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Minecraft Dungeons guide: 30 top tips for beginners

Tips for exploring levels and building characters

Featured post Minecraft Dungeons guide

In Minecraft Dungeons, you are a hero tasked with stopping the Arch-Illager and his army of monsters from taking over the Overworld. The journey will be a long one, spanning multiple difficulties, but there is plenty of loot out there to help you along the way.

If you are used to Minecraft’s focus on building and exploring, then the RPG style of this new game might be as alien to you as an Enderman in daylight. Help is at hand though as we will guide you through the monsters and the hidden treasures of Minecraft Dungeons.

Minecraft Dungeons guide

Our Minecraft Dungeons guide will give you our top 30 Minecraft Dungeons tips to get you started exploring dungeons and using the loot you gather to create some great character builds.

This tips article also acts as our guide hub for Minecraft Dungeons, providing links to all the other guides for the game.


Minecraft Dungeons gameplay tips

First let’s begin with our tips for exploring dungeons. This is where you’ll spend the bulk of the game. The dungeons are mostly well laid out, but there are some things you should keep in mind when starting out.

  1. There are two types of levels: story levels that have mostly fixed layouts, and secret levels that can be unlocked within story levels. These can have a mixture of randomised and fixed layouts.
  2. Levels also have difficulty tiers. You can change their difficulty on the map screen. More difficult tiers can give you gear with higher power levels.
  3. Look at the gear drops and artefacts in the map screen for your chosen level. Any labelled with a question mark are undiscovered gear or artefact types. You will likely need to replay levels to reveal what all of them are.
  4. Frequently check the map for secret areas. You can turn the map overlay on and off by pressing the Tab key. It can show sections of the dungeon that you may have missed, which could have hidden chests to discover.
  5. Secrets are different to chests because the secrets can appear from out of nowhere, and often send you off the beaten track to find them.
  6. Enter any house or cave you see. You may find new levels to unlock, or chests and vases to break open.
  7. You can also check the map screen (M on keyboard) to see how many chests you have opened and secrets you have found.
  8. Follow the golden emblem on the main screen if you ever get lost, as it shows which way your objective is.
  9. Do not take on a level where the difficulty is above your current power level. The difficulty spikes between tiers are rather immense.
  10. If you are struggling with a level, consider lowering the difficulty if you’re trying to complete it for the first time, or grind enemies for experience in a different level.

Minecraft Dungeons guide

  1. It may seem harsh, but killing animals like cows, pigs, and sheep will occasionally give you healing items that could be useful in a pinch.
  2. You can charge the bow by holding the right mouse button or the right trigger on a controller, then releasing when you want to fire a shot.
  3. When fighting Creepers, it’s much safer to attack them from afar or to use a weapon with knockback. They take a few seconds to explode once they get close.
  4. Always try to take out the enchanters (the lads in the purple robes). They can buff up other enemies as long as the enchanter remains alive.
  5. If you find TNT, pick it up and throw it into a group of enemies with the ranged attack button. The white circle that appears will indicate the range of the explosion. This explosion also hurts friendly players and pets.
  6. You can carry TNT indefinitely when you first pick it up. It’s worth saving the TNT until you come across the next big group of enemies.
  7. It is possible to carry multiple packs of TNT; they stack on top of your head. You will throw them all at once when you throw them.
  8. Don’t forget that jumping off tall ledges will inflict fall damage. It isn’t much damage if you’re not too high up, but can be fatal at higher heights.
  9. Falling off the level will respawn you, but take away a quarter of your total health.
  10. Avoid charging in on groups of enemies unless you’re very confident in your build’s ability to kill enemies quickly. Instead, try to fire some arrows into a group of enemies to whittle down their health.

Minecraft Dungeons character equipment tips

We will be expanding more on the top builds in our Minecraft Dungeons best builds guide, but for now here are some beginner tips for equipment you might wish to consider.

  1. Pay attention to the enchantments that are on each item. Let’s say you have a level 16 sword with one enchantment slot, and a level 14 sword with two enchantment slots. It may be worth investing in the sword with two enchantments, particularly if the enchantment abilities you choose have decent synergy.
  2. Your power level is determined by the average level of all your equipped items. That level 1 fireworks arrow in your artefact slot will be reducing the total average power level across all your equipped gear.
  3. When getting new gear from the Wandering Trader and the Blacksmith at the camp, the equipment you get will never be above your current power level. This is displayed to the right of your character portrait in the inventory menu.
  4. After completing a map, you’ll be able to open a chest which contains anything from new weapons and armour, to artefacts for your character to equip.
  5. Didn’t like the gear you got in a level, or from the two traders at the camp? Salvage the gear you don’t want for more emeralds. Repeat levels multiple times to salvage the excess weapons and armour you get.
  6. The Blacksmith can occasionally craft a unique item, so it’s worth spending the emeralds. Learn more about them in our Minecraft Dungeons unique items guide.
  7. With any artefact and gear item, the higher the power level of that item, the better the stats. So a level 16 Boots of Swiftness will give you 1.7 seconds of increased movement speed, while a higher level Boots of Swiftness will give you more time.
  8. Try to take advantage of certain enchantments and unique weapon traits by equipping artefacts that work well with them. For example, a Firework Arrow artefact when launched from a Scatter Crossbow can launch multiple Firework Arrows.
  9. Enchantment effects stack, so if you have two copies of the enchantment “Chains” for your melee weapon, you’ll increase the chance that enemies are shackled.
  10. It’s perfectly normal in this game to salvage all the items in a build to attempt to create a better one. If your current configuration isn’t working, salvage it and try something else. Have a look at our Minecraft Dungeons best builds guide for some suggestions.

Minecraft Dungeons guide

Minecraft Dungeons guide series

Thanks for reading our Minecraft Dungeons guide. You’ll find plenty more guides for the game in the section below, so do check them out.

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Who am I?

Dave Irwin

Former Guides Writer

When Dave was guides writer for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it was his privilege to understand how to play certain games well, so that newer players can understand the more complex things about them.

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