Since Minecraft Beta 1.8 there has been a hunger meter that decreases over time.

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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Updated for Minecraft 1.6+

The Food Bar

The food bar consists of 10 drumsticks, which are divided into 20 food points, or half-drumsticks. The effects of different hunger levels are detailed here:

When the Food Bar is at 18 points (9 drumsticks) or above, the player”s health will slowly regenerate at a rate of 1 health point every 4 seconds. Note that as of version 1.6, each point healed will cost 3/4 food points (3 units of exhaustion; see detailed explanation below)

If the Food Bar is at 6 points (3 drumsticks) or below, then the player will not be able to sprint.

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When the Food Bar is at 0, the player”s health will deplete at a rate of 1 (half a heart) every 4 seconds (this makes sleeping impossible). On easy difficulty, the player”s health stops dropping at 10 (5 hearts), on normal it stops at 1 (half a heart), and on hard it keeps draining until either the player eats something or starves to death.

Hunger Mechanics

As stated above, the 10 drumsticks above your hotbar represent the 20 food level points in units of half-drumsticks.

Another aspect of hunger, which is not visible to the player, is food saturation. The player”s food saturation must reach 0 before the player”s hunger will decrease one point. The maximum value of food saturation is equal to the current food level, i.e. if the hunger bar is full (20 points), the maximum saturation is also 20. As the player does various activities, saturation points will be consumed over time, and after it reaches 0, the hunger bar will start to jitter periodically, and begin to decrease. In other words, if the player has just eaten food, whether or not it filled the food bar, they have a certain amount of saturation. For example, if the food bar is at 15 after the player eats, it won”t start to jitter and decrease for a period of time, until whatever saturation was gained is depleted.

A third aspect of hunger, also not visible to the player, is food exhaustion. This value ranges from 0.0 to 4.0, with higher values meaning more exhaustion. This is the value that is directly related to the various activities which drain hunger. When exhaustion reaches 4.0 or above, 1.0 saturation point is drained from the saturation level, and the exhaustion level is reset to 0.0. If this brings saturation below zero, it is set to zero instead. If the saturation level is already at zero, then the player”s hunger level is decreased by 1 point, or half a drumstick.

The final aspect of hunger is the foodTickTimer. This variable is used for two things. If the player has 0 food points, when the timer reaches 80, the player is dealt half a heart of damage, indicating starvation. Also, if the player has more than 17 food points (8.5 drumsticks), and the health bar is not full, when the timer reaches 80, the player is healed half a heart. Each time one of these occurs, the timer is reset to 0 and counts up again.

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Activities that increase Exhaustion level

Action and Exhaustion Level Increase

Walking and sneaking (per meter): 0.01Swimming (per meter): 0.015Breaking a block: 0.025Sprinting (per meter): 0.1Jumping: 0.2Jumping while sprinting: 0.8Attacking an enemy: 0.3Receiving any damage: 0.3Effects of food poisoning (Raw Chicken/Rotten Flesh): 0.5 per second (15.0 total)Effects of food poisoning (Pufferfish): 1.5 per second (22.5 total)Regenerating 1 health point: 3.0

The last point is notable; if the player has low health, they will need to eat often to fully regain their health. This aspect was added in 1.6.

Actions not included in this list do not decrease hunger points. Standing still, riding in a boat, minecart, or on a horse are some of the things that will not decrease hunger.

Note: placing blocks does decrease hunger, however this is not documented on the Minecraft wiki, so the amount is unknown.

Adding Food and Saturation points

The different food types nearly all have different values that they each add to the food and saturation levels. Since there are many foods, I will just give a few examples here. The full list can be found here.

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If two steak are eaten in a row and this fills the hunger bar, the saturation level will also be filled to its maximum possible level of 20 points, 12.8 from the first steak, and the remainder from the second, 20 being possible because the food points will be at 20.

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