With these blocks, players can manipulate the world around them, building and destroying structures. As gameplay in Minecraft is so open and unguided, players often set their own goals and play the game as they see fit. An example of this is the Minecraft sport, Spleef.
 Game modes
The four game modes in Minecraft are Survival, Creative, Adventure and Hardcore. In the level.dat, Survival mode is gametype=0, Creative is gametype=1, Adventure is gametype=2, and Spectator is gametype=3. Hardcore is Survival with the addition of hardcore=1 (for Survival and Creative, hardcore=0). This knowledge allows hacking to change game modes by editing the world's level.dat. The command "/gamemode" can be used to switch between these. Example: "/gamemode 1" would put you into creative mode.
The player will have access to an infinite amount of almost all blocks and items available, and can destroy them instantly. Players are invulnerable and do not have health, armor, or hunger, and can fly. The player has access to items not available in Survival mode, e.g. spawn eggs. The player will not see command blocks if you look through the creative GUI - you need to spawn command blocks in.
Players can interact with objects such as levers and buttons, and can interact with mobs. However, they can only break blocks with the correct tools (such as breaking dirt with a shovel, or breaking stone with a pickaxe), making this mode good for adventure maps. Although this game mode has been released, it is still in its early stages, lacking in many features including the ability to toggle the use of tools by players.
In this mode, which plays in the same way as Survival mode, the difficulty level is permanently set to "Hard" and the map must be deleted upon the player's death.
Technically, Hardcore is a game mode modifier rather than a game mode. However, without cheating, it is only possible to get "Hardcore Survival". To attain "Hardcore Creative" mode, the player must edit the game world with external tools, or opening to LAN, and enabling cheats. There is almost no visible difference between "Hardcore Creative" and "Non-Hardcore Creative", because in Creative mode the only way to die is to fall into the Void or the /kill command. Because of this, "Hardcore" usually refers to "Hardcore Survival". On a server, if someone dies, they will be banned. If everyone on a server gets banned, the world for the server will be deleted.
When in spectator mode, you can no clip, see what other entities are seeing by left-clicking on them, and you're invisible to everything except for other spectators. You can't interact with blocks, entities, and your inventory. When in third-person mode, you look like a transparent, floating head with no body. You can use the scroll wheel to adjust the speed in which you are flying, unlike flying in creative mode.
 Table of game modes
Below is a brief summary of the different available features in each game mode. This table also includes Classic, which is the older, free version of Minecraft.
|Premium account||Not required||Required for multiplayer[fn 1]||Required||Required||Required||Required|
|Health||Survival test only||Yes||Hidden[fn 4]||Yes||Yes||Hidden|
|Respawn after death||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Unlimited Blocks||Yes||Partial[fn 5]||Yes||Partial[fn 5]||Partial[fn 5]||No|
|Cheats||No||Changeable||Preset to yes, but changeable||Changeable||No||Changeable|
|Available in pocket edition||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Can phase through blocks||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
- The demo allows gameplay of only the Survival gamemode without a premium account, and only in singleplayer.
- Classic mode is no longer supported, but it is still accessible from the 'Looking for Classic?' button
- Although you can still access hardcore in multiplayer, you cannot find it in the LAN world section, because of a bug.
- In Creative, health is still there but hidden from GUI, you can show this by falling into the Void.
- In Survival, there are methods to obtain unlimited amounts of specific renewable resources such as wood, cobblestone, and water. In addition, the vast map area allows one to gather plenty of anything with enough effort. In adventure mode this is also possible, however the player needs to acquire the necessary tools first.