Introduction to Minecraft Builds
Minecraft is an incredible open-world game where you’re rewarded for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. On the surface, it may seem like a simple, blocky survival game where you must explore the world around you to upgrade your gear and beat the Ender Dragon in order to finish the linear storyline… but any of you who might have played Minecraft for a few months, or even years, will know that the game is far, far more than that. In the infinite world of Minecraft, you’re able to explore beautiful landscapes, venture into dangerous dungeons and mineshafts, tame animal companions to join you on your adventures, farm to your heart’s content in a little valley, and defeat terrifying monsters.
And all that’s all just vanilla survival! If we take into account the multitude of fan-made content, such as adventure maps, survival spawns, mashup packs, Minecraft servers, plugins and mods, Minecraft truly lives up to its name as a game that can be played for infinite hours without getting bored. One massive part of Minecraft as well, however, and an aspect of it that many, many players tout as their favorite part of the game, is the building aspect.
Inarguably, having good Minecraft building skills can help you enjoy the game more. While you can certainly enjoy vanilla survival in a 2×2 dirt house, it’s a whole new level of fun when you’re able to build a little cottage, or even a massive mansion, as a home base for you and your friends to live, sleep, farm and rest in. It’s also so satisfying to be the designated builder of your friend group, and being able to design and create a lovely place for your friends to share in your adventures together! But it’s easier said than done, and while building may come naturally to some players, it can be really, really hard for others to produce something aesthetically pleasing without losing all your brain cells. So today, we have some tips and tricks to learn about building in Minecraft, and hopefully, by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll be prepared to take on your next building project!
Do note that as with all our Everything to Know About Minecraft Building guides, these are targeted towards players who are looking to learn the basics! We won’t be able to get too far into things in the span of a single article, so while we’ll be producing more in-depth and specific topical articles in the future, this is a very brief and general guide to the aspects of building in Minecraft. If you are already a talented builder selling your builds on the marketplace, or building for professional teams, this guide probably won’t be of the most help to you. We’d love to hear suggestions from you if so, however!
Things to Avoid When Building
Before we get into the nitty gritty of Minecraft architecture, let’s lay down some ground rules, bad practices and general things that you should absolutely try to steer clear of, in order to avoid building structures that look boring and uninteresting. Of course, as with all the “rules” in this guide, these are not hard rules and there are always exceptions to their effectiveness. However, these are general rule of thumb guidelines that will serve you well in most situations.
The first rule of thumb that we highly recommend is to avoid building square buildings! This doesn’t mean to avoid squares entirely (we are still playing Minecraft, after all…!), but we’d definitely say that varying the shapes of your buildings produces more aesthetically pleasing builds. Buildings have chimneys, tend to have divots and varying shapes! No matter how detailed the inside of your base is, if the outside is just a solid box, your hard work won’t be reflected at all and will go a little wasted, since the outside is the first thing that most people will see and form first impressions on.
In all, it also makes your build look extremely simple and as though you didn’t put too much time, effort or research into it, which is most certainly not true, if you’re looking up guides like this one to improve your building!
On a similar note as the tip above this one, another surefire way to ensure that people think your build looks simple or as though you didn’t put much time into it is to overuse a certain material. Even if you’re set on making, say, a wooden mansion, throw in different kinds of wood (tastefully, of course, without making a patchwork of random woods) as trims and borders! Use a stone brick or log trim for edges of your walls, pillars, etc!
If there’s one thing worse than a solid box house build, it’s a solid box house build made entirely of the same material…
Start with the Floor
This one is a controversial one, and if you’ve discovered a better way of building that you’re more comfortable with, definitely go with that! However, it may be easiest (especially in survival) to start from the bottom up by outlining and digging out the area of your build starting from the floors. We hope that it goes without saying that your floor should contrast nicely (i.e. not the same block; see the tip above) with the walls and other parts of the house.
And of course, please, please have a floor! Having a grass or dirt floor (with the exception that you’re going for a farm or ranch or something) makes your build look much less professional, and makes your house feel less developed and more like a quickly – built shed.
90 Degree Windows
When you’re putting in windows for your build — which you definitely should, unless you’re building a prison — try to avoid placing them right smack in the corners. After all, think about it, when is the last time you’ve seen a house in real life with a 90 degree window?
Of course, there are, again, some exceptions when this rule doesn’t apply as much. Certain examples that come to mind are skyscrapers, or if you’re trying to make huge panoramic windows. Most of the time in your houses and mansions, however, it’s best to avoid making these corner windows.
Using Too Many “Bling” Blocks
Sometimes, especially if you play a lot of survival or are currently playing survival, when it comes to the use of more expensive blocks, people might tend to get carried away in their use. Unfortunately, while showing off your riches is absolutely valid, incorporating it into your build can make your builds look tacky. Most valuable blocks, namely gold, diamond, emerald don’t fit well into builds — especially when you make entire walls, floors, rooms or large surfaces out of them. Tons of players tend to make the mistake of “fancy blocks equals good build”, but these super saturated, bordered blocks can completely overwhelm your build with color and noise.
If you absolutely have to use these blocks in your builds, you’ll definitely want to use them sparingly and mostly for trims, borders, designs and decorations in small amounts. Even better, make a treasure room in your castle or mansion, or a vault under an unassuming small wooden house to hide your gold and diamonds in! That way, it’s part of the build and you can add as many valuable blocks as you want to your heart’s content without it seeming too overbearing.
Anyone who has played Minecraft before will know the importance of lighting up your base if you don’t want to find a zombie — or worse, a creeper! — chilling in your home when you come back after a long adventure. Torches are invaluable parts of any Minecraft player’s survival experience (and of lots of medieval or fantasy builds), but in certain builds, you definitely want to avoid overusing torches. Lighting is very, very important when building — not just for aesthetics but also for functionality!
This is because good lighting (especially when you’re using shaders to take pictures, though you want to read the next point to be careful with it) can really make a difference in the appearance of your builds. Plus, people can’t enjoy your builds when they can’t see more than one feet in front of them, or if there’s a skeleton chasing them down. One rookie mistake, however, is using waaaay too many torches to light up various places. Not only does this look messy and overcrowded, it’s also a waste of resources if you’re playing in survival. Using light blocks hidden under carpets, lamps, or even tasteful anvil and torches in item frames would work much, much better.
Using Shaders or Resource Packs
This isn’t really a pitfall trap, but something that you’ll need to make sure you take note of, especially if you’re building something that other people will be able to see. When building, it’s very easy and tempting to use shaders or a resource pack of sorts — after all, if you’re going to be staring at a build for hours and hours on end, why not view it through the prettiest lenses possible?
The important thing to note here is that other people may not be using the same shaders and resource packs as you are. So something that looks absolutely gorgeous in your textures and shaders… might look pretty dang horrible in the vanilla resource pack. When building something, always assume that other people will be viewing it through the vanilla textures and make sure that your build looks decent, if not optimized, in that resource pack. The Team Visionary Minecraft Skin editor resources are also available to review on our website.
Hopefully, these tips are able to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes that new players make when they are building. Even if you don’t end up finishing this guide to the end and stop reading right here, just simply avoiding these simple pitfall traps will bring about huge improvements to your builds. If you’ve already been avoiding these mistakes, then congratulations! You’re probably a much better builder than you might have originally thought. Give yourself a pat on the back! 🙂
Staring Off Simple – Building A House
So now that we have covered the don’ts, let’s start talking about the do’s! To make this a friendly guide for players of all experience levels, let’s start with a simple build: a house. Making a house in Minecraft seems simple enough, but it really can be no easy task, especially if you are trying to build it in an aesthetically pleasing manner. In this section, we’ll go over all the steps you’ll need to take in order to end up with a house that you can be proud of. Take a look at some of our other guides with the Team Visionary Minecraft house building tips area.
Of course, the steps in this list can be kept in mind for any kind of build, not just houses, but we’re focusing on houses just to keep things a little simpler for beginners.
Picking a Theme / Style
Well before you start building anything at all you first need to have a plan or an idea in your head of what you are aiming to build, so to start off pick what kinda theme you want your house to be and from that theme you can select what blocks you will be using to match that theme.
Here are some of the most common themes that are used throughout various builds in Minecraft. Firstly, we have the Medieval theme. This theme is one of the most used architectural styles in Minecraft, it comes from the time period between 476 and 1500. If you are planning to use this theme be prepared to use lots of wood, stone, stained glass, and with roofs of varying colours.
Next up we have the colonial theme, this is from around 1600-1700. This theme mostly uses either brick or wood, which would usually depend on whatever was most abundant in the area. Houses using wood can come painted in just about any colour though reds, whites, yellows, and blues are the most common.The houses are fairly simple, a rectangular prism with some windows and basic add-ons.
The Victorian style is another popular theme used in many builds. It comes from England around the late 1800’s; during that time, most buildings were made of mass produced bricks and more often than not looked very similar. This type of theme is very symmetrical and looks great on flat terrain.
Modern houses and mansions have had a huge rise in popularity a few years ago (both in real life and in Minecraft) and even to this day they are still decently popular! Most of these houses are made with several overlapping rectangular shapes, lots of massive windows and offer a lot more open area, overall embracing the minimalistic side of things.
Lastly we have the futuristic theme, This style has sleek – looking, space age buildings and often includes a spaceship. Buildings built in this style mostly utilize a lot of glass paired with concrete and terracotta. This style typically uses lighter and brighter colours.
Starting the Build
Now that you have decided on a style you are aiming for and what blocks you will be using, we can finally start on making your brand new house. Though we previously mentioned that you shouldn’t make a square house, your first house will start off as just that. Think of it as something similar to drawing or art. When you start drawing something, you first need to make the rough outline and then come back and add more detail to finish up. We’ll be doing something similar here, but instead, with a house in Minecraft.
Firstly, you’ll need to lay out the base of the house. You always want to do this by making the floor of the house first, so you can physically see how big everything will feel, as well as so that you can move around and see if what you had in mind is what you’ve created before you. It’s also easier to do this than doing the walls first — this is because it’ll be much, much easier to expand if you end up deciding that you need to change the size of the house to be bigger or smaller than your initial outline. You’ll just add more floor or break some off, in this case, respectively. However, if you do the walls first during the outlining process, you’ll need to do a lot more work to expand or contract your build.
After you’ve placed your floors, you can start working on the walls. Depending on what style you are going for, you’ll be doing this phase differently; for example, if you are making a medieval house, you’ll want to use wooden logs on the corners of the house and then stone or wood planks for the rest of the walls; whereas to if you were making a modern house, you’d want to use concrete whilst leaving more room for windows and openings to provide more of a open concept feeling. That brings us to our next point: while making the walls you will want to keep an eye out for where you want to place windows/doors and appropriately leave room for those. Try to keep windows symmetrical or centered, unless, of course, you’re intentionally not doing so for aesthetics.
Also, at this point, if you are unsure as to what exactly will be on the inside of the house, you can leave it empty for now and come back to it after you are constructing the exterior “box” and walls of your house.
Finally, to complete the basic skeleton of your house, we’ll need a roof, and this will again largely depend on the theme of your house. Though there are two main styles of roofs, for more of a modern or futuristic look, you will want to opt for a flat roof or maybe even a terrace. For any other sort of house, you can go for a traditional sloped house roof with stairs, bricks or slabs, depending on your taste.
And just like that, you are all done with making your house — well, at least the functional part of it. Next comes the more intimidating, but also more satisfying part: adding all the fun details, both on the exterior and interior!
Adding Details to the Exterior
Now that we have a finished layout, we can start putting in work to make the house more aesthetically pleasing. This is where you can get creative and add whatever feels right; but if you haven’t built many things before, it might get a little hard deciding if something fits the theme of the house, or even coming up with stuff to add. So for the next part of this article, we’ll be covering some design ideas to spice up your builds.
Before we start listing out furniture ideas, we’re going to talk a little bit about the stairs block. The stairs block is probably one of the most used blocks, right beside slabs, when it comes to making aesthetically pleasing builds. This is thanks to the unique way it interacts with other blocks while being placed. Stairs are very versatile and can be placed in multiple ways; you could place them normally for a normal downwards slope, but you could also place them upside down and in several different directions, wherein it’ll start merging with other stair blocks in unique ways. This ,combined with slabs, really opens up a lot of doorways to get super creative.
So now let’s see how exactly slabs and stairs can make your build more aesthetic, aside from using stairs as a roof. First up we have an archway. They are pretty simple to make and consist of full blocks on the sides and 4 stairs on top that are flipped backwards. Here’s a picture for a clearer depiction:
As you can see from the image, you can also get creative and use multiple layers of stairs and slabs to create even more intricate arches. These arches can be placed anywhere and are typically great to place near doorways, or if you have a balcony, on the upper floors.
Next up is a simple design that can really help you make your houses feel more alive and lush. You can surround grass blocks with trapdoors and put flowers on the grass, giving you some lovely green makeshift planters. These planters are great to place inside the house or hang them outside your windows.
Additionally, you could also put trapdoors beside windows so that it looks like the windows actually open outwards, giving a little intractability to your build, which is always great.
Lastly, as you can see from the picture above, it’s very easy to add protruding logs from corners of your build or from wherever it looks right, to enhance the 3D effect on your house build — avoiding the pitfall trap of making a perfectly square or rectangular house.
Adding Rooms and Interior Decorating
After you’re done tinkering with your outdoor designs, you can finally start to finish the inside of your house. The inside of your house is just as important as the outside, after all, while the outside is the first impression and all for show to impress other people, the inside is the part that you’ll truly be using the most. That being said, you should still put most of your focus on creating a functional yet elegant interior for your home.
First, you’ll need to mark out where you want your important rooms, such as kitchen, bedroom, living room etc. You should, of course, already have a rough idea for this when you start outlining your house, but it’s always okay to move stuff around as long as you haven’t already started building the rooms. Why not take a look at some of the Team Visionary Minecraft Fantasy Skins for some inspiration to add to your game.
After you’ve decided which rooms you want and where they will fit, you can start to decorate your house with furniture. However, there is only one problem: Minecraft doesn’t offer that much furniture. The solution to this is pretty simple but also requires you to think outside the box just a tad. Let’s go through the most common rooms in a house and list out how you can make specific furniture by repurposing certain common Minecraft blocks! There are also tons of helpful tips and tricks you can use
Starting with the kitchen — if you want to liven up your kitchen, you only need a few simple blocks. For example, to build a dining table, you can use fence posts and put the carpet over the posts, and this will give you a makeshift dining table.
For the chairs, you can do just about the same thing but try using a single iron fence and put a carpet on it for a lovely little kitchen stool. Similarly, for the fridge you can simply put two doors beside each other to create the effect of fridge doors.
Minecraft already offer some functional furniture for the kitchen like the cauldron and a furnace, but to take those to another level, you can use a cauldron as a sink and place a iron trapdoor on top of a furnace to make it look like the furnace has 4 burners on top of it!
Next you can start furnishing the other rooms in the house. You can start making chairs for the other rooms by placing stairs and putting woodsign on either side to make a chair with armrests. You can also make a fireplace with cobblestone and iron fence. If you want to add sofas to your living room, you can also make a U shape with wool and then add slabs in the middle like this:
There are tons of ways to mix and match the current Minecraft blocks in order to create whatever furniture you want! All it takes is a little bit of time and patience to get it down the first time; but after you do get the hang of it, you’ll never have to look back at having an empty house with no furniture again.