5 Most Important Starting Items in Minecraft

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When starting out in Minecraft, whether in hardcore or survival mode, having the right starting items can make a significant difference. In hardcore mode, where survival is more challenging, prioritizing defense is essential. A shield can be a lifesaver, offering protection against hostile mobs and projectiles.

Additionally, a fishing rod can provide a reliable source of food in the early game. On the other hand, in regular survival mode, a composter can be valuable for creating bone meal and enriching your crops.

These five items we have listed make the entire process of surviving and thriving in Minecraft easier. And, the best thing is that they are useful of virtually all of the best Minecraft servers.

Hardcore vs. Survival Starting Items

The biggest difference between regular survival and hardcore is what you are focusing on. In regular survival, your main goal is to create an efficient home base. And, once you have decided on the region where you would play and placed your bed, you can take on a lot more risk.

For hardcore Minecraft, that is not the case. Your primary goal is not to perish and delete the entire world in the process. Having a bed is not nearly as important when there is no re-spawning. Individual defense such as good armor and a spare shield could be the most important items when playing this mode.

#1 Shield

A Minecraft shield is a defensive item that players can use to block incoming attacks from enemies. It is crafted from one iron ingot and six planks of wood. When equipped, the shield can be raised by right-clicking, providing a solid barrier against arrows, projectiles, and melee attacks.

Because skeleton archers became much more effective in the last few updates, this is now an essential starting item to venture out with a shield. For most players, this item should be made with the very first piece of iron you smelt.

#2 Fishing Rod

A Minecraft fishing rod is a tool used for catching fish and other items from bodies of water. It is crafted using three sticks and two pieces of string. When equipped, the fishing rod can be cast into water by right-clicking, which then displays a bobber.

What you can expect to “catch” depends on the size of the body of water, but there is a chance to find some advanced items rather quickly. It is also one of the safest and fastest sources of food that you can catch virtually anywhere.

Especially if you are traveling and don’t want to carry a lot of food with you, having a rod that would catch a few fish that you can quickly prepare and eat might be the best possible solution.

#3 Composter

A Minecraft composter is a block used for converting organic materials into bone meal, which can be used as a fertilizer for crops. These early crops are the starting item you really want.

It is crafted using seven wooden slabs. Players can add various types of organic items, such as seeds, plants, and food, into the composter.

Having a composter isn’t as necessary in hardcore. But, if you are playing regular survival you will want to make bone meal while you mine or build, as then it can be used for your crops and trees.

For many game modes such as Skyblock, or the increasingly popular island seeds, having a composter is more or less essential.

#4 Flint and Steel

In Minecraft, Flint and Steel is a tool used to light fires. It is crafted using one flint and one iron ingot. When equipped, players can use Flint and Steel to ignite flammable blocks, such as wood, wool, and netherrack, by right-clicking on the surface.

This not only provides a convenient way to light up dark areas but also serves practical purposes, such as setting controlled fires for cooking, creating light sources, or triggering explosive reactions.

Just make sure not to start a forest fire the first time you see a spider in the trees.

#5 Apple

In Minecraft, an apple is a type of food item that can be obtained by breaking leaves on trees or trading with villagers. When eaten, it restores 4 hunger points, making it a convenient and easily accessible source of food early in the game.

Not only are they a cheap and effective byproduct of cutting down trees, but holding onto this starting item makes one of the most important mid-game items, the golden apple. Not only is that the best healing item in the mid game, but can also help you tame a horse if you want to pass vast distances quickly.

Collecting apples early will not only bring you a nutritious meal when traveling and exploring, but can prepare you for the point just before you start hunting for Blaze and get healing potions.

Prepare for Endgame Items

As you progress in Minecraft, it’s important to start preparing for endgame items. This includes acquiring resources for building more advanced tools and equipment, such as diamond armor and enchanted gear. Exploring caves, mining for resources, and establishing efficient farms can contribute to your long-term success in the game.

Knowing which starter items you need is essential if you want to avoid backtracking. If you are always good with safety, food, and transportation you can always go forward and not waste time.

Take Time to Explore

I also fall into the trap of staying in one place for too long once I find a good base location. While it is safer to stay in one secure location, this will also reduce how much you enjoy the game.

Once you have your starter items, give yourself an opportunity to explore some of the generated structures, find villages, and destroy mobs. Even if you are playing Hardcore, it’s better to gamble your progress in the very beginning than to lose your life after days of building your world.


Starting out in Minecraft involves strategic decision-making when it comes to the items you prioritize. Whether you’re playing hardcore mode with an emphasis on survival, or regular mode with opportunities for creativity and adventure, understanding the importance of essential starting items can greatly enhance your gameplay experience.

If you like our list, or would like to discuss your early game starting items, contact us on our Discord.


Q: How do I tame a wolf in Minecraft?

A: To tame a wolf in Minecraft, you can give it bones. Keep offering bones to the wolf until it displays heart symbols, indicating that it has been tamed.

Q: How do I find iron in Minecraft?

A: Iron ore can be found in underground caves and ravines. It typically appears in veins and requires a stone pickaxe or better to mine.

Q: How to make charcoal in Minecraft?

A: Charcoal can be crafted by smelting wood logs in a furnace. Place the logs in the top slot of the furnace and a fuel source (e.g., wood, planks) in the bottom slot to create charcoal.

Q: What is the fastest way to find diamonds in Minecraft?

A: The fastest way to find diamonds in Minecraft is to mine at lower levels (y-coordinate 11 or lower) where diamonds are most common. Additionally, using enchantments such as Fortune on a diamond pickaxe can increase the yield when mining diamonds.

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