Stop scrolling and start creating something cool! Minecraft earns its reputation as today’s ultimate sandbox game. So if your kids find themselves bored on a rainy afternoon, there is a world of possibilities awaiting them.
In that world of possibilities, we’ve picked 9 cool, fun things to try in Minecraft. (Tackling the whole universe of the game would be a really, really long blog post).
Who knows! Your child might just stumble upon something awesome that could spark a new hobby or even some new coding skills.
9 cool things to do in Minecraft
There’s no doubt about it: Minecraft is an incredible creative tool. Sure, it’s entertaining to play, but the real fun begins when you start to explore its inner workings like a game designer or master programmer.
Before you know it, kids will be well on their way to crafting their own gaming experiences and learning how the pros create today’s most popular games.
1. Explore Java coding
Have your kids ever wanted to create their own custom items? Or do they dream of adding awesome mods to their favorite Minecraft maps?
Java holds the keys to unlocking this part of Minecraft.
(Wait, what are Minecraft mods?)
So, if your kids are ready to level up their game (literally), learning more about Java modding is a surefire way to get there.
2. Go on a multiplayer adventure
What better way to ensure a fun time than adding some friends into the mix?
From simply playing with friends, siblings, and others under the same roof to connecting with new friends around the world, a multiplayer adventure will double the fun.
3. Try bow and arrow target practice!
Did you know you can craft a bow and arrow in Minecraft? While the process itself requires its own blog post, here is some info to get you started.
-Get string by defeating spiders. (Hide in a small space and hit the spider until it dies.)
-Get arrows by collecting them from skeletons.
-Craft arrows by gathering feathers (from chickens), sticks (from wood planks) and flint (from gravel mining).
-Advanced creators can enchant a bow!
To use a bow, press and hold right click, and then release to shoot the arrow. To aim, move the mouse around.
We recommend doing this in creative mode for unlimited arrows. (In survival mode, kids will either need to enchant their bows with infinity, or simply bring lots of arrows.)
And the target? Learn more here.
4. Explore a new game mode
We all have favorites, but shaking things up can cast the game in a new light!
Love adventure mode? Give hardcore mode a try! Maybe try building something elaborate in creative mode. Here is a comprehensive rundown of Minecraft game modes can help your child select their next adventure in the game.
5. Create custom weapons to fight mobs
Why settle for a wooden weapon when you could forge something much cooler? The materials used to create tools can be stone, gold, iron, and diamonds!
Here is a breakdown:
Wood is the easiest resource to get, but wooden tools also break the fastest. Diamonds are the best material to make tools, but until you find diamonds, look for iron! Gold isn’t good for anything with durability—tools, weapons, or armor.
And here are 5 mining tips
1. When digging into the ground, first make a staircase so characters don’t get stuck.
2. Dig one block in front of the character, drop down, and then dig another block, again in front of the character, until they reach the desired depth.
3. Make sure to bring lots of torches!
4. Never dig straight down—just don't do it! If you dig down, characters could fall straight into lava, die, and lose all their items. Also, if you dig straight down, it'll be hard to get back to the surface.
5. Be careful when going into caves! There are lots of enemies in caves, and players will need to practice their combat skills beforehand!
6. Hunt the Ender Dragon
Just like in a medieval legend, hunting (and defeating) the elusive Ender Dragon is an epic quest.
Advanced Minecraft players will enjoy doing this in survival mode, but those who are less experienced will probably enjoy creative mode better.
Either way, this is a worthy goal in the game because so much goes into defeating the Ender Dragon (creating weapons and projectiles, gathering armor, planning out logistics).
Plus, you’ll want to build an Ender Portal: here’s how to do that in Creative mode:
1. In a creative world, use the creative inventory to build an End Portal.
2. Stand in the center and build a 3x3 square of End Portal frames. In survival mode these will already be set up, but in creative mode creators have to do it themselves.
3. Then add 12 eyes of ender to the top of each frame. The portal will only work if each eye is facing inward, so make sure to place the eyes correctly.
4. When it is done, the center will turn black and fill with stars. This means it is ready to enter.
7. Create a teleporter with command blocks
For more advanced Minecraft aficionados, experimenting with command blocks introduces a whole new level of the game. (For a complete rundown before you dive in, check out our introduction to Minecraft command blocks!)
Once you’re ready to teleport to a set of coordinates in Minecraft, follow these instructions:
In the console command, type:
- tp @p <x,y,z coordinates>
(This code means that only the player will teleport. For all players to teleport, use @a. You can also use "teleport" instead of tp to make this a little easier to read and remember.)
Press F3. (This will put a lot of data on the screen.) To get the coordinates of where the player should land, find the coordinates from "Looking at", in this example: -37 8 -309.
Did you know you can also speed up time in Minecraft?
8. Have a building contest with friends
Building something cool: fun! Playing Minecraft with friends: great!
Put those together and double the fun with a building contest. Whether it’s recreating Hogwarts, making an amazing pirate ship, or just creating whatever comes to mind in the spur of the moment, a Minecraft building contest makes the sky the limit.
How to have a Minecraft building contest with friends
- Launch Minecraft and open Singleplayer.
- Click "Create New World" and name the world "Building Contest".
- Set the Game Mode to "Creative."
- Set the Difficulty to "Peaceful."
- Make sure Allow Cheats is "ON."
Next, click "More World Options"... and set the World Type to "Superflat." Then, click "Done."
Now kids are ready to start building! They'll have 30 minutes (or however long you choose) to build something in their world, for example, they could choose to build:
- A maze
- A treehouse
- A rollercoaster
- …or anything else that they can imagine!
After the time is up, everyone shares what they've created, showing off their builds to each other and perhaps even voting on a winner!
9. Change the weather
For more fun with command blocks, changing the weather is a great one to have in your repertoire. For something new on the horizon (literally), give these a shot.
Open the console command, and type the weather you’d like to add to your map.
Minecraft weather commands offer the choice of thunder, rain, and clear skies. Kids can also add a time duration to mix things up climate-wise: weather <type> [duration]
For instance, weather thunder 200 would mean the weather changes to thunder for 200 seconds, shaking up and adding interesting variety to kids' amazing creations.
Next, to flip the weather from the opposite of what it currently is, use toggledownfall. They can also type this into the command prompt with a / in front of it: /toggledownfall.
Never settle for “boring” game time
Games like Minecraft are meant to spark creativity and fun, after all! So, if your child finds themselves in a Minecraft “slump,” it’s time to explore different avenues in the gaming world. (Including Minecraft competitions!)
And with the right coaching and tools, those avenues can open to include meaningful, project-based learning (plus hours of fun!). iD Tech is on a mission to help transform boredom into an exciting foray into game design, coding, and more!