Uncover The 30 Best Things to Build in Minecraft Survival
This post was last updated on May 1, 2023
If you’re looking for some Minecraft-building ideas, this is the guide for you. In this article, you’ll find a bunch of cool things to build in Minecraft. Whether it’s in a brand new Minecraft world or a long-running survival mode Minecraft server in the later stages – this list will get your creative juices flowing!
Building in survival worlds takes much more effort compared to creative mode – mostly because you have to manually gather all the building materials (unless you’re using cheats…)
Some of these ideas will help you to farm valuable resources with ease too – it’s not all aesthetics, we’ve included a bunch of highly functional Minecraft builds that make life easier in your survival world. Get ready to build some cool things!
The Best Things To Build in Minecraft Survival
Here you go: all the best things to build in survival Minecraft. We recommend starting with the items toward the top of the list as these are more functional than aesthetic.
We’ve included a bunch of things that are super useful to have in your survival world. They help to make life easier in general, but there are also a bunch of things that help you to farm items at rapid rates.
1. Storage Rooms in Survival Minecraft
The first Minecraft building idea you should build is a storage room. Your inventory quickly fills up in Minecraft, so having a bunch of storage chests is essential.
We recommend building large storage rooms that have plenty of space for chests. The more chests you have, the more stuff you can store!
It’s not only important to store precious items like gold, diamond, and iron, but you should also think about having room for standard materials like wood and cobblestone.
We also recommend making a bunch of signs so you can label and organize your chests effectively. There’s nothing worse than hunting through all your chests for one item you need because your organization is a mess.
The way you sort things in your storage room is up to you, but separating chests in a system like the following is a good place to start:
- Precious materials (coal, iron, gold, diamonds, and other rare stuff).
- Food and farming materials
- Other building materials
Check out this tutorial for tips, it even has an automatic sorting system!
Minecraft Storage Room with Automatic Sorting System – 2 Million Item Capacity
2. A Crafting Room Minecraft Building Idea
The second thing you should consider building is a crafting room. This should be a room with all the important crafting blocks in one place. This just makes it quicker and easier to build other stuff. You could separate it into crafting benches, and a couple of furnaces. Having a bunch of furnaces in this room is better than one, as you can smelt ores in bulk.
Things to put in your crafting room include:
- Crafting benches
- Smithing Table
- Cartography table
You could include some of the brewing gear, but we recommend building a separate brewing room and stashing it all in there.
3. Library Building Ideas
A library is more than just a cool place to hang out, in Minecraft, bookshelves actually have a purpose. The more bookshelves you have around your enchanting table, the higher levels of enchantments you will be able to access.
The maximum number of bookshelves you need around your enchanting table is 15, but it doesn’t hurt to have more if you want them there for looks.
A library should be the hub of your enchantment sessions. Enchanting is a core feature in Minecraft, and having a decent enchanting room/library can give you a nice boost in survival modes.
4. Brewing Room
Introduced in Minecraft v1.0 in 2011, brewing is another key feature or side skill. Brewing lets you create various potions that can either be used to give you a buff or in some cases weaken your enemies.
There are a huge number of potions available in Minecraft, so getting to know them all is also pretty important.
You need quite a few pieces of equipment for brewing, so it can be cool to keep it all in a separate brewing room – which you can also decorate to look more scientific.
Put down a brewing stand and a cauldron, throw in some Redstone dust, spider’s eyes, a bit of blaze powder, and baby you got a stew going!
These are all the things you should put in a brewing room:
- Brewing stand
- Buckets of Water
- Blaze Powder
- Glass bottle
- Water bottle
Watch this video tutorial for 10 brewing room building ideas! 10 Minecraft Brewing Room Designs!
5. Underground Base
Hiding thing in an underground base is a great way to keep your items safe – especially if you are playing in a multiplayer server where you might run into hostile players.
Making an underground base is surprisingly easy, and often a lot of fun. Start by mining out a large section of underground space, and planning out the floor area. Then you just have to decorate it. Making a base deep can be cool, especially if you have enough ladders, however, it will make trips to the surface and back take longer.
Make sure you light it with torches correctly – checking that no areas are left in the dark. Otherwise, you risk violent mobs spawning in the dark and attacking you while you sleep…
If you’re on a multiplayer server you’ll want to make sure the entrance is well-hidden, otherwise, you might get robbed! Trapdoors are probably the best way to make a hidden entrance. You can conceal these under some other blocks.
6. Secret Passages
Secret passages are one of the cleverest tricks in Minecraft – especially in any PvP, or online server where players (griefers) steal your stuff. Having a cheeky passage that hides a room full of your most precious treasures is probably one of the best ways to keep your diamonds safe!
The trick is, you can walk through paintings! This is the easiest way to hide a secret passage. Simply cut out the passage from a wall, then place a painting over it. You will be able to walk through the painting to access your passage, but people won’t be able to see anything.
Alternatively, you could make a more complex setup with a moving wall controlled by pistons and Redstone lamps. Although that method takes more engineering, but it’s still a cool thing to build in Minecraft!
For extra building ideas on how to conceal your passages, check out this video – 5 EASY Secret Doors To Build in Minecraft
7. Portal Rooms
Portals are used in Minecraft to transport yourself between dimensions – specifically The Nether and The End. Having a fancy-looking room with your End and Nether portal not only looks cool but makes sense on a functional level. It speeds up the process of collecting resources from these other dimensions.
We tend to like putting these deep underground (rather than close to your other rooms), as a Nether portal makes creepy noises which can be a bit disconcerting when you’re chilling in your base. Although they are extremely safe, and you don’t need to worry about hostile mobs walking through… (or do you?!)
If you have a bunch of mod packs installed (like the Aether mod, or the Deep Dark mod), then you might need to add a range of other portals to your room!
8. Large Nether Portal Build
It’s also worth noting that Nether portals can be made larger than the standard size. This is good to know if you want to build a more epic-looking portal. Any size larger than the standard 2×3 doorway will work! This is a really cool idea to build in Minecraft.
9. Farms and Generators
Farms are an essential part of any Minecraft survival world. If you want to harvest resources quickly and effectively – a farm is the way forward.
We’re not only talking about food farms like wheat, cows, etc, but you can also build other more advanced farming systems like mob farmers, item generators, and food harvesters.
Here are a bunch of different farms and generators you can create to make your life easier in survival mode you won’t get stuck for a Minecraft building idea here! There are a bunch of cool things in this farm list so you should check them all out! Not only is your own farm one of the coolest things to build, it’s also a great time investment, you get the added bonus of an unlimited supply of food and other important things.
- Cow farm (Automatic Cow Farm)
- Sheep/Wool Farm
- Chicken Farm
- Wheat Farm
- Cobblestone Farm/Generator
- Creeper farm for gunpowder
- Enemy Mob Farm
- AFK Fish Farm
We also recommend you build some kind of mineshaft near or inside your base. Mining is (obviously) a huge part of Minecraft life, so having easy access to a mineshaft is essential.
You can decorate these with fences and trapdoors, and of course, bring a lot of torches. You might even make a minecart track (more on that later) to help you get around your mine quicker.
You can find a lot of pre-generated mineshafts in the world, but sometimes digging your own is the only option. If you do a lot of strip mining, we suggest you put it further away from your main base.
Having a huge amount of open space actually causes lag. So if you are making massive holes, make sure you build it a few chunks down the road from your main base.
11. Hidden Base
One of the joys of Minecraft is being able to hide bases in a number of ways. Because the game is so creative and flexible, the only limit is your imagination.
This video: 5 Simple Hidden Bases in Minecraft! from Gorillo shows you 5 sweet building ideas for hiding a base in Minecraft.
- Under a tree
- Underwater, or behind a waterfall.
- Behind a bookshelf with pistons.
- Under the snow.
- In lava!
The main tip is to place some kind of secret indicator to remind you where you hid your base. This could be an out-of-place block, a torch, flowers, a tree, or a cheeky sign!
Just make sure you place something so you don’t forget where your base is and lose it!
12. Floating Base
Building your own floating base can be a fun activity, and also gives you the perk of being able to scan the surrounding land for points of interest. Floating bases also give you a pretty decent advantage in any PvP world, as they are harder to grief, and give you the upper hand on any enemies.
One tip: place a pool of water on the ground below your base so you can quickly, and safely jump down. Obviously, you’ll need some kind of ladder system to get up too, although ladders can be fiddly, and you might find yourself accidentally falling off. (The water will also save your life in that situation).
The easiest way to build floating bases is by starting with the pool of water, then building a single block pole up as high as you want the base to be. Arrange out the flooring, then get building the fun stuff.
Also, make sure you hold the crouch button while you’re building the floor, to stop you from accidentally falling off – this is a cool thing not everyone knows about.
13. Cactus Defenses
Other than looking kind of cute, cactus can work effectively as a defense mechanism. Anybody who walks into a cactus takes damage and gets pushed back, so they actually make pretty good ‘fences’ for any area you want to protect from hostile mobs.
They are less effective against players because they can destroy them easily – but they work well against mobs and other hostile NPCs. You can even make a moat of water that flows in a direction, sucking the mobs into a wall of deadly cactuses. Ouch!
The only caveat is that you must place them on a sand block, but this isn’t difficult to handle. A single cactus block will eventually grow another cactus block on top, around every 18 minutes. The max height for this growth is 3 blocks tall.
Just like in real life, gardens can be a relaxing place in Minecraft. The process of designing and building a Minecraft garden can be very meditative and fun. Building a peaceful garden spot can help you to unwind after those long days of fighting zombies and creepers in a dark scary cave.
Like most things in Minecraft, there isn’t a single way of doing it. You can build a garden to mimic the one in your own house in real life, or base it on a famous public garden or park. Why not include a pond with a water feature?
Because it’s survival, you’ll need to collect a lot of seeds, plants, trees, bushes, flowers, and all the other components for gardens.
Of course – plant pots are vital. You can find these in witch’s huts, or make them out of 3 bricks. These are cool things to put in your garden!
Check out this video for some inspiration – Minecraft: 30 Garden Build Ideas and Hacks.
15. A Duel Arena
This is more of a suggestion for a multiplayer server than single-player, but building a boxing ring-like duel arena can be a lot of fun – and open up a range of competitive games.
Sometimes it’s fun just to test your combat skills against other players on your server, or sometimes you might compete for prizes. It’s time to put your diamonds where your mouth is and start that duel!
We recommend putting some seats around your duel arena so you can have an audience watching. They can even throw snowballs or dirt blocks at competitors for motivation!
16. Underwater Base
Building an underwater base in Minecraft is one of the most rewarding challenges. These require some clever engineering, patience, and of course the relevant water-breathing enchantments.
We really recommend you enchant boots with the Depth Strider buff, which increases underwater movement, and a helmet with the Respiration buff for extra breath. This will make your life a lot easier.
Building your home underwater is a bit tricky, particularly if you are new to making large structures in Minecraft – so this is more of a recommendation for the experts. (Although noobs could still build something basic.)
Underwater bases look the best when they’re made with a lot of glass – so it’s probably best to build one near a good source of sand blocks so you don’t run out.
We love this underwater base video tutorial: Minecraft: How To Build the Ultimate Underwater Base
Although good luck collecting all the resources!
17. Spawn Area
A spawn area is another fun creation – particularly for multiplayer servers too. Unless you’ve slept in a bed, players all spawn in the same location whenever they die or join the server for the first time.
Building a fancy spawn location can be a nice way to welcome players into the world, and give them directions on where to find other interesting parts of the server. In some multiplayer servers, this is essential as you’ll need to have a board of signs explaining the rules of your server. You’ll also want to protect this section of land to stop griefers from messing it up.
If you’re a generous player then you might even consider putting a chest there with some basic beginner items to give new minecraft players a helping hand.
18. Mountain Bases
Building a cozy mountain base in Minecraft can be a lot of fun, and it also provides you with a range of tactical benefits. Being high up in the sky lets you easily see the surrounding areas and other biomes nearby.
There are a lot of really cool mountain base ideas around the internet, so make sure you check them out for inspiration before starting. Maybe you could even take inspiration from real buildings made in mountains.
There are two main types of mountain bases – ones that are built inside the mountain (like a dwarven fortress), or ones that hang out the edge with a large platform to view the outside world from. You can also combine these two ideas.
You can also make these fairly well hidden, so passers-by might not even see your base tucked away into the mountain. This is also a good way to harvest a bunch of cobblestone for your other creations.
Here are two of our favorite Minecraft mountain base ideas:
19. A Zoo
With such a large range of animals (friendly and otherwise) in Minecraft it can be tempting to make a cool little zoo to play with them. While a lot of people might think this is an endeavor best left to creative setting, you can actually make a fantastic zoo in a survival Minecraft world.
Obviously, it will take a lot more effort to collect all the animals in survival mode, because you can’t just use the handy egg spawners found in the creative inventory. That said, it’s still doable – you’re just going to need a carrot on a stick, and a bunch of other items which help you to lure animals.
Here are all of the friendly animals in vanilla Minecraft you might consider building a home for in your zoo.
Friendly Land Animals In Minecraft
- Skeleton Horse
- Snow Golem
- Wandering Trader
Friendly Flying Animals In Minecraft
Friendly Water Animals In Minecraft
- Glow Squid
- Tropical Fish
(Obviously, with mod packs you can find any animal under the sun, and many more that don’t exist irl.)
Flying and water animals will be much harder to catch, but it’s still possible.
If you’re going to take this seriously then we recommend using the Mob Catcher Mod, which will save a lot of time, and make it possible to catch mobs that you can’t in Vanilla Minecraft.
For some inspiration for zoo Minecraft builds, check out this – I Built A ZOO For Every ANIMAL In Minecraft Hardcore
20. Campfire area
Campfire areas are another staple in Minecraft. Building a campfire area is one of the easier designs, but despite requiring much effort these can actually look really cool, and bring a lot of character to your survival server.
The classic design is a tent made of wool and fence posts. A campfire block is also essential, which is also super easy to build, and only requires 3 wood blocks, 3 sticks, and a lump of coal. With soul sand, you can even die the campfire blue.
Check out this tutorial for some extra campsite inspiration: Minecraft: How to Make a Bonfire and Campsite
21. Pixel Art
Besides the survival element, people often forget the creative potential of Minecraft. In a way, Minecraft is actually very similar to art software like Microsoft Paint.
Building pixel art in Minecraft can be a fun way to relax while doing something creative. Granted, it’s definitely going to be a lot easier to build pixel art in Minecraft Creative Mode, but it’s still possible to do it in survival. (You’ll just have to spend more time collecting resources – which can be hard for certain colors).
Dying wool is one of the easiest ways to access a wider range of colors. Check out this tutorial on how to build pixel art in Minecraft.
Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy – and you can make any art you can imagine.
Start off with this Among Us Minecraft Pixel Art Tutorial for inspiration!
Building a pyramid like the ancient Egyptians is an easy way to bring some mystery to your survival server. You can build pyramids out of any material, but we think it looks best made from sandstone and other desert biome blocks.
Thanks to their simple shape, pyramids are also one of the quicker and easier landmarks to build – depending on how large you make them that is…
This tutorial – MINECRAFT FULL-SIZE EGYPTIAN PYRAMID TUTORIAL also includes a bunch of tombs and other ancient Egyptian-themed buildings and monuments. Because you’re going to need a huge amount of sand and sandstone to complete this kind of build, we thoroughly recommend you create it in a desert biome. It will also look more natural with the surroundings!
Medieval castles are always one of the most exciting and intriguing pieces of historical architecture. With Minecraft having a lot of focus on old-school-style combat (like swords, bows, and arrows), a castle seems like a fitting thing to build.
There are tons of Minecraft castle tutorials out there, so you won’t get stuck for inspiration. You can also build a variety of fun things within your castle, like secret trapdoors, statues, dungeons, treasure rooms, and more!
Some of the Minecraft castle tutorials are mind-bogglingly large, so sometimes it’s best to get the hang of it by starting with a smaller project first – or slowly build something big.
This castle tutorial series is one of the most in-depth, so it can be a good place to start for new castle builders.
Minecraft: How to Build a Medieval Castle | Huge Medieval Castle Tutorial – Part 1
Building a church to the Minecraft gods (Notch, Herobrine, Nidarc, and Lairobrine) might not actually give you any tangible in-game blessings, but it sure can make your survival server seem holier.
You can make a church of any style, it’s ultimately up to you. You might even consider making a cathedral if you have enough time and resources. Some creators like to build a surrounding graveyard or even an underground crypt.
This medieval church tutorial is one of our favorites and includes all the classic church elements, like the crypt, belltower, altar, and pews.
Minecraft: How to Build a Medieval Church | Church Tutorial – Part 1
No survival server in Minecraft is complete without its very own town. Sure, you’ll run into a bunch of scrappy villager settlements, but these won’t compare to something of your own creation.
You can even build modern-looking towns, with all the buildings you’d expect to find, like shops, cinemas, police stations, hospitals, and more. Don’t forget that town square with a cute little water feature.
If you build it in the right way, you can also encourage NPC villagers to populate the houses. These will even build their own farms, shops, and iron golems! Hey, you could build an entire city after some practice!
Follow this step by step guide for more advice – How to build an Awesome Town in Minecraft 1.15 Vanilla
No town is complete without sewers. Having an underground sewer network is important for villager sanitation (lol), and also adds a layer of depth and detail to your new town. Sewer systems can also double up as transportation tunnels, or even mob farms if you build them in the right way.
You’ll need a lot of bricks and iron to make these look legit – so make sure you keep all the stone blocks you harvest when you dig out the underground space.
Check out this tutorial!
Minecraft 1.16.5 Survival Let’s Play #35 – Building a Sewer System
Tree houses are probably one of our favorite things to build in Minecraft survival (and in real life).
You can make them pretty easily too. We think they look the coolest when they are all made of wood – so it fits in with the trees. You also get a lot of natural light during the day, and you’ll be surrounded by all the blocks you need. Enjoy a new world amongst the trees!
Finding a jungle biome makes this easier, as you’ll be able to find a lot of wood, and really tall trees. You can even make a whole treetop jungle village which is really cool. Just watch out for fire!
28. Docks / Harbor
Docks are a great thing to build if you are living near a body of water. You can put all kinds of buildings and creations in your docks. From storage warehouses to exotic pirate ships. You should also load it up with a bunch of humble wooden boats for quick water transportation.
This harbor tutorial is a good place to start for inspiration, although it’s a pretty huge build so you might want to try something smaller first!
How to Make a Harbour in Minecraft Survival FROM SCRATCH
In a world filled with so much gold and diamond, you’ll need somewhere super secure to protect your precious items. Banks are the perfect place – as long as you build the vault strong enough.
You can make these as simple or as complex as you want – check out this tutorial for inspiration.
Minecraft: How to Build a Bank | Easy Minecraft Tutorial
30. Famous Landmarks
Recreating famous landmarks in Minecraft is the nerdy architect’s favorite pastime. Because Minecraft is so flexible, you can literally build anything you can imagine. Some people enjoy building 1:1 scale replicas of their famous landmarks in Minecraft, it could be the Empire State Building, or even Big Ben!
Sure, this can be time-consuming, and will be easier in creative mode than survival, but it’s always a fun project if you’re into it. This Eiffel tower project is a fun one to start with!
Minecraft Eiffel Tower + Tutorial
Good Luck With Your Next Project!
With this list, you won’t be stuck for new ideas for cool builds – resources and time will be much harder to come by. Hopefully, you can get your project built without dying too many times! While this list is for survival, you can still make it all in creative mode (and it will be a lot easier…)
After finishing a couple of these projects you’ll be on the way to becoming a master block architect!