Tips to Minecraft Survival - The Beginning

Minecraft Cave System. Taylor Harris

Surviving Minecraft is no easy task, especially for newcomers to our land of blocks. As you trek through your own little world, you'll notice there are no two worlds alike (supposing you don't fill out the "seed" option). This can make having a sure fire way to 'survive' Minecraft be kind of bleak in terms of what works and what doesn't. Your world may have very tall mountains, or very big desert biomes. Your world may even have a lack of animals or resources (or so it seems, at times). The tips I will be providing you with today, won't teach you how to 100% "survive" (mainly because we all have our own definition of what 'surviving' in Minecraft really is), but it will surely make the Minecraft Survival experience just a little bit easier!

Torches

There's no worse feeling in Minecraft than being trapped in the dark. At all. You'll never know what may be behind you and you'll for sure never know what you're missing, especially in a cave. Keeping a good amount of Torches in your inventory allows for you to light up an area within an instant, allows you to break a good amount of Sand or Gravel without wasting time or a Shovel (by quickly breaking the lowest Sand/Gravel block and quickly putting a Torch in it's place), and to find your way out of a sticky situation by creating a path of Torches to help you find your way back to where you started.

You should always grab as many torches as you can because you'll never know when you'll run out. (A side note about torches! If you ever run out of Coal and have Wood readily available, place a regular block of Wood straight from the tree onto the top slot of a Furnace, then place a Wood Planks block into the lower bottom slot of a furnace. The Wood Planks will burn the regular Wood block into a piece of Charcoal, which can be used in place of Coal for any recipe that calls for Coal!)

Resources

There's a certain point in everyone's Minecraft life where they believe that they probably have too much iron or potentially too much coal. This goes for really any resource, actually. Whether it be Iron, Gold, Diamonds, Coal, Charcoal, Wood, Dirt, Stone, Redstone and Lapis Lazuli there is no such a thing known as "too much".

The only feeling that almost compares to being trapped in the dark is knowing you have to go back into a cave because you've ran out of coal. If you've ran out of coal, you've probably ran out of torches and that can only mean you're going back into that cave to make more light.

Location

Before you run away from where you're standing in Minecraft, if you're not familiar with any of the surrounding areas, you may want to locate the sun (or moon). Knowing where you are in Minecraft is of vital importance. The sun will always rise in the east and set in the west (the same will go for the moon).  If you're running away from the sun as it rises, you're going west. If you're running towards the sun as it's rising, you're going East. If the sun is behind you rising and you run to the right, you're going North. If the sun is behind you rising and you run to the left, you're going South.

If any of that seems like too much of a hassle, you can always create a Map or a Compass. As you explore, a Map will chart the locations you have been (since the creation of the map) by creating a bird’s-eye view of the land surrounding you. A compass will point to the spot you originally spawned on in your world.

Inventory

The last tip I have for you on this specific volume of "Minecraft Survival Tips" is to always have useful items in your inventory.   

You should always have a good amount of blocks (whether they be stone, wood, dirt, sand or gravel), just to get you out of a sticky situation. If night falls and you're out and about, you may want to build a quick 'base' to save yourself from mobs. Those blocks may also be used to get across ledges in a cave safely, to get to a higher point for a good view, or anything else that permits.

Another item that may get you out of a sticky situation, depending on your surroundings, is a bucket of water. You can use said water to safely get down a cliff, to get rid of lava in your way (by turning it into Obsidian), to climb surfaces (by placing the source block, swimming up, taking the source block away, and replacing it, quickly shifting your character's movements to adapt to the flow of the water, and repeating the process).

You should always have torches with you for the reasons listed above, as well as carrying around various resources (such as Iron, for example) to quickly replace any tools that might break from use. You should keep a good amount of wood in your inventory to create torches, replace tools, and to make a Crafting Table if necessary.

Armor is always a necessity if you fear you may run into trouble, either keep it in your inventory or wear it on your character (in fear of sneak-attacks). Armor can absorb a very good amount of damage dealt to a player in many instances. If you're not wearing armor, you may very well kiss your items goodbye!