Minecraft’s Survival Mode Explained

Muhibul Alam Chowdhury
By Muhibul Alam Chowdhury
6 Min Read
Credit: Mojang Studios

Everything you need to know about Minecraft’s Survival Mode.

Minecraft is a massively popular franchise and maybe the most well-known video game in the world. Since its release, many imitators and clones have come forth, resulting in a boom of open-world survival crafting games, some of which have gone on to become successes in their own right.

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Outside of the survival genre, the crafting mechanic of Minecraft has led to the implementation of similar mechanics in many other games. Furthermore, the sandbox owes its prominence in the video game industry almost entirely to Minecraft.

Minecraft’s most iconic game mode is its Survival Mode. Its gameplay loop, first introduced to players in 2011, is still one that other games have tried to replicate, with various degrees of success.

This guide is all about Survival Mode, its intricacies, and surviving your first night in Minecraft.

A Summary of Survival Mode

Survival Mode is the default game mode of Minecraft and is all about resource management, exploration, and problem-solving. You’ll need to collect resources, build structures, craft items, gather food during the day, and battle mobs at night.

Furthermore, as each new world in Minecraft is procedurally generated, each experience is different as you’ll need to manage finite resources and grapple with dynamic environments.

These environments are also diverse, ranging from grasslands and forests to deserts and caves. The management of limited and rare resources, hunger and hydration levels, and the progressive increase in the difficulty levels of the mobs that appear at night makes survival mode a realistic and unforgiving experience.

Day and Night Cycle

Credit: Mojang Studios

The day and night cycle dictates the pacing of Survival Mode. Sunlight indicates safety, and during the morning, you’ll need to explore, gather, and build in preparation for the night, during which enemies such as skeletons, zombies, creepers, etc.

Whether you survive the night depends entirely on how well you prepare during the morning. This dynamic fills both day and night with tension and turns each sunrise into another opportunity to progress.

Preparing for the Night

You will first spawn in during the morning, and it is crucial to gather essential resources such as wood, stone, and iron as soon as possible. Initially, you’ll want to focus on wood, which you can use to build shelter, a crafting table, and your starting tools. Using your crafting table, craft an axe to gather wood, a pickaxe to mine ores, and a shovel to start growing crops.

Food and Hydration

Your hunger and thirst meters will run out quite quickly so make sure to have enough food and water on you at all times. You can get food by killing animals such as cows and pigs or by growing crops using your shovels.


Minecraft Shelter
Credit: Mojang Studios

It is crucial to build shelter. This will serve as your defense from the mobs of the night. Furthermore, it will also allow you to store resources. Safe spaces can range from a simple hole in the ground to elaborate bases. Just make sure to place torches in the interior so that mobs can’t spawn there.


Minecraft Trading
Credit: Mojang Studios

As you explore your world, you will come across villages. Trading with villagers is an essential aspect of the game, as it will allow you to get rare resources and items. ‘Villagers will have different trade items depending on the biome they’re in, and as you trade with them, they will level up, unlocking more trade options.

Crucial items gained through trading include iron and enchanted books. Villagers will have different trade items depending on the biome they’re in, and as you trade with them, they will level up, unlocking more trade options. Crucial items gained through trading include iron and enchanted books.


Minecraft Endgame
Credit: Mojang Studios

While a game of Survival Mode never technically ends, there is an in-game accomplishment that many players consider the ultimate goal of the game. This is to kill the Ender Dragon, which serves as the game’s final boss.

To face an Ender Dragon, you’ll need to find a stronghold and activate the End Portal, which will transport you to a dimension known as the End.

Along with the Ender Dragon, you’ll also have to navigate through dozens of Endermen. Killing the Ender Dragon gives you a dragon egg (essentially a trophy item), a large amount of xp, and the ability to explore the rest of the End.

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Muhibul Alam Chowdhury is a Guide writer at GameRiv.