Minecraft is one of those games that has permeated throughout the culture with long lasting effects. It’s also one of those games where the effects are almost universally positive. I remember first seeing the game when it was back in beta. It was a rare idea back then, the idea of a “sandbox game” – a game where the player decides what their goals are, and not some storyline or set of missions. I admit I wasn’t quite sure what to think of it at first, but once I started playing, it was an immensely enjoyable experience. It reminded me a little of how I felt playing Legos as a kid – creating my own worlds, towns, even space stations.
And our kids have grown up playing it! It is probably the one game responsible for them learning how to use the keyboard and mouse. We would set them up in creative mode, or have them follow along in survival mode, and they soon learn the skills of moving around in a game and much, much more.
Now, you may say: “This is a creative game. Why would we want books that tell us what to build and how to build them?”
Well, simply put, even the best creativity can sometimes use boost! Inspiration is a real thing, and it helps us be further creative. Having a book that gives us ideas doesn’t mean we’re constrained to the book – just that we have a jumping off point for further creativity. Sometimes it’s nice to get a bit more information about something before we dive head first into it. Our kids have collected many Minecraft books over the years and they each lend visuals, inspiration, and the chance to put those spacial skills to the test.
“Can’t they just find all this stuff online?” There are troves of information, videos, and build inspiration online for Minecraft, and those can be super helpful and valuable. But there’s just something different about having a physical book in your hand – and I feel this is especially important for kids. It lets them read, get ideas, and even plan out builds they want to make – all without spending tons of time staring at a screen to do it. And I think you’ll agree after looking at some of these incredible books.
Let’s jump in!
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These are great introductions to the game or great ways to modify the way you play. The Guide to Survival, Ocean Survival, and The Nether and the End are full of great information for those who want to explore the world around them. Are your kids not sure what to expect from a Pillager Raid? Do they want to know what amazing structures you can find underwater, or what dangers lurk within them? How about the dangers found in the Nether and beyond? These are the books for them (or you)!
The Redstone Guide is my husband’s favorite. Have you wanted to make contraptions that work with the push of a button? How about an elevator that can go from level to level of your now giant house? Redstone is the game’s logic and circuitry system and it is full of many surprises on what it can do. It’s an amazing guide to help your little ones learn the basics of computer logic in a world where they can do so much with it.
My personal favorite? PVP minigames. Our kids loved the many ways you can modify the world to create interactive arenas and other games. They have spent countless hours figuring out exactly how they want their next arena to look and how they want it to function. This one also goes into the idea of command blocks (a creative mode only block) that can be used to make amazingly fun triggers and modifiers to the world that can add so much to your games.
Want something you can start and finish in a single setting? These Bite-Sized Build books are great for ideas of what to do. Filled with pages of pictures and simple instructions, they can get you off the ground and building in no time. And don’t think they will leave you underwhelmed. Bite-sized they are, but they still let you end with an amazing structure, room or even vehicle that you can enjoy.
These are great for those who get overwhelmed by big projects. Our six year old loves these. They are simple, yet enjoyable ideas.
Who doesn’t love zombies? These undead can make a lively world, especially if you build it just right for them. Our second has loved this book, making his own Land of Zombies world. The book contains both ideas for decorations and ways to create your very own zombie arenas.
While some of the ideas may take creative mode to implement (command blocks and creature eggs only are accessible in creative mode), they all can be enjoyed in survival mode. So use your imagination, whip up that arena and then put your friends all inside and see what they can do!
It is a creative and themed set of builds, but one that I am sure any avid Minecraft player will enjoy.
Now this is a build book not for the faint of heart. This has everything you need to create your very own Medieval Fortress. (Who would have guessed from the title?) This covers everything from getting an initial layout, to building a working portcullis, to making a village to go along with it. It also includes many ideas for great themed traps.
The great thing about this book is it gives many ways to vary the build to make it unique and personal for each player who does it. No two fortresses will be built alike. But be warned, this is huge! Even on creative mode this is a project that will take some time, so if you’re ready to take on something big, get this book and get started!
Now we’re ready to dive into the deep end. These books start to shift the spectrum from guides to inspirational builds. While they do give some tips on how to build it to look nice and advice on some of the more technical parts of the builds, they are definitely more along the lines of letting your creative imagination fill in the details.
These are definitely more for the advanced and experienced Minecraft players. The Epic Bases book has ideas from an amazing underwater estate to an underground forge that will rival your images of Moria. The Epic Inventions has everything from a monster factory, to a ginormous spaceship called the Pathfinder, to a diamond maze all set to fill with all sorts of amazing traps and beautiful chambers! These will definitely get the imagination sizzling and your fingers moving as you get started on these epic builds!
Now we’re not in the deep end as much as we’re wrestling sharks that have lasers on their heads! These builds are actually builds by players who spent hundreds of hours making a beautiful world. The pictures alone are breathtaking, and it is amazing to see what players have accomplished. While there are some details given on the builds, they are mostly there to showcase the amazing visuals these players have created.
This is honestly a book that I’d say is worth it for just the pictures. These are far too complex for someone to replicate, but they will fill any creative mind with inspiration and ideas for their next world!
Bonus: Minecraft Maps / Catch the Creeper
Finally we’ve reached the other end! We’ve swam through the sharks and I’m sure you’re ready for a little breather. These two books are Minecraft books, but not build books. Maps is a great book just to look at. It has drawings of every biome, including many of their features and creatures found within.
Catch the Creeper is a Where’s Waldo of Minecraft. Its pictures are filled with more creatures you can shake a stick at, and more funny situations than you can find in one sitting. Can you catch the Creeper, spot the Wolf and find the Enderman? This is a great book if you (or your little one) wants to sit down and relax while looking at amazing drawings of the Minecraft world.