Not too long ago, a friend of mine started paying to have a realm open, which is similar to a server but private, allowing for myself and our friends to exchange materials, experience, and of course, ideas. After playing in a new format, I began to learn more about the game itself.
The first thing I learned may seem incredibly simple to Minecraft veterans, but I had no idea it even existed: using carpet or half slabs in order to prevent enemy spawns. Carpet is crafted by shearing wool from sheep (or killing them) and, without the need of a crafting table, turning it into the carpet; whereas half slabs are crafted from multiple materials: woods, stones, etc. via a crafting table or stonecutter. You may be wondering why this works. Put simply, what’s happening in the game spawns enemies on full blocks - only - and if you only put the bottom half of a block down the game won’t spawn enemies on it. This also works for glass blocks, signs, stairs, fences, and leaves (most of which are considered transparent blocks which have the same properties; ie. restricting enemy spawns).
Another take away from Minecraft Realm was that using a minecart with rails is slow, even with powered rails helping move you along, but packed/blue ice trails and a boat? You can cover thousands of blocks in no time at all. I had visited a friend’s home base in our realm and he had used a hand placed, underground packed ice trail to connect one base to another. It was over 1,000 blocks long and took maybe a minute to travel the full distance. I’m unsure why packed ice makes you go so fast, but I can tell you how to build it. You’ll need a boat, a lot of packed ice (which you can find in a glacier, tundra, or by mixing 9 ice blocks at a crafting table), and a lot of any other block to place fences on, also a lot of fences. You set the ice blocks in a straight line for as far as you want, then on either side place whatever other blocks - wood, stone, some full block - and then place fences on top of those full blocks, grab a boat, and then shoot yourself down this ice track you’ve built at Mach 10. Blue ice (9 packed ice) is even faster.
Thirdly, I learned you can place water over signs and that makes water hover. Essentially what you’ll need is a 4 by 4 shaft going downward with signposts placed three blocks above you, then place water a block above those signs and the water will suspend there and not flood down. What does this do? Well, no matter how far you fall, if you land in water you won’t take damage. So it’s a great fast travel drop to get down into your mines. Why does this work? Well, it likely has to do with it not being a full block, but according to the Minecraft wiki, “Water and lava flow around signs” which likely has something to do with it. Also, be sure you have a way back up before leaping down the water hole.
The fourth thing I learned is that a trident with a riptide enchant is absolutely amazing, especially when it rains. Essentially, what Riptide is is that, when you throw the trident, it will teleport you to the trident if you’re in the water. So if it’s raining you can continuously whip the trident you can cover great distances in no time at all by just throwing the trident repeatedly. The riptide enchantment is obtained by using an enchanting table, throwing in a trident, some lapis lazuli, and hoping it appears as an option; make sure you have enough XP.
Finally, I learned from playing Minecraft Realm is that friendship is what really matters. Ha, no I’m kidding, I already knew that. No, the fifth takeaway is that you can put markers on maps in order to keep track of where you build your bases at. So, I know in the Java edition, custom markers are already a thing, but in Bedrock, it’s just green locators stamped onto a map; but it’s better than nothing. How it works is (assuming you already have a large map), with a cartography table, take a piece of paper, make a map, then using your large map and the new map, copy that large map, and place the copy in an item frame (mixing one leather and eight sticks at a crafting table), now every copy of that map will have a marker on it!
There are plenty of ways to explore playing Minecraft on a Realm, but what stood out was the benefits of carpets and half slabs, speedy ice trails, hovering water, fast travel riptide tridents, and map markers. Did you already know these five things or are they news to you? Let us know in the comments and, if you’re going to test out some of these things in your world or realm, be sure to have fun!
By Nicholas James