Mode minecraft

How many game modes can you play in Minecraft?

What is it that makes games playable? And, importantly, re-playable? 

There are a number of factors that make video games fun, and the list is especially long with Minecraft! We’d be here for hours if we were to fully explain each one, so today we're just focusing on one aspect of the game (you can dig into others like Minecraft mods, how to play Minecraft with friends when time allows, and these amazing Minecraft stats). 

So, let’s talk about the different Minecraft game modes. 

What is a game mode, exactly? Think of it as the ability to, at the flip of a switch, repackage the configuration, rules, and goals of a game in order to offer game players an entirely new experience. Quite literally, it is a game-changer. 

How many game modes are in Minecraft?

There are four different playable game modes in Minecraft: Creative, Survival, Hardcore, and Adventure. Each mode offers distinct gameplay features and mechanics, which is one of many reasons it is such an engaging, popular platform. 

(And to make sure we are covering all bases, there is technically a fifth Minecraft mode, Spectator Mode, but as you can probably gather, it is an option for players to observe worlds without interacting. At iD Tech, we’re not ones to sit in the stands, so we won’t delve into this one.)

Creative Mode

Think back to when you first heard of Minecraft and how it was described. We’re willing to bet it sounded something like this: “It’s an open-world sandbox game where you can create without restriction! Unlimited resources and the ability to build and build and build!”

Right? Well, that’s Creative mode in a nutshell! 

For kids who want to immediately jump into the game and get mining to their heart’s content, this is the mode for them. Players don’t have to worry about maintaining health, satisfying hunger, and dealing with limited resources in Creative Mode. It’s really a perfect starting point. 

Young creators have everything they need to build; no mining is necessary, and no time needed to be spent gathering resources. Plus, you can fly! What’s not to love about that?

Survival Mode

Now, while Creative mode really gets the innovative juices flowing, there is the option that’s a “truer” gaming approach with challenges, restrictions, enemies, the ability to fight, and more. 

And that’s Survival mode. Kids will have to gather resources, make items, and fight bad guys. It’s basically a gamer’s paradise. 

Here’s a tip for survival mode: the easiest resource to gather early in the game is wood, which kids can find - how else - by chopping down trees!

But seriously, kids can simply walk directly up to a tree and punch it repeatedly by holding down the left mouse button. After a few punches, Minecraft will oblige with a wood block. This is one of the best, most straightforward survival mode strategies.

Ok, we can’t resist sharing another trick for Minecraft survival mode: dirt is another easy resource to obtain and use. While it doesn't have as many uses as wood, it can be used in a pinch to make a house. To gather dirt, players need to face the ground and punch down, and the earth will begin to crack.

Speaking of houses, a home is a great place for kids to keep their Minecraft items, make a landmark, or stay safe from the elements. Just like surviving in the wild, this is key in survival mode. Especially at night in the game, kids will need a home in order to stay safe from zombies, spiders, or skeletons.

This is important because Minecraft is a game of exploration, but players can perish!

Lava, drowning, exploding, hostile mobs—danger is out there! When players lose life, they also lose most of their items, all of their experience, and they'll start over from their spawn point.

Adventure Mode

Both Creative and Survival mode are considered to be traditional Minecraft game modes, but stopping at “traditional” is not the gamer way. To add even more excitement, other modes like Adventure mode and Hardcore mode have been made available to players. 

So, what’s special about Adventure mode? In regular Minecraft, there is no quest, but in Adventure mode, kids get to develop a game that leads the player through a particular story. And just like that, that open world “sandbox” transforms into an epic adventure. 

Adventure mode is great for building challenges or telling a story because players can't easily destroy blocks to bypass content. Instead, they’ll need the right tool to break most blocks, and some blocks can't be broken at all.

Looking to unlock the secrets of Adventure mode on Minecraft? Here are a few highlights: 

  • Some objects can break with tools 
  • You can fight bad guys
  • Pickaxes can break things like stone, sandstone, and iron doors
  • Shears can break all wool, leaves, and vines

Hardcore Mode

One big difference between all of these different gameplay options is that certain modes are only available in certain formats. Specifically, Hardcore mode is only available in Minecraft Java Edition. Since that’s our jam at iD Tech, let’s take a look at the details. 

Really, with Hardcore mode, the name speaks for itself—it’s challenging to play, and nothing is more difficult than having only one life available. It’s the ultimate survival test, with players needing to be mindful of health, hunger, experience, and of course, mobs. 

Here is a breakdown of a few things kids should know:

Health—If characters gets hit too many times, fall in lava, or stay under water too long, it's game over!

Food—Eat to survive! If the food level is less than three, characters can't run fast. If they run out of food, they lose health. But if they're full, they regenerate health.

Experience—Experience can be gained by defeating bad guys and can be used to enchant equipment.

Items—Weapons, building blocks, tools, and food; they can all be held here.

Game Modes in Command Blocks

Now that you’ve got a solid foundation of the ins and outs of the different game modes, let’s discuss how command blocks come into play.

It’s also important for kids to understand how to use these different modes, and also, when to switch game modes (FYI, there is no way to Hardcore mode after a world has been created).

  • Survival: /gamemode 0
  • Creative: /gamemode 1
  • Adventure: /gamemode 2

Putting game mode in a command block is a great way to quickly change the type of gameplay with the flip of a switch!

All things considered, there’s no denying the entertainment value found in a game like Minecraft...and that can be said for the plain, base, out of the box version from day one! 

Now, with a number of different game modes, there’s good reason why the title is still a hugely popular option for the 100+ million active players. 

Need to know more? Check out our list of Minecraft questions and answers. Ready for kids to jump into an online summer program? Check out our many Minecraft camps and courses, available now. 

A photo of Ryan


Ryan manages blog content at iD Tech, starting with the company in 2008. He earned his MBA from Santa Clara University after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. Connect on LinkedIn!

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Explore infinite worlds and build everything from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles. Play in creative mode with unlimited resources or mine deep into the world in survival mode, crafting weapons and armor to fend off dangerous mobs. Create, explore and survive alone or with friends on mobile devices or Windows 10.

Marketplace - Discover the latest community creations in the marketplace! Get unique maps, skins, and texture packs from your favorite creators.

Slash commands - Tweak how the game plays: you can give items away, summon mobs, change the time of day, and more.

Add-Ons - Customize your experience even further with free Add-Ons! If you're more tech-inclined, you can modify data-driven behaviors in the game to create new resource packs.

Realms - Play with up to 10 friends cross-platform, anytime, anywhere on Realms, your own private server that we host for you. Try a free 30-day trial in-app.

Multiplayer - Play with up to 4 friends with a free Xbox Live account online.
Servers - Join free massive multiplayer servers and play with thousands of others! Discover gigantic community-run worlds, compete in unique mini-games and socialize in lobbies full of new friends!

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Minecraft Mod Guide

All Game Modes List & Differences

Learn more on the different game modes of Minecraft! Find out a list of all the available modes in the game, details, survival and hardcore, their differences and features!

Table of Contents

More Minecraft Guides

Different Modes In Minecraft

Multiple Ways To Play Minecraft

Multiple Ways To Play Minecraft

Minecraft has several game modes which you can choose from. These game modes each have different elements enabled in order to allow you to play differently.

List Of Game Modes In Minecraft

Swap Between Game Modes On The Fly

With the exception of Hardcore Mode, you will be able to swap between the game modes on the fly. However, you will only be able to do this if you have cheats enabled.

Survival Mode Details

Stay Alive & Fear The Night!

Stay Alive & Fear The Night!

Survival mode spawns you in a random point in the world with nothing more than the clothes on your back. From here, it is up to you to collect resources, and craft defenses in order to survive the night and its horrible creatures!

Death Respawns You

Dying in this game mode will send you back to your original spawn point, or to your bed (if you have already crafted one). You will also lose the materials on your person upon death so take caution when exploring!

Adjust Difficulty In This Mode

Adjust Difficulty In This Mode

If you are having a tough time in this Survival, you will have the option to change the difficulty of the game in the options menu. Consider lowering or increasing the difficulty based on how hard you find the game!

Check Out All Difficulty Levels Here!

Hardcore Mode Details

Survival Mode To The Extreme

Survival Mode To The Extreme

Hardcore Mode is different from Survival Mode in the sense that its difficulty will always be set to hard. This means that there are more enemies that do lots of damage, your stamina drains faster, and you can die from hunger!

Cannot Change Difficulty

Since Hardcore Mode will always be set to Hard difficulty, you will not be able to lower the difficulty when you are playing.

One Life Only

One Life Only

Be very careful in this game mode! Since you are only given one life, dying in Hardcore Mode will end the playthrough and you will be given the option to "Spectate World", or "Delete World".

Creative Mode Details

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Creative Mode, just like its name, is all about letting your imagination run wild! You are given an infinite amount of building blocks, materials, and much more to create items, landscapes, and anything to your heart's content!

Fly To Get Around Faster

Fly To Get Around Faster

You will be able to get around the map faster by flying. Double tapping the jump button will activate and deactivate your flight mode. This way, you can easily create huge structures without needing to climb around.

You Do Not Take Damage In This Mode

You will not take damage from the environment or from enemies in Creative Mode. You will only die if you fall off the map by digging straight down.

Respawn After Dying

You will respawn in your original spawn point if you die. All of the changes that you've made to the world will still be there so you can pick up from where you left off!

Adventure Mode Details

Interact With Select Elements Only

Interact With Select Elements Only

Adventure Mode will only allow you to interact with certain elements on the map. You will also only be able to place or destroy specific blocks and tiles. This is perfect for story themed maps!

Take Damage From Environment

Players will still be able to take damage from enemies and the environment so stay on your toes and be prepared!

Manage Your Hunger & Stay Healthy

Adventure Mode will also require you to manage your hunger and health to stay alive in this game mode.

Only Available In Multiplayer

You will only be able to choose this game mode when playing in a Multiplayer game.

Spectator Mode Details

Watch The World Around You

Spectator Mode

Spectator Mode allows you to view your created world as a floating transparent head. You will be able to fly, phase through blocks and pass through different entities in this mode.

You Cannot Die In This Mode

You will not be able to die in this game mode since you do not take damage from enemies and the environment. You also do not need to manage your hunger since there is no stamina bar.

Can Be Found In Multiplayer Or Hardcore Mode

You will only be able to access this mode if you die in Hardcore Mode, or in Multiplayer game modes.

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Mojang © 2009-2019. All Rights Reserved.
All trademarks, character and/or image used in this article are the copyrighted property of their respective owners.
▶Minecraft Official Website


This article is about general gameplay in Minecraft. For instructional material, see Tutorials.

Gameplay in most game modes of Minecraft consists mainly of adding and destroying a variety of different blocks in a randomly generated world. Except you cannot break blocks in Adventure and Spectator mode.

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[]

This section is missing information about excessive game mode values in Bedrock Edition.. 

Please expand the section to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page.

"Gamemode" redirects here. For the command, see Commands/gamemode.

Minecraft has 5 gamemodes: Survival, Creative, Adventure, Spectator‌[Java Edition only] and Hardcore‌[Java Edition only]. The "demo mode" is Survival with the attribute, which defines if the game is from a trial version or not.

In the file, Survival mode is , Creative is , Adventure is , and Spectator is . Hardcore is Survival with the addition of (a normal world uses instead). This knowledge allows hacking to change game modes by editing the world's level.dat. The command can be used to switch between these (except Hardcore, as it cannot be set using commands). For example, puts the player into Creative mode.

In Java Edition, a player with operator permissions on a server or cheats enabled is able to open a GUI by pressing and , which then allows the player to cycle through the four available gamemodes available with by pressing .

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.


Main article: Survival

In this mode, players have to gather all their materials to build, craftitems and tools and gain experience points. There is a health, hunger, and armor bar, an inventory, and also a oxygen bar when underwater, suffocating,‌[BE only] or in lava.‌[BE only] If a player runs out of hearts (health), the player dies and returns to the spawn point. Upon death, the player emits smoke, loses all experience and items, and a death message. Maximum reach is 5 blocks.


Main article: Creative

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,‌[Java Edition only] 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 cannot see command blocks if they look through the Creative GUI - they need to spawn command blocks with the or commands. Max reach is 6 blocks.


Main article: Adventure

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


Main article: Hardcore

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, they must either delete the map or permanently switch to Spectator mode, effectively preventing them from interacting with the world ever again.

Technically, Hardcore is a game mode modifier rather than a game mode. However, without cheating, it is possible to get only "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 of this, "Hardcore" usually refers to "Hardcore Survival". On a server, a player who dies gets put into Spectator mode, while all other players remain in Survival mode. When looking at a Hardcore singleplayer world, the gamemode is "Hardcore Mode!" and the color is red.

Hardcore is not technically a game mode as it cannot be enabled with the command.


Main article: Spectator

When in Spectator mode, players can clip through blocks, enter the perspective of other entities by left-clicking on them, and are invisible to all players and mobs 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 they are flying, unlike flying in Creative mode.

Table of game modes[]

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

  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. abIn Creative or in Spectator, health is still there but hidden from GUI, the player can show this by falling into the void.
  3. abIn 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. abHunger mechanics are implemented, but kill the player only if the difficulty is set to Hard mode and do not affect players on Peaceful.
  5. ↑Only available through external tools and in an incomplete state.


Note: This video is outdated, as Spectator mode was added after this video's release.


Minecraft mode

How to change game modes in 'Minecraft' at any time in both the 'Java' and 'Bedrock' versions

Child playing Minecraft
Reuters/Matthew Tostevin
  • You can change game modes in "Minecraft" by using the "/gamemode" command, but you'll need to enable cheats first.
  • You can use the /gamemode command in both "Minecraft: Java Edition'' and "Minecraft: Bedrock Edition."
  • "Minecraft" has four distinct game modes: Creative, Survival, Adventure, and Spectator.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

If there's one thing that everyone knows about "Minecraft," it's that it's one of the most customizable games out there. From building new worlds to installing mods, you can do pretty much anything.

When you start a "Minecraft" game, you have to pick one of several game modes to play in — Survival, Creative, Adventure, or Spectator — and usually can't change that game mode without erasing your file.

However, "Minecraft's" customizability extends to its cheats, too. Using a console command called "/gamemode," you can switch what kind of game you're playing at any time.

Here's how to use the /gamemode command in "Minecraft: Java Edition" and "Minecraft: Bedrock Edition."

Quick tip: Note that you can't use this trick to switch to Hardcore mode. The only way to switch an existing world to Hardcore mode is to use a third-party app to edit the game's files.

How to change game modes in 'Minecraft: Java Edition'

1. Launch "Minecraft," and select the "Singleplayer" game type. Then click "Create New World."

2_ _How_to_change_gamemode_in_Minecraft
Emma Witman/Insider

2. On the Create New World page, make sure that "Allows Cheats" is toggled "On," then click "Create New World."

3_ _How_to_change_gamemode_in_Minecraft
Emma Witman/Insider

Quick tip: If you want to switch game modes in an existing world that doesn't have cheats turned on, load that world and press the Esc key to open the menu, then click "Open to LAN."

In the menu that opens, set "Allow Cheats" to "On," and then click "Start LAN World."

3. Once the world is loaded, press T on your keyboard to summon the chat box, where you can enter commands.

5_ _How_to_change_gamemode_in_Minecraft
Emma Witman/Insider

4. Type in "/gamemode" (without the quotes) followed by a space, and the mode you want to switch to (Creative, Survival, Adventure, or Spectator), then hit the Enter key. So, for example, if you want to switch from Survival to Creative, you'll type:

/gamemode creative

You can switch game modes at any time.

How to change game modes in 'Minecraft: Bedrock Edition'

In "Bedrock Edition," you'll need to enable cheats when you create the world — there's no way to enable them in an existing world.

1. Hit "Play" on the loading screen.

7_ _How_to_change_gamemode_in_Minecraft
Emma Witman/Insider

2. Click "Create New" at the top, then on the next page, click "Create New World" at the top again.

8_ _How_to_change_gamemode_in_Minecraft
Emma Witman/Insider

3. In the Game Settings panel, scroll down to "Cheats." Toggle "Activate Cheats" to the on position, then tap "Create."

11_ _How_to_change_gamemode_in_Minecraft
Emma Witman/Insider

4. A dialog box will pop up warning you that you can't earn achievements in a world that has cheat mode activated. If you're okay with this, click "Continue."

10_ _How_to_change_gamemode_in_Minecraft
Emma Witman/Insider

5. Once the world has loaded, tap T on your keyboard to bring up the chat box, where you can enter commands.

6. Type in "/gamemode" (without the quotes) followed by a space, and then the mode you want to switch to (Creative, Survival, Adventure, or Spectator), then hit the Enter key. For example, if you want to switch from Creative to Survival mode, you'll type:

/gamemode survival
13_ _How_to_change_gamemode_in_Minecraft
Emma Witman/Insider

You can switch game modes at any time.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

More:Tech How ToMinecraft

There may be those who are new to Minecraft who may not know how to change the different game modes that are available to you in the game. When it comes to playing these different modes you have different options available to you as to how you can play or set up your game whether when you're editing your world or are playing inside of it. In this article we shall go over the specifics on how you can change your game mode on these different options before you, and how best you can make it convenient for yourself.

What is required to change game mode?

The prerequisites are thankfully not demanding nor are they long. For Java, you just need to make sure that your cheat mode is on and you should have no problem changing the game mode. 

Prerequisite to changing game mode in Minecraft

For other versions of the game, you don’t have any other prerequisites.

How To Change GameMode In Minecraft

Java Version

As inferred from above, to switch game modes in the Java version of Minecraft you will need to create a new world in your Minecraft single-player menu and then turn off the cheats to give you the option to accomplish your goal. 

How to change game mode in Minecraft Java

Once you enter the cheat-free world that you have just created, you can then change the game mode by using console commands. Press the ‘T’ button in the game, and then enter the following command if you are already playing on survival mode:

Command: /gamemode creative

With this command, you have just changed the game mode to creative from survival. 

Bedrock Version

In the Bedrock version of the game, the method of switching game modes is more or less the same except with an extra method. You can change your game mode from the world edit selection screen before you enter said world. 

How to change game mode in Minecraft bedrock

The only true difference here is that unlike in the Java version, you press enter to input your console command instead of ‘T’.


Q. Can you switch between creative and survival mode in Minecraft?

Yes, you can through the aforementioned method above. Just remember to go to your console command selection and input the following command.

Command: /gamemode

Switching  between creative and survival mode in Minecraft

From there you will be shown options for the different game modes that you can play.

Q. Which is better, survival or creative?

Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to build complex contraptions and farms or build superstructures with little difficulty then creative mode is what you want. If you want a challenge where you have to work for your resources and the progress in your game then survival is going to be your preference.

Q. Do I lose anything when switching game modes?

You do not.

Video Guide:

If you want a more physical demonstration on how to change your game modes, then you will want to watch this video:


Having the freedom to change your game mode at will within Minecraft is a cornerstone of the game that should definitely be taken advantage of. If you want to change something in your survival world, but don’t have access to certain items, then the solution is an easy one when you can switch to creative and back to survival. 


You will also be interested:

Game Modes in Minecraft

This Minecraft tutorial explains all about the game modes (Creative, Survival, Adventure, Spectator, Hardcore) in Minecraft. Let's take a closer look.

Supported Game Modes

Not all versions of Minecraft support every game mode. Here is a summary of the game modes that are supported by the different versions of Minecraft:


  • Game Mode is the name of the game mode.
  • Platform(s) is the platform that the game mode is available on.

Game Modes

Minecraft started with two basic game modes - Creative and Survival. Later, Minecraft added three more game modes to make things more interesting - Adventure, Spectator and Hardcore. Let's quickly explain the differences between these modes.


Creative mode gives you unlimited resources, lets you destroy blocks instantly when mining, and allows you to fly in the game.

When you play in this mode, you will not have a health bar, a hunger bar or an experience bar. Although you don't have an experience bar, you will continue to gain experience from killing mobs and mining certain items. You will be able to kill mobs, but mobs will never attack you or fight back. Also, you will not take damage or die in the game.

You can start a Minecraft world in Creative mode. You can also switch your world to Creative mode from another game mode whenever you like.


Survival mode lets you search for resources, pick up mined items, and craft items. However, you will not be able to fly.

When you play in this mode, you will have a health bar, a hunger bar and an experience bar. You will be able to kill mobs and hostile mobs will attack you. You will take damage and can die in the game.

You can start a Minecraft world in Survival mode. You can also switch your world to Survival mode from another game mode whenever you like.


Adventure mode has limited features to preserve adventure maps from being changed. In this mode, you will not be able to fly. Also, blocks can not be destroyed by hand, but rather you must use an item with the CanDestroy tag to destroy a block. Blocks can only be placed if the block has the CanPlaceOn tag.

When you play in this mode, you will have a health bar, a hunger bar and an experience bar. You will be able to kill mobs and hostile mobs will attack you. You will take damage and can die in the game.

Although you can not start a Minecraft world in Adventure mode (you will have to choose Creative or Survival when you create the world), you can switch to Adventure mode from another game mode using the /gamemode command.


Spectator mode is only available in Minecraft Java Edition. It was first introduced in Minecraft 1.8 to allow players to fly around and observe the Minecraft world. Players in this mode can not interact with anything in the game, but can fly through solid objects.

When you play in this mode, you will not have a health bar, a hunger bar or an experience bar. You will not be able to kill mobs, take damage or die in the game.

Although you can not start a Minecraft world in Spectator mode (you will have to choose Creative or Survival when you create the world), you can switch to Spectator mode using the /gamemode command.

Spectator is a great mode to use if you have mined underground and have gotten lost or run out of resources. Just switch to Spectator mode and fly up! You can easily find blue skies and the ground. Then switch back to Creative or Survival mode again.


Hardcore mode is only available in Minecraft Java Edition. This mode locks you at the hardest difficulty level and you only have one life!

When you play in this mode, you will have a health bar, a hunger bar and an experience bar. You will be able to kill mobs and hostile mobs will attack you. You will take damage and can die in the game.

You can only choose Hardcore when you first create the Minecraft world and there is no way to switch to Hardcore after your world has been created in another game mode.

Congratulations, you just learned about game modes in Minecraft.

Other Beginner Tutorials


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