Monster infighting is a mechanic in Minecraft in which certain mobs retaliate against other mobs who hit them.
If a hostile mob is directly attacked by a player or another mob, the damaged mob stops attacking its current target and attacks the mob or player that damaged it. This causes the mob that did the damage to retaliate in turn, and the two of them become locked into a duel until one of them dies. This is useful in combat as it distracts two monsters temporarily, kills one of them, and severely weakens the other.
Once a mob has taken damage from a mob or player, that mob or player is set as the mob's permanent target. This means that even if another mob or player attacks an infighting mob, the infighting mob does not stop trying to attack its permanent target. If a certain mob refuses to infight with another monster, it is likely because the player already attacked it, so the player was set as the mob's permanent target. That mob does not infight with any other mob until the player dies or goes out of tracking range. This mechanic can be useful in Survival multiplayer. One player can attack a mob and run away from it while another player kills it. Because the first player attacked the mob, it never retaliates against the second player.
Specific mob behavior
Not all mobs have the same infighting behavior. Below is a list of how each mob reacts to being attacked by another.
|Cave Spider, Enderman, Ghast,[BE only] Iron Golem, Killer Bunny,[JE only] Polar Bear, Skeleton, Snow Golem, Spider, Stray, Wither Skeleton, Zoglin||Retaliates normally, as described above.|
|Creeper||Retaliates only if it is not already chasing the player.|
|Blaze, Dolphin, Drowned, Hoglin, Husk, Piglin, Shulker, Silverfish, Vex, Wolf, Zombie, Zombie Villager, Zombified Piglin||These are pack mobs. When they retaliate, they call nearby mobs of the same type to help them if those mobs aren't already targeting another mob or player. Mobs that respond to the call set the victim as their permanent target. These mobs do not retaliate against other mobs of the same type.|
|Bee||Bees are a pack mob (see above) but they attack back only once until they are made angry again.|
|Evoker, Illusioner, Pillager, Ravager, Vindicator, Witch||These are all the illager monsters. They retaliate against non-illager monsters. Except for the Witch, they also act like pack mobs, but consider other mobs of the same type to be within their "pack". Additionally, evokers sometimes forget their target and focus back on the player.|
|Llama||Attacks back only once.|
|Panda||Pandas with the aggressive personality retaliate. All other types try to attack back only once.|
|Bat, Cat, Chicken, Cod, Cow, Donkey, Elder Guardian, Ender Dragon, Foxes, Ghast,[JE only] Giant, Guardian, Horse, Magma Cube, Mooshroom, Mule, Ocelot, Parrot, Phantom, Pig, Piglin Brute, Pufferfish, Rabbit, Salmon, Sheep, Slime, Squid, Strider, Tropical Fish, Turtle, Wither||Does not retaliate.|
Some mobs fight others for other reasons than retaliation, such as fighting natural enemies.
- Wolves attack skeletons, wither skeletons, sheep and foxes unprovoked.
- Guardians and elder guardians attack squids.
- Llamas attack wolves.
- Polar bears attack foxes.
- Foxes attack chickens.
- Trader llamas attack all mobs that attack their wandering trader.
- All types of illagers and zombies (with one exception) attack all types of Villagers.
- Ocelots and cats attack chickens.
- Piglins occasionally hunt hoglins.
- Piglins and wither skeletons attack each other.
- Withers attack all mobs except undead mobs and Ghasts.
- Iron golems attack most hostile mobs except creepers.
- Snow golems attack most hostile mobs.
- Zoglins attack most mobs except creepers, ghasts and themselves.
- Vindicators named "Johnny" or have the
Johnnytag set to true attack most mobs except illagers.
- Endermen retaliate, but this rarely happens since they dodge most projectiles. This most commonly happens during the end fight if they are damaged by the ender dragon.
- Not all enemies can incite infighting. Zombies, for example, can hit only the player or mob they are currently targeting, so the only way to provoke them into infighting is to get another monster to hit them.
- For this reason, it is impossible to get two zombies to fight each other.
- Breaking gold, opening a chest, or failing to wear gold armor near a piglin cause the piglin to set the player as its permanent target. This means that a piglin does not infight with other mobs once it becomes angry at the player, even if the player never directly attacks the piglin.