On the Hunger Meter in Minecraft and Why I Hate it

For modern players, the Hunger Meter is a staple of Minecraft. You need to keep yourself full of food, and you regenerate health when your hunger meter is full. To accommodate for this, there are tons of food items to farm or craft. From pork chops and chicken to berries, bread and honey, all the way to cake and pumpkin stew, there’s food for everyone. But for a long time, there was no hunger meter in Minecraft.

It wasn’t always there.

Funnily enough, Hunger only became a thing when Minecraft was just about to come out of beta. In Minecraft Beta 1.8, we got not only new objects generating in the world (mineshafts, etc.), the End and the ability to sprint, but we also got Hunger as well.

Hunger basically changed how a player could heal themselves. Before 1.8 Beta, you directly healed yourself by eating food. If you took damage, you could eat any sort of food you had to heal. There weren’t many food items, mainly just pork chops and bread, with fish and mushroom stew as a backup. That was fine however since pigs spawned constantly and you only needed healing.

Now, there is hunger all the time.

After 1.8 Beta, you no longer regain health from food. Instead, you regenerate health only when your hunger is full or near-full. Refilling your hunger bar requires food, but different amounts of food keep your hunger bar full for different amounts of time. This hidden mechanic, saturation, affects how long it takes for your hunger meter to decay.

And you constantly have to keep your hunger topped up. Sure, you can let yourself get hungry, but then, if you take damage, it doesn’t recover.

Minecraft Melon World
A world of hunger.

Hunger isn’t a threat. It’s tedium.

But hunger is only an issue at the start of a new Minecraft world. Once you have settled down, you can very easily create a farm for yourself and basically never run out of food. Even with how animal spawns are far, far lower than they used to be, making a farm is easy to do. There are also natural resources like apples and berries which help early on.

So really, after you’ve set yourself up, Hunger becomes nothing more than a bar you need to fill occasionally. It’s a distraction. The only benefit to keeping your hunger bar full is so you can regenerate health.

All Hunger ends up doing is taking away the ability to directly heal yourself, while also causing a player to stop occasionally and eat something. Generally while they’re in the middle of something else. It also stops you from sprinting after a while.

There’s no real way to get rid of hunger.

Hunger is always there in your game. And you can’t just turn it off.

Right now, you have four options to not have hunger in your game. The first and most obvious one is to play on Creative Mode, but Creative Mode is nothing like survival. You can also play on Peaceful, where your hunger meter never goes down. Playing on Peaceful though stops most hostile mobs from spawning and somewhat makes it impossible to go to the End.

The last option is to get a mod. But mods require updates and checking and making sure you have the right version. And finding a mod in the first place. Something which isn’t always easy to do. Minecraft mods can range from incredibly simple to incredibly sketchy, changing very quickly.

Minecraft Sunset

“But it’s such a small thing, why get annoyed by it?”

Because it’s kinda boring. It’s just a task that you do occasionally so you can continue to do other tasks. If you took hunger out, I don’t think Minecraft would be impacted much at all.

And that’s why it annoys me.

Plus, I like being able to sprint constantly. Funny how Minecraft Beta 1.8 added both something I love and something I hate…


Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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