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Top Five Minecraft Tips For Beginners

Updated on October 25, 2010
I have a bucket full of lava.
I have a bucket full of lava.

Minecraft is pretty much a guess and test experiment in survival, unless of course, you read up on playing the game online, which is pretty much essential if you're going to get anywhere. Still, even with a little bit of research, obvious things can escape the beginner. Here are a few tips I sure could have done with when starting out in minecraft.

Water can spring eternal. Which is a fancy way of saying that if you dig out a 2 x 2 wide 1 deep square in the earth and put one bucket of water in one corner and another bucket in the corner diagonally opposite, you'll make a spring that you can draw water from until the end of time.

Your furnace can burn wood. Wood! I can't tell you how long I spent mining coal only to discover that I was wasting it in my furnace. Admittedly, coal does burn longer than wood does, so you'll get more mileage out of coal, and indeed, as you start mining more, you'll probably end up with a surplus of the stuff. Still, if you're caught surface side with the need to smelt some ore and you've no coal at hand – go punch some trees.

Sand makes glass. See all that sand sitting about on coast lands? That has a real use. Put it in your furnace with some coal (or wood) and get glass! Glass is a delicate, but incredibly useful tool for creating shelters that don't require you to be exposed to the elements to see out of. It's also useful in mine shafts for allowing daylight in deep underground.

Putting cobblestone in your furnace creates smooth stone. Smooth stone is a prettier kind of stone that allows you to create some kind of variety in your stone structures. This isn't perhaps a 'top' tip, but it is fairly interesting and will help you create your own aesthetically pleasing private universe. Okay, back to the really useful stuff.

You can pick up water.
Three pieces of steel placed in a 'v' shape in the crafting grid make a bucket. With this bucket you can pick up water. This allows you to create your own waterfalls, and more importantly, move water when you find it blocking your way. You can only move water however if you pick up the source block from where the water flows. You can also pick up lava source blocks in this manner.

Water kills lava
and creates obsidian. That's right. In minecraft, the application of water destroys lava. If you manage to toss a bucket of water on lava at the source of the lava, you can transform a whole lava flow into strong obsidian. Obsidian can only be mined with a diamond pick, but there's a reason you're going to want obsidian, a reason that's going to make wearing down your precious diamond pick totally worthwhile.

Creepers can't explode obsidian.
There's nothing worse than toiling for hours, days or even weeks over a master piece only to have a creeper cheerfully wander over to it and blow himself up against it, destroying your great works. Obsidian, created when water touches a lava source block can only be mined with a diamond pick, as I mentioned above, but is impervious to creeper attack. Walls of obsidian around sensitive creations can protect them from harm. Now that's peace of mind.


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