Wither Skeleton

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Wither Skeleton
Wither Skeleton.png
Health points

20 (Heart.svg × 10)

Attack strength

Easy: 4 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg)
Normal: 7 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Half Heart.svg)
Hard: 10 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg)


Nether fortresses at light level 7 or less

First appearances

See History

Common drops
Rare drops
Natural equipment


Network ID


Savegame ID


Wither Skeletons! Tougher, scarier, witherer.
The Pretty Scary Update Promo Poster

Wither skeletons are dangerous hostile mobs that spawn in Nether fortresses.

Spawning[edit | edit source]

Wither skeletons spawn in Nether fortresses at a light level of 7 or less. They spawn in place of a regular skeleton 80% of the time.

Wither skeletons are just over 2.5 blocks high (2.4 blocks in 1.9[upcoming]) and require 3 vertical blocks of space to spawn.

On Halloween, wither skeletons have a 22.5% chance of spawning wearing a pumpkin and a 2.5% chance of spawning wearing a jack o'lantern.

Spawn eggs[edit | edit source]

Skeleton spawn eggs have an 80% chance of spawning a wither skeleton when used in the nether. Spider spawn eggs have a 0.8% chance of spawning a spider jockey with a wither skeleton.

In the Console Edition, all skeleton spawn eggs spawn wither skeletons when used in the nether.

Drops[edit | edit source]

Wither skeletons drop 0-1 coal and 0-2 bones. They have a 2.5% chance of dropping their skull when killed by the player (or tamed wolf), 3.5% with Looting I, 4.5% with Looting II, and 5.5% with Looting III. If the wither skeleton is killed by a charged creeper's explosion, they will always drop their skull (provided that the two mobs encounter each other). They may also rarely drop their stone sword, which will usually be badly damaged, and always unenchanted. They drop 5 experience when killed by a player or tamed wolf.

Halloween[edit | edit source]

If a wither skeleton wearing a pumpkin or jack o'lantern is killed using a tool enchanted with Looting, there will be a chance equivalent to the level of Looting used to drop the pumpkin or jack o'lantern, up to a maximum of a 3% chance of a drop.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Wither skeletons walk slowly when idle, but will sprint towards the player when they see one. They attack with a stone sword. When the player is attacked by a wither skeleton, they are inflicted with the
I effect for 10 seconds, which turns the health bar black and decreases the health gradually. Wither skeletons deal 4 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg) on Easy, 7 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Half Heart.svg) on Normal and 10 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg) on Hard.

Like other undead mobs, wither skeletons may spawn with the ability to pick up dropped melee weapons and armor.

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Official release
1.4.2 12w36a Added wither skeletons.
12w38b Wither skeletons spawn more frequently.
1.4.4 Wither skeletons can sprint towards the player.
1.8 14w11a Now run away from creepers that are about to explode.
14w30a Drops skull when killed by a charged creeper.
1.8.1 1.8.1-pre1 No longer runs away from creepers that are about to explode.
1.9 15w31a Now animate their stone sword, they pull it out when becoming hostile and draw it back to attack sword.
They have a small chance to spawn with their stone sword in their left hand.
Wither Skeletons now have the ability to dual wield.
15w39a Wither skeletons are slightly shorter (2.4 blocks tall rather than 2.535) and narrower (0.7 blocks instead of 0.72).
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1 build 1 Added wither skeletons.
build 9 Wither skeletons are now larger than regular skeletons.
build 12 New sounds for dying wither skeletons.
Console Edition
TU19 Added wither skeletons.

Issues[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • If hit by a wither's skull, wither skeletons can be afflicted with the Wither effect.
  • When a spider is spawned in the Nether (by the player, monster spawner, etc.), it has a 0.8% chance of spawning with a wither skeleton or a Wither Jockey.
  • Wither skeletons have the same ID as normal skeletons, and therefore attempt to hide under trees in daytime in the Overworld, regardless of the fact they cannot burn. They also set on fire in the daytime but immediately get put out.
  • Although they may spawn with the ability to pick up items, wither skeletons will never pick up a bow under any circumstances.
    • If a wither skeleton is wielding a bow (through the use of commands), it will use it like an ordinary skeleton, but the arrows it shoots will always be set on fire, regardless of enchantments.

Gallery[edit | edit source]