Minecraft is an open-world game in which players have no specific goals to accomplish and have an extremely high degree of freedom within the game. Although there is a progressive system in the game, there is no requirement for the player to reach it. The game is in the first person, but players can choose a third-person mode. The core gameplay mostly revolves around destroying and placing blocks. The game's world consists mainly of 3D squares with somewhat fixed grid (dotted) patterns on the surface, representing different materials such as dirt, rocks, minerals, water, and trees, among others. While the player can move freely around the world, most of the cubes can only be placed in integer grids, except for the solids, which the player can collect and place where he wants to place them to perform various constructions.
At the start of the game, the player is placed on a procedurally generated map with almost no size limit. The world is divided into biomes ranging from deserts to jungles and snowfields. Players can find a variety of geographic environments, including plains, mountains, snow, forests, and oceans. The game follows an alternating day and night cycle, with a day being 20 minutes of the real world, meaning that time passes 72 times faster in the game than in the real world. In the world of Minecraft, players may encounter many non-player characters, called "creatures," including animals, villagers, and hostile creatures, among others. Non-hostile creatures, such as cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, and fish, can be hunted to produce food and crafting materials. Conversely, in dark areas such as caves, hostile creatures such as spiders, skeletons, zombies, etc. may be present.
Monsters are shown in Minecraft creation mode, from left to right: zombies, spiders, Mordecai, bitter enemies, and skeletons
Game maps are randomly generated based on a string of pseudo-random number seed codes generated during map creation, so it is generally nearly impossible to randomly generate two identical maps unless the seed codes are manually entered. Although there is a limit to the height of the map (256 frames, which will become 384 in 1.18), the game allows an "infinitely" large map to be generated horizontally, except when reaching extremely distant places, where technical problems arise (borderlands). The game will divide the entire map into many 16*16*256 blocks, and the game will only load or create blocks within the player's view distance to prevent memory overuse. After PC version 1.8, "borders" appear at about 30 million squares and block the player from passing through them, but they can be passed by teleportation commands and Mordecai pearls.
The game can be used to build complex systems with primitive mechanical devices, circuits, logic gates, and the game's built-in material "Redstone". However, the game's physics system does not often conform to the laws of real physics. Most solid blocks are not affected by gravity (some are, such as sand). Water or lava flowing from a source cube can be removed by placing a solid block in its place or by holding it in a bucket. Naturally generated terrain may also have floating islands, which are caused by errors in the terrain generator.