So, you had enough of hiding from the monster of the night in a measly hole in the ground, and want to build something more substantial. Something that says “homeowner”. Or even, you know, king of my castle. This guide works for all the versions i.e. PC, Xbox 360, iOS & Android.
Step one: Location scouting and land clearing
The most important thing for building a Minecraft castle is finding the right spot. Location, location, location! True for any kind of real estate. The best biome for impressive, breathtakingly located castles is without a doubt extreme hills. Seek out a high rising, yet not too narrow mountain, and start creating some sizable real estate by taking its top off with your trusty shovel. Try creating a flat area of at least 60x60 blocks.
Step Two: Laying the foundations and keeping supplies coming in
Depending on the size of your mountaintop and on how impressive you want your castle to be, you should at least take into consideration building one side of it as flush with the mountainside as possible. So see to it that you create a plane surface on the mountaintop all the way to at least one side of the mountain. And then, well, then I hope you have tonnes and tonnes of cobblestone ready. Depending on how high you want to build, or how many buildings and walls you want to raise, somewhere between eight and fifteen big chests of cobblestone should suffice. What you can do is take advantage of Minecraft’s nonexistent physics, and start hollowing out the mountain you stand on, mining for stone and other precious stuff. Coal mosty, so you can create smooth, proper stone to build the castle with, not just cobblestone. Looks much nicer. And of course keep an eye out for iron, gold and other interesting stuff. Though since it’s a mountain, chances are you’ll mostly find coal and little else.
But at this point that doesn’t matter much yet. I will assume that we’re still playing in survival mode, so what you’ll want to do after finding a suitable mountain, and taking its top off is dig in, because night is approaching quickly. Dig and mine for building blocks. When the night is over you should have acquired enough to build at least your first room around the entrance to your mine. Which will eventually become your castle’s (imaginary) wine cellar.
Step three: One room at a time
What you will want to do now is build your castle in a modular way, one solid room at the time. Take some time to get wood for doors. You should install a bed, besides a crafting table, a smelter and at least one big chest to store all the undesirable elements. Sleep in your bed to reset your spawn point as soon as possible! Who knows what horrors you might find, digging in the depths! Well, and then keep on adding rooms. The best way to go is to first build the foundation, the ground level, of your castle before building skyward. Light your castle interior properly, so no monsters spawn inside your home at night!
Step four: Towering it up
A castle needs a tower of course. At least one. Building proper towers with usable stairs can be tricky. Building a staircase is rather simple though. The player character is two blocks high and needs a third block headroom for jumping up a stair, so you will always need a single flight of stairs that consists of at least three steps. You can leave two blocks space in the middle of the staircase, or you can build flight-on-flight with no room for spectacular suicidal falls in between. This way you can easily build a tower to the top of the skybox if you have enough building material. The more tricky part is then building the walls so you don’t have just a naked staircase reaching for the sky. The safest way to do that is simply to build a platform on top of the stairs, and then build the walls of the tower from the top down.
Step Five: Longer term commitment
All of this will take awhile. A long while. Days, weeks, maybe months, depending on the time you can invest in this project. I’ll keep assuming you’re still in survival mode. You will eventually have to find a proper mine to dig for materials to construct other things in your castle. At first this might be a bit inconvenient, since the castle is on top of a mountain, and the rarer materials only spawn in the deeper underground layers. But there is an upside to the extreme hills biome, and that is caverns. Chances are, that you will find a sizable network of “natural” caves that stretches deep down into the earth. As usual, be careful here, since there will be monsters, and probably also dungeons and monster spawners. Don’t go deeper underground unprepared. Let me stress again the importance of having switched your respawn point to your castle with a bed. Have a sword ready. Don’t go underground unarmed. And always remember, lava might be nice cause you don’t need torches near it, but as pretty as that might be, don’t get too close.
Step six: Convenient additions
In order to minimize the annoyance of having to go all the way up the mountain from the mine, either build your own minecart rail system from the bottom up, or just try to find an abandoned mineshaft, and mine the rails there. You will eventually find enough gold to build a good amount of powered rails, so after a few days, going up and down the mountain will be a breeze.
Once that’s done, you might want to start building some defenses around your now probably no longer too humble abode. Look up how to build arrow dispensers, build jack-o-lanterns and torches aplenty and lighten up your mountaintop castle. And then, go wild. Remember to mine some sand to make lots of nice glass windows for those rooms perched atop a marvelous precipice. And don’t limit yourself to one mountaintop. The extreme hills biome probably has several nice ones that just wait for you to decorate them with more castles and fortresses. When you’re done populating several mountaintops with nice, big, towery castles, you can go ahead and link those with bridges and maybe even rails. And don’t forget to beautify your castles inside as well. Flowers, bookshelves, furnishings, slab floorings and more just wait for you to put them in one of your castles. So eventually you too can feel like what we here in Germany call a Burgherr!