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A new Survival game of Minecraft. The health and hunger bars, as well as the hotbar, are visible.

Survival mode is one of the main game modes in Minecraft. Players must collect resources, build structures, battle mobs, manage hunger, and explore the world in an effort to thrive and survive.

In Bedrock Edition, players may only receive achievements in a world not set to Flat while playing Survival Mode with cheats off and host privileges off. If a player creates a world in creative mode and then loads it in Survival Mode, they will still not be able to earn achievements in that world. In Minecraft Survival your goal is to build a house, explore, and have fun.


A crafting table, a necessary block for any player in Survival mode.

In Survival, players have an inventory in which they may gather items. These items may be combined using certain recipes to create tools and other items. This process is known as crafting. Most crafting recipes need a crafting table. Some items cannot be obtained by crafting normally and require a furnace for processing. Various other crafting stations exist for advanced uses, such as brewing, repairing, and enchanting.

The basic Survival mode inventory.

In Survival mode, the player is able to receive damage from the environment and from hostile mobs (unless playing on peaceful, where hostile mobs are disabled). If the player receives enough damage, they will die and return to their spawn point.

If cheats are enabled, a player can switch to Survival mode by using the command /gamemode survival.


Caves like this are where players will find most of the resources needed to advance in Survival mode

Despite being marketed as a game with no pre-determined goals, Minecraft does have a basic structure, that of a scavenger hunt. While striving to build and expand their shelter, players collect various items and resources to add to their capabilities, attacks, and defenses, with many items enabling access to others. Over time, the player will travel to other dimensions to attain their goals.

The player can reach a "proper ending" in Survival mode by defeating the ender dragon, but this does not actually terminate play; it provides a trophy item (dragon egg), a huge amount of experience, and leaves the End dimension open for exploration. There is also an optional boss, the wither, which becomes accessible in the mid- to late game. The player can also take up any purposes of their own design; one common goal is to fulfill all of the predefined achievements (Advancements in Java Edition). Oceans also bring exploration, as they have corals, monuments and adapted creatures like guardians and drowned.

Survival singleplayer[edit]

Survival singleplayer is the original and default game mode of Minecraft. Singleplayer may be played online or offline, as long as the player has played the game at least once in order to allow the game files to be downloaded to their computer.

Survival multiplayer (SMP)[edit]

Two players working together to build a shelter in Survival multiplayer

Survival multiplayer allows multiple players to connect to a central Minecraft server. This enables them to interact with one another and work together (or against one another) in order to achieve their Survival goals.



Java Edition Classic
May 16, 2009Notch discussed Survival among the various game modes he envisioned for the game.
June 14, 2009Notch discussed his vision of how Survival mode would work.
August 4, 2009Survival mode testing starts. At this time, there was no health bar, and resource management was being tested.
August 18, 2009Hearts are shown, mobs takes damage when hit.
0.24 SURVIVAL TESTAdded survival mode in Survival Test. During this time, death was permanent, meaning players could not respawn and the level needed to be restarted unless a save file had been created.
Until mid-Alpha, survival single-player was the only available mode besides Classic creative mode.
Java Edition Indev
0.310.31 (January 29, 2010)Crafting is introduced.
Java Edition Infdev
March 27, 2010Death is no longer permanent; the player is now able to respawn.
Java Edition Alpha
v1.0.15Added multiplayer. Originally, Notch had only allowed a limited number of people from the Minecraft IRC channel to participate in the first tests of multiplayer. These invitees could invite other people to test out this mode; however, the password was leaked and the server was quickly filled up. Notch released the first version of the multiplayer server software on the 4th of August, 2010. The client was updated so that players could enter the IP of a server to join it.
Java Edition
1.3.1Singleplayer was abolished in a technical sense. Instead, the player hosts a server that they can either close or open to others at any time. This change was intended to reduce the labor required to fix bugs for two different parts of Minecraft, at a slight performance cost.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.2.0Added Survival mode.
0.3.0Crafting was introduced.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU11.0Patch 1Added Survival mode.


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

See also[edit]