Newbie Guide

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Firstly welcome to HCSMP (Hardcore Survival Multiplayer), if you're reading this prior to your first visit to the server, congratulations! Most who enter the server are not aware of the full consequences that they face. Hopefully after close reading of this guide you'll know the ins-and-outs of the server. Remember to check out the server rules.

Pre-Spawn Tips

A new player hides from the night-time mobs.

Before even entering the server you'll want to make sure everything is just right for your first embark.

Golden Rules:

  • Don't trust anyone.
  • Don't sprint and avoid jumping until you have found enough food.
  • Don't risk travelling during the night (except by boat away from the shore where monsters can not reach you)
  • Don't trust anyone.


Ping (often referred to as latency) is the time it takes for you (the client) to receive confirmation that a packet (data) you sent to the server (host) was received successfully, it then notes this time and is called your ping and is expressed in ms (milliseconds). You can check your ping in game by pressing the Tab key. Your ping and a list of players will display. When not in game you can check your ping to the server by opening up the cmd prompt (Windows) or terminal (Mac OSX) and typing "ping" and then pressing enter.


Player Count & Players:

The slot size for this server is 100, that means at most there can be 100 players online at a given time. What does this mean for you? If you check the server to see that it is heavily populated it may not be the best time to spawn now. Why? Spawn campers. People will and do patrol around spawn hoping to catch off some unsuspecting individual on his first trip out of spawn to net a quick kill. They are generally found patrolling around 300-1200 blocks from spawn.

To find out who has died recently look at the Death List. See someone that was just killed with a very low play time? Chances are high that someone is lurking nearby!


Be sure to set yourself some goals prior to joining and estimate how long it will take to achieve them. Keep in mind the overworld map is 10k x10k x256, there is plenty of space on the map and time for you to achieve what you want. You don't have to aim to reach the far extents of the map within your first day of play, you don't have to have a permanent base set-up at-all. However try to aim to have a reliable source of food, armour w/ sword and be outside the spawn-campers radius. If you meet those goals you're likely to go far. You have plenty of time, don’t rush.


PvP can be a frightening experience if all you want to do is survive and build things. Some of us choose to avoid it at all costs, others go straight for it. When a 2 week ban is involved you have to think more about your actions. As such, some people will "Combat Log" to escape a PvP fight or death. Please be aware that we run the Combat Tag plugin. If someone strikes you and you log off an NPC character will be left behind in your position, and with all of your items. Any damage dealt to the NPC will be given to you on your next log in.

If you are able to log out before you are struck, you will likely be trapped in lava upon your return, so it is a good idea to try to escape or fight your attacker in another way.

Entering the Server

So you've just spawned. The first thing that should’ve been highlighted to you is that you have 60mins of Campfire protection remaining. What is this?


Campfire is a plug-in that gives you Player-vs-Player invulnerability for a set amount of time. You cannot be harmed by other players but please keep in mind that any falls, violent mobs (creepers etc), lava and all environmental damage will still affect you. While protected, you will be unable to open chests until your PvP protection has expired, or you have terminated it. This is so that if you come across someone in the wild you cannot steal their things without repercussions. You can terminate your campfire protection at any time with /campfire terminate followed by /campfire confirm.

Be aware that some killers may hide and wait for new players to terminate their protection to open a chest in the wild. The Campfire timer does not decrease while you are logged out, or in a safe No-PvP zones. However, while you are logged out people can trap your location, so make sure you log out somewhere safe.


Where do I go now? Where ever you want. Upon leaving spawn, skim your surroundings and look for any signs of life, note the biomes, and the time of day. If you are happy with what you see, it's time to leave.

Head roughly straight in a single direction, avoiding hills and mountains. Doubling back and climbing will waste your hunger with little benefit.

Leaving Spawn

Upon leaving the spawn area you'll be faced with a few issues before your real adventure begins.

Basic Survival:

The first thing you should do upon leaving spawn is find wood. Wood may be scarce around spawn so walk until you find a few trees. Heading straight out into a desert is not a great idea since there are no trees in the desert. Punch down a few trees then make a crafting table and wooden pick. Find stone and mine enough to make tools and a sword (if you find coal or iron take it). With just a few stone tools you can mine, gather wood, hunt and farm efficiently. Next find food. You can build a boat and sail along the edges of land looking for edible mobs. You are much safer in the water and you don't use hunger in a boat. A boat will also let you cover a lot distance quickly.

A new player's best friend
At last count (16-12-2016), only 3% of players have died from starvation, still the first thing you want to do is make sure you can live through the first few days, and that requires food. Remember actions like jumping and sprinting decrease your hunger bar much quicker. Climbing mountains and swimming oceans can exhaust your hunger meter very quickly. If you are lucky enough to find pigs/cows on your travels then keep going, however if the worst happens and you find yourself 500 blocks away from spawn with half hunger and nothing in the horizon there a few things that you can do.
Grass is fairly plentiful in the right biomes break the grass for seeds and gather bones for bonemeal. A good strategy is to sit in a small safe cave with the growing plants and in the morning venture out and try to find bones from burnt skeletons (Skeletons move towards shade or water). Using these you can make bonemeal which should provide you with at least one loaf of bread, repeat this until you are confident that the amount of bread you have can sustain you for another trip away from spawn.
Apples: Oak and dark oak trees will drop apples from their leaves on occasion. If you encounter a forest and are running out of options, chop down a few trees and break the leaves. Be sure to replant so people after you can do the same. Or don't, if you're evil like that.
Mushroom Stew: Find mushrooms and make Mushroom Stew. Combining a red mushroom, brown mushroom and wooden bowl will give you mushroom stew. Mushroom stew will restore 4 hunger bars but the downside to them is that they will not stack.
Rotten Flesh: If you can stomach it, zombie meat can sustain you. Gather rotten flesh from zombies that have died in daylight (Zombies now move towards shade and water) and consume as much as you need. This may poison you, but if you stand completely still until the poison has worn off (your hunger bar returns to the normal colour), you'll still be left with 9.5 hunger bars.
A more risky strategy involves hunting spiders or heading down into an abandoned mineshaft for string. The string can be used to make a fishing rod to find fish from any body of water. However remember that the server difficulty is 'Hard' and that killing spiders may not be easy.
Out of Options:
So you've tried to get food and were unsuccessful, you’re sitting in a hole watching your hunger drop past the last few bars, or even watching your health drop. There may still be hope! Record your coordinates and log off, head to the subreddit or IRC channel (#hcsmp on Esper) and ask for help. Do NOT put the coordinates in the thread, or announce them globally in chat, or a serial killer may find you and turn up with a sword instead of food. The funny ones may beat you to death with a melon slice.
Remember that standing still and sailing in a boat will not decrease your hunger bar. Sailing allows you to cover great distances without losing hunger.

Once you have some food it's time to mine, after all this is MINEcraft. Start digging toward level 11. With a little luck you will find coal, and iron ore early. NEVER mine straight down. With some coal and sticks you can light up your world. It won't take long to find enough iron ore to make iron tools and armor. Once you reach "full iron" you are ready to take on the world. Mine for diamonds and riches beyond your wildest dreams, explore, raid, conquer the nether and more.


So you've left spawn, been given, found or stolen food and are now free to travel anywhere you like. There are still a few basics you need to keep in mind.


Most players recommend you get at least 2500 blocks from spawn before even considering starting a base. This puts you outside of the radius of spawn-campers, and into mostly "un-touched" territory. You may see evidence of other players that have passed this way before you.

Making a Home:

If you choose not to be a nomad forever, you'll end up building a home. It will be your safe place, the base of all your operations, and you will come to live and breathe what is your base. It is inevitable that you will spend more time here than anywhere else, you'll do well to hide it and make sure you don't have neighbours. Remember that large above-ground structures are more likely to be spotted and attacked than hidden mountain caves or bedrock homes. The home should have a food source (usually a wheat or melon farm) to ensure you never run the risk of starving again.

The Entrance:
Pistons are useful for hiding a base in an obvious place with the use of a redstone torch a NOT-Gate you can make a very well hidden entrance, you can also have a hidden waterfall or the common seal it up with dirt method it all comes down your preference. If feel you wouldn't find your base then you're on the right track.

You want to make sure you never go hungry again, whenever you see larger bases you be sure to see a large farm for everything. Be sure to check the Minecraft Wiki for the most efficient methods, and information on automated farming.

The best place to keep valuables is an ender chest. This will require a trip to the nether to find blaze rods. The next best place is on you. You may also want a storage room. If you find yourself with more valuables than your inventory can handle you'll need to hide an additional chest somewhere. Be original in your choice of hiding location (for some reason players seldom look above, just saying). Chests are commonly hidden under the water blocks in farms and under your waste bin (small lava pit), try not to be obvious.

XP and Mob Grinders:
XP and Mob Grinders are dangerous to set up. Details on XP and mob farming can be found on the Minecraft Wiki, or on Youtube (try searching for Ethos Method).

Rise to Power

You now have a base, enough food to feed the Roman legion and have taken all necessary precuations for your base's safety. What now? Diamonds and Warts my dear Watson!


Let's face it, we primarily mine for diamonds. They are so shiny and precious (We loves our precious). Diamonds are rare and occur between level 1 and 16. However, diamonds are not the only things of value we need to mine. Gold, redstone, lapis-lazuli, emeralds and more make life in game much more productive. The most efficient method of mining is called grid-mining. Details of different mining techniques can be found on the Minecraft Wiki.

It is advisable to keep mines away from your main base - it is very easy to stumble across these and follow a mine back to your base.

The Nether:

At some point you will need to venture into Hell also known as the Nether. You will encounter formidable mobs and other dangers, so be sure you are prepared. The nether hides many valuable resources necessary to make potions and achieve advanced items like beacons. The most sought after and elusive item is Netherwart. Netherwart is one of the most valuable map resources. Netherwart is the basis of all potions, which is why they can be very rare. Netherwart is found in Nether fortresses and requires extensive travel in the nether. Also found in Nether fortresses are blazes which drop blaze rods (These guys are dangerous). Wither skeletons roam the halls of fortresses and rarely drop their heads which can be used to summon a Wither Boss. Magma Cubes are often found near fortresses. Quartz is plentiful in the Nether and is a beautiful block for building magnificent structures. Beware of zombie pigmen. They are mostly a nuisance but if you hit one they will gang up on you and kill you. Ghasts are pain as well. You'll need a good bow to dispatch them.

The End:

The latest world to conquer is The End, home of the dragon and now home to End Fortresses, shulkers, elytra and other cools stuff. To go to the end you must first find a Strong Hold in the overworld. The best way to find a Strong Hold is to gather ender pearls and blaze powder, make eyes of ender, toss the eyes into the air and let them lead you to the Strong Hold. Strong Holds are very cool and dangerous places. Located somewhere in the Strong Hold is a broken end portal. Repair the end portal with eyes of ender, hold your nose and jump in. You will arrive in the end, but BEWARE you are standing on a small obsidian platform. One false step and you will fall into the void. Bridge to the main island and prepare to do battle with endermen and the dragon. If you manage to defeat the dragon you will be rewarded and two new portals will be revealed. One back to the overworld and another leading to the outer islands where you will find all the riches of the end. BE WARNED The End is filled with danger and you must have good gear to survive.


Everyone of power had some form of animal companions, Scarface had Tigers, Pablo Escobar had his Hippos and well you can have Wolves and/or cats! Be careful when using Wolves. Their loud barking can give away your base, they can attack your friends by accident, and can push you off cliffs and into lava.

Other Players:

Playing can be boring without working with others. Try our TeamSpeak server, IRC or the subreddit, and have a chat to see if you can get to know anyone before meeting people randomly. You can find links on the home page. Trust is required to form effective teams. Chat in game and get to know other players. Remember, they may lie, so meeting will remain a risk, but that is part of the fun.

Final Tips


Details of server plugins can be found here.

Local Chat

The Venturechat (previously HEROCHAT) plugin allows players to use Local chat using /l and Private Message (whisper) /msg <playername> text.
Local chat works within a 100 block radius.


Holding shift to sneak is your friend. It reduces the sound you make, makes your name tag near much fainter, and walk on dangerous or narrow ledges without falling. While sneaking on a ledge be careful to not open your inventory, the chat, or jump, as it may force you off the edge.