Mobs in Minecraft

The animals and monsters in Minecraft are known as mobs — a bit of gaming jargon that is short for “mobile”. The other jargon used here is spawn, which is the word for when the computer makes something appear.

Hostile Mobs

These are the ones you have to worry about the most! All of them spawn in the dark — either at night-time, or in caves, or in your house if you don’t provide lighting. Skeletons and zombies will burn up in sunlight, but watch out for some of the others even by day!



Skeletons are very common in Minecraft and will shoot at you with arrows. When they see you they will circle to their right to find a good place to shoot you from.

Skeletons will catch fire if they are exposed to direct sunlight, unless they ave a helmet to protect them.

When a skeleton dies, it might drop bones or arrows for you to collect. Occasionally a skeleton will drop a bow; if you’re very lucky it might be an enchanted one.



Strays are a form of Skeleton found in cold biomes. They behave much the same as normal Skeletons, but they are armed with potion-tipped arrows that affect you with Slowness for 30 seconds.



Zombies are slow-moving monsters that, like skeletons, will die in the sunlight. If you kill a zombie, you might get some rotten flesh which you can eat if you really must, but it will likely poison you. Rarely, a zombie will drop an item of iron armour.

Occasionally, an army of zombies will besiege a village, looking for tasty villagers to eat.



Husks are a special type of zombie found in the desert. Unlike normal zombies, they are not killed by sunlight. If you are hit by a Husk, you will experience Hunger for a short time.



Creepers are strange creatures that contain explosives. They will blow up if you get too close to them, causing damage to anything near them.

A creeper’s favourite trick is to sneak up behind you silently and explode. The only warning you get is a short hissing sound, like a fuse burning.

Unlike skeletons and zombies, creepers don’t burn up when the sun comes, so keep an eye out for them when you leave your home in the morning. They tend to vanish by about noon, though.

When a creeper dies, it may leave some gunpowder; collect enough of this and you can make TNT and set off some explosions of your own.



There are two kinds of spider. The larger ones spawn anywhere it’s dark, like skeletons, zombies and creepers. The smaller ones, called Cave Spiders, are found only in abandoned mineshafts under ground.

Cave spiders are poisonous, regular spiders are not.

Spiders can climb and jump and get to places that other mobs cannot. In the daylight, spiders will usually not attack you unless you attack them first. Underground or at night they are very aggressive, and they can detect you even through walls and might follow you around. A spider that is following you at night will attack even in daylight.

When killed, spiders may drop string, which is useful for making bows and fishing lines, or spider eyes, used in making potions.



Endermen are visitors from another dimension called The End, which you will have to visit if you want to win the game. They pick up blocks and move them around, which can be every bit as annoying as it sounds.

Endermen will mind their own business unless you look directly at them (i.e. if you place the white cross in the centre of the screen directly over one). At this point they will stop moving and stare at you until you look away, at which point they will attack. You can avoid conflict by wearing a pumpkin on your head so the Endermen can’t see you looking at them. No, really.

Endermen teleport from place to place whilst attacking you, which makes them hard to fight. They don’t like water, however, and take damage and teleport away when they come into contact with it, so standing in or near water can be helpful when fighting Endermen.

Endermen may drop an Ender Pearl when killed — you’re going to need at least 12 of these, probably more, if you want to get to The End.



Endermites are new mobs that sometimes appear when an Enderman teleports or when you throw an Ender Pearl. Endermites will attack you on sight, and you don’t get anything good if you kill them.



These strange creatures spawn at night in swamp biomes, and also deep underground in certain areas. They hop around and will bump into you if they can. Slimes can swim.

Slimes come in three sizes; Large, small and tiny. The large and small ones cause damage when they hit you, and any size might knock you off a ledge or into lava.

When you attack a large slime it will break into 2–4 small ones. A small slime will break into 2–4 tiny slimes.

Killing a tiny slime might get you a slimeball, which is used to make sticky piston, and can be crafted into Magma Cream, an ingredient used in brewing potions.



Silverfish are a mob found only in Strongholds. They emerge from spawners, or from certain blocks when broken, sometimes in great swarms.



Witches live in huts in swamps, and are very dangerous enemies. They are well-armed with potions which they use to attack you and defend themselves. Stay out of potion-chucking range and shoot them with arrows!

In addition to their huts in swamps, Witches also spawn in the dark like other mobs. And if a Villager is struck by lightning, they will turn in to a Witch too!

TIP: A bucket of milk will remove any harmful effects from a Witch’s potions.

Nether Mobs

When you venture into The Nether, you will encounter a new set of mobs who live there.



Shulkers guard the treasure rooms in End Cities. These mobs look like Purpur blocks until they open their shell to peek outside. If they see a player, they will open up fully and start shooting. They fire guided projectiles, wich will follow you even around corners and are hard to dodge.

If you are hit by a Shulker projectile, you will start to levitate for 10 seconds. If you don’t find a way to stop yourself from rising too high in the air, you will have a long way to fall when the effect wears off. The best antidote is to eat a Chorus Fruit (obtained by breaking the Chorus Plants in the End).

The Shulker’s shell provrides excellent armour: if you want to defeat one you will have to time your attacks for when the shell is open.

Minecraft Guardian


Ocean Monuments are inhabited by dangerous fish-like creatures called Guardians. These underwater mobs will attack you with a kind of laser beam. They also have spikes, which can damage any player who is attacking them.

These Guardians are very aggressive and will attack any players (or squid!) who come near them.

Minecraft Elder Guardian

Elder Guardians

Each Ocean Monument is also guarded by three Elder Guardians. This, more powerful version of the Guardian is bigger. stronger and nastier than the ordinary kind. In addition to the spines and beam attack, it casts a spell called “Mining Fatigue” that makes it harder for you to break blocks.

Passive Mobs

Another set of mobs you will encounter is the passive mobs. Instead of fearing them, you are more likely to eat them. These animals are described in more detail in the farming guides.



Squid live in water, and despite their fearsome-looking mouths, are harmless. Kill them if you want to get some ink.



Bats can be found in dark places. They are not harmful in any way, but they are very cute. Killing them won’t gain you anything but sadness.

Polar Bear

Polar Bears

Polar Bears can be found in icy biomes. Like Wolves, the adults will not normally attack you unless you attack them first. However, they are very protective of their cubs, so if you approach a cub too closely any nearby adults will attack. And if you make the mistake of attacking a cub, you’ll be in real trouble…

Tameable Mobs (Pets)

A number of mobs are wild animals that can be tamed.



These neutral mobs will not attack you, but will fight back if attacked. They can be tamed and kept as pets if you right-click on them whilst holding a bone (it might take several tries). Tame wolves are just like real dogs; they follow you around, get in the way and beg for food. They will also fight your enemies.

Care and feeding of wolves

A tame wolf will follow you around, unless you right-click it to tell it to sit and stay put. Another right click will tell it to follow you again. You can tell the state of a wolf’s health by looking at its tail. A healthy wolf holds its tail up, and an injured wolf holds its tail down. Heal your wolves by feeding them any kind of meat, cooked or raw, even zombie flesh. Wolves don’t care.


If you feed two tame wolves that are already at full health (tails fully up) then they will come together to make puppies!

Wolves will chase and attack any skeletons that they see. I guess they like the bones.

Minecraft Ocelot


Ocelots are wild jungle cats that can be tamed by feeding them raw fish.

Once tamed, your pet cats will generally get in the way by climbing on top of beds and chests, but they do scare off creepers.

To tame a cat, head to a jungle biome and find some ocelots. When you get close, they will run away unless you have fish in your hand and move slowly.

Minecraft Ocelot

Hold out a fish and avoid any sudden moves, and the Ocelot will slowly approach you.

Right click to feed the Ocelot, and if you are successful, it will turn into a cat. If not, try again!

Minecraft Cat

A freshly-tamed pet Ocelot

Tamed cats behave somewhat like tame wolves: they will follow you around and get in your way unless you right click on them to make them sit. Even cats that have been parked this way if you are nearby and enter combat with a hostile mob. Unlike wolves, however, cats don’t help you fight, they just get in the way again.

Creepers, however, are afraid of cats, so it may be useful to have cats in your base if you are not otherwise well protected.


As with wolves, feeding tame cats will get them to have kittens. Awww, cute!

Minecraft Rabbits


Rabbits are the third type of mob that can be tamed as a pet. The taming process is much like with Ocelots, except that instead of fish you need to use Carrots! Stand very still holding your carrot and wait for the rabbit to come to you, and feed it when it gets within 3 blocks.

It’s not easy to tell exactly when the rabbit has been tamed, but a tame rabbit won’t run away from you when you move, but will follow you round instead.

Once tame, you can make rabbits breed by feeding them Carrots or Dandelions. Baby bunnies!

When a rabbit is killed, it might drop a number of things:

Cooked Rabbit Meat can be combined with a Baked Potato, a Carrot, a Mushroom (either colour) and a Bowl to make Rabbit Stew, which is the most filling food in the game.


Horses, Donkeys and Mules have their own page.

Minecraft Villagers


If you find a village when you are exploring, it will likely be inhabited by these guys. You can trade with the villagers; they buy raw materials, sell finished goods and perform services.


These are mobs that can be made from blocks.

Minecraft Iron Golem

Iron Golems

Iron golems are constructed by villagers to protect the village. You can also build them yourself, from iron blocks and a pumpkin.

Don’t pick a fight with an iron golem: you’ll probably regret it!

snow golem

Snow Golems

You can create a snow golem by placing two snow blocks on top of one another, and placing a pumpkin on top of that.

The snow golem will help you fight your enemies. (To create snow blocks, collect snowballs by breaking snow on the ground with a shovel, and combine them to make blocks).

Where Do Mobs Come From?

Random Spawning

Hostile mobs (Skeletons, Zombies, Creepers, Endermen and Spiders) spawn at random in dark places (where the light-level is 7 or less) and there is a suitable surface (not glass, water or certain other blocks). This can happen at any time.

Passive mobs will only spawn on grass, in reasonably well-lit conditions. This happens at the time you first explore a particular area, and only rarely after that. This means that if you kill all the animals in an area, you will probably have to go elsewhere to find more.

Mob Spawners

In addition to randomly-spawned mobs, certain places you visit might contain blocks called mob spawners.

mob spawners

These blocks spawn monsters of a particular type every 25 seconds or so, when the player is nearby (within 16 blocks). Mobs can be prevented from spawning by making sure that the area around the spawner s very well lit up with torches. Spawners can be destroyed with a pickaxe.

Skeleton, zombie and spider spawners can be found in underground dungeons.

Cave-spider spawners can be found in abandoned mine-shafts.

Blaze spawners are found in Nether Fortresses.

Strongholds contain silverfish spawners.

Protecting Your Property From Monsters

Make sure everything is well-lit so mobs don’t spawn. Nothing should be more than 8 blocks from a torch. Alternately, cover your floor with blocks that prevent spawning: these include glass, and wooden, stone or cobblestone slabs.

To prevent mobs coming in, use physical barriers. Most mobs are blocked by a fence or a 2-block high wall, the exception being spiders who are good climbers.

Skeletons, zombies and creepers are the same size as the player, , 2 blocks high by 1 block wide, and can fit through doorways. Spiders are 2 blocks wide and only 1 block high, so can fit through different gaps. Cave spiders will fit through a 1x1 gap but are only found in mine shafts. Endermen are 3 blocks high and can be kept out by low ceilings.

mob proof wall

This kind of wall can keep almost all mobs out: the overhangs with narrow gaps stop spiders from climbing up. Endermen can teleport through though!