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The hardcore mode death screen.
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This feature is exclusive to Java Edition.

Hardcore is a Java Edition exclusive variant of Survival. In this mode, the world is locked to Hard difficulty and the player can't respawn after they die.


The game mode button showing Hardcore.

The key feature of Hardcore mode is that the player is not given the option to respawn upon death as they would in other game modes. Instead, there are two buttons on the death screen: "Spectate world" and "Delete world"[until JE 1.15] ("Title screen"‌[upcoming: JE 1.15]). "Spectate world" sets the player to Spectator mode and respawns the player at the world's spawn point. In addition, Hardcore mode worlds will be restricted to hard difficulty.

When creating a Hardcore mode world, the Enable Cheats and Bonus Chest world options are locked to OFF. On the world selection menu, hardcore mode worlds will display dark red text reading "Hardcore Mode!".

Hardcore mode is specific to worlds, not players; the variable determining whether the world is in Hardcore mode is saved in level.dat. Thus, the player can use /gamemode creative (if cheats are enabled) to set themselves to Creative mode. Players in Creative mode while on a Hardcore mode world will still see Hardcore mode's death screen upon death.

It is normally impossible to toggle Hardcore mode once the world has been created, though it is possible to use external programs such as NBTExplorer to change it by setting the hardcore tag to either 1 (hardcore) or 0 (normal).

However, it is possible to enable cheats through the Open to LAN feature in the pause menu. From here, the player can, while spectating the world after death, type /gamemode survival to bring themselves back to Survival mode, being able to play again.


Hardcore mode is an option for multiplayer, and its functions are similar to those in singleplayer. All players will have hardcore mode enabled — it is impossible to have some players in hardcore and some not.

Upon death, the player will have the option to choose whether set to Spectator mode or go back to the main menu.

Server operators can use the /gamemode command to change the game mode of themselves or another player.


Note: This video is outdated - after death, the player now has the option to either go into spectator mode, or go back to the title screen.


The Hardcore mode button posted on Twitter by Notch.
Java Edition Beta
November 22, 2010The idea of Hardcore mode came to Notch from a Minecraft gameplay blog on the PC Gamer site.[1]
Java Edition
September 23, 2011Notch tweeted an image of a button that enables Hardcore mode.
September 28, 2011Notch tweeted an image of the Hardcore mode death screen.
1.0.0Beta 1.9 Prerelease 2Hardcore mode added.
1.3.112w17aThe 'Bonus Chest' and 'Enable Cheats' world options cannot be enabled in Hardcore mode (server operators' commands will not be affected by Hardcore mode).
12w18aHardcore mode can now be used in multiplayer.
1.915w37aRather than deleting the world upon death, the player now has the option to be put into Spectator mode.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.1519w35aHardcore game worlds now prompt to return to the menu on the death screen.


Issues relating to "Hardcore" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


The joke "ultra hardcore" button.
  • When Notch announced Hardcore mode on Twitter, he jokingly posted an image of an 'ultra hardcore' mode where the premium status of the player's account is revoked on death,[2] which may reference the custom gamemode of Ultra Hardcore.
  • When a Hardcore mode world is loaded on a version released prior to Hardcore mode, the world is converted into a Survival world. Loading this world in a version featuring Hardcore mode will not revert the world back to Hardcore mode.


See also[edit]