There are no games quite like Minecraft. Initially released back in May of 2009, Minecraft has swiftly grown into a worldwide phenomenon that still manages to grip fans old and young to this day. The game is made up of random, procedurally generated worlds that players can create and interact with; every world is made up of blocks, and each block can be changed, harvested or even destroyed (TNT is one particularly amusing way to accomplish this).

Players pay a one time fee in order to own a copy of the game, and as time goes on, the team behind Minecraft is constantly releasing more exciting additions to keep fans searching and fighting and building on. Some of these add-ons include whole new biomes, like oceans or jungles, exciting new mobs like turtles or dolphins, or cats and parrots to befriend and follow you along; there are even new weapons, armors and color blocks for building up a world that truly reflects your individual personality.

Some of the items in Minecraft – whether they have been around since the days of Alpha testing or added later on as a teaser for fans – are just plain difficult to find. Hidden, even. Maybe they are mob drops from creatures that hardly show up, or they're the kind of thing that you have to be ‘in the know' for to even come across. Maybe you have to make them yourself, but the ingredients are near impossible to collect.

Whatever the case, here are 20 Hidden Things Only Real Fans Know How To Find, focussing mostly on Survival mode.

20 EMERALD ORE

When Minecraft first began, there were only a few different ores for players to mine and collect. Coal was, and still is, considered the most widespread and common to find. On the opposite end, diamond ore was once thought of as the rarest; it was almost a status symbol to have some diamonds in your world's inventory. However, nowadays the emerald ore is the rarest of them all. It is found very rarely in caves and only drops a single emerald when mined. You would have to spend a very long time in Minecraft to actually come across even one of these, let alone enough to build up a solid collection of emeralds for trade.

19 TOTEM OF UNDYING

The Totem of Undying is a mystical item that can only be found by seeking out one of the incredibly rare Woodland Mansions that pops up randomly within a world. Venture inside, and you will undoubtedly come across the Evoker, a grey-skinned illager (that is, evil villager type). He is a powerful sorcerer who will attack you with many spells. If you can defeat the Evoker, he will drop the Totem of Undying.

If something ends you while you have it equipped in your off-hand slot, you will pop right back to life. This makes the item highly sought-after, even for all the hoops you have to jump to find one.ADVERTISING

18 NAME TAGS

If you're new to the game or have just started up a world, it's unlikely that your priorities will be geared much towards naming the many items you have accumulated. However, for more experienced players and longer-running worlds, it can be fun to give a name to your things. What about calling that diamond sword ‘Destroyer of Worlds' and slaying a sheep? You'll get a funny little message in the chat that makes it all worthwhile.

The problem is, name tags cannot simply be crafted. If you want one, you'll have to start dungeon-crawling. It could be many hours of gameplay before you finally find a chest with those elusive name tags in it.

17 PINK WOOL (FROM A PINK SHEEP)

One of the great things about this game is how in-depth you can get with customization, making buildings and structures of any shape and color. You could make the world's most detailed rainbow if you really wanted to.

Part of that is accomplished by gathering a bunch of different dyed wools. You can get dyes from random items and apply them to wool blocks, or even straight to one of the sheep you own. But, coming across a wild sheep that naturally has a crazy color like yellow, blue, or especially pink, is very rare. Usually, that takes one red and one white sheep coming together to make it happen. So, traveling long enough to find and shear a natural pink sheep is quite the achievement.A

16 BLAZE RODS

Blaze rods are an item essential for the complicated art of potion-brewing. In fact, you can't even make a potion stand without one, making them a valuable commodity. However, they are only acquired by destroying a creature called a Blaze, and Blazes cannot be found in the overworld (that is, the main world you spawn in). Instead, you must harvest enough obsidian (which, in itself, requires a diamond pickaxe to achieve) to build a Nether portal and enter that Nether World. Once there, if you can bring down a Blaze, you can have as many of these rods as you like. Unfortunately, newbies are unlikely to get to this point for quite a while into their game.

15 SLIME BALLS

Slime balls are one of those items that aren't strictly necessary in day-to-day gameplay, but one that opens up a whole new world of possibilities if acquired. To get slime balls, you have to venture far and wide to find a swamp biome (or, rarely, they will spawn underground) where bouncy, cuboid creatures called Slimes may appear. Attack a Slime, and they will break into smaller versions of themselves, making it easy to get overrun if you're not prepared.

Finally slaying a Slime will net you some slime balls, which can be used to make sticky pistons; these pistons are part of advanced mechanisms made by players to control their world, so these slime balls are always sought after.A

14 SADDLE

Sure, it's fun enough to run around your Minecraft world, using up energy to traverse those long distances. It can even be exciting to hop in a boat and journey across the vast oceans. But, few things beat coming across a ride-able mob, such as a horse, or – much sillier – a pig, slapping a saddle on their back, and hitting the road with your new pal.

Saddles are another item that cannot simply be crafted, though, so you will have to seek one out. The problem is, saddles are only found in a small percentage of chests within strongholds, villages, Nether fortresses, temples and End cities. Though the possible places to acquire one are widespread, the actual odds are very low.

13  COMMAND BLOCKS

Unlike most of the other entries on this list, command blocks are not actual items that can be regularly found during gameplay. Instead, the only way to get your hands on one is by entering various commands into the console, such as /give @s minecraft:command_block. These special blocks are predominantly used by Minecraft multiplayer servers, although they can also be useful to more experienced single players.

When powered by Redstone, command blocks unlock powerful cheats that can make – or literally break – the game. There are even three types of command blocks to choose from: an impulse command block, a chain block, and a repeating block. With so much to choose from and so much power, make sure that you use them with caution!

12 ENDER PEARLS

Playing a bit on the idea of ‘Slenderman', the Endermen are spooky, infrequently-spawning mobs that slither in the night, steal blocks, and stare into your soul. Unlike skeletons, creepers, and zombies, Endermen don't pop up all the time. If you do manage to come across one, they can be very tricky, as they poof in and out, teleporting around you. Wearing a pumpkin on your head stops them from getting hostile before you can attack, and once it has been slain, you can harvest a couple of ender pearls, which let you teleport long distances.

It takes some dedication to seek out Endermen and go through the trouble to harvest these pearls, but if you can, it will make your travels a lot more fun.

11 MONSTER SPAWNER

Who wouldn't love to have a room where you can spawn endless amounts of skeletons, zombies, or more? Well, all right, maybe that sounds a bit odd, but think about it. If you had one of these rooms, you could farm hostile mobs for all of their useful drops! But how would this come about? You'll need to find a monster spawner.

These cage-looking blocks can be found very occasionally after a while of mining. These dungeon rooms are often pitch black and deadly to drop into, but if you can get to the spawner and cover it with torches, you can neutralize it and make it your own. Unfortunately, these cannot be picked up, only destroyed, so any monster-farming rooms that you make in Survival Mode will have to stay where you found them.ADVERTISING

10 NOTCH APPLE

Golden apples are a food item that can be crafted with relative ease by adding gold ingots to a regular apple at a crafting table. These apples provide health regeneration and absorption buffs, even when the health bar is already full. If that's not enough for you, it may be time to seek out the much more elusive enchanted golden apple, otherwise known as a Notch apple.

The only way to get an enchanted apple is to find them in chests like saddles, though this is incredibly rare. You used to be able to craft them by using gold blocks, but this is not the case anymore. If you can find one, you'll have in your hands one of the most powerful food items in all of the game.

MELON SEEDS

There are so many delicious and colorful foods to find and grow in Minecraft. From jaffa cakes to baked potatoes and mushroom soup, there are many ways to restore your health after an intense raid or a zombie horde attacking your base. One of the seemingly more simple items is the melon; like pumpkins, it is a block item that you can grow yourself, except when you harvest a melon, you get multiple slices to eat.

Melon seeds only appear in 18.5% of dungeon chests, and some chest mine carts and wooden mansions. Luckily, once you some seeds, you can grow infinitely more, but finding them in the first place isn't easy.

MOB HEAD

If you want to get yourself one of these odd little trophies, you'll have to look towards the many hostile mobs in the game. The easiest to get your blocky hands on is the Wither Skeleton head. Providing you can find enough Wither Skeletons to go after, you've got a 2.5% chance of receiving one as a drop – if it's slain by a wild or tamed wolf. What, you didn't think this would be easy, did you?

For zombie, creeper, dragon or skeleton heads, the only way to get them is if the mobs perish due to a charged creeper's explosion – and the only way to get a charged creeper is for one to be struck by lightning! It's a lot to go through, but wearing those heads around does look pretty cool.

BEACON BLOCK

Beacons are a unique item that goes on top of a pyramid made of either iron, gold, or diamond blocks. When this is crafted, the beacon is activated and can provide buffs to any players in the vicinity. Even more, you can change the color of the beam emitted by the beacon just by placing some colored glass over the top of it. You can even mix the colors!

A beacon block can be mined (if you're somehow lucky enough to find one in Survival) or crafted by putting together glass blocks, obsidian, and a nether star. The rarity of the obsidian and nether star make this a difficult thing to obtain, and even harder to set up at full capacity. Best of luck!

NATURALLY-GENERATED PACKED ICE

Ice is one of those rare Minecraft blocks that can be generated (by placing water in cold biomes) but you can't actually harvest it in survival mode. Regardless, it's still pretty easy to make. On the opposite end, we have packed ice. If you want to get your hands on some packed ice, the most difficult way to do so is by navigating your way to the rare Ice Spike biome. There, you can harvest some using a pickaxe that has been enchanted with Silk Touch.

If you don't want to find some packed ice in the wild, you can try harvesting regular ice with your enchanted pickaxe and crafting it in the table – but the adventure of trying to find the Ice Spike biome is there for any truly dedicated fans.

MUSIC DISCS

There are few things better than wandering through the game's wilderness, putting your favorite tunes on blast and just completely losing yourself to the setting. One way to get even more immersed in this blocky world, however, is to try collecting all the music discs that can be found randomly throughout. Created by the artist C418, each disc has a special colour and name – such as Cat, Wait, Far, etc.

There are twelve unique discs (which can be played in a jukebox) that players can discover in various chests. Of course, to collect them all in Survival Mode, it will take a lot of time and dedication, leaving this venture to only the most hardcore of fans.

HORSE ARMOR

So, you've got yourself a new horse pal to ride around the vast, lonely world – but wait, now you want to take your equine friend into battle against undead hordes or Ender dragons? Well, it's only fair to equip your noble steed with a suitable set of horse armor.

The caveat here is that horse armor cannot be crafted like player armor. But don't give up! Like many other rare items, horse armour has a chance of popping up in various chests in wild structures such as dungeons, villages, strongholds, or temples. Keep a keen eye out – especially for that most elusive diamond set, which grants your steed a whopping eleven points of defense.

JEB SHEEP AND DINNERBONE

Minecraft is not a game known for being chock-full of easter eggs, inside jokes or hidden secrets, but there certainly are a few to be discovered. One of the funniest and most random of these is the Jeb sheep or Dinnerbone. The Jeb sheep, named after one of the game's designers, occurs when a player gets a name tag (either in Survival or Creative mode) and changes it in an anvil to be called “jeb_,” then applies it to a sheep. That sheep's wool will then cycle through all the colours of the rainbow in a magical display!

Getting another name tag and calling it “Dinnerbone” or “Grumm,” then applying it to any animal will make that animal flip upside down and live out the rest of its existence staring up at the sky.

SEA LANTERN

A relatively recent addition to the game, sea lanterns are another glowing block that you can use to light up the world around you. These subtle, pale cubes emit a nice white light, perfect for chilled-out bases and castles.

To find yourself a sea lantern, you'll have to get good at holding your breath! These unique blocks only generate in the rare ocean monuments and ocean ruins, acting as their light source so you can see where you're going as you mine. If you've spent enough time in the game to find some of these lanterns, grab as many as you can while you've got the chance.

DRAGON EGG

Perhaps the one truly unique item to be found in any Minecraft world, the dragon egg is a trophy item and the absolute rarest thing in all of the game. If you play any single player world long enough to make it to the End – another realm, like the Nether – you will be faced with a dangerous battle against the mighty Ender dragon, the ultimate boss.

When the Ender Dragon is defeated, a dragon egg will appear on the exit portal. Unfortunately, the egg is not normally something that can be mined, as doing so will cause it to teleport. But there is good news – if there are no air blocks for it to teleport into, the egg can be mined, and you will have yourself the ultimate hidden item in Minecraft.

Are there any hidden or rare items that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.