This is an issue my dad has run into. In his survival worlds, he can only break blocks with their designated tool. E.g. a pickaxe won't break a tree, only an axe will. This gets really frustrating when trying to farm or mine. You can only harvest wheat if your hand is empty.
This doesn't happen in any of my games, but if I join his world, it happens. I just want to use a pickaxe to break some gravel instead of having to find my shovel smh. Regardless, my dad lives very far from me so I can't physically look at his settings and see if something is janked. Anyone know why this is happening or what he can change to fix it? Thanks, friends.
Your best bet is uninstalling and reinstalling the game. Before you do that you would want to backup all of your worlds onto a USB because if you uninstall Minecraft with them on the Xbox still they will get deleted. Once the game is reinstalled you can transfer them back onto the Xbox.
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It sounds like he may have accidentally set it to ADVENTURE mode on adventure mode you can only break block with specific tools. Trying with anything else wont do anything to the block your trying to break. It needs to be on SURVIVAL mode to break anything with any tool or fist. You can change the mode your on when your selecting a world.