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After a lot of waiting the next version of the Vault Hunters modpack for Minecraft is finally here. This modpack turns Minecraft into an RPG that anyone who loves min-maxing stats and far too many abilities will absolutely love. On top of doing all the usual Minecraft things, this mode adds procedurally generated dungeons called Vaults that you can explore and loot for all sorts of crazy new goodies.

Along with an extremely long playtime and endless progression system, you can unlock many of the other best Minecraft mods like Mekanism or Create to keep you buys when you’re not tackling the toughest vaults.

It can be quite a difficult mod, especially when you’re just starting out, so we’ll give you some tips that will see you through the early hours and set you on your way to becoming a master.

Entering your first Vault

Minecraft Vault Hunters portal open

While it’d be nice to just dive right in out of the gate, there is a fair bit of preparation work you need to do before you can enter your very first Vault.

Go along the vanilla Minecraft progression for a little while until you first go mining. Once you’re underground, you’re looking for a few important things. Diamonds, Chromatic Iron, and Vault Stone.

Diamonds are needed to ensure you have tough gear before you enter your first vault. If you have the patience then go to the Nether and upgrade to Netherite too.

The Chromatic Iron is very difficult to find, as it doesn’t spawn exposed to air. This means that you won’t be able to see it in the walls while exploring caves, you’re going to have to dig in. You need to be digging a level y = -30 or lower to find any. The good news is that, while it’s rare in the overworld, you only need three to enter a Vault, and it spawns at a decent rate in vault chests.

The Vault Stone’s purpose is twofold. One, you need it to build the portal that lets you enter a Vault, and two, it has a chance to drop Cracked Vault Rocks, which you’ll need at least four of.

Once you’ve got everything you need, craft a Vault Altar and a Vault Rock. Place the altar down and put the Vault Rock on it. On the four corners of the altar, it will ask for a selection of vanilla items that you have to gather – things like 32 Oak Wood, or 4 Apples. Gather the items it needs and throw them at the altar until everything is complete.

Now use a button or level or activate the altar. It will charge the Vault Rock and give you a Vault Crystal.

Build your portal out of Vault Stone (in the same pattern as you would for a Nether portal), use the crystal on it and your first Vault will be opened.

Minecraft Vault Hunters lush cave vault room

The first thing you’ll notice upon entering the vault is that your map mod no longer works. It doesn’t show your coordinates and you can’t set waypoints. This means it’ll be all too easy to get lost in a vault if you’re not careful. This is bad, as you can only leave a vault by either beating the boss or bailing through the entrance portal. Your time is limited to, so you need a system.

Up until the late-game, almost every vault you enter will have big square rooms laid out in a diamond pattern, and the entrance is always at the center of that diamond. Do your best to remember which direction the center is at all times by taking note of which direction you leave each room. You can also try and mark your path with torches.

However, failing that, just keep going until you find the edge of the Vault – you’ll know you’ve hit it because one or more of the exits to the room will be blocked off. From there you’ll be able to head towards the center quite easily.

Gathering “useless” blocks

Minecraft Vault Hunters, Vault Altar asking for Sugar Cane, Cobblestone, Phantom Membrane, and Copper Ingots

Charging your Vault Rocks in Vault Crystals will require a random selection of items each time. While the first few won’t ask for anything too tricky, you can quickly find yourself in a pickle. As you move towards the mid-game you’ll find it asking for hundreds of certain block types. To save yourself time and hassle, if you stumble across a block that you don’t already have in your inventory, collect it – as much as you can.

It doesn’t matter that you never intend to place a sea cucumber anywhere, if you see one, grab it. It’s only a matter of time until the Vault Altar asks for one and you’ll be cursing yourself for not collecting it when you had the chance.

Get enchantments from villagers

Minecraft Vault Hunters Villager trading

Vault Hunters makes use of the Easy Villagers mod, which helps a ridiculous amount in the early game. Getting your gear enchanted to be more powerful will keep you alive much longer in vaults, but spinning the wheel on the Enchantment Table every time isn’t very efficient.

Instead, crouch and right-click on a villager and you’ll be able to pick them up and place them down wherever you want. Place them in a corner somewhere and put a Lecturn in front of them so they become a librarian. From here, you can check what trades they have, which will usually include an enchanted book of some kind.

If you don’t like what that villager has, click the little arrow in the top left corner of the menu and it’ll reroll the trade. You can do this infinitely until you get the enchanted book you want. Do the same thing for a cheap wheat-for-emeralds trade, and you’ll have an infinite supply of any enchanted book you want.

Quick-sort when looting chests

Minecraft Vault Hunters the inside of a chest in a vault

With so much stuff to loot in Vaults – most of which you probably won’t recognize at first – it can be overwhelming looking at a chest full of stuff. On top of that, the items are randomly scattered in a chest’s inventory, making just picking everything up take longer than it needs to. Speed can make all the difference, especially when a hoard of mobs is hot on your tail.

However, one of the mods lets you quickly sort chests with the click of a button. It’s highly recommended you go into your controls and bind this to something easy to access, like the middle-mouse button, so you can loot chests with peak efficiency.

Picking your first abilities

Minecraft Vault Hunters skill tree talents tab

So you’ve looted a Vault or two and you’ve leveled up once or twice, giving you a couple of skill points to spend on new abilities. The amount of choice you have can be quite overwhelming though, so here are a few pointers on what you should prioritize.

Vein Miner is a must-have in the early game, as it’ll let you get resources ridiculously fast. Simply hold down the button while mining something and any adjacent blocks of the same type will automatically be mined too. Chop down trees in an instant, or make mining easier than ever before. At level 1 it will only dig out four blocks at a time, but if you reach the maximum level you can dig out over 100 at once.

Heal is great as well for obvious reasons. You don’t naturally regenerate health in vaults, and this ability will give you a quick boost, and free up space in your inventory that would have previously been spent on potions.

Switching over to passive abilities, Speed is always useful. You’re already time-limited in Vaults, so being able to move around quickly makes life so much easier. Plus, it helps you get away from mobs if you’re being overwhelmed. You can combine it with the Dash ability too for an extra boost.

Finally, you can’t go wrong with Strength. Mobs are a constant threat in Vaults, and this is a quick and easy way to deal more damage all the time.

Keybind your abilities

Minecraft Vault Hunters controls menu

Whenever you get a new ability, it’s important to go into the controls menu and assign it to a button. None of the abilities are assigned by default, so you can craft whatever control scheme feels natural to you. It’s important you don’t forget though, otherwise, you won’t be able to use anything you’ve unlocked.

Storage Drawers

Minecraft Vault Hunters, six full storage drawers

It will take a while of looting and farming, but eventually, you’ll be able to craft a Knowledge Star, which lets you unlock any mod you like out of what’s in the pack. It may be tempting to go for something meaty like Applied Energistics or Mekanism first, but you’ll thank us for picking Storage Drawers as your first mod.

You’re going to have tonnes of loot littering your base, and organizing it can be extremely tedious. With storage drawers, you can quickly and easily see where everything is and how much of it you have. On top of this, you’ll eventually be able to craft a Drawer Controller, which will let you automatically dump everything in your inventory into the appropriate drawer without you having to lift a finger.

It has an advantage over something like computer storage systems as almost everything in Storage Drawers can be crafted with the most common of the Vault Gems/Ores.