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Published on August 21st, 2013 | by Tom


Minecraft Tips


Hi guys! I know the site is called Minecraft Building Tips but I wanted to share some general tips for survival mode that I’ve learned. This stuff is essential and has helped me to have more fun adventuring and die a lot less :)

First, I’d like to share my Number One Tip: always learn from death and other mistakes. Every death means you made a mistake you can prevent next time so that you don’t lose experience points or valuable gear. For example:

  • Blown up by a creeper: how did the creeper get close to you? Try adding defenses to your home like a moat or roof overhang.
  • Landed in lava while deep underground: block off the lava, or take more care while walking over it.
  • Shot by skeletons: use safer mining practices or put glass in the windows of your structure.

Make a note and learn from every experience!

Dealing with Monsters

Monsters are a pain on the surface but they’re much worse when you’re underground. The rattling of a skeleton or moaning of a zombie in the dark tunnels ahead can be unsettling. Here are some techniques to help deal with them in the caves:

  • Let monsters approach you. This works best for non-skeleton enemies. If you rush ahead into the darkness you’ll probably find more monsters. You want the odds in your favor when you engage the baddies. Fight them the same as you would on the surface: sprint and slash, don’t let up, and be mindful of your surroundings.

  • Keep building materials like dirt or cobblestone in your toolbar and build small walls quickly to defend yourself. You can slash monsters in their feet or heads and keep blocks between you and them.

  • Rush monsters with a sprint and knock them into pits when possible

  • As soon as you find lava, scoop it into a bucket and pour that stuff down on the monsters at every possible opportunity. This is my favorite way to deal with nasties in the caves. Drop lava above them, let it flow down caves or long drops, and scoop it back up when you’re done.

  • Build walls to shut off completed tunnels to prevent monsters from roaming freely

Be Aware of Underground Hazards

The underground environment itself can be just as dangerous as the monsters. For example, caves often have long, fatal drops. You often have to build stairways up or down to overcome sheer rock faces. Try to leave some blocks between you and long falls when building paths. You may feel you can handle some perilous precipices but it’s wise to plan for the occasional creeper showing up out of nowhere or skeleton’s arrow knocking you off a cliff.

Here are two techniques for overcoming drops and long climbs:

 The Gravel Elevator Technique: select a stack of gravel or sand. These blocks are affected by gravity so you can place them far away by letting them fall. Place the blocks against the side of the block you’re standing on, or on the side of an adjacent block. They’ll build a column as you add more on top. Jump on when it’s close to your height, grab your shovel, and dig your way safely to the bottom!

The Instant Pillar Technique: select a stack of dirt or other material. Look straight down, jump, and place the block beneath you. Repeat until you’ve gotten as high as you need to go. Dig up the blocks beneath you if you have to get back down after.

Use the shift key when walking near ledges to avoid moving off the edge of the block you’re on.

Waterfalls can bar your path or slow you down. Being stuck in the flow can carry you over an edge or make you a sitting duck for skeleton archers. Block off the flow with cobblestone to preserve the cave’s natural beauty and sound of water. You can also plug up the water source with another block, or you can collect the source block of water with a bucket.

Use caution when you’re around lava. Getting shot by an arrow and knocked into the lava or falling into it will ruin your day, and if you die in the lava and drop your possessions they can burn up as well. That’s not fun after a big mining trip and you’re weighed down with valuable treasure you spent a long time gathering!

 You can treat lava flows like water: block off the lava with cobblestone, plug it, or collect the source block.

Never dig straight down! You could open a hole into a long fall or lava. Digging straight down is bad, bad news.

Touching lava will light you on fire. You’ll take steady damage. Make sure you always carry a bucket of water so that you can douse yourself in case you fall or get knocked into lava. It’s frustrating to slowly burn to death with no way to put out the flames!

You can also use a bucket of water to douse pools of lava. Dump your bucket of water on a nearby stone block and let the water fall onto the lava blocks, turning it onto smooth obsidian that you can then walk on safely.

Treat lava with the caution it deserves! One touch and you’re on the way to doom.

 You can get more in depth with my Minecraft building guide beginner and advanced.



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