Tutorials/Hunger management

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Hunger is a feature in Minecraft that requires the player to eat in order to survive. It does not affect the player in spectator or creative modes, or on Peaceful difficulty on any gamemode, and is represented by a bar next to the health bar. As this bar drains away, various unpleasant things happen:

  1. You stop healing naturally at 17 (🍗 × 8.5)
  2. You cannot sprint at 6 (🍗🍗🍗)
  3. You start taking starvation damage at 0 (🍗). The rate at which you take this damage is dependent on difficulty. However, reaching zero health this way is only possible on Hard and Hardcore difficulties.

There is also a hidden, secondary form of hunger called "saturation", which is always exhausted before hunger. Eating food will replenish various amounts of both hunger and saturation.

Conserving energy[edit]

Several techniques can reduce your need for food:

  • Avoid fighting when you can. For example, any neutral mob won't attack unprovoked. Also, all monsters have a limit on how far they'll travel to reach you (e.g. they won't usually cross a ravine if they're far enough from the ends).
    • Craft a Bed as soon as possible, and use it whenever you find yourself above ground at night.
    • Place plenty of torches to prevent mob spawning.
  • Reduce jumping. While mining, carry some cobblestone, stairs or ladders and, whenever possible, place a stair block instead of jumping.
  • Craft a stone sword or stone axe when you can, then follow with iron armor and an iron sword. Healing depletes your hunger bar quickly, and full iron armor reduces the damage you take by 60%. Dealing melee blows also depletes your hunger, and swords or axes usually do the job with fewer attacks than any other tool.
  • Avoid sprinting, as it rapidly depletes your hunger bar.

Effects of hunger[edit]

Main article: Hunger

There are three hunger variables you need to worry about: The visible hunger bar, and two hidden values which are called "saturation" and "exhaustion". Hunger and saturation range from 0 to 20 (hunger is shown as 🍗), but saturation cannot exceed your hunger. Exhaustion ranges from 0 to 4. As you move about, fight, mine, etc, exhaustion accumulates. In order, common activities that will exhaust you the most are: Healing damage (most of a food point per health point), a "sprint jump", sprinting any distance, attacking monsters or receiving damage (from any source), and jumping. More specific values can be found in the table.

Action Exhaustion
level increase
Swimming 0.01  per meter
Breaking a block 0.005 per block broken
Sprinting 0.1   per meter
Jumping 0.05  per jump
Attacking an enemy 0.1   per attack landed
Taking damage that is normally protected by armor 0.1   per distinct instance of damage being received
Hunger status effect (food poisoning) 0.1   per second, per Hunger status effect level
Jumping while sprinting 0.2   per jump
Regenerating health by having at least 18 hunger (🍗 × 9) and
having /gamerule naturalRegeneration set to true
6.0   per 1♥ healed
Food poisoning from raw chicken or rotten flesh, or taken damage from husks. 3.0   full 0:30 duration of Hunger I, at 0.1 per second
Food poisoning from pufferfish 4.5   full 0:15 duration of Hunger III, at 0.3 per second

When exhaustion reaches 4, it resets itself and decreases saturation. When saturation reaches 0, the hunger bar will start to ripple, and hunger starts to drain away in place of saturation. When your hunger drops below 18 (🍗 × 9), you stop healing automatically. When it is at 6 (🍗🍗🍗) or below, you will be unable to sprint. Also, when your hunger drops to 0 (🍗), you start to take starvation damage. On Easy mode, starvation damage will not lower you below 10♥♥♥♥♥, while on Normal mode, it can reduce you to 1♥. On Hard mode, starvation can kill you.

While eating is essential to keep your health up, it is not always needed. On Easy and Normal modes, the health bar will stop decreasing before death, so if the player takes care not to take any further damage, they can continue playing normally. In fact, many players drain their hunger to 0 while building. Obviously, this is much riskier in multiplayer servers with PvP (player vs player), as well as adventuring.

With the exception of golden apples, chorus fruits, honey bottles and suspicious stew,‌[Java Edition only] you cannot eat when your hunger is at max; when you do eat, each food item restores a specific amount of hunger and saturation. The following section will elaborate on the strategies on effective management of both hunger and saturation.


Main article: Food

Food are a specific type of items that can be eaten by pressing the "use" button, when your hunger bar is not at maximum. Food restores both the hunger bar and saturation, with different foods filling different amounts of each. You can obtain food through crafting, trading, find in structure chests, farming, and killing mobs. Many foods need to be cooked (smelted) for full effect. Burning mobs is a easier method to obtain meat without the need of cooking.

Foods can be divided into five tiers, according to how much saturation they restore per hunger unit. They are known as nourishment values, and the saturation one gets from any food is defined as nourishment times hunger. Knowing this, there are roughly two ways to approach the issue of hunger and saturation. Players can either try to eat efficiently, meaning using as little food items as possible, or try to eat expediently, meaning to stave off hunger as fast as they can.

The efficiency approach requires the player to avoid wasting hunger or saturation. Meaning, never eat any food that would "overfill" the hunger bar, avoiding to waste saturation points by going over the limit (the hunger value after consuming the food). By doing this, one will use every piece of food to its maximum potential. However, one needs to use more time to tend to their hunger bar, and remember the current saturation value. Therefore, this is ill-suited for healing in emergencies, and should probably be done when safe and/or low on foodstuff.

The expediency approach, on the other hand, doesn't mind wasting a bit of the food here and there: Eat the most filling and nourishing food until full, and be done with it. If food supply is not an issue, if the player requires imminent healing, or if the player simply wants to save time, this is an appealing option.

Few foods also have special effects, mostly bad. While the golden apple can heal you, other foods can poison you (losing hit points), or give you food poisoning (draining your hunger bar). For these, there is milk, obtained by using a bucket on a cow. While milk doesn't restore hunger or saturation, it does wipe away any status effects that the player currently has, so use it carefully. Another option are honey bottles, which only remove poison.


Crafted with gold, these have a nourishment of 2.4.

Enchanted Golden Apple

Enchanted golden apple
Restores 🍗🍗
  • Restores a lot of health and gives you an extra 16 health.
  • Cause temporary constant health regeneration that is not dependent on the player's hunger.
  • Restore 9.6 saturation, considering their low hunger restoration
  • Give 2 minutes of absorption IV, regeneration II‌[JE only]/V‌[BE only], resistance and fire resistance.
Golden apple
Restore 🍗🍗
  • Cause temporary constant health regeneration that is not dependent on the player's hunger.
  • Compared with potions of regeneration, their effects are available before the player is able to brew or even go to the Nether in singleplayer.
  • Tree farming can produce a good supply of apples. Trading with villagers can also get them in quantity.
  • Can be used to create a village by curing zombie villagers. If Generated Structures are turned off, this is the only way to have villagers and trade with them.
  • Although they restore few hunger points, they grant 5 seconds of regeneration II and 2 minutes of absorption, giving the player an extra 2 hearts.
  • Restore 9.6 saturation, a large amount considering their low hunger restoration.
Golden carrot
Restore 🍗🍗🍗
  • Restore 14.4 saturation, the highest of any food currently in the game (only beaten by suspicious stew with saturation effect).
  • Can also be used to make potions of night vision.
  • Are cheaper than golden apples.
  • Can be crafted or bought from a farmer villager, and restore 🍗 more than they do.


These have a nourishment of 1.6 — the most nourishing of the ordinary foods.

Steak and cooked porkchop
Restores 🍗🍗🍗🍗
  • Steak and cooked porkchop restore the highest amount of hunger and saturation (12.8 points) of any food in the game except supernatural foods.
  • Can be found relatively early on, provided there are cows, mooshrooms and/or pigs nearby.
  • Cows, mooshrooms and pigs can be bred to supply the player with raw beef and raw porkchops.
  • Breeding cows and mooshrooms also supply the player with leather.
  • Hoglins are a source of raw porkchops on the Nether, allowing players to get it.
  • Raw beef and porkchops can be cooked quickly using a campfire or soul campfire when away from a reliable source of food.
  • Their availability is dependent on the presence of animals within sight, which can be random and require extensive traveling depending on the biome the player spawns in.
  • Only once at least two animals have been found, a reliable supply of food can be established.
  • Breeding pigs requires carrots, potatoes or beetroots, which can be very difficult to obtain, if there are no villages with carrot or potato farms nearby, as they only very rarely drop from zombies.
  • Hoglins are hostile mobs that can cause a big damage, and they can only be bred on the Nether, because on other dimensions they zombify.
Cooked mutton and cooked salmon
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • Can be found relatively early on, provided there are sheeps, and/or salmons nearby.
  • Restore 9.6 saturation.
  • Breeding sheeps also supply the player with wool.
  • Salmon generates commonly on rivers.
  • Fishing can be in a 3x5x3 body of water.
  • Salmon is safer than some other food sources, as water can be brought to a shelter with a bucket.
  • Raw mutton and raw salmon can be cooked quickly using a campfire or soul campfire when away from a reliable source of food.
  • Their availability is dependent on the presence of animals within sight, which can be random and require extensive traveling depending on the biome the player spawns in.
  • Only once at least two animals have been found, a reliable supply of food can be established.
  • Salmon cannot be bred.


These have a nourishment of 1.2 — the staple foods, cheap and fairly nourishing.

Baked potato
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • Restore 6 saturation.
  • Baked potatoes restore a good amount of hunger and saturation.
  • Potatoes can be farmed quickly and in large quantities, as each potato plant can drop up to 4 potatoes.
  • Meats restore more hunger and saturation than baked potatoes.
  • Finding the first potato can be difficult, found only on strucutre chests, villages or dropped from zombies.
Restores 🍗
  • Beetroots can be used to breed pigs and can be crafted into red dye.
  • No other actual advantages.
  • Beetroot can only be found in villager farms and snowy tundra village house chests.
  • Beetroot crops grow somewhat slower than other crops, and they only yield one beetroot for each harvest.
  • Finding beetroot seeds takes some exploration, found only on structure chests.
  • Eating one beetroot is only marginally more useful than not eating at all.
  • Restores 1.2 saturation.
Beetroot soup
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • Restores 7.2 saturation.
  • It restores the same amount of hunger as six beetroots while taking only one-sixth as much time to eat.
  • Uncrafted beetroot soup takes up less inventory space than uncrafted mushroom stew (up to 10 servings).
  • Beetroot can only be found in villager farms and snowy tundra village house chests.
  • Beetroot crops grow somewhat slower than other crops, and they only yield one beetroot for each harvest.
  • Like stews, beetroot soup doesn't stack when crafted.
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • Bread takes little resources to farm.
  • Restore 6 saturation.
  • A wheat farm is easy to maintain.
  • Bread is one of the easiest foods to obtain early in the game
  • Wheat grows slowly, and three are required per bread loaf.
  • Lots of bone meal may be needed to grow a single stalk of wheat.
  • Farms require a light level of 9 for growth.
  • Meats restore more hunger and saturation than bread.
Restores 🍗🍗
  • Carrots are easy to farm.
  • Can be used to breed pigs and rabbits.
  • Finding a carrot is hard to find, found only on villages, structure chests, or rarely dropped by zombies.
  • Restore 3.6 saturation.
  • Meats and baked potatoes restore more hunger and saturation than carrots.
Cooked chicken
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • Restore 7.2 saturation.
  • Chickens are easier to find than most other passive mobs, and also lay eggs and provide feathers.
  • Chickens only need seeds to breed.
  • Because chickens lay eggs, cooked chicken can be farmed completely automatically, compared to farming of other animal meat which needs the player to breed the animals.
  • Other meats restore more hunger and saturation than cooked chicken.
  • Eggs hatch into baby chickens, which need to grow before they are farmed.
Cooked cod
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • Fishing can be in a 3x5x3 body of water.
  • Restore 6 saturation.
  • Safer than some other food sources, as water can be brought to a shelter with a bucket.
  • Catching fish takes some time, making it slow to gather large amounts of them.
  • Killing cod mobs is also quite difficult, as they can only be found in the ocean.
  • Other meats restore more hunger and saturation.
Cooked rabbit
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • Can be obtained relatively early on depending on the presence of rabbits.
  • Restore 7.2 saturation.
  • Cooked rabbit can be purchased from butcher villagers.
  • Can be used to craft rabbit stew, which is better.
  • Other meats restore more hunger and saturation than a cooked rabbits.
  • Rabbits are difficult to find, and to kill.
Mushroom stew
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • If mushrooms and mycelium, podzol or nylium can be found, mushroom stew can be a reliable food source.
  • The recipe can be made in the 2×2 crafting menu.
  • Restore 7.2 saturation.
  • If possible, pressing use on a mooshroom with a bowl will fill the bowl with stew.
  • Like other stews, mushroom stew does not stack, so crafting a lot of stew at once takes up a lot of inventory space.
  • Mycelium, podzol and nylium aren't easy to find (the first two found on rare biomes and the third one found on the Nether).
Rabbit stew
Restores 🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗
  • Rabbit stew can be purchased from butcher villagers.
  • Restore the most hunger points from any food on the game (only beaten by suspicious stew with saturation effect, or a whole cake).
  • Restore 12 saturation.
  • Like other stews, rabbit stew does not stack.
  • Unless a player can get them on a village, they are difficult to craft.
  • Rabbit stew restores less hunger and saturation than all of its ingredients combined, though it's more efficient.
Suspicious stew
Restores 🍗🍗🍗*
  • Flowers and mushrooms are easy to find.
  • Restore 7.2 saturation.
  • It's almost like a mushroom stew, but with the notable addition of a status effect depending on the flower used.
  • When crafted with blue orchid or dandelion, suspicious stew grants the effect Saturation for 7 ticks, meaning an additional 🍗🍗🍗🍗 and 14 saturation, for a total of 🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗 and 21.2 saturation.
  • When crafted with a oxeye daisy it has the effect of an 8-second Regeneration instead, which heals 1.6 hearts, making it all but essential when natural regeneration is turned off.
  • Suspicious stew may have negative effects too (Blindness, Poison, Weakness, or even Wither). Remembering the correct flower for the recipe is important.
  • Once a suspicious stew is crafted, there is no indication to the nature of its effect.
  • These two facts make it inadvisable to eat any suspicious stew that one didn't craft oneself; hence its name.


These have a nourishment of 0.6, these are useful for achieving a full bar of both hunger and saturation when the current hunger bar is almost empty, if eaten with foods of higher tier of nourishment.

Restores 🍗🍗
  • Apples can be obtained very early when oak leaves or dark oak leaves are broken or decay.
  • Restore good enough hunger early in the game.
  • Can be crafted into golden apples.
  • Apprentice level farmer villagers can trade them.
  • Can be found on many structures chests.
  • Apples have only a chance of dropping only from those types of leaves.
  • Restore 2.4 saturation and few hunger points, making them worse than other foods.
  • Either breaking leaves to get them or finding a village can be difficult.
Chorus Fruit
Restores 🍗🍗
  • Can be eaten even when the main hunger bar is full, letting you raise your saturation above normal.
  • Once gotten from the end islands, cheap to farm.
  • May teleport you to another place near.
  • The teletransportation is random.
  • Foxes also teleport if they eat it.
  • Only obtainable end-game.
  • Restore 2.4 saturation.
Dried kelp
Restores 🍗
  • Is only worth eating if you have large amounts, and is more useful in its block state where it can be used as fuel.
  • You have to cook regular kelp to get it.
  • Restore 0.6 saturation.
Melon slice
Restores 🍗
  • Melons are renewable and their farms are easy to automate.
  • Each melon block drops 3-7 melon slices, so you can quickly get a lot in only one harvest.
  • Melon slices can be crafted into glistering melon slices, which can be used to make a potion of Healing
  • Melons are almost never wasted on overfilling the hunger bar.
  • Melons can be crafted back into melon seeds.
  • Melon plant stems will stay productive indefinitely so long as they are protected.
  • Melon seeds can only be found in chests in mineshafts, dungeons, and woodland mansions.
  • Melon stems grow slowly and don't instantly spawn melon blocks even when grown with bone meal.
  • Restore 1.2 saturation, so a diet of melons needs frequent stops to eat. A better use of melons is to first fill the hunger saturation with food such as meat, then use melon to fill the bar the rest of the way.
Poisonous potato
Restores 🍗
  • Can be found in shipwreck chests or dropped when a potato plant is broken.
  • Usable as emergency food.
  • Poisonous potatoes have a 60% chance to inflict the poison effect.
  • Rarely found on those chests.
  • Restore 1.2 saturation and few hunger points.
Restores 🍗
  • Potatoes may be found in plenty in village farms.
  • Potatoes are far less nourishing than baked potatoes.
  • Restore 0.6 saturation and few hunger points.
Pumpkin pie
Restores 🍗🍗🍗🍗
  • Pumpkin pie has a high hunger restoration value. Good choice for restoring hunger points before eating something with more saturation.
  • Its crafting recipe is shapeless, and fits within the 2×2 crafting grid of the player's inventory. This makes it possible to craft it anywhere without a crafting table or furnace, as long as one is carrying the necessary ingredients (pumpkins, sugar and eggs).
  • Restore 4.8 saturation.
  • All ingredients required to craft pumpkin pie can be farmed completely automatically, using pistons and/or hoppers.
  • Meats restore the same amount of hunger, and far more saturation, than pumpkin pie.
  • Pumpkins are relatively rare, so it may take some time and traveling before the player is able to establish a pumpkin farm.
  • Pumpkin plants are slow to grow a pumpkin and only yield a single one per plant at a time.
Raw beef, raw porkchop, and raw rabbit
Restores 🍗🍗
  • Raw beef and raw porkchops are relatively quick to get.
  • Unlike raw chicken, these meats does not carry a chance of contracting food poisoning when eaten.
  • Cooking them gives their cooked versions.
  • Cows and mooshrooms can drop up to 3 raw beef, and pigs and hoglins can drop up to 3 and 4 raw porkchops respectively.
  • The availability of raw meat is dependent on the presence of animal mobs.
  • Raw meat offers significantly less food value than cooked meat.
  • Restore 1.8 saturation.
  • Killing hoglins isn't the best option unless it's a Nether survival, because they are hostile.
Raw chicken and raw mutton
Restores 🍗
  • Chickens are relatively easier to find in the world than pigs or cows, and and sheeps are also easy to find.
  • Chickens die faster, as they have only 4 units of health, making obtaining raw chicken both time effective, and food/saturation effective.
  • Supplies of raw chicken are easier to maintain, as chickens also drop eggs which can be hatched into chicks for mass production of raw chicken rather than being dependent on seeds or wheat for breeding.
  • Sheeps can be sheared to get wool.
  • Chicken farming can be automated, making for a useful way of collecting eggs, raw chicken and feathers, as long as the chunk is loaded.
  • Raw chicken has a 30% chance of giving the player food poisoning.
  • Cooked chicken or cooked mutton restores more hunger points and saturation.
  • Both restore 1.2 saturation.


With a nourishment value of 0.2, these foods will provide almost no saturation. They are basically snacks that will rarely ever overfill the saturation bar.

Restores 🍗 (slice), 🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗 (whole)
  • Cake can be used repeatedly and can be shared by several players as a feast item.
  • Is a renewable resource.
  • Cake can be eaten instantly without any eating animation and without switching the currently selected item.
  • Similar to a slab, you do not need to jump to walk over cake.
  • Cake restores a lot of hunger when eaten as a whole.
  • Cake requires several different items to craft: sugar, wheat, an egg and three milk buckets. In addition, a crafting table is required to use the recipe.
  • Once cake is placed, it cannot be retrieved. If the block below the cake is broken, the cake will disappear.
  • Cakes need to be placed to be eaten, which means they cannot be eaten in places where one cannot build.
  • If you only eat part of a cake, you'll have to come back to that exact spot to eat the rest of it later on.
  • Is not stackable in Java Edition.
  • Restore just 0.4 saturation, or 2.8 as a whole.
Restores 🍗
  • Crafted from two units of wheat and one unit of cocoa beans.
  • The ingredients can be farmed in large quantities.
  • 8 cookies are made each time.
  • 1 batch of cookies relieves 19.2 points of hunger with only 2 units of wheat, much more efficient than bread.
  • When fed to a parrot, a cookie will kill the parrot instantly.
  • Cookies have a very low nourishment value.
  • Restore 0.4 saturation.
Honey Bottle
Restores 🍗🍗🍗
  • Restore 1.2 saturation.
  • Harvesting it can be difficult without campfires and a slab or carpet, as bees can get angered, and they can kill themselves with the campfire.
Restores 🍗
  • Being the only way to obtain nausea, eating pufferfish is needed to get the advancement "How did we get here?".
  • Pufferfish are a useful ingredient in brewing potions of water breathing.
  • Pufferfish inflict hunger, poison, and nausea effects, draining 🍗🍗🍗 and keeping you down to ♥ for 48 seconds.
Raw cod and raw salmon
Restores 🍗
  • Raw fish is not nearly as nourishing as cooked fish.
Rotten flesh
Restores 🍗🍗
  • Rotten flesh can be a good emergency food when other sources are depleted if used in high doses.
  • While in combat, eating rotten flesh is a good way of keeping your hunger topped off so that your health keeps regenerating, without wasting better quality food.
  • Rotten flesh may be used to feed and breed wolves without poisoning them.
  • Rotten flesh has an 80% chance to trigger food poisoning, making hunger deplete for thirty seconds.
  • Rotten flesh only restores 4 hunger points.
  • Killing zombies for rotten flesh may be dangerous for unskilled players as it only comes from hostile zombies and their variants.
  • Rotten flesh restores less saturation than other meats.
Spider eye
Restores 🍗
  • None, it is best to leave them in your brewing lab.
  • They give poison for 4 seconds.
  • Restore 3.2 saturation.
Sweet berries
Restores 🍗
  • Sweet berries can be used to trust foxes
  • Sweet berry bushes can be used as defenses, while can be used to get more berries.
  • The bush block causes damage to anything that enters it's hitbox (except foxes).
Tropical Fish
Restores 🍗
  • Tropical fish have no advantages over other foods.

Emergency measures[edit]

If your hunger meter is dropping and you have no food in hand, there are a few emergency measures you can take, depending on available resources.

If you have a bucket and a cow, milk the cow. The milk will let you fill up on rotten flesh, raw chicken, spider eyes, or poisonous potatoes, and then cure the illness.
Fast crops
If you have any potatoes or carrots, and some bone meal (craft 3 from one skeleton bone, or get from composter), you can make a hoe and till some dirt near any water source, then plant your vegetables and use the bone meal to make them mature more quickly. It can take several pieces of bone meal to get a mature plant. Cooking the potatoes is also a good idea. If you have the bone meal but no carrots or potatoes, you can destroy some tall grass near a river or lake, make and use a hoe, then plant seeds and use the bone meal to rapidly grow your wheat. The same caveats as above apply to the use of bone meal.
Doing nothing
You won't lose hunger bars if you don't do anything (walking, mining, healing, etc.). In hardcore especially, this can be a necessary strategy while waiting for crops or baby animals to grow.
A last-ditch measure: If you're close to your bed or spawn point, stuff your inventory and armor into a chest or two … then die. On hard mode, you can just wait to die of starvation, otherwise, good methods are drowning, jumping off cliffs, or dropping gravel or sand on yourself. You will respawn with full health and hunger bars, and can then reclaim your stuff. Naturally, this method doesn't apply in hardcore. Note that this isn't a totally free solution: you lose most of your experience.