How to play Minecraft

Perhaps one of the most addictive, fun and accessible sandbox-style games ever created, Minecraft has become something of a pop-culture phenomenon among gamers of all shapes and sizes.  Touting decidedly lo-fi, square-ish visuals (in an age of games featuring super-sharp HD graphics), Minecraft’s rather simplistic approach to design hasn’t impaired its runaway success in any way it would seem.   People love this wonderful free-roaming game because of the sheer level of freedom of movement and creation it grants to players; that in and of itself is a pretty remarkable achievement.  Anyway, here’s a little primer for basic play…

First off, you’ll need to purchase a Minecraft account if you have not done so already.  The typical cost is at around $28 USD or, for people who are playing on a service like Xbox Live, 1600 MS points.

Next, start the game and create / name your own world.  One of the most immediate things you’ll want to do is collect some wood, you can do this by punching trees.  After that’s done, it’s time to craft planks.  To do this, open your inventory and drag your logs into the crafting grid.  Once this is completed, you’ll want to create a workbench (a real necessity); this is achieved by filling up the 2×2 spaced crafting grid.  Now, pick a good spot to place your workbench (a simple right click on the ground for PC users).

Following this, the next logical thing to do is create some basic tools.  Perhaps the most immediately useful among them is the wooden pickaxe.  Once you have created one of these, you’ll want to create such items as an axe, shovel and sword (for defensive purposes once the monsters and zombies come out at night).

After you have a basic toolset on hand it’s time to build yourself a little house / shelter.  This is where your imagination comes into play.  The great thing about Minecraft is that it allows you to pretty much do whatever you want; so you’re basically free to create whatever you desire.  You’ll probably want to start off with something simple at first though, like a small house or a cave, and then move on to larger estates once you’ve got the hang of building more rudimentary structures.

When starting off with your first construction project, you’ll want to look for additional materials to mine / grab first.  The grey-colored cobblestone is a good place to start and is very useful for a variety of building applications.  You might also find other materials such as coal or even more precious items.  Once you’ve erected a basic structure, you’ll want to make sure that you create a door (otherwise you’ll quickly be overrun by baddies once night falls).  If it’s too dark, craft some torches, you might even want to place some outside of your home.

After that, craft a furnace at your bench by making a circle of 8 cobblestones.  The furnace is handy because it allows you to heat up objects to make other items.

Lastly, go exploring!  The world itself is massive and contains many secrets and adventures which are just waiting for someone to uncover them.

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