Harder Branch Mining

337,725 Downloads Last Updated: Jan 27, 2021 Game Version: 1.16.5





Harder Branch Mining gives you tools to make branch mining more difficult in various ways and to encourage caving.

  • You can control the horizontal-- setting how hard it is to mine at a given depth.
  • You can control the vertical-- setting how hard it is to mine downwards.
  • You can control the depth mining starts becoming slower and more tiring.
  • You can control on an individual individual tools, item, and dimension basis from any mod.
  • You can control whether mining ore blocks is normal or harder!

Default Settings

Harder Branch Mining is ready to go with reasonable default settings and support for other common mods.  You don't need to do anything to start using it.

You may find you only want to change one or two settings after you play it a while.  By default, it starts getting harder at depth 48 and maxes out at depth 5 and ore remains easy to dig.



Exhaustion rates are configured per tool type and dimension.  They do not apply to "soft" items (like torches, rail, dirt) with hardness of 1 or less.

You can control the depth which extra exhaustion starts.   Extra exhaustion makes the player consume food faster.

The default starting depth is set to y=48 for tools in the sample configuration and you can change that to any height from 5 to 255.

Three Types of Exhaustion

You can control the type of exhaustion.   

Proportional Exhaustion (default) 

As a player mines deeper below the Exhaustion Depth, they gradually consume increasing amounts of food to mine. 

  • For example, you could configure mining to cost up to 3 extra food bars below Y=50 with a wooden tool.  It might start at .01 extra food bars at Y=49 but increase to 2.74 food bars at Y=12.
  • For example, you could configure mining to cost up to 0.10 extra food bars below Y=50 with a diamond tool.  It might start at .003 extra food bars at Y=49 but increase to 0.097 food bars at Y= 5.
  • You could also think of this as a fraction of the extra food bars.  If you set exhaustion depth at 50, then when a player was digging at Y=49, exhaustion would be 1/50th of the extra food bars.  At Y=12, exhaustion would be 38/50ths of the extra food bars. 

No Exhaustion

This setting slows down mining proportionally but doesn't use extra food.  (suggested by user Powraca1)

Fixed Exhaustion

When mining below the Exhaustion Depth, digging is slowed a fixed amount and players consume a fixed extra amount of food to dig. 

  • For example, you could set mining with a wooden tool to cost an extra food bar for every block mined with a wooden tool below Y=50.
  • For example, you could set mining with a diamond tool to cost an extra tenth of food bar for every block mined with a diamond tool below Y=32.


From testing, good values for Fixed exhaustion are about 1/4th to 1/6th those for Proportional exhaustion.

Setting exhaustion to 0.0 for a particular tool and dimension combination effectively disables the mod for that particular item.

If an item or tool isn't configured for a dimension, it will fall back to dimension 0, the Overworld, values.

If an item or tool isn't configured at all, it will fall back to the values set by "HBM:Default:0". 

Digging Speed Modifiers

There are two digging speed modifiers.  The Digging Speed Modifier always applies.  The Downward Digging Speed Modifier only applies when digging blocks lower than the player's feet.

Digging Speed Modifier

The Digging Speed Modifier ranges from 1.0 to 11.0.   1.0 is "no change" and 11.0 is "really slow".

The effect scales with depth.   

  • For example: If the Digging Speed Modifier is set at 10.0, as the player digs deeper this will increase from no effect to roughly 40 times longer near bedrock.
  • 1.12.2 Always enforced by server so it always "looks" correct.
  • 1.15.2 Enforced by server when the player enters the world.  If the client is set to a lower value, blocks will appear to break multiple times before actually breaking.

 This feature was suggested by user Oxebjc who also provided some sample code.  Thank you Oxebjc!

Downward Digging Speed modifier 

  • The Downward Digging Speed Modifier ranges from 1.0 to 16.0 and applies when digging a block lower than the players feet and below the exhaustion depth.
  • Example: At 1.0, it takes the same amount of time to dig down.
  • Example: At 2.0, it takes about 10 times longer to dig a block lower than the players feet. 
  • Example: At 11.0, it takes about 60 times longer to dig a block lower than the players feet.
  • This modifier does not scale with depth.
  • Enforced by Server.  If client is set to lower value,  blocks will appear to break multiple times before actually breaking.

Soft Items 

Items with hardness of 1 or less do not cause exhaustion or affect digging speed.  These include torches, ladders, rail, redstone dust, etc.  Anything you can normally dig up easily probably has hardness of 1 or less.  There is a list of item hardness on the minecraft official wiki.   (not sure it's okay to post a link to it directly).


Normal Ore Speed and Exhaustion Option (default)

Ore blocks use normal exhaustion and digging speed by default (true).   But you can change this to false and they will be harder and more exhausting to dig.  Keep in mind this will include ore blocks in caves. 


Whitelist (Version 1.12.2 now.   Versions 1.14.4 and 1.15.2 soon.)

List of blocks the mod will ignore.   HBM will not make these blocks slower or more tiring to dig.  They are useful for custom oreblocks not based on OreBlock and BlockOre types.   They are also useful for ignoring non-soft blocks like wood planks, and fences in mines, and you could set it to ignore some kinds of stone, effectively making them faster and softer.  The default whitelist has some popular blocks as examples.  I'd be happy to add more to the default list based on user suggestions.   Suggested by user: Zeromus92.  Thanks!


Debugging Levels

There are three debugging levels to help develop modpacks and values: 

  • 0 = Off,  No debugging information will be displayed.  (default value)
  • 1 = Logged,  Debugging information will be added to the text log file.
  • 2 = Chat, Debugging information will be sent to the Chat screen and added to the text log file.

Config Screen (1.12 Only)

  • Able to edit values from the standard 1.12.2 mod configuration screen.

Config Commands (1.14.4 & 1.15.2 only)

Requires Operator Level or local Creative.

Note: On a server, you must exit the world and reenter after changing these to load the new values currently.  You do not have to completely exit the client

  • /hbm exhaustionType 0,1
  • /hbm debugLevel 0,1,2
  • /hbm diggingSpeedModifier 1.0-16.0
  • /hbm downSpeed 1.0-16.0
  • /hbm info



You have permission to use this in Modpacks, on servers, etc.  -- If you could leave us a comment that would be great!


Like this Mod?
Check out our other mods!

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Happy Trails: Easily Configure movement on your server (or single person game)  to be 1 to 11 times faster or slower on almost any solid block!

Regrowth Configure Mobs to cause plant regrowth, eat grass and flowers, and villagers to repair and upgrade their villages.

Beekeeper: Beekeepers tend to the bees and buy and sell products like other villagers.  

Vending Machine: A vending machine which restocks with 7 random* items every morning.   (*or Fixed by Map Designers)

Villagers Respawn: Now that villagers have beds, they have begun to respawn at them most of the time when they are killed. 

Poor Golems: Hey Buddy, can you spare an ingot?  Control over how often and how many iron ingots iron golems drop.

Save Your Pets: Instead of dying immediately, pets fall down wounded.  You have a while to save them with bandages or golden bandages.



Q: Where is the configuration file?

A:  For versions 1.14.4 to 1.16.1, Forge now saves configuration files in the folder : "saves/Worldname/serverconfigurations".   As of 1.16.2 onwards, I changed to "common" config files which are stored in the /config folder.

Q: How do I save one configuration for all worlds?

A: Save a copy of your desired configuration in the "defaultconfigs" folder.


SPECIAL NOTE: Forge changed the way command line commands are registered as of 32.0.67.

 use Harder Branch Mining Version 1.16.1 v2.0.0.10 for Forge versions 32.0.24 to 32.0.66 

 use Harder Branch Mining Version 1.16.1 v2.0.0.11 for Forge versions 32.0.67 onwards



These below are done pending forge issue #6464

Synchronize configuration editing features across all versions.


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