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Is it possible to change the difficulty of a Minecraft server while it is running?

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I'm interested about this matter as well... –  Lysarion Mar 24 '11 at 16:11
The problem with being able to change difficulty while keeping the server up is that it requires the server to know when the server.properties file changes. That capability is largely OS dependent. Java might handle the OS dependent part (I'm no expert), but Notch likely hasn't considered it an issue with the server. –  Sadly Not Mar 24 '11 at 20:11
do you mean like in "whether monsters are spawned or not"? Because you can obviously change the difficulty setting to change how much damage is caused. But actually I never tested what peaceful + spawn.mobs=true does.. –  Zommuter Mar 24 '11 at 20:42
peaceful + spawn.mobs=true used to spawn agressive non-killable monsters (it was like that last time i tried, about 4 months ago). The problem was, while being unkillable, they could still inflict you some damage... –  Lysarion Mar 25 '11 at 10:14

6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

No, it's not possible. You have to edit the server.properties file and restart the server.

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It's possible now with the /difficulty x server command, where x is a number from 0 to 3:

0 = peaceful
1 = easy
2 = normal
3 = hard
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Does this persist across a restart, or does the server.properties file need to be manually edited to match? –  SevenSidedDie Dec 28 '12 at 5:51
From Anonymous "Remove: 4 = hardcore because you can't change to hardcore in game" –  Michel Jan 11 '13 at 11:30

Yes you can change difficulty 'adhoc' using the /difficulty command,

However this does nothing to the server.properties file and upon server restart, the difficulty is reset to that of the properties file.

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On bukkit servers you can say /server reload.

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You can try the /difficulty command.

Alternatively, you can edit the server.properties file.

Go to Finder.
Find the server.properties file.
Find difficulty=
Put in any number from 1 to 3.

Then I save it, close the window, and restart the server.

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Of course it is, /difficulty peaceful, if you are not opped open the command console for your server and type the same thing.

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