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Minecraft Guide

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Controls and Settings

There are multiple versions of Minecraft that are based upon different platforms, so the controls will be slightly different between them.  The most common versions of the game are the PC version and the Xbox 360 LIVE Arcade version, for which we cover the controls and settings here...

Very Simple Controls for a Very Complicated Game
Windows PC Controls

The primary controls in the game are split between the mouse and the keyboard, because movement used the keyboard while orientation and action largely uses the mouse.

Orientation (PoV): Mouse Movement
Left Mouse Button:  Attack with Active Weapon / Use the selected Hot Bar Item.
Right Mouse Button: Place Selected Object / Open Door/Chest/Object

Movement Controls (Keyboard)

W - Move Forward
S - Move Backward
A - Move Left
D - Move Right
E: Open the Inventory Window

Number Keys 1 thru 9: Select Corresponding Hot Bar Box
Left Shift: Engage Sneak /  Walk to Edge of Terrain without falling
ESC (Escape) Key: Access the Pause Menu

F3 - Display performance data and your current co-ordinates

Windows PC Pause Menu Screen

-- Back to Game: Return to the Game Window.
-- Achievements (Not for LIVE).
-- Statistics: General / Blocks / Items.
-- Options: Video Settings / Control Configuration / Language / Difficulty / Invert Mouse.
-- Save and Quite to Title: Save the game and quit to the Loading Screen.

Note: Of the above the Statistics and the Achievement screens are the ones you are most likely to return to often, and find interesting.  Achievements in the game are actually structured as an unofficial and very loose Quest/Mission system in the game (which is by design according to Notch, and are intended to be strictly voluntary) which is why the nested trees are locked (the descriptions are hidden for Achievements that have prerequisites).

The Pause Screen Menu for the PC Version of Minecraft
The Statistics Screens offer you the opportunity to appreciate what you have been doing in a cumulative way -- revealing, among other interesting factoids, the following cumulative information (note that these are highlights, not a complete and comprehensive list of the Stat Items available):


Combat Stats

-- -- Total Damage Dealt -- Total Damage Taken -- Total Mob Kills -- Total Player Kills (in Multi-Player) -- Total Number of Deaths (Yours)


Travel and Action Stats

-- -- Fish Caught -- Jumps -- Total Distance Climbed -- Total Distance Dove (Underwater) -- Total Distance Fallen -- Total Distance Flown -- Total Distance Ridden (by Boat) -- Total Distance Ridden (by Minecart) -- Total Distance Ridden (on a Pig) -- Total Distance Walked

In addition to the above information the game also keeps track of and charts for you the number of times you have Crafted, Used, and Mined the various resource objects, as well as the Use and Crafting of Tools and Items and the number of times you have fully depleted the durability (total use number) as well...  Some of the stats can be shocking -- I knew that I liked to Fish (it relaxes me) but had no idea that I had caught THAT many Fish!
The Numbers quickly Add Up in Minecraft
Xbox 360 LIVE Arcade Controls

The primary controls for the game make very effective use of the Gamepad, and the generically similar controls found in the game should be familiar to any gamer who plays shooters...

Orientation (PoV): Left Joystick
movement: Right Joystick
Left Trigger:  Attack with Active Weapon / Use the selected Hot Bar Item.
Right Trigger: Place Selected Object / Open Door/Chest/Object

(More Control Details Coming Soon)


The world in Minecraft comes in four basic difficulty levels: Peaceful, Easy, Normal, and Hard.

The primary difference between the four modes is that Peaceful Difficulty consists of a world that has no mobs -- and therefore very few dangers that are outside of the player's control -- while the other three difficulty modes do have mobs.

Most players will be playing the game on the default difficulty (Normal) -- though you may find that Peaceful Difficulty is useful when you just want to focus your attention upon building structures and devices without the hassle of being disturbed by mobs and the risks associated with nighttime play...

Of the remaining three three difficulty levels what differentiates them is mostly the mob spawn frequency and number, and the inherent stats that each mob type receives as their base stats -- meaning that the higher the difficulty the more HP each mob type has, and the higher damage they can deal. 

Under most modes when you die (note that I did not say "If you die") the game respawns you at whatever the spawn-point is that you last set (in the case of a new game or a game in which you have not progressed to the point of crafting a Bed and thus have yet to set a new spawn-point, that point is wherever you originally entered the game on Map 0).

Views like this make the difficulty worth it...
When you respawn -- assuming for the moment that you set your spawn-point in your home -- you will appear nearby and can then simply run to your body to recover your items, which are now scattered on the ground near where you were killed.  Note that if the mob is still in the area and was not killed in their attack on you, you may well still have to deal with them to get to your stuff.  Also note that failing to reach your death point within a few minutes can result in some (or all if you really take too long) of your items disappearing from the game.

There is a hard 5-minute timer that guarantees that if you fail to get to your death point within 5 minutes you will lose all of the items you were carrying.  Death by mob or mischance / accident does NOT effect items that are stored in chests in your Den -- so you should make it a practice to regularly transfer any really valuable loot and resources to your storage chests frequently, and try not to carry more resources on you than you actually need for the activity you are doing.



One of the misunderstood aspects of the game are the character levels, which are denoted in the game by the Green Bar that runs along the entire length of the status interface in the bottom center of the screen, consisting of 18 Green Dashes with the current Level in numerical form above it.  When you fill all 18 dashes with XP, you advance to the next level.

XP Levels in Minecraft are very different than XP and Levels in most other games in that they are not so much a measure of your capabilities and prowess as they are a system for banking magical potential.  If that confuses you think of it this way: The XP that you acquire from slaying mobs is really a measure of the "life force" that you drain away from them, in the form of glowing colored balls of energy that you must walk over to collect after the battle and after you have killed the mob.

In addition to the items that the mob drops -- which depending on the mob type can be very valuable -- the aforementioned colored balls are also "dropped" and, like loot, when you walk over or near them, your character collects them, adding their value to the progress meter and eventually leading to the acquisition of a new level.

Later when you have crafted a nice weapon -- like a Diamond Sword -- you may want to Enchant the weapon to give it extra power or a beneficial side-effect.  To do this you use the Enchantment Table (the Enchanting Crafts Interface) in your Den.  When you access the Enchantment Table you will find that there are three Enchantments listed. one of which you can apply at your choosing.  Unfortunately these Enchantments are in a language you do not understand or read -- though it would be an idea to copy down the title for the one that you use so that you can start creating your own translation or at least learn the important words in Notchese, I am just saying.

In addition to being three different types of Enchantment each of the three has a different strength or level -- which is indicated by a number attached to its listing.  THAT number directly corresponds to your Level -- that is to say that, for instance, let us say that you are Level 12 and the Enchantment that you have decided to use is the middle one, whose title you cannot read but that has a 4 listed as its Level/Strength.  When you enchant your sword the Enchantment turns out to be Sharpness I -- which is a great Enchantment to add to your Sword!  After you have added it, you will note that your Level is now Level 8, because that Enchantment "cost" you four levels to use.

Thus Levels in Minecraft are really a combination of banked Magical Energy or Life Force, and can be spent (exchanged really) on Enchanting -- and how cool is that?

ASK A QUESTION for Minecraft



41 comments, latest first.
]Guys whats the control how to know the crafting recipe? .. pls

Added 24th Oct 2015, ID #619155

how to fish on mac mc 1.7.10. i use right click and all buttons but no cast.. in controller settings what is the fishing button e.g.. (attack)

Added 1st Oct 2015, ID #612884

My son changed the language to Spanish for the PS3 minecraft. How do I change it back to English?

Added 13th Sep 2015, ID #607930


Added 20th Sep 2015, ID #609970

I have a problem, i got a new laptop and im trying to change my skin but i forgot two of my secret questions what do I do!

Added 25th Jun 2015, ID #575358

Q. son put xbox one minecraft in a different language. How do we get it back to English?

A. Open the game, then push down on the d-pad 2 times to get to Help & Options. Now hit 'A' to open that, then 3 down on the d-pad, and 'A' again to open the Settings Menu. Now hit 'A' for the top box/button which is Options, then hit down 5 times on the d-pad to select the first box/button which is Languages.

Now hit the d-pad down 1 time to select English and hit the 'A' and viola! You should be all set.

Added 2nd Mar 2015, ID #523486

nice comment )::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Added 1st Mar 2015, ID #523002

son put xbox one minecraft in a different language. How do we get it back to English?

Added 1st Mar 2015, ID #522992

Well now hold on, don't be too hasty there mate. You say that you learned nothing because you are already a pro at Minecraft - but I contend that you HAVE indeed learned something - you LEARNED that you learned nothing because you are already a pro at Minecraft. Therefore I win.

Added 10th Jan 2015, ID #499548

I learned nothing because I am already a pro at minecraft

Added 31st Dec 2014, ID #493678

if u cant get languige back to english, click lauguige and change it

Added 22nd Dec 2014, ID #488411

I don't know what to tell you about the PS3 mate. Sorry.

Added 25th Nov 2014, ID #475973

It does not tell you How to control on ps3

Added 23rd Nov 2014, ID #475075

Hi this is not to useful to pros but useful to starters

Added 29th Oct 2014, ID #464762

This is my second favorite color! :-)

Added 15th Aug 2014, ID #437294

This is my favorite color! :-)

Added 15th Aug 2014, ID #437293

I have full enchanted diamond armor! :-)

Added 15th Aug 2014, ID #437292

[color=cyan][/color] I have full enchanted diamond armor! :-)

Added 15th Aug 2014, ID #437290


Added 28th Jul 2014, ID #426811

how get the game to play online with xbox360

Added 4th Jul 2014, ID #411807


Added 4th Jul 2014, ID #411804

what happend to my screen its all gone weird plz help

Added 29th Jun 2014, ID #408728

I cannot get my controls back to

Added 27th Apr 2014, ID #379497

[color=green][/color] [size=15][/size] What are some ways you can change the difficulty in game on MineCraft for PC?

Added 6th Mar 2014, ID #361642

I am still confused

Added 25th Dec 2013, ID #333894

My kid uses xbox minecraft and keeps hitting the x button in creative mode and clears his hot bar. He loses items that he has spend (in his words) hours there a way to get these back?

Added 6th Oct 2013, ID #313001

my son has the pc minecraft can anyone tell me why he cant pick things up or break blocks his buttons are red???

Added 25th Sep 2013, ID #311096

Ill Try To Remember That!!!

Added 6th Jul 2013, ID #295478

test. use font color, then replace red with a color, if this works, blue font

Added 2nd Jul 2013, ID #294318

its must be the wrong settings cause when i get items from the inventotory it gives it but whne i want ot moves it just makes more of the items

Added 27th Jun 2013, ID #293133

thanks you sooooo muuuccchhh i couldn't control anything sssoooo thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Added 13th Apr 2013, ID #273182


Added 16th Mar 2013, ID #264093

This answer none of my questions next ill search on youtube

Added 6th Mar 2013, ID #261302

Pocket editin people's not any help

Added 7th Feb 2013, ID #251478

My grandson change the control setting on minecraft and they all changes to buttons 1

How can I fix this problem

Added 7th Jan 2013, ID #239433

This was NOT ANY HELP AT ALL. My screen, when i looked around, it was all sharp, now it's not. Its all smooth. If my crafting table was right by me, and I barely looked, it would look at it, then move to the right a little when my sensitivity was at 109%. Can you help?!

Added 5th Jan 2013, ID #237746

Does it work for iPad?

Added 3rd Jan 2013, ID #235724

How do you find diomand

Added 7th Dec 2012, ID #216032

all you have to do is right click em

Added 21st Nov 2012, ID #210767

im new and dont know much. i could realy use some help

Added 6th Nov 2012, ID #206058

trying to turn Flint and steel to build fire on Kindle Fire version, can you help?

Added 2nd Nov 2012, ID #204157

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