Dealing With Hunger, Saturation & Exhaustion in Minecraft

By Jesse Stay, Thomas Stay, Jacob Cordeiro

Minecraft Hunger

Hunger in Minecraft is a dangerous, long-term obstacle — try to overcome it as efficiently as possible, which ultimately means gathering as many animals together in an area you control through farming. But you have to eat while you create farms and overcome obstacles, not to mention nightly mob attacks.

As depicted by the Hunger bar at the bottom of the screen, you get hungry over time, and you require food in order to resolve it.

In Peaceful mode, the Health bar doesn’t deplete from your hunger, so you can continue to the next challenge without acquiring or eating food. However, you cannot move quickly (by sprinting).

Eating food restores your character’s health (as depicted by the hearts on the Health bar) indirectly over time, so keep at least nine out of ten units on the Hunger bar. Though your character never dies from hunger except in Hard mode, it makes you vulnerable to damage that can kill you, including relatively small damage such as touching a cactus, falling from a four-block height, or even facing attacks from neutral mobs.

If hunger is significantly limiting gameplay, you can switch to Peaceful mode or Easy mode while you start a farm.

Your symptoms of hunger depend on the difficulty level. Except in Peaceful mode, your character grows hungrier by taking action: Sprinting (by double-tapping W) is the easiest way to deplete hunger units, but jumping or absorbing damage also taxes your character.

You cannot sprint if the Hunger bar has three units or fewer. The consequence of famine (as depicted by an empty Hunger bar) depends on the current difficulty level.

Effects of Famine on Your Minecraft Character
Difficulty Level What Happens to the Health Bar
Peaceful Doesn’t deplete
Easy Assuming that it’s more than half full, slowly depletes
until it’s half full
Normal Slowly depletes, but not to the point of death
Hardcore Depletes until it’s empty; find some food —
quick!

To refill the Hunger bar, you need to acquire and eat food.

If you’re playing in Minecraft PE, you do not have the Hunger bar. Instead, to restore health, you can eat food or sleep in a bed. Also, the game has no poisonous foods.

minecraft hunger bar

Food Saturation in Minecraft

In addition to restoring the Hunger bar, eating food prevents the Hunger bar from depleting for a while. When the Hunger bar starts jittering, you’re becoming hungry again, and the meter continues to deplete.

Different types of food increase or decrease how long you can play before the Hunger bar begins to deplete again. In this process of saturation, the higher the saturation number, the longer the Hunger bar remains before your character needs to eat again. Players should try to fill their digital diets with foods that have higher saturation levels, so they don’t need to eat as often. For example, having a cake slice will not replenish your character’s hunger or keep you “full” as well as a healthy baked potato. See our list of food items and saturation levels below:

Minecraft Food Saturation Comparison
Food Item Saturation Number
Apple 2.4
Baked potato 7.2
Bread 6
Cake slice .2
Cake whole 2.4
Carrot 4.8
Clownfish .2
Cooked chicken 7.2
Cooked fish 6
Cooked porkchop 12.8
Cooked salmon 9.6
Cookie .4
Golden apple/enchanted apple 9.6
Golden carrot 14.5
Melon slice 1.2
Mushroom stew 7.2
Poison potato 1.2
Potato .6
Pufferfish .2
Pumpkin pie 4.8
Raw beef 1.8
Raw chicken 1.2
Raw fish .4
Raw porkchop 1.8
Raw salmon .4
Rotten flesh .8
Spider eye 3.2
Steak 12.8
Cooked mutton 9.6
Cooked rabbit 6
Rabbit stew 12
Raw mutton 1.2
Raw rabbit 1.8

Unfortunately, foods with the highest level of saturation, such as golden apples and carrots, are uncommon and require crafting. As with eating sushi in real life, eating raw meat (avoid raw chicken!) offers a high level of saturation and food points, and you can easily find it in most biomes.

Because cooked meat is the best food option early in the game, build a furnace before starting a farm. Porkchops, even when eaten raw, are a great food source when starting a new game because pigs can easily be found, and are a lot of fun to catch!

If you’re in one of the few biomes that’s short on food, such as a desert or mesa, you need to excavate, find a village, start a farm, or switch to Peaceful mode as soon as possible, or you’ll run out of food very quickly!

Exhaustion Levels in Minecraft

Another way to make food points last as long as possible is to limit strenuous activity — no sprinting or jumping, and avoid taking damage.

However, don’t worry too much about exhaustion and saturation points. Most players simply continue working through the challenges as they occur and eat regularly whatever food items are handy.

But if you are a bit more cautious in your quest for survive, use the table below to see how the different activities in the game can affect your exhaustion levels.

Exhaustion Levels
Action Increase in Exhaustion Level
Walk and sneak (per meter) 0.01
Swim (per meter) 0.015
Break a block 0.025
Sprint (per meter) 0.1
Jump 0.2
Attack an enemy 0.3
Receive any damage 0.3
Suffer the effects of food poisoning 0.5 per second (15 total) for raw chicken or rotten flesh; 1.5
per second (22.5 total) for pufferfish
Sprint jump 0.8
Regenerate 1 health point by accumulating18 hunger points 3.0

If you don’t want to repeatedly run back to your home to eat, you should carry road rations with you, such as steak or bread.