It is exclusive to Minecraft: Java Edition.
“Hardcore” only differs from “Hard” difficulty in that it can't be changed to another difficulty while playing in the world. There is no bonus chest, and cheats are not allowed. When a player dies, the "game over" screen offers a button to delete the world, instead of the respawn and title menu buttons which appear in Survival mode. However, since update 1.9, another button is available, allowing a player to enter Spectator Mode when they die, so they can explore the world one last time. Technically, the saved world file still exists until the "Delete World" button is pressed, allowing a player to + and save the world with third-party tools. Closing the client and loading the world again only reloads the game at the "game over" screen.
Hardcore is also available in Multiplayer, but if a player dies, he/she can't connect to the server again. Instead, a player will see a message stating: "You're banned from this server".
Hardcore mode shouldn't be confused with the mini-game "Ultra Hardcore Mode" where players don't naturally regenerate
When you die in Hardcore Mode and you have "Immediately Respawn" on, then the world will delete immediately.
Tips and Advice
- It is recommended that beginners should play on an easier difficulty first before attempting hardcore mode.
- Try to limit sprinting and jumping as these actions will make the player more hungry.
- Immediately find enough resources and build a shelter before night (preferably a small cave), as hostile mobs will be much more lethal.
- Avoid fighting hostile mobs until the player has proper equipment since all types of hostile mobs deal much more damage and can be an extreme threat to the player.
- Do not enter caves unless prepared with at least some iron armor, a sword, a pickaxe, and some food.
- Do not go to the Nether or the End unless you have the proper equipment.
- Do not be afraid of losing items in a player's inventory.
- Players have only one life so remember that if the user dies, it's game over for them, so it is not wise to leave behind good gear "in case one dies".
- Do not try to make an "epic" world in the hardcore mode because it might be lost once death occurs.
- It may take a little more than 3 attempts to complete Hardcore Mode. Be patient!
- While playing hardcore mode, the heart icon on the health bar is different. It resembles a heart with two dark red shapes within either side.
- In the world selection screen, hardcore mode is written in red.
- If a world in hardcore mode is created with the Beta 1.9 pre-release, and then it is played with the Beta 1.8 version, the world is permanently converted into a standard survival mode world.
- In hardcore mode, a player receives a score once they die, as shown in the gallery below.
- When Notch announced hardcore mode on Twitter, he also posted an image of an "Ultra Hardcore" mode where the premium status of a player's user account is revoked upon the death of a player. This turned out to be a joke.
- In the Joke Update, Minecraft 2.0, hardcore mode had a super-hostile difficulty instead of hard where huge "waves" of monsters would suddenly appear and lightning would randomly strike the ground.
- Hardcore mode isn't available on the Legacy Console Editions and the Bedrock Edition.
- Both hardcore mode and Survival Test prevent a player from re-spawning.
- Survival Test was even more complicated than hardcore mode due to Survival Test having limited resources and no weapons to attack with and if a player died, the world would be lost.
- Players can play hardcore mode in creative mode using cheats, but they will still only have one life.
- Players can change their world with a file editor, so they can toggle hardcore mode on and off in their world.