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Need a Break From Mining? Check Out Our Top Ten Fun Things to Try in Minecraft

by: Benjamin Sell ; edited by: Milawe ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Sure, exploring the world's nether regions in search of rare ores and gems is fun, but eventually you're going to want to try something you can do in the sunlight. Our top ten things to do in Minecraft will give you a bit of direction when you find yourself overwhelmed by the game's many options.

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    There are so many things to do in the world of Minecraft, it can be tough to pick on and actually get started. Check out our top ten choices for fun activities to try in the game.

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    Tame a Wolf

    Did you know you can tame a furry canine companion that will follow you on your travels and protect you from hostile mobs? The wolves in Minecraft can be domesticated with a liberal application of food.

    To tame one, drop a bone from a skeleton or a raw porkchop nearby. Once the wolf is tamed, a red border (a collar) will appear around its neck. Now, it will follow you and offer protection from most aggressive mobs (not Creepers). You can command your wolf to stay by right-clicking on it.

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    Build a Sky Fortress

    Sky Fortress   Building a base on the ground is for amateurs. True Minecraft aficionados interested in total protection from Creepers and other mobs build their homes in the sky.

    Our Guide to Building a Sky Fortress in Minecraft will get you started. Soon, you’ll be looking down on a flock of mobs desperate to attack you, confident in the security provided by your elevated residence.

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    Build a Nether Portal

    2011-08-12 14.52.41   If you’re looking for a bit more danger in your Minecraft experience, consider a trip to the fiery domain known as the Nether. In this underground realm, you’ll find burning rock, fire-spitting ghasts, and hordes of zombie pigmen out to get you.

    To get there, you’ll need to build a portal out of obsidian. Our guide will show you how.

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    Go Creeper Hunting

    Creeper   Creepers are probably the most terrifying creatures in Minecraft. They are immune to sunlight and can take out a huge portion of a carefully-constructed base in the blink of an eye.

    They’re also the most prevalent source of gunpowder in the game. If you’ve got the stomach for it, why not take the fight to them and clear out the area around your base? Our guide to dealing with creepers will equip you with some effective tactics.

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    Earn Some Achievements

    Achievements Window   Xbox 360 owners aren’t the only gamers who can track down achievements these days. Minecraft has it’s own series of in-game awards that can be earned by completing various tasks.

    There aren’t a ton of them in the game currently, but players can still earn awards for defeating monsters, crafting tools, going fishing, riding a pig off a cliff, and more.

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    The randomly-generated world of Minecraft is fairly massive, and there is a lot of cool stuff to discover. One great way to spend your time is exploring.

    Strap on some good armor, craft yourself a sword, and bring along some food for healing, then set out to explore the great unknown. There are caverns, dungeons, deserts, mountains, and forests to explore, and you never know what you’ll stumble upon. Just be ready to hole up or defend yourself at night.

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    Build a Lighthouse/Pillar of Light

    Tower of Light   It’s easy to lose your way while you’re out exploring, and a good way to ensure you’ll be able to find your way back to your base is to make it as visible as possible from as far away as possible. Building a lighthouse/tower of lights atop your base is a good way to ensure you’ll always have a light to guide you home.

    The design is up to you, just make sure you build it tall (up to the clouds, at least) and cover it with enough torches or other light sources to make it visible from some distance. Then, while you’re exploring, always keep it in sight and you’ll never get lost.

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    Build a Lava Tower

    Lava Towers   The only thing better than a giant tower of lights that can guide you home is a giant tower of lights that can guide you home and incinerate any hostile mobs that get close while doing so. A lava tower is a great way to kill two birds (or zombies, or skeletons, or pigs) with one stone.

    To build one, first dig a three-by-three hole in the ground. Then start a single block tower in the center while simultaneously building another tower on the edge of the pit you’ve created. Stand atop the tower that begins outside the pit and place a single bucket of lava atop the one rising from the center.

    The lava will cascade down the sides and fill the pit, creating a perpetual tower of lava that gives off light and will barbeque any mobs foolish enough to get close. Just destroy the tower you’re standing on one block at a time to get back to the ground.

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    Build a Mob Trap

    Actively hunting down mobs is one way to acquire items in Minecraft. Another way is to build a trap that will automatically incinerate anything that falls into it and funnel the subsequent drops right to your feet.

    There are several good tutorials on YouTube detailing how to construct these contraptions, but basically you use running water to funnel mobs into waiting lava, washing their items down a tunnel and into your inventory while you go AFK. It’s a great way to passively collect arrows, bones, gunpowder, leather, etc...

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    Recreate Something

    One of the hallmarks of Minecraft is the ability to build practically anything you can imagine. Numerous videos have made the rounds on the Internet, featuring player recreations of everything from Grand Central Station to the Enterprise-D.

    All it takes to build the structure of your dreams is a little imagination and a little more planning. Find some photos of your desired structure, gather some materials, and you’ll have your own personal Colossus at Rhodes or Hogwarts before you know it.

    These ten suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun things to do in Minecraft. With such an open-ended game, the only limits are your imagination and the amount of free time you have available.


  • All references and images from Minecraft.

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