November 18, 2011 was a milestone moment for Minecraft. The game finally left beta, and several foundational features were implemented: potions, enchantments, and The End. Also included was Hardcore mode, which Notch had joked about just a few months earlier. To a very small niche of the gaming community, the dots connected: Minecraft was winnable; Minecraft had a Permadeath option; Minecraft was the newest rouguelike.
While roguelikes traditonally featured top down, 2D grid-based dungeon crawling, the last decade saw the genre regain popular acclaim, with games like Spelunky, Crypt of The Necrodancer and The Binding of Isaac using the formula to great success.
Playing Minecraft like a roguelike is still possible in 10.2, but aspects that make it a compelling survival adventure/building sim/all-encompassing game can detract from the roguelike experience. Living on the edge of your seat, constantly in fear of losing everything is exciting, but rebuilding everything from scratch and spending hours finding the resources you need can be needlessly frustrating.
The challenge of roguelikes is in pressing your luck, scavenging for the best equipment, managing a dwindling pool of resources, and fighting to survive. To make that next respawn a little bit more manageable, or for someone who needs some help starting out, here are some of the best seeds and spawns to help you clear the ultimate vanilla Minecraft Challenge.
All the seeds here were tested to work on the PC version, running 1.10.2.
Coordinates: 153 78 258
Biome: Plains/Mushroom Island
A safe place to call home is a rarity in Minecraft -- and in Hardcore mode, you’ll need all the safety you can get. Mushroom Island Biomes, like the ones you’ll spawn by here, will not spawn hostile mobs normally, and make a great place to come back to. You’ll have to venture out at some point, but if you like being able to craft and plan in peace without worrying about death knocking on the door, one of these seeds will suit you fine.
In addition, a nearby village completely removes any worries about food, and gives you plenty of trading options for midgame. While this seed might not give you some of the crazy advantages of later seeds in this list, the Mushroom Biome makes it a recommended seed for first-time hardcore players.
Coordinates: 174 64 274
True, the average adventurer’s answer to “What tools will I need to survive in the unforgiving wilds, a nightmarish hellscape full of ghosts and a giant extra-planar dragon?” is almost never ‘Animal husbandry and a farm,’ but what do they know?
A constant supply of animal friends to tame, mount and eat can be a unique and shockingly effective way to begin your next world-spanning adventure. You’ll never grow hungry, and having additional transit options never hurt anyone.
Village (46 69 343) – Your New Home! No blacksmith though
Coordinates: -106 64 240
This seed isn’t so much about taking or stealing easy resources. Instead, it’s back to basics here, and that means mining. The reward is a ludicrous cache of thirteen diamonds. Three small veins of them are in a fairly simple cavern about ten blocks away and forty blocks below the spawn.
You’ll find the deposits at or near
- -98 24 252 (lava is pooled around the two lower blocks, so make sure to place some stone around them first)
- -133 13 240 (Mind the nearby creeper spawner)
- -166 15 257
It’s worth digging out the rest of the cavern, if you feel so inclined. There's enough iron to fully equip yourself, with enough coal to fuel your ore smelting -- and that's not including the gold and Redstone nearby.
There’s also a desert temple (-294 53 -151) worth your while. The best of the loot includes:
- 6 gold ingots
- Enchanted Book – Flame
- 4 Iron ingots
- 26 gunpowder
- Iron Horse Armor
Coordinates: 93 69 223
In 1.8.4, this seed was a smorgasbord of enchantments, containing enchanting books for Efficiency IV, Feather Falling IV, Fortune II, Looting II and Sharpness II. As of 1.10.2, sadly, none of those are there, but despite that, a compellingly rare haul from two desert temples sent this seed right back up to the top of the recommended list. Two Notch Apples provide the needed fire resistance to survive initial trips into the Nether. One Temple is conveniently located next to spawn. A combined five emeralds, seven gold and iron ingots are well worth the 400 block trip, and Diamond Horse armor with saddle ensure you can travel in style.
Temple (154 53 -230)
- 2 Enchanted Golden Apples!
- 3 Diamonds
- 5 Gold ingots
- 4 Iron Ingots
- 16 Gunpowder
- 3 Emerald
- Golden Horse Armor
Temple (57 53 202)
- Diamond Horse Armor
- 2 Emerald
- 2 Gold Ingot
- 3 Iron Ingot
- 25 Gunpowder
Village (0 70 -310)
Village (0 70 333)
Coordinates: -252 65 -39
The spawn here is average, the surroundings equally so. No amazing geologic spectacles and that’s fine. What’s really important is the Blacksmith’s house, pictured above. Four diamonds within minutes of spawn makes this a fantastic way to start a run. For additional convenience, his chest has a set of iron leggings and nine iron ingots.
Blacksmith’s House (-362 65 61)
- 4 Diamonds
- 9 Iron Ingots
- Iron Leggings
Coordinates: 205 70 247
This spawn is right next to a small crater containing generous amounts of iron and coal. While this seed starts you in the plains, once you’re done foraging, your next stop should be to the nearby villages in the Desert. With that said and done, you can walk right over to two nearby desert temples. There are no overpowered chests full of Obsidian and Diamonds, but you’ll provide some valuable resources -- including golden apples, gunpowder, and a rare Fortune II tome, to aid your endgame diamond mining.
- -322 70 110 (Only this one has a Blacksmith)
- 25 70 0
- 70 65 -185
The first desert temple (161 69 361) contains:
- 4 Gold Ingots
- 4 Golden Apples
- 2 Emeralds
- 2 Saddles
- 18 Gunpowder
- 32 String
The second temple (139 70 -375)
- 1 Diamond
- Diamond and Gold Horse Armor
- Enchanted Book of Fortune II
- 8 Spider Eyes
- 2 Golden Apples
- 4 Gold Ingots
- A heap of bones, string and rotting flesh
Coordinates: 205 70 247
While these two villages aren’t particularly well stocked for looting (Just a few Iron Bars and an Iron Sword and Pickaxe between their two blacksmiths,) they’re full of food and NPCs for all your bartering needs. The Stronghold, when the time comes, is completely underground. Getting enchantments going and searching for Diamond, Obsidian, and Ender Pearls makes this a perfect seed for players afraid of taking it too easy. For some early spelunking, Village 1 features some exposed caves, perfect for mining runs.
Village 1: 595 71 366
Village 2: 325 71 320
Stronghold: 2233 27 -17
Seed: - 2052930197336800526
Coordinates: 110 67 7
This seed has me singing with joy. Not to discount the other loot you’ll grab from that Desert Temple by spawn, but the real treasure here is the Enchant Book – Silk Touch. Store that thing away, and save it for endgame, because it’s going to save your life:
- Mining through a stronghold seems like the best way to avoid all those troublesome enemy encounters: until you realize a number of those stone blocks are Silverfish Eggs. Normally, these break when you mine them, spawning Silverfish, which spawn more Silverfish, which kill you. Silk Touch mines the block but prevents them from hatching, allowing you to tunnel through Strongholds with abandon.
- By the time you reach endgame, you’re going to have amassed a number of items, and it’s more than likely you’ll need to access them quickly. Silk touch lets you abuse Ender Chests, carrying them around and placing them at will to access the items you’ve placed in any other Ender Chest, in any area or dimension.
Desert Temple (314 53 298)
- Enchanted Golden Apple
- 2 Golden Apples
- 2 Gold Ingots
- Gold Horse Armor
- Iron Horse Armor
- 38 Gunpowder
Coordinates: 792 65 64
Biome: Beach (Survival Island)
A final challenge for the truly brave: if these other seeds are a helping hand, consider this seed a way to bite it. Spawning you on a textbook survival island, what makes this a real challenge are two nearby Ocean Monuments, and a completely submerged Stronghold a thousand units east of spawn. If those weren’t hard enough, think a moment about hunting Endermen in a Deep Ocean.
You’ll find the Monuments at 200 61 -217 and 711 62 -281
The Stronghold is at 1832 47 18
Coordinates: -85 67 252
The wilderness is your first challenge in this seed. There’s 700 blocks of trekking between spawn and the nearest village. Once there, it’s just you, the nearby mountain range, the abandoned mineshaft out back, and whatever hostiles decide to spawn nearby. This seed isn’t going to hold your hand, but it’ll at least make sure you don’t starve, and have plenty of scenic vistas. You’re free to enjoy the latter when you’re not running for your life.
What are your favorite SSP hardcore Minecraft seeds? Let me know down in the comments! And if you need more Minecraft, check out our full collection of the best Minecraft seeds for 2016.