How to Play Minecraft on an iPad

By John Ruiz

Updated September 22, 2017

"Minecraft Pocket Edition" for iPad puts you in a randomly generated world filled with various blocks to mine and places to explore. You use these gathered resources to craft items that help you survive and build structures for your own amusement. Before you can explore all the creative possibilities, you should familiarize yourself with the game controls. Playing "Minecraft Pocket Edition" for the iPad is also a bit different than playing on the PC version because the iPad version solely relies on the iPad's touch screen.

Starting a Game

Go to your iPad home screen and tap the "Minecraft" icon to play the game.

Tap the "Play" button from the title screen to play by yourself.

Select a world from the list of choices. If you do not see any worlds or wish to create a new world, tap the "New" button and tap "Generate World" after optionally adjusting the settings and picking either the Creative or Survival modes.

Basic Controls

Use the onscreen directional pad in the bottom left of your screen to move your character. Tap the button on the center of the directional pad to jump. Swipe your thumb or finger outside the directional pad in any direction to look around.

Tap an item on the bottom toolbar to equip it. Tap the icon with the "3 dots" to bring up the inventory from which you can select other items. Tap the "3 dots" icon again to close the inventory.

Tap anywhere on the ground to place the item you are holding. If you are equipped with a weapon, touching the screen will use it instead. If you have a pickax, you can mine the ground. You may tap and hold your finger if you want to repetitively place blocks or mine the ground.


While you are holding your finger on the screen to gather or place resources, you can simultaneously move your character using the directional pad.

There are no objectives if you are playing in a Creative world, allowing you to mine blocks to build various things and structures.

In Survival mode, the inventory menu comes with a Craft button that allows you to create materials and tools using the resources you gathered. Try to gather basic materials in the world such as wood from trees and cobblestone. Four blocks of wood is enough to build a crafting table that allows you to craft other items using raw materials. Use the other materials to build a house so you can protect yourself from enemies at night.

Once you have obtained armor, go to the Armor menu from the Inventory screen to equip your character and reduce damage inflicted by enemies.

The game world is filled with plenty of materials to mine, so explore if you want to build a fancy house or craft powerful items.


Information in this article applies to iPad devices running Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.7.4 in iOS 6. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.