By the end of your first day in Minecraft you need to be in safety. Enemies will swarm the overworld during the night and if they find you, they will kill you.
Let’s establish one thing first – should you find yourself unprepared as night creeps in and then you can simply dig down into the ground two blocks and then place a block above you. This isn’t a perfect solution but it is safe.
Right, with the contingency plan out the way let’s talk about the best way to survive your first night.
The moment you land in Minecraft you need to procure some materials. Wood, to be exact. Head over to the nearest tree and use your hands to tear it down collecting the wood chunks that it leaves.
Now head into the crafting menu on xbox or your inventory on PC. If playing on Xbox, or the Pocket Edition, you need simply locate 'Wood Planks' and hit create but those playing on PC will need to use the 2x2 crafting box to the right of your character portrait. Simply drag a wood chunk into one of the squares, this allows you to convert Wood into Wood Planks.
Next, convert Wood Planks into a Crafting Table by filling your crafting box with them.
Place the table in the world and 'use' it. The larger 3x3 grid will allow you to make a huge number of items but for now, assuming you have enough Wood Planks, let’s make an axe and a Pickaxe via Sticks.
Creating tools will let you mine things faster. Your axe is good for Trees while your pickaxe will help you work at Cobblestone. Next order of business, finding some coal and cobblestone.
We need to find a cave. Try not wander too far and just look for gray blocks, these are Cobblestone which work as an upgrade to your existing wooden tools (simply make the tools again but using Cobblestone where you previously used Wood Planks). You’re looking for Coal which is produced by Gray blocks with black marks on them but if you can’t find some after a few minutes then use your reserves of cobblestone to create a Furnace (this will let you 'smelt' wood to create charcoal, a worthwhile Coal replacement).
With either Coal or Charcoal in hand, make some Torches.
We now have the necessary materials to make our first shelter. Place blocks in a square on the ground then place another level above this and finally add a roof on top. Place torches on and in your house to ensure that enemies will not spawn nearby and congratulations, you have a worthy shelter. Make sure you knock a hole in the roof, or add a door so that you can keep an eye on the time of day.
Should you have some time left over you should probably go hunting for food by hitting a Pig or two, or harvesting mushrooms, apples and the like. Should you see any cows nearby there’s an achievement for grabbing some leather. If you haven’t been able to do this in your first day then it should definitely be the first order of business in the morning, it’s important to keep your hunger meter in tip top condition.
With the sun retreating and the moon advancing, head into you shelter and wait. You’re not ready to fight yet and if you do die you will spawn somewhere else in the world without your inventory, forcing you to start all over again. Just be patient.