I found a mineshaft.
This is no ordinary mineshaft, this is the biggest mineshaft I’ve ever seen.
The abandoned mineshaft I stumbled upon.
It’s an abandoned mineshaft. A really, really big one. These randomly generated structures are pretty rare and usually spawn deep underground, making them tough to find.
If you ever come across one, MAKE SURE YOU’RE PREPARED! There are some serious hazards in these abandoned mines that will destroy you quickly if you aren’t ready for them. The mine will still be there after you prepare.
I prepared by making myself a bow.
How to bow.
Chances are you have a few arrows laying around from all those skeletons you’ve been killing. If not they can be crafted with a feather, a flint and a stick. Bows are great since you don’t have to get near enemies, significantly reducing the damage you take.
First of the hazards found in the mineshafts are the cave spiders. They have a nasty bite that will poison you if you are playing on normal or higher.
Nasty little spawners.
They are pretty small too, so they can squeeze through a single block opening. The spider webs surrounding the spawner (the cage looking thing) make it tough to get to it to break it. Two often appear next to each other, making it even more tough. Handle these with caution.
Another hazard of mineshafts is that they often intersect with other spawn dungeons. This is not always the case but it is best to proceed cautiously until you have swept through the whole mine.
Despite the hazards, the benefits of exploring abandoned mineshafts are huge.
Chests in minecarts can be found spread throughout the shafts and can sometimes have rare items in them. A few notable items are diamonds, melon seeds, and enchanted books (I’ll talk about these in a minute.) The enchanted books found in these chests can ONLY be found in abandoned mineshafts so they are EXTREMELY RARE. Don’t lose them!
Along with the chests there are many exposed ore veins, making mining fast and easy. In the 3 hours I spent exploring a single abandoned mine, I found 160+ iron ore and 50 gold ore. I also found a few diamonds in a chest.
Now what to do with all that iron you found. I suppose you probably want to use those nifty enchanted books you found too. What you need is an anvil.
An anvil. Listen for the loud TING.
They’re pretty expensive to make, costing 31 iron ingots total to make, and an anvil only has a limited amount of uses. Yet it is the only way to apply an enchanted book to a weapon. The anvil can also be used to repair weapons using the corresponding material. Every repair/ enchantment has a enchantment cost. This is what the EXP bar is for. The green number on the HUD is your level. This is how many enchantment points you have. If you don’t have enough, go kill some enemies or mine coal.