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Last modified on Feb 25, 2021 in Control Panel
Difficulty in Minecraft is a big, important option, with a direct effect on many parts of the gameplay. In essence, difficulty allows the player (or in case of a server, the server owner) to choose how easy, or how hard, they want their gameplay experience to be.
While the difficulty setting changes many things, the most noticeable effect it has is on the enemies. As the difficulty the game is set to increases, the enemies begin to spawn at higher rates, and they become much, much more dangerous — at the hardest difficulties, certain enemies can even break down doors!
By default, Minecraft’s difficulty is set to Easy. However, this might not be something that the server owner wants — perhaps they want their game to be harder, or easier, or they want to remove enemies from the game altogether. Luckily, the difficulty of a Minecraft server can be changed at any time, to any other difficulty, and it’s quite easy!
The guide below outlines the different difficulties, as well as the steps needed to change the difficulty on a Minecraft server.
Minecraft comes with four difficulty levels: Peaceful, Easy, Normal, and Hard, and these can be changed at any time — either by the player in Singleplayer or by an operator on a server. The four difficulty levels are as follows:
Peaceful — Enemies can’t spawn. If an enemy is spawned forcefully, using an egg or a spawn command, they will instantly vanish upon spawning. Player health regenerates quickly; however, it’s still possible to die if your health is taken down to 0 — for example, if you fall down in lava. The hunger meter never depletes. If changing from any higher difficulty down to Peaceful, all hostile and neutral enemies will disappear.
Easy — Enemies spawn, but they deal less damage than they would on Normal or Hard. If the hunger meter depletes, a player’s health will tick down until they have 5 hearts left. Enemies like Cave Spiders can’t poison players, Zombies can’t break down doors, and enemies deal between 0.5 to 1 hearts of damage.
Normal — Enemies spawn, and deal between 1 and 1.5 hearts of damage. If the hunger meter depletes, a player’s health will tick down until they have 0.5 hearts left. Vindicators can break doors.
Hard — Enemies spawn, dealing greater damage than on Normal. If the hunger meter depletes, a player’s health will tick down until they die. Zombies can break wooden doors.
The command /difficulty lets you change a Minecraft server’s difficulty on the fly, without any need for restarts.
Bear in mind that you need to be an operator on your server in order to use this command; otherwise, you won’t have permission on the server to use the command. Check out our guide on how to make yourself an operator here.
If you’d like to change your difficulty without having to enter the server, you can do so using the server’s control panel. There are two ways to go about this. You can either issue the difficulty command using your server’s console, or change the difficulty in the configuration file.
Setting the difficulty with the console
Setting the difficulty in the configuration file
The difficulty of a Minecraft server is an important part of the experience, and knowing how to change it on the fly is important. Thankfully, as the guide has shown, it’s quite an easy and quick process, and you don’t even need to restart the server to do it!
Simply make sure you know which difficulty you want to set the server to, and the changes that difficulty brings with itself, then set the server to that difficulty following the guide above.