Start playing Minecraft – For kids and parents

Does your child want to start playing Minecraft? But you feel unsure about what kind of game it is, if it is safe and how to get started? Here we go through the basics!

Minecraft is a very common – albeit very popular – computer and TV game. The game is available both for computers ( PC , Mac and Linux ) and Xbox 360 / One , PlayStation 3/4 and Nintendo Wii U . There are also versions of the game for both iPhone and Android phones.

This review is for both you who are curious about what Minecraft is or have a child who plays or would like to start playing Minecraft . After reading the text, the intention is for you to have a basic understanding of what Minecraft is and how to play the game. The premise is that you know nothing at all about Minecraft . We thus start from the beginning.

The article is divided into the following chapters
1. Who produced Minecraft?
2. What do you do in Minecraft?
3. Which version (PC, Mac, Xbox, etc.) should you play?
4. How to start playing Minecraft?
5. My child wants to play against others online – what does that mean?
6. Can you play online with others outside the local network?
7. Do I need to worry about my child playing Minecraft?
8. Minecraft Glossary

1. Who produced Minecraft?

Minecraft was originally produced in Sweden . The game started as a small project created by programmer Markus Persson . However, the interest in Minecraft turned out to be very large and the game quickly became popular. Markus Persson (who on the internet is better known by his nickname Notch ) then further developed Minecraft together with the game studio Mojang . In 2014, Markus Persson sold Minecraft and Mojang to Microsoft , which now owns all the rights to the game.

2. What do you do in Minecraft?

Minecraft is a so-called sandbox game. This means that the player is free to explore the game world exactly as he or she wishes. The player is thus not bound to take any special path through the game, but can play it a little as you wish. The game also has no real beginning or end. The focus is instead on building things, creating worlds and having fun – alone or with friends. A relatively good, short description Minecraft is digital Lego . Imagine a large base plate where the player can then build his own world. To then go around the world and invent stories, build new things and be creative.

The gaming world

The game is graphically very simply designed. The focus is on everything looking and being made up of squares and rectangles (blocks). The blocks are available in different materials such as wood, stone, sand, water and many more. By moving around the game world, the player can both put your new block and remove (destroy) blocks. In this way, you can create and shape the world’s terrain as you wish.

An ordinary city in Minecraft.

The world of Minecraft is called Overworld in the game . Here the player can, with the help of different blocks, create buildings and landscapes. The day changes between day and night, which means that it is either required that the player builds a bed and sleeps during the night, or uses torches or other light sources to be able to see something at night.

By building so-called portals in Overworld , the player can also get to the darker game world that also exists in the game. This game world is called Nether . Here are materials and creatures that are not found in Overworld . The creatures that exist in Nether are also more hostile than those in Overworld . We will take a closer look at the game’s creatures and characters very soon.

Three different game modes

The game contains three main game modes; Creative , Survival and Adventure .

Creative

Here the player has infinite access to all blocks in all variants and is completely free to build exactly what he wants. You can build mountains, houses, people, lakes, boats and basically anything. The gaming world in Kreativ can be either completely flat or consist of hills, lakes and landscapes. These are created automatically and randomly when the game world is started.

Survival

Here the player starts either in a randomly created world with mountains, water and landscape or a flat world. This is based on the settings made before the game starts. Unlike Kreativ , when the game starts completely, the player lacks material (blocks) to build things with. Materials to create blocks with must instead be obtained by processing the landscape. For example, the player needs to cut down trees to get wood to create planks from. To be able to create furniture from iron, the player needs to dig out iron from the ground and then make furniture and other things from the material.

Hardcore

The so-called Hardcore mode is a variant of the Survival mode . The same rules apply here, with the difference that creatures and monsters harm the player much more and that the entire game world is deleted if you die. This game mode is usually only recommended if the player really wants a challenge.

Adventure

The adventure mode can be derived from both the Creative and Survival modes. The difference here is that the player usually cannot destroy or build new blocks. Instead, it is usually a matter of getting from point A to point B and avoiding traps or the like. The adventure mode is not included as a regular game mode to start immediately. It must instead be activated by the player himself (eg by using the Terminal window) when either Creative or Survival is started. Adventure mode can only be used on the computer versions of Minecraft . Read more about the Terminal and commands a little further down.

Creatures and characters

All of the game modes also contain a lot of creatures and characters. Creepers , Enderman , Slimes , Villagers to name a few. Some of these are evil and attack the player, who in turn needs to defend himself either by getting away from the creatures, or beating them. It may sound violent to beat enemies (it is also possible to beat peaceful characters). However, the violence that occurs in the game is relatively mild (in our opinion). There is also no blood in Minecraft and if the player dies, the opportunity is given to re-emerge immediately if you want. However, if you do not want your child to play games where it is actually possible to kill or kill someone, Minecraftnot to recommend. How mild and happy the graphics still make it look.

To the left a Slime. To the right a pair of common sheep. Both are kind as long as you play at the easiest difficulty level.

Commands / Terminals

By pressing T at any time during the game, the player can open a small window at the bottom left of the screen. This window (called the Terminal ) can be used primarily as a chat – if you play more than one player. The terminal window can also be used to enter various text commands that make different things happen in the game. There are lots of different commands to use to e.g. change the time of day in the game, to activate the adventure mode or to make it rain. A good site to learn more about what commands are available and what they do is digiminecraft.com .

In order to e.g. change the day to daytime during a started game, press T on the keyboard and enter the code / time set day followed by Enter . Using commands is often not something you as a new Minecraft player need to care much about. Terminal commands instead become more relevant when you start to get more into the game and want to perform more advanced things with the game world.

3. Which version (PC, Mac, Xbox, etc.) should you play?

The computer version ( PC and Mac ) is the most popular version of the game, while the Xbox , Playstation , and Wii U versions are also great to start playing with. The mobile variants of the iPad variant of the game are significantly more stripped down and lack many game features the other variants have.

However, all versions provide a good insight into what Minecraft is and how to get started with the basics of the game. However, Xbox , Playstation and Wii U are good platforms for beginners to get started with and learn the game’s structure and what to do. But PC and Mac are also good to get started with gaming on. Although the settings that can be made on the computer versions of the game are more than they are on any of the consoles. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation.

4. How to start playing Minecraft?

Getting started with Minecraft is not very difficult. If you play on Xbox , Playstation or Wii U , just start the game just like any other game. If you want to play the game on PC or Mac instead , you first need to create a Mojang account . As you know, Mojang is the company behind the Minecraft game. The pictures below are from the PC version of the game, but can also be used to learn more about how to start a game in the other versions of the game as well.

  1. The easiest way to create a Mojang accountis to, in any browser, go to minecraft.net and then click Buy Minecraft . Then follow the instructions. At the time of writing, the computer version of the game costs SEK 169.
  2. By creating an account and purchasing Minecraftvia this, it enables the game not to be tied to a specific computer. In the future, you can simply download the game itself to any computer (via minecraft.net/en/download ) and then log in with your account to play the game.
  3. Once the game is installed and you start it on PCor Mac , you will first see the screen below. For starters, all you have to do is press Play (bottom center) to start playing. The other alternatives are for e.g. switch users (bottom right) and create different player profiles, e.g. with different screen resolutions (bottom left).
  4. As soon as the game starts, you will see the title screen. From this, a number of different options can be made. In this step, we will focus on the so-called Single Player Mode. That is, to play alone and not with others (Multiplayer mode) . For more information about Multiplayer mode and playing with friends and others – read on under the next heading .
  5. If you now click on Single player mode (Singleplayer), you will have the opportunity to either load a previously saved game world or create a completely new one. If this is your first time playing the game, the only option is to create a new game world. Click Create New World to do this.
  6. You now have the opportunity to name your new world a name of your choice. During Game Mode, you can also choose the game mode between Creative , Survival and Hardcore , depending on the type of world you want to start. If you click on More World Options , you will also have the opportunity to decide a little more precisely what type of game world will be created.
  7. Do not be afraid to try to create several different worlds and see what the different settings actually do. Above all, it is alternative number two, Type of World (Word Type), that has the greatest impact on the type of world that is created. Here you can choose to create everything from large hills and caves to a completely flat world. When you are done with the settings, click Create New World (bottom left) to create the world and start the game.
  8. Once the game world has been created and the game has started, just start exploring and testing yourself. We also recommend that you pause the game ( Escape buttonon PC and Mac ) to take a look at the settings menu and especially the Options submenu . Here you can change both the language in which menus and other things are displayed, set sound and music and change the game’s difficulty level.

The game contains four different difficulty levels: Peaceful , Easy , Normal , Hard . If you choose Peaceful, there are no dangerous creatures that can harm you. If you choose Easy , Normal or Difficult instead , more and more difficult enemies are introduced and the amount of damage they do increases with each degree of difficulty.

  1. From here, just try it out. The worst that can happen is that you have to create a new world and start over, something that in itself is so much fun because no two worlds are alike.

5. My child wants to play against others online – what does that mean?

Playing online means playing against other players via the internet. In the console versions of the game ( Xbox, Playstation, Wii U ) you can play several players simultaneously in the same world, as long as everyone has hand control. This does not work on the PC or Mac versions of the game. Here, it is required instead that each player has access to their own Mojang account and their own computer to be able to play together. It is also required that all computers are connected to each other either via a router or via the internet. In this way, you can play against each other both on different computers in the same household (within the same network) and also against other players who are in other households.

Start a local multiplayer game

As soon as a world in Minecraft is created and started, you do the following to start a local multiplayer game on PC or Mac . By a local multiplayer game is meant that you connect two or more computers within your own household and let two or more players play together. For more information on playing against players in other households (over the internet), read on under the next heading .

  1. Start by pausing the game (Escape key). Then select the Open for LAN button . LAN stands for Local Area Network ( Local Area Network ). Open for LAN thus roughly translates to the world that is currently being played being able to connect to from other computers within the own network.
  2. In the next menu, the player is given the opportunity to let the connecting players play in one of the three game modes. Here you can also select the Adventure modeif you want the other players e.g. should not be able to break something you have built. As soon as the game mode is selected, click on Start LAN World to open the world for incoming connections from other computers.
  3. A small subtitle now appears at the bottom left of the screen. This indicates that it is possible for other players to join the gaming world. Memorize the closing number after port, you will need it soon. If you want to bring up the text line again, click on the T button on the keyboard ( T stands for Terminal , which translates roughly to Command Center ).
  4. To connect to the created game, then start Minecrafton another computer (connected to the same network as the first one) and log in with a different user than the one who shared the LAN world in the previous step. Instead of creating a new world, you now select Multiplayer mode in the main menu for the other computer.
  5. Depending on how your router is set up, Minecraftsometimes feels that there are game worlds to connect to on the local network. In this case, the newly created game world appears directly in the list and you can connect to the world by selecting it and pressing Connect to server (bottom left). If the game (as in the image below) does not automatically find the created game world, click Direct Connect instead .
  6. To be able to connect to the computer that created the game, you need to know the internalnetwork address of that computer (also called IP address ). This is done in slightly different ways on Mac and PC computers. It may sound complicated, but is very simple. Take a look at our guide to IP addresses and the section Your private (internal) IP address to see exactly how to find out the internal network address for your particular computer.

As soon as you have access to the IP address of the computer that started the game world, enter the address under Server address of the computer you want to connect to the world. Then type a colon (:) followed by the port number that was displayed when you opened the game world for LAN games. Then click Connect to Server to connect the two computers and play together.

 

6. Can you play online with others outside the local network?

Yes! Just as you connect to a Minecraft game on the local network, you can also connect to a game created on a computer anywhere in the world. The Direct Connect option is used if you want to play, for example, with a friend who lives in another house or city. As a rule, this requires that the person creating the LAN game also opens the correct ports in their router, so that the other players can connect to the world.

You can also use special programs (eg Hamachi ) to make it easier to connect each other’s computers and play together. To read more about how to open ports in your router and connect to other players, we recommend reading the last paragraph in our guide on how to start your own Minecraft server .

What is a Minecraft server?

Via the Add server option under Multiplayer mode , you can also add and then connect to one of the thousands of Minecraft worlds created by other players. A server is simply explained a Minecraft game someone started and then lets other players connect to. Anyone can start up a Minecraft server and let other players connect. The server program is completely free and can be downloaded via the official Minecraft website . Starting up your own server can, however, be considered a continuation course in Minecraft. If you still feel that you immediately want to try it, we have an article that describes exactly how to proceed. You can find it here!

A server can also consist of many different, smaller worlds. The player moves around among the different parts / worlds of the server by going through portals and the like. It is worth remembering that the majority of the public servers have English as their language and that it is usually English that is used in the chat, etc.

Can you connect to any Minecraft server?

Some of these open worlds are absolutely not something a child should be in as there is often, above all, very crude language. And that many players are only out to destroy others by smashing buildings, stealing things they have collected, and more.

However, there are a lot of servers suitable for younger players as well. Our best recommendation here is actually to search for interesting servers to connect to – based on other people’s recommendations. Try doing a Google search on e.g. Family friendly Minecraft servers . At the time of writing, some of the most popular servers providing more child-friendly gaming worlds are Cubeville ( cubeville.org ), The Hive ( play.hivemc.com ) and Blocklandia to name a few.

An overview of the lobby (where the player starts) on the Minecraft server The Hive. Here, players get the opportunity – completely free and without membership – to compete in a variety of small games and challenges.

Some worlds are free for everyone to join (eg The Hive ), while others require you to register and apply for membership (eg Blocklandia ). This is usually done via the respective server’s website. When it comes to Minecraft servers in general, it is a very good idea for you as a parent to first read on ( search for information via Google ) if the server or servers your child wants to play on. Then test yourself before letting your child play on the server.

Connect to a Minecraft server

To be able to connect to a Minecraft server , you need to know the server’s address. As I said, this can usually be found on each server’s website. In the three steps below, we show as an example how to connect to a server called Crazy Pig , which is also a relatively child-friendly server.

  1. Start by clicking Multiplayer Modein the main menu. Then select Add server .
  2. Now fill in the server address in the field below the Server AddressServer name is only for you to easily see which server it is actually about. You can name it whatever you want. Then click Done (at the bottom).
  3. Your added server now appears in the list under Play Online (Play Multiplayer). Select the server you want to connect to and then click Join Server to connect to the server in question.

 

7. Do I need to worry about my child playing Minecraft?

Playing Minecraft offline (ie by yourself or with friends within your own household) we consider to be relatively harmless, even if there are swords, cartoons and other things in the game. The only thing you (in our opinion) need to keep in mind when playing normally is to have a bit of common sense when it comes to sitting in front of a screen for long periods. Also take the opportunity to play together. Playing Minecraft and building Lego is, as I said, not far from each other and really something you can do together. The game is recommended from 7 years and up, which is a relatively sensible age limit. However, it is of course up to you as a parent what your child plays.

The only fears with the game, in our opinion, are when you start mixing in online games and downloading new material. Now we have not gone through downloadable material in this text as it may be considered a step beyond the basics. But in short, there are an almost infinite amount of downloadable worlds, skins (what your game character looks like) and modifications that allow the player to do things that are not possible in the regular game.

This is what one of the two standard characters in Minecraft looks like. With the help of downloadable skins, the player can change the look to look almost any way.

There are many good and completely safe sites and websites to download these files from. But there are even more sites where the downloadable files contain viruses and other nuisances that can destroy both worlds and the computer they are played on. Here, Google is your friend. Again, look for information about the extras you want to install to the game to see if it seems okay or not. If you have any concerns or recommendations that a particular site or website should not be used to download downloadable material – follow these recommendations and look further for something that feels safer.

Turn off Minecraft chat at online games

The main communication in Minecraft takes place via the game’s built-in chat function. By default, this is always on and you can always see what other players are writing. A good way to make the online situation a little more room clean when it comes to language and that your child does not start talking to players they do not know is to completely hide the chat.

Unfortunately, there is no code lock or similar for the chat, but the setting is easily found via the game’s settings menus. However, we still recommend turning off the chat when playing online games if you are at least unsure of the types of players on the same server your child is playing on.

  1. To turn off the chat, you start clicking the Options (Options)in the main menu when you start a game. Then select Chat Settings .
  2. At the top left you can choose to e.g. only allow keyboard shortcuts to change game settings, but completely prohibit any chat from appearing. You can also make more settings around the game chat feature.

Otherwise, it’s a lot about common sense and showing an interest in the child’s gaming when it comes to Minecraft . Talk about why you’ll turn off the chat if you do. Talk about what is important to keep in mind when playing online. Go through that you should never give out your real name, information about where you live or the like to anyone, regardless of situation, and that it is then always better to either immediately turn off the game or go and pick up an adult.

In short, play together and have fun. Many times it is also enough to just sit next to it and see how much creativity there actually is when you get the tools to express yourself.

8. Minecraft Glossary

Once your child has started playing Minecraft , you can expect to hear some of the following expressions on a daily basis. In order for you to easily understand what you are actually talking about, we end this article with a list containing some of the most common expressions and names from the Minecraft world.

Griefers: Other players who, in online gaming, are only out to destroy others by stealing earned items, destroying buildings and more.

Creepers: Green, computer-controlled creatures in the game. One of the player’s enemies. Creepers explode when the player gets close to them, causing damage to the player.

Overworld: The game world itself where Minecraft takes place.

Nether: The dark part of the Minecraft world. By building a Nether portal , the player can teleport to the so-called Nether world . There are more hostile creatures and characters here than there are in Overworld .

Skin: There is an almost infinite number of different so-called s kins in Minecraft . These change the look of the game character. A skin has no other use than to just change the appearance of the character. The player becomes e.g. not faster because this one changes to another Skin .

Spawn / Respawn: When something appears in the Minecraft world , it is called that the object in question has been spawned (developed). Both the player, the game world itself and all creatures spawn at the start of the game. If the player dies, you get the opportunity to respaw (resurrect) where you were first spawned (evoked).

(Minecraft) Server: A Minecraft server is a computer anywhere in the world that contains one or more different Minecraft worlds . Most Minecraft servers contain several different worlds and allow players to move among them. Some servers are completely open and free for everyone to connect to. While other servers require a membership to be used.

Villagers: Residents who populate the automatically created villages and worlds of Minecraft . Villagers are passive and peaceful. The player can exchange items with them.

We hope you now have some idea of ​​what the Minecraft phenomenon actually is. The views and recommendations in this text are our own and highly personal ones. They are thus in agreement and of course not with everyone else. If you have other tips or recommendations regarding Minecraft and what to think about to start playing, it would be great to hear them in the comments below!

 

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