Surviving your first night in Minecraft

This is chapter 4 of the Minecraft Basics Guide.

Now that you know how to craft your Wooden tools and Iron tools, you can start thinking about your first real achievement in Minecraft: surviving your first night.

Hostile mobs can spawn only where there is no light. They will spawn underground at every time of the day or they will spawn outdoor but only at night. So as soon as the sun goes down, mobs will start spawning around you and they will try to kill you.

There are several ways to do this, some are easier and some are not recommended to new players. Basically these ways to survive are:

  • Fighting
  • Digging a hole
  • Mining
  • Sleeping

Keep in mind that these are not rules or rigid definitions, this is just to give a general idea on what to expect from the first night.

Hostile mobs

A quick introduction to the most common enemies.

minecraft zombie
minecraft spider

Zombies and Spiders are quite slow and can only attack you when they are close. Running away from them is always easy (related topic: Do Spiders take fall damage in Minecraft?).

You can consider Zombies as a food source. When killed, they drop Rotten Flesh, which you can eat to restore hunger. But be careful, because it will also give you the Hunger effect status (see more at Minecraft Rotten Flesh: what are its best uses?). Even considering this downside though, Rotten Flesh can still be very helpful if you find yourself without enough food to srvive the night.

minecraft skeleton

Skeletons can attack you from far away thanks to their Bow. Try to defend from them by using a Shield (see below how to craft it). While you use the Shield you can try to get closer and attack them. Or you can try to hide behind blocks so that you are repaired from Skeletons Arrows.

minecraft creeper

Creepers explode when they are close to you. One explosion is enough to kill you, so stay away from them, period.

1 – Fighting

The first and most difficult way to survive the first night is by fighting. It is difficult for obvious reasons, if you just started playing you will likely not be very skilled in combat. It will be difficult to kill numerous mobs surrounding you, let alone to survive.

You would need a complete set of Iron armor, a Shield and a weapon to last as long as possible. On top of that, you will also need food to not let your Hunger Bar go down while you fight and run.

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t try this approach on your first night. But if you really want to give it a try, I won’t let you go unprepared.

You are going to need 28 Iron Ingots, 6 Wooden Planks, 1 Stick and as much food as possible.

To craft an entire Iron armor set, put the Iron Ingots in the Crafting Table this way:

minecraft iron armor helmet
minecraft iron armor chestplate
minecraft iron armor boots
minecraft iron armor leggings

This is the Shield recipe:

minecraft shield recipe

And we already saw how to craft an Iron Sword in the last guide’s chapter. Once you have all these items, equip them.

minecraft iron armor

For the food you will have to kill as many animals as possible, like Cows, Pigs, Chickens and Sheeps.

minecraft pig
minecraft chicken

Then cook their meet with a Furnace.

To eat a piece of cooked meat (or any other digestible food, like Apples) just right-click while holding the food in your hand. Your Hunger Bar will be partially restored.

Few tips to survive your first night fighting:

  • when there are too many enemies close to you, run away
  • try to fight from high ground
  • don’t forget to use your Shield if Skeletons are shooting Arrows to you
  • Stay away from Creepers

2 – Digging a hole

You would be surprised to know how many players survived their first night this way.

It’s very simple: just dig a 3 blocks hole in the ground and jump in.

3 blocks hole minecraft

Then place whatever block you want above your head to close the hole.

And that’s it, now you just need to wait for the sunrise. Nights are 20 minutes long in Minecraft, so there is no need to go out of your hole.

Don’t worry, there is no shame in doing this, we all have been there.

3 – Mining

This method is quite similar to the second one. You still have to dig a hole in the ground, but instead of spending the night doing nothing, you can keep on digging.

After digging Dirt you will start mining Stone and, eventually, you will probably end up in a cave. In caves you can find many precious materials, such as Iron, Gold and Diamonds. This method is a good way to gather resources.

Now, there are 2 things to remember:

  • never mine straight down in Minecraft
  • you will need plenty of Torches

If you mine straight down you could accidentally fall for many blocks and die from the fall. You could even fall into a pit of Lava, which at the beginning of the game means certain death. So if you want to go down, just mine staircases.

mining staircases

The Torches will be necessary to prevent hostile mobs from spawning, they can’t spawn in a lighted area. In the article Torch spacing in Minecraft we saw how the spawning mechanic works, but when you are in a cave just try to keep it as lighted as possible.

minecraft cave

To craft Torches you will need a Stick and a piece of Coal.

minecraft torch recipe

You can find plenty of Coal in caves, but you will not find Sticks. That’s why you have to be prepared for the night and bring enough wood for the night. 16 pieces of wood will turn into 64 Wooden Planks, it should be more than enough for one night.

Wandering inside caves will be much safer than the first method, but you will still find hostile mobs here and there. So make sure to protect yourself with armor and to bring some food.

4 – Sleeping

This method may be considered the best one. You will need to sleep in a Bed. To craft a Bed, you will need 3 Wooden Planks and 3 blocks of Wool of the same color. The easiest way to get Wool is by killing Sheeps, so you will have to find and kill 3 Sheeps of the same color.

minecraft sheep

Once you have all the crafting ingredients, put them together this way:

minecraft bed recipe

And when the night comes, you just need to place the Bed on the ground (by right-clicking while holding it in your hand), then right-click on the Bed. You will sleep and by doing so you will skip the night completely and wake up in the morning.


So these are the 4 ways to survive your first night. Choose whichever you prefer, even the first one if you feel confident. I hope this short guide will help you to achieve this rite of passage. Good luck!

Continues in Your first temporary base in Minecraft.