|This article's name is conjectural.
An official name is yet to be given to the subject matter and may change at any time.
Note: From 1.4.7 to at least 1.7.9, Zombie Sieges fail to start. See MC-7432 for more information. However, normal zombie spawning and behavior as of 1.6 can result in very similar activity. Some players say they've seen legitimate sieges as of 1.7.4, but they are likely mistaking normal random spawning or hard-mode reinforcement calling for a siege. Zombie sieges have been restored as of 14w25a.
As the behavior of zombies in sieges is nearly identical to that of randomly-spawned zombies and all zombies have a very large search radius, it can be difficult to determine if a large number of zombies attacking a village is an actual siege or just an attack by a greater than usual number of randomly-spawned zombies.
At midnight each night, there is a 10% chance that a zombie siege will be attempted that night. If a siege is to occur, attempts will be made each tick to start the siege until either a siege is successfully started or the sun rises (specifically, the siege is abandoned when the sky light level reaches 12).
 Starting a siege
Each village has a center (defined as the geometric center of all the village's doors) and a size (either 32 or the euclidean distance of the farthest door from the center, whichever is greater). For each player, the village with a center nearest that player where the player is less than the village's size + 1 blocks from the center (by euclidean distance) is a candidate for a siege.
If the candidate village has fewer than 10 doors or fewer than 20 villagers or the village has not been "stable" (no doors added or removed) for at least 20 ticks (1 second), the next player's village is considered.
Ten attempts are made to choose a random point on the circle with radius 0.9 times size centered on the village that is not within the bounds of any other village. The Y value of the chosen point is that of the center of the village. If all ten attempts fail, the entire siege attempt fails but another may be attempted on the next game tick.
If a valid point is found, 10 attempts are made to randomly choose a valid siege zombie spawning location (see below) within a 16×16×6 box around the chosen point. If no valid spawning location is found, the next player's village is considered. If a valid spawning location is found, the siege is started at that point.
 Spawning zombies
Zombies spawned for a siege ignore player proximity, light levels, and the presence of other mobs. Only the minimal spawning conditions are checked:
- the spawning block must be non-opaque and non-liquid
- the block directly below it must have a solid top surface (opaque, upside down slabs / stairs and others)
- the block directly below it may not be bedrock
- the block directly above it must be non-opaque
- the block must be within the target village
Note in particular that siege zombies can spawn inside transparent blocks such as slabs that normally prevent mob spawning.
For the siege, 20 attempts are made to spawn a zombie over the course of 2 seconds. For each zombie, 10 attempts are made to randomly choose a valid siege zombie spawn point within a 16×16×6 box around the chosen point. If a valid spawn point is found, a zombie is spawned.
Zombie villagers are never spawned as part of a siege, but all other variation (e.g. baby, jockey, equipment) is determined as for normal random spawns.
For the most part, the zombies that are part of a siege will behave in the same manner as randomly-spawned zombies. They will also despawn as usual if the player is far enough away. The exception is that if they happen to wander more than the village's size blocks away from the center of the village, their AI will take them back towards the village center if they are not actively pursuing a target.
Villagers, Iron Golems, and other mobs do not differentiate between siege-spawned zombies and randomly-spawned zombies.
 Defense tactics
Surrounding a village with a wall and lighting it are staple defenses against normal hostile mobs, especially Creepers. A wall will work for sieges as well, as long as the wall is far enough inside the village boundary (i.e. if the village radius is 32, the wall must be within a circle with radius 20).
If all players in the Overworld sleep before midnight, sieges will not be able to start. Similarly, if all players remain outside the bounds of villages between midnight and dawn, there will be no candidate villages.
If there are no valid spawning locations within the "siege zone" at Y values between 3 below and 2 above the village's center, sieges cannot start in that village. This can also be used to force any sieges to start at a particular location.
Iron Golems will attempt to kill any zombies. Snow Golems may serve as a distraction, as their snowballs may cause the zombies to attack them rather than the villagers. Similarly, villagers trapped in a ring of fences may distract zombies from more vulnerable villagers.
If at least two villagers survive the siege and doors are rebuilt as necessary, the villagers can mate and repopulate the village. The village will be safe from future sieges until the population reaches 20. Without player intervention, however, it is likely that villages will be wiped out by sieges and randomly-spawned zombies.
Even if no villagers survive, a village may be repopulated by curing zombie villagers (either randomly spawned or those created from zombie-killed villagers on normal or hard difficulty), or by luring in villagers from another village.
|June 10th, 2009||Notch promised to have an expansion pack adding zombie sieges, but never made it.|
|1.2.1||12w07a||Zombie sieges added by Jon as the first part of the project.|
|12w07b||Villagers repopulate if there is open space in the NPC Village.|
|12w08a||Iron Golems were added specifically to protect Villagers against attacks such as zombie sieges.|
|1.4.7||Zombie sieges no longer occur due to a bug.|
|1.8||14w25a||Zombie sieges may again occur.|
|Zombie siege start positioning fixed: sieges will start near the village perimeter rather than anywhere within the village.|
|TU12||Added zombie sieges.|
Issues relating to "Siege" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.
- When a zombie is attacking a targeted villager, it will ignore the player and any other villagers unless a player or other mob attacks it.
- Zombies also attack villager children.
- Rain or storms can allow siege start attempts to continue past dawn, since they reduce the sky light level.
- Although zombies are the only mob that attacks villagers, Iron Golems still attack other hostile or neutral mobs. This is probably because they can be created by the player for self-defense, not for defending a village.
- Sieges can occur in player-made villages and mushroom biomes, despite zombies not spawning in mushroom biomes naturally.
- As of 12w32a, if the player turns mob spawning off with the cheat
/gamerule, sieges can still occur.
- Early in development, Notch considered adding a gamemode Zombie Siege. It would be you fighting waves of monsters (likely Zombies). This gamemode was, however, never implemented, and has since been abandoned.
- As of the Redstone Update (v1.5), zombie sieges can become more dangerous to the player. This is because of the new zombie AI, which makes it so that if a player attacks a single zombie, all of the zombies in the area will pursue that player. Since all the zombies in a siege are grouped together, a player could suddenly be fighting 20 zombies. The Horse Update (1.6) made zombie sieges even more challenging, as more zombies will spawn if the player continuously attacks zombies. Note that mods or custom servers (eg bukkit) are needed for zombie sieges to happen in either version. Sieges have been missing from the vanilla version of the game since version 1.4.7. On the positive, this makes it easier to distract zombies by hitting one and luring them away into a trap. However, if you run out of their pursuit radius they would go back to the villagers.
3 Villagers taking cover in a Large House during a zombie siege.