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

The wither is a floating, three-headed boss mob.


The wither build configuration.

Withers can be created by placing soul sand in a T shape (as shown in the image), 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 wither drops 1 nether star upon death. The Looting enchantment does not work on the wither. It drops 50 experience when killed by a player or tamed wolf.


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 does not move. 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 and lava damage. Drowning and suffocation are ineffective, since 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 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 at the same time.

The wither's boss health bar 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.

After a wither takes a few hits from a player, it will get angry at that player and will move towards him/her until it is near him/her, and it will resume blasting at a slightly faster rate.

When its health is below half the full health (below 150 (Heart.svg × 75)), the wither will gain the "wither armor" effect, which makes it immune to arrows and gives it an approximate 50% damage resistance. While in this state, the Wither will only fly at the same height at its target. If calm, it simply hovers and is unable to jump. If it regenerates above half health, the armor will disappear, and the wither is able to fly high again.

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

Wither Skull[edit]

A blue wither skull.

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. 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 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. The black wither skull cannot break blocks with a blast resistance above 20. 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, 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. 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, 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]
1.4.2 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.
Barriers can be broken by withers again.
1.8.1 Barriers cannot be broken by withers.
Console Edition
TU19 Added withers.


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


  • There is a painting showing the soul sand and wither skeleton skull formation needed to spawn a wither.
  • The wither can see players under the invisibility potion effect.
  • 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 explosion.
  • The wither does not take damage from undead mobs' attacks.
  • 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 get generated any more), or hit a ceiling.
  • Although the wither is 4 blocks tall, 3 blocks wide, and 1 block thick, its hitbox is only 4 blocks tall, 1 block wide, and 1 block thick.
  • 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.
  • The wither may occasionally attempt to hide from the player when it is low on health and there are no other non-undead mobs around.
  • In Creative, when spawned in an area with no non-undead mobs, after the wither charges up, it will remain on the ground.
  • In Creative, the player may flee from the Wither, but regardless of distance gained, the Wither will simply pause rather than despawn
  • Although the wither has 100 more health points than the Ender Dragon, the wither can be killed faster as it cannot move as fast.
  • The wither appears not to shoot skulls on the Easy difficulty.
  • When looked at very closely, the texture for the wither's shield is actually a circle 8 motion recorded over the withers blue texture file, as if looked at closely, you can see the left and right heads. The same goes for charged creepers.
  • The wither spawn structure can be built horizontally, however the wither will be vertical upon spawning.