Creative vs. Survival Mode

Which is right for you?

There is no wrong way to play Minecraft (a fact that brings me great comfort each time I lose my inventory to a particularly persistent zombie). There are, however, different ways of playing Minecraft, and you might be sitting there (or standing, you energetic person you) wondering what these ways are. Fear not! This is what we'll explore today, in a very trial-and-error and oh-no-what’s-that-hissing kind of way. (Disclaimer: Any loss of inventory due to poor teaching is at the risk of the reader, and not on me, the only-OK-at-survival-and-still-new-here writer)

- Sorry, what do you mean “loss of inventory”?

If you’re feeling plucky you can scroll ahead to find out about mobs, food, building or exploring specifically. Or you can stick with me and see it all! Are you ready? No? Let’s dive in anyway.

- Wait, which mode are we diving into? How far is the dive? Do I have enough air bubbles? Sophie? Sophie!

Mobs in Creative mode vs. Survival mode

Don’t worry, friend! The first rule of Creative mode is that NOTHING can hurt you. Not even falling, because you don’t fall. You float. Toggle a button and you can drift through the Overworld like a majestic Phantom (or, frankly, anything with wings.) Even if we wait for night’s shadow to fall on us like a netherite-colored cloak, we won’t get hurt. And that’s because in Creative mode, mobs love you!

Mobs are around, they make noises in the dark and yes, they might sneak up on you and make you spill tea on your keyboard, but they don’t hurt you. Unlike in Survival mode, where hostile mobs are, well. Hostile. Survival mode is about surviving, so when a mob attacks you can either hit back or employ my favorite tactic: running away as fast as your blocky legs can carry you.

- But you said we could fly, right?

If you’re thinking, "I’ll just fly away!" you can’t immediately fly in Survival mode (you’ll have to figure that out once you reach the End.)

Food & hearts in Creative vs. Survival

If you’re like me and you end up getting hurt 100% of the times you encounter hostile mobs, then don’t worry. You can heal up by eating! You can steal trade bread from villages, bop chickens with your pickaxe for some raw chicken meat (or with your bare hands if you’re feeling particularly hardcore) and you’ll re-fill those heart counters quicker than you can say "wait, what’s that hissing?"

Which brings me to one of my favorite things about survival mode: in Survival mode, food matters. 

Unless you want to perish from starvation, you’re going to want to farm it, find it, cook it and keep it in your inventory. 

While you can bop cows on the head in Creative mode, you don’t need to because you don’t need to heal. Ever. And bopping cute mobs just because you can feels a bit mean. What did that cow ever do to you, huh?

- So in Creative mode, I don’t get hurt, and I don’t have to eat. In Survival mode, I might get hurt, so I can eat to heal?

Great! Glad you’re still with me, I was worried you’d wandered into the darkness behind my torchlight. If you want to avoid mobs that hiss or groan or cackle altogether, the best thing you can do is build a shelter. With what, I hear you say? 

- I didn’t say anything.

Building in Creative vs. Survival mode

In Survival mode, you get to build with whatever you can mine! You can use dirt, sand, diamonds–anything! In Creative mode, building is a little different because you get given all the blocks! Straight away. I’d not even seen half of them before!

- Wait, why hadn’t you seen them before? Aren’t you supposed to be teaching me?

That means building your first base in Creative mode might take a little more time to construct. When you have access to all the blocks you might find yourself thinking: is a solid gold house too flashy?

- So, building is the same in both modes? You just have access to more blocks straight away in Creative mode?

Put it this way: building in Creative Mode has no limitsIn Survival mode, your builds can be interrupted by creepers, spiders, zombies, skeletons, accidentally falling off your own roof (I’ve never done this, of course…) or by running out of blocks to build with! But this only gives you a great excuse to equip that pickaxe and go exploring.

Exploring in Creative vs. Survival mode

Exploration in both Creative and Survival mode is boundless! Spread your invisible wings in Creative mode and zoom to the top of that nearby cliff. Dig down or climb up in Survival mode to find the blocks you need and hide from bravely fight mobs when darkness falls! Your exploration is only limited by your courage (which in my case means it’s quite severely limited).

- So which mode should I choose? Survival mode or Creative mode?

The best thing is: you don’t need to choose. You can play both! Try them out, see which fits you best. Like I said at the beginning, there is no wrong way to play Minecraft, only different ways, and one might suit you better depending on the day, your mood, or how many diamonds you lost to a creeper on your last adventure.

- What? How many did you lose?

Now go! Be free! Explore the Overworld, build whatever you can imagine and, most importantly, have fun in the process!

- Why are you slowly backing away? The sun is setting and you didn’t tell me which mode we’re in. Hello? I can hear hissing. Loud hissing. Sophie? Sooooooooophie!

Sophie Austin
Written By
Sophie Austin
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