Minecraft is one of the best-selling video games of all time, but getting started with it can be a little intimidating, not to mention why it’s so popular. In this edition of How-To Geek School, we’re going to help you get started with the game (or at least understand why your kids love it so much).


  1. Getting started with Minecraft
  2. Improving Minecraft Performance on Old and New Computers
  3. Get to know Minecraft biomes
  4. Exploring Minecraft Structures
  5. Meet Minecraft Mobs
  6. Exploring Minecraft Game Modes
  7. Survive your first night in survival mode
  8. Your first mine, armor and further research
  9. Advanced mining and magic spells
  10. I am a farmer, you are a farmer, we are all farmers
  11. Engineering with Redstone
  12. Creating Custom Minecraft Maps
  13. Download and install custom maps
  14. Set up local multiplayer and custom player skins
  15. Exploring Minecraft multiplayer servers

Despite its simple appearance, there is a lot going on in Minecraft. This can be confusing, but don’t worry, we’ve put together a series of tutorials that will help you not know anything about the game and advance in the gameplay. This includes creating custom maps, creating game devices and structures, and thriving in the challenging survival mode.

Today we will talk about installing and setting up Minecraft so that you can start playing and enjoying the game as quickly as possible. After that, we’ll have daily tutorials focused on optimizing the game, learning about all the interesting terrains and creatures, as well as more advanced aspects of the gameplay, such as creating a local multiplayer game, customizing the look of the game, and playing online.

If you’ve watched your friends or kids play and have been scratching your head about what’s appealing (or maybe you’re already convinced and excited), we’ll talk about what makes Minecraft so addictive for so many.

It is important for most people to understand what exactly this hugely popular game is and why others fall in love with it so much before they start spinning it. So we’ll start by learning about the history of Minecraft and what kind of game it is.

What is Minecraft?

Before we get started installing and playing, let’s take a closer look at what Minecraft is, where it came from, and what makes it so popular (the game had over 100 million players worldwide as of early 2014). Despite the huge number of copies sold and registered players, it’s not immediately clear to many what the appeal of Minecraft is and how the game was able to suck everyone from elementary school children to retirees.


Minecraft is the brainchild of Swedish video game programmer and designer Markus «Notch» Persson. He started making games in his spare time while working as a game developer at Jalbum and ended up founding Mojang when Minecraft proved popular enough to become his full-time job.

His work has been heavily influenced by earlier video games such as Dungeon Keeper (a resource and dungeon management game in the late 1990s), Dwarf Fortress (a procedurally generated open world game released in 2006) and Infiniminer (a small indie game that foreshadowed Minecraft with block-based sandbox gameplay). You are free to explore these games if you want to get an idea of ​​the origins of video games in Minecraft, but what really matters is, what it’s for games. Let’s define some of these gaming terms and how they relate to Minecraft in order to better understand Minecraft and its runaway success.

Minecraft belongs to three different genres of video games, and how these genres intertwine with each other creates an experience that attracts players. First, Minecraft is an open world game. In open world games, you are free to roam wherever you want with very few restrictions. In most video games, you can only go where the video game developer expected you to (and where they created space for you).


Take your average Super Mario Bros. game as a simple example. No matter how much you want to go outside of Bowser’s castle and roam the gardens, you won’t be able to because video game designers never intended for you to go outside of the castle and in the video game code itself, that the Garden doesn’t even exist beyond a slight hint of what you see through the window when playing the castle level. Pieces of the game out of the player’s reach are essentially decorative, like stage backdrops.

There are very few such restrictions in Minecraft because the game was never intended to be a linear game. With very few exceptions, if you see something in Minecraft, you can explore it, touch it, or otherwise interact with it.

In addition to its open world design, Minecraft is also a sandbox game. Although the term «sandbox» is often used interchangeably with «open world» to describe games that allow movement around the world with few restrictions, a true sandbox game includes tools that allow the player to modify the game world. In this regard, Minecraft is the virtual epitome of sandbox gaming, in that no matter how you play the game, using tools to modify and interact with your environment is the backbone of the experience. The Minecraft player is simply expected to use their game hands and tools to destroy, move, build and rebuild the world.

Finally, Minecraft is also a procedurally generated game; This aspect of the game is closely tied to the open world experience. In your typical linear video game, game designers create a kind of tunnel in which the player moves from point A to point Z during the game. Even games that feel big and let you make choices about what you’re going to do and in what order are still essentially linear in that you start the game, follow the story (and enjoy the scenery along the way), you arrive at the last stations on a linear railway line and it’s game over. Every stop along the line, every bit of scenery, every dungeon, all , what you experience in the game have been carefully thought out by the designers, how the film crew and the director create the impression that you experience while watching a movie.

Note that there is nothing wrong with making a game this way, and there are plenty of brilliant and iconic video games that are designed this way, but such games are inherently limited in scope simply because there is a tight balance between how much time and money can be invested in the game and deadlines.


Procedural generation changes the dynamics, as the game world is generated by an algorithmic procedure and can be essentially infinite (limited only by artificial limits imposed by the game developer or computational limits of the computer system that hosts the game). The Minecraft world is effectively infinite in this regard, as its main limitation is the computational limitations of 32-bit computing.

If you were to translate the largest possible Minecraft map (using 32-bit computing limits as an upper limit on map size) to real world scale (where each block in Minecraft is a square meter), the edge-to-edge size of a Minecraft Map would be 9. 3 million times larger than the surface area of ​​the Earth. In fact, a player named Kurt Mack has turned walking around the Minecraft map into a kind of zen experience. He’s spent the last few years just walking around the world — assuming he’s on a mission, he’ll complete the trek around 2040.

Our talk of the sandbox game, the huge world, and how Kurt Mack just wanders around the world for fun highlights the true charm of Minecraft. The game is not only virtually infinite in size, but also virtually infinite in how you play it.

Minecraft is not about saving a kingdom (or the whole world), exploring caves filled with monsters, building a functioning city with electric lights, or planning a crazy rollercoaster, but it can be any, all or none of these things if you want it to be. The secret to Minecraft’s success lies in the fact that the game is a set of tools that allows players to turn the game into the one they want to play, whether it’s a game focused on creation, exploration, survival, or all of the above.

Like the popularity of LEGO blocks ® and other building toys, Minecraft lets you build whatever you want to build: castles, racetracks, rocket ships, dollhouses, and everything in between; all using tools you are familiar with and easy to manipulate.

Once you become familiar with the tools and techniques behind the Minecraft world, you can easily use the tools to make Minecraft the way you want it to be; the game turns into a swiss army knife of creation, adventure and fun.


Intrigued by a game that can be what the player wants? Whether you’re wondering because you’re looking for a new game to lose yourself in, or you’re trying to figure out why your child or grandchild is so into Minecraft, read on as we clean up the blocky layers of the game and take you through everything from installing the game to understanding it. more mysterious foundations.

What can I play Minecraft and how much does it cost?

Minecraft is very popular and, as you can imagine, has been ported and adapted to various platforms. The original Minecraft game was made for the desktop and the desktop version remains the most popular version of Minecraft.

minecraft pc edition

The PC version of Minecraft is based on Java and can be played on any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with Java installed and the right hardware. Even though Minecraft looks very simple thanks to the minimalist graphical features and user interface, below the surface the game is quite complex and the procedural world generation as well as the game physics require more powerful hardware than you would expect. ,


For this reason, Minecraft PC Edition includes an extended demo that the developers strongly recommend that you use before purchasing to determine if your computer can provide a smooth and enjoyable experience with Minecraft (we’ll show you how to try out the demo mode). in an instant).

If you have access to all the different platforms that Minecraft can run on, we highly recommend switching from the original PC version to alternative versions like those available for mobile devices and game consoles. While the PC version costs $27, making it the most expensive version of Minecraft, it is the most versatile and certainly offers the best value when you consider the variety of multiplayer servers and how you can dramatically change the game entirely with mod packs. ,

minecraft pocket edition

In addition to the desktop version, there is also Minecraft Pocket Edition (PE). Minecraft PE is available for Android and iOS devices and costs $7. The Pocket Edition is significantly less demanding than the PC version; for example, we had no problems playing Minecraft PE on an old iPad 1.

While Minecraft PE is great for playing on the go, it comes with some pretty hard limits compared to the PC version. All content is separate from the PC and console editions (so you can only join multiplayer servers, such as those dedicated to Minecraft PE).

Redstone, Minecraft’s version of electrical/electrical circuits, and a fairly significant element of many designs in the PC Edition, is completely missing from the Pocket Edition. Unlike the almost infinite world map of Minecraft PC Edition, Pocket Edition maps are limited to 256 x 256 blocks. While there is still plenty of room to roam and build, it’s not the same spacious experience.

While many players agree with Pocket Edition’s limitations, a near-universal complaint is that messy use of on-screen controls is compared to using a mouse and keyboard on a PC, or a quality controller on Console Edition.

Minecraft Console Edition

Console players can get a copy of Minecraft Console Edition (CE) for the Xbox platform and for the PlayStation platform (both of which cost $20). Because Console Edition is customized specifically for the platform it’s deployed on, you can expect smooth playback without worrying about hardware requirements.

Early Console Editions were a bit rough around the edges; the Xbox and PlayStation releases had significant differences and were out of sync. All Console Editions are now in sync and receive side-by-side updates. Compared to the Pocket Edition, the Console Edition is quite advanced and more like the PC Edition. However, like the Pocket Edition, the world is still limited in size, albeit larger at 864 x 864 blocks.

One of the big differences between the Console Edition and all other editions is that it supports split-screen local play, so you can play co-op with up to three friends.

Minecraft Raspberry Pi Edition

Finally, Minecraft has even been ported to the Raspberry Pi. Pi Edition is especially interesting from an educational point of view. The Pi Edition is intended to be used as a tutorial and includes tools for novice programmers and enthusiasts to actually change the game’s code.

The Pi version is based on the Pocket Edition but includes a creative mode and does not have a survival mode or any survival mode related elements.

We can’t really emphasize the educational/experimental part of the Pi Edition. If you want the full Minecraft experience, this won’t be it. If you want the pleasure of highlighting the video game you’re playing at the code level and peeking into its intuition, the Pi version is for you.

Follow along with any edition

For the purposes of this How-To Geek School article series, we’ll focus on the PC version, as it’s the most widely used, has the most features, and provides the best basis for discussing and highlighting all the amazing things you can do with Minecraft.

However, even if you’re interested in playing the PE, CE, or Pi editions, we still highly recommend that you read the series as most of the information applies to all editions. If you are using a non-PC version, please refer to the links we provided above to the Minecraft Wiki hosted on Gamepedia to see what elements of the PC version are missing from the version you are using.

Minecraft installation

Once you’ve seen the PC requirements, it’s time to install your copy of Minecraft and give it a try.


Let’s walk through the registration and installation process.

Registering for an account

The first step is to register an account. If you want to go straight to buying a copy or playing the demo, you’ll need to create a free Minecraft.net account. Registration is easy, just enter a valid email address and choose a password. Wait for an email confirmation from Mojang (Minecraft’s parent company) and then confirm when it arrives.


When you follow the confirmation link, you will be taken to the second step of the registration process: choosing your Minecraft username and purchasing the game.


If you would like to try a demo before purchasing, please visit this link first. There you can download the demo without creating a username or purchasing the game. The demo version allows you to play the game for 100 minutes (approximately five Minecraft in-game days); you can reset the demo and play it again, but you are always limited to 100 minutes before you have to reset the world.

Whether you bought the game directly or try the demo, the next step is to download the game and install it. On the download page, select the appropriate download for your platform; Windows users should grab Minecraft.exe (a friendly Windows shell to run Minecraft and the tool we’ll be using); OS X users should grab Minecraft.dmg; and Linux users, or those using an alternative operating system capable of running Java, should grab the Minecraft.jar file.

If you don’t already have Java installed on your computer (or you’re using an outdated copy), you must install and/or update it before playing Minecraft. Visit the Java Support page to obtain the appropriate copy of Java 7+ for your operating system. It is highly recommended to use a 64-bit copy of Java if you have a 64-bit processor/OS as you will see a significant performance boost.

Save the file to your computer and when the download is complete, run the file. You will see a brief boot sequence followed by a login prompt.


Always sign in with your email address (the only people who need to enter a username are those who signed up for Minecraft in 2012 or earlier).

After logging in, you will see an Update Notes tab that will keep you up to date with the most recent changes to Minecraft. In addition to the Upgrade Notes tab, there is also a tab for the Development Console, Profile Editor, and Local Version Editor. Feel free to ignore them for now as they are of very limited use for a novice player and do not require troubleshooting or some special needs, you will never have to visit them.


At this point, we are ready to dig in and play the game. But there is one useful element that we want to highlight before we start playing.

Using profiles

At the bottom left corner of the Minecraft launcher is the Profile section. By default, there is only one profile named after your Minecraft.net username and configured to use the latest stable version of Minecraft.

While you can get by with just one profile, there are several benefits to having multiple profiles. Multiple profiles allow you to play different versions of Minecraft, such as beta versions and older versions, which are sometimes required to join multiplayer servers that have not yet been updated to the current version, and they allow you to download game data.

Let’s say, for example, that you have three kids who all play Minecraft on the same computer. If you’re experiencing some controversy about kids messing with worlds, deleting worlds, or otherwise breaking the world, it’s very easy to create a profile for each child that has all of their changes and maps separate.

Click the «New Profile» button now, just to understand how it works:


Although you can specify several different settings in the profile editor, the most necessary and useful are «Profile Name», «Game Directory», and «Use Version».

Profile names allow you to specify who or what the account is for, such as «Steve», «Jenny», «Beta Testing», «Multi-User Submission, r» and the like. Changing the «Game Catalog» is very useful, as it allows you to share, as we mentioned above, the player’s data. So in the case of the old «Steve» and «Jenny» we can create profiles named after them and then add the default \.minecraft\naming scheme for the data folders in \.minecraft-steve\ and \.minecraft-jenny\ for their respective profiles.

For reference, the default location of all Minecraft game data is in the following folders, depending on which operating system Minecraft is installed on:

Windows c:\users\ [имя пользователя] \AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\
MacOS /Users/ [ yourusername ] / Library / Application Support / Minecraft /
linux /home/ [имя пользователя] /. minecraft/

Every time you create a new profile and specify a new game directory, the Minecraft launcher automatically creates an appropriate folder structure and populates it with files from the Minecraft servers.

Creating your first world

Now that we’ve highlighted the benefits of the profile system, it’s time to create our first world and play!

Click the «Play» button to get started. The first time you launch Minecraft (or after an update), you will see a green progress bar at the bottom of the launcher when loading new content. This will take you to the real Minecraft app.


Let’s start simple, focusing on the single player experience. In subsequent lessons, we will learn about multiplayer and Minecraft Realms. Click «Single Player» to get started.

Here you will find your local worlds associated with your profile; because this is a new installation, there are no worlds yet.


Click «Create New World» to open the world creation dialog. Here we can name our new world, select a game mode, and set additional world options.


The default game mode is Survival. Press the Game Mode button in the center of the screen to switch it to Creative. We’ll get back to game modes in the next lesson, but for now, creative play is the best way to learn the controls and figure out how to navigate the world of Minecraft.

As far as naming your world, we like to name the worlds we use for experimentation and learning «Learning Lab» or some iteration.

Leave «More World Options…» alone, we’ll get back to the fun toggles and settings available there in the next tutorial on custom worlds and creating them. Once you’ve named your world and switched it to Creative, hit «Create New World» and sit back while Minecraft uses some procedural generation magic to create a unique world for you to explore.

Maneuvering in the Minecraft world

Don’t worry if your look doesn’t match the one below. Each Minecraft world, unless downloaded from the same source as another Minecraft world, is a unique generation. So whether it’s a game where you find yourself in a forest biome, on a beach, or on top of a mountain, you can still go through the basics of map maneuvering and using keyboard shortcuts with us.


You’ll notice that the first thing the game does, after you’ve thrown you onto the map (this starting point is known in Minecraft jargon as your spawn point), is prompt you to press the «E» key to open your inventory.


Since we are currently in creative mode, we see the full creative inventory (all blocks and materials available), not the survival mode inventory (which only displays the materials you have collected in the game). The tabs in the Creative mode inventory make it easy to hone in on just the materials/objects you need: the tab with the sword on it intuitively shows you the in-game weapons, and the tab with the small rail section shows you the in-game vehicle tools.

The gray block bar at the bottom of the inventory screen is the shortcut bar. Any items you place in this strip of nine places will be available to you outside of the inventory menu. Go ahead and put some blocks in the hotbar now. We’re going to select some bright wool blocks to stand out from the normal terrain in subsequent screenshots.

It’s worth noting that, at least in Creative Mode, there’s no need for urgency. Don’t think that you have to aim for any goal or against any kind of clock. Sitting here in creative mode is like sitting on the floor with a trash can. bucket of LEGO® bricks (a classic building toy that, coincidentally, is also Scandinavian in origin, like Minecraft). There’s no rush in creative mode, so take your time.

Once you’ve finished exploring the inventory menu (don’t feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of blocks and objects found there, you’ll quickly become a Minecraft building materials master), press the «ESC» key to return to the game.

Minecraft uses a combination of mouse movements and keystrokes. Movement is controlled by the traditional WASD+Space setting: «W» forward, «A» backward, «S» on the left, and «D» on the right, with space as the jump key. In creative mode, double-clicking the jump key turns on flight mode, in which you can fly like a bird over the landscape.

The direction your character is facing is controlled by moving the mouse (which controls camera focus in first person). «E», as we learned, opens the inventory. Left mouse breaks blocks (or attacks creatures in front of you). Right clicking uses the item in your hand (if you can eat/drink) or puts it down (if it’s a block or other object). If you need to drop something, you can press «Q» to do so.

Let’s make some simple moves and place the block before looking at common keyboard and mouse controls in a handy table. Take a block and build something near the spawn point.


After you’ve created your first game structure, why not take a look at it from above? Double press the space bar to turn on Fly mode and fly up to look at your new creation:


You will notice that the edge of the map disappears like mist. This represents the edge of the game’s rendering. The more powerful your computer, the higher you can set your render without compromising performance (we’ll talk about that in a bit).

Take a moment to fly around and look at your creation from all angles. Then take a moment to review these helpful keyboard/mouse commands:

Mouse/Key function
Mouse movement Used for turning, aiming/looking around
Left click Destroy blocks, attack creatures/monsters
Right click Place blocks, use items (such as held items, wall switches, etc.)
Mouse scroll wheel Switching between objects in the Quick Access Toolbar
W Move forward, press W twice to sprint
spill to the left
S Move backward, press S twice to run backward
D right right
Space Jump, double tap to enter flight mode in creative (hold to increase height)
Shift left Sneak mode (quiet movement, won’t fall off ledges), also used to decrease height in Fly mode and to dismantle mountable creatures (e.g. horses).
E Opens your inventory
Q Throws an item in your hand.
1-9 numeric keys Corresponds to the first to ninth slots in the Quick Access Toolbar
F1 Switches the on-screen display (perfect for enjoying the view)
F2 Takes a screenshot
F3 Toggle debug info screen
F5 Switches the camera angle between first and third person perspectives
F11 Switches the game between Windows and full screen mode

Next Lesson: Improving Minecraft Performance on Old and New Computers

We installed the game and went over the basic movement commands and features; You are ready to start creating, exploring and interacting with your new Minecraft world.

Your homework for tonight is simply to explore the Creative World we created today. Fly around, get a feel for the game, and if you’re not satisfied with the performance of the game (in terms of smooth play and the like), don’t get discouraged. Tomorrow’s tutorial is all about optimizing Minecraft for the best gaming experience.

Even if you have a powerful new gaming PC, the tips and tricks we share are still useful as we dive into exactly what all the settings mean and how you can get the smoothest experience on both old and new computers.

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