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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

See History

Common drops


Network ID


Savegame ID


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

The wither is a floating, three-headed powerful boss mob, and is the second boss mob to be added to Minecraft.

Spawning[edit | edit source]

The wither build configuration.

Withers can be created by placing soul sand in a T shape (as shown in the image to the left), and putting 3 wither skeleton skulls on top of the three upper blocks. The last block placed must be one of the three wither skeleton skulls. The skull that triggers spawning can be placed by the player or by a dispenser. Air blocks are required on either side of the base soul sand block under the upper blocks. The block arrangement can have any orientation: it can be upright, flat, sideways, and even upside-down. Attempting to spawn the wither in Peaceful won't result in the structure becoming the wither. The blocks will simply stay and not move.

Like other hostile mobs, the wither does not spawn at Peaceful difficulty, and despawns when the difficulty is changed to Peaceful.

Drops[edit | edit source]

The wither drops 1 nether star upon death which, until picked up, will stay on the ground and never despawn. The Looting enchantment does not work on the wither, meaning only 1 nether star is dropped by the wither. It also drops 50 experience when killed by a player or tamed wolf.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

The difference between the wither boss bar and the ender dragon boss bar.

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 is invulnerable, and will not move or attack. 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 nearby mobs/players. 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, and can also be heard by other players throughout dimensions. After this, the wither can be attacked and can also move freely.

The wither is immune to fire, lava and drowning damage. Suffocation is ineffective, since upon taking damage, the wither will break any block that comes into contact with it (except bedrock, end portal blocks, end portal frames, command blocks, and barriers).

The Wither going on an Enderman killing rampage.

The wither is hostile to the player and all mobs except undead mobs (skeletons, zombies, zombie pigmen, wither skeletons and other withers). Upon noticing a mob, the wither attacks them with a projectile called the “wither skull”. Each head fires independently, allowing a wither to attack up to three different mobs/players at the same time.

The wither's has a dark purple boss health bar which is only shown when a player is looking in its direction, and can also be seen through walls. When looking at the wither, the sky gets slightly darker. All withers will display a boss bar on the screen. In the console edition, only one boss bar will be shown, and it will be a pink color (similar to the ender dragon's bar).

If the wither is calm, it simply hovers and is unable to jump. On normal or hard, it will also randomly fire blue skulls from one of it's smaller heads in random directions at an interval of 2-3 seconds until it finds a target.

When its health drops below half (150 (Heart.svg × 75)), the wither will gain the "wither armor" effect, which makes it immune to arrows. While in this state, the wither will only fly at the same height as its target. If it regenerates above half health, the armor will disappear, and the wither is able to fly high again.

Like other undead mobs, the wither is harmed by healing potions and healed by harming potions; however, it is unaffected by any other status effect. It also regenerates 1 (Half Heart.svg) every 20 ticks (1 second).

Wither skull[edit | edit source]

A wither skull.

The wither shoots wither skulls, which look like extra heads of itself launched as projectiles, leaving a trail of smoke, and can keep up a fairly constant barrage of them. Wither skulls explode with the same force as a ghast fireball. If a wither skull hits a mob/player on Normal or Hard difficulty, it inflicts 40 seconds of the Wither II effect (which drains their health and turns their hearts black), while healing the wither for 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) health. If the player or the mob already has the wither effect, the remaining time of the effect is lengthened instead of rewritten, which means players will suffer from the wither effect for minutes after they are hit by a lot of wither skulls in succession.

There are two types of wither skulls: a fast moving black one, and a slow moving blue one. The black wither skull cannot break blocks with a blast resistance above 20, like a ghast's fireball. They are also the same speed. The blue wither skull is shot primarily on normal or hard difficulty, when the wither is idle (meaning that no players/mobs are 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 and are much slower (33% the speed of black skulls), it treats all blocks (except bedrock, end portals, end portal frames and barriers) as having a blast resistance of no more than 4, making it much more destructive to the terrain, and allowing the wither to break out of almost all forms of containment. 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.

Data values[edit | edit source]

See also: Chunk format

Withers have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the mob. Their entity ID is WitherBoss.

Wither skulls are also entities which have associated entity data. Their entity ID is WitherSkull.

  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities see Template:Nbt inherit/entity/template
    • Tags common to all projectiles see Template:Nbt inherit/projectile/template

    •  direction: List of 3 doubles. Should be identical to Motion.

    •  life: Increments each tick when the projectile is not moving; resets to 0 if it moves. When it ticks to 600, the projectile despawns.

    •  power: List of 3 doubles that acts like direction but without resistance

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Icon Achievement In-game description Prerequisites Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
PC Xbox PS Pocket Wii U
The Beginning? Spawn the Wither The End. Be within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned. Yes Yes Yes No Yes 20G Bronze
The Beginning. Kill the Wither The Beginning? Be within a 100.9×100.9×203.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it drops the nether star. Yes Yes Yes No Yes 40G Silver

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

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, and could crash the JVM.
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]
12w36a Withers can now be spawned by arranging soul sand in a T shape and placing three wither skeleton skulls on top.
The wither now drops 20 experience and a nether star upon 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 was changed.
14w20a Withers no longer break barriers.
14w25a Withers now move while invulnerable due to MC-57569.
Barriers can be broken by withers again.
1.8.1 Barriers cannot be broken by withers.
1.9 15w46a Withers no longer move while they are invulnerable.
15w49a Withers no longer travel through portals.
Console Edition
TU19 CU7 1.12 Patch 1 Added withers.

Issues[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • There is a painting showing the soul sand and wither skeleton skull formation needed to spawn a wither.
  • The wither can see players/mobs under the invisibility potion effect.
  • The wither does not take damage from undead mobs' attacks or from drowning.
  • If the wither is being damaged by being out of the world, it will frantically attempt to fire blue skulls.
  • If the wither is after a blaze and the blaze tries to fly up to it, the wither will attempt to keep rising above the blaze, thus making both of them rise higher until they rise above world height (where the wither skulls do not generate any more), hit a ceiling, or until the blaze despawns.
  • Although the wither is 3.5 blocks tall, 3 blocks wide, and 1 block thick, its hitbox is only 3.5 blocks tall, 1 block wide, and 1 block thick.
    • The true dimensions of the wither are (confirmed by this website) 2.844 blocks tall (varies), 3 blocks wide and 1.719 blocks long (also varies).
  • The wither appears to not shoot blue skulls on the easy difficulty. It also can't apply the wither effect to attacked entities.
  • The wither spawn structure can be built any way, such as downward or horizontal, however the wither will spawn at the foot of the structure.
  • The wither appears on each side of chiseled red sandstone.
  • Withers have the greatest natural health of all vanilla mobs in Minecraft, beating even the ender dragon. The wither, however, is slower and deals less damage than the ender dragon.
  • The wither's smaller heads shoot targets slightly slower than the main head. the interval for smaller heads is 2-3 seconds, while the main head's always 2.
  • An enemy called the Wither Storm appears in Minecraft: Story Mode. It was created by replacing the center block of soul sand with a Command Block.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]