Elder Guardian

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Elder Guardian
Elder Guardian.png
Elder Guardian (Retracted).png
Health points

80Heart.svg × 40



Attack strength

Easy: 5Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg
Normal: 8Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg
Hard: 12Heart.svg × 6


Height: 1.9975 Blocks
Width: 1.9975 Blocks


See Drops



Internal ID

JE: 4
BE: 50

Namespaced ID


Marsh Davies Mojang avatar.png

... You won’t be able to snaffle up the monument’s resources even then - lurking Elder Guardians will cast Mining Fatigue on you, leaving you unable to heave your pickaxe effectively. You’ll have to seek them in the labyrinth and eliminate them one by one to be free of its effects. Alternatively, milk is a useful antidote - just make sure you pack a few buckets of the stuff!

Marsh Davies[1]

The elder guardian is a stronger, larger variant of the guardian that can inflict Mining Fatigue.


Three elder guardians spawn naturally during the generation of each monument: one in the top room of the monument and the other two in each wing section of the monument. They do not respawn after their initial spawn, thus there are a limited number of them per world. Elder guardians spawned with monuments do not naturally despawn, although they are removed along with other hostile mobs in peaceful difficulty.


Elder guardians always drop 0-2 prismarine shards. Looting increases the maximum prismarine shard drop by one per level, for a maximum of 5. When killed by the player, they also drop 1 wet sponge.

They also drop one of the following:

  • 12 chance of dropping a raw cod (cooked cod if killed by fire‌[JE only]). An additional 0-1 drops are added per level of Looting for a maximum of 4 cod with Looting III.[verify]
  • 13 chance of dropping prismarine crystals. An additional 0-1 drops are added per level of Looting for a maximum of 4 prismarine crystals with Looting III.[verify]
  • 16 chance of dropping neither.

Elder guardians also have a 2.5% chance of dropping a random fish as an extra drop in addition to the normal fish drop. This chance is increased by 1% per Looting level, for a maximum of 5.5% with Looting III. This drop uses the same chances that fishing uses, resulting in a 60% chance for raw cod, a 25% chance for raw salmon, a 13% chance for pufferfish, and a 2% chance for tropical fish.

They drop 10 experience when killed by a player or tamed wolf.


Elder guardians do not swim around as much as normal guardians. Elder guardians do not swim away when approached by a player it is targeting, unlike regular guardians. Like normal guardians, elder guardians attempt to attack both the player and squid, but unlike guardians themselves, the elder variant is unable to attack cod, tropical fish, pufferfish, and salmon.

The elder guardian's eye follows and stares at any nearby players, and always looks directly at its target. The eye still follows a player under the effects of a potion of invisibility, but doesn't attack. It seems that their eyes are coded to simply track the closest player, as they also follow players in spectator mode.

The elder guardian has three methods of attack, including firing its laser, inflicting mining fatigue, and a defensive thorn-like attack.


The laser takes several seconds to charge, doing no damage and allowing the player to move away in the meantime. As it charges it turns from purple to bright yellow (thus acting like a warning indicator). Once charged, the beam abruptly ends and deals 8Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg damage on normal difficulty. The elder guardian swims around for a few seconds before firing again. The beam cannot be dodged and has a maximum range of approximately 14 blocks. Once the player is out of range, or if the beam is obstructed by solid blocks, the guardian's beam disengages from the player, and deals no damage.

Inflicting Mining Fatigue[edit]

Once each minute, the elder guardian searches for any player within 50 blocks to afflict with Mining Fatigue III. When afflicted, the player sees a ghostly image of the elder guardian and hears a ghastly noise. The effect decreases a player's attack speed by 30% and decreases mining speed even more, for 5 minutes. The attack targets players through blocks, even underground, and a potion of Invisibility offers no defense.

The image of the elder guardian is a particle effect that can be recreated by issuing the command /particle minecraft:elder_guardian.‌[Java Edition only]

Spines attack[edit]

An elder guardian deals 2Heart.svg of damage every time it is hit while its spikes are extended. If cornered, the elder guardian usually extends its spikes and fires at the player, even at point-blank range.

Data values[edit]

Elder guardians have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the mob.


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Xbox PS Bedrock Nintendo
Monster HunterAttack and destroy a monsterKill a hostile mob or one of the following neutral mobs: enderman, zombie pigman, spider, cave spider.Xbox OneYesYesYes15GBronze
Xbox 360Alt20G
OverkillDeal nine hearts of damage in a single hitDamage can be dealt to any mob, even those that do not have nine hearts of health overall.YesYesYesYes30GBronze
The Deep EndDefeat an Elder Guardian.YesYesYesYes30GSilver



Java Edition
1.814w25aAdded elder guardians.
14w26aGuardians and elder guardians are no longer immune to lava and fire.
1.915w43aDrop chances for raw fish and prismarine crystals changed. Instead of a 33% chance of fish then a 33% chance of crystals only if the fish drop failed with both percentages adjusted by Looting, it's 40% fish, 40% crystals, and 20% neither, with the amount increased by Looting.
Elder guardians drop dry sponges (on any kill).
15w43bDrop chances for raw fish and prismarine crystals changed again. Now it's 50% fish, 33% crystals, and 16.7% neither.
15w43cSponge drop restored to requiring a player kill, but is still dry rather than wet.
1.1016w20aAdded elder guardian spawn egg.
1.10-pre2Removed elder guardian spawn egg.
1.1116w32aRe-added elder guardian spawn egg.
Changed Entity ID from Guardian to elder_guardian. Removed Elder tag.
Their in-game name is now "Elder Guardian" instead of "Guardian".
16w33aElder guardians now drop wet sponges on player kills, rather than dry sponges.[2]
16w38aGuardian's common drop of raw fish now drop as cooked fish, if killed while on fire.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.16.0build 1Added elder guardians. They are considered boss mobs in the blog post for this update[3], but in-game they behave the same as their Java Edition counterparts.
build 5Added elder guardian spawn egg.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha entity ID is changed from guardian.elder to elder_guardian.
Legacy Console Edition
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Added elder guardians.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.3.12Added elder guardians.


Issues relating to "Elder Guardian" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • The elder guardian's eye is actually the "head" part of the mob's model, giving the illusion of a dynamic eye.
  • The elder guardian texture has the name "jeb" on it.
  • According to Jeb, elder guardians were introduced to encourage players to solve the temple maze rather than dig through it easily. He acknowledges there are ways around it, but, nevertheless, players still have to solve the challenge in a different way.[1]
  • Also according to Jeb, the "jump scare" by an elder guardian is unintentional, instead he added it to provide a visual cue as to why players get slowed down by mining fatigue.[1]
  • In Java Edition 3D Shareware v1.34, elder guardians drop blue keys.