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Thorny fellows they may be, but that spiky exterior hides a deliciously tasty interior. When killed, the Guardian will have a 40% chance to drop a perfectly sliced piece of raw fish.

Emily Richardson[1]

Guardians are pufferfish-like hostile mobs found in ocean monuments.


Guardians spawn naturally only in and around ocean monuments. They require water to spawn. Specifically, they can spawn only if the spawning block and the block below the spawning block are water (regardless of stationary water or flowing water), and the block above the spawning block is transparent(air, water, sign, slab, ice, etc.).

Guardians spawn less often in ocean open to the sky than they do in covered areas (i.e. inside the monument). Specifically, spawning will fail 95% of the time if the spawning water block is below sea level (Y=63 by default), all blocks between the spawning water block and sea level are liquid or fully transparent, and the block at sea level has a view of the sky. Above sea level, spawning will fail 95% of the time if the spawning water block has a view of the sky.

Most guardians will spawn in between Y=39 (floor of the ocean monument) to Y=63.


Guardians drop when they die:

Rare drops[edit]

In addition to its normal fish drop, guardians have a 2.5% chance of dropping a random fish as a rare drop when killed by the player. The type of fish is the same as when fishing:

The chance of getting a rare drop is increased by 1 percentage point per level of Looting. This rare drop fish is not cooked if the guardian is killed while on fire.

Guardians also drop 10 experience orbs when killed by a player or tamed wolf.


Guardians swim around in water, attacking any players or squid that come into sight. They swim in abrupt charges, moving their tail rapidly when doing so. When swimming, their spikes retract. When not swimming they sink slowly and their spikes extend.

The guardian's eye follows and stares at any nearby players, and always looks directly at its target. The eye still follows a completely unarmored player under the effects of a potion of invisibility, and the guardians will attack them.

Stationary guardians can be pushed by flowing water, but swimming guardians cannot. When pushed horizontally they move significantly faster than other mobs pushed by water.

When out of water, guardians angrily squeak at the player while flopping about. They do not suffocate in air and can live indefinitely out of water. Their spikes are always extended when out of water.

Guardians, as aquatic mobs, are affected by the Impaling enchantment.


Guardians have two methods of attack: a laser and a defensive thorn like attack. Unlike most other hostile mobs, a guardian will not follow the player if they move out of sight. Instead, it will simply continue swimming until the player becomes visible again, and will then start to charge its attack.


The laser takes several seconds to charge, doing no damage in the meantime, and changing from purple to bright yellow (thus, acts like a warning indicator). Once charged, the beam abruptly ends and deals 6 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg) damage on normal difficulty. Guardians will swim around for a few seconds before firing again. If the target comes near the guardian while it is firing its beam, it will stop firing and swim away until it is at a comfortable range, at which point it will continue attacking. The beam cannot be dodged, and has a maximum range of approximately 15 blocks. Once the player is out of range, or if the beam is obstructed by solid blocks, the guardian's beam will disengage from the player, and deal no damage.

The guardian's laser is able to penetrate armor to some extent, making strong tiers of armor with enchantments even more essential. While a guardian does 9 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) of damage (hard difficulty) to an unarmored player, it deals 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) to a player in diamond armor - one would expect that the attack would get reduced to 2 (Heart.svg) of damage. While guardian attack stats may seem unmpressive, it still deals more damage to players wearing armor than other mobs with higher stats.

Thorn-like attack[edit]

Guardians deal 2 (Heart.svg) damage each time it is hit when its pufferfish-type spikes are extended. If cornered, the guardian will usually extend its spikes and fire at the player, even at point blank range.

Data values[edit]

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


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Advancement-plain-raw.png AdventureAdventure, exploration, and combatKill any entity, or be killed by any entity.minecraft:adventure/root
Advancement-plain-raw.png Monster HunterKill any hostile monsterAdventureKill one of these 25 mobs. Other mobs are ignored for this advancement.minecraft:adventure/kill_a_mob
Advancement-plain-raw.png Take AimShoot something with a bow and arrowMonster Hunterminecraft:adventure/shoot_arrow
Advancement-fancy-raw.png Monsters HuntedKill one of every hostile monsterMonster HunterKill each of these 25 mobs. Other mobs may be killed, but are ignored for the advancement.minecraft:adventure/kill_all_mobs



Java Edition
1.8June 3, 2014Jeb announces he is working on a hostile mob that lives underwater, though currently doesn't do much.
June 8, 2014Jeb provides more details into the upcoming mob - it will have a ranged attack and will be hostile to squid as well as the player. He recommended using a full set of diamond armor, potion of water breathing and respiration enchantment on Hard difficulty.
June 9, 2014Jeb posted a stylized guardian image to Reddit for use as a user flair. This was the first indication of how the guardian would look.
14w25aAdded guardians.
1.915w43aThe guardian's drop chances for raw cod and prismarine crystals have now been changed. Instead of a 33% chance of fish and a 33% chance of crystals (only if the fish drop failed with both percentages adjusted by Looting), the percentages have now been changed to 40% fish, 40% crystals, and 20% neither, with the amount increased by Looting.
15w47bAdded sounds for guardians' defensive Thorns attack.
1.1116w32aChanged Entity ID from Guardian to guardian. Removed Elder tag.
16w38aGuardian's common drop of raw cod will now drop as cooked cod, if killed while on fire.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.16.0build 1Added guardians.
Legacy Console Edition
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Added guardians.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.3.12Added guardians.


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


  • A guardian's eye is actually the "head" part of the mob's model. This gives the illusion of a dynamic eye.
  • Underwater, guardians emit deep, growl-like sounds, but on land they emit high-pitched squeaks. This probably reflects the fact that water can alter sounds.
  • Guardians' laser-beam attacks are affected by the potion of strength, which normally only affects melee attacks of mobs.
  • When placed or spawned on a slime block, guardians will start bouncing and continue, each bounce higher than the last, until each bounce brings the guardian to 17 blocks height.
  • In the texture file for the guardian, "jeb" is written in the bottom right corner.
  • If summoned with {NoAI:1}, the guardian's eye still follows the player.
  • Guardians are always immune to the fire damage from magma blocks.
  • In Bedrock Edition 1.4.0, there is a glitch where, if the guardian has no target, it will retract its spikes, look upwards, and move its tail as if it is swimming.



  1. "Meet the Guardian" –, September 25, 2017