Minecraft has a lot of items. About 300 now. And while there are some duds – The infamous “minecart with furnace” being a particularly noteworthy dud—there are also many items that are both universal to all versions of the game and universally useful as a whole to both new and old players alike.
These items shine and stand out from the pack, and are often priorities for anyone starting a new world, whether for survival, convenience, or aesthetics. These items aren’t always hard to craft, some being downright simple, but a handful are well known for causing countless players to look up “how do I craft it again?” time and time again.
10 Spyglasses Provide A Whole New View
Made from two copper ingots and an amethyst shard, a spyglass does require some setup before the player can craft one. However, requiring, at minimum, a hearty stock of stone picks and a significant time spent exploring, it may well be better to work on more pressing survival needs first.
Once the player has located an amethyst geode – Which spawns deep underground, surrounded by a layer of smooth basalt – they should be careful not to break any of the valuable budding amethyst blocks within it, as they will slowly grow new clusters that can either be broken or silk-touched for decorative use.
9 Label Or Decorate With Item Frames
The item frame and its glowing counterpart can be convenient for decoration and more practical uses. For example, they are a great way to label levers or chests in place of signs – a wall-sized map can make planning navigation much more accessible, especially in multiplayer.
The basic item frame calls for eight sticks and a piece of leather, the latter easily obtainable once the player has access to wheat. But the glowing variant is slightly more complex, adding in the ink sac of an underground dwelling glow squid in order to work its magic.
8 Looms Unlock A World Of Color
The loom is deceptively simple to craft, requiring only two strings and two of any planks. Once obtained, a veritable world of color awaits anyone who dives into the depths of the banner system. While purely decorative, the customization possible is downright astonishing and remarkably deep.
Banners are a tad more expensive, calling for six blocks of wool atop a stick, with their base color matching the wool used. From there, up to six layers of color can be applied in various patterns ranging from basic shapes to icons like flowers, creepers, and even the Mojang logo.
7 Campfire Cooking Is Great For The Early Game
After finding some form of basic shelter, one of the first tasks that players face is food. While it is possible to eat raw meat or even scavenge for berries if lucky enough to spawn near a taiga, the ability to cook will prove vital to progressing in the game.
Given this, many players immediately lean toward a furnace, using it for cooking food en masse once they have the infrastructure. An alternative does exist, though; the campfire, offering infinite cooking and a smoke signal for the low cost of three logs, three sticks, and a single piece of coal.
6 Ascend Anywhere With Ladders
The ladder is one of the simplest items to craft in Minecraft, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. For the cost of seven sticks, the player can get not only one of the most efficient ways to get up or down a structure, but also a handy way to escape pits.
Anyone using them should be aware of a few quirks: the top and bottommost blocks can be left empty, and the tops of ladders can be stood on and traversed like a solid – if very thin – block, allowing a horizontal row of ladders to serve as an impromptu bridge.
5 Honey Blocks Are Very, Very Sticky
Due to the difficulty in herding bees – a task not much easier than in real life – many players overlook honey and wax as resources. Useful as a foodstuff and for candles, both can be converted into solid building blocks. While wax is merely decorative, honey blocks have special uses.
Made with four bottles of honey, a honey block slows the movement of anything pressed against it while also taking up a smidgen less than a full block, making them useful both for parkour and as a component in elevators. Pistons will also push blocks stuck to honey, widening the uses further.
4 Powered Rails Equal Speedy Transport
While basic rails are useful, there’s only so much they can do, relying on gravity and the somewhat archaic “minecart with furnace” to move things around. So the easiest, and generally most effective upgrade is the powered rail, not only speeding up carts but also allowing them to go uphill.
Crafted from six gold ingots, a piece of redstone dust, and a stick, getting started with powered rails may take some time, but the recipe does produce six as a time to make up for the expense. Powered rails can also be turned off, slowing down or stopping minecarts if needed.
3 Bring A Map To Never Get Lost
Outside of the Nether or The End, there’s never a reason not to carry a map when exploring. Showing a bird’s eye view of the landscape, they not only can provide insight as to the immediate area, but also serve as a compass back if the player wanders out of range.
Maps are somewhat complex to craft, requiring eight pieces of paper and a compass, which itself uses iron redstone. The result is worth the materials, though, and can be expanded on a cartography table up to a massive 2048×2048 area, though at that point, fine details may become hard to see.
2 Lightning Rods Protect Important Structures
The lightning rod is a relatively unsung and unassuming item. Made simply from three copper ingots, they are cheap to make, but can save entire builds from destruction. As the name implies, they attract lightning, taking hits that otherwise might hit trees or buildings and redirecting somewhere safer.
That said, anyone building with light rods should be careful where they place them. They generate a brief but potent redstone signal, potentially activating any nearby wiring the player may have laid out. However, this can also be used to add atmospheric flickering lights to a haunted house.
1 Light Up The Night Or Fly The Skies With Fireworks
A frequent victim of player forgetfulness, the recipe for fireworks is deceptively simple; a piece of paper, and a unit of gun powder. But that’s just for a player seeking the utmost minimum. The more gunpowder added, the longer the flight duration, and the addition of a firework star is needed for any explosions.
Once made, a firework rocket has several uses. Not only are they nice to sit back and watch, but they can also be loaded into a crossbow for a devastating attack or used to fuel the flight of an elytra, allowing the wearer to fly almost infinitely.
NEXT: Minecraft: 10 Best Passive Mobs