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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 the game mode of Minecraft in which players must collect resources, build structures, battle mobs, manage hunger, and explore the land in an effort to survive and thrive.


Crafting Table

A crafting table, a necessary tool for any player in Survival

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 through 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). 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, /gamemode s, or /gamemode 0.


See also: Tutorials/Beginner's guide
Big Cave Entrance

Caves like these are where players will find most of the resources needed to "complete" the game.

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, a huge amount of experience, and leaves the End dimension open for exploitation. 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.

Survival single player (SSP)[]

Survival single player is the original and default game mode of Minecraft. SSP may be played online or offline, as long as the user has initially played it while connected to the Internet (which allows the game files to download to their computer).

Survival multiplayer (SMP)[]


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 each other and work together (or against each other) in order to achieve their Survival goals.



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.
0.31January 29, 2010Crafting is introduced.
March 27, 2010Death is no longer permanent; the player is now able to respawn.
1.0.15Added multiplayer. Originally, Notch had only allowed a limited number of people from the Minecraft IRC channel to participate in the first tests of SMP. 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 SMP 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.
Official release
1.3.1SSP 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.
Console Edition
TU1CU11.0Patch 1Added Survival mode.


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See also[]

  • A beginner's guide to surviving in Minecraft
  • Creative mode
  • Hardcore