How Does Farming Work in Minecraft Pocket Edition?
If you thought that Minecraft was all about stacking cubes to make buildings or cool stuff then you’ve been playing the wrong game. Regardless of the platform that you’re playing it in, there’s always something more to Minecraft than meets the eye. A good example of a game feature that fits this description would be farming. This unique feature is not only complex, it is also what makes the game enjoyable and challenging.
So why is there a need to farm? For those who’re just starting out, knowledge of farming can either make or break your game. There are certain crops and items that can only be obtained through farming and these can help you progress the game in a safer and more efficient manner.
I’ve known a lot of people who gave up playing on survival mode because they just can’t seem to get the importance of learning the essential farming skills to be self-sufficient in-game. For this reason, I’ve prepared a primer on how you can NOT suck at farming in Minecraft. This will take you through the kinds of crops that can be grown on farms as well as the equipment you’ll have to craft to be able to start one.
What Can You Grow in Your Farm
Farming allows you to raise crops like wheat which you can then use as recipes for crafting other useful items (in wheat’s case, it is used for bread). Along with wheat, I’ve listed below a couple of important crops that you’ll have to grow in your Minecraft PE farm at one point in time or another.
Depending on where you spawn, this will likely be the first crop that you come across. It also happens to be one of the easiest to grow and cultivate.
This is a food item that is exclusive to Minecraft Pocket Edition that first appeared as part of the version 0.8.0 update. By itself, you can use beetroot to restore half a heart of your health. However, you can also use it to craft beetroot soup which can easily heal 4 hearts of health when used.
Similar to potatoes and carrots, this crop is highly recommended if you plan on breeding pigs. However, unlike the two other crops, you won’t be able to use it to attract the pigs that you want to breed.
Melons are extremely easy to farm and propagate because you don’t need to re-plant them after every harvest. What’s also interesting about the melon plant is that you can harvest multiple melons in one go from its vines.
The number of melons that a single plant produces is determined by how it is irrigated. If grown together with a pumpkin, you run the risk of the melon having a face that looks like a pumpkin.
Introduced as part of Minecraft Pocket Edition’s 0.7.0 version update, pumpkins are unique because of the fact that your character won’t be able to eat them raw.
You can make pumpkin pie from it though if crafted together with one sugar and one egg. When consumed, this item can then heal your character’s health by 4 hearts. Like Jack O’Lanterns and Cobwebs, mining pumpkins is going to be faster if the player were to use a sword.
When consumed in either its raw or baked form, the potato is a particularly good item for replenishing your character’s depleted health. Though like the beetroot, you can only get half a heart from eating the potato raw.
The potato is one of two crops (the other being the carrot) that does not drop seeds when harvested. It is also particularly useful when it comes to attracting and breeding pigs.
The carrot is a fairly new addition to Minecraft PE. Compared to potatoes and beetroots, eating a raw carrot can help replenish a whopping 2 hearts of your character’s health. However, it is currently not possible to craft/cook a carrot into another item to increase its efficacy. Carrots can also be used for pig breeding in a similar manner to beetroots and potatoes. Although it is relatively easy to farm, carrots are particularly hard to come by.
Unlike the other crops in this list, red mushrooms are rather rare. There aren’t many seeds (much less randomly generated worlds) where they can be found easily. Once found though, they actually quite easy to farm and can even grow to Giant Red Mushrooms if you added bonemeal to them.
Red mushrooms are important ingredients for making Mushroom Stew. This food item is by far one of the most potent in terms of restoring health to your character (5 hearts when consumed). When it comes to farming mushrooms, it is important that they are shaded.
There’s not much difference between the red and brown mushrooms other than their colors and where they can be found (more on that later). Like red mushrooms, brown mushrooms are a key ingredient to mushroom stew.
Sugarcane is arguably the easiest plant to farm in this list. Unlike wheat, carrots, or melons, you don’t have to till the ground using a hoe to plant sugarcane. However, there are very strict and demanding conditions before you can successfully grow this crop.
The first of these would be the presence of water. Whether it’s on sand or dirt, you need to make sure that the block that you’re planting on is adjacent to a body of water. Sugarcane is also the tallest crop on Minecraft PE. A single plant can grow to a height of 8 blocks especially if you used bonemeal on it.
What Equipment Do You Need
If you’re starting out and with just a basic farm, then the only things that you’ll need to farm is a hoe and a piece of land that has good irrigation. You’ll first need to cut down a couple of trees (preferably oak) so that you can make a crafting table. Once you’ve accomplished this important task, you’ll then need to cut down a few more trees so that you can make a wooden hoe and sword.
Why a sword you ask? A sword is particularly helpful in killing the numerous animals that are sure to be present near your spawn point or farm. Killing these would also provide important items that can be used to craft weapons and equipment to protect the farm later on.
If you want to collect your crops faster, you’ll also have to craft torches (for light at night) as well as buckets (for irrigation).
Additionally, it would be wise to look for seed maps that are ideal for farming. I’ve found that playing on maps generated from these types of seeds allowed me to start a farm faster. This was because I didn’t have to worry about coming up with an irrigation solution and seed collection. There are even village seeds that have ready-made farms that you can use if you’re really not up to the task of making your own (where’s the fun in that though?).
Where Can You Find the Crop Seeds?
Now that you have the necessary equipment and rudimentary knowledge to start a farm, what’s left for you to do is to find the crop seeds that you’ll be planting in it.
Now this is undoubtedly the most time-consuming part of farming because you don’t usually find the various kinds of seeds together in-game. This is why I always advocate using a seed map that’s ideal for farming (usually village seeds) since you won’t have to worry about water and level land.
The best way to come across wheat is to till grass using a hoe. As soon as the soil turns to dirt, you’ll then see small seeds.
Similar to wheat seeds, beetroot seeds are also products of tilling grass with any hoe. However, the possibility of getting beetroot seed drops from destroying weeds or tilling grass (1/15) is not as high as that of wheat’s.
Melons are usually found in jungle biomes and sometimes as drops from nether reactors. As mentioned above, melons are easy to farm and propagate because each vine can produce three melons at any one time. Unlike the other crops, the vine will continue producing melons even after it is harvested.
Jungle biomes and villages are the best places to look for pumpkins (similar to melons). If you want to farm them, you’ll have to put them through a crafting table.
One pumpkin will produce 4 pumpkin seeds that you can then plant on your farm or use as food for chicken breeding. Pumpkins can also be found as drops from nether reactors. Take note though that harvesting these will require the use of a sword.
Although you can find potatoes being grown in villages (as of MCPE’s version 0.9.0 update), the most reliable method of actually obtaining them is by killing zombies. Once a zombie dies, there is a rare chance that it will also drop potatoes. It is also said that the chances of zombies dropping potatoes upon death are higher if you burned them (the zombies).
Much like the potato, the only means that you can come across carrots is if you go to a village or if you kill zombies. Consuming carrots raw can give you 2 hearts of your health back (highest among raw crops/plants), which is more than worth the effort of killing a zombie or looking for a village that has a carrot farm.
Red mushrooms are found in places where there is little to no light like caves, mineshafts, caves, and also under trees (in forests and jungles). You can also come across red mushrooms in mushroom biomes or by shearing mooshrooms (cows that have mushrooms growing on their bodies) also found on the same biomes.
Aside from red mushrooms, you can also come across brown mushrooms in mushroom biomes, caves, overhangs, under the trees, and on top of fallen trees (which is exclusive only to Minecraft PE). Aside from the places mentioned above, you can also check your nether reactor for brown mushroom spawns.
These plants will only grow when the blocks that they’re on are directly adjacent to water. Rivers, lakes, swamps, and waterfalls, are just some of the places where you’ll likely find sugarcane growing. It would also seem that light isn’t really a problem for growing sugarcane since I’ve encountered a couple growing adjacent to an underground river in a cave I was exploring. The only problem with it really is that it’s so hard to find/come across.
Beware of Light Level and Water When You Farm
As a simulation of its IRL counterpart, farming in Minecraft PE is actually not that different. The seeds that you plant on your farm will also require light and water in order for them to grow. However, if you want them to grow faster, you’ll have to make sure that you regulate the level of light and water in your farm.
The water and light level requirements will also differ depending on the kind of crop/plant that you’re trying to farm. You’ll need to make sure that your light source is at least level 9 or (out of 16 total levels) your crops won’t grow.
In the morning this shouldn’t be a problem especially if you’re out in the open. However, if you’re planning to start an underground farm or if you want to hasten your crops’ growth then you’ll need to use blocks or equipment that emit light. I would recommend torches since they’re easier to come by as opposed to glowstones, beacons, or lava. The fact that it has a light level of 14 (15 is the highest) also means that it’s more efficient to craft and use.
If you have a typical wheat farm which has an area of 9 x 9 blocks will only need a bucket of water in its center and some strategically placed torches (this can also apply to underground farming). On the other hand, a mushroom farm will not require more shade than light for the mushrooms to grow faster.
Most people also tend to think that flowing water is needed for your crops to grow. In actuality, this would only apply to sugarcane. As stated above, a bucket of water at the center of a 9 by 9 block farm is more than enough to grow crops whether the farm is under or above ground.
Whew! That was a pretty long post right? Well, I’ll be taking a short rest for now but expect more MCPE farming awesomeness in my succeeding posts! Next time, I’m going to into detail about light and water requirements and teach you how to apply the things that you’ve learned so far by starting your own basic farm!