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Tough and easy starts

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  • If you are standing on and surrounded by sand, you are likely in a desert biome. After marking your spawn point, head for high ground and look around for green grass and/or trees (cacti and sugar cane don't count.) Head that way to gather your wood. If you can't see anything but desert, pick a random direction and head that way, occasionally going to high ground for a look around.
     
  • If you are on an island, completely surrounded by water as far as you can see, you are in an ocean biome. This is perhaps the toughest start possible, and as such is highly discouraged for play by beginners. If the island is devoid of trees, you will need to swim to another island or mainland to find wood. When you swim you may see squids. Squids are mobs but they are not hostile like creepers, skeletons, and zombies. They are friendly like cows, sheep, and chickens. If you kill them you can receive XP and/ or and inc sac. Inc sac's can be used to die white wool black. Inc sac= Black dye.
     
  • In either case, “looking around” is a good time to increase your render distance to 16 chunks.
     
  • If, looking around, you see purple land, your game just got a lot easier: you are on a mushroom island, where monsters will not spawn (if it's connected to the mainland, congratulations, you found one of the rarest landscapes in the game). Monsters can still come in from other biomes, but if you head toward the middle, you can spend the night in safety outdoors. Also, with a bowl, you can get free food from the mooshrooms which live there. However, one thing the mushroom biome does not have, is wood—so before you go there, head for green territory to get some wood and stone first.
     
  • If, looking around, you see houses and/or farms, you are near an NPC village. This is a good place to live in general, if you can make a bed: the farms will solve your food worries for now, you can trade with the villagers, and if there's a blacksmith (stone slab roof), it will contain a chest with bonus items. You can also scavenge a fair bit of wood even without trashing the place (try replacing logs with planks). However, at first you'll need to avoid hanging out near there after dark, because zombies can spawn and kill the villagers. You can avoid this fate by making a bed (see below), and consistently sleeping through the night until you can properly fortify the town against monsters):
    • If there are no sheep around, look for “lamp posts” in the village — the black block on top is wool (break it with your hand).
    • If you can't get enough wool for a bed, your best bets are (first choice) either get far away (150 blocks or so) from the village before nightfall, or (second best) to spend your first night(s) atop a really tall pillar, 40 blocks high or more (64 is even better). By the second night you will hopefully have managed to find a bit of wool....
       
  • If you find yourself surrounded by many very large trees, and leaf blocks on the ground, then you have found yourself in a jungle biome. the jungle biome is a good place to start because there are large trees everywhere, however, these can cause you to easily become lost. Also, the cramped quarters can make it difficult to build there. Jungle biomes are the only place to find ocelots (you'll need fish to tame them) and cocoa beans.
    • Warning: Switch to fast graphics on old computers! If not, you could crash and corrupt your world from the amount of leaves.
       
  • If you find yourself surrounded by thick, short trees and dark grass, you are in a roofed forest biome. These biomes are especially dangerous because the canopy of leaves can sometimes become so thick that monsters will spawn, even during the day. However, this biome does provide ample supplies of wood and naturally spawning giant mushrooms which can be used for food and shelter for the night.
     
  • There are many other biomes in Minecraft, and to see a more in depth look at all of them, check the Biomes page.