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The Minecraft Tool Box

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Last issue, we explored how to purchase and download Minecraft. If you’ve done this, you’ve probably downloaded the game, created a new world, and hopped into the gigantic world of Minecraft. There’s only one problem, however; where do you go from here?

Being a sandbox game, Minecraft is about creating your own fun within the world. Although discovery and adventure is a part of the game, it’s no fun being confused at the start! As such, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the basics and make simple tools, with which you can better explore the world and work out what you’d like to do in Minecraft. So, how do you start a game of Minecraft?

Your first port of call is to get some wood. This is done by finding a tree and holding down left-click on its trunk. Your character will begin punching the trunk, which will slowly begin to crack. Once it’s fully cracked, it will explode and turn into a block of wood you can pick up.

Pick up this block and press the I key. You should see the block in your inventory. Click and drag the block into the four squares to the right of your character in the inventory, labelled ‘Crafting’. In the box to the right of the crafting panel, 4 plank blocks will appear.

Click the plank blocks to complete the crafting, then place one plank block in each spot of the crafting panel. This time, a crafting table should appear in the crafting result.

Take the table and put it in the hotbar along the bottom of the inventory. Close the inventory, select the table on your hotbar, and click on the floor to place it. Congratulations — you now have a crafting table!

If you right-click the table, you’ll notice have have a 3×3 area to craft with, rather than the measly 2×2 one in your inventory. We’re going to use this extra space to make some really good tools. Start by making two sticks; you can do this by placing one plank above another in your inventory crafting or table. Then, make this pattern on the table:

This will create a wooden axe. Put this on the hotbar and use it when gathering wood. Axes shorten the time it takes to break wooden blocks, so you’ll find the process goes a lot faster than before! Gather more wood, then make the following:

The pickaxe mines stone faster, the shovel helps digging through dirt, the hoe allows you to make farmland, and the sword is for protection against monsters. Make sure you build the sword before night time comes — that’s when all the monsters come out to get you!

Using these tools, you can easily get the materials needed to build a basic house. Get some wood (using your axe) or stone (using your pick). Once you have a good hoard, put the wood and/or stone blocks onto your hotbar, select them, then right-click on a solid surface to place the block in the world. Use them to build a basic house with a 1×2 hole for an entrance, then make a door using the following recipe:

Place the door over the entrance and right-click to open and close it. Now you have all the basics and a place to call home — a perfect start to your Minecraft adventure!

If you decide to go mining, you’ll come across many different ore as you explore. We’ll cover what you do with these in the next issue, but if you find any coal, combine them with a stick like this:

This will make a torch, which you can place in the world. Not only will this make things easier to see, but it will also prevent monsters spawning in the immediate area, as they dwell in dark places. Keep caves well-lit, as well as the area around your home for when night comes!

If you ever forget any of these recipes in the middle of a game, don’t fret! You can see all the recipes you’ve unlocked so far by clicking the book icon in your inventory, or to the left of the crafting table interface when you open it. You can even click the recipes in the interface to automatically craft that item.

Also, if you ever die while adventuring, your character will drop all of his items before respawning. As such, it’s always a good idea to know where you are in relation to the world, so you can easily get your stuff back if you die!

Next issue, we’ll look at more advanced tools and materials that can really enhance your Minecraft adventure.

Learn More

Minecraft Official Wiki’s Article on Tools


More Information on Torches


Survival House Ideas