Hardcore Modes

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Better than Wolves is by far one of the most exhaustive overhaul mod there is, because basically every single aspect of the game as you know it has been tuned in some way or another. I has such a massive scope that people sometimes refer to it as a modpack, even though it's a single mod. Hardcore Modes are alterations to core game mechanics which make the game more realistic and challenging. Some modes are optional, while other such alterations are fundamental parts of Better Than Wolves.

  • [Optional] - this mode can be turned off or on in config file
  • [Default] - Despite being optional this mode is the default setting and is recommended for a proper and balanced Better than Wolves experience.

Hardcore Archery

Arrows need to be in the hotbar in order to shoot with the Bow.

Skeletons only drop Rotted Arrows, which can only be fired with a regular bow, deal less damaged and drop down faster.

Regular Arrows can be fired from any bows, but will deal more damage and fly further when using a Composite Bow.

Hardcore Armor

A huge re-balance of the Armor system, adding in different advantages and disadvantages of all types of armor.

Above a certain weight (depending on the amount of iron in your armor), the player will not be able to swim anymore, and will sink in water.

Armor now carries weight that slows the player depending on material. This, in conjunction with hardcore ores makes some armor, such as iron, difficult to wear and obtain, but more protective.

Hardcore Baking

Cookies, Cakes, Pumpkin Pies and Bread have their corresponding unbaked version : Cookie Dough, Cake Batter, Oven Ready Pumpkin Pie and Bread Dough.

These uncooked items must then be placed into an oven or in a Kiln to be baked into their respective items.

Hardcore Beacons

This completely revamps the way vanilla Beacons work to make them more difficult to construct, more powerful (as in... not useless), and way more interesting overall.

Hardcore Bedding

This effectively disables beds as a means to set spawn position and to skip the night. This was done to encourage construction (especially of rail networks), restore the balance between day and night activities within the game, restore the impact of weather on gameplay, and to give player death more consequence.

Beds (and Bedrolls) can still be used at night, but unlike in vanilla Minecraft, they won't magically skip the night. Instead, the world is simulated at high speed (as fast as your computer can handle).

Hardcore Bonemeal

Bonemeal no longer forces growth (except for tall grass and flowers), but will instead increase the rate at which crops grow (approximately 2 times faster) when used on Farmland.

Hardcore Bouncing

This prevents blocks from being placed while the player is in the air by jumping, in order to reduce the effectiveness of "pillaring" (particularly when creating shelters in the early game), increase the value of stairs and ladders, and in general to promote a little more thought going into support structure when working on construction projects rather than just placing a column of dirt.

Note that this feature is disabled in the Relaxed Difficulty.

Hardcore Brewing

Changed the potion system to up the value of various mob drops, while reducing the prominence of the whole "golden vegetable" bit.

Brewing Stands cannot be crafted anymore, and will have to be found in a Witch Hut, in the Swamp biome.

Hardcore Bucket

Buckets cannot place source blocks or pick up lava, but can collect flowing water.

It is a mode intended to make fluid flow (and by extension, the generation of mechanical power) far more interesting without causing additional performance overhead, by requiring the player to actually build canals and such to have access to liquids.

The player can drain water using buckets from everywhere, not just water sources - even from waterfalls and canals. When the water is placed, it will not be a source. Instead, it would be a 1x1 block that will quickly disappear, not before destroying any torches and redstone it lands upon, turning lava into obsidian, and activating Detector Blocks.

Keep in mind that Screw Pump can be used to transport water.

The crafting recipe for Buckets has been changed to use Iron Nuggets instead of Iron Ingots.

Name Ingredients Input » Output
Bucket Iron Nugget
Iron Nugget
Iron Nugget
Grid layout Arrow (small).png
Iron Nugget
Iron Nugget
Iron Nugget
Iron Nugget
Iron Nugget

Hardcore Buoy [Optional] [Default]

A Modification that drastically alters the way water-flow is used for item transport and filtration and opens up many filtration possibilities that weren't present in the past. It causes some items to float, some to sink, and some to stay at their current decimal y-level while submerged, depending on their Buoyancy.

Hardcore Chests

Chests cannot be mined without at least an Iron axe, and require Wood Sidings to be crafted. The player has to rely on Wicker Baskets and Hampers early on for storage.

Ender Chests behave like normal chests unless placed on an Ender Block beacon, in which case the following rules apply:

  • Chests placed on the first (3x3) tier access a shared inventory, unique to the dimension the beacon is built in.
  • Chests placed on the second (5x5) tier access a second shared inventory, unique to the dimension the beacon is built in.
  • Chests placed on the third (7x7) tier access a third shared inventory, shared across all dimensions.
  • Chests placed on the fourth (9x9) tier access a private inventory.

Hardcore Chicken

Removes the odd chicken behavior of laying eggs randomly and giving live birth. Now you must give Chicken Feed to a chicken, and after being fed, the chicken will lay an egg the next morning. To get more chickens you have to then encourage the chick in the egg to hatch out by throwing the egg at the wall. Sometimes a chicken comes hatches out while other times raw egg falls out.

Name Ingredients Input » Output
Chicken Feed Bone Meal,
Wheat Seeds or
Hemp Seeds or
Melon Seeds or
Pumpkin Seeds
Hemp Seeds Wheat Seeds Melon Seeds Pumpkin Seeds
Bone Meal
Grid layout Arrow (small).png
Chicken Feed

Hardcore Darkness

Any zone with a light level of zero will appear pitch black, regardless of your gamma settings.

If you remain in darkness for too long you will accumulate status effects that will impede your ability to function, making you increasingly more weak and uncomfortable the longer you stay in Gloom, until you eventually die eaten by the Grue. Gloom nights will happen every 8 days, on the new moon. Upon creation of a new world, the player will start on a full moon phase, giving them 8 days to prepare. Gloom nights can also happen when the moonlight is low while it's raining.

In addition, torches made out of coal will burn out after 20 minutes. Permanent lighting requires going to the Nether in order to make Nethercoal or using Glowstone. Both redstone dust and torches don't emit any light, but the earliest form of permanent lighting available is the Redstone Block, giving off a light level of 11.

Charcoal production is now limited to the Kiln.

Hardcore Enchanting

Hardcore Enchanting re-balances the vanilla enchantment table in various ways to make it a better integrated part of the BTW tech tree, and to make it feel more like a feature and less like an exploit. This feature is comprised of various changes that are listed individually below.

  • The enchantment table isn't able to apply some of the more powerful enchantments, which now may only be acquired through finding pre-enchanted tools and weapons, or through using the Infernal Enchanter (or through beacons in some cases). This applies to silk touch, fortune, sharpness, feather falling, and protection. Basically enchants that have very specific (and powerful) effects (like silk touch & feather fall), or those that apply general bonuses (such as protection & sharpness) as opposed to specific ones (like blast protection or smite), have been moved higher in the tech tree to create more of a progression to enchanting overall.
  • The enchantment table can no longer enchant bows and wooden tools (the latter for consistency, implying that wood is a particularly difficult material to enchant). This is strictly the domain of the Infernal Enchanter now.
  • The enchantment table is only able to apply enchantments up to level 15 instead of 30.
  • The number of book shelves around the enchantment table required to get the maximum level enchant (level 15) is 30 instead of 15. In other words, it will require 2 book shelves for every level of enchanting. Additionally, the enchantment table will only produce level 1 enchants without any bookshelves at all.
  • The enchantment table is changed so that the top slot will always provide a level 1 enchantment, the bottom slot will always provide an enchantment of the maximum level allowed by the shelves present, and the middle slot will provide some random value in between the two to minimize annoyance in its usage.
  • The enchantment table can't be crafted anymore and must be acquired within a desert temple.

Hardcore Explosives

Hardcore Explosives is a gameplay modification to the way explosives are produced.

Name Ingredients Input » Output
Gunpowder Nitre,
Coal Dust
Coal Dust
Grid layout Arrow Stewing Pot (small).png
  • As with all Cauldron recipes involving volatile and/or explosive materials make sure Cauldron is NOT stoked.

Hardcore Fishing

Fishing Rod crafting recipe has been changed. To catch a fish you need to craft Fishing Rod with bait (Spider Eye, Rotten Flesh, Bat Wings, Creeper Oysters) and you'll obtain Baited Fishing Rod. When you'll catch a fish you'll lose your bait. You can't fish underground.

Name Ingredients Input » Output Name Ingredients Input » Output
Fishing Rod String or Sinew,
Iron Nugget or
Bone Fish Hook
String Sinew
String Sinew
Grid layout Arrow (small).png
Fishing Rod
Iron Nugget Bone Fish Hook
Baited Fishing Rod Fishing Rod,
Spider Eye or Rotten Flesh
or Bat Wing or Creeper Oyster or Witch Wart
Fishing Rod
Grid layout Arrow (small).png
Baited Fishing Rod
Spider Eye Rotten Flesh Bat Wing Creeper Oyster Witch Wart

Hardcore Fist

Punching damage is greatly reduced, especially when suffering from status effects (from hunger or health).

Hardcore Grass

Grass needs sunlight to grow, and grows slower. Animals need to eat grass to survive. To help keeping animals in pens, grass eaten by animals (except pigs) will turn into Sparse Grass Block, which can still propagate grass around it and will regrow into grass over time, but won't be eaten by animals unless they are starving.

Hardcore Grinding

A modification to the way that some items are crafted, making them require the Millstone. Here is a list of those vanilla items which can no longer be crafted in the crafting grid. For the full list of items which the millstone can grind go to the Millstone page.

Name Ingredients Input » Output
Mill Stone Stone Brick,
Stone Brick Brick Stone Strata2 Brick Stone Strata3
Stone Brick Brick Stone Strata2 Brick Stone Strata3
Stone Brick Brick Stone Strata2 Brick Stone Strata3
Grid layout Arrow (small).png
Mill Stone
Stone Brick Brick Stone Strata2 Brick Stone Strata3
Stone Brick Brick Stone Strata2 Brick Stone Strata3
Stone Brick Brick Stone Strata2 Brick Stone Strata3
Stone Brick Brick Stone Strata2 Brick Stone Strata3
Stone Brick Brick Stone Strata2 Brick Stone Strata3

Hardcore Hoofsies

Cows will fight back when hit, or when they panic after a block has been placed or mined. They kick with their back legs, possibly sending the player up in the air too, and deal a non-negligible amount of damage.

Hardcore Hunger

A Modification to the way the hunger system works and the ways in which food can be obtained. It generally makes Food harder to get and less effective at feeding the player. Domestic crops, including wheat, can only be obtained in villages, and all raw meat has a substantial chance to poison the player, which is now more problematic, since you cannot eat while poisoned anymore. It also causes the player to lose hunger points at a very slow rate when doing nothing, resolving an exploit on servers where the player could simply not move in order to not eat, and severely increases the penalties of approaching starvation and actually starving by giving effects such as slowness, mining fatigue, and nausea to the player. It should also be noted that it replaces the saturation system with a "fat" system that is visible on the user interface.

Hardcore Hunger for Animals

Animals need to eat grass every day to avoid dying from starvation. See Animal Tweaks for details.

Hardcore Hunger for Wolves

Wolves need to eat every day as well, but unlike animals, they will start hunting by themselves when getting hungry, attacking animals or the player. They can eat all meat, and most of the advanced food items used by the player.

Hardcore Info

This removes any information in the debug menu that can be used to gain an in-game advantage, while leaving in place any info that would be used for tweaking performance and such. It also adds a new display for how close the player is to a chunk boundary, since this can be used to workaround bugs in redstone circuits due to how block updates work in vanilla, while not providing cheaty info about which direction the player is facing.

Hardcore Knitting

Any items using wool in its recipe will now require Wool Knit, made with Knitting Needles.

Name Ingredients Input » Output
Knitting Knitting Needles
and Wool
Knitting Needles
Magenta Wool (Ball) Blue Wool (Ball) Light Gray Wool (Ball) Yellow Wool (Ball) Green Wool (Ball) Orange Wool (Ball) Gray Wool (Ball) Purple Wool (Ball) Red Wool (Ball) White Wool (Ball) Black Wool (Ball) Brown Wool (Ball) Pink Wool (Ball) Cyan Wool (Ball) Light Blue Wool (Ball) Lime Wool (Ball)
Grid layout Arrow (small).png
Green Wool (Ball) Pink Wool (Ball) Cyan Wool (Ball) Light Blue Wool (Ball) Yellow Wool (Ball) Magenta Wool (Ball) Black Wool (Ball) Light Gray Wool (Ball) Orange Wool (Ball) Gray Wool (Ball) Red Wool (Ball) Purple Wool (Ball) Blue Wool (Ball) Lime Wool (Ball) White Wool (Ball) Brown Wool (Ball)

Hardcore Lactation

This mode makes cows only able to be milked occasionally (similar to chickens laying eggs), and only after eating grass (similar to sheep re-growing wool). A cow's udder now provides a visual indication of whether or not a cow may be milked. Attempting to milk a cow that doesn't have a full udder will cause the cow to panic.

Hardcore Melons

Changes several aspects of Melons and Pumpkins. These effects are related to gravity and the way the blocks are turned into resources.

  • When broken melons now drop the block, not the slices
  • Pistons no longer break melons, but simply push/pull them like regular blocks
  • Melons and pumpkins are now affected by gravity (Jack 'o' Lanterns aren't though)
  • When dropped from a great height, melons and pumpkins will break, exploding into a shower of particles and dropping only seeds. They start having small chance to break when falling at least 8 blocks down, and this chance increases with height. The break chance reaches 100% with a 15 block fall.
  • Melons and pumpkins break in front of a saw. Melons break into slices, and pumpkins into blocks.

Hardcore Movement

A modification to the way that movement speeds work. Speed now depends on the surface on which the player or mob is travelling over. This encourages the building of roads to allow fast travel, since grass is not a favorable material.

  • Hard surfaces or materials used in roads (cobble, brick, gravel, planks, wool, iron, etc.) increase speed
  • Soft surfaces (grass, dirt, etc.) use the standard speed
  • Surfaces that you would expect to slow you down (tall grass, snow, vines, groth, reeds, etc.) reduce speed
  • Soul sand reduces speed more than anything else
  • Potions of swiftness have been removed
  • Materials in each of these classs will all provide the same bonus or detriment to movement - travel across cobble is equally as fast as travel across gravel, and travel across tall grass is equally as slow as travel across sand.

Hardcore Ores

This makes iron much more difficult to acquire by causing iron ore blocks to smelt into Iron Nuggets rather than ingots. Nine nuggets are needed for an ingot, which is still required for most recipes, though some, such as the compass, clock, and bucket have been re-balanced to use nuggets rather than ingots. Another component of this makes iron a much better tool and armor material by increasing its durability and protection potentials.

Hardcore Packing

The way this works is that if a piston (or a solid block pushed by a piston) pushes certain items into an enclosed space (an empty block surrounded on all sides by solid blocks. It doesn't work on partial blocks with solid surfaces at present, although I may add that in the future), the items will be automatically compressed into block form if they're present in sufficient number to complete the regular recipe (e.g. 4 clay balls for a clay block, 9 Dung for a Dung block). This applies to clay balls, snowballs, flint, bricks, Nether Bricks, Soap, Dung, and the various piles (dirt, sand, gravel, & soul sand). In other words, it basically works to form any simple storage block for items that wouldn't require additional work or tools in their crafting (like Padding or Iron blocks). This is of course very useful in automation builds.

See Piston Packing for more details and pictures.

Hardcore Performance Enhancement

Hundreds of little tweaks to the game to improve performance and stability. In this day and age, it can pretty much run on a potato.

Hardcore Player Names [Optional]

This is largely intended for anarchy servers, where player names act as a rather unfair way of detecting a player's location without line of sight, and of immediately identifying friend or foe (which eliminates a lot of potential tension in encountering another player). It totally disables player names appearing above a player's avatar, but may be disabled in the mod's config file.

Hardcore Poking

You can stick sticks and tools into the ground. An extra button has been added for those additional uses (ctrl by default, can be changed in the settings)

Hardcore Protection

Adds many new armors, made of Wool, Tanned Leather, Padding, Chain Mail or Soulforged Steel.

Hardcore Sheep

A modification to the way sheep shearing and breeding works. It prevents sheep from being dyed to a new color permanently and producing offspring of their altered color. In essence, sheep can only be dyed a color for one shearing session. Thus, it makes sheep of unusual color found throughout the world very valuable. In addition to this, sheep now only drop Wool instead of Wool Blocks when killed or sheared.

Hardcore Slime

Even small slimes do damage, and they're quite fast and deadly (but they can still be killed in one punch). Slimes aren't slowed down in water.

Hardcore Smelting

The vanilla furnace is disabled. All of the fuel values of wood items are different.

Early on, food can be cooked on a Campfire, then in a Brick Oven. Ores take 10 minutes to cook in an oven, and only give 1 nugget instead of an ingot.

Hardcore Soul Mating

An option to enable in the settings, for SMP servers.

If this is enabled, players will always spawn together after dying, regardless of progression.

Hardcore Spawn

This mode changes the respawn location after death to be randomly chosen from within an unknown radius from the original spawn.

  • Frequent deaths will result in respawning in the same place
  • Going through the portal in The End returns the player to the original spawn point
  • Soulforged Steel Block Beacons fix the spawn point of those bound to it with secondary effects

This provides far more impact to death by encouraging exploration and construction over a far larger area, to provide faster travel over large distances. It also prevents idiocy like intentional suicide to get back to the original spawn.

On servers, it also prevents such problems as spawn-camping and players immediately returning to cause problems after they are killed. It thus makes traps and general base defense much more effective. Note that with Hardcore Spawn enabled, spawn build protection is automatically disabled, as it becomes irrelevant.

See HCS for more details.

Hardcore Stratification

Hardcore Strata splits the minecraft world into different layers/strata. Each layer needs a better pick to mine as you go down.

The appearance of the Smooth Stone is also changed the further you go down, moving from the regular stone texture at layer 64, to a darker look closer to bedrock.

Hardcore Stumping

The bottom block of each tree is now called a Stump, and is different than regular Wood.

It cannot be mined by any tool, and when burned will turn into a Smouldering Log, then Cinders, both of which cannot be manually destroyed.

A stump is a very important part of the BTW mod, as it is the only way to get your first Crafting Table, made by using a Chisel twice on a stump of any variety.

Stump Spruce Chisel Diamond Chisel Spruce Work Stump Stump Oak Diamond Chisel Chisel Oak Work Stump

Stump Birch Diamond Chisel Chisel Birch Work Stump Stump Jungle Chisel Diamond Chisel Jungle Work Stump

The only way to remove a stump is by using a Stump Remover, a Block Dispenser, or by luring a Creeper close enough to destroy it.

Hardcore Tools and Weapons

This modification makes crafting wooden tools impossible. The first tier of tools available is now made of stone, and requires string to craft.

See Tools and Weapons for details.

This also makes iron the lowest tier material from which hoes and swords can be made, thus forcing the player to acquire iron to farm and fight effectively. This, coupled with hardcore ores, makes iron a much more sought-after and difficult-to-obtain resource. The purpose of this is to make iron more valuable and create a distinct "stone-age" level of technology that the player must play through.

Hardcore Torches

Torches made out of coal are now called Crude Torches, and they will burn out after 20 minutes. Crude torches can spread fire and need to be used with care.

Permanent lighting requires going to the Nether in order to make Nethercoal, which can be crafted into the familiar, infinitely lasting vanilla Torch.

Name Ingredients Input » Output
Unlit Torch Shaft,
Grid layout Arrow (small).png
Unlit Torch

Hardcore Villagers

An overhaul of the value of villagers, iron golems, and villages themselves. This is mostly done by making villages the only source of domestic crops, such as wheat.

  • Villagers no longer automatically breed whilst in the vicinity of doors. They now have to be manually bred through a similar method to animals; however, "love mode" is activated with diamonds, not wheat.
  • Villagers only produce children of the same class as one of their parents.
  • In a similar way to animals, villagers follow you when you are holding a diamond.
  • Villagers spawn as zombies. They may be converted to real villagers with soul urns.
  • Iron golems no longer spawn naturally, and have to be created by the player.
  • Zombies breaking wooden doors and sieges occur in all difficulties (sieges now follow regular spawning rules).
  • Slaying villagers will produce massive amounts of XP.

See Villagers for details.

Hardcore Wood

Punching wood will now drop 2 sticks, 1 Saw Dust, and 1 Bark. In order to get logs you must now first make a Stone Axe, which requires String.

Additionally, splitting logs into planks in the crafting grid now requires combining a log and an axe made at least of Iron, with the durability of the axe being consumed for each log cut.

Stone Axes will create Shafts instead of Wooden Planks. Crafting a log in this manner results in 2 planks (instead of vanilla's 4). Saw Dust and Bark being created will scatter around you as you craft, with the planks being the actual crafting result.

Name Ingredients Input » Output
Wooden Plank,
Axe (Iron or greater)
Grid layout Arrow (small).png
Wooden Plank
Wooden Plank (Pine)
Wooden Plank (Birch)
Wooden Plank (Jungle)

Oak Bark Spruce Bark Birch Bark Jungle Bark Iron Axe Diamond Axe Refined Axe Battle Axe
Wood Wood (Pine) Wood (Birch) Wood (Jungle)
Iron Axe Diamond Axe Refined Axe Battle Axe

The Iron Axe will take damage per block from splitting wood, but tools of Diamond quality or higher will take no damage.