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Zombie.pngZombie Villager.png
Baby Zombie.PNGBaby Zombie Villager.png
Health points

20 (Heart.svg × 10)

Armor points

2 (Armor.svg)

Attack strength

Easy: 2 (Heart.svg)
Normal: 3 (Heart.svgHalf Heart.svg)
Hard: 4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg)


Light level of 7 or less and 1×2 space anywhere but transparent blocks (half blocks, glass, TNT etc).

First appearance

Classic 0.24_02


See Drops


Adult: 5
Baby: 12

Network ID


Savegame ID


Zombies are undead hostile mobs.


In the Overworld, zombies spawn in groups of 4 at a light level of 7 or less. Zombies have a 5% chance to spawn as a zombie villager and a 5% chance to spawn as a baby zombie. Baby zombies have an additional 5% chance of spawning as a chicken jockey. This also applies to spawn eggs.


If a player is in a village with at least 10 doors and 20 villagers at midnight, up to 20 zombies may be spawned near the edge of the village regardless of light level or transparent blocks.

Monster spawners[edit]

Zombies can spawn from monster spawners inside dungeons.


Zombie Villagers[edit]

Zombie Infection! The disease is spreading! "Uuuuhh, ooohhh"...
The Pretty Scary Update Promo Poster

Zombie villagers comprise 5% of all spawned zombies. They behave as ordinary zombies, but their character model's head and face is reminiscent of that of a villager, shaded with a darker green hue.

Zombie villagers can also result from zombie attacks on villagers. If any type of zombie kills a villager, there is a chance that the villager will transform into a zombie villager (100% on hard difficulty, 50% on normal, 0% on easy).

Zombie villagers can be cured by using a golden apple on them while they are under the effects of Weakness, which can be applied using a splash potion of Weakness thrown by the player or a witch. A loud hissing sound will be heard if successful, and the zombie villager will begin to shudder. The transformation will take 2–5 minutes, during which time the zombie villager behaves as normal. While the zombie is being cured, it will have the strength I effect in normal difficulty (or strength II on hard difficulty), making it more important to isolate the zombie.

  • Cured villagers do not retain the trades they had before they became infected.
  • If the zombie villager is wearing any armor or wielding tools or weapons, those items disappear when the villager is cured.
  • During the curing process, it is often a good idea to keep the zombie villager away from any other zombies, because the other zombies will attack it after it is cured.
  • Conversion can be sped up by around 4% by surrounding the zombie villager with iron bars and/or bed blocks within a 9×9×9 cube centered on the zombie villager.[1]

A zombie villager cannot be cured by switching from Easy, Normal or Hard difficulty to Peaceful; they will simply disappear like all other monsters.

Baby Zombies[edit]

A baby zombie.
An armored baby zombie riding a chicken.

Baby zombies make up 5% of zombie spawns. They behave similar to regular zombies, with the following oddities:

  • They do not burn in sunlight.[2]
  • They are faster than the normal zombie and they have the same HP as normal zombies.
  • The noises they make are higher-pitched than normal zombie sound effects.
  • They can ride chickens.
  • Baby zombie villagers will turn into adult villagers if cured.
  • Worn armor shrinks to fit their body size.
  • They are able to fit through 1×1 block gaps.
  • They give more Experience Orbs when killed by the player.

Baby zombie villagers are spawned when a zombie kills a baby villager, the chance of infection being the same as adult zombie villagers. Baby zombie villagers also spawn naturally, but the combined chance (5% villagers × 5% babies) is very low at 0.25% of all newly spawned zombies.

Armed Zombies[edit]

Along with skeletons, some spawned zombies can pick up dropped items from the ground. These zombies will automatically hold any item they come across, but if those items happen to be armor, weapons, or tools, the zombie will use them. Some of these zombies spawn already in possession of such items, and those items may also be enchanted. The chances of that event are listed below and are taken from the game's code. Zombie villagers can spawn naturally with armor on.

Easy Normal Hard
Armor 0% 0%-15%[note 1] 0%-15%[note 1]
Weapon[note 2] 1% 1% 5%
Pick up 0% 55%[note 1] 55%[note 1]
Weapon enchantment[note 3] 0% 25%[note 1] 25%[note 1]
Armor enchantment[note 3] 0% 0-50%[note 1] 0-50%[note 1]
  1. a b c d e f g h i
    Value is based on the regional difficulty.
  2. 13 chance of an iron sword, 23 chance of an iron shovel
  3. a b
    Enchantment is the same as on an enchantment table at level 5–22.[note 1]

If a zombie does spawn with armor, the chances of specific armor are as follows:

Armor Easy & Normal Hard
Helmet 100% 100%
Helmet & Chestplate 75% 90%
Helmet & Chestplate & Leggings 56.25% 81%
Full set 42.19% 72.9%

The chances of it being of a particular material are:

Armor Type Chance
Leather 37.06%
Gold 48.73%
Chain 12.90%
Iron 1.27%
Diamond 0.04%

Zombie armor is not damaged from most damage sources, which means it cannot "wear out" the way player armor does. Helmets (not blocks) on zombies can wear away and break if the zombie is exposed to daylight or has an anvil or other falling block dropped on its head. Zombies also have a natural armor rating of 2 (Armor.svg), which gives 8% damage reduction from most sources.

If any zombie has a sword in their hand, and a sword of a better type or with better enchantments is given, they will drop the existing sword and start using the better one. Zombies capable of taking items will also take mob heads, which they will wear on top of their existing head. Any zombie that spawns with equipment (picked-up items don't count) will give 1-3 extra experience points per item.


When killed, zombies drop 0-2 pieces of rotten flesh.

Zombies will rarely drop iron ingots, carrots, potatoes, and any naturally spawned equipment. Any picked-up equipment has 100% chance of dropping and will drop with the same damage level it had when picked up, while any naturally spawned equipment has a 8.5% (9.5% with Looting I, 10.5% with Looting II and 11.5% with Looting III) chance of dropping and will drop with a random durability.

A zombie will drop its head if killed by a charged creeper's explosion. Zombies drop 5 experience (12 if baby zombie) when killed by a player or tamed wolf, +1-3 extra experience if the zombie has equipment.

In the Pocket Edition, zombies will not drop iron ingots at all.


If a zombie wearing a pumpkin or jack o'lantern is killed using a tool enchanted with Looting, there will be a chance equivalent to the level of Looting used to drop the pumpkin or jack o'lantern, up to a maximum of a 3% chance of a drop.


Zombies can deal damage through closed doors.
A zombie trying to break the door down instead of taking an alternative path.
A zombie with full golden armor and rotten flesh as held item, considered as a melee weapon.
The swinging arms animation.

Zombies spawn in groups of 4 and will pursue the player on sight. Zombies will attempt to avoid obstacles, including sheer cliffs and lava, and will try to find the shortest path towards the player.[3] Unlike skeletons, zombies do not try to avoid being hit, and continue to pursue the player even when being attacked. Zombies can sometimes deal damage through a closed door, as shown on the picture to the right. Like most mobs, zombies will always float on water, even if their target is below them.

At dawn, generally when the sun is 15 degrees or more above the ground (that is, when the moon can no longer be seen), most zombies will catch fire and burn once exposed to direct sunlight. Zombies with head armor are immune to sunlight, but the armor piece will take damage. They may make some attempt to seek out shade during this time, or enter bodies of water to protect themselves from burning up, but will exit protective areas to chase a nearby player or villager. If they attack an entity while burning, they may set it on fire. If wearing armor enchanted with Thorns while burning they may set players attacking them on fire with thorns damage alone.

As zombies are undead mobs, they are harmed by the status effect Healing and healed by the status effect Harming. They are also immune to regeneration and poison.

Attacking villagers[edit]

Zombies will attack villagers within 42 blocks, and they can always see villagers through walls. Once a zombie has focused on a villager, the zombie will ignore any other villagers and the player, until its target is dead or a mob or player attacks.

Zombies will bang on closed wooden doors, and on Hard (and Hardcore) difficulty, up to 14.5% of them (depending on regional difficulty) can succeed in breaking them down. Otherwise, the door will crack, but not break. Iron doors are always safe. In Pocket Edition, zombies cannot break down wooden doors at all.

Attacking Iron Golems[edit]

Zombies will attack iron golems within 42 blocks.


On hard difficulty, zombies can call other zombies in the area to “help”. When a zombie is damaged, at least by another entity or by suffocation, it will attempt to spawn one reinforcement zombie nearby (within an 80×80×80 box centered on the attacked zombie). Both the damaged zombie and the new zombie will have a reduced chance of summoning another reinforcement, so they cannot cause an infinite number of zombies to spawn, but they can multiply significantly.

Damaged zombies will also call all other nearby zombies within a radius of 64 blocks to attack, regardless of difficulty, like zombie pigmen.

These effects can be negated by killing the zombie in as few hits as possible, by using environmental damage such as cactus or lava, or by ignoring them.

Console Edition[edit]

In Console Edition, most of the zombie and villager reactions are present; however, the special door-breaking tag is not present and as such all zombies can punch doors.

Pocket Edition[edit]

Zombies do not drop rotten flesh; instead they drop between 0-2 feathers and/or more rarely a potato/carrot. As of 0.9.0 with the addition of villagers, zombies are attracted to villagers, but can't break down doors. Zombies, unlike their PC counterparts, cannot pick up armor or items, nor do they spawn with them.

NBT data



Icon Achievement In-game description Prerequisites Actual requirements (if different) Version restriction Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Zombie Doctor.png
Zombie Doctor Cure a zombie villager. None Throw a splash potion of weakness at a zombie villager and give it a golden apple (by facing the zombie and pressing the left trigger with a golden apple in your hand) Xbox One & PS4 40G Gold



0.24_02 Zombies were the second mob to be added to Minecraft, after humans. They were the fastest mob in the game before spiders were added in 0.26 and 0.27, and could run as fast as the player. They would occasionally appear wearing armor, but this had no protective effect on their health. When killed, zombies gave 80 points each to the player, but they did not drop their armor. Zombies also had arm swinging animations when they attacked.[4]
Zombies' armor was removed, as well as their arm swinging attack animations.
February 19, 2010 Zombies dropped 0–2 feathers upon death. Before chickens were added in Minecraft, Notch confessed[5] that he made zombies drop feathers because he had no idea what they should have dropped when killed.
1.8 Zombies now drop rotten flesh instead of feathers.
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre4 Zombies could now be harmed by splash potions of healing, and healed by splash potions of harming. They also became immune to poison and regeneration.
1.2.1 12w03a The zombies' AI was improved, giving them a much better sense of direction when pursuing the player, allowing them to navigate obstacles, and even small mazes if constructed, to get to the player. They were also given the ability to 'see' through windows, the first mob able to do so intelligently (not counting spiders, who were able to see through all blocks at the time).
12w04a The zombies' AI was improved again to cope with catching fire in sunlight. If a zombie is exposed to sunlight and bursts into flames, it will search for a body of water to douse the flames, or at least a shelter to hide from sun.
12w06a Zombies now chase and attack villagers, attack doors (breaking them on Hard and Hardcore difficulties), and sometimes drop iron ingots, helmets, shovels and swords as a rare drop. Sometimes zombies attacked villagers in preference to the player, and always chose the shortest way to the target, even if there was a door in the way.
12w07a The drop rate of rare drops was reduced.
1.4.2 12w32a Zombie armor was added back into the game, and they could wear any type of armor. Zombies could now also hold an iron sword or iron shovel. They had a chance of dropping these items if they had them. Iron helmets, swords and shovels were removed as rare drops.
Zombies use their attack animation like they did in Classic 0.24. This only shows when a zombie is holding a weapon. When a zombie holds a weapon the damage it does is equal to the damage the player would do with the weapon added to the normal damage of the zombie.
Armor worn by zombies works the same as it does for the player, each piece gives a certain amount of armor points, where each 1 (Half Armor.svg) gives 4% damage reduction, but total damage reduction is limited to 80%.
Zombie villagers could now also spawn, and villagers now become infected when killed by a zombie. 5% of zombies spawned are zombie villagers. Infecting a baby villager creates a baby zombie villager which is faster than a normal zombie and does not age. Zombie villagers under the effects of a potion of weakness can be cured by using a golden apple on them.
12w34a Zombies have two new rare drops – carrots and potatoes.
12w34b Zombies can pick up and equip dropped items.[7][8] If killed, the zombie drops the item it is holding.
Zombies can survive sunlight if they are wearing a helmet or a pumpkin.[6]
12w36a The zombie and zombie pigmen models and textures have changed (no visual change, but breaks texture packs).
On Halloween, zombies can spawn wearing pumpkins or jack o'lanterns.
1.5 13w03a Zombies are now able to set the player on fire if they are on fire and they attack the player.
Zombies can call other zombies from the nearby area (radius dependent on difficulty) to attack the player, making packs of zombies approach shortly after damaging the zombie.
Zombies cause more damage when their health is lower.
1.6.1 13w17a When damaged, zombies have a low chance to spawn more zombies.
13w21a Zombie damage increasing with decreasing health was removed.
13w23b Zombie AI and mechanics changed – this made them much more horde-like.
1.6.2 1.6.2-pre Baby zombies spawn among regular ones. They have the same percentage of spawning as the zombie villagers'.
1.7.2 13w36a Fixed a bug where baby zombies would always drop nothing (even if they had picked up items).
1.7.4 13w49a Added chicken jockeys – A rare version of the baby zombie.
1.8 14w11a Now run away from creepers that are about to explode.
14w30a Drops head when killed by a charged creeper.
1.8.1 1.8.1-pre1 No longer run away from creepers that are about to explode.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.2.0 Sheep and zombies were added, making them the first mobs in the Pocket Edition.
0.4.0 Zombies can drop feathers.
0.5.0 Zombies, skeletons and zombie pigmen have new animations.
0.8.0 Zombies spawn more frequently and have rare drops of carrots and potatoes.
0.9.0 Zombie AI and mechanics changed – this made them much smarter.
0.9.4 Zombies now have 2 (Armor.svg) armor points, preventing 8% of damage.
Console Edition
TU1 Added zombies.
TU5 Zombies now drop rotten flesh instead of feathers.
TU12 The zombies' AI was improved, giving them a much better sense of direction when pursuing the player, allowing them to navigate obstacles, and even small mazes if constructed, to get to the player. They were also given the ability to 'see' through windows. If a zombie is exposed to sunlight and bursts into flames, it will search for a body of water to douse the flames.
Zombies chased and attacked villagers, attacked doors (breaking them on Hard and Hardcore difficulties) Sometimes zombies attacked villagers in preference to the player, and always chose the shortest way to the target, even if there was a door in the way.
Zombies sometimes dropped iron ingots, helmets, shovels and swords as a rare drop.
TU14 Added zombie villagers.
TU15 Changed zombies' rare loot drop to be carrots, potatoes or iron ingots.


Issues relating to "Zombie" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


Zombie texture
  • Zombies can climb ladders, but will only do so if their path finding runs them into one.
  • Zombies can frighten villagers from behind walls of glass. Villagers will even run into a fire to "escape" from zombies behind glass.
  • Zombies' attack range is a bit higher in the Console Editions than the PC version.
  • If a zombie spawns wearing multiple pieces of armor, the armor will never be mismatched (i.e. all pieces will be made of the same material); the same applies for skeletons.
  • The hat part of zombie texture can be used for zombie villagers, but it will be cubic instead of a parallelepiped.
  • Zombies will not catch fire if they are caught in cobwebs.
  • A zombie holding an item given by a player will not despawn when left alone.
  • Killing a baby zombie will not give the player the “Monster Hunter” achievement.
  • Currently, zombies have the most subtypes of all the mobs:
    • This is because zombies can be zombie villagers, baby zombies, armed, armored, or any combination of the above.
    • Baby zombies can also rarely be chicken jockeys.
  • Zombie villagers will drop normal zombie heads when killed by a charged creeper.