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After seeing a huge interest here and in almost every PC gaming site, I decided to buy Minecraft Beta. In twitter and rss I heard something about zombie, ghosts, cakes, spiders, survive in the wild and so on.

So I started excited my first single player game and I spawned on a small island. What to do now?

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well you can go out now. do some bicycle. run in the woods. hunt some deer. –  jokoon Jan 17 '11 at 13:46
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OH you swim to a BIGGER island –  ProSay Aug 18 '11 at 14:39
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It's Minecraft; the only true answer to "what do I do now" is "yes". –  harbichidian Aug 18 '11 at 15:39

6 Answers 6

up vote 65 down vote accepted

If you started a new single player game and didn't change any of the difficulty settings, the first thing you need to do after the world is created is figure out how to survive your first night: at night is when all the really bad stuff that'll kill you comes out.

The trick to doing that involves securing two things: light and shelter. Bad stuff doesn't spawn near light, and shelter will keep that which has already spawned from coming to kill you.

To build a shelter and a light source, you'll need some basic tools and materials. Look around you to see if you can see some trees:

A tree

If you left click and hold on the trunk of the tree, you'll be able to cut it down and get a log:

A log

Keep cutting down trunks of trees until you have about a half-dozen logs. Once you have that, open up your inventory (press the "I" key):

Inventory screen

Here, you should see the wood you just collected. Click on the wood and move it to the crafting slots at the top of the inventory screen. The slot to the right of the arrow will display a new crafted item, the wood plank:

Wooden plank

If you click on the wooden plank, you can move it into your inventory, and the number of logs you have will decrease. Congratulations, you created your first item! Keep creating wooden planks until you run out of logs.

Now, take your wooden planks and put them into the crafting area of your inventory so there's a wooden plank in each slot (you can split stacks of items by right clicking on them). This will let you make a crafting table:

Crafting table

The crafting table will let you create things with 9 slots instead of the 4 your inventory allows. Move the crafting table to one of the bottom slots in the inventory (your action bar) and close the inventory window. If you then select the slot with the crafting table (if you put it in the second slot, you can select it with the "2" key), you can right click anywhere to place the table.

Once you place the table, right click on it to open the crafting screen:

Crafting grid

Now, take a few of your wooden planks and lay them out in the grid so one is above the other so you can create wooden sticks:

Wooden sticks

Two planks equals four sticks. Create 12 sticks (so, use six wooden planks).

Now, you'll want to create a pickaxe, which will let you mine stone and coal. Move two sticks and three wooden planks into the crafting table and arrange them thusly:

Pickaxe

Equip your pickaxe into one of your open action bar slots. Now that you can mine stone, you'll need to find some coal so you can make some torches. Look around you to see if you can see some mountains, particularly ones with bare stone and ideally ones with little black dots on them:

Coal

Depending on your luck when you spawned, you might be really close to some coal or you might have to walk around a while to find some.

Before you head off, make sure you collect your crafting table so you don't have to make another one later. To do that, left click and hold on the crafting table until it gets "destroyed" and walk over it to collect it.

If you don't find any coal after a few minutes of searching, try to find a secluded place with some bare stone that you can start mining into. Coal can appear almost anywhere underground, so you might get lucky and find some after digging into the side of a mountain for a bit.

Mining works just like cutting trees down: left click on the stone until the block is destroyed and you get a piece of cobblestone (or, if you mined coal, a piece of coal). Just make sure you've equipped and are using your pickaxe or it'll be an exercise in frustration.

If, after a few more minutes of mining, you still haven't found some coal, you can use the new-fangled 1.2 method of getting coal using a furnace. First, go get a couple more logs from nearby trees. Then, place your crafting table down (you did remember to collect it like I said to above, right?) and open it up to create a furnace with the cobblestone you no doubt collected via mining:

Furance

The furnace is a similar item to your crafting table: place it down and right click on it to open it. There, you'll see three slots. The bottom slot is the fuel source, the top slot is what you want to "smelt", and the right slot is what is created after smelting. In this case, you'll want to use a log as both the fuel source and the object to be smelted, which will create charcoal, a poor man's version of the coal you can mine:

Creating Charcoal

Once you have coal (either by finding it or by making it), make some torches with the coal you found and the sticks you have:

Torches

Now, start digging inward until you've carved off a nice little nook or cave. Make sure you keep the opening small: you don't want bad things coming in. Equip your torches and right click on the sides of the walls to place them. By this point, either the sun has already gone down, or it's late in the day.

Close off the opening of your cave so nothing can come in and wait for daylight. To do that, find some of the cobblestone and/or soil you have from digging in your inventory and equip it like you did with the torches and pickaxe. Right-clicking with a block of stuff will place said block on the ground.

Congratulations, you survived your first day and got to play around with the basics of Minecraft. Now, you can start to explore the world around you and figure out what else you can make. Minepedia, where most of the above images came from, contains a wealth of knowledge about the game and what you can do.

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Note that with the new 1.2 Beta update, you can make Coal (Charcoal, actually) by smelting wood in a furnace. Handy in case there is no coal close to your spawn (ex. you spawn in a large desert biome). –  Kevin Y Jan 17 '11 at 3:31
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@Kevin, nice! Kids these days have it too easy. Back in my day, we had to mine our own coal up hills, both ways, through the snow, with wolves chasing after us. And we liked it. –  user3389 Jan 17 '11 at 4:04
    
@Mark are you left handed? Because I swear the left click is used to destroy things and the right click is used to interact. –  indyK1ng Jan 17 '11 at 4:32
    
@indyK1ng No, and you're right: not sure why I had right-click on the brain. Fixed where appropriate. –  user3389 Jan 17 '11 at 4:42
    
@Mark Very informative thank you. It seems that there are many things to do the first day to survive and I read around that daytime is about 10 minutes long. Is it right? Should I hurry do all things? –  Drake Jan 17 '11 at 14:36

Learn the basics, then start crafting and creating things! There are no objectives in Minecraft, so like most sandbox games, you'll find your own play style as you play more.

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Watching a Let's Play Minecraft series is a good way to learn.

The most popular one is probably X's adventures in Minecraft, though it's certainly not brief.

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For me, I "learned" how to play Minecraft (or... how to have fun with Minecraft) after reading the Mine The Gap series from the Rock, Paper, Shotgun site. It describes the first impressions and first hours of gameplay of a new Minecraft player. It's a good read, very interesting. :)

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http://www.youtube.com/user/paulsoaresjr?feature=watch#p/c/7326EF82122776A9/0/B36Ehzf2cxE

Paulsoaresjr was the first person to make Minecraft videos only on tutorials. He recently made an updated tutorial series starting at the full release of the game.

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I learned to play minecraft watching the clips on the website. First find a tree and left click and hold down until the trunk is destroyed. the leaves should drop saplings which you can plant by right clicking on the ground. Put the log into your crafting space and click on the single box to the right until there is no logs left. Put 4 planks of wood into the crafting space in a square configuration to get a crafting table. then put 2 planks in a upwards fashion to get sticks. Now use your crafting table and place 2 sticks upwards and 3 planks along at the top. This should get you a pick. Mine stone with the pick and upgrade your pick. This should get you started.

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