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 appearance

1.4.2 (12w36a)

Common drops
Rare drops
Natural equipment


Network ID


Savegame ID


Wither Skeletons are dangerous hostile mobs that spawn in Nether fortresses, and one of the few mobs that can sprint. Wither skeletons are the Nether equivalent of skeletons. Wither skeletons are three blocks tall, use stone swords and, like other Nether mobs, are immune to fire and lava. When attacked by a wither skeleton, the player is inflicted with the Wither effect for 10 seconds, which darkens the health bar and gradually damages the player over time. When killed, wither skeletons can drop bones and coal, and have a rarer chance to drop their stone sword and a 2.5% (1/40th) chance to drop their skull. Wither skeletons can also pick up items, weapons, tools, and armor, similar to other undead mobs.


Size comparison of a wither skeleton and a player

Wither skeletons are three blocks tall, and have dark gray bones. They appear to have long streaks of black marks on their face. Their stone swords are bigger than normal swords, since the wither skeleton itself is taller.


Wither skeletons will only spawn near Nether Fortress in light levels of 7 or less. Skeleton spawn eggs are able to spawn wither skeletons instead of regular skeletons 80% of the time in the Nether. Similarly, 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 are now just over 2.5 blocks high as of 1.8, and require 3 vertical blocks of space to spawn.



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 14w04a As a result of a bug, wither skulls will drop 100% of the time, making Withers very easy to make.
14w04b Fixed the bug above.
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.


  • A regular skeleton will spawn in a Nether fortress instead of a wither skeleton 20% of the time, it's unknown if it's a feature or a bug.
  • Wither Skeletons wield stone swords, yet there is no natural stone in the Nether.
  • Wither skeletons, as with other mobs, will sometimes wear pumpkins on Halloween.
  • If a wither skeleton is wielding a bow, it will use it like an ordinary skeleton, but the arrows it shoots will always be set on fire, regardless of enchants.
  • Wither skeletons can be afflicted with the Wither effect.
  • Wither skeleton skulls appear on the Xbox 360 Version, although Wither skeletons themselves do not.
  • 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, like zombie pigmen.
  • The Wither Skeleton is one of only five mobs that give a debuff to the player; the other four being the Wither, the Cave Spider, the Witch, and the Elder Guardian.