Galacticraft has two optional configs which have a big effect on gameplay, compared with a normal game. These are Quick Mode and Hard Mode. (See also Asteroids Adventure for another game mode.)
Normal Galacticraft is designed as an "end game" mod, to give players new goals after they have covered all the basics in Minecraft (that's building a house, gathering resources, finding diamonds, creating a stable food supply, making enchanted weapons and armour, visiting the Nether and maybe even defeating the Ender Dragon). Galacticraft is supposed to be hard. Getting to the Moon should feel like a major achievement.
Normal Galacticraft is balanced on the assumption that many players will be playing it in a modpack with other mods, especially tech mods which can increase the player's resources, maybe by automatic mining, maybe by more powerful mining tools, maybe by doubling (or more) metal ingot production from basic ores.
Normal Galacticraft consumes a lot of resources, for example iron ingots, even to build a basic Tier 1 Rocket and the machines you will need to use it.
Quick Mode is a config setting added from Galacticraft 3.0.9. By default it is false, but you can set it to true. If true, it has one simple effect: it doubles the output of the Compressor and Electric Compressor when making compressed metals out of metal ingots. (It also increases the number of Basic Wafers or Advanced Wafers produced by the Circuit Fabricator.) Because most Galacticraft recipes require compressed metals or wafers, overall this means Galacticraft only needs approximately half the amount of metals, silicon, redstone and diamonds to be mined - or actually 1/4 the amount when making Compressed Steel or Compressed Bronze, used in the Heavy Duty Plating for rockets. This will make every stage of Galacticraft go faster for players who want a quick game.
The new Quick Mode has been introduced especially to help players who choose not to play Galacticraft with other mods. This setting is certainly one to consider if you are playing Galacticraft on its own, with no other tech mods to help with mining or metal production.
Hard Mode is an optional config setting which has been in the game for a while but had no function before Galacticraft 3.0.9. It adds a package of tweaks to make the game harder for players (or modpacks) who want to ramp up the difficulty level. It is currently a work in progress, but as of version 3.0.9 the tweaks include:
- more damage from all Galacticraft mobs and bosses
- Evolved Zombie, Evolved Spider, Evolved Skeleton Boss move faster; Evolved Zombie tracks you further
- damage from oxygen suffocation increases the longer you spend without oxygen - this will kill you within 1 minute or less
- increased power consumption in the higher powered machines (especially Tier 2 machines)
- the Compressed Steel recipe involving 2 coal + 1 Compressed Iron is automatically disabled for modpacks which have steel ingots (it will require 2 steel ingots - steel ingots are generally hard to make late game items, in other mods which offer a way to make them)
- harder movement in freefall on space stations in Survival mode
- more base damage from meteorites
Planned additional features not yet implemented include:
- power loss in aluminium wires, to encourage use of Beams
- weight limit on the combined player + rocket inventory, on take-off (higher weight limit for higher tier rockets)
radfast has also posted this about the future plans for Hard Mode:
Future plans for Galacticraft include a "hard mode" flag which will make parts of gameplay in space much harder - including Oxygen Collector oxygen production from growing plants. I'm not sure yet whether we will have leaf decay and tree death so that only a well-maintained tree farm can make oxygen, or we will have growing restrictions on all plants (soil, access to water, temperature, atmosphere - maybe a requirement for gravity), this is all still to be decided. The main aim will be in fact to make wood and food into scarce resources in space, so that players will need to either make a protected Earth-like environment inside their space base, or ship those resources from the Overworld using Cargo Rockets. I want players to be overjoyed if they can succeed in growing 1 pumpkin or 1 melon in space. A side effect will be also to make the electrical way of producing oxygen likely more cost-effective.
Players could enable Quick Mode and Hard Mode at the same time, if they want a game which is challenging but does not require so much grinding for resources. If neither one is enabled, the game will be the normal (default) Galacticraft.
Server controlled settings
The following settings in Galacticraft are server controlled, meaning the settings on the server will override any settings the players have set, in a multiplayer game. All of these have some influence on game balance and difficulty.
- Quick Mode
- Hard Mode
- Asteroids Challenge mode
- All other configurable recipe and OreDictionary settings, for example to allow use of silicon from other mods
- Dungeon Boss Health Modifier
- Suffocation Damage
- Suffocation Cooldown
- Rocket Fuel Factor (increase this to make rockets use more fuel)
- Detectable IDs (see Sensor Glasses)
- All power conversion ratios
- Power conversion loss percentage
In addition, some other settings not listed here are only relevant to servers (in a multiplayer game), for example all the worldgen settings obviously only take effect on a server. Force Overworld Respawn is another setting which is controlled by the server (not the client).