It is much easier to die in these modes, and it is very likely that you will encounter death a number of times. For this reason, it is important that you gather the necessary resources rather quickly. Avoiding hostile animals will also prove to be a good way to extend your lifetime.
Beginning the Game
As you start your gameplay, collect everything you can. Do you see any cotton, pumpkins, or eggs? If so, gather them - quickly. They will offer a source of clothing (for later) and food that will be vital.
Finding a place to reside can be challenging. You need to stay in a desert for the time being so you don't freeze to death. Just make sure you are near a forest so gathering wood isn't too risky. You don't want to get lost or attacked by an animal.
You will need to start to gather wood to make planks for a small shelter. Leaves or dirt will also suffice. This will keep you safe from predators for your first few nights while you gather supplies to make a better shelter later. Make a door for your small shelter if you wish. You will need to make a crafting table immediately. This way you can make some wooden tools and weapons to get you started. They aren't very strong, but they will make everything easier until you get better supplies throughout the next few days. Having a simple wooden machete can be the difference between life and death in challenging mode. Start to make chests to store your items as well.
Sleep at sundown. This way, if you die, you won't lose your temporary shelter and items.
During the next few days, start to gather cobblestone. It is mined from granite which can be found nearly everywhere. Just make sure not to stray too far. If need be, you can make way-point markers from leaves or dirt so you can easily find your way home. (See tips page.)
Be sure you continue to gather food whenever you come across it! This applies for the rest of your journey.
Once you have enough cobblestone saved, you can start working on your new home.
Your New Home
For your larger home, find the flattest spot you can to lay your foundation. Just place the cobblestone you gathered on the grass in a rectangular (or whatever shape you desire) shape the size you want your home to be. This will give you an idea of how many cobblestone blocks you still need to gather. (Make stone tools as you gather cobblestone.)
As you start to build your house higher and higher, make sure to leave room for windows. You can use leaves for a makeshift window until you have a furnace and glass. This will allow for you to have a placeholder for your windows that you can still see through, but also offers protection from predators. A door will also need to be crafted as you build your new home (if you don't have one already).
After finishing your home and crafting a furnace, you will need to make chests to place in your new home. Move your crafting table to your new home as well, or just craft a new one. You can label your chests with signs so you know exactly is in each one. I, for example, have some labeled "Food", "Saltpeter", "Raw Meat", "Cooked Meat", etc.
While mining with your stone pickaxe, pick up ONLY iron ore. Once you have enough, make an iron pickaxe and continue. An iron pickaxe is needed to acquire many of the ores you will enounter (ex: diamond ore). You can still use a stone pickaxe to break cobblestone if you wish.
The biggest issue when mining is getting lost. Make sure you leave torches as markers. Don't just place the torches randomly. They can serve as a sort of "path" for you to follow. This is especially important when mining in a cave, as the cave may have many tunnels to explore.
Now you're ready to move on to farming and obtaining riding animals!!
Horses, Camels, or donkeys will be needed as you progress. They allow you to travel longer distances in a shorter amount of time, and help you escape from predators faster. Horses are found in hot forest areas, donkeys and camels in the desert. To mount them, you will need a saddle, which is crafted from leather (comes from wolves and coyotes) and sticks. You will also need a whistle, which is crafted from iron ingots.
- Find a herd of horses. They are usually found in groups of 2-5.
- Place a saddle on each horse.
- Using your whistle, lead the horses back home. You can ride one while leading the others if you wish. The reason you need to have a compass is because you will have to lead your horses around obstacles such as cliffs, large hills, etc. so they do not get hurt. Chances are, you will not be able to use a straight path as you would with way-point markers.
- When you get home, have a fence surrounded by cheap blocks (dirt, sand, etc.) waiting. This is so your horses can easily get in the fence, but not out. (Fences need to be 2 blocks high, as donkeys and camels can jump a single fence.)
Farming Crops and Animals
To farm crops, you will need to collect seeds (you should already have cotton seeds) and a water supply (do this by gathering water in a bucket, or making a well to retrieve water from.). Fence an area in with wooden fences so animals cannot ruin your soil. Till dirt with a rake to make soil. Put saltpeter on the moisturized soil to fertilize, and place your cotton seeds on the soil. They will grow into cotton plants, which cotton wads can be obtained from. You then make canvas from the wads, and you are ready to craft some clothing !
Animal farming is also an important aspect of survival. For this, you will need to lay out a large fence (this is why we chose a flat area to live) 1 or 2 blocks tall (2 blocks tall will keep predators out) and put cheap blocks such as sand or leaves around your fence. If your fence is 2 blocks tall, make stairs. Throw tall grass into the fence. If there are cows around, they will go right into your fence!! Other undesired animals may get into your fence as well, such as gnus, but you can kill them later. If no cows are around, they can be obtained later with a whistle (they run from the sound).
Once you have enough canvas stored, you need to make clothing . (See each individual clothing page for crafting recipes). After crafting clothing , you are ready to do more intense exploring! You can now go out as far as you like (be sure to pack lightly. Only what you need! This means an extra set of clothing, food, and weapons.) You can always find your way home with your compass.
I do not suggest sleeping while exploring unless you make shacks with spare food and a spare compass in a chest. If you die, you will go back to your last sleeping spot, and your compass will be gone. And then you won't be able to go back home until you have mined at your new location and gathered enough resources to make another compass. You can be out for a max of 2 days and nights before passing out. As you go further info your adventure, you will be able to acquire enough resources to make more compasses to leave in shacks along the way, and you will begin to become more familiar with the terrain. All we need is just a little patience ;)
NOTE: I'm currently working on remaking this page. If you have anything to add, let me know. Thanks for your cooperation and sorry I did not get it all done today.