Minecraft is a survival/creative game that was created by Markus “Notch” Persson in 2009. What started as a bare-bones side project, quickly turned into a multi-million dollar juggernaut that’s spun off into toys, books, and currently has an animated feature film in development.
Inside the world of Minecraft, players can use almost any material they can think of to produce wondrous, intricate structures, gadgets, and worlds. In Survival Mode, that same creativity becomes a defense against a rogues gallery of monsters and ghouls that players must defeat or avoid while trying to find food and build shelter.
The game is the embodiment of the phrase “easy to play, difficult to master," and with each new update, the game gains a plethora of secrets waiting to be discovered. The beauty of the game is that players can become as invested in the game’s mechanics as they want to be.
On a surface level, players can just go around building houses, killing monsters (referred to as “mobs” in the game), and gather food. For hardcore players, there are secret mechanisms, magics, monsters, and entire other dimensions to the game to find, along with little quirks and tricks you’d never know were there.
Here are the 15 Insane Things You Never Knew You Could Do In Minecraft.
15 Become invisible to Endermen
Endermen are the mysterious, gangly mobs that roam the world of Minecraft, occasionally picking up and moving around blocks for a purpose known only to them. They are completely peaceful unless the player attacks them, or looks directly into their eyes, at which point they turn into shrieking, charcoal terminators that relentlessly pursue the player.
Luckily, there’s a handy trick that players can use to avoid the danger of accidentally making eye contact with the purple-eyed demons-- all they have to do is equip a pumpkin as their head armor on the inventory screen.
The player’s viewpoint will be severely restricted since they’re looking out the eyeholes of a jack-o-lantern, but they can stare at Endermen all they want without fear.
14 Blow things up with a bed
A lot of Minecraft tricks are based on exploiting quirks of the physics of the game, using them in inventive ways that the programmer never foresaw. This trick seems almost like a glitch in the code, and it’s not the most practical way to blow something up in Minecraft, but it sure is fun.
As pointed out by YouTube user TurtleDerp, players can place a block of material on the ground, then place a bed immediately adjacent to the block. After this, all the player has to do is position themselves so that the block is between them and the foot of the bed, push themselves right up against the block, and try to sleep in the bed.
The result is a TNT-like explosion that makes for an easy way to mine materials and clear obstacles if you’re low on gunpowder.
13 Walk through walls using a boat
Players have now had almost a decade to figure out how to game the little quirks of Minecraft’s physics in order to do and make things that the original designer Notch never intended or conceived of. One of the more useful quirks to exploit is using the humble boat to be able to walk through walls.
“Walking” may be a bit of a misnomer, but the result is the same; all a player has to do is place a boat in front of a wall and gently push it into the blocks of the wall until about half of the boat is inside it.
Then, the player can left-click on the boat to enter it, then left-shift to exit it. Since players always exit off of the front of the boat, they’ll find that they’ve phased through the wall that the boat was sticking into and out the other side.
It’s incredibly useful for making quick escapes or for breaching into a structure during player-vs-player survival matches, but be warned: it only works in one direction. Once you’re through the wall, you can’t use the boat to go back.
12 Milk a Mooshroom for mushroom soup
Most players know that the cows that populate the game world can be milked with a glass bottle, in addition to providing meat and leather when killed. These animals in Minecraft actually have an incredibly rare cousin known as the Mooshroom-- a red-and-white cow with mushrooms sticking out of its back that looks like the most adorable science experiment gone wrong.
The mooshroom only spawns on the incredibly rare “mushroom island” biome, an oasis of fungus typically found at sea and covered in mycelium blocks with mushrooms growing as big as trees. As a result, some casual players may never encounter the mushroom island, or the mooshrooms that typically swarm it.
Each one can be milked like a normal cow, but it’s trickier. Instead of a glass bottle, players must use a wooden bowl, and instead of milk, delicious, food-bar-refilling mushroom soup is the result. For the lucky player, mooshrooms can be an unlimited source of food.
11 Build a computer out of redstone to play Minecraft in Minecraft
The thought process of Minecraft player Hans Lemurson must have been something like: “Yo dawg, we heard you like Minecraft, so we built a computer in your computer so you can play while you play!”
Lemurson successfully built a working, rudimentary computer within Minecraft using redstone and redstone components. The magical crimson dust and its related interactables allow users to construct basic electrical circuits in-game.
Combining these circuits with sensors and input devices lets them create doors that open automatically, lights that turn on when the sun goes down, and a host of other useful gadgets. However, those weren’t enough for Lemurson, who managed to create a working binary computer using a massive web of redstone circuitry and interactive blocks.
After building his computer, he was apparently bugged by users on Minecraft forums sarcastically asking if his in-game computer could run Minecraft. He then successfully programmed a 2-D version of Minecraft into his Minecraft computer, proving once and for all that some good can come out of internet comments.
10 Make an automatic cooked chicken farm
Unlike in Creative Mode, Survival Mode requires players to continually find and consume food to survive. If a player’s food meter goes too low, their health stops regenerating from damage. If it continues to deplete, the player stops being able to sprint, and finally starts taking damage when it gets close to zero.
So players need to find or cultivate a steady, reliable source of food. Some resort to farming, some to hunting, but truly clever players have found ways of ensuring a never-ending food supply with a little help from redstone circuitry. Enter the automatic chicken-cooking farm.
YouTube user TheBeached Hippo created a “farm” that automatically spawns chickens, kills them, cooks them, and then uses water to wash all of the finished chicken and feathers out to the waiting player. It's harder than just farming wheat, but arguably much more satisfying.
9 Trap players with ice and soul sand
In Survival Multiplayer, Minecraft users have the option of working together to survive, build, explore, and create, or fight each other using endlessly more inventive deathtraps and weapons to kill each other before plundering.
While there are more complicated traps that one can construct and automate with redstone, pistons, etc., one of the simplest ways to make an enemy slow and vulnerable involves using ice and soul sand. Ice is fairly easy to find (just find snow, then find water near it), but soul sand can only be find in the spooky alternate realm known as The Nether. Players must construct portals to reach it, and one of the many materials inside is soul sand.
Players normally slow down when they walk over soul sand, but a lot of players don’t know that burying a block of ice underneath a block of soul sand multiplies the effect, reducing the speed of a sprinting player to a snail-like creep.
8 Create Command Blocks
Command Blocks are really far down the redstone rabbit hole in Minecraft. They contain commands that are executed when the blocks are powered by a redstone source, and allow for advanced programmable actions to be executed in the game.
The casual player will likely never encounter them or know what they are, since they have to be obtained by typing commands into the command line interface of Minecraft creative or multiplayer or by using cheats in single-player Survival Mode.
They have a variety of different uses when integrated with other redstone gadgets and machinery, but require a certain mastery of programming, logic, and sequencing in order to unlock their full potential. That, plus the slightly laborious process of spawning one, means that they’re for hardcore players only.
7 Create Invisible Blocks
Not to be confused with see-through blocks, such as blocks made of glass and ice, players can actually spawn blocks that are entirely invisible. Available only in creative mode and only obtainable through a command line prompt, players can spawn blocks known as “barriers” by simply typing in: “/give minecraft:barrier”.
The blocks appear in the player’s inventory as a red box with a slash through it and otherwise function as a normal block aside from a few exceptions. They can’t be pushed by pistons, nor can they be broken if the player switches to normal survival mode. However, their invisibility makes them excellent for setting traps, and they are able to suffocate enemy mobs like normal solid blocks.
6 Turn the graphics black-and-white or upside-down
Lots of classic video games have fun unlock-able Easter eggs that allow players to mess with the visuals (such as Big Head mode in Goldeneye), and Minecraft is no exception. Players can access one of 25 different graphics shaders by pressing a button in the Options menu marked: “Super Secret Settings...”
Pressing it will randomly apply one of the graphics shaders, and while some tweak the graphics so subtly it’s almost unnoticeable, others are delightfully weird. One turns everything black and white and reminiscent of a pencil drawing, while another completely inverts the screen so all the action takes place upside-down.
Sadly, as of the Minecraft version 1.9, the feature has been disabled, but players still running earlier builds can access the graphical wackiness.
5 Create pockets of air underwater with torches, doors, signs, and ladders
There's nothing worse in Minecraft than being trapped in water, with the current pushing you down, as you watch your oxygen meter slowly deplete, the screen going red and quaking as your health bleeds out from suffocation.
However, it need not happen, and a lot of players don’t know that torches, doors, signs, and ladders can be placed just so underwater to create a pocket of air around them, saving players from certain, choking doom.
Not only that, but just like fences placed next to each other form one long fence, the pockets of air generated chain together, allowing players to create underwater passageways. It’s not only cool, but a handy practical way to create secret tunnels between bases or houses that are invisible to the casual observer.
4 Use torches to hold any amount of weight
Not only can torches form life-saving bubbles of safety underwater, but they can also hold any amount of weight. Once a torch is placed on a wall or floor, you can place any kind and any number of blocks on top of it, such as sand, dirt, wood, steel, diamond, and the torch will bear the weight no matter how high the stack of blocks is.
It seems like a simple gimmick, but it can be incredibly useful when creating building structures out of materials that normally fall with gravity such as sand. More than that, it can also be used to rig such structures for easy demolition, creating a handy and deadly trap should you be ambushed in your home base and need to beat a quick retreat.
3 Cure zombie Villagers
Zombies are one of the most pesky and annoying enemies in the game. Slow but relentless, they will dole out a poisonous bite that will sap your health long after you’ve killed the creature that bit you. Villagers, meanwhile, are found in randomly generated settlements around the map, and are neutral, occasionally having goods you can trade for.
Sometimes, they can become zombified, but unlike regular zombies, they can be cured, restoring their usefulness as a trading resource. The process requires being able to make potions and having the necessary ingredients to brew a Splash Potion of Weakness as well as having a Golden Apple.
A player who successfully brews the potion just has to throw it at a zombie Villager, then use the Golden Apple on it, and within five minutes the village be back to their old self.
2 Create an infinite water source
The epitome of “boring but practical," this tip lets you have an infinite source of water, and all you need is an existing water source, a bucket, and a hole in the ground.
It takes advantage of the quirks of Minecraft physics: all the player has to do is dig a hole three blocks long and one block deep in the ground. Then, simply pour the water into the blocks to the left and right of the center block before pouring one final bucket of water into the center block.
Again, a fun quirk, but boring, right? It’s actually more useful than you’d imagine, especially if a player wants to get into potion-making. Using materials and items found in the Nether and the game world, players can craft potions making them faster, tougher, or able to deal damage to enemies by throwing the bottle at them. However, they all need water as a base, and with this trick, a player will never run out of the vital potion-making part.
1 Put collars on dogs you’ve tamed
By far the cutest tip on this list, most players know that you can tame a number of the animals that you find in the world. Ocelots are tamed into cats, wolves are tamed into dogs, and horses are tamed into... horses, but ones you can now ride.
If you have a dog, most players don’t realize that you can also change the color of the collar on them. All a player has to do is equip one of the 16 possible dyes in the game and use it on your canine companion, and you can personalize your hound’s collar to your liking.
It’s a completely useless trick, but it is completely adorable. It's so subtle that it’s no wonder most players haven’t heard of it.
Can you think of any other survival secrets from Minecraft that we missed? Let us know in the comments!