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Minecraft 360 Survival Guide

If you’ve never played it before, getting started in Minecraft can be a bit difficult.  For console players just getting their first taste of this dangerously addictive game, we’ve put together a little guide to help you out.  If you are completely unfamiliar with Mojang’s masterpiece, be sure to check out Ron’s review of the Xbox 360 version here here.

 

Getting Started:

  • Play the tutorial:  I usually hate tutorials, and PC purists will say the fun of Minecraft is in the finding out, but the Xbox 360 version features a fantastic, informative and short tutorial that shows you the basics of playing on a pad without ruining the good stuff.
  • Get tools as soon as possible:  You can hold off on a hoe for awhile, but an ax, pickaxe and shovel are absolutely necessary.  Start by grabbing a few pieces of wood by hand, then quickly make a crafting table.  Create some wooden tools, and get started mining trees and cobblestone, if you can find them.  Stone tools last much longer than wooden ones, so upgrade as soon as possible. 
  • Build a shelter:  Use materials to build one, dig into a hill or just burrow till you’re sfae, but you’re going to need a shelter.  Unless you’re on Peaceful difficulty (which I don’t suggest), that first Minecraft day goes by quick, and you don’t want to be outside when the Creepers come.  Make sure you get at least three pieces of wool your first day, you’ll need them for your bed.  Your house should also include at least one furnace, a crafting table and don’t forget the doors.   Remember, two chests placed side-by-side doubles the storage room.  You’re gonna want it.
  • Survey your surroundings:  You don’t want to stray too far from your house initially, but get a good idea of what’s around you.  The next awesome mineshaft or sweet floating island could really be over that next hill.  Just make sure you can either find your way back, or have enough materials on hand to at least build a shelter and bed.

 

The tutorial is helpful and unintrusive.

 

Time to Build:

  • Get some materials:  You should already have some tools, but there are plenty of other things you’re going to need.  A stone sword and leather armor wouldn’t hurt, and keep a few cooked pork chops on your person for precarious situations.  Torches are vital, and it wouldn’t hurt to carry a crafting table and, later, a few buckets.
  • Keep a forest handy:  Wood is a valuable commodity, and you don’t want to spend half your day searching for it.  Leaves sometimes drop saplings when mined, so find yourself a nice spot close-by and plant a forest.  You then have a ready source of both wood and more saplings should you need them.  Also good for building awesome tree houses.  Use bone meal to accelerate their growth.
  • Find (of build) a mine:  You’re going to need iron, gold and diamonds, and believe me; those things don’t appear in plain sight often.  Mojang’s random world generator always throws in a few nifty underground dungeons to explore, and it’s your job to find them!  If you can’t find a ready mineshaft, start digging!  You’ll eventually find something.  Iron is a valuable research, and you’re going to want some sooner rather than later.

The Other Entities:

  • Animals:  A variety of animals are around to make your Minecraft experience more enjoyable.  Cows provide leather when killed, and can be milked with an iron bucket.  Chickens lay eggs and drop feathers, and sheep provide all-important wool.  Deadly octopi can be found in deep water, and drop ink sacs.  Pigs drop pork chops, which can be cooked to provide extra health.
  • Spiders:  Spiders are usually docile in the day if you don’t provoke them (but not always), but will always attack you at night. They don’t do much damage, but can come in swarms, and attack with a weird pattern that is hard to time.  You want to kill them though, because they drop string when killed.
  • Skeletons: These f***kers are a real nuisance.  They pepper you with arrows, and are notoriously bad about popping you while down in dungeons.  Don’t let them stay at range if possible; take them down quickly.  They drop arrows and bones when killed, and are vulnerable to the sun.
  • Zombies: Your basic enemy.  You’ll note them by their trademark moan and their ruthless persistence for your flesh.  They are very pesky creatures, and are quicker than they look.  Like Skeletons, they will burn in the sunlight, unless they are in water.
  • Creepers:  If Minecraft has an ultimate enemy, it’s the Creeper.  As you’ll no doubt eventually learn, they explode when they get close to you, doing massive damage and blowing your nice new wall to smithereens.   They look like zombies, but are distinguished by their lighter color tone, lack of arms and extra pair of feet.  Also by the exploding.  They are among the most frightening creatures in existence, but they are your best chance to find some gunpowder.  Be very careful when dealing with creepers.

 

Hey look at this templ- HOLY CRAP IS THAT A DIAMOND SWORD? Sweet.

 

Advanced Play:

  • Smelt efficiently:  So you’ve got your iron and gold ore, and those blocks of sand are really clogging your chests.  Build a couple furnaces, and feel free to actually do something while your ore is turned into useful ingots.  Remember, sand can be burned into glass.  Ore is turned into ingots, and wood becomes charcoal when cooked.  You need charcoal for torches.  If you can manage to get a bucket of lava into your furnace, you are set for the next 100 items you smelt. 
  • Find a suitable spot:  So, you’re ready to build Winterfell (or whatever).  No need ti rush; find a nice suitable place to start your masterpiece.  Nothing is worse than starting to build a giant castle only to to find there’s a thirty cube drop-off where your godswood was going to go.  While the cardinal rule in Minecraft is “if you can’t find it make it”, some places are just not hospitable in Minecraft.  There are always better sites,  so don’t be afraid to browse.
  • Rails and Minecarts:  Getting the iron and redstone to get functional minecart going can be a problem, but they are beyond useful for speeding across the environment.  Set up a network of rails and bases, and you can zip around the world at your leisure.  A Minecart with Furnace will move on its own when fed, but a redstone-powered rail system is the way to go.  Redstone is relatively easy to mine, and it last forever.

A Few Additional Tips

  • Gold tools work quickly and look pretty, but aren’t near as durable.  Stick to iron for your tools until you can upgrade to diamond.
  • Speaking of diamonds, they are nice.  They’re tough to find, but a diamond axe can handle a ton of wood.  Diamond armor is also a great thing to have.  To start with, I recommend a diamond pickaxe.  It will usually last  until you find your next diamond cache.
  • Do whatever you want!  The fun of Minecraft is experimentation and execution.  If you want to build a castle or recreate the entire first level of Mario, don’t be daunted.  Go for it!
  • Remember: sand and gravel are affected by gravity.  Don’t be squished to death while digging under a gravel pit.  It’s just embarrassing.

 

This looks like a good place to mine.

 

There’s not much to say other than that, so I help this helps you with building your world.  Half of the fun of Minecraft is experimenting, so make sure you see all the game has to offer.  If you’re really smart (or tenacious) enough, you can do some pretty incredible things with the lever and switch options.

Have a good tip for Minecraft newbies?  Give us your thoughts in the comment section below.



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