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A fresh Survival game.

Gameplay in most game modes of Minecraft consists mainly of adding and destroying a variety of different blocks in a randomly generated world.

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 minigame, Spleef.

Game modes[edit]

Animation summarizing the Survival, Hardcore and Creative game modes

The five game modes in Minecraft are Survival, Creative, Adventure, Spectator 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. For example, /gamemode creative will put the player into creative mode.

In Bedrock Edition, the gamemode can also be changed by quitting the world, going to Edit World, tapping either Creative or Survival, and then returning to the game if cheats are enabled. Hardcore cannot be set using commands.


In this mode, players have to gather all their materials to build, craft items and tools and gain experience points. There is a health, hunger and armor bar, an inventory and, when underwater, an oxygen bar. If a player runs out of hearts (health), they die, which makes them go back to their spawn point. Upon death, the player will emit smoke and the experience, losing all of their items and displaying a death message which depends on how they died. Max reach is 5 blocks.


The player has access to an infinite amount of almost all blocks and items available, and can destroy them instantly. Players are invulnerable, unless they fall into the void, 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 they look through the creative GUI - they need to spawn command blocks with the /give or /setblock commands. Max reach is 6 blocks.


Players can interact with objects such as levers and buttons, and can interact with mobs. However, they can only break blocks with tools with a CanDestroy data tag, and only place blocks if the block they are holding has a CanPlaceOn data tag, making this mode good for adventure maps. Max reach is 5 blocks.


In this mode, which plays in the same way as Survival mode, the difficulty level is permanently set to "Hard", and when the player dies, the only choice is that the map must be deleted, or the player is sent permanently into spectator mode.

Technically, Hardcore is a game mode modifier rather than a game mode. However, without cheating, it is only possible to get "Hardcore Survival". To obtain "Hardcore Creative" mode, the player must edit the game world with external tools, or opening to LAN, and turning on 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 looking at a hardcore singleplayer world, the gamemode is "Hardcore Mode!" and the color is red.

Hardcore is not technically a game mode and it cannot be enabled with the /gamemode command.


This game mode was implemented in 1.8. When in spectator mode, players can clip through blocks, see what other entities are seeing by left-clicking on them, and they are invisible to everything and everyone except for other spectators. The player can't interact with blocks, entities or their inventory. When in third-person mode, they look like a transparent, floating head with no body. The player can use the scroll wheel to adjust the speed at which their are flying, unlike flying in Creative mode.

Table of game modes[edit]

Below is a brief summary of the different available features in each game mode.

Feature Survival Creative Adventure Hardcore Spectator
Premium account Required for multiplayer[a] Required Required Required Required
Multiplayer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Crafting Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Smelting Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Brewing Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Enchanting Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Inventory Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
Health Yes Hidden[b] Yes Yes Hidden[b]
Respawn after death Yes Yes Yes After death either delete world or respawn in not changeable Spectator Mode Yes
Block placing/breaking Yes Yes No, unless the player has a CanPlaceOn data tag Yes No
Mobs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maximum amount of blocks (so far) Partial[c] Yes No Partial[c] No
Day-night cycle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cheats Preset to no, but changeable Preset to yes, but changeable Preset to no, but changeable No Preset to yes, but changeable
Preset difficulty No No No Yes No
Hunger Partial[d] No Partial[d] Yes No
Available in Bedrock Edition and Legacy Console Edition Yes Yes Yes No No
Can phase through blocks No No No No Yes
  1. The demo allows gameplay of only the Survival gamemode without a premium account, and only in singleplayer. This does have a time limit though.
  2. a b In Creative or in Spectator, health is still there but hidden from GUI, the player can show this by falling into the Void.
  3. a b In Survival, there are methods to obtain unlimited amounts of specific renewable resources such as logs, cobblestone, and water. In addition, the vast map area allows one to gather plenty of anything with enough effort.
  4. a b Hunger mechanics are implemented, but only kill the player if the difficulty is set to hard mode and do not affect players on Peaceful.