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The ultimate first night survival guide for Minecraft beginners

Here's everything you need to know to survive your very first night in Minecraft as a beginner.

As experienced players who have ventured through the depths of Minecraft, we understand the exhilaration and challenges that come with stepping into its world for the first time. As the saying goes, "For every redstone engineer designing complex contraptions, there's a builder creating their first shelter."

With a fresh generation of miners and builders entering this beautiful world, it's only fair to provide them with a comprehensive guide. This guide will ensure that the next generation of miners and builders won't have to scratch their heads in puzzlement and can start their adventures with the utmost confidence.

Minecraft is a very welcoming and friendly game with endless possibilities to explore. However, as the sun sets, the night creatures start to crawl out of their caves, which you might want to avoid, especially on your first night in Minecraft!


Before we jump into the survival tips, let's take a quick look at the controls for your platform. Familiarizing yourself with these controls is important because you'll be building and managing your inventory a lot in Minecraft. Check out the table below for all the important Minecraft controls on different platforms.

Action PC Xbox PlayStation
Move forward W Left Stick (Push Forward) Left Stick (Push Forward)
Move backward S Left Stick (Push Backward) Left Stick (Push Backward)
Jump Spacebar A X
Sneak (Crouch) Shift Right Stick (Click) Right Stick (Click)
Sprint Left Ctrl (Hold) Left Stick (Click) Left Stick (Click)
Attack/Destroy/Harvest Left-Click (Mouse) Right Trigger (RT) R2
Use/Place/Interact Right-Click (Mouse) Left Trigger (LT) L2
Open Inventory E Y Triangle
Drop item Q Down D-Pad Down D-Pad
Open Crafting Menu C X Square
Chat/Command (Multiplayer) T D-Pad Right D-Pad Right
Inventory (Survival Mode) E Y Triangle
Swap item from Hotbar 1-9 keys D-Pad Up/Down D-Pad Up/Down
Split stack in half Right-Click (Mouse) A (while holding the item) X (while holding the item)
Place a single item in the inventory Shift + Left-Click (Mouse) Y (while holding the item) Triangle (while holding the item)

Video Guide

Feel free to check out our video for a more visual reference of this guide.

Gathering Resources

When you start the game, you have around 10 minutes of real time to collect the crucial resources you'll need to survive your first night in Minecraft. Your top priority should be gathering Wood. Wood is the most important material in Minecraft and serves as the cornerstone for crafting almost everything in the game.

What you do in the early hours dictate how you spend your first night in Minecraft.

You can obtain wood by punching the tree trunks. On PC, right-click (on Xbox, use the RT button, or on PlayStation, use the R2 button). Keep an eye on the block; it will show cracks that get bigger until it breaks. Collect about 64 logs before you continue, as we'll need them to make plenty of planks and sticks.

In Minecraft, a stack of blocks is limited to 64, with the exception of a few block types.

Crafting Table

Once you've collected enough, you can use one wood log to create four planks. At this stage of the game, convert all your wood logs into planks, as we don't have any use for the wood logs right now. You can achieve this by accessing your crafting menu, which you can open by pressing 'E' on the keyboard, 'Y' on Xbox, or 'Triangle' on PlayStation. In the crafting menu, you'll notice a 2x2 crafting grid. Simply place the log in any of the slots, and it will provide you with planks in a box on the right side.

The wood type here is Acacia, but the recipe is the same for all wood types.
Crafting table.

Once you've crafted the planks, it's time to use them to make some essential tools. Begin by arranging four planks in a 2x2 grid to create a crafting table, which expands your crafting capabilities to a 3x3 grid. To place the table on the ground, select it from your hotbar and left-click on PC (or press LT on Xbox and L2 on PlayStation) while aiming at the ground or your desired location.

You should always have an extra crafting table on you when you go out exploring.

Next, let's create some sticks. Simply arrange two planks vertically in a 2x2 grid to craft these sticks. Sticks are essential for making various tools, including a pickaxe.

For multiple sticks, you can split a stack in half.

Crafting Tools

With your newly crafted sticks, place two of them vertically in the middle of your 3x3 crafting grid. Fill the top row with three wooden planks, creating a wooden pickaxe.

While you can craft other wooden tools, it's a good idea to conserve your resources for now and aim for stone tools.

Use your wooden pickaxe to gather some cobblestone. With cobblestone, you can craft more efficient tools that mine or dig faster and have increased durability. As you upgrade your tools, their durability improves, allowing you to mine more blocks. Keep in mind that gold tools are the least durable, while Netherite tools are the most robust. Netherite tools are for "end game" though, and for now you can focus on getting the stone tools.

The grey block is the stone. Breaking it gives cobblestone which can be converted back into a stone by smelting it in a furnace.

The recipes for all the tools remain the same, you only need to to swap the material. For example, crafting a stone pickaxe involves arranging two sticks vertically in the middle, with the top row filled with three cobblestones instead of wooden planks this time.

Stone pickaxe.

Mine approximately twenty cobblestone blocks to ensure you have enough for crafting essential tools like an axe, a hoe, a sword, and a shovel. The axe speeds up the process of breaking wooden items, the hoe transforms grassy terrain into suitable plots for planting seeds, the sword is used to kill both hostile and friendly mobs, and the shovel makes quick work of digging blocks like dirt or gravel.

Tip: If you're unsure about the crafting recipe for any of these tools, open your recipe book. You can find the tools there and click on them. If you have the necessary items in your inventory, they will be placed automatically in the crafting grid.

The recipe book is the green book in your crafting menu / inventory.


Now, let's focus on gathering some food. In Minecraft, food is your key to survival. When your hunger bar is full, your health will gradually heal. But if your hunger bar is low, your health won't regenerate. Look for animals like chickens, sheep, cows, or pigs. They'll provide you with the sustenance you need.

When you start the game, you'll often spot these animals in small groups.

Equip your sword and use it to defeat the animals and collect their meat. To maximize damage, jump and attack. Typically, it takes two or three jump attacks to defeat them. Equip your sword in the hotbar and left-click on PC (RT on Xbox and R2 on PlayStation) to attack.

To make a furnace, use your crafting table and surround it with eight cobblestones along the border of the 3x3 grid.

A furnace is used to cook food or smelt ores.

After crafting the furnace, you'll notice two slots. Place your raw food in the top slot and a fuel source at the bottom to cook the food. Various items can be used as fuel, including wood. However, wood burns quickly and isn't ideal for cooking multiple items.

To efficiently cook large batches, it's better to use coal as a longer-lasting fuel source.

Coal is quite easy to locate. It's often found on mountainsides, inside caves, or on stony surfaces. The good news is that coal usually appears in veins, with each vein yielding 1-2 coal.

You can use any type of pickaxe to mine coal.

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Hassan Sajid

Hassan Sajid // Articles: 694

Gaming has been a part of Hassan’s life for as long as he can remember, and he has an excellent grasp of all types of games. Hassan is best known for his the in-depth written and video guides that he produces for Xfire. He graduated with a degree in engineering from the National University Science & Technology (formerly known as Caledonian College of Engineering). The research and technical writing skills he earned throughout his time in the university have allowed him to contribute to the gaming community by creating guides.
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