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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 sport, Spleef.

Game modes[edit]

Animation summarizing the Creative, Survival and Hardcore 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. In bedrock edition, "/gamemode 1" would put you into creative mode. It is worth noting, that since 1.13, Java Edition no longer accepts shorthand or numeric IDs. Therefore, "/gamemode 1" would become "/gamemode creative"

You can also change the gamemode in Bedrock edition by quitting the world and going to Edit World, then tapping Creative or Survival and then returning to the game or by using the /gamemode cheat if cheats are enabled.


In this mode, players have to gather all their materials to build, craft items and tools and gain experience points. There is a hunger and armor bar, an inventory and, when underwater, an oxygen bar. If a player dies, they go back to their spawn point.


The player has 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 with the /give or /setblock commands.


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.


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, you can clip through blocks, see what other entities are seeing by left-clicking on them, and you're invisible to everything and everyone except for other spectators. You can't interact with blocks, entities or 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 at which you 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. This table also includes Classic, which is the older, free version of Minecraft.

Feature Classic Survival Creative Adventure Hardcore Spectator
Premium account Not required Required for multiplayer[fn 1] Required Required Required Required
Available Partial[fn 2] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiplayer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Crafting No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Smelting No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Brewing No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Enchanting No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Inventory Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
Health Survival test only Yes Hidden[fn 3] Yes Yes No
Respawn after death No Yes Yes Yes Resets the world after death You can't die in spectator mode
Block placing/breaking Yes Yes Yes No, unless the player has a CanPlaceOn data tag Yes No
Mobs Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maximum amount of blocks (so far) Yes Partial[fn 4] Yes No Partial[fn 4] No
Day-night cycle In real time Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cheats No Changeable Preset to yes, but changeable Changeable No Changeable
Preset difficulty N/A No No No Yes No
Hunger No Partial[fn 5] No Partial[fn 5] Yes No
Available in Bedrock Edition and Legacy Console Edition No Yes Yes Yes No No
Can phase through blocks No 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. Classic mode is no longer supported, but it is still accessible from the launcher.
  3. In Creative, health is still there but hidden from GUI, you can show this by falling into the Void.
  4. 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.
  5. a b Hunger mechanics are implemented, but only kill you if the difficulty is set to hard mode and do not affect players on Peaceful.