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Harvesting Chard
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

The Lost Art of Landscaping: The Least Common Minecraft Technique

Minecraft is my all-time favorite video game. The calming music, laid-back gameplay, and… less than high-quality graphics makes this game fun to play—at least for me. But one thing I have noticed throughout playing and watching others play Minecraft is that very few of them landscape their worlds. Landscaping—also called terraforming—is not an easy task. 


Whether in survival or creative mode, it is time-consuming and can be quite boring at times. But, despite its dull nature, landscaping can really bring your world to life. Whether you are in creative mode or survival mode, you will need a few different tools, as well as a palette idea for your landscape.


Survival mode: In survival mode, the tools you will need for your landscaping/terraforming depends on what your final idea is. Although there are many ideas to be used for landscaping, all ideas need the basic tools. Tools you will need include:


Shovel: For the dirt or sand that you wish to remove. Also, for adding paths if wanted.


Pickaxe: For the stone and other pickaxe related blocks that you wish to remove. 


Shears: For removing leaf blocks or weeds that you wish to use in the design.


Bucket: For removing or adding water in places you want water to be or not be. 


These are just the basic tools you need for landscaping in survival mode. You can also use other tools, like an axe to remove trees if needed, but I tend to landscape where there are no trees.


Creative mode: Creative mode is a little different. You can fly and bash any bricks with your “bare hands” in the game. So, for tools, you really don’t need anything except what you want to use to decorate the ground. 


Palettes. There are many different palettes to use for building. Using any combination of all 704 items that can be used for landscaping, there are millions of combinations for palettes. My favorite palette to use is the wood and stone palette. It includes: any type of wood block, stair, and slab, smooth stone and cobblestone blocks, stairs, and slabs, as well as any two types of leaf blocks. The palette I use is called the “rustic” palette. There are a lot of palettes to choose from, and I can’t possibly list them all. But I will list the most common ones. 


Rustic: This palette uses wood planks and stone, as well as leaves to represent long vines. 


Medieval: This palette uses all stone-based blocks: stone bricks, stone, cobblestone, stone brick stairs, etc. Carpets and flower pots are encouraged for color pops. 


Modern: Clay and concrete, as well as one wood type. Lots of greenery and flowers.


Desert: Anything with “sand” in the name, minus the red sand and red sandstone, unless you use it only for accents inside the house. Also, use wood buttons for accents and cactuses for decorations as well as glazed terracotta.


These are the common house types, and a lot of times the landscape revolves around the house style. Rustic houses call for a more forest-y vibe with lots of trees and vines. 


Medieval should be more flat but can also be around lakes or oceans with a bridge going out into the ocean. 


Modern should be in the plains and flat. A trick to make for modern builds is the “fake lawn” where you use dark green wool and green concrete powder in alternating lines to create a manicured lawn look that you see in most modern houses in real life. 


And finally, desert just needs to be in the desert with a bridge or path to the plains or forest to get other materials for your game. 


Desert landscaping is really difficult with the gravity for sand, but once you understand the gravity a little better, it’ll be easier to terraform. 


my name is Annie Zalewski, and I enjoy writing random stories. I write about artistry, hunting, and other random things I enjoy, or find appealing.
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