Iron Golem

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Iron Golem
Village Golem.png
Health points

100 (Heart.svg × 50)

Attack strength

7 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) to 21 (Heart.svg × 10.5)


Near a group of 10 Villagers and 21 houses in any light level or anywhere created by The Player

First appearance

1.2.1 (12w08a)

Network ID


Savegame ID



Iron Ingot




Iron Golems are large, strong utility mobs. Their main purpose is to defend villagers in villages from hostile mobs and siege attacks. They will try to protect villagers from getting killed.


[edit] Creation

Iron Golem build configuration.

Iron Golems spawn naturally in villages, provided there are 10 villagers and at least 21 houses (counted as doors). It is possible for Iron Golems to spawn in player-made villages. The chance of spawning is 1 in 7000 per tick which averages around one every six minutes.

The golems can be crafted using blocks in a similar fashion to Snow Golems and Withers. To do so, the player must place 4 blocks of iron in a T-shape, and place a Pumpkin or a Jack-O-Lantern on top. The pumpkin must be placed last. They will always spawn facing south. Iron Golems cannot be manufactured by a piston assembly line without player(s) interaction. Players should not manufacture Iron golems next to a wall because it may take suffocation damage and die. Players should take note that Iron Golems, like Snow Golems, cannot be crafted in a crafting table.

[edit] Behavior

Iron Golems behave similarly to a tamed wolf, although they are slower and loyal to Villagers instead of players. Iron Golems are also a lot more powerful in that they have a greater attack force, a greater attack radius, more health, and are completely resistant to drowning and fall damage; making them good tools for both villager protection and personal use. Note that they do not regenerate HP but can be healed with a splash health potion. Like villagers they will not wander away from the village, regardless of whether they were spawned naturally, or created by the player. Hence building them in a village is a good idea to keep them from wandering away. However if they were built outside of a village, they will most likely wander away if there is no barrier. Iron Golems will act normally around villagers, and sometimes will face a villager, as if they are speaking to each other. Iron Golems will wander around a village when they are NOT fighting mobs/players, in water, or doing something that will take their attention.

Iron Golems are able to hold poppies and give them to Villagers, symbolizing the friendly relationship between the Villagers and Iron Golems. However, they won't give poppies to other iron golems, regardless if they were created by the player or spawned in a village.

[edit] Attack

Naturally spawned Iron Golems will attempt to attack the player if the player attacks them first, but will quickly give up (sometimes so quickly it will appear the golem didn't try to attack the player at all). However, if the player attacks nearby villagers enough, Iron Golems will pursue the player (only in Survival mode). The Iron Golem does not have to directly see the player attacking a villager to become hostile toward the player. If an Iron Golem is provoked by the player attacking it or a villager, the Golem will become neutral again after the player runs far enough away. Any Iron Golems generated through other means will not attack the player if provoked, won't be as loyal to villagers and have a habit of wandering off. Iron Golems will not attack Ghasts and will only attack a Creeper if it has a low amount of health. On rare occasions, a creeper might explode, killing the iron golem that is attacking it.

Iron Golems will only attack hostile mobs within five blocks on equal ground. During village sieges, however, a naturally spawned Iron Golem will seek out any hostile mob threatening a villager, regardless of distance.

An Iron Golem with a red flower in its hand.

When provoked, Iron Golems will move quickly toward their target and once in range will swing their arms up violently to attack, dealing 3½ to 10½ hearts damage and flinging the target into the air. This attack is the strongest melee attack in the game, and one of the strongest attacks overall, only being beaten by a Creeper's explosion. Iron Golems have a comparatively large attack range, allowing them to attack through a solid 1 block thick wall, even without line of sight to the target. Please note that Iron Golems also attack zombie pigmen, making them a vulnerable target for hordes of zombie pigmen, wolves (tamed or not), cats and Endermen.

They can take damage from weapons, lava, fire, poison,TNT, cacti, and suffocation. They do not take fall damage or drowning damage. Even though they won't get damaged, if a golem is underwater or on water, it will not attack or move.

[edit] Navigation

Iron Golems can climb up any solid surface that is at most one block high and can climb down ledges and holes if the bottom is at most three blocks deep and at least 2x1 blocks at the base. However they seem to be unable to climb down when walking on top of fences. They will not try to avoid contact with cacti and may even walk on top of them if they are able to do so. They avoid water and lava at all times because, whilst they do not take drowning damage, they cannot swim and will get stuck underwater like Slimes. They will not avoid fire, and will walk through it, setting themselves on fire and taking damage. Iron Golems can walk over a 1 block wide hole, no matter how deep the hole is, unlike most other mobs.

The player can push Iron Golems up ladders despite only being able to climb a single ladder themselves.

[edit] Appearance

Iron Golems look similar to their villager counterpart. They have tall heads, unibrows, and large noses. They have black eyes with red pupils. They stand nearly as tall as an Enderman. They seem to be covered with vines and plants to reference ruins of fallen ancient civilizations. They also have perfectly straight arms that they never bend as well as large shoulders. They also have thick legs. Whenever they get hurt you hear an iron pounding sound; however, other than that they usually don't make any other noises.

[edit] Uses

[edit] Defense

An Iron Golem's primary purpose is to defend NPC Villages from Zombie attacks, and/or other mobs. Although slow, their high health and damage prove them to be great defenders. They swing their arms during their attacks, causing enemies to be thrown into the air and usually killed in one or two attacks, or rarely, three attacks. Player usage might involve enclosing Golems in a large fenced-off area to prevent their wandering off, although such control of the area could be accomplished in simpler ways.

Iron Golems are very strong mobs, with more hitpoints than any monster short of the Ender Dragon and Wither. However, they require a good deal of iron to build, and are prone to wandering off or being distracted by nearby monsters. In contrast, wolves are individually weaker, but can easily be bred, automatically follow the player, and will focus on the particular monsters that their master attacks or is attacked by.

Take note that while Iron Golems easily kill spiders, zombies, skeletons and silverfish, they have more trouble killing Endermen. This is because of the Enderman's natural speed and higher health. It may be wise to assist Iron Golems fighting Endermen. Some players have seen Iron Golems take out Endermen by themselves.

[edit] As a Pet

If you use a lead on an iron golem, the golem will follow you almost anywhere you go, as long as it is within the range of the lead. The golem will then protect you from any hostile mobs that come near you, with the exception of creepers. Also, if you tie an iron golem to a fence with a lead near your house, it protects your home from hostile mobs. Iron golems can be paired with a tamed cat for better protection, as the cat will keep any creepers away. You can also type /summon Ozelot {Owner:@p,CatType:2,Riding:VillagerGolem} to do this.

[edit] Spawning

Golems will spawn near the center of a village if it has at least ten villagers and 21 houses. Additional houses beyond the 21st will make no difference as far as golem spawning is concerned, but you will need 29 of them, at least initially, in order to spawn ten villagers naturally (although after that you can cut them back down to 21 if you want to). However, having additional villagers beyond the tenth will allow more golems to spawn, in increments of one golem for every ten villagers (so 0-9 villagers allows no golems to spawn, the cap is set at zero; 10-19 raises that cap to one, 20-29 raises it to two, etc.). This cap only limits the number of golems in a village at any one time; as soon as one is killed or leaves the village boundaries, a new one can spawn in its place immediately.

The golem spawning zone is a 16×16×6 area centered around the center point of the village. As long as all the conditions are met (10 villagers, 21 houses, golem cap not reached), then each game tick (1/20 of a second) there is a 1/7000 chance the game will try to spawn a golem. Basically it picks a random number between 0 and 6999, and if it picks 0, then up to ten attempts are made to spawn a golem. A random spot is chosen inside the spawning zone, and if that spot contains a solid block with at least 2×2×4 space above it (including liquids—golems can spawn in water, which is key to the iron farm designs linked below), then a golem is spawned there.

This is repeated up to ten times or until a golem is spawned, whichever comes first. Then, the check is repeated each game tick, until enough golems have been spawned to reach the cap, at which point spawning is put on hold until either a golem is eliminated or the cap is raised. This means that the average expected spawning rate (for an iron farm, for example), if the golems are killed or flushed outside the village boundary quickly enough so that the cap is never reached and new ones are able to spawn in their place immediately, is roughly 10 golems (30-50 ingots if you're farming them) per hour.

[edit] Farming

Example of an Iron Golem lava trap
An example of Iron Golems spawning directly in liquid

An iron golem farm is an artificial village (or several of them, spaced far enough apart to remain separate) in which golems are spawned and then either killed immediately, or moved to a holding cell (outside the village boundary, so that new ones can spawn in their place) for later killing. If you opt for the first method, you will either need to go AFK while camping out at the collection point, check back periodically to collect your items before they despawn, or use Hoppers. This necessity can be avoided by using the holding cell method, which allows the golems to collect while you are working nearby, and then you can harvest them all at once when you are ready so that you don't miss any drops. Another, more preferable option is to use hoppers to collect drops. By using hoppers, it will be possible to collect drops without being near the collection point.

There are several ways to build an iron farm, but the most effective versions seem to be the ones that utilize two floors in the central golem-spawning zone, and keep all doors and villagers outside the zone, either above and below the center or in an outer "ring" on the same level. This is in order to maximize the number of available spaces for the golems to spawn in, which in turn will reduce the number of failed attempts, and keep the spawning rate as high as possible. This is much more effective than simply increasing the villager count to raise the golem cap, which only matters for the few seconds between the time when a golem spawns and when it is flushed out or killed, anyway. To further increase your output rate, you can build several separate "modules" and bring the golems or their drops to a central collection area. Since golems are immune to falling or drowning damage, the available killing methods are lava or suffocation (or a combination of the two, as in docm77's video.)

For detailed steps on farming them, see Tutorials/Iron golem farm

Odds of a missed spawn occurring: The previous section is generally true but contains an invalid assumption about the odds. There are 512 valid spawn points in the 16x16x6 block spawn area. Making a farm with only ½ of the valid spawn points (256) does not reduce your chance of spawn by ½. Your chances become .5 for each of the ten tries. Missing a spawn in this case is equivalent to flipping a coin ten times and have all ten come out tails. It is .5^10 or .00098 which is just about one in a thousand odds. A better suggestion would be to use some of the area of the zone to rapidly move golems out of the interference zone so they do not halt further spawning. This is a much more likely occurrence than missed spawns if the golems can’t move out of the area quickly. This is not as rare of an occurrence as has been suggested.

[edit] Killing

There are several ways to kill Iron Golems and obtain their drop items. The following are the most effective ones:

  • Suffocation by a sticky piston and a block. The killing can start instantly after spawning but it will clog up the trap, making other Golems unable to either spawn or die, depending on the design.
  • By lava that won't touch the Golem's feet (since this is where the drops appear). This is the most damaging (and therefore quickest) of the automated killing methods. An example picture of this method is shown to the right.

Note: Falling and drowning traps are ineffective as Iron Golems don't take fall or drowning damage.

If the Iron Golems are dropped at least seven blocks below the floor block(s) of the house, they will immediately be outside the village boundaries, and therefore detached from the village, so a new Golem will be able to spawn, even before the previously village-attached Golems have died.

If there is no other spawn space available, Iron Golems will be able to spawn inside liquids, meaning an instant lava killing trap is possible, as shown on the picture to the right. Dropping the Iron Golems out of the spawn boundaries as soon they spawn, however, could be seen as preferable to this method, as it ensures a higher Iron Golem spawn rate.

The traps could have a collection area, where the player can pick up the drop items. It is possible to have multiple Golems spawn in one area to make a very effective farm.

If a player is short on resources and time but still wants to harvest the iron from Golems, they may simply suffocate the Golems with blocks of sand or gravel. Golems are very slow-moving and tend to wait at the same spot when not patrolling a village, so it is very easy to drop three blocks of sand or gravel on top of them and wait for suffocation.

[edit] Video

This video states the Iron Golem as having the second highest health. This was before the introduction of the Wither, meaning they now have the third highest health in the game.

[edit] History

Official release
1.2.1 12w08a Added Iron Golems.
1.2pre Added mechanical and stomping sounds for the Iron Golem.
1.4.2 12w32a Iron Golems will now attack Slimes and Magma Cubes
1.4.2 One golem can spawn for every 10 villagers in a village; previously one would spawn for every 16 villagers.
1.7.1 13w36a As Roses were replaced with poppies, Iron Golems' drop was therefore changed.
1.8 14w03a Now only drop iron when killed by the player, either through combat, potions, or player-activated mechanisms such as manually lit TNT. If killed without player intervention, only drop poppies.
14w04a The previous change was reverted; iron golems always drop iron ingots again. They can also be spawned in with dispensers with pumpkins inside of them, but the iron blocks must be placed first.

[edit] Issues

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

[edit] Trivia

Robot from Laputa: Castle in the Sky
  • The Iron Golem's dimensions are 2.9 blocks high and 1.4 blocks wide.
  • Iron Golems are yet to be implemented in Minecraft Pocket Edition.
  • The Iron Golem is a purchasable avatar item on the Xbox 360 Marketplace.
  • The Iron Golems holding out flowers to Villager children is a reference to the ancient robots in Hayao Miyazaki's animated film Laputa: Castle in the Sky,[1] as is the fact that the Golems are covered in vines.
    • When villager children notice the poppy in its hand, they will slowly approach, and take the flower eventually. Iron Golems do not actually pick up poppies, they spawn them in their hands.
  • As with Snow Golems, the pumpkin must be placed last during the building process or the iron golem will not spawn.
  • Also as with Snow Golems, there is no Spawn Egg for this mob without the use of mods or hacks. This is because the player can create them through other means.
  • Iron Golems will avoid water whenever possible, and unlike other mobs (apart from Slimes and Magma Cubes), it will sink to the bottom of any liquid.
  • Iron Golems wobble as they walk, unique to other mobs which remain completely upright when walking.
  • The looting enchantment is not effective against Iron Golems and does not give any extra Iron Ingots or Poppies when killed.
  • Iron Golems are passive mobs if in water.
  • Iron Golems will target Snow Golems if accidentally hit by a snowball. Snow Golems will then become hostile toward the Iron Golem.
  • If an Iron Golem is attacked by multiple mobs it will retaliate in the order it was attacked.
  • Tamed wolves will continue to attack hostile Iron Golems after the Iron Golems have turned passive towards the player.
  • Iron Golems were fashioned to look like Villagers, having a protruding nose and single eyebrow.
  • When an Iron Golem sinks to the bottom of a large body of water, it will remain there completely still, as if deactivated.This may be due to the fact that they are made of iron, and that iron rusts faster in water.
  • If you throw an Ender Pearl at an Iron Golem, it will become hostile to you.
  • A base with Iron Golem and Snow Golem defenses is one of the best mob defenses available. Although Snow Golems will not attack Creepers, and Creepers might explode on the Iron Golems, this can be overcome by adding a double-slab wall for your buildings or by having a perimeter of cats.
  • Iron Golems tend to stay near villagers at all times when not aggravated.
  • Two Iron Golems may fight each other. The golems will stand face to face and slowly back up, until one or both charge in quickly. The process starts over, with all the actions happening at random intervals.
  • Iron Golems have a chance of accidentally hitting/killing another mob/animal while attacking a hostile mob.
  • Iron Golems can spawn in large houses and will then need a player's help to get out.
  • It is possible for multiple Golems to simultaneously hit the same target. The height in which the victim is sent flying is relative to the number of Golems that attack it.
  • Even if an Iron Golem has a poppy in its hands the Iron Golem can still hit a Hostile Mob.
  • Iron Golems can defend player's houses from most mobs without the need for an area inclosed by a fence. with a lead, a fence post on one end, and a golem at the other end, they will stay in a specific area and smash most that come too close, except for creepers and unwanted players (Multiplayer only).
  • In 1.8, pumpkins could be placed by dispensers, meaning if a well-built mechanism could push iron blocks into position and then a dispenser put a pumpkin on top, you could have an effective machine that pumps out golems.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] References