Introduction: How to Survive Your First Day in Minecraft

Picture of How to Survive Your First Day in Minecraft

Welcome to Minecraft!

Minecraft is a sandbox construction game where you are thrown into a world and you need to adapt, explore and survive. It can be overwhelming and difficult to just jump right in, so this tutorial is to give you the basics of how to get started and survive your first day in Minecraft.

Step 1: Generating the World

Picture of Generating the World

When you open the game you have a few options to chose from before getting started. I will outline the basics, but there are more you can explore when you play yourself.

The first thing you need to decide is if you want to play in Survival, Creative, or Hardcore mode.

Survival: With survival, you are thrown into a world and must fend to survive. You can change the difficulty (difficulties outlined below), and you must gather all the resources you need to survive.

Creative: You start with everything you could ever find or create in the game (instead of your inventory screen you have a selection screen where you can pick out anything to use). Instead of needing tools to destroy blocks, you can break anything with one hit. You do not have to worry about eating or a health bar. You cannot die even if you jump off a cliff or walk through lava. Lastly, you can fly!

Hardcore: Is like survival except you are on the hardest difficulty which you cannot change. You also only have 1 life to live. Think of this as real life.

Difficulty Levels for Survival Mode:

  • Peaceful - easiest, no monsters, you can still get hurt and die such as from falling or trying to walk on lava. Your food bar will never deplete, because of that you cannot eat.
  • Easy - hostile mobs will spawn, but do not damage you as much. Also, the cave spiders cannot poison you at this level. Can survive if food meter runs out.
  • Normal - hostile mobs spawn and will deal you more damage. In this level, you can still survive if the food meter runs out, but it will run down to half a heart.
  • Hard - hostile mobs will spawn and cause you the most damage of all the difficulties. If you let your food meter run all the way down, your health will slowly deplete until you die. While doors will usually keep mobs out, at this level, zombies can break down the wood doors.

Another thing you can choose is your FOV (Field of Vision) it ranges from 70 Degrees to 110 Degrees. 70 is the default and what most people use. You can also change this during gameplay.

Time to generate your world!

You never know what it is going to be. It could be a flat desert with nothing for miles, you could immediately be left on an island surrounded by water, or you could get a perfect world with trees and caves aplenty. You will have to adapt to your surroundings right away. Also, make sure to watch your step or you could fall into a cave right away. If you are lucky, you will just take damage, but you could die or you could be stuck in a hole with no light and no supplies to make weapons. So watch your step! Wherever you start is your spawn point. If you die, you will appear back where you first started the game.

Okay, 1 day in Minecraft = 10 minutes of real time so time to get to work!

Step 2: Wood

Picture of Wood

The first thing you are going to want to do, is gather wood. It is a necessary resource and you can get it easily, buy just punching trees (some resources require specific tools to obtain).

Just start breaking down all the trees you can.

*Tip: Sometimes the trees are too tall to break all the blocks from the ground. One thing you can do is skip the first (bottom) block and break the two above it. Then you can stand on that block and look up and continue to break all the blocks of the trunk. When you are done, hop down and break the block you were standing on. If you break all the wood of the tree, the leaves will slowly disappear and can drop saplings for planting and even apples!

If the tree is way too tall, you can create a Nerd Pole. A nerd pole is when you look straight down, jump and then lay a block down so you can create a pole while standing on it. I suggest to use dirt as it is easy to re-destroy. To get down, just look down and break the dirt until you are on ground level. (You can also just jump down and leave the dirt if you don't care about it and you aren't too high that you will get hurt.)

Once you have wood, you can create a crafting table. That is one of the things you can create in your inventory crafting grid (2 by 2) (many things take a crafting station crafting grid to create them).

To make a Crafting Table:

  • Put one piece of wood in and this will create wooden planks - 1 Wood Block = 4 Planks
  • Use 4 planks to make a crafting station - 4 Planks in a square = 1 Crafting Table

Once you have the Crafting Table, just set it on the ground to use it. Now you can create more complicated things like tools and doors.

Step 3: Shelter

Picture of Shelter

Once you have wood, finding/creating shelter is the next thing to knock of your list.

One of the easiest ways to do this is find a dirt hill and carve out a hole in it. Dirt is nice because you can easily break it with your hands. You can also go into stone, but you will need to make a pickax first.

Once night falls, you will need to get in your shelter. You have to make sure you are not exposed to the world. Your options are to:

  1. Block yourself in completely (with wood, dirt, stone, etc)
  2. Create a door - 6 Wood Planks in two columns side by side = 1 wood door*
  3. Block yourself in except for one 1 by 1 block which little can fit through**
  4. Block yourself in with glass so you can see outside (once glass is placed you can only destroy it, you can't break it and pick it back up), smelt sand to get glass

*A wood door will keep everything out in Easy and Normal. In Hard, Zombies will be able to break down wooden doors.

**You can still be shot by an archer though a 1 by 1 block, so if you leave an opening, make sure there is somewhere you can go in your shelter that is out of view of the opening.  Also, cave spiders and baby mobs such as zombies can fit through the hole if they can reach it.

Step 4: Tools

Picture of Tools

Time to create tools. Some are used for defense, while others are for gathering supplies.

Before you can make tools, you need planks (if you are making wooden tools) and sticks. Also, when it comes to crafting in Minecraft, placement is important. You can have all the right supplies laid out in the crafting grid, but if the are not in the right formation, you will not be able to create what you want.


  • 1 Wood = 4 Planks
  • 2 Planks (stacked on top of each other) = 4 sticks
  • 2 Sticks stacked in the middle + 3 wooden planks along the top row = Wooden Pickax
    • Needed for collecting stone, you can eventually break stone by punching it, but you need a pickax in order to actually collect any cobblestone from it.
  • 2 Sticks stacked + 1 wood plank on top = Wooden Shovel
    • Not necessary, but makes breaking dirt, gravel, and sand easier
  • 1 Stick in the bottom + two Planks stacked on top = Wooden Sword
    • Protection from mobs and used to kill animals for meat
  • 8 planks in all spaces except the middle = chest
    • Not necessary at first, but the as you collect more you will eventually need one for storage.

Step 5: Mining

Picture of Mining

On your first day of Minecraft, you don't have to worry about mining, but if you come across coal, it is a good idea to get some. It also doesn't hurt to get stone if you want stronger tools.

I order to mine coal and stone you will need a wooden pickax. Once you have collected stone, you can easily make a stone pickax which you will be able to use to mine iron.

Step 6: Furnace | Torches

Picture of Furnace | Torches

Light is very important in Minecraft, both for simply being able to see and for preventing hostile mobs from spawning near you. Monsters cannot spawn in the light, so it is important to have light in your shelter.

You have some options depending on if you have been able to find coal on your first day. You will need a furnace to smelt charcoal from wood if you have not found coal.

  • Furnace = 8 Cobblestones in all of the crafting spots except the middle
  • Create Sticks from Wooden Planks - 2 Planks (stacked on top of each other) = 4 sticks
  • To create your own charcoal, use any type of wood (raw wood, planks, sticks, etc) and put at least one piece in the bottom for fuel and in the top spot. You will be using wood to turn wood into charcoal. Wood has short burn time so you will only be able to create one piece of charcoal per piece of wood.
  • Once you have your charcoal or coal stack a piece of either on top of a stick = 4 torches

Once you put a resource in as the fuel, it will immediately burn. Wood burns for a very short time, but things like coal and lava will burn for a while, and whatever you put in there will burn regardless of if you have something you need to cook or smelt. So it is good to be prepared with multiple items to smelt or cook. Also, if you want to smelt different types of things in a row, make sure you remove what you just smelted. For example, if you just smelted charcoal and now you want to smelt iron, you need to remove the charcoal first or there will be nowhere for the new item to go. On the other hand, if you have a stack of iron, you can just put it in the top and walk away and it will go until either the fuel or resource is gone.

Step 7: Food

Picture of Food

You will have to eat. You might not have to on your first day, but the more running and working you do, the more your food bar will go down. There are many things to eat in the world, but on your first couple days you will probably be limited to apples and meat.

When leaves from trees disappear (after you have destroyed the trunk) they sometimes drop apples. If you are lucky you will get one from a tree, so it will be hard to play the game as a vegetarian when you first start.

Your other option is meat. Find an animal (a cow, pig or chicken, sheep only give you wool) and just punch it until it dies. It is horrible, but you have to survive. If you do not have a weapon, it will take quite a few punches and the animal will run in fear after you first hit it so you might have to chase it down. Try not to hit it in a hole. Killing the animal will give you raw meat. You can eat raw meat, but if you eat raw chicken, there is a chance you will get food poisoning.

To cook the meat, just put it in your furnace like you would to smelt an item. Use wood or coal to cook the meat in the fuel spot and put the raw meat above.

Everything will refill your hunger bar a different amount. For example, an apple will revive 4 hunger (which is two icons on the hunger bar) and a steak will revive 8 (raw beef will only fill 3). So it is good to keep track of your food and what you need so you make the most of what you have.

Step 8: Your First Night

Picture of Your First Night

Your 10 minutes are up and your first day is over. Hopefully you have not gone far from the shelter you created. Time to get inside and blockade yourself in for the night. It is good to use the nighttime to craft things and mine your shelter out (if you are in a mountain). If you have nothing to do, you are going to have to just hangout until the sun rises. Unless you want to venture out and take a stab at the mobs.

If you are lucky enough to find sheep on your first day, you can kill them to collect wool. If you have wool, you can combine it with planks to create a bed.

  • Row of 3 Wool + above a row of 3 Planks = Bed

It doesn't matter what color wool or planks you use, you will always get the same bed.  Once you sleep in a bed it becomes your new spawn point. So if you die, instead of appearing where you first started the game, you will appear on your bed.

Step 9: The Dawn of a New Day

Picture of The Dawn of a New Day

A new day!

Don't just go running out of your shelter. Though some monsters can't survive in the light, they can hide in the shade or stand in the water to prevent bursting into flames. If you are on the side of a cliff, something will probably jump down on top of you as soon as you step out. Some monsters can survive in the daylight after spawning in the dark (like creepers and spiders), so you might have some of then you need to deal with before you can continue exploring.

I usually run out of my place and look around for anything that could kill me. This also helps draw things away from your shelter. It can be very frustrating to have a creeper blow it up. Make sure to go back and close the door/block the entrance or just anything could wander in.

Just be careful and go explore!

Bonus! You made it to the end of the Instructable. Robot skin!

Step 10: Check Out My Other Minecraft Tutorials

Picture of Check Out My Other Minecraft Tutorials


Book Girl (author)2015-06-22

found this cave, just had to add a door

I love finding caves! They seem to go on forever and ever!

Hello, I just want to ask I found red stone but I couldn't get it when I broke it.

jash gopani (author)Sniper n12017-02-18

do you have diamond,emerald or iron pickaxe you have to mine with one of those.Emerald pickaxe is a modded pickaxe

Hi, you can only mine redstone with an Iron or Diamond Pickaxe. If you use anything else, it won't drop the redstone. I actually just finished a Minecraft Class if you want to check it out. Lesson 2 covers mining ores.

Do you have YouTube channel

I do not, unfortunately, have one at this time. Maybe someday :)

LambyAngel (author)2015-04-28

This is super helpful. Have always been scared of trying Minecraft Survival. I'll be playing it in PE too, so it will be a bit different. I'm definitely going to try trying this :)

ThomasK19 (author)LambyAngel2015-08-22

Meanwhile I'm only playing hardcore. Even got my first Whither that way (just using 10 backups - lol). Hardcore is really a little bit like real life. You're not Bond and live only once.

Book Girl (author)2015-06-22

I made it through the first day. the night on the other hand...a baby zombie spawned in my house and killed, redo

Nooo! Those darn zombies! Yeah, if you don't have enough light, they find ya!

germanlad made it! (author)2015-04-20

I made it through my first day in MINECRAFT and look at what o found!

germanlad (author)germanlad 2015-04-20

I mean, look what I found. two dogs.☺

That is awesome! You had a good first day :) Good location too!

Thanks, I was on Pocket Edition not the computer version.

diamondore made it! (author)2014-12-18

I Can Survive The First Day In Minecraft With Creative Mode If Its Survival Or Hardcode I Die From Hunger And Monsters! 1,000%

I have yet to even think about trying hardcore. I can't imagine surviving that :)

diamondore made it! (author)2014-12-18

I Can Survive The First Day In Minecraft With Creative Mode If Its Survival Or Hardcode I Die From Hunger And Monsters! 1,000%

doggy rap (author)2014-09-30

About the part where you are talking about creative mode... You cannot get command blocks in the inventory. I know how to get them,just sayin

Mr_Altitude (author)2014-04-21

I really like this Instructable. What device do you play it on? I just have the pocket edition, and it's a lot different.

I play the computer version on the mac. I see lots of PE Instructables and feel like I should give it a try :)

mikeasaurus (author)2014-04-02

My first night was scary, but these tips will help you through. I'd love to know more about pets and Mooshrooms!

pcanywii (author)mikeasaurus2014-04-20

Mooshrooms you can shear with shears for red mushrooms which are rare. First you must find a mushroom biome to find moosheooms. When you shear them, they turn into cows.

I'll go ahead and make an instructable about taming animals and mushrooms just for you

Coming soon as I can FIND A MOOSHROOM!

check the mooshroom island near the corner of the map.

I can't see to find the corner :(

Well, Minecraft worlds don't have corners anymore (as in earlier versions) as they're infinite. The best way to try finding a mushroom island complete with mooshrooms is making a boat and venturing in the sea.

I figured I should have run into a corner by now if there were any. I venture into the sea but can't find them. Do they spawn in creative mode? I thought they should, but havne't run into them.

They do spawn in creative. They are in the mushroom island biome. This biome is very very rare and generally surrounded by an ocean biome. You can learn more here:

I did finally find them when I played on survival mode. I must just have horrible luck with creative. I restarted so many games and flew across every ocean I could find and never ran into a mushroom island :(

Laterali (author)2014-04-08

Nice instructable. I was a hold out on this game until recently, but now I am completely hooked on it. There is a nice stronghold and biome finder that people can load their seeds to find all the different biomes, including the mushroom islands. It makes it much more fun to find temples and villages. The program is called AMIDST Project.

I need to try out seeds, I tried once and have no idea what I did wrong, but I never found the secret temple it said it had. But I really want to explore all the ones out there :)

Agreed. Once I did a seed to show exposed diamonds (876092) but It didn't work

MCcashregister (author)2014-04-08

Man, when I survive my first night I gather about ten trees worth in wood and start with that. But when I first started I got a wooden pick axe and I made an underground house. So this instructable is perfect for begginers.

Thanks! I tend to freak out when night comes which is why I put making your shelter second, but you can, obviously, make it whenever, even last minute as the sun sets :)

hflintoft (author)2014-04-03

What are the seeds and coords for your title pic?

I honestly couldn't tell you. It was a randomly generated world and I just kept taking screenshots of the sunset as I was flying around :(

To find a seed for a world, enter the world and press backslash (/). Type in "seed". A number will appear and that is the seed for that world.

Now if I could remember which of my games it was :\

Dartag (author)2014-04-07

I think it's important to note that a 1x1 hole can let more than just a skeleton's arrow through. Both Baby Zombies (or Pygmy Zombies if you don't like the first term) and Cave Spiders are smaller than 1x1 and can fit all the way through a one-block opening. Cave spiders are only .half a block tall, and can even fit through a half-hole (filled with a single slab)!

qboyer (author)Dartag2014-04-07

freakin scared me one time when I had a baby zombie get in like that. It is hard to kill those fast little buggers with a track pad and no mouse.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)qboyer2014-04-07

Thanks for the tip about the spiders. I thought I read somewhere they couldn't fit through that :P

I just ran into a baby zombie the other day and it scared the crap out of me. Good to know they can fit through too!

CraftinGenious (author)2014-04-07

I got another sunset pic! :P

That one's kind of spooky! I love it!

flashjammin (author)2014-04-07

Cool Instructable. Love the Robot skin thats awesome


pcanywii (author)2014-04-06

Either the picture on the second page is messed up or your skin is creepy. (The Steve is messed up) just sayin

Yep. I changed my skin and then was trying to change it back for some more screen shots and thought I had the right one. I did not as you can see :)

patsheldon (author)2014-04-02

excellent survival stratigies! My first night I had dug strait in a hill and blocked myself in lol.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am the Creative Campaign Specialist here at Instructables. And I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!
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