Minecraft has become a wildly successful, rags to riches software sensation nearly overnight. And while Minecraft Retail may not be free, we’ve previously written about how you can play Minecraft classic for free, and in this post we will feature a ton of freely available content that’s out there related to the addictive pickaxe pastime.
Minecraft was available, a long while ago, as a closed beta test and a good friend of mine was playing it at that time. I watched him, fascinated that he was so drawn, so magnetized by these blocky graphics and what looked like four-bit resolution effects.It didn’t make sense, to me (a life long, sworn and certified eye candy glutton) but he sure seemed to enjoy it.
It wasn’t until much later that I actually got to play the game and find that it is one of those very rare and beautiful games that is all about the actual game play, which is pretty darn addictive if not downright compelling. If you’re like me, when I get into a game’s I tend to want to devour everything I can find on it or relating to it in any way. In the case of Minecraft, there’s lots of player created content that you can get a hold of at no cost whatsoever and most of it is pretty high quality and totally goof-proof.
There are three basic categories of Minecraft “Freesources” that I wanted to mention here (yes, that’s my word, no you can’t use it). World Generation Seeds (a.k.a. just ‘Seeds’) are a starting point to create a whole new world for Minecraft exploration, from caverns and lakes to cliffs and waterfalls. Quick, easy, and fun. Instant world, just add seeds! Skins are textures that are custom made and are available to download and install in your game, created by players for players. Of course, with any category system there’s leftovers that don’t quite fit anywhere else and there are a couple of those as well.
Minecraft World Generation Seeds:
There are a few different sites that list some good, reliable seeds for use in Minecraft that I know of but the one I have used most is Minecraftseeds.The biggest question they get asked is ‘What are Minecraft seeds?’ and they answer quite plainly: “World generation seeds were added to Minecraft on February 23rd as part of the 1.3 update. A seed is a string of characters used to provide a starting point for the terrain generation algorithm when creating a new world.” and it has daily updates of its offerings. That means a new seed every day, a new adventure to go on! They also have good sized screen shots so you know what you can expect before you bother trying the seed and you can see it clearly without having to try and zoom, enhance or any of that CSI nonsense. Those who have Minecraft and play it understand the power of a number. With one simple string of digits, you can create a whole world to explore and play in.
One of the most important, and long-standing traditions of user created content is ‘skins’ or textures that are custom made by the players themselves. These textures are then uploaded to cover any number of surfaces in the game world’s simulated 3D environment, such as walls, furniture, even organic shapes like people. A good game’s lasting effect on the playing community might be measured by how many custom skins are available for it on the Internet, and Minecraft certainly has quite a few. One of the best sites for getting these skins is Minecraftskinshare and it’s a basic community where users can not only download but upload their own work for others to enjoy, fostering a true sharing environment and not just another leech hole. Many players can be heard to say “Where did you get that skin? It’s so awesome!” and quite often the skin in question can be quickly found and obtained at Minecraftskinshare.
Miscellaneous Free Content: recipes, wallpaper, etc.
There are tons of other good sites out there for getting custom Minecraft content. Minecraftrecipedesigner hosts information regarding different combinations of items and their proposed results in the game and is updated on a semi-regular basis. Minecraftwallpapers and Minecraftwallpapers.org are just what they sounds like, offering desktop images having to do with, and sometimes straight out of Minecraft game play. Finally, for nearly anything else you can think of, there’s PlanetMinecraft where you can get full mods, texture packs, news on upcoming products or conversions and skins, and probably more Minecraft goodness than any one simple human can handle at one time.
Update: another really great resource if you’re looking for the recipes to make any item in the game; check out Minecraft Crafting. It’s a simple, easy to navigate crafting guide that’s kept up to date with all the new items and recipes when they are released.
Until next time, my friends!