46 Cool Things to Do in Minecraft Survival (1.20)

Minecraft is a game that allows you to do absolutely anything you want. On the other hand, having so many options could cause you to feel a little overwhelmed and lost. This is why I tried to put some order in the choice overload we all felt at some point in our survival world and some cool things to do in Minecraft survival that may have never done.

I assume you already beat the Ender Dragon, built some basic farms, as well as got an Elytra and a set of great tools, armor, and weapons. I’ve divided these ideas into five categories because different players prefer different aspects of the game: Building projects, Exploring, Collections, Game mechanics and achievements, and Farms. So putting all the basic things behind us, here are 46 things to do in Minecraft.

Table of Contents

Building Projects

Building is an essential part of Minecraft, from your base to farms and pretty much everything else.

1. Redecorate Your House

Depending on how many small details you put into your house, redecorating can take anywhere from an hour or two to a couple of days. What I love about it is that it’s a low-key project you can do when you need a break from bigger projects.

My house definitely need a redecoration
My house definitely need a redecoration

2. Make a Trading Hall

A trading hall is one of the most useful things you can add to your Minecraft world. It usually consist of a few zombie villagers you cured with their trading blocks and a place in the back from which you can easily zombify them again for even better trades.

A Minecraft trading hall

3. Build a Nether Hub

A Nether hub is absolutely essential, whether you plan on building fast travel routes to different parts of your world or have a few Nether farms. A Nether hub acts as your base in the Nether, just without a bed 😉. It connects your Nether farms, routes, and everything else. Just make sure to Ghast-proof it.

4. Build a Fast Traveling Route System in the Nether

Boats on packed ice can travel up to 40 blocks/sec, and on blue ice, they can reach almost 73 blocks/sec. Multiply it by 8 to consider that one block in the overworld equals 8 blocks in the nether, and you get yourself a travel speed of 584 blocks/sec. Obviously, you’ll need to dig it before you can use it, but still. This is a great project to connect multiple bases or interest points around your world.

A fast travel route in the nether
A fast travel route in the nether

5. Make a Huge Aquarium with Tropical Fish, Turtles, and Dolphins

A huge aquarium is a very nice Minecraft project that will keep you busy for a couple of hours. Collect some Glass blocks, Corals, Sea Lanterns, Fish, Turtles, Dolphins, and other decorations and start building. You can place it inside your house, outside, or inside its own building.

6. Build an Under Water Base

An underwater base is one of those things you can do in Minecraft that will take a day or a month, and it only depends on what you want to include in this project. Personally, I think that an Atlantis theme half a sphere looks great and is really cool, but you can be as creating you want to be with it. You’ll need a healthy amount of sponges, a Conduit, and a Helmet enchanted with Underwater Breathing to help you with this challenge.

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7. Build a Tree House

A tree house is a simple and fun project that can keep you busy for as long as you want it to. You can connect it to other tree houses with bridges or keep them separated. Nothing is stopping you.

8. Upgrade Some Naturally Generated Structures

a Pillager Outpost, a Desert Pyramid, a Jungle Temple, or even just a Well. All are structures all of us saw hundreds of times, and even though there’s nothing wrong with them, they can use some touch ups every now and then. There are millions of ways you can personalize each of them, keeping you busy for hours at a time.

9. Build the Storage Room You Really Want

I don’t know about you, but when I build a house, I dedicate a room for chests, whether in the basement or the main floor. After some time passes, I’m running out of room, and I’m forced to add another room, and then another.

Building a huge storage room saves a lot of time and effort in finding where to put all the stuff you got from your exploration trips.

10. Build an Auto Sorter

An auto sorter is a surprisingly simple addition to any storage room. It requires extra space, so if you plan on having it, you should plan your storage room with it in mind.

When I said it’s simple, I meant that the principle on which it is built is simple, but it gets more tedious as you include more items for it to sort. It is worth doing, but you should probably split this build into a couple of sessions rather than trying to complete it in one sitting.

11. Turn a Mountain into a Volcano

This is another thing you can do In Minecraft that is made to stimulate your creativity rather than being useful. Make smoke using cobwebs, and pour dozens of Lava Buckets to make it look as epic as possible.

An epic Minecraft Volcano by Finnick420
An epic Minecraft Volcano by Finnick420

12. Overhaul a Village

Overhauling a village can take a while, but your villagers will surely appreciate it.

13. Build a Paradise Resort

Palm trees, lounge chairs, and a bar on the beach, what else can you ask for in the ultimate quest for relaxation?

14. Upgrade The Lighting Around Your Base

There’s nothing in Minecraft that annoys me more than seeing torches everywhere. I don’t know exactly why, but makes everything looks cheaper. Glow Berries, Froglights, some Jack o’Lanterns, and even a Lantern are deeply appreciated.

Can you see the difference between the cheap looking torches to the almost indistinguishable sea lantern beneth a moss carpet
Can you see the difference between the cheap-looking torches to the almost indistinguishable sea lantern beneath a moss carpet

Exploring

Exploring, to me, is the ultimate way to experience Minecraft.

15. Find and Visit Each Biome in The Nether

There are five biomes in the Nether. Each is characterized by different structures, mobs, and atmospheres. If you haven’t already, go explore your Nether!

Crimson Forest on the left, Wrapped Forest on the right, and the Nether Wastes in the middle
Crimson Forest on the left, Warped Forest on the right, and the Nether Wastes in the middle

16. Find and Visit Each Biome in the Overworld

I want to start by saying that this, by any means, is not an easy task. There are 53 different biomes in Minecraft. Most of them are variations of one another, but despite that, there is no lack of variety in Minecraft. Explore the Lush Caves, Badlands (or Messa if you’ve been playing Minecraft for a while), The Bamboo Jungle, and the rare Mushroom Fields.

The view of a mushroom fields biome with a lush cave peaking out of a revine
The view of a mushroom fields biome with a lush cave peaking out of a revine

17. Build and Fill a Map Wall

A map wall is my personal favorite way to explore my world. This is one of the first things I do after I get an Elytra, but many players do it even before.

Grab a couple of banners and start discovering your surrounding. You’ll be surprised by how many cool things there are nearby that you never knew of.

An ongoing map wall project is one of many great things to do in Minecraft
An ongoing map wall project is one of many great things to do in Minecraft

18. Go Caving

Caving is always nice to do. Gather some food and torches, and go explore the depths of your world. No need to stay close to your base, but you don’t need to get too far, either, just make sure you don’t get lost while caving.

On a caving trip
On a caving trip

Collections

19. Collect all Armor Trims

Armor Trims are a new addition to Minecraft, introduced in Minecraft 1.20. They are essentially decoration pieces for your armor you collect from different places in the world. A worthy challenge for every explorer.

20. Collect All 12 Patterns of Tropical Fish

Go explore the Warm Oceans, Lush Caves, and Mangrove Swamps for all 12 patterns of Tropical fish. It could take days, weeks, or just a couple of hours. It could be an ongoing achievement you work toward while doing other things, but I must tell you this: It feels great to find the last one!

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Want an extra challenge? Find all the patterns of the same color.

An aquarium with 12 tropical fish, each with a different pattern
An aquarium with 12 tropical fish, each with a different pattern

21. Start a Pottery Collection

Even though Archeology was first announced in 2020, it was only added to the snapshots leading to version 1.20, together with Armor Trims.

Even though you can craft a Decorated Pot with 4 Bricks, by using each of 20 types of Pottery Sherds, you can make a different-looking Pot. Pottery Shards can be found in these locations: Warm Ocean Ruins, Desert Pyramids, Desert Wells, or Trail Ruins by using a Brush on Suspicious Sand or Suspicious Gravel.

My decorated pots collection features every one of 20 different designs.
My decorated pots collection features every one of 20 different designs.

22. Collect Two of Each Tamable Mob

There are currently nine different tamable mobs in Minecraft: Cats, Donkeys, Horses (including the Skeleton Horse version), Mules, Llamas (including Wander Traders Llamas), Parrots, and Wolves. Additionally, there are six mobs that can’t be tamed but can grow trust toward the player: Allies, Axolotls, Foxes, and Ocelots.

Bring two of each (or one of each of their variations if you’re looking for a tougher challenge).

23. Collect All the Flowers

There are 20 types of flowers in Minecraft, and obtaining them all shouldn’t be that big of a challenge, or is it?

Finding most flowers is relatively easy but does require some exploring on foot. The Wither Rose, on the other hand, might not be as simple to acquire.

All types of Minecraft flowers
All types of Minecraft flowers. Figuring out in which order to plant them took more time than collecting them.

24. Collect All Types of Crops

Wheat is usually one of, if not the first, farm in most survival worlds. Sometimes, wheat is even used to help you survive the first night in Minecraft. The same thing, though, can’t be said about Beetroot, can it? Collect and plant Wheat, Beetroot, Potatoes, Carrots, Berries, Melons, and Pumpkins. Even if they’re not considered such a good late-game food source, you can sell them to your villagers.

A simple farm with one of each crop
A simple farm with one of each crop

25. Collect Hostile Mob Heads

Do you know how to collect mob heads? Great. Try to collect a head from a Skeleton, Piglin, Zombie, Creeper, Wither Skeleton, and the Dragon.

It’s not easy, but it wasn’t me who searched for things to do in Minecraft, right?

The Mob-Head room - the creepiest room in my base
The Mob-Head room – the creepiest room in my base

26. Breed Horses Until You Get the Best Horse Possible

Each Horse in Minecraft has different attributes, like color, pattern, speed, and jump height. These attributes are passed on to their offspring by breeding, so, technically, if you keep breeding the fastest horses with these with the highest jump, you have a real chance of getting the best horse in the game. This horse runs faster than 14 blocks/sec and jumps higher than 5 blocks!

Steve and the fastest horse in the game
Steve and the fastest horse in the game

27. Collect all Goat Horns

There are eight different types of goat horns, four of which can only drop from screaming goats. It took me a while to get my first one, but once I got the “rhythm” of it, it started moving a bit quicker.

A Minecraft goat
A Minecraft goat

28. Find and Collect the Rarest Mobs

Did you know that only one of 610 Sheep in Minecraft will spawn pink? Did you know that when you breed Axolotls, you have a chance of 0.083% of getting a blue one? It’s 1 in 1200 attempts! Lightning has between 0.75% to 6.75% (depending on difficulty) to spawn a company of Skeleton Horses ridden by Skeletons. If you kill the skeletons, you can tame the horse!

Collect three of the rarest mobs in Minecraft:

  • A blue Axolotl
  • A naturally generated pink sheep
  • A skeleton horse
A pink sheep, a skeleton horse, and a blue axolotl
A pink sheep, a skeleton horse, and a blue axolotl

Game Mechanics and Achievements

29. Explore a Woodland Mansion

A Woodland Mansion is one of the biggest structures in the game. It’s filled with hostile mobs, such as Evokers and Vindicators. Woodland Mansions are quite dark, too, so in addition to the above, you can expect many Zombies, Skeletons, and Creepers too.

If you play on Easy, a Woodland Mansion is the only way you can get a Totem of Undying in Survival. It is also one of two places you can find the Ally.

A Woodland Mansion is the only place in Minecraft where you can get a totem of undying on easy difficulty
A Woodland Mansion is the only place in Minecraft where you can get a totem of undying on easy difficulty

30. Start and Win a Raid

If you ask me, Raids are one of the most interesting game mechanics in Minecraft. Kill a patrol captain or go attack a pillager outpost. After you get the Bad Omen effect, visit a village or your trading hall and fight off the raid.

If this is your first time, make some iron golems to help you.

A captain nearby a pillager outpost
A captain nearby a pillager outpost

31. Take Over an Ocean Monument

An ocean monument is the only place in the game from which you can get sponges. Although it might not sound that useful, a good supply of sponges is a must-have if you plan on building anything underwater.

It is also one of the things you should do in Minecraft at least once.

Raiding an ocean monument is one of the things you need to do in Minecraft at least once
Raiding an ocean monument is one of the things you need to do in Minecraft at least once

32. Fight the Wither (Again?)

The Wither fight is among the hardest fights in the game. Fighting the wither is also the only way to get a Nether Star, an item you need for a Beacon.

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The Wither fight is the only time in the game you can get the Wither rose, so if you plan on collecting all the flowers in the game, you kinda have to.

33. Resummon the Ender Dragon

Fighting and beating the Ender Dragon is something you must do to complete the game. Did you know that you can resummon the Ender Dragon? In fact, you can resummon her (yes, the Ender Dragon is a she) as many times as you want.

The Ender Dragon Regenerate Health During the Fight
The Ender Dragon Regenerate Health During the Fight

34. Get a Trident

Getting a trident is something I gave up on in some of my survival worlds because it just took too much time, and I didn’t feel like farming it. If you have one of these worlds where you just gave up on having a Trident, going for it again can definitely re-ignite your interest in your world.

35. Get the Best Enchantment on each Piece of Gear

Getting the best enchantments on each piece of armor, tool, and weapon is something most players just don’t do, and I never understood why. It can be a little repetitive, I agree, but assuming you cured a zombie villager and made him sell you mending books, there really is no reason not to pursue the best possible enchantment on any piece of gear.

Some of the enchantments, such as Swift Sneak, Frost Walker, and Mendimg, can’t be obtained through the enchantment table. Mending and Frost Walker are available mostly through villager trading, and the Swift Sneak is exclusive to ancient cities.

Steve covered in enchanted netherite gear
Steve, covered in enchanted netherite gear

36. Gear Up with Netherite

After you get the best enchantments, it’s time to add the last improvement. Compared to Diamond, Netherite tools work faster, weapons inflict more damage, and everything is more durable. It’s beneficial even if you already enchanted everything with mending because it’ll make you gain levels faster.

Upgrading a diamond pickaxe to netherite on a smithing table
Upgrading a diamond pickaxe to netherite on a smithing table

37. Loot an Ancient City

If you thought the loot in end cities is great, you must see what you get from an ancient city! Echo shards, leggings enchanted with swift sneak, disc fragments, enchanted golden apples, and more. Just beware of the Warden.

38. Kill the Warden

If you accidentally (or not accidentally) wake the Warden, you can either stay still or take the challenge and kill it.

This is a hard challenge, the hardest challenge in the game. The Warden is extremely fast and will 2-shot you on easy and one-shot on medium and hard difficulties. On top of that, he’s got an extremely powerful ranged attack that reaches as far as 20 blocks away.

Thankfully, he can’t see. He orients himself in space by sensing nearby vibrations, making him an easy mob to manipulate using snowballs or projectiles.

Remaining silent won’t guarantee your survival, though, because the Warden occasionally sniffs his surroundings for the player or other mobs.

The Warden
The Warden

39. Build a Full Beacon

A 4-level pyramid requires 164 blocks (that comes to 1476 items, which are tiny bit more than 23 and a half stacks) of a mineral. It could be iron, gold, diamonds, emeralds, netherite, or any combination of them.

The easiest ones to make are iron and emerald because of how productive iron farms are and how easy it is to earn a lot of emeralds by trading with cured villagers), followed by gold (which can be farmed quite effectively in the nether), diamonds and netherite (both of which you need to mine).

Want the ultimate challenge? Make a full beacon out of each.

The interface of a full beacon
The interface of a full beacon

40. Craft and Activate a Conduit

Conduit makes building underwater a lot easier. It regenerates oxygen, helps you mine faster underwater, and even hurts hostile mobs.

An activated conduit
An activated conduit

41. Make Every Type of Potion

There are 15 different types of potions in Minecraft, most players have made a weakness, underwater breathing, fire resistance, night vision, and invisibility, but it’s quite rare to make a potion of the turtle master, not to mention every single type of potion.

My brewing area
My brewing area

42. Complete All Challenges

There are 102 different advancements in Minecraft, and 20 of them are considered challenges. Complete all the challenge advancements (it could take longer than you think).

Farm Projects

43. Build a Bartering Farm

A bartering hall is not as useful as a trading hall, but if you have a gold farm, you probably found that there’s a limit to what you can do with gold. A bartering farm’s concept is very simple, and what I like about it is that no matter how much you automate or scale it up, it remains pretty simple.

44. Automate your Crop Farms

We all have our starter wheat farm, but a lot less of us have ever bothered to automate it. It is true for many other farms we built at the beginning of the game.

By automating them, we don’t only change how they work but also how they look. This is a great opportunity to freshen things up.

45. Upgrade or Scale up your Farms

Do you have that small building in the nether waste where you run around and collect angry zombified piglins? Me too. It’s time to have that huge gold farm on the roof of the nether.

The same goes for any one-story creeper farm or spawner farm without the 21 blocks drop.

It’s time to upgrade and scale up your farms.

46. Make All Hostile Mob Farms

Well, not ALL, but you can definitely aim for having these:

  • Skeleton Farm – Drops arrows, bows, and bones. With minor modifications can become a Stray farm.
  • Zombie farm – Drops rotten flesh and an occasional potato or carrot.
  • Creeper farm – Drops gunpowder.
  • Blaze farm- Drops blaze powder.
  • Enderman Farm – Drops ender pearls.
  • Magma Cube Farm – Drops magma cream.
  • Spiders Farm (Cave spiders and regular spiders) – Drops strings and spider eyes.
  • Drowned Farm – Drops rotten flesh, nautilus shell, fishing rods (either enchanted or not), and, of course, tridents.
  • Guardian Farm – Drops prismarine shards, prismarine crystals, and a raw fish (rad cod, raw salmon, or tropical fish).
  • Slime Farm – Drops slime balls.
  • Wither Skeleton – Drops Coal, stone swords, bones, and wither heads.
My endermen farm
My endermen farm

And If All That Wasn’t Enough

If even this list of things to do in Minecraft didn’t help you find another interesting thing to do or achieve in your world, you could follow some Minecraft survival Youtubers for tips, tricks, and ideas.

Is there anything I’ve missed? Post your ideas of things to do in Minecraft in the comments below!

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