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Difficulty is an option in Minecraft. It is toggled via options menu. It sets how quickly the Food Bar depletes, how many Mobs spawn, mob strength, the damage done by starving, etc.
No mobs will spawn, and the food bar will not drain at all. The only way to eat is to eat golden apples or, if you changed the difficulty to peaceful when you were hungry. The downside to playing on peaceful is you can't get hostile mob drops and experience cannot be obtained from said mobs. Playing on peaceful will also prevent you from fighting the Wither Boss (Wither Skulls cannot be obtained, since they are only dropped by Wither Skeletons)
Few mobs will spawn, and the food bar will drain slower than usual. Mobs deal less damage than usual, very rarely hostile mobs will spawn with armor. Cave spiders lose their poisoning ability, and Withers can't wither you on this difficulty(Wither Skeletons still can however). Creepers cancel their explosion by only moving a short distance away from it. If the hunger bar is empty, it'll leave the player with (10 health) Zombies have no chance of turning villagers into zombies.
The Mobs will spawn normally, the Food Bar depletion is average as well. Mobs deal a normal amount of damage. The cave spider mob can poison you in this difficulty, and the Wither can wither you. If your hunger bar drops to 0, it'll leave you with . If a villager is killed by a zombie, it has 50% chance of turning into a zombie villager.
A high number of mobs will spawn, and the Food Bar will drain quickly. Creeper explosions are highly fatal, one explosion and you're dead, unless you wore armor. If the hunger bar drains completely, it'll slowly kill you. Creepers will not cancel their attack unless the player moves far away. Zombies can break down wooden doors and spiders may spawn with one positive status effect (swiftness, strength, regeneration, invisibility, and these effects are permanent). Skeletons and Zombies have a higher chance of spawning with armor and tools. These mobs will also have a higher chance of picking up anything. On this difficulty, if villagers are killed by zombies, they have a 100% chance of turning into a zombie villager.
Main article: Hardcore
A very high number of Mobs will spawn, the Food Bar will drain very quickly, it's similar to hard, but however, if you die, you can't respawn. And if you made your gamemode "Hardcore" at the start, you can't change it to easier difficulties.
- Hardcore is not actually a difficulty, but a Game mode. When you play Hardcore, your difficulty gets locked on "Hardcore", it cannot be accessed otherwise.