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375px-NewGame

A new Survival game of Minecraft. The health and hunger bars, as well as the hotbar, are visible.

Survival mode is one of the main game modes in Minecraft. Players must collect resources, build structures, battle mobs, manage hunger, and explore the world in an effort to survive and thrive.

Gameplay

In Survival, players have an inventory in which they may gather items. These items may be combined using certain recipes to create tools and other items. This process is known as crafting. Most crafting recipes need a crafting table. Some items cannot be obtained by crafting normally and require a furnace for processing. Various other crafting stations exist for advanced uses, such as brewing, repairing, and enchanting.

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The basic Survival mode inventory, as of 1.9

In Survival mode, the player is able to receive damage from the environment and from hostile mobs (unless playing on Peaceful, or in the Mushroom Biome) If the player receives enough damage, they will die and return to their spawn point.
If cheats are enabled, a player can switch to Survival mode by using the command /gamemode survival

Goals

Despite being marketed as a game with no pre-determined goals, Minecraft does have a basic structure, that of a scavenger hunt. While striving to build and expand their shelter, players collect various items and resources to add to their capabilities, attacks, and defenses, with many items enabling access to others. Over time, the player will travel to other dimensions to attain their goals.

The player can reach a "proper ending" in Survival mode by defeating the ender dragon, but this does not actually terminate play; it provides a trophy item, a huge amount of experience, and leaves the End dimension open for exploration. There is also an optional boss, the wither, which becomes accessible in the mid- to late game. The player can also take up any purposes of their own design; one common goal is to fulfill all of the predefined advancements.