More Minetest Tips for Beginners

Minetest is a game similar to Minecraft except that it’s free and open source.

This is Part 2 in the Learning Minetest series. If you missed Part 1 you can read it at Minetest for the Absolute Beginner

Finding your way home.

One of the first things you need to do when playing Minetest is build a home base. As you go exploring and mining, your inventory will fill up and you need a place to store your excess items.

By building a shed and crafting a chest or two, you have a place to store these items.

But when you go exploring it’s not always easy to find your way home. Even with the use of the Minimap you can still get hopelessly lost.

In Part 1 you learnt how to change the time so you can skip the night. Now I’ll show you how to get Minetest to take you home if you get lost.

You first need to give yourself the “home” privilege. Do this by entering the following command – remember to start with a forward slash so Minetest knows it’s a command:

/grantme home

You now have the “home” privilege. To set your home position, go to your home base and enter the following command:


This command sets your current position as home. To return to this position at any time, enter the command:


and you will be teleported home.

Some useful keys to know.

Before we get on to crafting recipes, here is a list of keys that can be useful:

  • F1 Toggles the HUD (Heads Up Display)
  • F2 Toggles the chat window. Not much use when playing a local game, but it’s good to have the chat window showing when playing on a server.
  • F3 Enables/disables fog.
  • F5 Debug info. Also useful for finding your way around as it displays the coordinates of your current position.
  • F7 Have a look at yourself.
  • F9 Minimap.
  • F10 Toggles the chat log.
  • F12 Takes a screenshot.
  • Shift key. Want to look over the edge of a cliff without falling? Hold down the left shift key as you move forward. Also useful for building bridges. And the shift key is used to descend ladders.
  • Space bar. Hold down the space bar when you’re swimming and it will keep you on the surface. Use the shift key to go down if you want to pick up something under the water. Keep an eye on your air bubbles and surface using the space bar before you run out of air. Also used to climb ladders.

Crafting items.

The basic Minetest game that you get when you install Minetest does not have a crafting guide.

A crafting guide is a set of recipes. The guide shows you how to place ingredients on your crafting table to craft tools and other items.

You can always work through the Minetest Wiki to learn how to craft.

Or you can install the craftguide mod.

You can download craftguide from the Minetest forum. Click on “Download” just above the craftguide image.

The file you download will be a compressed file which you need to extract to the minetest/mods directory.

Open the minetest directory in your file browser and look for the “mods” directory. If there is no mods directory you need to create it. Then extract the downloaded file in this directory.

Now, if you open the mods directory you will see a craftguide directory. It will possibly be called “craftguide-master”. This directory must be renamed to “craftguide” (without the quotation marks).

Just a couple more steps before you can use craftguide in your game.

Open Minetest and select your game. Click on “Configure” and you should see craftguide in the window on the right. Select “craftguide” and click “Enable all”. Click the Save button.

One more step. Craftguide comes in a little blue book. To use craftguide you need this book in your inventory.

In the main menu select your game and tick the box at “Creative Mode”. Click on the Play button and then press “I” for inventory.

Find the blue craftguide book and move a copy down into your inventory.

Press “Esc” twice and go back to the menu. Uncheck Creative Mode and you’re good to go.

To use the craftguide, move it to the top line of your inventory, select it and click the left mouse button.

One more tip.

To get out of a hole you’ve fallen into or to get to the top of a cliff, you can cut a stairway with your pickaxe. Or you can use a ladder. Or you can lift yourself up with scaffolding.

To lift yourself up you can use dirt or cobblestone or even leaves.

Look down until the crosshair in the centre of the screeen is on the block you’re standing on. Use the space bar to jump up, and at the top of your jump, click the right hand mouse button. If you get the timing right, a block will be placed under you.

What to do next.

Once you’re comfortable with the basics of Minetest, try some of the multiplayer games online.

In the Minetest menu, click the “Play Online” tab. You will see a list of servers showing the number of players currently playing in that game.

Select a server then enter a username and password. And have fun exploring and learning new stuff.

Don’t forget you can find a lot of info on the Minetest Wiki.

And check out the Minetest Forums or search youtube for Minetest videos.

Have fun