Four early game paths to start a Minecraft survival playthough

By Nick Johnson


Mar 26, 2021

Reading time: 4 min

Minecraft has changed a lot since Microsoft acquired it back in 2014, but the game’s famous survival mode is still as tough as ever.

The beginning of any Minecraft survival playthrough is arguably its most important part. Players are at their weakest here, with no armor, no upgraded weapons, and no source of food to make sure they’ll survive the first few nights. But there are a few things players can do to tip the odds in their favor.

Protect the original Minecraft survival spawn point

Unless players are lucky enough to spawn right into a herd of sheep, the first thing a new playthrough calls for is spending a little time tidying up the world’s original spawn point. If players die without a bed, this is where they’ll come back to. No matter what, our first tip is always to spend a few seconds setting up a safe room at the world’s initial spawn point. That way, if the worst happens, at least players won’t be scrambling around in the dark trying to dig their way to safety.

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A crafting table, a torch, and a furnace are the bare essentials here. If players can add a bed at some point, that’s even better. 

A mix of everything makes Minecraft much easier

The first tip to paving your way to a good start in a new survival playthrough is figuring out where to set up your home base. Many players get tripped up here, thinking that setting up a base means they’ll be stuck there for an entire playthrough. But getting out of that mindset is the first thing players should do.

While many players start off a playthrough by heading straight for the deepest mine they can find, successful players know that a wide variety of resources is the best way to succeed in survival mode. After securing their spawn, players need to be on the lookout for food and basic resources. Finding a solid mix of animals, trees, and nearby caves is key to starting off right in Minecraft’s survival mode.

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Minecraft rewards careful preparation and the idea of always having a backup. After all, there’s no telling when one step will send players into a river of lava that destroys everything on their character. That’s why setting up a few small outposts around available resources at the beginning of a playthrough can really work wonders.

Beds and food are invaluable in Minecraft

Three wool still equals a bed in Minecraft, and without one a player will spawn at their original spawn point when they die. Users who are they’re lucky enough to find sheep without moving too far from their initial spawn are in great shape. Options open up a little with an early source of wool. But without a bed, players will want to make sure that their respawn is protected in case they wind up back there in the middle of the night.

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Remember, just because players are protecting their original spawn point doesn’t mean they have to stay there. Even veteran Minecraft players have found themselves back at spawn after forgetting to replace a bed. It’s worth it to make sure the world’s spawn point is a happy place. From there, food should be next up on every player’s list. Minecraft used to be a tough game if players didn’t start close to a few animals, but the past few years have added a greater variety of food sources to Minecraft’s gameplay loop. 

Decide on a Minecraft plan of action

Players have an entire world at their disposal once they have a night or two under their belts. Starting a quick tree farm from fallen saplings means players will always have a supply of wood and torches at their disposal, and those are the building blocks of any Minecraft fortress. Deciding where to set up a real home base is entirely up to the player, but setting up camp around surface caves or hollowed-out mountains means easy access to large deposits of iron, coal, and stone as early as the first night. 

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Just be sure not to leave food by the wayside. An early focus on exploring caves without a steady supply of food can spell disaster, especially since cave mobs don’t drop edible items.

In the end, there’s no right or wrong path to take when starting a Minecraft survival playthrough. But focusing on important resources and protecting a world’s original spawn point are Minecraft basics for a reason. They’re the game’s earliest keys to success, and players who pay attention to them will have a much easier time, even when things do go wrong.