Home Guest Article Win Conditioning: Minecraft Strategy

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Recursive picture is Recursive

Minecraft, which has become insanely popular in the last few months (and has made Swedish creator Notch many many Euros) is a fantastic game, one you should try right now. Seriously. If you’ve never played it before, stop reading this shit and go to www.minecraft.net and try the Classic version for free. Actually, don’t go just yet. You’ll be confused. I’ll give you a quick rundown.

Minecraft is a game where you’re alone in a humongous, vast, blocky, randomly-generated world. The goal (in Classic mode) is to punch stuff with the left mouse buttons and build awesome things by placing blocks with the right mouse button. Simple, right? However, when you purchase an account for the Alpha, things change up slightly. Which is where tactics come in…

NOTE 1: This article is in two parts; one for Single Player, and one for Multiplayer, each for the most current version. Keep in mind that I’m writing this mere weeks before a huge announced patch set to add a whole bunch of stuff. I might make an addendum to this article after that patch is released. We’ll see how lazy I feel.

NOTE 2: I will be referring to Crafting quite a bit from here on. Crafting in Minecraft is done in the Inventory menu, and it requires specific recipes. I will NOT be listing these recipes, but you can find all of the current recipes over at the Crafting Wiki. This is an invaluable resource, as there is currently no in-game guide to help you out in Minecraft, since it is still in Alpha. It’s recommended that you have it open while you’re playing for quick-reference.


PART 1: Oh, I’m alone, but this place is gorgeousOMGWTFZOMBIES WHY ARE THEY EXPLODING

Minecraft, as I mentioned before, drops you into the middle of a world which is randomly generated, and continues to generate itself as you explore it. It’s a rather dynamic system to be sure, and you can see some truly fantastic things as a result, even taking into account the low-res block graphics. This adds to the charm in my opinion, and coupled with the dynamic lighting creates some truly beautiful landscapes. However, we’re not here to talk about graphics. We’re here to make sure you survive against all odds. And trust me, you do have odds to survive against.

But, when you start up the game, it’ll be Daytime, with the block sun burning bright high in the sky. So, let’s take advantage of this. First think you need to do is punch some trees. Yeah, you heard me. PUNCH THE TREES, FOR GOD’S SAKE! (Oh god why did I make that reference I’m seriously ashamed of myself right now). Seriously though, by punching the trees, you’ll make Logs drop. What do you do with logs? Well, you can craft them into Wooden blocks. You can use these Wooden blocks to make other things, like sticks. Most importantly, you can use Wood to make a Workbench, which will allow you to Craft in a 3×3 grid, as opposed to a 2×2 grid. This lets you make everything you could possibly need to survive. So, let’s get surviving!

Here’s what you will need to make right off the bat: a wooden shovel, wooden axe, and a wooden pickaxe. These tools are important as they’ll help you shape the world as you need for the moment. They’re fragile, and will break quickly, but soon enough you’ll be making more durable tools, so don’t worry about making a lot of wooden tools. 1 of each will do just fine.

Once you have these things, break your Workbench and take it with you if you don’t want to waste it. You have a choice right now. You could either:
1.) Find a mountainside and dig into it, making a nice little cave for yourself
2.) Dig down and build said cave that way
3.) Get lots of resources and build yourself a House

Each is a viable option. The first option has a nice side benefit in that you’re more likely to find Coal blocks if you look around the mountains a bit. Coal is important because it lets you make Torches, of which you will need MANY. They are your only sources of light for caves and other enclosed spaces early on, so make a lot of them.

So, once you have your “home” built, you’ll find that the sun is probably setting about now, or is already down. Take a second to marvel at the square moon and the beautiful stars, then GET YOUR ASS INSIDE YOUR HOME. There are undead creatures now spawning and roaming the land, looking for your blood. There are a few types of monsters:



  • Zombies: The most basic enemy. They slowly shamble and are fixin’ to eat you.
  • Skeletons: They have bows and arrows and can kill you from far away. When you hear that bow, you probably won’t see the corresponding skeleton that is holding it, meaning you will most likely die.
  • Spiders: A bit quicker than Zombies, and bigger.
  • Skeletons RIDING Spiders: Yeah. It happens.
  • Creepers: These green motherfuckers actually EXPLODE if they get close enough to you. If you’re near your home, consider that front wall gone. You will most likely die if they get that close.

Right now they don’t have the ability to break down barriers, so you’re in luck. If you have 4 walls surrounding you, you’ll live through the night. Most likely. You can keep digging without fear of external threat, but if you dig and find yourself in a natural cavern that’s filled with monsters? Well, you’ll probably die if you decide to explore it without weapons or armor. Cover that sucker right back up, and make a mental note to explore it later.

Now, it is likely that you have started digging up stone blocks. You can use stone instead of wood to make sturdier tools. Make yourself a couple sets of stone tools, as you’ll probably be digging a lot now. You may also want to make a stone sword if you plan on doing some exploring in natural caves that you find. It is important to note that monsters cannot spawn in lit areas, so put down torches wherever you go and outside your home. They can still wander into lit areas, but they can’t spawn there, reducing the danger near your home. If you have a cave fully lit, then you will not have to fear that cave any more.

Now, you may be asking yourself “If the enemies merely spawn at night, then why is it safe during the day if the monsters have already spawned?” Well, this is because any zombies or skeletons that are caught in direct sunlight instantly burst into flames and start taking damage until they eventually die. This is why you shouldn’t start exploring until the sun has fully risen, ensuring that many of the undead baddies are already dead. Now, spiders and creepers do not burn up in the sun. Spiders become much less aggressive, however. Creepers are still extremely dangerous, however, and should be dispatched carefully or avoided.

What you need to be on the lookout for now is Iron. Iron is probably the most important type of resource you’ll need in a survival sense. It is extremely durable and is relatively common compared to other ores. However, you cannot use Iron immediately upon harvesting, unlike every other resource you have used thus far. Well, you need to smelt the ores into bars. You do this by building a furnace. Now, once you have that done and you have some iron bars to tool around with, use them to build your essential tools first. After this is done, build Iron Armor so you can survive enemy attacks MUCH more effectively, and an Iron Sword so you can hunt. All the while, be mindful while exploring. Pick up flint and feathers while you explore during the day. Flint can be found while digging through gravel, and feathers you’ll find seemingly at random. Zombies actually drop feathers when they die. You can combine flint, feathers and sticks to form arrows, and you can make a bow with sticks and string that drops from spiders. When you craft these, congratulations! You can now kill from afar!

At this point, you pretty much have free reign to play the game as you wish. You can choose to explore more caves, going deeper and deeper in search of greater treasures, such as gold, red dust, and the almighty diamond, which is the most durable resource in the game at this point. You can choose to build mightier and mightier fortresses, and watch from the high ramparts as the sun rises and the zombies burst into flames. You can strike out and explore the world, searching for new horizons to conquer. You might want to find some of the other building materials that I haven’t already listed, like the rare Obsidian. You can even start an entirely new world and start all over again. It’s all up to you. However, if you have a friend who likes to set up servers, they’ve probably set up a Minecraft multiplayer server and will let you play in it, where the game changes up a bit.


PART 2: Yeah, you have a pretty sweet home. BUT I BUILT THE TAJ MAHAL WHAT NOW!?

At the time of the writing of this article, multiplayer in Minecraft is different from it’s singular brother in a few ways. For one, monsters do not spawn out in the world at night, meaning you’re free to build and farm as you wish at all hours. Another noticeable difference is that now there are other people running around who can also place blocks and build lots of stuff. They are your allies and enemies. They are the ones you must be better than.

So, how do you prove that you’re better than these people? By finding the best stuff and building the greatest structures, that’s how! How do you build the greatest stuff at the fastest rate? By finding great stuff right away! Start off like you normally would, building a home base to put things like a Workbench and furnaces. Then, find some coal, make some torches, and go exploring! Gather stone for your many, MANY castles that you will build to shame people who only have one home (losers). Connect these castles with floating Glass walkways in the sky! Surround your enemy’s fortress with a near impenetrable Obsidian wall! Do WHATEVER you can to prove you are better than them because you have the biggest buildings (read: Phallic symbolism)!

Pretty Impressive, if you ask me

Pretty Impressive, if you ask me

Or, you can be a tremendous dick and grief the shit out of your server. This is when you want to prove your superiority by destroying a player’s hard work or just being annoying in general. You can do this by setting wooden buildings on fire, using TNT blocks to blow up tons of shit in a player’s back yard, walling them in with Obsidian (In a more malicious manner than previously stated), etc. There are many things you can do to grief a player as long as your imaginations is working and you are a douchebag. Needless to say I don’t condone such behavior. It’s really annoying.

However, griefers aside, just use your imagination to come up with the greatest buildings ever! You could build a 1 to 1 scale model of a building that already exists, but that’s boring. You could ALSO carve out Floating Islands with massive castles made out of glass so you can observe just how much lesser the other people on the server are! All it takes is some thought and a bit of time.

Seriously though, fuck griefers.

Until next time!


Disclaimer: Post author did not create any of the images used in this article, all rights reserved to their original creators.

21 replies to this post
  1. Duff is an asshole and should die? You better explain that tag, WiNG. Im guessing it has somehing to do with “fuck griefers”

    • That’s part of the name of a griefer on the server I play on. Not the whole name though, so anonymity is still assured. He’s a dick. He burned down my wooden cabin =( And was routinely setting me on fire, digging holes underneath me, trying to drown me with a river…

    • I bought it after reading Serge’s article. While at first it seemed boring, it is ridiculously addictive once you get an inkling of what you can do in it.

  2. Minecraft is awesome… I did bought it and I don’t regret it for nothing, even in it’s alpha stage it has an immense sandbox replay value, awesome community that posts debates and talks about “new features” on unnoficial forums (wich the creators check and “pick” the best ones sometimes and put on the game)… it just goes to show that indie games can be innovative and ahead of the so called “graphics makes the game awesome” mindset that they are trying to put on new generations.

    So being survival is gonna be harder on the next update on day 31…. apparently torches will stop being permanent and I think there will be a new recepie for “permanent” torches… so our safe havens will be dark and gloomy…. ripe for the zombie hordes… *unsheates his iron sword and Diamond pick* I haven’t survived this long for nothing… COME AND GET ME!!! COME YOU BASTARDS… I’M NOT….. *bbbzzzzztttttttt*


    In sum, awesome text about an awesome game. Keep it Up SergeT3.

    P.S: Creepers are actually USEFULL… but I’ll let you guys figure it out for yourselves. As for people looking for a good tutorial, paulsoaresjr has nice channel for it on youtube, but be advised that you might be spoiled on some crafting if you are looking on doing things on your own. Here be thy link: http://www.youtube.com/user/paulsoaresjr

  3. My friend asked me try Minecraft so i made my account after many of my names were taken <.< and shall try it out later… i hope i don't run into many creepers

  4. I’m looking at this, and I’ve successfully realized that I read this same exact guide when I first started. And guess what I did first: I punched trees, I mined stone, I killed creepers, and I set forests on fire. THEN I made a Bow… And the game became easier.

    I bit of wisdom: When on a server, press ‘t’ to enter chat, then ask 2 vital questions: “Are aggressive mobs on?” and “Is PvP enabled?”, because if some guy in diamond armour, wielding a diamond sword, walks up to you, and PvP is on, he isn’t going to ask if you need help. No, he’s gonna kill you. And you’ll be able to do shit. Unless you have diamond gear, too.

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