tools (for example, 3 stone for a pickaxe). Creating other tools like a sword and a shovel should be obvious now (the sword only requires one stick at the bottom with two materials stacked each other). After doing all of this, it should be dark out. A handy tip to do during keeping time is to look straight up to the sky and try to find the sun. If the sun is in the middle of the sky, that means the day is half way over, any more or less is that. You can also use the sun as a compass in case you get lost (alternatively, you can press F3 and rely on the “F: “ meter). Like I’ve said, monsters spawn outside, so you’ll want to take shelter, which is what you built it for and wait out the night. I like to build a little mine going down inside my shelter though, so doing that is an alternative. At some point, you’ll find that you’ll need to store your stuff for later use, a chest is used for that. To make a chest, you will need to place 8 planks around the crafting grid, leaving the middle empty. You can then place down the chest and get a nice hefty 9×3 extra space. You can also create and place down another chest, expanding its storage capabilities (only a double chest can be made though). This is expanded to 9×6 inventory space, which is a lot right now. Assuming you have 8 cobblestone, you’ll want to create a furnace for cooking and smelting. Place the cobblestone in the same matter as what you did for the chest, and place it down anywhere (note, you can’t place anything on top of a chest or else you’ll block entering it).

How the furnace works is that the top slot is your input item, the bottom slot is your fuel and the right slot the output. Essentially, what you want to smelt/cook, what to use and what you’ll get respectively. Remember that 4 logs we saved earlier? Place them into the top slot of the furnace, and a few planks into the fuel slot. After waiting for a minute, you’ll find that four pieces of charcoal have appeared. This is used for making torches, you can also use coal that you find naturally, but this is just in case you haven’t found any. In any crafting grid (so your 2×2 inventory grid is fine), you will want to place a stick and a piece of charcoal (or coal) on top of it. This will output 4 torches, in which you can use to light up dark areas. Right click a floor or wall with the torch, and you now have a light source (these things never die too)! Now that you’re passing the night with productive antics, the dark has gone by and it’s the start of another day. We’ll see you soon onto Day 2 – Lets go exploring!

Minecraft | Sandbox Adventure

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