10 Things Every "Minecraft" Base or Shelter Needs
So, young Steve, you have weathered many a night, slain many a monster, survived many a creeper, and bent the earth to your whim. I am impressed. You have built mini-shelters, mining bases, sub-bases, and a main base of operations during your conquest; that’s quite the list.
What Does Your Base or Shelter Need?
Even if you are a well-established player with plenty of building experience, just to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, here’s a checklist of the 10 things needed to build a perfectly sound Minecraft base or shelter:
- Traps and Defense
- Main Storage Room
- Central Minecart Network
- Food Farm
- Item Farm
- Enchanting Room and Brewing Stand
This one is pretty obvious. Every base should have a bed so your character can spawn there when killed. This is especially important when you have multiple bases that you work from.
For example, You may have one base that is specifically set as a shelter for harvesting in a biome (Rainforest, Swamp, and Snow), or you may have one in a dangerous location (Abandoned Mine) for worry-free exploration. It's much easier to spawn in a shelter rather than having to run all the way back to said shelter (and potentially lose your dropped items, as they will disappear after five minutes or so).
2. Traps and Defense
It doesn’t matter what type of trap or defense you have, as long as it offers protection from enemies (and potentially other players). Unless you have everything lit with torches, there is always a chance of "something" finding you both above and below ground.
Good to Know
Most monsters can pass through portals on their own and spawn on nearby blocks if you are in the darkness (e.g., an empty, dark cavern or spawner right behind your wall). This means that a proper line of defense is very important!
Doors are good starting barriers, as mobs can only walk through open doors. Villagers are the only exception to this.
Note: Zombies can break wooden doors in hard and hardcore mode.
Although doors are effective against most mobs, piston-powered objects are just so much cooler and stronger—which leads me to number three!
Pistons are potentially the greatest things since sliced cake and music-box loops. Pistons can make things both cool and awesome. The only downside of pistons is the difficulty in using them correctly. But I guarantee that once you get the hang of it, you will never go back to regular doors, stairs, bridges, or traps again. The most impressive uses of pistons that I’ve seen include doors, self-moving walkways, and auto-moving stairs.
Cool as Ice
A really complicated experiment I've seen involved ice for push-sliding and water for dropping. The contraption pushed the player across the ice, and using the momentum, launched them upwards and sideways. The water then nulled fall damage, and another piston was there to immediately move the player along to the next segment. It was cool.
4. Main Storage Room
This one seems pretty obvious, but I am surprised at how many players have chests and items stored willy-nilly. These players are usually the first to complain of an item being lost, a creeper explosion taking out their items, or lava erasure. Your main base (and ideally all bases) should have a main room for material storage that follows some sort of organizational outline.
Keeping Things Tidy
Personally, I have tons of chests for my various spoils of Minecraft. Here are a few examples of the chests I keep for organization inspiration:
- Supplies (Torches and Redstone)
- Raw Ore
- Smelted Ore Chest
- Misc Items
- "Current Project"
There are many different ways to display your chests. You could have an area of chests for lower-quality items (iron and below) and a chest or two for higher-quality items (gold and above), followed by an area of chests for misc. items and supplies. If you want, create your own system! The general idea is to save time and avoid that “Where the hell did I put my diamonds?” frustration.
Due to the general nature of Minecraft, if your base is not just for show, then you probably have one or more mineshafts. This could be a multi-tiered/multi-purpose mineshaft, or simply one that goes straight down to bedrock. A multi-tiered or branching mineshaft may be used for things that require space, such as underground forests, animal breeding pens, and farming. The main reason you want a mineshaft is to get the much-desired diamonds, redstones, and obsidian.
Basic mineshafts utilize either a Squircle (square/circle) staircase or a single long ladder. The next step up is similar to the staircase, except it includes minecarts. Some view this as far too inefficient and costly for its purpose. My personal favorite way of getting around is a freefall into the water. My second favorite is the Piston Auto-Staircase, or the 2x1xn Vertical Piston Launcher, which is the quickest way to travel vertically.
6. Central Minecart Network
With the addition of Redstone Boosters for tracks, minecarts have now turned into an incredibly efficient and speedy way of traveling quickly from location to location, or preferably, base to base. You may also combine chests into minecarts to make the movement of items and supplies quicker (especially if you have multiplayer help).
If you have the ability to do so, it is possible to combine your minecarts with Nether portals for even quicker travel. (1 block movement in Nether = 10+ in Normal)
The important thing is the ability to get from base to base quickly and safely with the least amount of effort. If you are playing multiplayer, a network would be incredibly beneficial for everyone, especially if it’s competitive multiplayer.
7. Food Farm
Ah, the farm. Generally found as one of the first installations for starting and main bases, farms provide a major asset to all players in the form of food. Food, as you probably know, is important for providing stamina and health regeneration. A steady source of food cuts your anxiety and allows you to expend stamina (jumping, running, mining, etc.) without a care in the world. Typically, you want to start with wheat and then move to watermelon as soon as you find the respective seed.
8. Item Farm
Estranged child to number seven is the Item Farm. This is a general term applied to rooms or locations created for the sole purpose of gathering items. These come in all shapes and sizes, utilize all sorts of traps, and have multiple theories or philosophies behind them. Here are a few of the most common:
- Monster Farms: These rely on creature spawners and traps to provide a steady stream of monsters that are then killed by a trap for easy loot collection.
- Animal Breeding Farms: The most common of these is the chicken farm, where you throw eggs to (hopefully) get chickens to hatch in a room. The chickens in that room then lay eggs to throw. Wash, rinse, and repeat this process.
- Plant Farms: You can grow trees, cacti, and sugarcane that are harvested automatically. Growing these underground provides safety assurance.
The general idea is to have an enclosed system that grants you the ability to "farm" items with little effort beyond setting it up.
Since torching everything in a 20x20 radius will make your base relatively safe, Golems are usually only used for show. But they do provide the ability to farm snow and are a somewhat reliable last line of limited defense, should something happen to get through.
Do not use golems in tight places, and do not use golems near lava; they will block you and push you around. Above all else, never hit a golem. If you do, say goodbye to your life bar.
On the plus side, you can have golems around instead of a few outside torches. Then, in the morning, gather all of the loot from the monsters they kill. Golems are mostly useful in dangerous environments such as Strongholds or Abandoned Mineshafts. (Take that, you damned poisonous spiders!)
10. Enchanting Room and Brewing Stand
Enchanting is a relatively new addition to the Minecraft world that grants the player the ability to imbue items with a variety of powers. Brewing allows the player to create potions with various abilities that grant bonuses or have offensive properties against monsters.
Enchanting uses experience points and has its own formulas and equations for picking enchantments. Brewing is pretty straight forward. Both an enchanting room and brewing stand are great additions to any main base, especially if they are next to your Main Storage. To top it off, you really only need one of each, and they both take up relatively little space. The only one that should be on its own for efficiency is the enchanting room since it requires bookshelves and a line of sight to work effectively.
Honorable Mention: Your Own Room!
Dear Steve, or Player playing as Steve. How could you forget to take care of yourself? You, who have torn down mountains, slain hordes of creatures, and built yourself a grand base of operations—why have you not thanked yourself with a personalized room of your own? Are you not worthy of a room built from the sweat of your glorious brow?
Although this list is not absolute, this is personally what I plan on having in my bases. I build them in order of utility and necessity, because as I always say: utility before looks. If you can do both at the same time, more power to you!
If you have any comments or suggestions about things I may have forgotten to include, feel free to leave me a comment below!