How to build a Minecraft house to stay safe from mobs

minecraft house ideas design
(Image credit: Mojang)

Building a Minecraft house will be one of your first objectives when starting a survival game, but there’s lots to consider when constructing a home, including whether you should make it above or below ground level. Do you want an impenetrable, subterranean bunker, perfect for storing mining hauls or a beautifully crafted house that uses different blocks and materials creatively? Both approaches have obvious benefits, but there are also some downsides to consider too. There are also plenty of broad tips for general Minecraft home construction, from planning your build to torch placement. We've laid out some basic construction tips and advice for anybody looking to build a Minecraft house above or below ground.

Essential Minecraft house tips

While there are many approaches you could take to building your Minecraft house, these tips are universally useful and you should definitely keep them in mind:

  1. Start with the essentials: Begin with a simple hut or hole to serve as your makeshift home filled with your essentials – a crafting table, a furnace, a double chest.
  2. Craft or find a bed and sleep in it: Collect wool from any sheep you find (using sheers is much more effective than killing them) and combine it with wooden planks to create a bed. Alternatively, if you find a village, you can steal a bed for yourself. Once you’ve placed your bed in your house, sleep in it to set your spawn point in the world and use it to sleep through the night.
  3. Use the environment: When creating your Minecraft home, you’ll want to consider your approach based on what biomes are immediately available to you. There’s no point aiming to make a jungle wood house when there are no jungles for thousands of blocks, so stick to readily available resources. Similarly, if don’t want to affect the terrain too much by building an elaborate house, an underground home might be a better option.
  4. Plan your Minecraft house: Whether it’s a basic mental plan or a detailed schematic, it’s important that you have some kind of plan for your house. Most importantly, you’ll want to consider the size, layout, and materials that your house will require. If you start small, make sure that you’re able to easily expand your house too as you inevitably hoard lots of resources.
  5. Place lots of torches in and around your house: Keeping your general area lit up will prevent monsters from spawning so you’re less likely to be attacked (and you’ll be able to see in the dark!). This is especially important if you haven’t been able to craft a bed yet and night is approaching.

Minecraft house tips for surface homes

Building a ground-level house in Minecraft will allow you to flex more of your creative skills as there’s plenty of scope to build some truly impressive structures. However, there are plenty of other considerations you’ll need to make if you want your house to be functional as well as nice to look at:

How to build a Minecraft House

(Image credit: Mojang)
  1. Be ready to expand: When planning your above-ground Minecraft house, you need to make sure you build your first version to an adequate size. A small house will quickly become a hindrance as you run out of space for chests to store items, but building a massive house isn’t always a good idea either. Start with a smaller house and then be prepared to extend it with additional rooms, or even entire floors. Keeping the area around your house flat will also really help.
  2. Build a basement: To alleviate storage issues, consider digging out a basement under your house to store additional chests. Ground-level houses will take a lot of materials to build so you’ll need to store them somewhere. A basement can also act as a temporary home while you build your cosy cottage or extravagant manor on the surface.
  3. Consider your building materials: Stick to building materials that are easy to get when starting your house. Stone that can be easily mined or trees that can be quickly chopped down and replanted are good materials to start with. There are also so many types of wood and stone that you can create lots of visual variety too. Be aware that some materials are also more resistant to hazards. For example, stone isn’t flammable and is more resistant to explosions that wood – if you’re making a house out of more fragile materials, keeping mobs away will be extremely important.
  4. Use fences to protect your house: As well as copious torches, fences will add another line of defense for your home and prevent mobs from getting too close. Lure animals such as cows and sheep into your fence and you’ve got the beginnings of a farm too!
  5. Make a good roof: While not critical to the functions of your house, we reckon that a roof can really make or break the look of house. You can use stair blocks to create a simple, angled roof or mix in regular blocks to create curves. Don’t just make it a flat roof!

Minecraft house tips for underground homes

Best Minecraft Texture Packs

Best minecraft texture packs

(Image credit: Microsoft/Thistlepack)

Give your house a makeover with the best Minecraft texture packs

Constructing an underground home in Minecraft has its pros as they’re relatively easy to build, quite safe, and you can easily access a mine to get more resources, although you might be sacrificing style for practicality here. There are a few limitations and things to be aware of when planning and excavating your underground home from spending lots of time digging and getting through pickaxes to the dangers of digging down or venturing above ground:

How to build a Minecraft House

(Image credit: Mojang)
  1. Dig into a hill if possible: Digging horizontally into a hill to create a Hobbit-hole house means you’ll use the shape of the hill to do the work for you, providing walls and a roof right away.
  2. Take care when digging down: If you plan on making a home fully underground, you’ll need to dig quite far down to ensure you have plenty of space to build. Take care when mining downwards and look out for caves, ravines, and other deadly drops.
  3. Craft lots of pickaxes: Because you’ll spend most of your time mining underground to make your rooms, you’ll rapidly chew through pickaxes, so make sure you craft stone pickaxes in bulk or get enough iron ASAP to make a few iron pickaxes.
  4. Place loads of torches: Keeping things well-lit is especially important for underground homes as you won’t have any natural light to help you out. Torches need to go everywhere, especially near entrances and exits to keep monsters away.
  5. Make your house visible above ground: Creating a hidden, subterranean mining bunker is all well and good until you venture around on the surface and then can’t find your house – obviously you could use some Minecraft cheats to teleport around or just log your coordinates – but either way, you should make sure you have some kind of surface structure that marks your house. Something that produces lots of light will deter monster spawns and will improve night-time visibility too.

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Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 500 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.

With contributions from