Minecraft Wiki

The game mode button showing hardcore.

Hardcore mode is a game mode variant of survival, differing primarily by the lack of the ability to respawn (instead, the player respawns in spectator mode) and change the difficulty.


While playing hardcore mode, the game is set to “hardcore” difficulty, which only differs from “hard” difficulty in that it cannot be changed to another difficulty while playing the world and you also cannot enable cheats or bonus chests. Also in that if the player dies, the player can respawn in spectator mode or delete the world. In the world selection screen, it will say that the world is in hardcore mode in bold, red letters, as a warning.

When the player dies, the game over screen offers buttons to spectate or delete the world instead of survival mode’s Respawn and Title menu buttons. When you die, "Game over!" appears instead of "You died!".


Hardcore mode is an option for multiplayer, and its functions are similar. Dying while in the server does not give the player an option to respawn, replaced with a button prompting the player to "Leave Server". When clicked, the player gets the message "You have died. Game over man, it's game over!". If you try to reconnect to the server, it says "You are banned from this server! Reason: Death in Hardcore".

It is possible for a server admin to allow a player to rejoin after death, but the admin will need to stop the server and edit server files: First, deleting the player data from (Map name)> players > (deadplayer).dat, then going into the banned-players.txt and erasing the relevant data under the index ( banned by | banned until | reason). The admin can then restart the server and the affected player can spawn again. However, the player will appear at the original spawn point with no items, armor, or levels (because their player data has been deleted).


For a complete guide on how to survive in Hardcore mode, read the Hardcore mode tutorial.


Note: This video is outdated, as you can now view Hardcore worlds in Spectator mode after you've died.


A hardcore mode button posted on Twitter by Notch[1]

Official release
1.0.0Beta 1.9-pre2Hardcore mode added.
1.3.112w17aThe "Bonus Chest" and Cheats options cannot be enabled in Hardcore mode.
12w18aHardcore mode can now be used in multiplayer.
1.915w37aRather than deleting the world upon death, the player will be put into spectator mode.
New chunks will not generate in Spectator mode once the player dies, by default. It can be changed by editing the gamerule spectatorsGenerateChunks.


Issues relating to “Hardcore” are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • When a world in hardcore mode is played on a version before its release, the world is permanently converted into a standard survival world.
  • The idea of Hardcore mode came to Notch from a Minecraft gameplay blog on the PC Gamer site.[2]
  • 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 user account is revoked on death.[3]
  • It is actually possible to respawn in hardcore mode, via defeating the Ender Dragon and activating the credits, after which you will promptly respawn without death.
    • Another way to respawn in the same world, but in survival is to respawn in spectator mode, go to the pause menu, press "Open to LAN," turn on cheats, then type "/gamemode 0." This also works with "/gamemode 1," but it's creative mode instead.
  • Many Minecraft enthusiasts played hardcore mode before the official version was released. It was simply on the honor system to delete your world if you died. This was often called an "Ironman" game.
  • Via hacking or commands, it is possible to play a cross between hardcore and creative mode. The player can fly and place infinite blocks like in creative mode, but the world will be put in spectator mode upon death. This is because hardcore is not technically a game mode and is actually a separate variable in the level.dat.
    • Unlike game modes, Hardcore is not player-specific. This means you can't have a multiplayer server where some players are hardcore and some are not.
    • A simple way to access creative mode while in hardcore mode is to go to the pause screen and select "Open to LAN", and click "Enable Cheats". Then use any command you wish.
    • Another way to enable cheats is to use a map editor like MCEdit to add in a command block with a command in it. Command blocks can still run commands normally even if the player can't.
  • The hardcore hearts differs from the normal survival hearts (see gallery) - the hardcore heart has "angry eyebrows" while the normal survival heart doesn't.