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In Minecraft 1.8 there is a new hunger meter that decreases over time.

Hunger

Does this meter decrease at a fixed rate, or do certain activities like mining or sprinting cause it to decrease faster?

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2 Answers

up vote 29 down vote accepted

Minecraft now basically counts your calories. Each action takes a toll on your body; for example:

  • 1 meat icon = 800 meters walked (i.e. walking 1 meter costs 1/800th of a meat icon)
  • 1 meat icon = 320 blocks broken
  • 1 meat icon = 80 meters sprinted
  • 1 meat icon = 40 jumps
  • 1 meat icon = 20 sprint jumps

However, meat icons only tell half the story. Eating food does not only replenish the visible health bar, but also an hidden 'food saturation' bar, and both max out at 20 points (a meat icon being worth two points). Actions drain "saturation points" before "food points."

Eating adds to both, but any saturation point in excess of your food points will be discarded. For example, a golden apple will give you 10 food points and 20 saturation points, but eat that with an empty stomach and you'll only reap two thirds of the benefit (0|0 + 10|20 = 10|10).

This is why the food bar does not go immediately down as you start playing: you're consuming your saturation points.

Foods that will give you full benefits every time (because they add more food points than they add saturation points) are raw meat, watermelons, apples, cookies and cake. More processed food, such as mushroom stew, cooked meat and golden apples will need at least a few meat icons to give you the full effect.

An additional note on rotten flesh. Food poisoning takes 15 points slowly; rotten flesh gives you 4|0.8 immediately. If you want to get any benefit at all, you'll want to eat 4+ pieces in quick succession.

More information here.

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10  
I like that the best response to combat food poisoning is to eat more of the poisonous food, faster, before it can negatively affect you. –  Raven Dreamer Sep 17 '11 at 23:32
3  
@raven it's particularly funny because you can use that to trade long term hunger with short term health regeneration. Got 1 heart and 8 meat icons? Rotten flesh all the way!! –  badp Sep 17 '11 at 23:37
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Let's see if I'm understanding this correctly: You basically have two hunger meters, one visible, and one hidden. The visible one is reduced second. Different foods add to the different meters differently. The end result of this is that, over the course of a minecraft "day", you can go a long stretch with no apparent diminishment in your hunger bar, but once it starts going down, it goes down steadily until you eat something? –  Raven Dreamer Sep 17 '11 at 23:41
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@Raven: Correct, it's like real life. If I'm well fed in the morning, I can go on and follow some hours of school or sport, but after a long while I'll start to get really hungry and thirsty... –  Tom Wijsman Sep 18 '11 at 1:17
    
@RavenDreamer: I really like this, because it's kinda similar to how it works in the real world. A medicine can heal a person if used correctly, but it can kill them if used incorrectly. –  Lucas McCoy Sep 19 '11 at 7:14
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Mining blocks and sprinting both augment the speed at which the hunger meter depletes. The variable in Minecraft's code that controls how quickly your hunger decreases is foodExhaustionLevel. Every time you do a certain action, foodExhaustionLevel increases by a certain amount, and if it hits 40.0, 1 point will be subtracted from foodLevel (the visible hunger bar) if foodSaturationLevel is 0. (foodSaturation is a hidden variable that gets increased by different amounts when eating food, causing it to take a while before your hunger meter actually decreases.) Breaking a block increases exhaustion by 0.025, and sprinting increases it by 0.1 for every meter you run. (source)

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What is the foodSaturationLevel? –  user7220 Sep 17 '11 at 19:37
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