Minecraft is an enormous and expansive game built on surprisingly simple mechanics, but with a lack of tutorials it can be confusing for many newcomers. Follow me William Strife as I cover the basics to the advanced of crafting, surviving, and building; welcome to the Minecraft guide. In the first episode of the minecraft guide the basic of the basics were covered for what to do during your first day in Minecraft. However, while the needs of survival are always the same, what the world you spawn into looks like can vary greatly. Any Minecraft world will have a very diverse landscape, with a multitude of biomes that will generate. These Biomes include Plains, mountains, deserts, forests, swamps, savannas, Mesa, jungle, Taiga, Mushroom, and ocean.

That’s not the full list either, even though there are more biomes in the game, the remainder are mostly technical and examples how the game tries to gradually transition between climates. Additionally all biomes are influenced by the way mountain and plains biomes are generated, meaning for instance a swamp can be on a mountain or a desert can be shaped with rolling hills instead of being flat. This variation allows for locals that are traditionally very flat, like deserts and swamps, to have lots of height and vertical variation. There are also several types of forests in the game as well. The standard forest is populated with oak and birch trees, but there also exists a birch only variant. Another forest type is the jungle biome, which is thick with undergrowth, extra tall trees, and the occasional lost temple filled with traps and loot.

Then there’s the Roofed forest which consists of thick stubby dark oak trees, and giant mushrooms. Another forest type is the Taiga, which is a grassy cold biome that is mostly populated with tall spruce trees, and it also comes in a snowy variation where everything is covered in white powder. There’s also the mega taiga biome, which is sometimes called a redwood forest. This woodland is covered in super tall and thick spruce trees, there are boulders strewn about made of rare mossy cobblestone, and the ground is covered with a special leafy dirt called podzol. That’s everything for forests, but before moving on there’s flowers. A special version of the standard forest is the flower forest, which is colourfully oversaturated with flora of all type that can be found in the game. Meanwhile there are some instances of the normal plains biome covered in a sea of sunflowers, a petaled plant that always faces east.

Moving on the other Biome type that varies greatly is the plains biome, which intersects with other types of biomes for varied effects. First though is a biome that is a strange intersection of plains and forest, Savannah. The Savannah biome is populated with unique leaning Arcadia trees, it’s steady and flat like a planes biome, but it also never get any precipitation or rain like a desert biome. Other more natural variations of the planes biome include ice plains or tundra. As the name suggests the tundra biome is a vast area of snow and ice with little to no vegetation, making it a less than optimal location to call home. An extension of the tundra is the ice plain with spikes. The ice spikes biome is doted with spires of packed ice which resemble trees. The packed ice has no real uses beyond a special building materiel though, and it can’t be harvested by any normal means. That’s about everything for the plains biome and its unique instances, but there are still a few more landscapes to cover.

The renaming biomes begin with swampland which is fairly common, but can be difficult to traverse, as wading through water is never a quick activity. Next is the desert biome which comes complete with cacti, no water, dead shrubs, and occasionally a special temple filled with both deadly traps and random loot. The two final biomes are fairly rare, Mesa and Mushroom. Mesa biomes are composed of hardened and stained clay as well as red sand. The red sand is no different from normal sand aside from it’s colour, making it little more than a normal block with a unique twist. However, hardened clay is a useful building materiel because, while it can be crafted, doing so isn’t quick or simple making existing hardclay fairly valuable. Additionally it can be combined with dyes to create a multitude of colours for building purposes, meaning it’s just about an architects best friend. If this perks your interest and you want to know more about dyes, don’t worry there’s an entire separate guide on the subject. Anyway that’s the gist of the mesa biome.

The other rare biome is Mushroom, which will always generate near water and commonly be an island unto itself. Mushroom biomes are particularly unique for several reasons. First of all grass blocks are replaced entirely with a fungal like growth called mycelium. Second, mushrooms can grow in direct sunlight, which isn’t possible under normal circumstances. Normally mushrooms can only grow in low light levels like beneath a tree or in a cave. Third, is a special passive mob native to the mushroom biome, the mooshroom. Mooshrooms are particularly useful animals because, by right-clicking it’s udder with a wooden bowl, mushroom stew can be obtained. This means that, unlike other animals, Mooshrooms can supply an infinite amount of food unlike normal cows which must be bred and butchered for food. The final unique feature of the mushroom biome is how, both on the surface and underground, hostile mobs won’t spawn in it. Obviously this means it’s largely safe to work at any hour, day or night, when living in the fungal domain. In a broad sense that’s all the possible biomes in the game, some of their nuances, and how there’s a bit of overlap between them.

However, there’s an extra extraneous feature that pertains to biomes, trading, non-player characters, and the villages they live in. Across all of Minecraft there are three biomes where villages will spawn plains, savannah, and desert. These hamlets are the only locations where villages will be found, and the size of these towns can vary greatly. If the settlement is large enough it may also be defended by an iron golem. If a town contains no less than ten villagers and twenty houses with wooden doors, there’s a chance a golem will naturally spawn to protect them. Additionally iron golems can be built by placing four iron blocks in a T shape and a pumpkin on top. Now the reason villages are worth an iron golem, espicaly if you make one for them yourself which is by no means cheap to do, is because they function as traders or merchants.

There are a variety of villagers or testificates that can spawn including farmers, butchers, smiths, librarians, and priests. Each different type of testificate offers different types of trade deals, such as a butcher offering raw meat, or librarians trading books and paper. What they want in trade for their goods are emeralds, a particularly rare gem that can only be mined in very limited quantity from modest heights in mountainious regions. Because emeralds are rare and villagers use them as currency buying supplies off testificates has very limited value. However, villagers will also pay in emeralds for certain supplies. The deals they offer are random though, and what they will buy and trade changes periodically. The reason jumping through all the hoops can be worth the time is because emeralds, when crafted into blocks, serve one other purpose beyond currency. They can be used to build a pyramid of which a beacon can be placed atop. A Beacon is a very powerful endgame block, and it’s purpose is covered fully in a later video. For now though keep in mind that emerald, having little practical use, is one of the best items to use in combination with a beacon.

That and who doesn’t want more money. The worlds in minecraft are like an incredible canvas, and with all the biomes and possible landscapes that can generate, it means that starting over never means staring with nothing. The journey across blockey vistas has only just begun though, so stay tuned because next time staying alive and not starving is the subject of focus. Until next time I’m William Strife of the Yogscast, and a Minecraft expect I’ll see ya later..

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