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Health points

300 (Heart.svg × 150)

Armor points

4 (Armor.svgArmor.svg)

Attack strength

Easy: 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg)
Normal: 8 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg)
Hard: 12 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg)


Built by player

First appearances

1.4.2 (12w34a (disabled, could crash the JVM)
12w36a (official))

Common drops


Network ID


Savegame ID


New Boss: The Wither. Better Craft a diaper, pal.
The Pretty Scary Update Promo Poster

The Wither is a floating boss mob.


The Wither build configuration.

A Wither can only be spawned in-game using methods similar to spawning utility mobs. By placing soul sand in a T shape (as shown in the image), and putting 3 wither skeleton skulls on top of each three upper blocks (including using dispensers), the Wither can be created. The last block placed must be one of the three wither skeleton skulls; it will not spawn if the final block placed is soul sand. It cannot spawn when playing on Peaceful difficulty. After the Wither is spawned in the Overworld, the sky gets slightly darker.

Air blocks are required on either side of the base soul sand block under the upper blocks.


When spawned, the Wither will temporarily flash blue and grow larger in size as its health bar fills from half to full. While in this state, the Wither cannot move or attack and is immune to all damage. When this state ends, the Wither will create a very large explosion centered on itself, destroying nearby blocks. This explosion does not damage the Wither itself, but it will damage any nearby mobs, including the player. To avoid this, move quickly away from the Wither after spawning it. Like creepers, the Wither flashes as a warning before exploding. A ghastly sound is played when the explosion occurs. This sound is not centered around the Wither, instead it can be heard equally from all areas of the map. It can also be heard by other players throughout dimensions.

The Wither is unaffected by fire and lava and will not suffer drowning damage.

The Wither is hostile to the player and all mobs except undead mobs (Skeletons, Zombies, Zombie Pigmen, Wither Skeletons and other Withers). If spawned in the End, it usually attacks any nearby Endermen, but will attempt to pursue and attack the Ender Dragon] if there are no nearby targets, usually causing no damage to the dragon at all.


Upon noticing a mob, the Wither attacks them with a projectile called the “Wither Skull”. If it is after a flying mob and the said mob tries to get up to it, the wither will attempt to keep rising above it, thus making both the Wither and the flying mob rise higher until they get above world height, where the Wither Skulls do not get generated any more, or hit a solid ceiling. Each head fires independently, allowing a Wither to attack up to three different mobs at the same time.

The Wither is 4 blocks tall, 3 blocks wide, and 1 block thick, however its collision box is only 4 blocks tall, 1 block wide, and 1 block thick. They can not be trapped and suffocated in smaller rooms. Upon taking damage, the Wither will break any block that comes into contact with it (except bedrock, end portals, end portal frames and barriers).

The Wither's boss health bar is only shown when a player is looking in the direction of a Wither, and it can also be seen through walls when the player is looking in the Wither's direction.

When reaching half health, the Wither will gain the "Wither Armor" effect, which makes it immune to arrows, as well as having a visual effect surrounding it, similar to that of a Charged Creeper. While in this state, the Wither will only fly if it is after a mob or player that happens to be in the air. If calm, it simply hovers and is unable to jump up 1 block. When angered by the player, the Wither will fly at the same height as the player. Like other undead mobs (zombies, skeletons, etc.), the Wither is harmed by Potions of Healing and healed by Potions of Harming, however, he is completely unaffected by any other potion effect. It also regenerates over time (1 (Half Heart.svg) every 20 ticks (1 second)).

Wither Skull[edit]

Wither Skull (In-Game)

The Wither shoots Wither Skulls, which look like extra heads of itself launched as projectiles, and can keep up a fairly constant barrage of them. Upon contact, a Wither Skull will explode with a blast radius much smaller than that of TNT or a Creeper. If a Wither Skull hits a mob or a player on Normal or Hard difficulty, it inflicts the Wither II effect, draining their health and turning their hearts black, while healing the Wither for 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) health. There are two types of Wither Skulls: a fast moving black one, and a slow moving blue one. Both have an explosion power of 1, the same as Ghast fireballs; however, the blue skull has special properties.

The black Wither Skull has a normal blast, which cannot break blocks with a blast resistance above 20. The blue Wither Skull is shot primarily if the difficulty is set to normal or above, when the Wither is idle, meaning the player is not within its aggro range. On average, 0.1% of the shots by the main head (when the Wither has a target) are Blue Skulls as well.

Although the blue Wither Skull has the same explosion strength as the black Skull, it treats all blocks (except bedrock, end portals, end portal frames and barriers) as having a blast resistance of no more than 4. This makes it much more destructive to the terrain, and lets the Wither blast away obsidian traps or shelters from a distance. The Wither can even unintentionally blast at faraway objects with the Blue Wither Skull, because if it misses, the shot will continue going until it hits a target, and may even go on forever. A Blue Wither Skull may be seen later if it flies into an unloaded chunk, and that chunk is entered by the player after killing the Wither. Note that unless the Blue Wither Skull was shot by the main head during its attack on a target (~0.1% chance), the Blue Wither Skull would be sent in a random direction.


Icon Achievement In-game description Prerequisites Actual requirements (if different) Version restriction Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Grid Wither Skeleton Skull.png
The Beginning? Spawn the Wither The End. PC N/A N/A
Grid Nether Star.png
The Beginning. Kill the Wither The Beginning? PC N/A N/A



Official release
1.4.2 12w34a The Wither was introduced into the game, but it does not spawn naturally. Left unfinished by Jeb and hidden in the code, it was discovered through the presence of its skin in the /mobs/ folder. Withers could only be spawned with edited monster spawners, mods, or hacks.
12w34b When its health is taken down to half, it will gain Wither Armor, making it immune to arrows.
Projectile firing rate and movement speed increased.
At PAX, Dinnerbone revealed that it would be possible to spawn Withers by arranging Wither Skeleton skulls in some way.[1][2]
1.4.2 12w36a Wither now can be spawned by arranging Soul Sand in a T shape and placing three Wither Skeleton skulls on top.
Wither now drops 20 experience and a nether star on death.
12w37a Wither will make a massive explosion upon its creation after its health is fully charged.
When there are no targets, the Wither will sometimes shoot blue Wither Skulls, which move slower and can destroy any block besides bedrock.
12w38a Added sound when Withers break blocks.
12w42b Experience dropped is increased from 20 to 50 points.
1.4-pre Various new sounds for the Wither.
1.4.4 1.4.3-pre The oversight where Withers despawned in Peaceful difficulty has been fixed. Before this update, attempting to spawn the Wither in Peaceful resulted in a waste of Soul Sand and skulls.
Withers can no longer destroy End Portals, which are supposed to be unbreakable.
1.5 13w05a Withers cannot ride minecarts anymore.
1.7.2 13w37a Added achievements for spawning and killing the Wither.
1.8 14w04a You can now spawn Withers by dispensing the wither skulls.
14w11b The hitbox of the Wither has been changed.
14w20a Withers no longer break barriers.


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


  • There is a painting showing the soul sand and Wither Skeleton formation needed to spawn a Wither.
  • The Wither can still see you when you are using the invisibility potion and will not turn invisible when hit by an invisibility potion.
  • Despite having 3 heads, only the center one will look at the player.
  • The Wither's charging explosion, like other explosions, can be negated with water. The explosion comes from the head, so covering a wither's head in water will prevent block damage from the initial explosion.