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A Parent's Guide To Talking About Minecraft: Minecraft Tools and Weapons

This lesson is a part of an audio course A Parent's Guide To Talking About Minecraft by Nathan Nance

In our last lesson, we discussed the different types of Minecraft mobs and how they interact with your child’s character.

In today’s lesson, we will talk more about how tools and weapons can be used in a Minecraft world to gather blocks, defend against attack, and improve your child’s overall game experience.

Minecraft Tools can be stored in a character’s portable Inventory or in Chest. Unlike blocks, tools cannot be stacked. This means that only one tool can be stored in a single compartment of Inventory or a Chest. The only exception is clocks, cloth, and empty buckets.

Tools and weapons can be obtained in the following three ways:

  1. First, by crafting tools on a crafting table.
  2. Second, by killing a mob that was carrying a tool or weapon.
  3. And third, by upgrading a diamond tool to a netherite tool.

When a player starts a new Minecraft world in Survival mode, the only tool provided is the character’s bare hands. During those early moments of the game, the gathering of resources is time-consuming.

I would advise players to find a forest and cut down trees. Tree blocks can be turned into wood planks and wood planks can be turned into sticks. Both are needed to make the following:

  • a wooden axe (used for cutting down trees)
  • a wooden pickaxe (used for digging stone or other deep earth resources)
  • a wooden shovel (used for destroying dirt, sand, and gravel blocks)
  • a wooden hoe (required to plant seeds)
  • or a wooden sword (used to attack mobs)

Wooden tools are the easiest tools to create in the early stages of a game, but a player should quickly turn his or her attention to crafting stone tools – a more durable and powerful tool.

Crafting is the process of making tools, weapons, and other engineered blocks. Each crafting recipe states the blocks or items that are needed and in which order those blocks or items must be placed to achieve the desired result.

A player can only craft a limited number of items without a crafting table - only recipes that are 2 blocks x 2 blocks. Fortunately, a crafting table only requires 4 wood planks. Once a crafting table has been built, a player can craft 3 block x 3 block recipes, which is a requirement for most tools and weapons.

With experience, a player will likely memorize simple recipes, but an in-game recipe book is available at a crafting table if needed.

Tools like shovels, axes, and pickaxes are essential for gathering resources. But a player would be ill equipped without a sword and armor, especially in the higher difficulty levels of Survival mode.

A sword can be easily crafted in the early part of any Minecraft game. As additional resources are gathered a player should consider upgrading from wood to stone, from stone to iron, and from iron to diamond.

Although more complicated to craft, a bow or crossbow can provide long-range attack abilities.

In addition to taking the offensive, players can protect themselves by crafting armor such as a helmet, chest plate, leggings, and boots.

Stronger materials, such as iron and diamonds, increase the attack ability of swords and the durability of armor. Durability is a concern with tools as well. The more a tool is used, the more quickly it will become broken.

Wooden tools and weapons break the quickest, while stone and iron tools offer increased durability. Diamond is the strongest, most durable non-nether resource available in Minecraft.

Any tool, weapon, or piece of armor that has been dropped by a killed mob can also be picked up and later used by a player. This might be an easy way to obtain tools and weapons, but remember that when you attacked the a, you may have decreased the durability of that mob’s weapon or piece of armor.

Upgrading a diamond tool to a netherite tool is the third way to obtain tools. This method of obtaining tools is very complex and falls outside of the scope of this course.

Today’s Takeaway: What tools do your children use most?

A properly filled tool belt is essential to an enjoyable Minecraft game experience. The same is true for your communication tool belt with your child. Be sure to ask your children the following questions.

Question #1 – Has one of your tools ever broken?

Question #2 – Which material appears to be the strongest?

Questions #3 – What type of material kills mobs the quickest?

In our last lesson, we will review key points from our prior six lessons and quickly highlight some Minecraft topics that might come up during advanced gameplay.

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Written by

Nathan Nance