Patrols spawn as a group of 5 pillagers in Java Edition or 2–5 illagers in Bedrock Edition (all pillagers except in Hard difficulty, which has a 20% chance for any pillager to spawn as a vindicator instead)[Bedrock Edition only], one of which is the patrol captain. The patrol captain wears an ominous banner, known as the illager banner in Bedrock and Education Editions, on its head. The other illagers follow the captain.
Patrols spawn naturally after the world age reaches 100 minutes (5 in-game days), then after a delay between 10–11 minutes an attempt is made to spawn a patrol with 20% chance of success. After an attempt is made, the delay is reset.
Patrols can spawn during the day on blocks with a block light level of 7 or lower in any biome except mushroom fields and its variants. If a player is within two chunks of a village, patrols do not spawn[verify].
The game picks a random location 24–48 blocks away from the player to try to spawn the patrol's captain. If a pillager cannot spawn at the chosen position, it gives up and does not spawn anything. If the captain can spawn, the game tries to spawn
1 + localDifficulty (rounded up) more pillagers within a 4-block radius.
In Bedrock Edition patrols spawn around 24–48 blocks away from the player (or more than 48 blocks away if the player is in a village) in any biomes except mushroom fields, mushroom field shore, nether and end. Additionally, patrols can spawn in biomes where common monsters cannot spawn such as in:
Patrols spawn on solid blocks at light level 0–7 at the surface, like monsters.
Patrols seek villages, wander around, and attack nearby players, adult villagers [BE only], iron golems, snow golems[Bedrock Edition only] and wandering traders. The patrol members' heads turn to follow a player or villager-like mob who looks at them or attracts their attention. A player or villager-like mob who approaches within 10 blocks of the patrol provokes them into loading their crossbows and attacking, and pursuing if the player flees. The pursuit lasts until either of the parties die or get 10 blocks away.
In Java Edition, any illagers, ravagers, or witches that did not spawn with the patrol can join the patrol if sufficiently near a patrol captain. Evokers and illusioners who join a patrol wander around but do not seek out targets as other illager members in the patrol. They still do cast spells to attack mobs, however. If a "Johnny" vindicator joins a patrol, all patrol members assume the Johnny vindicator's aggressive behavior, attacking any non-illager mob.
In Bedrock Edition, when one of the patrol members is attacked, it alerts nearby patrol members within 10 blocks to attack the same target as a swarm. The attacker can be any mob and doesn't need to be a player, and the distance between attacker and patrol can be up to 64 blocks away from alerted patrol members. Vindicator patrol members attack player and target directly without prior provocation.
Upon killing a patrol captain, the player receives the Bad Omen effect for 100 minutes (displayed as infinite in Java Edition), which has no consequences unless the player enters a village. Upon entering a village, the effect is removed from the player and a raid spawns nearby after about five seconds. In Java Edition, the level of the Bad Omen determines the chance of enchantment on raid member's weapons, and additional waves. The number of waves depends on the difficulty. The Bad Omen effect can be removed by drinking milk.
|1.14||18w45a||Added patrols, which can spawn all types of illagers (minus the illusioner and the evoker) including ravagers.|
|18w46a||Ravagers no longer spawn in patrols.|
|Patrols now spawn 5 illagers instead of 4.|
|18w47a||Added the Bad Omen status effect, which is applied to players upon killing a patrol captain.|
|Patrols now spawn less often.|
|18w50a||The player now gets unlimited time Bad Omen status effect when killing a patrol captain.|
|1.14.3||Pre-Release 2||Vindicators no longer spawn in patrols.|
|Patrols now spawn less commonly.|
|Patrols can now spawn in all biomes except mushroom fields and its variants.|
|1.15.2||Pre-Release 1||Patrol spawning can now be controlled using |
|1.16||20w06a||Patrols no longer spawn when the player is close to a village.|
|1.11.0||beta 126.96.36.199||Added patrols, with slightly different mechanics.|
|beta 188.8.131.52||Illagers that spawn from patrols now follow the patrol captain.|
|Patrols can now be enabled or disabled using the |
|beta 184.108.40.206||Patrols now spawn 48 blocks away or farther if the player is in a village boundary.|
|1.13.0||beta 220.127.116.11||Patrols can now spawn in all biomes except for mushroom fields and its variants.|
|The delay for patrols to spawn has been increased to 10-11 minutes, from 5-6 minutes.|
|Patrols now attack in swarms.|
|1.14.0||beta 18.104.22.168||Patrols can no longer spawn in the End and Nether.|
|PlayStation 4 Edition|
- Although patrols cannot spawn in mushroom biomes, they can spawn in nearby biomes and eventually wander into the mushroom biome if the player is inside.
- In Bedrock Edition, it is possible for patrols to spawn directly inside villages.