Minecraft Basics 1

You’re in the game, now what?

Your UI and NEI

Lostdorks runs modded  minecraft servers. The most basic server we run has 2 mods in it, NEI (NotEnoughItems) and Biomes-o-plenty. The BOP mod simply makes the world more varied, giving really tall trees, or dead forests, or things like that. MEO though is your lifeline to how to craft. Think of it as the minecraft wiki for all the mods that are installed, built into the game.

If you open vanilla minecraft, and hit ‘e’ to open your inventory (why e? no idea). You get a screen like this:

Screenshot from 2015-08-13 15:56:05

If you open an NEI based minecraft your screen looks more like this:

Screenshot from 2015-08-13 15:58:01

Hover over an item like that stack of 60 birch wood in my inventory and hit ‘u’ and you get this:

Screenshot from 2015-08-13 15:58:40

This gives you the crafting patterns for everything you can make out of birch wood. you can hit the arrows on the bottom to cycle through the items in the “shaped crafting’ section, or the arrows on the top to change sections all together. You can also just scroll through the 14 pages listed on the right there to see the various things available to make in the game. If you click one, its recipe will show up for you.

that bottom pattern here is showing you how to make a wooden pickaxe, you will make one in the game, very early on so…

Punch Trees

When you start, you are alone, you have no tools, no light, no food. This is a survival game, so you will need those things. There are a lot of good ways to start minecraft. The way I like to start is by punching the nearest tree. This will give you wooden blocks. If you look at those first couple screenshots above you’ll see a little 2×2 crafting grid in my inventory pane.


Drag one of the wood you got punching trees to that and it will let you craft them into 4 wooden planks. Put one plank in each grid square (hint, if you snigle click the stack you will grab it with your cursor, hold right click while dragging across the crafting grid to put 1 of each item in each place you drag over) and it will craft a Crafting Table.

Screenshot from 2015-08-13 16:06:52

Drag the crafting table down into the bottom bar (your action bar). The bar is mapped left to right to the keyboard numbers 1-9 so which ever you drag it to, hit that # on your keyboard to select it, then right click the ground to place the grid square. if you have wood you can put one wood plan over another wood plank in the crafting grid to make sticks. Once you have sticks you can set it up like this:

Screenshot from 2015-08-13 16:09:04

to get a wooden pickaxe, with this you can break stone, the next harder substance to make things out of. You can scroll through NEI to make an axe (for chopping wood) a sword (for killing things) a shovel (for digging dirt or gravel) or a hoe (for farming). You can make stone, iron, or even diamond varieties of these weapons in the vanilla server among many other things.

It’s getting dark…

Minecraft is about survival, at night, for some reason, the world becomes filled with horrible things. Zombies, skeletons, spiders, and the dreaded creeper. Finding shelter is a must in this game. Monsters can spawn on squares that have a low enough light level, so if you put torches around you they won’t spawn near you, or in the light, but they will see you, sometimes from a long way off, and they aren’t scared of torchlight.

Make a door. Use NEI to find a door pattern and make one out of wood, dig into a mountain side, or into the ground, make a hole, put a door on your hold and hunker down for the night, or mine in your hole until it is light. Avoiding the night creatures will help you survive.

Night creatures like skeletons and zombies will burn up in the sunlight. Spiders have a really hard time seeing in the sunlight as well. Creepers though, they don’t care about the light at all. Zombies and skeletons will seek shade, or water, to avoid burning in the light. If they see you though, they may just run to you and burn while they do so. This can be used to kill them but can also light you on fire if they get too close.


Agathezol is a gamer, programmer, father, husband, and musician. When he's not writing blog posts nobody reads he generally writes protocol stacks, network code, and core telecommunications software but has dabbled in game design, web programming, mobile device software, and desktop software.

Categories: Minecraft