In minecraft, difficulty settings can be changed anytime, and this is in fact (normally) a great feature. Yet, for some reasons given below, I am looking for an option to disable this feature, may it be by a mod or whatever. Does anybody know a way to lock the difficulty setting once a game is created? Or even better (for my purposes): How can I enforce that new games will always use a predetermined, fixed difficulty that cannot be changed?

Some explanation: I have seen many discussions of such a question in the web being stalled by comments like "Aww, man, just show some willpower and don't switch the setting!" In the problem at hand, I am preparing a (single-player) installation of Minecraft for my niece and nephew. They love the game, but they are quite young, and being attacked by a bunch of scary spiders will most certainly lead to severe nightmares, that much I am sure. Hence, I want to technically prevent them from changing the difficulty (either on purpose or by accident) to something other than "peaceful". So please, consider this question as valid.

  • I don't think this is possible, I can't find a mod.
    – fredley
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 10:30
  • 2
    I know what you mean about giving them nightmares, I sometimes get nightmares!
    – Ronan
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 11:21
  • 7
    Simply tell them that if they change the difficulty, a monster will come and blow up their house. Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


A slight work around, that would probably be better as it will turn of mobs but keep health regen off, would be to run the game on a server. You would not need a spare computer as you can run it off the same PC as the game. All you need to do is change:




In the server's server.properties file. If you are worried about them purposely changing it back you can lock the file to admin access, although if you do this they will not be able to change map.

  • 1
    Was exactly my first thought. Additionally you can write-protect the saves folder in ~/.minecraft/ (or similar...at least on a half decent operating system) to keep them from starting a singleplayer world. Though, I'd check if you have a spare computer for the server, it doesn't even need to be something fancy, any machine with 2GiB RAM will do (my private server is running on an Intel Atom).
    – Bobby
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 11:33
  • 1
    This is currently (1.8) bugged. Spawners will still spawn even with spawn-monsters set to false. The only way I could disable them was to turn off health regen also (i.e. set difficulty=0). Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 4:20
  • You'd need a pretty powerful computer to run both a server and a client though (er... okay, so my laptop can't do it... I imagine if you have a decent desktop, this should work)
    – Unionhawk
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 3:48
  • 1
    @Unionhawk Playing single player is basically running the server locally, it's just more memory efficient. With 4 GB of RAM you're actually fine to run a server while running two instances of the game (one in a VM for multiseat gaming)
    – Zommuter
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 14:20
  • @Zommuter Then my issue was the "with 4 GB of RAM" bit.
    – Unionhawk
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 19:14

After they start a level, immediately ask them to say:

/gamerule doMobSpawn false

or set their difficulty to Peaceful. Only hard can be locked, which cannot be simple and is only locked automatically on Hardcore.

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