Minecraft is a pay-to-play 3D pixel-art styled online world exploration and creation game for solo or multiplayer gameplay by Markus Alexej Persson. Initially an indie title, this game became so popular that its creator sold it to Microsoft for $2.5 billion USD in 2014. It can be played from either a first- or third-person perspective.

The basic design pays homage to the earlier pixelated games, as well as the interactive style that they generally implemented. This is why most structures and objects in Minecraft are comprised of cubes and are themselves cube-shaped.

Gameplay

Minecraft is a sandbox survival game with no set objectives. Players can choose a mode that meshes with their preferred playstyle and then opt to play either solo or multiplayer with their friends.  Regardless of the mode that they choose to play, there are still some basic elements that players will need to conduct in order to progress, such as mining for materials to craft new items, tools and buildings, as well as to expand their world and introduce new elements and areas to the game. They can also farm creatures and food, depending on which mode they are playing in.

As players mine, defeat creature, craft and perform other activities, they will earn experience points that will help them to level up. As they do so, they will be able to craft a wider variety of items as well as performing spells. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to how many worlds a player can create and save. Additionally, players can usually respawn their character when it dies, with the exception of characters that die in hardcore mode.

Music and monster-grunts act as important indicators in Minecraft, so players should keep their ears open while exploring. Bulking up with armor and weaponry at all times doesn’t hurt either, especially when a character is at a lower level.

Crafting

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This is obviously the mainstay of Minecraft. While players can craft almost anything, they need to have the necessary materials, which requires mining for it. All materials are mined, including animals and vegetation, with the exception being when an action is being done to an object that is not intended to destroy it, such as shearing a sheep for wool.

However, mining different materials requires the relevant tool. Grass and trees can be mined with fists, when a character first spawns, but trees will inflict damage on them. Threes could provide wood drops of various amounts which can then be used to craft other basic tools. Once the necessary materials have been obtained, the recipe for a specific item will appear in the Recipe book. Once it appears, it will remain there even if the player no longer has the relevant materials to craft the item.

Items can include crafting tables that offer new or more efficient crafting options, or simply allow for more slots for crafting. This is significant as most advanced recipes require at least 3x3 slots to craft a new item.

Tools tend to deteriorate with use, so I’s a good idea to carry multiples of each item when going on journeys and to repair tools when possible.

Modes

Survival

Players start with a ten-heart life bar a ten-food hunger bar they need to ensure that they don’t run out of either. This means that players need to keep themselves fed and fulfill a number of other objectives such as having appropriate housing and weaponry to protect themselves from the mobs of monsters that they will encounter while acquiring new building materials. While creating, players can fly around and zoom in and out for perspective.

Hardcore

This is Minecraft’s version of ironman mode. When the player’s character dies, the world is completely deleted. If the player is on a multiplayer server, they will be allowed to enter it on Spectator mode but will never be allowed to engage with the world again.

Creative

Here, player have unlimited access to all of the resources in the game. They can use these resources to create any kind of world and structures that they would like.

Adventure

Players can explore or build upon worlds built by other players in creative mode. Adventure mode attempts to add more of an RPG layer to the game, by imposing more logical world rules onto the game. An example of this is that it requires players to use the proper tools for mining and building at all times. This means that players cannot use a pickaxe to dig up grass, but rather they will need to use a shovel. All of these rules are instituted by that world’s creator, according to how they would like others to play on their server. Adventures are usually task-based, such as solving puzzles or mazes, or perhaps racing towards an objective against another player.

Spectator

Players can explore worlds that others have built without being able to interact with it or be affected by it at all. They can also fly straight through any object and examine the world from any perspective. Players can also adopt the perspective of various mob creatures including dragons, creepers and spiders. Players are invisible while spectating, so other players won’t be aware of the presence of their presence while they are exploring.

Zones

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There are a few different areas in Minecraft that are completely unique to one another and cannot be traversed by usual means such as walking, swimming or vehicles. and can only be accessed through special means, such as portals.

Overworld

This is the basic starting realm for Minecraft. When players start a new game, they will spawn on an island in the Overworld. It is populated with regular animal mobs, villagers, Illagers and night monster mobs like zombies. It also features all of the usual Biomes such as the tundra and jungles mentioned above.

Mining downward for rocks and minerals could lead to caverns where monsters like creepers and skeletons dwell, so players should be careful to craft weapons before they tunnel downward. Additionally, tunneling below the bedrock layer will cause the character to expose lava of The Void, both of which will kill the character if it lands in them.

The Void

The empty space that exists between the different zones. For instance, when digging down from the Outerworld, below that Void is The End zone. If a player is in the Void for too long, they will die. The Void can only be entered safely while in Creative mode, but cannot be altered in any way.

The End

The End is zone that is only accessible via and End Portal. There, the player will discover a series of large islands surrounded by void spaces. The End Dragon lives on one of these islands and must be killed before a player can return to the Overwolrd. Other denizens dwelling there include the endermen, shulkers and endermites. There are also many loot chests containing powerful items scattered across the islands.

The Nether

These are only accessible via netherworld portals. It is a dark real, with primarily reddish stones and a great deal of lava flowing around. It is populated by many mob monsters excluding the big world bosses such as the Ender Dragon. Although dangerous, it acts a method for quick travel in the world, as players will be able to traverse a greater distance across the Outerworld through these portals, than they would be able to by simply travelling through Outerworld in the regular fashion. Interestingly, not all of the monsters are aggressive.

Mod Zones

These are user created and vary greatly.

Weather, Biomes and Time of Day

The Minecraft universe has different biomes and shifting weather and daylight patterns, with the world being affected by these changes. For instance, villagers will be sleeping in their beds at night, while they can be found walking around or at their work stations during the day. Similarly, animals, monsters, villages and villagers will only spawn in certain locations unless the player’s character physical introduces them to another biome, such as by transporting a villager to a swamp by means of a wheelbarrow. There are also tundra, jungle and ocean biomes, to name a few. As with the day and night feature, the weather also changes on its own.

Mobs

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A ‘mob’ is any NPC character or creature in Minecraft. Each type of mob generally only spawns in specific areas or zones, such as the Ender Dragon of Endermen in the End zone and cats or villagers in villages.

Mob animals

There are many regular animals in the Minecraft universe. Some of them are passive, offering no resistance to any action that a player might take against them, aside from attempting to run away, although they may attack players once in retaliation. There are also some hostile animal mobs, like sharks. Some passive types can actually be tamed and bred to be slaughtered for drops, such as meat from chickens and cows, or bamboo or experience orbs from pandas. Certain wild animal mobs can be tamed only by acquiring their baby or egg and rearing it to adulthood.

Villagers

They are the passive inhabitants of villages, offering no drops when killed. However, players can trade with them with emeralds, to acquire various items that are dependent on that villager’s profession and experience level. Both villagers and character’s gain experience through trades. Villagers can be attacked by other NPCs. This is more likely to happen at night, when more monster mobs are lurking about, when there are no structures with which to protect villages and if the player’s character acquires a bad omen from killing a pillage with a banner and then enters a village, thereby triggering a raid.

Monster mobs – Some monster mobs only spawn at night or in specific locations or biomes. These NPCs are aggressive, and will fight the character, as well as other NPCs such as other monster types and ordinary villagers. Illagers, being aggressive villagers, also fall into this category. They do not live in villages with the other villagers.

The Evolution of Minecraft

Mods

Many downloadable player-created mods are also constantly created. Some of them are basic, such as skins or other cosmetic items, while others add more to the game, as with the planes that can fly, customizable NPCs or Lucky Blocks that can be crafted for gold and release random drops when mined.