How to Switch Between Games Modes in Minecraft

Minecraft has come a long way since its launch back in 2011. It now spans multiple game modes, each with a different end goal and with varying levels of difficulty. Switching between these game modes is simple, and can greatly change your experience with the game.

The key is knowing the differences between each game mode and what it means for you. This guide will explain not only what the modes are, but how to switch between game modes in Minecraft with ease.

What Are Game Modes in Minecraft?

Minecraft is made up of four different game modes: Creative, Survival, Hardcore, and Adventure.

Creative Mode is the most free-form of all the Minecraft game modes. In Creative Mode, the player cannot die and has access to every single in-game item through an expanded inventory. It allows players to build massive structures with abandon and explore the world around them. 

Creative Mode is the go-to choice when you want to build up a starting area for your server before switching to a different game type. It’s also the best mode when you want to play a casual, low-risk game that allows you to flex your imagination and build anything you can think of.

Survival Mode is the most basic Minecraft game mode. You start with no resources (or very few resources) and must fight your way through a world filled with enemies that wish nothing more than to see you fail. Survival Mode forces you to keep both your health and hunger levels up, set spawn points, and more.

There are real risks to dying in Survival Mode, including losing all of your items. There are also four separate difficulty levels to choose from: Peaceful, Easy, Normal, and Hard. In Peaceful, no monsters spawn and your hunger will not drop. In addition, you regenerate health over time.

On Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulties, hostile enemies will spawn and your health will not regenerate unless your hunger levels are full. The damage inflicted by both environmental hazards and enemies increases with each difficulty level.

Hardcore Mode is similar to Survival, but with two major exceptions. The first is that the game’s difficulty is locked to Hard mode, and the second is that there is no respawn. If you are killed in Hardcore Mode, you cannot come back. The game is over for you and you must start in a brand-new world.

Source: DevianArt

Hardcore Mode is the most difficult of all Minecraft game modes, but also one of the most fun for those looking for a challenge. The higher stakes make the game much more enjoyable, both to play and to watch.

Adventure Mode is a game mode specifically set aside for custom-created maps. While it shares some similarities with Survival in that players have to fight mobs and keep their hunger up, they can’t destroy blocks with their fists. Instead, specific tools must be used. 

Adventure Mode often contains storylines or specific goals based on the map. It’s a different way of playing Minecraft that allows people to dive deeper into the Minecraft world and create their own lore and stories.

How To Switch Between Game Modes In Minecraft

You can start a game in any mode, but if you decide to switch between game modes in Minecraft mid-way through your gameplay, there is a specific command you need to type. You also need to have cheats enabled within your game, which means you cannot finish achievements with this method active. 

First, hit the slash or question mark key on your keyboard. This opens the chat menu within Minecraft. Next, type /gamemode. Minecraft will try to autocomplete the phrase. You can then type any of the following:

  • adventure
  • creative
  • spectator
  • survival 

Notice “Spectator” mode? That’s a specific game type that allows you to take on a disembodied form and fly around a game world, watching other players without interfering in what they’re doing. It’s also the mode you swap to if you are killed on a Hardcore server.

You might also note that Hardcore isn’t an option. You have to start a game in Hardcore mode–you can’t choose it later. If you start in Hardcore and move to a different game type, you can’t return to Hardcore.

Once you type in the command–for example, /gamemode creative–just press Enter. This immediately swaps your game type to the specific mode. 

This command works for Minecraft on PC, Xbox One and Series X, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It also works on Minecraft Pocket Edition. 

Why Change Game Modes in Minecraft?

The ability to change game modes might not seem useful at first, especially if you’re someone that likes to aim for achievements. On the other hand, maybe you want to create a custom game type like a Capture the Flag game.

You could use Creative Mode to build the respective bases for your friends, and then switch the mode to Survival so that players can take part in the game. After a few test plays, you can swap back to Creative to make modifications if the game doesn’t fit your vision.

The four different game modes can change your overall experience with Minecraft just as surely as a modpack might. Take the time to experiment with each and find your favorite game mode, but keep in mind that Hardcore is probably not the best starting point for a first-time player.