How To

How to play Minecraft, the beginner’s guide

Shaun M Jooste

Shaun M Jooste

  • Updated:

UpdatedExtended Minecraft tips and added related articles

Minecraft has been around for a long time, with thousands of gamers enjoying the game with its easy playability and exciting features. Still, there are many that don’t know anything about the sandbox title and wonder what is Minecraft and how it works.

In this guide, we’ll explain to you how to play Minecraft if you’re a beginner, helping you in the first steps you need to take. We’ll also show you some handy tips and tricks to make the experience more enjoyable.

How to play Minecraft, the beginner’s guide

What is Minecraft?

In essence, Minecraft is a sandbox video game where you can craft and demolish blocks in an open world. There are several biomes you can travel in, while you’ll come across friendly or deadly mobs specific to each location. You can either choose what to build in Minecraft Survival or Creative mode, as each setting works differently. 

How to play Minecraft

Before you can play the casual video game, you need to download Minecraft for your specific platform. As soon as you have it set up, you can run it from the launcher and choose between Survival or Creative mode. There are also mini battles you can enjoy against other online players, but you may need to purchase packs to enable them.

If you select to play Minecraft Creative mode, you can choose from any of the blocks, tools, and resources to build as you wish without mining or crafting. Minecraft Survival mode has a more adventurous tone, and you’ll need to survive against the monsters of the night. You can also set it on easy mode if you just want to build without creatures attacking you.

You don’t need to play Minecraft alone. There’s also a multiplayer version where you can play with others online or join in mini-battles. You can also add mods from other players to enhance the game. Here are a few guides on how you can set it up:

Minecraft Tips and Tricks

Now that you have a brief idea of what Minecraft is and how it works, we have some tips on getting started. We’ll cover some of the key features here so you can get a better idea of how to play it.

What to build in Minecraft?

The number one question most players ask when starting is “What should I build in Minecraft?” You have so many options, the choices are almost endless. You can create castles, skyscrapers, volcanoes, ships, bridges, floating bases, lighthouses, and so much more! The only limit is your imagination. There are various resources you’ll need to mine to craft items, such as copper, iron, and gold.

Here are some guides pertaining to resources and crafting in Minecraft:

what to build in minecraft

What is smite in Minecraft?

When you reach the stage of crafting weapons in Minecraft, you can apply smite to axes or swords. You’ll earn experience (XP) for crafting and fighting enemy mobs, which you can use to then enchant your weapon of choice. Smite will increase the damage dealt, making you a more powerful adversary to the creatures of the night.

What is smite in Minecraft

What is the Nether in Minecraft?

The normal dimension in the sandbox video game is called Overworld. You can build a portal to a hellish underworld called the Nether in Minecraft, where you’ll find lava, Netherrack, and various other creatures you’ve never met before. As soon as you need more advanced resources, you’ll need to make a base in this location to collect them for superior weapons and tools.

What is the Nether in Minecraft

What does Channelling do in Minecraft?

If you own a trident, you can use the Channelling enchantment in Minecraft on your weapon during a thunderstorm. When it hits a creature after you throw it, a lightning bolt will emerge from the skies to strike the monster down. You’ll need open skies for it to work, and it won’t connect with the beast if you’re in an enclosed area.

What does Channelling do in Minecraft?

What does Curse of Vanishing do?

When playing Minecraft in standard mode, you can change the settings to enable your items to remain with you when you die. However, the Curse of Vanishing is an enchantment you may find on weapons or tools that forces them to disappear when you die. However, it only applies if you have it in your inventory upon death.

What does Curse of Vanishing do?

What is Unbreaking in Minecraft?

All tools and weapons wear down as you use them. You’ll see a small line under the item which indicates its durability. When it reaches zero, the item break. Unbreaking in Minecraft reduces how quickly the equipment breaks down, with longer life in higher levels of enchantment.

What is Unbreaking in Minecraft?

What can you tame in Minecraft?

There are plenty of animals you can tame in Minecraft, which adds to the fun of the game. They’re either for decoration around your home, or you can use them for resources or traveling. For instance, there are sheep for wool, pigs for meat, cows for leather, horses for riding, and axolotl, cats, and foxes that are just fun to have as pets. You can even breed them.

If you’d like more information on how to tame and breed animals in Minecraft, you can read these guides:

What can you tame in Minecraft

Minecraft: What is Optifine?

When you’re ready to enhance your gaming experience, you can download Optifine for Minecraft. It’s a utility mod that lets you customize the graphics and textures to look more realistic. You can also change some of the gameplay elements, such as running faster or causing more damage.

Minecraft What is Optifine

More Minecraft Tips and Guides

There are plenty more ways you can enhance your gaming experience after you learn how to play Minecraft. Check out these additional guides for some more advice:

Become a master craftsman

Now that you know what Minecraft is and how it works, you can set out on your adventure and start building! There’s so much to do, you’ll spend years crafting your masterpieces. Once you’re done, be sure to show it off to other players or let them join you in local or online multiplayer.

Shaun M Jooste

Shaun M Jooste

I live in South Africa, Cape town, as a father of two children. I've been gaming almost all my life, with plenty of experience writing reviews and articles on the latest titles. With 15 years of experience in local government performing Facilities Management functions, I moved towards becoming CEO of my own company, Celenic Earth Publications, which serves to publish author's books, including my own. I'm a published author of horror and fantasy novels, while I also dabble in game and movie scriptwriting.

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