Spider Jockey

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Spider Jockey
Spider Jockey.pngWither Skeleton Jockey.png
Health points

Skeleton: 20 (Heart.svg × 10)
Spider: 16 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg)

Attack strength
Easy: 1 (Half Heart.svg)
Normal: 2 (Heart.svg)
Hard: 4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg)
Easy: 2 (Heart.svg)
Normal: 2 (Heart.svg)
Hard: 3 (Heart.svgHalf Heart.svg)

Light level of 7 or less, anywhere but slabs (half blocks) or glass.

First appearance

Alpha 1.0.17

Common drops
Uncommon drops
Natural equipment

5 upon Skeleton's death.
5 upon Spider's death.

Network ID

Skeleton: 51
Spider: 52

Savegame ID

Skeleton: Skeleton
Spider: Spider

A Spider Jockey is the rare appearance of a spider being ridden by a skeleton. A Spider Jockey possesses the ranged arrow attack of a skeleton plus the vision, agility, melee attack and wall-climbing ability of a spider, and the two creatures attack and take damage individually. The skeleton and spider are treated as separate entities in the game (i.e. if the spider is killed, the skeleton will continue to attack and move, and vice-versa).

A Spider Jockey can spawn above and below ground. However, generally, underground skeleton riders die of suffocation, due to the spider scaling walls, causing the skeleton to have its head raised into the ceiling and suffocate.


A spider has a 1% chance to spawn with a skeleton rider. This means that a spider spawner, spawn egg, or the /summon command can very rarely spawn a spider jockey. As of 12w36a, spiders spawned using Spawn Eggs in the Nether have a small chance (0.8%) of a Wither Skeleton spawning on them. Likewise, due to the fact that 20% of all skeletons spawned in the Nether are ordinary skeletons, a Skeleton may be on the spider the other 0.2% of the time.


The death of a Spider Jockey offers a potential five-in-one item drop special. Each Jockey, when completely killed, will yield 0-1 spider eyes, 0-2 string, 0-2 bones, 0-2 arrows, and a rare chance of a bow or even rarer, enchanted bow.


The spider controls the movement, so a Spider Jockey will wander aimlessly in the day and only pursue the player at night or in dimly lit areas when the spider is hunting. However, the skeleton will turn and fire at the player as soon as it sees them no matter the time of day (although the skeleton will quickly burn in sunlight, leaving the spider unharmed). Because spiders can detect a player through solid blocks, Spider Jockeys can ambush unsuspecting players in sufficient darkness. If the skeleton shoots another hostile mob, it will focus its attack on the skeleton but not the spider being ridden, even after the skeleton is killed.

Sometimes, a skeleton can get off a spider after a certain amount of time. This happens because of code within every entity's AI to occasionally decide to dismount the entity it is currently riding, which is used for when they are on boats or minecarts but this does not happen after 1.4.


Without some kind of armor, a bow and arrows, and plenty of space, the player is generally advised to make a tactical retreat when faced with a Spider Jockey as it can kill in seconds. Despite the spider's decreased leaping ability, this monster otherwise retains the spider's agility and sight, the skeleton's ranged attack, and the health of both, making it an unwise candidate for resource harvesting. Arrows can be crafted, and bones and string can be obtained in a less hazardous way by hunting individual spiders and skeletons, but always remember not to use either splash potions of harming or healing when fighting a spider jockey as the potion of healing would harm the skeleton but heal the spider, and a splash potion of harming would harm the spider, but heal the skeleton.

Bolder players are advised to take out the skeleton first at a distance, taking care not to land any arrows on the spider before the skeleton dies. Even when armed with a Diamond Sword, the player is heavily disadvantaged when fighting a Spider Jockey, because of the jockey's incredible agility and damage. Another way to kill it is to get the Spider Jockey on a block above you, but in a way so that it doesn't fall, leading to the skeleton shooting the spider; the lone skeleton can then be dispatched easily.

However, even with something as basic as a stone sword and good combat skills, the player can kill the Jockey if at close range.

A somewhat radical tactic can be to use a nametag with Dinnerbone or Grumm on it to make the skeleton ride the spider upside down, in which case it may shoot and aggravate the spider, causing one to finish off the other.

Using wolves[edit]

Spider Jockey battles involving wolves are slow and messy at best, and fatal to everyone but the Spider Jockey at worst. Wolves are not recommended as a method of defense against one since they will not attack the Jockey as a whole - they will aim for either the spider or the skeleton, depending on which the player hit or was attacked by. Conversely, when a wolf attacks a Spider Jockey only the individual it managed to injure will try to go after it. Once hit, a wolf will focus its hostility on the mob that last attacked it. Since a skeleton's ranged attack makes it more likely to hit the player or a wolf, it will often be the first targeted. The wolves will then have a harder time attacking the skeleton because of its lofty arachnid perch, causing them to crowd around the spider in a futile effort to get at the skeleton while the spider continues to injure them. It is recommended that you do not use wolves unless you are in possession of a strong enchanted bow.

Defensive measures[edit]

A Spider Jockey is vulnerable to falling, fire, lava, and contact with cacti. The player can decrease the chance of running into a Spider Jockey on the surface by regularly sleeping in a well-lit, sheltered bed at dusk since Spider Jockeys, like regular spiders and skeletons, can only spawn during the night. They can also spawn in dimly lit rooms with a light level of 7 or less. See construction safeguards to prevent this from happening.

If cornered or trapped in a cave with a Spider Jockey, the player can use a shovel or pickaxe to quickly dig a 1-block shaft 3 blocks deep and seal off the top with another block before tunneling away to a safe location. This method can be adjusted so that once a hole has been built the player can expand it to a 2 by 2 hole, leading the Spider Jockey into it and making a right angle with three blocks (with the hole at the bottom). This causes it to climb the blocks – suffocating the skeleton – and then dispatch the spider through the hole. If you aggravate a spider jockey, by accident, run into your house and get a bow (if you do not already have one with you) and dispatch it from a safe distance.

Another good defense is to have your base well-lit, as Spiders become neutral when exposed to light levels of 10 or higher. This makes it less of a threat, as the spider will wander around aimlessly as the skeleton shoots at you, allowing you to slay them separately.

Construction safeguards[edit]

Because a Spider Jockey can only spawn where an ordinary spider can, a spider-proofed area is also Spider Jockey-proof. Consult the spider article for more in-depth explanation. The usual guidelines of good lighting and installing doors from the outside apply.

If an overhang is built into a wall, not only will the Spider Jockey be unable to climb over it, but the skeleton will be suffocated in the process of being pressed into the overhang. However, the Spider-Jockey is rare enough not to pose an extreme hazard, but more a rare enemy, therefore it would not create much of a difference to construct a safe guard on your house. Always make sure to have glass as windows due to the skeleton's arrows.


August 16, 2010 Notch mentions the concept of spider jockeys in a TIGSource forum post.
1.0.17 Added spider jockeys. A Spider Jockey would drop 0 - 2 pieces of string from the spider and 0 - 2 arrows from the skeleton.
1.2 Skeletons now drop 0 - 2 bones in addition to the arrows.
As with spiders, Spider Jockeys can now climb vertically up walls.
1.5 Spider Jockeys can now be "neutral-aggressive" with the addition of rain. The light level is low enough in a rainstorm for the skeleton to not combust, but high enough for the spider to not be actively hunting. In this state, the skeleton will shoot the player with arrows but the spider will not give chase (unless the Spider Jockey wanders into a shady area) because movement is controlled by the spider. The player can safely observe this kind of Spider Jockey from a distance of 16 or more blocks away.
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre2 Spiders have a chance of dropping a spider eye.
1.4.2 12w34a Spider spawn eggs now have a chance to spawn a Spider Jockey.
12w36a Spider spawn eggs used in Nether Fortresses have a chance to spawn a Spider Jockey with a Wither Skeleton.
1.5 13w09a Skeletons no longer dismount the spiders when the world is reloaded.
Console Edition
TU1 Added spider jockeys.



  • They are one of the few "mobs" that do not have a spawn egg, due to the fact that they are not unique mobs at all, just a stack of two different mobs.
  • A Spider Jockey can kill itself - sometimes the skeleton arrows will injure the spider and other times the spider's pouncing will run the skeleton into its own arrow.
  • A Spider Jockey can attack two different players in SMP - this is caused by one player damaging one half of the Spider Jockey and not the other. This usually happens when a player chased by a Spider Jockey enters a structure that is too narrow for the Spider to crawl through.
  • Spider Jockeys and Chicken Jockeys are the only mobs that cannot travel through portals. Instead it will go through the portal without travelling through it which makes them go into the lava below the End Portal in a Stronghold.
  • When a Spider Jockey rides a minecart, the minecart will automatically accelerate.
  • If the skeleton on the Spider Jockey is shot by another skeleton, it will jump off and leave the spider to engage the skeleton that shot it.
  • In Creative mode, it is possible to have only the skeleton attack you, and vice versa (as seen above), due to the fact that they are two different mobs.
  • Sometimes, the spider despawns, and the skeleton remains. However, it is still sitting and cannot be hurt.
  • The skeleton can wear armor, as shown by picture above.
  • It is possible for the Spider to suffocate the Skeleton rider while climbing a wall, or when the spider walks through a hole the skeleton cannot fit through.
  • If you're attacked by a spider and skeleton separately you have a higher chance of survival because they aren't a single mob; therefore a spider jockey deals double damage but apart the two mobs can easily be dispatched.
  • If a spider jockey jumps into water, the skeleton will jump off the spider.
  • You can summon the whole mob with the command /summon Skeleton ~2 ~ ~ {Riding:{id: Spider}, Equipment: [{id: 261}]}.
    • To summon a Wither jockey instead, set the tag {SkeletonType:1}