As much as I’d love to offer you hints for building epic structures or the best places to find resources, I can’t. I’m not good enough at building for the former and there is no way of knowing the latter. However I have noticed a few bits and pieces in my many, many, many hours of Minecrafting which I think could help you lovely folks get the most out of Minecraft XBLA edition. Such as…
5. Find a host with staying power
YOU: “Well, that’s a solid hour of mining done and I’ve all the resources I need to build myself a nice little cottage. It’s going to be awesome!”
HOST: “I’m off mate”
Game over. Can you imagine the horror? I have to thank @BlamelessNinja, the wonderful host of my Minecraft crew’s epic village, who leaves the game running of an evening even when he’s not building anything. May Notch bless him and keep him.
Asides from that, it’s a good idea to have a solo world running so you’ve got something to do when your main host is offline. It would be a wonderful thing if they could find a way to introduce dedicated servers to Minecraft XBLA, but until that fabled day, you’ll need one world running on your console and friends who love caffeine.
4. Always carry a bed
Want to know a good way to get kicked from games?
PLAYER 1: “Night time folks. I’m in bed.”
PLAYER 2: “Me too.”
PLAYER 3: “Same here. Come on lads, lots to do!”
PLAYER 4: “I’m in a cave somewhere. Totally lost. Hahahahahahaha. Back in a while.”
Booted. Your friends are going to get pretty sick of it if they spend every night watching zombies trampling their flowerbeds and Creepers blowing up their freshy rebuilt, two door garage while you wander the wilderness. But, take a bed with you and you can dig yourself into a mountain and kip down for the night, then continue your travels the next day.
3. It’s good to burn things
I never throw anything away in Minecraft. I have chests filled with cobblestone and I’m glad of them, because since starting construction on a world spanning railroad, all of that stone has come in mighty handy. Nevertheless, you do occasionally end up with half worn wooden tools, piles of dirt or an odd feather which you don’t want to have cluttering up your storage space. So, build yourself an incinerator.
There are two easy ways to do this. One, install a nice fireplace using netherrack, if you’ve got your nether portal built. Burns away happily forever and you can throw all your rubbish into it. Of course, you’d best make sure your house is made of stone or the netherrack will see it burning to the ground before you can say “Do you smell smoke?”, but it’s still a winner.
Alternatively, grab yourself a bucket of lava and dig out a pit. Fill the pit with lava and maybe pop a trapdoor on it so you don’t fall in and away you go.
2. LET THERE BE LIGHT!
When I was a child, I used to have a nightlight to keep the boogeyman away. Of course, I haven’t needed that for years, not since I was nineteen, but in Minecraft it’s better to have as much light as possible.
Monsters can spawn in dark corners of your bedroom and bite bits of you while you sleep, so be sure to fill the place with torches, glowstone and anything else that keeps the darkness at bay. It’s also a good idea to make sure that there are no holes in any of your walls and that all your doors are shut before you go to bed, but that’s just common sense. No-one would be stupid enough to OH HELL, CREEPER! *boom*
1. Save regularly
I cannot stress this point enough. As you busily build or manically mine, you’ll notice an icon appearing periodically in the top right corner, showing a chest with an arrow above it. This means the game is autosaving your stats. Only your stats, mind you.
Some players have mistakenly thought that this means the whole game is being saved. Some players then exit without saving because they saw the icon just a minute before and figure everything is OK. SOME players return to their world to find that sprawling mansion that they had so lovingly constructed over many hours has disappeared.
It took me ages to…I mean, it took some players ages to get that much sandstone, glass and wood together. So yes, save often.
So there’s our top five hints and tips for Mincraft XBLA! Make sure you check out our review of the title by clicking here.