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Follow the dark path or use the light

Phase Three: Resource Management

Minecraft: Pocket Edition Walkthrough and Guide by Dennis (Sanzano) & CMBF
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Phase Three: Resource Management

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Probably the greatest challenge that you will face when playing the game in Survival Mode (which is the most popular mode to play in) is the issue of Resource Management. And by that we do not mean organizing the Resources in your storage box, but actually obtaining them.

As the task of finding, obtaining, and often farming Resources is the next major hurdle in your game play, and due to the complexity of the matter and the volume as it were, we felt that this warrants its own section in the guide.

We have covered a lot of these Items previously but only in general -- now you need to know what to do strategically with them to make your life in the game better.

This section of the guide is intended to both explain the process by which each valuable resource is obtained and provide additional information about the Resources, from observations to notes and tips.

The Resource Management Section
To make this as useful and accessible as possible, the Resources covered are organized alphabetically rather than in like groups.

While there are lots of Items and objects in the game, the important ones are included below. It is a good idea to try to obtain them as soon as you can, and once you do, to begin increasing your supply for most of them by growing or harvesting.

Apples -- Obtained by destroying Leaves Blocks on trees. Fairly rare.
Right now Apples serve as an easy and alternate food source, but eventually they will be an active part of the Crafting in the game, so having a supply on hand is a good idea.

Baked Potato / Potatoes -- Found on the ground the distinct appearance of the Potato make it very easy to spot. When placed in the Furnace and broiled it creates Baked Potato and is a good food source.

Beef Steak -- Obtained by killing Cows and then broiling in the oven.
Beef Steak, Chicken, and Porkchops are hands down the easiest and most convenient of food sources, with Beef Steak edging slightly ahead thanks to the need to harvest Leather, making it a two-fer.

Beetroot -- Gown from Beetroot Seeds and used to make Beetroot Soup, from a crop perspective it is pretty much the same as Carrots or Potatoes. The crop drops both the Beetroot and potentially Seeds, which makes it a renewable food resource and contributes to a more diverse diet for your character.

Like Porkchops Beef Steak is cooked in the oven and then stored in your chest. Maintaining a supply is particularly important to prepare for your efforts in building and activating Nether Reactors, as you will be engaging in direct combat with multiple Pigmen and being able to heal is simply not optional.

Bone -- Used for making Bonemeal, which in addition to being an ingredient for making dye is also a fertilizer and plant growth increasing agent that will speed up the growing process.

Bread -- Created by Crafting 3 Wheat.
While not the most convenient form of food, Bread is a goal for many players, and it is rather nice to have some Bread to go with your Beef Steak, right?

Getting the Wheat to make the Bread requires you to harvest seeds from Grass with a Hoe (any Hoe) and then plant and grow them, waiting until the Wheat is ripe (tan) and then harvesting it.

To determine if the wheat is ready to be harvested look at the base of the growth rather than the top -- when the base is all tan the wheat is ready to harvest. Typically you will obtain one Wheat and one or two Wheat Seeds from a ripe plant upon harvesting.

Cacti -- Used for making dyes. Having a few on hand is a good idea since you never know when you might want to dye something green...

Carrots -- A rare drop obtained from Zombies, Carrots are not like other crops in that they do not produce or require seeds -- they are instead planted in the ground to create more Carrots! To grow them requires farmland, which you create in grassland using a hoe. Fully grown a planted Carrot will produce up to four more Carrots.

Clay -- Found as Clay Blocks on the shore near water and under water. When the Clay Block is broken it releases multiple balls of Clay that can then be used to make Clay Blocks or to make bricks.

Chances are that most of the Clay you find in the game will be under water - so you need to learn to distinguish Clay from Sand in that environment, and get good at judging how long you can go in your air before you need to surface to refill it. Bear in mind that running out of air will hurt you - and could kill you if you fail to make it to the surface before your health runs out!

Unlike most of the other Resources in the game it is actually possible to spawn a seed that does not have Clay in it, or perhaps more accurately has so little Clay in it that it is difficult to find. When you spawn a seed that appears to lack a specific resource you are better off starting a new game than trying to tough it out, particularly considering how small the world is in the PE version of the game.

Cobblestone -- Found pretty much everywhere. The basic building block of the game, though placing them in the oven to obtain Stone Blocks is really a better choice if you plan on using these for construction.

Diamonds -- Found in the bottom 16 layers above bedrock. Remember that you can only mine Diamond Ore without destroying the Diamonds by using an Iron Pickaxe or above.

Ideally you will be seeking a minimum of a few stacks of Diamonds as a basic element in your stock resource kit because they are used in so many different ways -- including building the Nether Reactor. You are going to want a sufficient quantity for that purpose as well as to make armor and weapons to use in dealing with the Pigmen you face in the process.

The effort you expend obtaining a stock of Diamonds is clearly worth it.

Eggs -- Created by Chickens, Eggs are both an ingredient for cooking and the means by which more Chickens are obtained -- since you break them to create baby Chickens. Having a supply on hand is a good idea since you never know when you might want to bake a Cake.

Flint -- Obtained by destroying Gravel Blocks. The most efficient method for buildings a stock of Flint is to mine several stacks of Gravel then place and destroy them one at a time, working your way through them until you have converted the Gravel to Flints.

Glowing Obsidian -- This resource is created during the activation of the Nether Reactor, as the Tower forms, as the Gold Blocks that you placed to create the Rector are then transformed into this resource.

Glowstone Dust -- Spawned by the Tower that forms when the Nether Reactor is activated, these are used to create Glowstone Blocks which are a light source, and eventually will be used in Crafting enchantments.

Gold Ore -- This resource is found deep underground and is commonly encountered while searching for Diamond and Lapis (though when we say "commonly" we just mean that you will find it and not that you will find a lot of it, or find it often).

At this point the "end game" is to build and harvest Reactors and that means you are going to need a LOT of Gold mates. Significantly so because the Reactor requires Gold Blocks, not Gold Ingots -- and that means you will need a LOT of Gold Ingots to make those Gold Blocks!

Gravel -- Commonly encountered underground and due to its unstable nature it is not a building material... The most common use for this resource is to place and destroy it in order to "mine" Flint from it. See the entry for Flint for the best tactic in employing it.

Iron Ore -- Found pretty much everywhere below ground. Iron is a basic resource and you will need a lot of it.

Leather -- Obtained by killing Cows. At this time it has limited use (mostly for armor) but eventually it should factor in additional recipes.

Leaves -- The Leaf Blocks on trees can be harvested using the Shears tool. These are mostly for decoration but bear in mind that they are flammable!

Lapis Lazuli -- This ore has two functions, decorative in Block form, and as a craft resource. It can be found in the bottom 30 or 31 levels, but is more likely to be found in the bottom 16 layers. This is without question the rarest ore in the game, so you want to mine as retain any you find - particularly if you plan on doing a lot of dyed wool for decoration.

Melon Seeds -- Spawned by the Tower that forms when the Nether Reactor is activated. While they are not as useful right now as they will be, when the game finally gets Golden Slices and Potions you are going to want to have them already, so it is a good idea to focus on building a supply and learning how to best grow Melons.

Melon Slices -- Obtained by growing Melons from Seeds obtained from the Nether Reactor. Destroying a Melon will generate the Slices.

Mushrooms -- Spawned by the Tower that forms when the Nether Reactor is activated. One of the required Resources for making Mushroom Stew.

Netherquartz -- Spawned by the Tower that forms when the Nether Reactor is activated. While it has fairly limited use now, it will eventually have a broader use so obtaining a supply is a good idea.

Netherrack -- Spawned by the Tower that is generated from a completed Nether Reactor. Placed in the oven it will create Nether Bricks, which can then be used to create Nether Blocks.

Porkchops -- Obtained by killing Pigs. Needs to be cooked in the oven to be totally safe to eat.

Potatoes -- A rare drop from Zombies, you will most likely obtain your first one by simply finding it on the ground in the morning after a Zombie has died and dropped it. While you may like Baked Potatoes a lot, it is probably a better idea to create farmland using a Hoe and plant the Potato because, like Carrots, they do not use seeds but are themselves planted.

A fully grown Potato will produce from 1 to 4 additional Potatoes.

Pumpkins -- While originally a decorative item that was also used for making golems, today the game includes a new recipe that allows you to make Pumpkin Pie -- which is really nice if you like Pumpkin Pie which I do.

To grow more simply craft the Pumpkin into Pumpkin Seeds, and then plant them in farmland near water.

Redstone Ore -- It can be found in the world but it has no use... Yet.

Sand -- Found near water and in desert areas. Is used to craft Glass and Sandstone.

Saplings -- Spawned by the Tower that forms when the Nether Reactor is activated and obtained from destroying Leaves Blocks on Trees. Used to grow new Trees obviously...

Snowballs -- Obtained by using a Shovel on Snow. That is the only way to get them.

Sugar Cane -- Spawned by the Tower that forms when the Nether Reactor is activated. Once you have some you can then start growing more and, as this is a necessary ingredient for Cake and Paper, it is highly desirable!

Wheat -- Once grown and harvested, Wheat can be crafted into Bread, which is a good portable food source. It is also used for Crafting Cake, and will likely see its use in recipes expanded over time.

Wheat Seeds -- Obtained by farming Grass with a Hoe. Once the Seeds are obtained they can be planted to grow Wheat.

Wood -- Obtained from trees. A lot of the seeds that can be created treat Wood as a rarer resource in the PE version than in others, which can find you having to actively farm trees in order to maintain adequate supply...

Wool -- Obtained by using the Shears Tool on Sheep.

Nether Reactor

The reason that this object has its own section has more to do with the fact that it is a conduit to obtaining key Items in the game than anything else. It will help you a lot to understand the very special nature of the nether Reactor and why it should be your main priority after you have obtained shelter, adequate food, armor, and weapons.

The Nether Reactor requires Diamonds, Gold Blocks, Cobblestones, and Iron Ingots to build as you need to first build a Nether Core, and then the Reactor itself.

Nether Core Requirements: x3 Diamonds and x6 Iron Ingots.
Nether Reactor Requirements: x14 Cobblestone, x4 Gold Blocks, and a Nether Core.

That is a very expensive machine that will require huge effort on your part to construct in just getting the Resources that it requires and then once you use it it destroys itself as a result... Which begs the question -- why build it?

The easy answer to that is that it is the ONLY source for the special Resources you will need in the game!

You will note that those Resources listed above in this section of the guide refer you to THIS part of the section. The fact that the Nether Reactor is the only way to spawn the Zombie Pigmen you need to kill in order to generate the drops of the special Items should clarify the matter for you...

But to put a point to it, Zombie Pigmen spawn when you have built -- and activated -- a Nether Reactor. As long as it is active, the Pigmen can spawn.

Killing the Zombie Pigmen (who by the way are automatically hostile towards you anyway so I would not suggest building the Reactor near your base) can generate resource drops but the main drops are generated by the Nether Tower that is spawned when you activate the Reactor.

IMPORTANT: You need to understand that each Nether Reactor you build is a one-time-use item! Another important thing is you need to be sure you have a Diamond Pickaxe with you when you activate it so that you can mine the core to prevent the tower from disintegrating and creating holes you will need to fill.

Once you activate the Reactor it will morph into a Nether Tower, and the Tower will drop random Resources as well as generate Pigmen. You want to pick up the resources AND kill the Pigmen as quick as you can...

The Tower will spawn the following Resources:

  • Glowstone
  • Glowstone Dust
  • Melon Seeds
  • Mushrooms
  • Netherrack
  • Saplings
  • Sugar Cane

Zombie Pigmen drop Gold Ingots.

While Mining the Netherrack inside the tower be sure to keep a sword handy (and wearing armor would not be a bad idea) because Pigmen can still spawn inside of it.

Be aware that Pigmen will swarm you as soon as they see you.

Building the Nether Reactor

Pick a location close enough to your base so that you can easily return back and forth, but far enough away so that if you end up dying to a Pigman you are not immediately swamped by them when you re-spawn.

To build the Nether Reactor do the following:

Step 1: Build a Cobblestone Cross on the ground using five Cobblestone.

Step 2: Place a Gold Block at each corner. It should now look like this:


C = Cobblestone Block
G = Gold Block

Step 3: Place the Nether Core in the center (the C in the middle above).

Step 4: Place 1 Cobblestone above each of the Gold Blocks.

Step 5: Now build another Cobblestone Cross on the top of the structure, as follows:

Step 6: Place a Cobblestone on top of the Nether Reactor.

Step 7: Place a Cobblestone against the side of the one above in each of the four open slots. Basically what you are doing is covering the off-sides to create a sort of window to the Core When I build one I will include an image of it below as a guide.

A Word About Version Differences
If you have played the PC version of the game prior to playing the PE version you doubtlessly are aware that there is so much more to do in the former than the latter, but that is genuinely a product of time. The PC version did not get where it is over night.

Perhaps the greatest difference between the two Versions of the game is the presence of the nether Realm in the PC version, and the decision to use the Nether Reactor in the PE version in its place.

That decision was made largely due to the massive hit that the Nether Realm caused in the PE game in terms of performance. Bottom line? The devices that the PE version runs on are not computers, at least not in the sense of having strong processing power and lots of Resources to call on.

We actually find the Nether Reactor kluge to be far more interesting and appealing in a strategic sense than having the Nether Realm in the game -- and the complexity of requirements for building it make it almost as much a challenge.

In terms of game play -- and resource management -- as time passes and the game improves, you will not regret having socked away a supply of the various Resources you can obtain now, and in the meanwhile mastering the world, successfully farming, and Crafting the Crafts gives us plenty to do in the game.

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1 comments, latest first.
Feb 5th 2014 Guest
Really great guide for beginners to the game also good for any other version. The only mistake I saw was diamonds are found on bottom 18 layers. Great guide overall
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