Strongholds of Fantasy

Castles, Dungeons, and other Fantasy Lore...

Minecraft and Strongholds

Before you can even begin to build the foundation for a stronghold in Survival mode of Minecraft, you will have to start out in a shelter.  Shelters are temporary at best and can be abandoned later on or built on and improved upon if the player sees fit to do so.  

Starting a Shelter in MineCraft

Below is an example of a simple shelter above ground, made mostly out of dirt blocks.  However, a shelter can be made out of wood or stone as well.  



As I have stated before MInecraft has basically two modes of game play, Survival and Creative.  What I am writing here is not a standard step by step tutorial, but more of a guideline from my experience in playing the game in Survival mode.  So most of what I am doing outside is being done in the daylight and after I have swept the area of enemies from the night before.  Of course some monsters burn up in the daylight, zombies and skeletons, while others become docile, spiders, however beware of the creepers. 



At the start of the game in the settings part you can choose to have a bonus chest appear near your spawning point.  For beginners it is quite useful, since it contains some food and tools you will need starting out in the game.  The ax will make it easier to chop down trees, although you can punch them and not break your stubby hand.  The pick will allow you to mine stone and extract coal as well, if you break the rock any other way you will not get to take it.  The shovel will make excavating dirt and sand quicker, which can also be done by hand.  After removing all the items, you can destroy the chest and take it with you.  I suggest leaving at least one torch behind on the ground to mark your spawn point as you search the immediate area and get your bearings. 



The walking armless green guy will quietly approach you and try to ruin your day by blowing up next to you and leave a small crater for you to fill.  He is a tricky creature to fight hand to hand and I suggest to avoid him at first in the game if possible.  You will usually see him lurking around after the first night, as if he is probing the area for something.  He is easier to evade if you are hiding in a shelter and he does not see you, then he will prance along and keep walking away.  Fighting him effectively requires a sword and good timing between strikes as you need to back away between blows to avoid him blowing up right away.  When you have done enough damage he will die harmlessly and leave behind something, like gun power.  If by chance he does sneak up on you and blow up in your face, this has happened to me, the blast will not kill you as long as you have enough health. 



When you are spawned in Minecraft and the difficulty is anything other than Peaceful, there will be enemies that will appear at night.  As the daylight slowly dwindles you are in a race against sundown to find a shelter to hide in and protect yourself from all the monsters that will hunt you in the game.  I suggest in finding a large hill and digging into the side of it.  The hill will protect you on three sides and only the front of the shelter will have to be barricaded with a door or some dirt starting out.  Keep in mind this is a temporary shelter and does not have to become a permanent residence, however if you like the area you could eventually convert the shelter into your Stronghold. 



You will need lots of wood for various items to craft in Minecraft and your first night of survival is no different.  If you did not elect the bonus chest, then you must find some trees and punch a few of them. 



With the wood you have gathered, make a crafting table.  This is the most important and versatile tool in the game.  It allows you to create most of the items in the game and combine others as well into better items.    



Assuming you did not get some tools from a bonus chest, you will need to craft a shovel, an ax, and most importantly a pick.  Depending on how much wood you got starting out from punching trees, you could have made a crafting table right away and made an ax before getting more.  Although a sword is not needed to build a shelter, you can craft one as well.  



Once you have a pick, you can break some stone blocks in the area and gather some stone.  If you are in a flat land area, you may not see too many outcroppings of stone.  I suggest you either find a hill and dig into it or search the area for a cave.  If you cannot find either, then dig into the ground in front of you and eventually you will find stone underneath the dirt layer.  If you happen to find coal along your way to gathering stone, then be sure to mine a few chunks as well.    



There are many ways to build a simple shelter to survive the first night and on.  The easiest way is to dig into a hillside and place a door on the entrance.  There is no need to get fancy and your daylight will run out soon enough.  The advantage of digging into a landmass is that you already have some walls to hide within and you can always plan to build something bigger and better later. 

If you still choose to build a shelter with four walls and a roof, keep it simple.  I suggest building it on some high ground and use wood or stone for the walls.  Three block high walls with a flat roof on top are sufficient for standing room and will not feel too cramped.  A one room house, measuring four blocks by four blocks should be plenty of space for now. 



Other than the crafting table, the furnace is your most useful tool for processing raw materials and using them with the crafting table.  Once you make a furnace, burn some wood to make charcoal for torches in case you did not find any coal while mining stone. 



With some coal you can now make some torches to light up your shelter and prevent some monsters

from spawning in the dark near you.   Lighting up the inside of your shelter is more important than lighting up the outside area for now.  Depending on how much wood you have may limit how many torches you can craft and it is wise to save some for later use during the night.  



With the inside of your shelter lit up it is necessary to close off your entrance with a door or some other material.  Windows are optional at this point and are not really needed as long as you have a door that you can see out of.  The reason being that no skeleton can shoot you with his arrows during the night and the daylight will shine through the door in the morning. 



By this time your daylight is close to running out, depending on how much exploring you did or acquiring resources.  Hopefully by now you have constructed an adequate shelter to hide in from the monsters that will appear at night. 

When night falls you have two options, use a bed you have crafted or dig into the ground.  If you were not lucky enough to acquire the resources to make a bed, put your time to good use in another way by digging into the ground below or into the hillside deeper.  That is why I suggested saving some torches to use at a later time.  In order to mine during the night underground you will need torches to light your way.  



As you begin do dig and mine downward, do so in a stairwell like pattern in order to return to the surface with ease.  You can always craft steps to fill in the spaces and save on all the jumping up later on. 

While waiting out the night you will hear a lot of creepy sounds from zombies and spiders crawling around.  Ignore them and periodically check for the sunrise of the next day showing through your door or small hole window that looks to the outside.  Do not stand too close to your view point of the outside or a skeleton might shoot you, since their arrows can still fly through small openings. 



Beware when you first step out of your shelter for zombies, skeletons, creepers and spiders.  Some stick around, while others are eliminated by the daylight.   If you managed to agitate a spider during the night, it will attack you even during the next day instead of reverting to being docile.  Upon seeing a creeper, avoid his line of site or duck back into your shelter quickly.  If he did not see you, he will eventually go away.  Zombies and skeletons should be wandering around and catching fire as the morning light touches them.  If they are on fire, do not attack them for they can still hurt you, before  burning up and will set you on fire upon contact.  However, in a wooded area they will be spared the scorching, if they find shade.  This makes skeletons more dangerous, since they will not hesitate to snipe you with an arrow in the shade. 



As you venture out you will need to consider getting some food before you eventually starve.  In most areas you will find some animals grazing nearby your shelter or off in the distance.  Take your sword and kill a few, most will drop meat or other items as well. 



If you haven’t already, get the materials necessary to craft a bed and place it in your shelter.  Once you have one you can choose to sleep at night and take advantage of the next day.  If you do get killed by whatever means, you will respawn in your bed, instead of your original spawning point.    



At this point in the game you need to make some choices as to where you want to settle in.  You can stay in the shelter you have built and expand and improve it or you can venture out and scout for a better location to build your house or stronghold.  Farming should not be pursued until you have decided on where you want your ideal home to be.     

Lego Minecraft - The First Night

Lego Minecraft - The Farm

Lego Minecraft - The Cave

Lego Minecraft - The Mine