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HOW-TO GEEK SCHOOL

How-To Geek

The How-To Geek Guide to Minecraft

Minecraft

Lesson 1: Getting Started with Minecraft

Minecraft is one of the bestselling video games of all time but getting started with it can be a bit intimidating, let alone even understanding why it’s so popular. In this edition of How-To Geek School we’re going to help you get started with the game (or at least understand why your kids love it so much).

Lesson 2: Improving Minecraft Performance on Old and New Computers

In our first Minecraft lesson we did the most important thing: setup a Minecraft account, installed Minecraft, and created our first world. If you only read the first lesson in this lengthy series you’ll still be completely ready to play. Today we’re looking at the second most important thing: optimizing Minecraft for the smoothest play experience possible.

Lesson 3: Meet the Biomes of Minecraft

In our first Minecraft lesson we learned how to start a simple world and move around it. Today, it’s time to learn about all the cool biomes and terrain you’ll run into while moving around your new world.

Lesson 4: Exploring Minecraft’s Structures

Yesterday we went on a grand tour of Minecraft’s geography. Closely tied to the biomes we just studied are the structures found within them. From sprawling (and not so sprawling) villages to temples left to collapse deep in the jungles, the Minecraft world isn’t as untouched as it might seem.

Lesson 5: Meet the Mobs of Minecraft

There are creatures big and small, friendly and dangerous, and combinations thereof, sprinkled all throughout the Minecraft world. Knowing what you’re up against goes a long way towards staying alive.

Lesson 6: Exploring Minecraft Game Modes

So far we’ve installed Minecraft, learned about the biomes, and explored the creatures found within them. Now it’s time to branch out beyond the safety of Creative Mode exploration and learn about all the game modes Minecraft has to offer.

Lesson 7: Surviving Your First Night In Survival Mode

Now that we have a sense of the different game modes, what they are, and why we’d use them, let’s turn toward the subject new players are typically most interested in: surviving in Survival Mode!

Lesson 8: Your First Mine, Armor, and Further Exploration

You’ve built your first shelter and survived the first night. Now it’s time to, literally, dig into the game. Today’s lesson is focused on mining to get your first critical resources, armoring yourself, and exploring away from your main base.

Lesson 9: Advanced Mining and the Magic of Enchanting

In our previous lesson, we showed you how to keep yourself alive in Survival Mode. Now it’s time to highlight how you can go from living like a castaway to living like a king.

Lesson 10: I’m a Farmer, You’re a Farmer, We are Farmers All

The agricultural revolution was a game changer in real life, and it’s a game changer in Minecraft. Today we’re looking at how you can maximize your mining efforts by establishing farms. You’ll get your pigs for nothing and your dinners for free!

Lesson 11: Engineering with Redstone

If you want to get as advanced as possible in Minecraft, redstone is where it’s at. Doors that automatically open, switch-controlled lights, farms that harvest themselves – it’s all possible with redstone.

Lesson 12: Creating Custom Minecraft Maps

Early on in the series we created our first Creative Mode and Survival Mode maps, but then we dove headlong into learning about biomes, creatures, and many other facets of the Minecraft experience. Today we’re returning to the map. Let’s learn how to seed and generate awesome custom maps.

Lesson 13: Downloading and Installing Custom Maps

While generating maps is fun, as is tinkering with presets to create unique layers and structure distribution, it’s also fun to have someone else do all the hard work for you (and build some cool structures in the process).

Lesson 14: Setting Up Local Multiplayer and Custom Player Skins

What’s better than building and exploring? Building and exploring with your friends and family! Let’s take a look at how you can easily share your Minecraft experience on your local LAN and how to stand out from the crowd in the process.

Lesson 15: Exploring Minecraft Multiplayer Servers

You can lead a full and happy Minecraft life just building by yourself or sticking to local multiplayer, but the size and variety of hosted remote Minecraft servers is pretty staggering and they offer all manner of new experiences.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/8/11