Game Modes provide players with the option to play Minecraft in different ways with different mechanics available in each game mode.
Creative Mode is where a player has unlimited usage of blocks, tools, and items. Tools will not lose durability. Players can wear armor but it won't give armor points. Players can also fly around their world. Players can do anything they could do in survival, such as crafting, storage, etc. When opening the inventory in creative, there is a scroll-down menu in which players can drag and drop items into their item bar (normal inventory, and full item list replacing crafting interface in console editions). Players can also, while holding an item with their hand, get a stack of that item. Players cannot take damage, and will only die if they fall out of the world and into the Void (in java) or are targeted by the
Survival Mode is where players have an experience bar, health, and they can wear armor. Typical first-night homes are made from finding a ravine and digging a dugout or cave in the dirt, with a temporary 'door' made of dirt. Chop down trees to get wood and go to the inventory and turn them into wood planks, which can then be used to make a variety of tools and items. Make a Crafting Table, and Chest/Large Chest. Kill cows for Leather and Beef, and kill pigs for pork. Killing Chickens is good as well since they drop Raw Chicken, Eggs, and Feathers. Cooking the raw chicken in a Furnace will give Cooked Chicken. To receive cobblestone from mining stone, one must have wooden tools. To get iron, stone tools are needed and so on. Recommendations for the first night are: finding wood, coal, stone, flowers (optional); crafting chests and a crafting table. Try to also find sheep to get wool and make a bed to speed up time. Finally, hitting T in the game will open up the chat box. If players are in survival multiplayer, they can discuss by using the chat box.
Hardcore Mode is a mode in which players create and play, it's similar to survival, except the difficulty is always set to hard. Also, if players lose all their hearts and die, the world gets deleted. However, if players close the game without deleting the world, the world is saved. But you can only spectate.
Adventure Mode is used for those who want to only explore maps for mini-games or something else. In this mode, blocks cannot be placed and tools cannot break block unless it's allowed by "CanPlaceOn" and "CanDestroy" NBT tags, respectively. Weapons, such as swords or spades, still can be used against mobs and other players. Until update 1.8, blocks could be broken only by the appropriate tools and blocks could not be placed.
Spectator Mode is a gamemode added in update 1.8. It's only accessible through commands or through the Debug Mode world. This game mode allows players to fly, like creative mode; however, players can't stand on any block, as they will phase through the floor. It also allows players, when left-clicking on entities, to see what they see. However, players can't control the mobs because the mobs are still controlled by their AI.
Demo mode is a version of Minecraft for users who have not yet purchased the game, but would like to try it out first. It is focused on survival mode only. The demo allows the user to play for 1 hour and 40 minutes (5 days in Minecraft time) before they are forced into a type of spectator mode, where they may still move around the world, but cannot interact with anything.
If the full game is purchased after playing the demo, the demo world will appear in the list of available worlds, titled "Demo_world".
Capture The Flag
Capture the flag is an unimplemented game mode, that was mentioned by Notch on the Independent Gaming Discussion Forums in 2010. Nothing has been mentioned by any Mojang staff members since, so it is unknown whether or not this game mode will be officially added to Minecraft in the future. Unofficial, fan-made Mods have been created which enable these types of gameplay mechanics.
Notch jokingly proposed a game mode called "Ultra Hardcore", where upon dying, the player would lose their license for Minecraft.