Game Modes provide players with the option to play Minecraft in different ways with different mechanics available in each game mode. There are five game modes in Java Edition (Survival, Creative, Adventure, Spectator, and Hardcore); however, there are only three (Survival, Creative, and Adventure) in Bedrock Edition.
Creative Mode is where a player has unlimited usage of almost all blocks and items available in the game. Players are invulnerable unless they fall into the Void,[Java Edition only] or are targeted by the
/kill command. They do not have health, armor, or hunger, but can fly. Players also have access to items not available in Survival Mode, such as Spawn Eggs.
Survival Mode is where players have to gather all their materials to build, craft items and tools and gain experience points. There is a health, hunger, and armor bar, and an inventory. An oxygen bar also appears when underwater, suffocating,[Bedrock Edition only], or in lava.[Bedrock Edition 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 appears in chat.
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, since players only have one life. 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 game mode added in update 1.8. It's only accessible through commands or 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.
- Main article: Demo Mode
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", whereupon dying, the player would lose their license for Minecraft.