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Zombie.pngZombie Villager.png
Baby Zombie.PNGBaby Zombie Villager.png
Health points

20 (Heart.svg × 10)

Armor points

2 (Armor.svg)

Attack strength

Easy: 2 (Heart.svg)
Normal: 4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg)
Hard: 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg)


Light level of 7 or less and 1×2 space anywhere but blocks marked as transparent (half blocks, glass, TNT etc).

First appearance

Classic 0.24_02

Common drops
Rare drops
Natural equipment

Adult: 5
Baby: 12

Network ID


Savegame ID


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Zombies are the most common hostile mobs. They spawn in dark or dimly lit areas, and will attack the player by slowly moving toward them and inflicting damage by making contact. Like Skeletons, Zombies catch fire in sunlight. Zombies can be heard making roaring, moaning and growling noises when near. Zombies can be damaged by health potions.

In addition to generic Zombies, which closely resemble an "undead" version of Steve, several rarer Zombie forms may spawn.

  • Zombies have green skin, empty eye sockets, and identical clothing to the default player skin and other humans. They are 2 blocks tall, 1 block wide, and 0.24 blocks thick.
  • Zombie Villagers have the same bodies as original Zombies, but their heads appear as undead Villager heads.
  • Baby Zombies or Baby Zombie Villagers are smaller than normal zombies. They can go through 1-block gaps, move much faster and are not harmed by sunlight. Despite their small size, both their health and their hitbox are the same as for full-sized zombies.

Any of the above can also spawn wearing armor of any type, and/or wielding an iron sword or shovel. (These zombies also drop extra experience.) Whether or not they already have such possessions, a small fraction of zombies can pick up dropped items and wear/wield them. The chance for either buff depends on game and/or regional difficulty.

Zombie Villager[edit]

Zombie Villagers comprise 5% of all spawned Zombies. They generally behave as ordinary Zombies, but their character model's head and face is reminiscent of that of a villager, with a extremely different green hue, it also has some other similarities ,especially with the nose. Zombie Villagers may occur in any game mode or difficulty except Peaceful.

Zombie Villagers can result from Zombie attacks on ordinary Villagers. If any type of Zombie kills a Villager, there is a chance that the Villager will transform into a Zombie Villager (100% in hard difficulty, 50% in normal, 0% in easy). This often occurs during sieges.

Zombie Villagers can be cured by throwing a Splash Potion of Weakness at them, then feeding them a Golden Apple by right-clicking on the Zombie Villager with it. A loud hissing sound will be heard if successful, and the Zombie Villager will begin to shudder. The transformation will take 2–5 minutes, during which time the Zombie Villager will still attack and must be shielded from other attacks and sun damage. While the zombie is being cured, it will have the Strength I effect in normal difficulty, or Strength II in hard difficulty, making it more important to isolate the zombie.

  • Cured Villagers do not retain the trades they had before they became infected.
  • If the Zombie Villager is wearing any Armor or wielding Tools or Weapons, those items disappear when the villager is cured.
  • During the curing process keep the Zombie Villager away from any other zombies, because the other zombies will stop the curing process.
  • Conversion can be sped up by around 4% by surrounding the zombie villager with up to 14 iron bars or bed blocks (or combined) within a 9x9x9 cube centered on the zombie villager.[1]

A Zombie Villager cannot be cured by switching from Easy, Normal or Hard difficulty to Peaceful. They will just disappear, like all other monsters when switched to Peaceful.

Baby Zombies[edit]

A baby zombie.
An armored baby zombie riding a chicken.

Baby Zombies make up 5% of zombie spawns. They are the same as regular Zombies, with the following oddities:

  • They do not burn in sunlight.[2]
  • They are faster than the normal zombie.
  • The noises they make are higher-pitched than normal zombies' voices.
  • They can ride Chickens.
  • They grow up if cured.
  • When they wear armor it shrinks to fit their body size.
  • If they wear a head, jack o'lantern, or pumpkin, it will float above their head.
  • They are able to climb ladders.
  • They are able to fit through 1x1 gaps.

Baby Zombie Villagers are spawned when a zombie kills a Baby Villager. The chance of infection are the same as Zombie Villagers. Baby Zombie Villagers also spawn naturally, but the combined chance (5% villagers * 5% babies) is very low at 0.25% of all newly spawned Zombies.

Chicken Jockey[edit]

Chicken Jockeys are an extremely rare variant of the baby zombie:

A rare chicken jockey.
  • Consists of a baby zombie riding a chicken
  • The zombie controls the chicken instead of using the chicken AI
  • Because the zombie is riding a chicken, it cannot take fall damage
  • They are extremely rare, and they spawn only when a baby zombie is spawned, so with the 5% percent of a baby, and with the jockey ability, the chances will be reduced for a slim 0.1%
  • Can spawn in Nether - baby zombie pigman instead[3]

Armed Zombie[edit]

Along with Skeletons, some spawned Zombies can pick up dropped items from the ground. These Zombies will automatically hold any item they come across, but if those items happen to be Armor, Weapons, or Tools, the Zombie will wear them. Some of these Zombies spawn already sporting such items, and those items may also be enchanted. The chances of that event are listed below and are taken from the game's code. Zombie villagers can spawn naturally with armor on.

Easy Normal Hard
Armor 0%-7.5%[note 1] 0%-15%[note 1] 0%-18.75%[note 1]
Weapon 1% 1% 5%
Pick up 10% 15% 45%
Weapon enchantment 0-12%[note 1] 0-25%[note 1] 0-31%[note 1]
Armor enchantment 0-25%[note 1] 0-50%[note 1] 0-62.5%[note 1]
  1. a b c d e f g h i
    Zombie armor chances are based on the "inhabited time" of the chunk it spawns in, and the current moon phase, as well as difficulty. Being in a chunk for 150 Minecraft days during a full moon will give the maximum percentage.

If a zombie does spawn with armor, it will always include a helmet, and a 10% to 25% chance of each other piece (depending only on difficulty). The chances of it being of a particular quality are:

Armor Type Chance
Gold 48.6%
Leather 36.45%
Chain 13.5%
Iron 1.4%
Diamond 0.05%

Almost all Zombie armor has no durability score, which means it cannot "wear out" the way player armor does. Helmets on Zombies that usually wear away while on a player (meaning not a block) can wear away and break on a Zombie if the zombie is exposed to daylight and the Zombie starts burning like usual. Two points (Armor.svg) of armor give 8% damage reduction from most sources. This means the player would need to deal 22 (Heart.svg × 11) physical damage to kill a Zombie. When dropped from a height of 23 blocks, a Zombie would have its health dropped to half a heart but still takes two unarmed hits to kill. As unarmed hits deal half a heart each hit, the first hit would be reduced by the armor and send the zombie's health down below half a heart, thus a second hit is required. There is no one-hit (unarmed) method to kill zombies in a falling trap.

If any Zombie has a Sword in their hand, and a Sword of a better type or with better enchantments is given, they will drop the existing Sword and start using the better one. Zombies capable of taking items will also take mob heads, which they will wear, and will become their new head. Any zombie that spawns with equipment (picking up items doesn't count) will give extra experience: 1-3 points per item.


When killed, Zombies drop 0–2 pieces of Rotten Flesh. These can be eaten by the player, but have an 80% chance of giving the player food poisoning. Unless a player is doing a lot of strenuous activity eating rotten flesh and getting poisoned by it will add 2 to the hunger bar and then slowly take 2 away (sometimes only subtracting 1.5 or 1). In addition the food poisoning doesn't stack (it just resets the countdown each time) so waiting until your hunger bar is down to 2 and eating 4 rotten flesh will boost you to 10 then erode down to 8, giving a net gain overall. In addition rotten flesh can safely be used to heal and breed tamed Wolves without any risk of the Wolf becoming poisoned.[4]

Zombies will rarely drop iron ingots, carrots and potatoes. If a Zombie spawns with a Sword, Shovel or some Armor there is a small chance of it dropping one or more of its items. This is one of two ways to get the uncraftable Chain Armor in Survival mode, the other being trading with a blacksmith.


Zombies can deal damage through closed doors.
A zombie trying to break the door down instead of taking an alternative path.
A zombie with full golden armor and rotten flesh as held item, considered as a melee weapon.
The swinging arms animation.

Zombies spawn in groups of 1-6 and will pursue the player on sight. Zombies will attempt to avoid obstacles, including sheer cliffs and lava, and will try to find the shortest path towards the player. (video demonstrating the Zombie's path finding) Unlike Skeletons, Zombies do not try to avoid being hit, and continue to pursue the player even when being attacked. Zombies can sometimes deal damage through a closed door, as shown on the picture to the right. Like most mobs, Zombies will always float on water, even if their target is below them.

At dawn, generally when the sun is 15 degrees or more above the ground (that is, when the moon can no longer be seen), most Zombies will catch fire and burn once exposed to direct sunlight. However, zombies with head armor are immune to sunlight, but the armor piece will take damage. They may make some attempt to seek out shade during this time, or enter bodies of water to protect themselves from burning up. Being in water, rain, or shade negates the effects of direct sunlight, preventing them from burning. Zombies will exit protective areas to chase a close player or Villager, whereupon they will again be vulnerable to burning. Zombies wearing headgear will also be protected from burning, and Baby Zombies do not burn. If they attack a player or mob while burning, they will set their victim on fire.

Attacking Villagers[edit]

Zombies will attack Villagers within 16 blocks. Once a Zombie has focused on a Villager, the Zombie will ignore any other Villagers, and the player, until its target is dead or the player attacks.

Zombies will bang on closed wooden doors, and can succeed in breaking them down in Hard difficulty. In other difficulties, the door will crack, but not break. Iron Doors are always safe. In Minecraft Pocket Edition, zombies cannot break down wooden doors at all. In the newest updates, not all zombies will break down doors. Only zombies with a special tag can do this; and since the chance of this happening is low, only 5% will one see a zombie attack a door.

If a zombie is attacking a villager and is hurt by another mob, the zombie will then retaliate and attack the offending mob.


On Hard difficulty, Zombies can call other Zombies in the area to "help", and in a matter of seconds, more Zombies will target the player. When a zombie is damaged by another entity it will attempt to spawn one reinforcement zombie nearby (within an 80x80x80 box centered on the attacked zombie). Both the damaged zombie and the new zombie will have a reduced chance of summoning another reinforcement, so they cannot cause an infinite number of zombies to spawn, but they can multiply significantly.

Damaged zombies will also call all other nearby zombies in the area to attack, regardless of difficulty, like zombie pigmen.

These effects can be combatted by killing the zombie in as few hits as possible, by using environmental damage such as falls or lava, or by ignoring them.

Console Edition[edit]

In Console Edition, most of the zombie and villager reactions are present, with zombie sieges occasionally happening. Zombies are also able to convert villagers to their zombie form. However, the special breaking down door tag is not present and as such all zombies can punch doors.

Pocket Edition[edit]

Zombies do not drop rotten flesh, instead they drop between 0-2 feathers and/or more rarely a potato/carrot. As of 0.9.0 with the addition of villagers, zombies are attracted to villagers, but can´t break down doors. Zombies unlike their counterparts on the PC version of Minecraft can not pick up armor or any kind of item. They do not spawn with armor or tools either.


A lone zombie can easily become a large group, as it can spawn more zombies. Furthermore, they hit a lot harder when injured. Killing the zombie rapidly (iron or diamond sword), or leading with environmental damage, can help cut the multiplication. Blocking the zombies off with fences works fairly well, but be wary that reinforcement zombies can appear and approach from all directions.

On the other hand, the multiplication makes it easy to "farm" zombies for experience, Rotten Flesh, and drops. Stone swords and moats are helpful here. Alternatively, if located in the middle of a large, well-lit area with a good view, reinforcements will be coming from a distance, making it easy to prepare and position for their arrival.

A player on sufficiently high ground can repeatedly hit a Zombie as it approaches, knocking it away consistently before it gets close enough to cause damage. Being one block lower than the Zombie makes it easier to prevent contact. Like Zombie Pigmen and skeletons, Zombies have a chance of spawning equipped with armor wielding an iron sword or iron shovel, any of which may also be enchanted.

Zombies, along with Zombie Pigmen, Skeletons and the Wither, are considered "undead". Thus, they can be damaged by Splash Potions of Healing, are healed by Splash Potions of Harming, and are unaffected by poison or regeneration. They likewise take extra damage from any weapon enchanted with Smite. Finally, zombies, like other undead (except the wither), catch fire in sunlight. While this will eventually kill them, it also makes them more dangerous: a burning zombie can set the player (or other victim) aflame with an attack.

Zombies are vulnerable to all the usual environmental damage: lava/fire, falling, and contact with cacti. They can drown or suffocate when trapped within water or solid blocks respectively.

Zombies can be prevented from calling for reinforcements by putting two trap doors behind a door. Zombies recognize an open trap door as a solid block, and will walk right into the hole. It will need two traps doors next to each other, opened, as baby zombies can run over the 1x1 hole using the edge of the first trap door. Many useful traps can be made using this method.

Surface Zombie populations can be controlled if the player regularly sleeps in a bed at dusk, since Zombies will only spawn at night if the player is awake. However, they can still wander out of caves, as well as spawn in shadowy bits of surface.


It is possible to "preserve" zombies many days for the purpose of using them either as a form of defense, or to cure a zombie villager without a risk of it dying in sunlight before turning back into a Villager. The most effective way to stop a zombie from burning in sunlight for preservation purposes is to put a helmet or pumpkin over its head, as if the zombie escapes its prison outside during daytime, it may have a risk of burning to death without the head protection. If it is a pumpkin, the zombie will never burn, because helmets eventually burn away under the strong sun. However, if it is a helmet, it gives defense unlike a pumpkin. Giving a zombie any type of head protection may prevent it from despawning. Naming a zombie using a Name Tag will also prevent it from despawning, however unless you have a very large number of tags, this is not recommended.



0.24_02 Zombies were the second mob to be added to Minecraft, after humans. They were the fastest mob in the game before Spiders were added in 0.26 and 0.27, and could run as fast as the player. They would occasionally appear wearing armor, but this had no protective effect on their health. When killed, zombies gave 80 points each to the player, but they did not drop their armor. Zombies also had arm swinging animations when they attacked.[5]
Zombies' armor was removed, as well as their arm swinging attack animations.
February 19, 2010 Zombies dropped 0-2 feathers upon death. Before chickens were added in Minecraft, Notch confessed[6] that he made zombies drop feathers because he had no idea what they should have dropped when killed.
1.8 Zombies now drop Rotten Flesh instead of Feathers.
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre4 Zombies could now be harmed by Splash Potions of Healing, and healed by Splash Potions of Harming. They also became immune to poison, although Splash Potions of Regeneration did not affect them.
1.2.1 12w03a The zombies' AI was improved, giving them a much better sense of direction when pursuing the player, allowing them to navigate obstacles, and even small mazes if constructed, to get to the player. They were also given the ability to 'see' through windows, the first mob able to do so intelligently, not counting Spiders, who were able to see through all blocks until 1.8.
12w04a The zombies' AI was improved again to cope with catching fire in sunlight. If a zombie is exposed to sunlight and bursts into flames, it will search for a body of water to douse the flames. The same goes for skeletons, whose AI has been improved also, so they run for shelter when exposed to sunlight.
12w06a Zombies chased and attacked villagers, attacked doors (breaking them on Hard and Hardcore difficulties), and sometimes dropped Iron Ingots, Helmets, Shovels and Swords as a rare drop. Sometimes zombies attacked villagers in preference to the player, and always chose the shortest way to the target, even if there was a door in the way.
12w07a The drop rate of rare drops was reduced.
1.4.2 12w32a Zombie armor was added back into the game, and they could wear any type of armor. Zombies could now also hold an Iron Sword or Iron Shovel. There is a 0.5% chance that, when allowed, can spawn all 4 zombie clad with armor and weapons, or zombie villagers with full armor and enchanted swords. Zombies had a chance of dropping these items if they had them. Iron Helmets, Swords, and Shovels were removed as rare drops.
Zombies use their attack animation like they did in Classic 0.24. This only shows when a zombie is holding a weapon. When a zombie holds a weapon the damage it does is equal to the damage the player would do with the weapon (3 (Heart.svgHalf Heart.svg) for the Iron Shovel, 6 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg) for the Iron Sword) added to the normal damage of the zombie (4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg) on normal difficulty). So on normal difficulty a zombie with a shovel will do 7 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) damage, and one with a sword will do 10 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg).
Armor worn by zombies works the same as it does for the player, each piece gives a certain amount of armor points, where each 1 (Half Armor.svg) gives 4% damage reduction, but total damage reduction is limited to 80%. In addition to the base 2 (Armor.svg) armor points, a zombie in full diamond armor would have a total of 22 (Armor.svg × 11) armor points, but provides only 80% damage reduction.
Zombie villagers could now also spawn, and villagers now become infected when killed by a zombie. 5% of zombies spawned are zombie villagers. Infecting a baby villager creates a baby zombie villager which is faster than a normal zombie and does not age. Zombie villagers under the effects of a Potion of Weakness can be cured by using a Golden Apple on them. There is also a bug where zombies don't burn up in the sun.
12w34a Zombies have two new rare drops - carrots and potatoes. Zombies are the only source for these two foodstuffs other than picking them in NPC Villages in snapshot 12w36a.
12w34b Zombies can pick up and equip dropped items.[8][9] If killed, the zombie drops the item it is holding.
Zombies can survive sunlight if they are wearing a helmet or a pumpkin.[7]
12w36a The zombie and Zombie Pigmen models and textures have changed (no visual change, but breaks texture packs).
1.5 13w03a Zombies are now able to set the player on fire if they are on fire and they attack the player.
Zombies can call other zombies from the nearby area (radius dependent on difficulty) to attack the player, making packs of zombies approach shortly after damaging the zombie.
Zombies cause more damage when their health is lower.
1.6.1 13w17a When damaged, zombies have a low chance to spawn more zombies.
13w21a Zombie damage increasing with decreasing health was removed.
13w23b Zombie AI and mechanics changed, Made much more horde-like.
1.6.2 1.6.2-pre Baby zombies spawn among regular ones. They have the same percentage of spawning as the Zombie Villagers'.
1.7.2 13w36a Fixed a bug where Baby Zombies would always drop nothing (even if they had picked up items).
1.7.4 13w49a Added Chicken Jockeys - A rare version of the baby zombie.
1.8 14w11a Now run away from creepers that are about to explode.
14w30a Drops head when killed by a charged creeper.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.2.0 Sheep and zombies were added, making them the first mobs in the Pocket Edition.
0.4.0 Zombies can drop feathers.
0.5.0 Zombies, skeletons and zombie pigmen have new animations.
0.8.0 Zombies spawn more frequently and have rare drops of Carrots and Potatoes.
0.9.0 Zombie AI and mechanics changed, Made much smarter.
0.9.4 Zombies now have 2 (Armor.svg) armor points, preventing 8% of damage.
Console Edition
TU1 Added zombies.
TU5 Zombies now drop Rotten Flesh instead of Feathers.
TU12 The zombies' AI was improved, giving them a much better sense of direction when pursuing the player, allowing them to navigate obstacles, and even small mazes if constructed, to get to the player. They were also given the ability to 'see' through windows. If a zombie is exposed to sunlight and bursts into flames, it will search for a body of water to douse the flames.
Zombies chased and attacked villagers, attacked doors (breaking them on Hard and Hardcore difficulties) Sometimes zombies attacked villagers in preference to the player, and always chose the shortest way to the target, even if there was a door in the way.
Zombies sometimes dropped Iron Ingots, Helmets, Shovels and Swords as a rare drop.
TU14 Added zombie villagers.
TU15 Changed zombies' rare loot drop to be carrots, potatoes or iron ingots.


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


Zombie Texture
  • Both the Zombie and the Player skins share the same model, thus the Zombie skin can be used as the player's skin and vice versa.
    • Zombies do have an additional 32 pixels of white space below the skin though, thus using a regular player skin for the zombie texture results in the zombie's face being on the back of its legs.
    • This is not true as of 14w03a. The zombies still use the old skin system.
  • When in daylight while raining, a zombie might make burning sounds due to it catching on fire from the sunlight and immediately being extinguished by the rain.
  • Zombies can climb ladders, but will only do so if their path finding runs them into one.
  • Zombies can frighten villagers from behind walls of glass. Villagers will even run into a fire to "escape" from zombies behind glass.
  • Zombies attack range is a bit higher in the Xbox version than the PC version hence making it harder to kill in the Xbox edition
  • If a zombie spawns wearing multiple pieces of armor, the armor will never be mismatched (i.e. all pieces will be made of the same material); the same applies for skeletons.
  • The hat part of zombie texture can be used for zombie villagers, but it will be cubic instead of a parallelepiped.
  • Zombies will not catch fire if they are caught in Cobwebs.
  • A Zombie holding an item given by a player will not despawn when left alone.
  • If you are using a texture/resource pack, you can see that, as with baby zombie pigmen, baby zombies are also missing their hat layer.
  • Killing a Baby Zombie will not give the player the "Monster Hunter" achievement.
  • Currently, zombies have the most subtypes of all the Mobs
    • This is because zombies can be zombie villagers, baby zombies, armed, armored, or any combination of the above.
    • Baby zombies can also rarely be chicken jockeys.
  • Zombie villagers will drop normal zombie heads when killed by a charged creeper.





See also[edit]