Skip to main content
June 19, 2015

Minecraft: Pocket Edition – 11 essential tips to get you started

Minecraft: Pocket Edition drops you into a beautiful, creative world that can be intimidating at first. But you don’t have to brave it completely alone.

Minecraft Pocket edition

Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world, and for good reason. It gives you free rein to build architectural masterpieces, as well as an infinite world to explore that is filled with eye-popping biomes ranging from snowy mountains to lush jungles.

And best of all, you can do it all using Minecraft: Pocket Edition on your Lumia. So what’s the catch? Well, there isn’t exactly a tutorial that walks you through the ins and outs of getting started in solo play. But luckily for you new players, we’ve spent countless hours digging, building, and crafting in Minecraft, and are simply itching to share a few of our Minecraft tips. Read on to find out 11 essential tips to get you started with Minecraft: Pocket Edition — clear your schedule, because if you’re anything like us, you won’t want to put your Lumia down ever again.

Getting Started

1. Choose and create your world

Once you’ve purchased Minecraft Pocket Edition, it’s time to decide which type of game you’d like to play. There are two modes: Survival and Creative.

Survival mode drops you into a randomly-generated world without any provisions and with limited health, which means you’ll need to start mining right away if you want to live. The enemies who are out for your blood, or hostile mobs, come out as the sun goes down, so be sure to work quickly.

Creative mode is the perfect choice for those who’d simply like to build. There are no hostile mobs, so you can focus on creating your architectural wonders without distraction (or dying). Resources are unlimited, giving you access to most crafting items, including several block types that aren’t available in Survival mode. Oh, and the best part? You can fly!

Minecraft Pocket Edition 1

For more options when you create your world, select Advanced in the top right corner. Here you can select a World Type from three choices. Infinite is the “default” type, with a variety of biomes and resources. Old, which is exclusive to Pocket Edition, is a great choice for those with low end devices. It creates a 256×256 block area rather than infinite landscapes. Flat is a flat, unobstructed landscape without resources that is only available in Creative mode.

If you’d like to have a little more control over what type of world you spawn, you can check out Seeds. Seeds are series of numbers or letters that are the foundation for Minecraft worlds, and by entering a specific seed, you can spawn into the type of world that you prefer. You can search online to find a seed that interests you, such as one with a Village populated with NPC villagers, but be aware that you may not spawn in the exact location that you’d hoped for — it may be on the other side of the world.

2. Create your skin

You can customize your character by choosing one of the several pre-made skins that are available in Settings. But why not go all the way and create your own? With recent updates, you can now create it and turn your character into whatever you can dream up. After all, Minecraft is even more fun if you play as an architecurally-inclined dinosaur. Check out this excellent tutorial that tells you everything you need to know to create your own Minecraft Pocket Edition skin on your Lumia.

Minecraft Pocket Edition skins

3. Learn the controls

While intuitive and easy to learn, it’s good to have a handle on the controls before beginning (especially in Survival mode). A D-pad on the bottom left of your screen lets you control directional movement, with a jump button in the middle. Tap to place blocks and attack enemies, and hold that tap to break blocks. To fly in Creative mode, double tap the jump button and slide your finger up. To descend, just double tap the jump button again. You can adjust your controls by tapping the Settings button, letting you increase your D-pad size, go lefty, or fine-tune sensitivity.

Minecraft Pocket Edition controls


Surviving your first 24 hours

Once you’ve chosen your world, you’ll be spawned at a random location. If you’re playing Survival mode, you’ve got one day (about 10 minutes) to prepare yourself for the hostile mobs that emerge at night. A few tips on how to increase your chances of survival can come in handy if you’re just starting out.

4. Gather resources

Start by gathering nearby resources, such as wood, dirt, and stone. To do this, tap and hold the block that you want to gather. Don’t worry about gathering as much as possible, but focus on getting just enough to survive the night.

5. Build a shelter

Look around for a good spot to build a simple home. It can be the side of mountain, a hole in the ground, or a small cube built with dirt, wood, or stone. Your temporary home doesn’t need to be a luxury mansion, so just a 2×2 or 1×3 area will do. Barricade yourself inside, leaving an upper square open so that you can watch for sunrise, when it’s safe to venture back out.

6. Get crafty

While you’re barricaded inside your safe-house, you’ll want to start crafting right away. Crafting in Pocket Edition is more simplified than in other versions, with craftable items automatically appearing without the need to memorize a recipe. If you don’t have the necessary ingredients, the item’s icon will be dark, but you can take a peek at which ingredients you’ll need to gather to make it.

Minecraft Pocket Edition crafting

To start with, create a crafting table so that you can make bigger and better items that you’ll need to both survive and progress. First, refine the wood that you’ve gathered into planks. Open your inventory by tapping the icon with 3 dots, then select the middle -left icon, which opens a 4×4 crafting grid. Select the wood, and create planks. On the left, you’ll see a selection of items appear that you can create using planks. Create the crafting table, which will give you a 3×3 crafting grid, and it will show up in your inventory bar at the bottom of your screen. Select it and place it on the ground by tapping. Now you’re all set to start creating items such as weapons, armor, and tools.

Let the adventures begin

Your first night can be tough, but once you’ve powered through it, it’s time to let your imagination loose and begin building and exploring. Start by gathering more resources, creating a variety of tools to speed things up, and getting more familiar with your crafting table. Part of the charm of Minecraft is figuring things out on your own, so I won’t give away too many secrets. However, here a few more basic tips to help get you started on your journey.

7. Create light

Hostile mobs only spawn in the dark, so you can help to protect your living space by creating torches. Placing torches a few blocks apart will lighten things up and keep enemies from spawning in your home and land, although it won’t protect you from mobs wandering into the lit area.

8. Dig down (but not directly down)

Many of the best resources are found underground, so craft a pickaxe and start tunneling down using a stair-like pattern. Place torches as you go and start collecting all the goodies that the earth has to offer. Keep an eye out for caves, mines, and dungeons, which are populated by underground baddies, as well as deadly underground water and lava flows.

9. Grab some shut-eye

Tired of fending off mobs all night long? You can sleep through the dark night by crafting a bed and placing it in your home. Just tap the bed to sleep. If only it were this easy in real life.

10. Have a snack

Although not quite as vital as in other versions of Minecraft, food is a necessary resource that you’ll need to restore your health if you’ve been injured. Hunt animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens and then use a furnace to cook the meat. You can also catch fish and grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, and grains. There’s also cake that you can bake if you have a sweet tooth.

11. Get creative and have fun

Naturally, this is the most important tip. The possibilities are practically endless with Minecraft, and you can really get your creative juices flowing if you’re the type of person that loves to create, tinker, and build. You can create everything from a comfy cottage to an expansive city, so put your mind to work and come up with an idea that truly excites you. If you need a little inspiration, take a look around online to see some of the amazing things that others have created.

Adventurers may want to set out on a journey rather than sticking in one spot, and with so many biomes and unique structures just waiting to be discovered, it’s easy to see why. One last bit of advice: if you decide to adventure, leave yourself a breadcrumb trail so that you can find your way back to your spawn point. It’s incredibly easy to get lost in an infinite world, and without a map, you may never find your way again.

Ready to dive into the fantastic world of Minecraft: Pocket Edition? Let us know if our tips helped you out in the comments below. Seasoned players, feel free to share your own top tips that will help new players fall in love with the game as well.