10 Tips to Help You Survive in Minecraft’s Survival Mode


Minecraft has developed a huge following, with its appealingly chunky visuals, intuitive crafting system and oh-so-cute creatures.

The only problem, if you’re tackling the game’s survival mode, is that at least half of aforementioned creatures will murder you as soon as look at you. Here are a few tips to help you get through your first few days in Minecraft’s survival mode without becoming a blocky corpse.

Don’t get cocky, kid.

You’re thrown into survival mode with nothing but your fists, not nearly enough to dispatch the bulk of the game’s monsters. Forget about building a massive house on your first day – keep your head down and run or hide if you encounter more than one monster at a time.


Stick around, above ground.

It’s tempting to roam as far as your feet can carry you, but you’re best off sticking to one area, making that area your home base. Even if you’ve nothing to your name, knowing the territory will help you keep alive. You may stumble across chasms which lead you deeper underground, but even worse horrors await in Minecraft’s catacombs so stay away until you’re ready for a real fight.

They mostly come out at night. Mostly.

Many of Minecraft’s enemies are nocturnal. If you can see the light dimming, get somewhere safe.  If necessary, just tunnel your way into a hill and block up the entrance with soil.

Dig in the dirt.

As soon as you start the game, stockpile dirt by punching the ground until you’ve got at least 40 blocks. This is enough to create a shelter where you can remain hidden from view at night. Surround yourself by soil, digging out and replacing a block to keep checking if it’s light. Sitting there surrounded by dirt may not be glamorous, but it’ll keep you alive.

Arm yourself with a stick.

Once you’ve crammed your pockets full of dirt, punch a light brown tree and get one block of wood. Convert this into oak planks from the crafting menu, then craft them into a stick. You’ll have the opportunity to craft better weapons later but for now it’s a passable hitting implement with which to see off at least some of Minecraft’s enemies.

Get sneaking.

If you’re trying to get back to your home territory without being seen, push down on the right stick to sneak. Though if the game’s monsters have detected you already, just run like the wind.

Skeletons are the worst.

While zombies and creepers are unpleasant, skeleton archers are the worst foes you’ll encounter during your initial foray into survival mode (unless you foolishly go poking around underground). They’re ridiculously accurate and can kill you in a few hits so if you see one, get out of their line of sight and then just run.

Be vigilant.

It’s very easy for monsters to sneak up on you. Some monsters have audio cues, such as the Creeper’s hiss, to let you know they’re closing in. Remember to look all around you to see if there are enemies coming in from other directions. It’s not unusual to turn around and find you’re being pursued by a line of zombies that you didn’t know were there.

Water is your friend.

Land enemies typically get stuck or slow down in water, so if you are being pursued leap into water. Deeper bodies of water may harbour Guardians, who will attack you on sight, so try to stick to the shallows.

Build a crafting table before you build a house.

Once you’ve built a basic dirt shelter, mine enough oak wood to create a crafting table. This will let you create pick-axes which will in turn let you mine stone to build your house. You could build a wood house but for the effort involved you’re better off building a stronger, sturdier stone house.

And there are you are. Remember, if it’s just building you’re into, there’s always Minecraft‘s creative mode which gives you unlimited resources and prevents monsters from attacking you. But crafting a grand edifice while under siege from various nasties brings with it a far greater sense of accomplishment. Have fun.