Fighting in Minecraft is a largely simple affair and you have two main weapons with which to fight, a sword and a bow.

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What you have here is a close and ranged option. Most enemies will suffer willingly to your sword should you get close but as you progress through the game the chances are you’ll start to lean more heavily on the bow until you get a very strong set of armor to soak up the hits.

To use the sword effectively you want to get close to an enemy, swing, and then step back. You’re trying to fight at tip’s length rather than right up in your enemy’s face. While you can block it’s better to keep them at a distance if possible, it’s more reliable. A good bit of advise is to use any bottleneck you should find - or create for that matter - as the enemies of Minecraft are easily funneled into death zones and sides, you want to avoid getting surrounded.

Some enemies, however, you’ll always want to try and dispatch with the Bow. Take the Creeper for example.

The menacing face of a Creeper. Listen out for their tell tale hiss.

The Creeper is an enemy that will self destruct if it gets too close to you due to its fiendish proximity detonation. It is possible to get close, trigger him, and escape the blast radius or, indeed, nick it with the tip of your blade to slowly kill it, but both techniques are far from recommended and prone to accident. These enemies are precisely the reason you’ll want a stock of arrows at all times as a few sharp sticks to the noggin will see a Creeper drop without detonating. Later enemies also present issues for the sword wielder, with Ghasts often hovering over pools of lava, requiring ranged tactics to fell. When dealing with enemies at range be wary of the Bow’s sharp drop, you’ll want to aim just above an enemy at long range to hit them.

Just make sure you’re stocked up, suited up, and fight carefully. Oh and Remember: running away when you have pockets of loot isn’t cowardice, and it’s always preferable to losing it through over confidence or a stealthy Creeper to the back.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Microsoft Game Studios
  • Platforms
    PC, Switch, Wii, Wii U, PS3, PS4, 360, XB1
  • Genre
    Sandbox, Survival
  • Guide Release
    18 May 2013
  • Last Updated
    7 December 2020
  • Guide Author
    James Bowden

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  • The best way to survive your first night - optimise your time.
  • Key items, valuable techniques and advise on how best to advance through the game.
  • Information on over 150 natural, crafted and smelted items.
  • Construction ideas for novice players, including castles and 'Hobbit Holes'.
  • More than 45 minutes of helpful, narrated video showcasing survival basics, monument building, trap construction.
  • Explanation of Redstone and its varied application in gadgets such as trapdoors and doorbells.
  • Essential graphical mods to make the PC version of Minecraft look and run better than ever before.

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