Damage represents injury from attacks or natural causes. Players and mobs in Minecraft each have a supply of health points, which are reduced when they are injured. The player has 20 health points, but these are measured on a health gauge with 10 hearts. Thus each health point is "½ a heart", shown as 1 (). Mobs have varying numbers of health points, but these are not generally visible to players. However, when riding a tame horse/donkey/mule, the player can see their mount's health, and a dog's health is visible in its tail angle.
Damage from attacks or natural causes will subtract from a player or mob's current health. When their health reaches zero, they die. Players can also recover health naturally by being well-fed, or through magical effects. Most mobs do not recover health except through magic, but horses and dogs can be healed by feeding them.
- 1 How damage is stored and displayed
- 2 Dealing damage
- 3 Damage inflicted by mobs
- 4 Natural damage
- 5 Video
- 6 History
- 7 Trivia
How damage is stored and displayed
Damage is recorded differently than one would expect by looking at the health gauge in game. A player is shown to have 20 health, represented as 10 hearts (each half of a heart representing 1 HP). But internally, the values are actually multiplied by 10, so internally a player has 200 health, and each half of a heart represents 10 health. This can be seen in game by using a Scoreboard objective to display damage taken or dealt. This is likely done because the formula for damage is complex and can end up causing the player to do damage that would be a fraction of a health point when using potions and/or enchantments. If those values less than a a full health point were ignored many weapons would do less damage than they are supposed to. For example, an attack with a fist does 10 damage (1 HP), and a critical hit with the fist does 15 damage (1.5 HP). If the partial values were ignored, there would be no difference between a normal hit and a critical hit when using a fist.
When displaying a player's health, the game will look at a player's internal health, and round that value up to the next 10 for the display health. For example, if a player has an internal health value of 191-200, the game will display it as 20 health. If the player has 181-190 internal health, the game displays it as 19 health, and so on. For example if one player hits a second player with a critical hit with the fist (15 damage), the second player's internal health becomes 185 and displayed as 19 HP on their HUD. If the second player is hit by another critical hit with a fist, their internal health would be reduced by another 15 points, making it 170. Then the game will display it as 17 HP on that player's HUD.
- Swords are crafted for this purpose. While swords do not extend attack range, they deal significantly more damage than with any other item or tool.
- Axes, pickaxes, and shovels also deal more damage than bare fists.
- Any other item is equivalent to fists and does the same damage. This includes hoes, and hitting something directly with a bow or held arrow.
- While falling, melee attacks deal a critical hit (150% of the weapon's base damage before any armor, enchantments, or potion effects are applied, rounded down to the nearest hit point).
There are a few ranged weapons in the game:
- Arrows are shot by holding and releasing right click when wielding a Bow, and do damage depend on the "charge" of the bow (see below).
- Snowballs, only inflict damage on blazes and the Ender Dragon, while eggs damage only the Ender Dragon. Both still knock mobs back as if they had been damaged.
- Splash potions can be thrown, inflicting various effects depending on the potion.
- Ender pearls deal damage to only the ender dragon
A few items can be used to damage monsters indirectly:
- The Flint and steel allows the player to light a block on fire, which causes all players and mobs that touch the fire to be set on fire (some monsters are fireproof, mostly those native to the Nether). Players and mobs that are ignited stay alight until 15 () hit points of damage is dealt, until they touch water, or use a fire resistance potion.
- Likewise, contact with Lava also ignites players and mobs.
- TNT is currently the only controllable explosive in Minecraft, and can be triggered by fire, redstone currents, or another explosion.
The below values detail the damage dealt per hit using various items. Critical hits can do variable extra damage.
|Axes [note 1]||
|Pickaxes [note 1]||
|Shovels [note 1]||
|Hoes, hands, and any other item||1 () [note 2]|
|Arrows (from a Bow)||
1 () – 10 () [note 3]
1 () per second
59 ( × 29.5) [note 4]
- dealing damage with an axe, pick, or shovel decreases its durability by 2.
- Depending on charge.
- The damage will decrease the further it is away from the core of the explosion.
'Critical hits' are attacks that deal extra damage compared to regular attacks. Critical melee strikes, regardless of the weapon used, cause small star particles to fly out of the target who was critically hit. "Critical arrows", which occur when the bow is fired fully charged, leave a trail of the same small star particles as they fly through the air. Critical hits affect all damageable entities including players, mobs, paintings, boats and minecarts.
In melee, a critical hit occurs when a player attacks a mob while falling, not while jumping up. The attack deals 150% of the equipped item's base damage (before enchantments or armor are applied). This can be done by jumping. It can also be combined with sprinting to knock back the mob, although there is no extra knockback for a critical hit. The critical damage (before enchantments or armor are applied) depends on both the weapon/tool and its material (fists and arrows have no material).
|Sword||7.5 ()||9 ()||10.5 ()||12 ()|
|Axe||6 ()||7.5 ()||9 ()||10.5 ()|
|Pickaxe||4.5 ()||6 ()||7.5 ()||9 ()|
|Shovel||3 ()||4.5 ()||6 ()||7.5 ()|
|Arrow shot||10 ()|
Note: Because of how the health and damage is stored internally, the numbers displayed here are actually 1/10 of their true internal value. The game rounds internal health to the next 10, then divides the internal health by 10 to set the display health of a player.
The requirements for a melee critical hit are:
- The player must be falling
- The player must not be on the ground
- The player must not be on a ladder/ vine etc.
- The player must not be in water
- The player must not be affected by blindness
- The player must not be riding an entity
In an abandoned mine shaft, a player may choose to jump into a cobweb. At the cost of mobility, the player will be granted a major damage increase, as cobwebs greatly extend the time the player falls.
After sustaining damage from any source, a mob will turn red in color for 0.5 seconds. During this period, any other incoming damage will not be counted against the mob's total health. For instance, if you attack a mob with a Sword repeatedly hitting the mouse button, the sword's rate of fire will exceed the mob's allowable rate of incoming damage, and several of the attacks will not damage the mob even if they land. (It is recommended to wait for a mob to be hittable again before swinging your sword, making your hits more precise. The tool used won't lose durability after unsuccessful attacks). However, if a mob or player is recovering from damage and then receives higher damage, it gets counted. Players are also subject to damage immunity.
Damage inflicted by mobs
- This only applies to mobs attacking the player. Mobs attacking other mobs (wolves, iron golems, etc.) always deal the 'Normal' damage listed, regardless of difficulty.
- Values for the Creeper and Ghast assume the player is directly adjacent to the explosion.
- The damage of Slimes and Magma Cubes depends on their size. Tiny-sized Slimes, while hostile, are unable to do damage directly.
- The damage done by Zombies depends on their remaining health, increasing as they are injured.
- In contrast, the damage for an Iron Golem just has a large random factor.
- Mobs deal no damage on peaceful.
|Blaze||4 ()||6 ()||9 ()|
|Blaze's fireball||3 ()||5 ()||7 ()|
|Cave Spider||2 ()||2 ()||3 ()|
|Creeper's explosion||25 ( × 12.5)||49 ( × 24.5)||73 ( × 36.5)|
|Charged Creeper's explosion||49 ( × 24.5)||97 ( × 48.5)||145 ( × 72.5)|
|Elder Guardian||5 ()||8 ()||12 ()|
|Ender Dragon||6 ()||10 ()||15 ()|
|Enderman||4 ()||7 ()||10 ()|
|Endermite||2 ()||2 ()||2 ()|
|Ghast's fireball||9 ()||17 ( × 8.5)||25 ( × 12.5)|
|Guardian||4 ()||6 ()||9 ()|
|Iron Golem||4 () - 11 ()||7 () - 21 ( × 10.5)||10 () - 31 ( × 15.5)|
|Killer Bunny||5 ()||8 ()||12 ()|
|Magma Cube (big)||4 ()||6 ()||9 ()|
|Magma Cube (small)||3 ()||4 ()||6 ()|
|Magma Cube (tiny)||2 ()||3 ()||4 ()|
|Silverfish||1 ()||1 ()||1 ()|
|Skeleton's arrow||1 ()||2 ()||4 ()|
|Slime (big)||3 ()||4 ()||6 ()|
|Slime (small)||2 ()||2 ()||3 ()|
|Slime (tiny)||0 ()||0 ()||0 ()|
|Spider||2 ()||2 ()||3 ()|
|Wither Skeleton||4 ()||7 ()||10 ()|
|Wither's wither skull||5 ()||8 ()||12 ()|
|Wolf (tamed)||3 ()||4 ()||6 ()|
|Wolf (hostile)||2 ()||2 ()||3 ()|
|Zombie||2 ()||4 ()||5 ()|
|Zombie Pigman||5 ()||9 ()||13 ()|
When receiving damage from a hostile mob you will also be knocked back, and similarly a mob will be knocked back when it is attacked. The resulting disorientation and loss of control should not be underestimated, as it is possible to be knocked back over a cliff or into lava, both of which are potentially fatal. A sprinting attack causes extra knockback. A thrown chicken egg or a snowball also causes knockback, despite not damaging most monsters. Players/Mobs riding an entity (typically a boat, a minecart, a pig or a horse) never receive any knockback when attacked.
Besides mob attacks, players can take damage from several other sources in Minecraft.
Lightning striking on or near the player will do 5 () damage, which can be reduced with armor (enchanted or not). Lightning strikes on the player are very rare, and only occur during thunderstorms. Mobs/players that get hit by lightning will be set on fire, but will be quickly put out from the rain during a thunderstorm.
Players receive damage when falling from excessive heights. Armor does not reduce fall damage, unless it is enchanted with Feather Falling or Protection. Fall damage is 1 () for each block fallen after the third. Thus falling 4 blocks causes 1 () damage, 2 () damage for 5 blocks, 3 () for 6 blocks and so forth. Assuming full health (but no enchanted armor or Resistance, Health Boost or Absorption status effects), a 23 block fall will be fatal (23 - 3 = 20 ( × 10) of damage).
Mobs (other than chickens, ghasts, snow golems, blazes, magma cubes, iron golems, ocelots, bats and, presumably, the Ender dragon and wither) suffer fall damage as well.
In some cases, it is possible to avoid falling or otherwise survive a fall. Falling damage is only dealt after a height of three blocks.
- Sneaking (default ⇧ Left Shift) will prevent you from falling off most blocks.
- Landing in water will prevent you from taking fall damage.
- Moving into a ladder or vine's area of effect during free fall will reduce vertical velocity to normal ladder descent speed and no damage will be taken.
- Moving into water during free fall will also reduce velocity.
- It is dangerous, but sometimes useful, to descend cliffs by walking off a cliff while in a boat. Exit the boat before impact, and you will only take damage for the distance fallen since exiting the boat.
- Jumping counts as falling for 1.5 blocks, therefore adding 2 () to your total fall damage, so keep this in mind when trying to avoid fall damage.
- If falling next to a wall, emptying a bucket of water against the wall a few blocks from the ground can often save your life.
- Wearing armor that is enchanted with feather falling or protection reduces fall damage based on the level of the enchantment.
- Throwing an Ender pearl and teleporting will reset your velocity, and you will only take damage from the pearl (5 ()). This works better if you throw the Ender pearl directly at the ground below you to guarantee the pearl hits the ground before you do.
- Falling into a cobweb prevents all fall damage. If you place a spider web block beneath you fast enough while approaching the ground you can survive.
- Exiting the game near the bottom of the fall and re-entering the world will cause all fall damage to be negated.
When a player runs out of air underwater, they will start drowning and will take approximately 2 ()/sec.[note 1] Mobs can drown as well, though they usually do not, as all mobs (besides iron golems) attempt to swim upward when in water. Squid will "drown" in air instead of in water, and iron golems and guardians will not drown at all.
While mining, consider keeping at least one placeable solid block ready somewhere on your toolbar (such as dirt or cobblestone) for quick access. If you mine into a spring (or worse, the ocean), you should be able to place the block in the hole to prevent drowning.
If you place a torch on a vertical surface next to you at head height whilst underwater, you create an air bubble which lasts for the split second it takes the water to destroy the torch, thus refilling your oxygen meter without resurfacing. Ladders, signs, fences, trapdoors, doors and sugar cane can create permanent air bubbles underwater. You can also scoop up some water with a bucket to achieve the same effect, or destroy the block directly above you, if there is one.
In Pocket Edition 0.8.0, the player actually has 11 air bubbles but once submerged, the 11th bubble instantly disappears.
- Damage is taken when air supply value reaches -20. Usually air supply value decreases each tick, and resets to 0, after damaging player. The Respiration enchantment gives chance for air supply to not decrease itself current tick. Chance is x/(x+1), where x is level of enchant.
A falling anvil deals 2 () per block fallen after the first (e.g., an anvil that falls 4 blocks will deal 6 () damage). The damage is capped at 40 ( × 20), no matter how far the anvil falls. Wearing a helmet will reduce the damage by 25%, but this costs durability on said helmet.
When a player or mob deals melee or projectile damage to a player or mob that is wearing Thorns-enchanted armor, the attacker will also be damaged. The amount changes with the enchant level.
Suffocation happens when a player or a mob is unable to breathe because its upper half is inside of a block. They will lose 1 () every half-second (10 ticks). Due to sand and gravel falling, it can easily cover the player. In first person mode, the player's screen will be blackened when suffering from this condition thus disabling them to see what is happening. In third person mode, the view will automatically switch to first person mode.
When inside a block, the player can easily step out of it as the blocks do not prevent their movement.
The usual ways to get one's head inside a block are:
- Sand or gravel falling into the space the player or mob occupies.
- Riding a pig, boat or minecart or throwing an Ender pearl into a one-block-high space.
- Riding a horse into a two-block-high space.
- Standing where a tree just grew from a sapling, or where a huge mushroom just grew from a mushroom.
- Standing where an Exit Portal just spawned after killing the Ender dragon.
- Having a solid block pushed into your head with a piston.
- Sleeping in a bed that is surrounded by blocks and/or has a solid block above it.
- Being teleported or filled into a block via commands.
- When playing on a distant server, sometimes broken blocks can reappear because of lag, and if the player moves where the block respawned, it can provoke suffocation (for example, chopping down a tree by moving right below the trunk).
- This can also occur when standing where a water meets lava, or vice versa, and creates a cobblestone/obsidian/stone block on the upper half of the mob.
It's worth noting that the player will not suffocate in glass, or indeed in any transparent block. Leaves from a grown sapling will not suffocate you, even if you're on fast graphics (which makes leaves appear solid).
When the food bar reaches zero, the player will take 1 () damage every four seconds. It also shakes indicating you are hungry. The player stops taking starvation damage when the player eats or the health bar drops to 10 () on easy mode or 1 () on normal mode. In hard/hardcore mode, the damage will not stop until the player either dies, or eats something.
Mobs/players take 1 () damage every half-second that they are touching a cactus.
By far the most dangerous natural occurrence (except for the unlikely case of falling into the void), players and mobs will take damage from contact with lava extremely fast (4 () every half-second), and stay on fire even if they exit it (1 () point per hit for 15 hits or more (15 () total damage) or until extinguished with water). If players do not have a water source available, they will die quickly.
While mining, consider keeping at least one placeable solid block ready somewhere on your toolbar (such as dirt or cobblestone) for quick access using your mouse wheel. If you mine into a lava pool, you may be able to place the block in the hole and so prevent burning. It is possible to keep a Fire Resistance potion at all times so you can prevent from dying in lava, because if you fall in the lava and act fast enough, you will be able to use the potion in time. If you're not fast enough, or have not enough health to resist the damage while drinking the potion, try using a splash potion of Fire Resistance. Or just use a bucket of water (although this doesn't help you in the Nether).
Cave spiders will poison players when they bite (only in normal and hard difficulty). Eating a spider eye, poisonous potato, or pufferfish; or drinking/being hit by a potion of poison will give the same result. While poisoned, the hearts in the health meter turn from red to an olive green () and the player takes 1 () each 25 ticks (1.25 seconds) until the poison wears off. The poison itself cannot kill the player, but it can reduce them to 1 (), thus leaving them very vulnerable to damage from other sources. Poison can be cured by drinking milk from a bucket.
Withers and wither skeletons will inflict the
Wither effect with their attacks. (The wither boss's skulls do not inflict the effect on easy difficulty.) This will darken your health bar to , while inflicting damage over time. The effect deals 1 () every 2 seconds (40 ticks) for the wither skeleton's attack (level I), and every second (20 ticks) for the Wither boss's skulls. Unlike poison, withering can kill you directly, and the darkened healthbar makes it harder to keep track of the damage.
If one were to break through the bedrock barrier found at the bottom of worlds, the Void can be seen. Players in the Void below height -64 will take damage at a rate of about 4 () per half-second (or 8 () per second). You will usually die from falling in the Void, even in creative mode, but the player may be saved by throwing an Ender pearl before they fall below y = -64.
/effecting yourself with regeneration 8+ or instant health you can fall infinitely into the void without dying.
|0.24_03||You can now receive fall damage.|
|0.24_06||You can now only hold your breath underwater for 15 seconds.|
|Lava now causes damage.|
|0.24_07||Fall damage is now much harsher.|
|0.24_SURVIVAL_TEST||Mobs and the player now jump back when damage is taken.|
|Added arrows which cause damage when they hit a player.|
|0.25 SURVIVAL TEST 2||Arrows deal more damage.|
|Before suffocation was implemented, players that were covered by blocks could see through dirt and stone. Suffocation was added after Notch discovered that players were abusing this exploit to find underground caves and hollowed carvings. The patch added suffocation damage and made the player unable to see anything when experiencing it. However, variations of this glitch are still possible to perform even in the current version of the game.|
|In Survival mode, eating a red mushroom would deal the player 3 () (poisonous).|
|1.0.4||Players no longer suffocate when riding in a minecart.|
|1.5||Unarmed damage was increased from 1 () to 2 ().|
|1.8||Unarmed damage was decreased from 2 () to 1 ().|
|The Adventure Update extended the combat system with critical hits, sprinting (for knockback) and blocking.|
|Hunger system added: Health is no longer restored directly by eating. Instead, it recovers slowly when well-fed, but is lost if starving.|
|Poison added, which deals damage, until the player or mob's health is 1 ().|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9-pre1||Armor no longer prevents certain types of damage.|
|Beta 1.9-pre3||Sword damage was decreased (a diamond sword went from 5 hearts to 3.5 hearts damage).|
|Beta 1.9-pre4||Enchantments added, some of which increase damage you deal or decrease damage dealt to you.|
|1.0.0-RC1||The sound of the player taking damage was changed from a masculine "OOF! or UGHH!" sound, to a painful sounding crunch. These were changed to remove the restriction that all avatars have a male voice, regardless of the gender of the character depicted in the skin.|
|1.3.1||12w25a||Removed the downwards knockback while drowning.|
|1.3.2||Mobs no longer shove the player when moving into them.|
|1.3||12w30a||Explosions damage the player different amounts in different difficulties, and the player doesn't take any damage from explosions on Peaceful.|
|1.4.2||12w32a||Mobs can hold weapons, making them deal more damage. Also, the crunching noise from 1.0.0 was changed, sounding more like a slap rather than a bone-breaking punch. The fall damage noise was also changed from a crunch to a dull, thumping noise.|
|12w34a||Wither effect added, which deals damage. Unlike poison, withering can kill players or other mobs.|
|1.6.2||Instead of replacing the barehanded damage (1 ()), swords, shovels, pickaxes and axes now add their damage onto the barehanded damage, which results in all tools doing 1 () more damage than before.|
|1.8||14w32a||The health bar has a new animation for damage that shows how many hearts are lost. (Not new, merely a revived feature that was lost after 1.2.5).|
- Critical hits can be done while reflecting a Ghast's fireball, but won't change the damage or speed of it.
- In Creative mode, attacking a mob while flying after having descended will score a critical hit.
- When attacking something with a Melee object (Fists, Swords, etc.), there is a brief cooldown before it can be hurt again. Having a Regeneration IV (4) Potion Effect however, seems to remove the cooldown, as the Player/Mob can be hit more often.
- When a player dies, the player has the same falling-over death animation as all other mobs. This can be seen by being in third-person mode upon death, having your inventory open upon death, or witnessing the death of another player in multiplayer.