When I joined my kids’ favorite survival mode world on Xbox 360, they had already been playing a while. So I was surprised to discover that they had not explored much of their map beyond the small settlement they’d built and a single mine they’d managed to secure. After playing with them for a while underground, I asked if they wouldn’t like to explore the rest of the world and see what was out there.
If you haven’t played Minecraft on the Xbox 360 before, you should know that the game starts players out in one spot, with a map they can use to explore the 862 X 862 block world. You might start in a great spot to build a home, complete with a nearby village for food and trading, or you might start in a barren wasteland, but you have a limited amount of time to find or build a shelter where you can try to survive the first night, when the monsters come out.
My kids had been dropped near a river, in a wooded area suitable for building elevated structures safe from zombie invasions, so that’s where they settled, and they stayed there from then on. But I wasn’t satisfied to play the game without knowing what else was in the world, so I came up with a plan for safely exploring the rest of the map.
Travel kit with essentials
First, we needed a travel kit with a few essential items. We each needed a bed, which we could carry along and sleep in while we were away from home. That way, we wouldn’t have to wait out long nights in boredom. We also needed a few torches, plenty of food, a couple of swords, a pickaxe, and a 64 block pack of dirt, for building emergency shelters.
Don’t forget the map
I learned the hard way, when I ventured out on a daytime journey, if you don’t take along your map, it won’t reveal the area you’ve covered no matter how far you go. Take your map with you, so the clouded beige area that obscures your view will be wiped away as you roam the world.
Keep an eye on the sun
The sun goes down quickly once it starts to set. You need to have shelter in place and ready to go before the sun goes down if you hope to survive on the road.
Dirt makes the best shelters
My favorite places to make temporary shelters while exploring are elevated hills of dirt, because you don’t have to waste a pick digging there and the dirt won’t cave in on you like sand or gravel. You can dig down a couple of blocks deep, then hollow out a place big enough to put your beds. Stick a torch on the wall for light, and be ready to close off the entrance from inside the shelter with a few more blocks of dirt before sunset.
Be careful when coming back out
After sleeping, morning will have come to your Minecraft world, but that doesn’t mean the monsters are necessarily gone from the area. Be careful when coming out of your shelter. Save the game first, have your swords ready, and be prepared to quickly exit without saving if you get blown to bits by a creeper.
Follow all these tips, and you should be able to safely explore your whole world without dying. Go early, as soon as you have the supplies you need for your journey, and you can find the ideal place to settle in long term, no matter where you initially spawned.
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