Bed and shelter

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If you have the supplies, it is highly recommended to make a bed.

If you have made a bed, nightfall is easy: As soon as sunset begins, place your bed, sleep in it, and continue with crafting and smelting the next day. However, if you have no bed, and you didn't have time to build something secure, you will probably have to spend your first night in an emergency shelter. You want to be able to make torches and cook food overnight, but if the shelter is underground you really want to have some torches handy before you close yourself into the darkness. If you have wood to spare, you can craft a wooden door.

You can place this door across the entrance to your shelter to protect you from mobs, while still giving you access. It is generally recommended to place it from the outside (go outside your shelter and place it looking inside.)

  • While you were gathering cobblestone, you most likely dug a small hole in the side of a surface cave, or staircased down through the dirt. In either case, you can use that hole as a shelter. Dig a few more blocks into the hill or cave wall, then you can dig a small room, about 5 by 5. Relocate your crafting table and furnace in here, and make sure to light it up! If you have no door, simply cover your entrance with dirt or cobblestone when night falls, periodically breaking it to check for day (watch out for mobs though!). A similar shelter can also be created in a small cave, just remember to close off both ends of the cave or monsters can come at you from below.

  • If you don't want to live in a hole, there are a couple of other options: you can spend the night atop a pillar by building a tall 1×1 column under you by pillar jumping up. Pillar 20 or 30 blocks upwards to avoid getting shot off by a skeleton or having the bottom blown up by a creeper. You can also use crouching (holding ⇧ Shift) to add a ledge to your pillar. IF you do not have a ledge, watch out for climbing spiders. Keep your stone sword in hand and whack them as soon as they come into reach,before they get up to you - attacking them will knock them back down.

  • If there is a large tree nearby, you can spend the night on top of the tree - just watch for skeletons and spiders as with the pillar. If you have a boat, you can spend the night in the middle of the sea as monsters do not spawn in water. You can also simply build a three block high hut from any material, for example cobblestone, wood or dirt. Add a roof to protect against endermen and spiders. Note that you can use the crafting table and/or furnace as part of the walls.

  • Remember the golden rule we talked about before? Well, when you're desperate, you can break it a little. Dig three blocks down, and put a block above you that is not sand/gravel to make the fastest shelter in Minecraft possible. You may want to use a real-world clock to time the night (7 minutes, with up to 3 more to allow for dawn/dusk). You can dig out a couple of the blocks around you and place your crafting table and furnace. A torch will make your little hideyhole feel a little less like a tomb....

  • Finally, if you're really desperate, you can press the Escape key to pause the game, go into the Options menu, and change the difficulty to "peaceful". Though many players consider it cheating, it's a sure-fire way to make sure mobs don't spawn. If you have cheats allowed, you can simply type in /gamemode 1 which will change your game mode to Creative, and mobs won't be able to attack you.