Minecraft has been out for ages now and lots of players are looking for some cool things to build. Luckily, as a veteran player I have you covered with my handy list of 34 awesome Minecraft Survival building ideas!
There are so many different things to build, like a really cool Minecraft house, castle, storage room, or even a bridge. To make sure you don’t get bored or give up on your build, pick a Minecraft building idea that you will have fun with and one that’s not too difficult.
Keep in mind that you will probably need to get all the building supplies yourself if you’re on survival Minecraft. For really big builds like a Minecraft castle, there could be lots of work to get all the blocks you need! But if you’re playing in creative mode, you don’t have to worry about this and can build as big as you want.
Let’s dive straight into it with our list of 34 cool things to build in Minecraft!
Things to Build in Minecraft Survival
Castles are of the most popular things to build in Minecraft. Why? Who wouldn’t want to live in their very own castle!
There is a lot you can add: a wooden gate, a lava moat with a stone bridge, fountains, statues, gardens, and so on. Bonus: the walls and moat will keep mobs out of your base! Any mobs that get close, you can shoot using a bow from the top of your walls.
I recommend starting small and adding on as you need more space, otherwise you could end up giving up on your Minecraft castle idea. There have been so many times where I started building a massive castle which ended up being too much work (and then I gave up). Personally, I start with the outer castle walls first, then add one tower, then more towers, then rooms connecting those towers, and so on.
Don’t forget that castles can range from a small fortress with a few connected towers to a giant walled city with amazing Minecraft fountains. If you’re finding that building a castle is too hard in Minecraft Survival, definitely try making it smaller.
Building a house for yourself can be a great Minecraft building idea for survival. Design your own bedroom, storage areas, hallways, grand staircases, and more. You can go one step further and build a fancy fence around your property or even build an indoor garden right inside your house!
This Minecraft house in the picture is pretty modern, but if you want other Minecraft house ideas we’ve got you covered.
If you are looking for new ideas for things to build in Minecraft, a town can definitely keep you busy since there are so many buildings you can add. Often times, the Minecraft building style used is medieval, but you really could use just about any style like Asian, Viking, and so on!
How do you build a town in Minecraft? It’s as simple as creating a collection of buildings in a similar style and connecting them with roads. It’s a good idea to place torches or other lighting to stop mobs from spawning and attacking town members.
For even more added protection (and an extra Minecraft building idea), you can consider building walls to keep out pesky exploding creepers!
Here are some extra things to build for your town in Minecraft:
- Hospitals (with a beacon for healing)
- Storage Rooms
- Underground Bases
- Town Halls
- Court Rooms & Jails
- Meeting or Trading Squares
- Statues and Monuments
Everyone needs a farm to grow Minecraft food for cooking and eating. You could make a simple farm with the essentials like trees and wheat, expanding later into more crops like pumpkins, carrots, cocoa beans, and so on.
A cool farm-related thing to build is your own Minecraft greenhouse with glass and use natural light to grow your crops. The greenhouse would keep out animals and mobs, but you should still light it up a bit so mobs don’t spawn at night.
Another option is to make an indoor or underground farm, but this will be more work. Crops need light to grow, so you would have to make sure there is enough light from torches, lanterns, or lamps. It’s often easier with indoor and underground farms to set them up as automatic farms for this reason.
5. Underground Base
To build an underground base in Minecraft, look for a large underground ravine or carve out a huge hole with TnT. Put windows in the walls, hang vines, and have columns of water or lava (if you want). This one can be a lot of work, especially if you want to dig out larger areas for farms or growing trees.
On a Minecraft server I played on a long time ago, there was a very cool underground “vault” city that was dug out by the players. There were lots of hallways with doors to rooms and a massive atrium with trees and a garden. It is possible to make secret Minecraft rooms and hallways as well.
Find a jungle biome and build a base in the trees, or build your own giant tree with wood and build inside the tree. Watch out if fire spread is on though. It would only take one fireplace or mean player to burn down your entire build.
If you are building up in the trees, it is also a cool idea to build wooden bridges linking different tree houses together. However, this may make your house less private and more obvious if you are on a server with other players.
Gardens in Minecraft go well with almost anything, such as a town, a house, or even just by itself. Try using flowers, trees, gravel pathways, benches, and water to decorate your garden.
Fountains and lakes are a very nice centerpiece for gardens, but can sometimes be tricky to get the water flowing the way you want. If there’s a lot of water in your garden, it can be a relaxing place to go fishing in Minecraft.
To get flowers for your garden, you can use bonemeal on grass to grow them or find them naturally throughout the world. Some biomes in Minecraft will have much more flowers than others.
8. Big City
A big city with skyscrapers, paved roads, lamp posts, parks, and sidewalks is usually a supercharged Survival Minecraft challenge, but can be really rewarding if you have a lot of time or building helpers!
If you’re up to the challenge, others have successfully built a big Minecraft city in survival.
Keep that in mind there’s a lot of repetitive building with cities (for example, adding lots of floors to the same skyscraper). If you don’t mind “cheating” a little, downloading one of the best Minecraft server plugins, WorldEdit, will be a huge help.
With these kinds of plugins, you can copy and paste the same blocks over and over for free.
Fountains can be simple or large and complicated. They make a good decoration for gardens, castle courtyards, or even indoors.
With the changes Mojang made to water flowing, fountains are a bit more tricky to make now and may need some experimenting to get the water flowing perfectly. Try using ‘steps’ for water to flow down and glowstone or glass within the water.
A cool minecraft fountain idea could be lighting up your fountain so it is more visible at night. This can be done with blocks like glowstone or redstone lamps.
If you are using lamps, you could even link it to a daylight sensor so the fountain light only turns on at night! Pretty awesome, huh?
Building a library in Minecraft can be super simple or super tricky.
A bigger library is usually decorated with bookcases, wood, carpets, and stained glass, or even just a side-room in your base and make that your enchanting area. For extra fun, use pistons to make some hidden passages behind the bookcases.
Libraries are the perfect place to put your enchanting tables (with all the books and all). Even if you don’t want to build a large library, you can still build a small one close to your storage room for keeping up with the best minecraft enchantments.
Another thing in Minecraft that’s a little more mystical and ties in with libraries is potion brewing. Try building a little basement, secret room behind a bookcase, or just an office where you will brew all your potions.
10. Storage Room
Since you usually need to access your storage a lot, it’s good to get some Minecraft storage room ideas first! Some ideas could be to build your storage underground or to use rows of chests.
Storage rooms are an important part of any Minecraft house in survival. They can be large, very organized, and decorated (if you want!). If you have the materials, use expensive blocks in your storage room to show off your wealth like gold, diamond, and emerald.
11. Famous Landmark
Look on google for a photo of a famous landmark and use it as a reference for building something amazing in Minecraft. For example, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty, and so on. Hint: if you travel a lot, pick the favorite thing you saw on your travels.
If you are playing on survival Minecraft, maybe try to pick something a little less detailed or build a more miniature version of the landmark. Without the flying and infinite blocks on creative, it may be a challenging thing to build on survival.
Pyramids are usually built in desert biomes using sandstone or sand. They are a nice place for putting your Minecraft beacon (think of Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, it’s the pyramid with the light beam coming out of it) and can be built in other biomes too using various materials.
If you want to keep an Egyptian theme, decorate the outside with pools, columns, and sphinxes.
Building a pyramid is really easy thing to build in Minecraft for most players, even in survival. You just have to make a really large square and then keep building smaller squares vertically until you reach the tip of the pyramid.
Arches are often used as a grand entrance to a town, base, or other build. They are a fun thing to build in Minecraft and can be made of simple materials like stone or even diamonds found while mining.
It’s a popular idea to add Minecraft statues on each side of the arch. Some examples are statues of horses, players, or mermaids!
There are so many impressive churches and cathedrals in the world and building one in Minecraft can be quite difficult, especially in survival mode. However, they can make for a busy and satisfying Minecraft building idea.
For inspiration, find an image of a famous cathedral online for your reference as you build. Don’t forget the stained glass!
15. Cool Nether Portal Build
There are so many ways to build a nether portal in Minecraft and there are endless design possibilities. Try making a room just for your nether portal or make an even larger nether portal and decorate it (nether portals can be much larger than the standard small size).
As an added bonus, keeping your nether portal in a separate room will keep away any Minecraft mobs that walk through it. For building materials, I recommend using materials found in the nether such as quartz, netherrack, nether brick, or lava. This will make sure your portal still has a nether theme to it.
16. Floating Base
Floating bases are not just for Skyblock, they can be one of the coolest things to build in Minecraft Survival! Build a large platform for yourself up in the clouds, bring up some construction materials, and start building a base up there. The original builder has a time lapse on YouTube which shows you how to build this particular floating base in Minecraft.
Be aware that building a floating base in Minecraft can be difficult, especially at the beginning! Building a floating base is part of our collection of Minecraft survival challenges.
Make sure you have a safe way to get down, such as a jump to a pool of water, a ladder, or slime blocks to fall on.
As an added bonus, if you are playing on a pvp server, a floating base high up in the sky can keep yourself hidden from other players. It is a good way to maintain privacy, as long as the base is not too big!
Sky Factory (included in our list of the best Minecraft modpacks to play in 2023) is a fun way to start a floating build.
Try building a village right on the water with wooden sidewalks connecting the buildings to create a Minecraft dock. Some anchored boats can easily be built out of wood as decoration for your Minecraft dock.
Since there’s always water nearby, it’s so easy to go Minecraft fishing from a dock. Great place to store your fishing supplies!
Dig underground tunnels near your base and fill them with a little bit of water. Add iron fence gates or plants such as vines and lily pads for decoration and you’ve got yourself a sewer system. If you want, you could also put minecart tracks in here for transportation. A sewer system can be a cool way to link different parts of an underground base in Minecraft, as well.
For an added sense of adventure, add secret hallways with treasure for visitors. These hallways could be hidden with pressure plates, levers, pistons, and so on.
You could even keep the sewers dark, allowing mobs to spawn. Make sure to bring the best Minecraft weapon you can get a hold of before going in!
A minecart subway system is a really unique and practical Minecraft building idea. After building a subway, imagine how easy it would be to transport yourself around your city or between builds.
It can be as simple as digging out a long hallway underground and adding ‘stops’ or ‘stations’ along the way with exits to the world above.
If you want to go more fancy, you can decorate the stations like in the picture! To get a really awesome looking subway, you might want to grab one of the best minecraft texture packs.
Mazes can easily be built out of leaves/hedges and placed into a Minecraft garden. They can also be made underground or inside buildings.
For more fun, consider adding traps and surprises using pistons like drops, changing walls, and dispensers shooting arrows. Don’t forget the reward chest at the end of the maze.
If you are playing on survival Minecraft, you’ll definitely want the Silk Touch Enchantment to gather leaf blocks from trees!
If you have an empty hallway inside your build, building Minecraft statues is a fantastic idea to make use of that space. You could build statues dedicated to your favorite items, mobs, animals, or players.
Statues as shown in the photo are commonly used to decorate grand entrances like arches.
Is there a river by your base? Or even a deep canyon? Building a bridge is a fantastic Minecraft building idea for getting across! Decorate the edges and supports for the bridge and add some lighting as well.
Use materials like copper, stone, brick, or wood instead of just dirt and cobblestone. Your bridge can be as simple as a walkway or as grand as the Golden Gate bridge.
A lighthouse in the distance glowing in the night is a cool decoration if your base is by an ocean. A lighthouse does not look very nice in a field or by a river, so make sure you build it on a beach by the ocean! For a unique look, build your lighthouse out of white material and with some touches of red (like concrete, wool, or glazed terracotta patterns).
If you’re good with redstone, you can even make a piston-based system to build a revolving Minecraft lighthouse.
You can’t sail a manually built boat from blocks in Minecraft. Regardless, it does make for a cool thing to build! Manually built boats are usually made of wood blocks with the sails made from wool. Your boat build can be as simple as a sailboat, or as large as a cruise liner with sleeping and dining cabins.
26. Penthouse Suite
If you are building a city and have skycrapers, a cool Minecraft house idea is to build a penthouse suite! You would be able to easily watch over your whole Minecraft base from the top of a skyscraper. This one might be a bit more work if you don’t already have a skyscraper.
For an authentic look, keep a modern design and draw inspiration from those New York TV shows with penthouses. Try adding rooms like a real penthouse suite would have, like designing a cool Minecraft kitchen for your penthouse.
27. Clock Tower
Clock towers are a cool thing to build in Minecraft Survival for any town or even a modern city (think of Big Ben in London). They are usually very simple to build and can be made from a variety of different building materials like logs, stone, or even the newer copper blocks.
Unfortunately, it won’t be able to tell you the time (unless you are a redstone wizard), but it’s a great decoration anyways.
28. Bank and Vault Minecraft Build
The vaults of a bank are a unique way to store your items in Minecraft. Build up a bank, and in the back, have an entrance to an underground vault area with your items. What better place to store your gold and diamonds than locked up in an underground Minecraft base?
To make your vault more realistic, secure it with a very strong material. I like to build my bank vaults out of obsidian and have different rooms for different items. If you want to be even more creative, each floor can be locked and only opened from a lever in a secure office.
29. Restaurant or Tavern
You will need a place to cook your Minecraft food with easy access. Sure, you could put it in your storage chests, but what fun is that? Try building a restaurant or tavern with a seating area and a place to order and obtain food. Your friends and visitors will love it as well, if you play on a server with other people.
For more fun, you can try building a fast-food restaurant like Subway or McDonalds and design a cool Minecraft kitchen to go with it!
Another thing to build in Minecraft survival is a large urban hospital for yourself and your visitors. Organize an emergency room, waiting area, and wards on the upper floors. If you want a smaller building idea, try making a small clinic building for your town.
I recommend building with whiter materials such as white wool or quartz to really make that red “H” or cross stand-out. You could craft Minecraft concrete from powder as an alternative to wool.
To make the hospital more realistic, add some beacons which automatically “heal” any player that enters the building.
Building a courthouse to deal with rule-breaking players on your server is yet another Minecraft building idea! The inside should contain an area for people to watch the proceedings, and a front-area for the judge and the accused. Don’t forget to build a jail underground or attached to the courthouse.
Most courthouses today are traditional with wooden interiors (wall, ceiling, floor, benches), even if the exterior is made of something else like stone.
On YouTube you can find some great videos for building a Minecraft courthouse.
A prison can have so many things, as it needs to be mostly self-sustaining. You’ll need cell blocks, a cafeteria, security rooms, and anything else you can think of. You should definitely make use of redstone to create a full security system with lever-activated doors.
Minecraft prison servers are getting pretty popular, so why not build your own? Don’t forget the fence around the prison with the watch towers.
33. Minecraft Pixel Art
2-Dimensional art can be made in Minecraft just by using colored wool or other colored blocks like concrete. Pixel art may look easy, but trust me, once you try it you may find it to be pretty challenging while still fun.
For pixel art ideas, people often make flags, slogans, minecraft items (like a diamond pickaxe statue), or other players.
A cottage on lake or river is a nice and cozy place to call home. You could make one just as a vacation house and connect it to your base with a road or minecart rail system. If it’s on the water or at least has a lake, you’ll have a cool Minecraft fishing spot!
And there you have it, 34 things to build in Minecraft Survival! Do you have more suggestions to add? Leave a comment below.