Combat is a very important aspect of Minecraft, whether it's defeating the ender dragon, killing creepers for gunpowder, or trying to win a PVP match. This page lists the best ways to kill each hostile or neutral mob in the game, as well as many combat strategies.
- 1 Hostile mobs and bosses
- 1.1 Overworld mobs
- 1.1.1 Zombie
- 1.1.2 Drowned
- 1.1.3 Skeleton
- 1.1.4 Creeper
- 1.1.5 Slime
- 1.1.6 Witch
- 1.1.7 Guardians
- 1.1.8 Silverfish
- 1.1.9 Endermite
- 1.1.10 Phantom
- 1.1.11 Vindicator
- 1.1.12 Evoker
- 1.1.13 Vex
- 1.1.14 Illusioner
- 1.1.15 Pillager
- 1.1.16 Illager Beast
- 1.2 Nether mobs
- 1.3 End mobs
- 1.4 Boss
- 1.1 Overworld mobs
- 2 Neutral mobs
- 3 Utility mobs
- 4 Other Players
- 5 The Equipment
- 5.1 Cobwebs
- 5.2 Trident
- 5.3 Sword
- 5.4 Axe
- 5.5 Tools
- 5.6 Bow
- 5.7 Bucket
- 5.8 TNT
- 5.9 Bed (Only in the Nether)
- 5.10 Flint & steel (Held Fire charge)
- 5.11 Sand or Gravel
- 5.12 Cactus
- 5.13 Snowballs
- 5.14 Dispensers
- 5.15 Splash potion
- 5.16 Fishing rod
- 5.17 Anvil
- 6 Fighting styles
- 7 The enchantments
Hostile mobs and bosses
There are several hostile mobs and 2 bosses [Java and Legacy Console editions only] (3 bosses [Bedrock Edition only]) (the ender dragon, wither and the elder guardian [Bedrock Edition only]) in the game. This list is sorted by chance of encounter. If caught in a difficult place without a weapon, the player can run away if he or she is outdoors or tunnel downwards and wait for the mob to despawn before surfacing. A fail safe is to set the difficulty to Peaceful, which removes all hostile mobs, except for the ender dragon, shulker, vindicator, and evoker.
Zombies are one of the easiest mobs to kill, as they use only melee attacks and burn in sunlight unless they are wearing helmets/pumpkins on their heads or are in water. However, they have an extended reach and a small amount of natural armor (2 armor points), and it is easy to land a hit on them in melee combat without taking damage. Also, they spawn in large numbers and when they do so, they could overcome you. Zombies are not fast (except for baby zombies, which sprint, are small and hard to hit.), and merely a nuisance, especially when mining underground. When surrounded by multiple mobs, cut down the zombies first to escape. The player can also use a bow to shoot the zombies, but as they spawn in large numbers, it will be difficult to kill all of them. If possible, lure them out into sunlight so that they burn.
They drop rotten flesh, which is useful if you (or a wolf) are low on food or far from a permanent food source. It should be noted that zombies can break down wooden doors in Hard difficulty and Hardcore mode, so take caution when trying to defend yourself by placing blocks. If you play on Hard/Hardcore mode, protect your house with an iron door. They also attack villagers and can be seen trying to break doors. Using weapons with the smite enchantment can take down many armored zombie easily as they are undead.
They can spawn with armor, with pumpkins on their heads, and iron tools such as swords and shovels. Beware when you find zombie holding Enchanted Iron Sword as it deals more damage. Zombies are also very weak when trapped. A way to lure them is use the villager trap. On hard difficulty Zombies can spawn other zombies when you hit them. Unlike other hostile mobs, zombies has a farther detection of 40 blocks. The player can equip a zombie head to cut zombie detection range to 20.
Husks behave like zombies, can spawn with same equipment like zombie and have same drop, but they don't burn under sunlight and will inflict player the hunger effect. It's better to use ranged attacks than melee to avoid getting the effect. When they drown, husks will transform into normal zombie, dropping their equipment and then transform again into drowned. Due to Husk only spawning in deserts, you can avoid them by not living in a desert biome.
Zombie villagers can spawn naturally in night, or from a villager killed by zombie, or finding them in zombie villages or igloo basements. There are 2 actions to choose from, which is killing them or curing them. Curing a zombie villager require it having the weakness effect and feeding them a golden apple. Once the curing starts it will shake and gain the strength effect. Curing them can transform zombie villagers into normal villagers which can be useful for trading if you can't find a village.
Drowned mobs act the same as zombies. They only spawn in oceans, rivers, swamps and underwater ruins. Zombies can also drown in water and can be converted into drowned mobs after 30 seconds. They are easy to kill like normal zombies, except if a drowned mob spawns holding a trident, which can be dangerous if you are not protected with armor, its recommended wear armor with projectile protection.
To avoid getting killed by a drowned holding a trident, it's best to stay away from them if you do not have any armor. Attempting to kill a drowned with no armor results high chances of dying. However they only attack you if you are in water during daytime and avoid attacking you while out of water to prevent from being burned. In bedrock edition, drowned stop using ranged attack when player is 3 block far or less, so player can easily prevent drowned from throwing the trident by moving in as close as possible and defeat it.
Skeletons are difficult to slay in melee combat, unless you have the correct tactics. They fire arrows as you approach, making them hard to kill; although if you get close enough, it is possible to hit them, block, and repeat until you kill them. Another way you can attack is by circling around them and while doing so, approach and hit them. Keep on circling and hitting it until it dies. They burn in sunlight like zombies unless they are wearing any type of helmet or pumpkins on their heads. Never use sprint hits on skeletons unless they are near a hazard, as knocking them back will give them a free shot at you before you can approach. However, you can jump-sprint so that there is a chance that the skeleton will shoot over or under you. It is suggested that you have at least 12 armor points () when doing this, so you can take some damage. Do NOT do this if the skeleton is on a hill, as you might crash against a wall, giving the skeleton a free shot at you. Skeletons can hide behind corners in caverns and ambush you, so ensure to light the entire tunnel before exploring further when underground.
One can make short work of a skeleton by shooting it while outside its search range. If detected, charge your bow shortly after dodging a skeleton's arrow to prevent being shot while under the slowing effects of a charging bow. If you are low on health and ammo, wait until day so that they burn up. If inside a cave, wait for your health to regenerate completely and try again. In nether fortresses, they spawn 20% of the time in place of a wither skeleton. They can wear armor and pumpkins like zombies, but will not pick up items or blocks. When fighting skeletons and you run behind a wall, don't try to rush out and attack them (unless you don't mind taking some damage). What you should do is wait behind the corner with your shield on block and when the skeleton hits you, retaliate before it can launch another attack. Skeletons are very accurate and running out will almost always result in a hit, as does trying to wait around the corner and attacking the edge of the skeleton. By blocking with a shield, you negate damage taken, and the arrow bounces off the shield, which can be used to your advantage.
Another easy way to kill skeletons is by pushing them into water since they sink. When underwater, skeletons stop using ranged attacks and switch to melee attacks, which give you higher chance to kill the skeleton. Wolves naturally hunt skeletons so taigas are slightly safer from encountering skeletons. Skeletons sometimes spawn wearing armor and equipped with an enchanted bow making them more hazardous as they are harder to take down. As with all undead mobs, using weapons enchanted with smite can be very useful against skeletons.
Strays almost behave the same way as a skeleton, but they are more dangerous than their normal counterpart. Strays shoot an arrows of slowness which slows you down and prevents you from sprinting. Strays use a melee attack that also inflicts slowness underwater, so fighting them with a ranged weapon are recommended as the stray can be hard to reach and kill, especially when armored and equipped with an enchanted Bow. Strays only spawn in snowy biomes, so living in a non-snowy biome can avoid an encounter with this mob at night. Wolves naturally hunt strays so a snowy taiga biome is a safer place to live or explore on.
The skeleton horseman can rarely spawn during thunderstorms and they spawn in groups. The skeleton rider always equipped with enchanted bow and enchanted iron helmet, they move as fast as horse but will despawn after several minutes. It is highly recommended that you use a ranged weapon, since multiple skeletons riding horses with enchanted bows are hard to reach.
Not only one of the most popular mobs in the game, but also one of the most deadly.
If there is 1 block or less between you and the creeper and it knows you're there, it will start its 1.5 second countdown before it explodes. Hitting it and moving back or sprint-hitting it will move it far enough away that it stops its countdown. If there are 2 blocks between you and the creeper, you're safe unless it has already started its countdown. Creepers will also run away if close to a cat or ocelot, keeping the creepers at a distance. Creepers running away from felines that have started their countdown can still explode if you are close enough. When a creeper explodes while having a status effect, the explosion will also create a lingering effect cloud.
Below is an image showing the likelihood of a creeper exploding. The white square in the center with an 'X' is the creepers location. This grid uses the block system for distance and it is used by 'placing' your player on the relative colored square. Please note that you may think that you are two blocks away in the game, but actually you may be closer, depending on your graphics or perspective (e.g. looking up vs. looking straight ahead).
|Color||Chance of Explosion||Predicted Damage|
The safest way to engage a creeper is from a distance by shooting three fully charged arrows at it with a bow so it cannot explode near the player. The player can finish off the creeper with a sword after shooting the creeper twice to save arrows (unless you have the infinity enchantment on your bow).
Swimming creepers can be easily dealt with using melee attacks while the player is underwater. If fighting on land with no ranged options, hit the creeper and retreat a few meters away, repeating this process until it dies. Alternatively, the player can find sufficiently high ground to strike a creeper from above with a melee weapon without the detonation sequence being activated. By making a 3-4 block pillar of dirt/sand by pillar-jumping, and waiting until the creeper comes next to your pillar, you can attack it without exploding.
A Creeper can be hit and knocked out of reach with the sprint hit ability (also with knockback enchantments on the player's sword). This allows a player to work down a creeper's health while forcing the creeper to fly back far enough to not start it's countdown.
If a creeper is below the player, the player can suffocate it (and many other mobs) by placing a block of sand or gravel above the creeper as long as the block they are placing is on a wall or a block in front of the player and above the target mob. It will take two blocks to cover the creeper and when it is covered it will slowly suffocate to death. This is a slow way of eliminating a creeper but it will keep the player out of harm's way and preserve the durability of their weapon.
During thunderstorms, if lightning strikes close enough to a creeper, it becomes charged. These are one of the most dangerous mobs in the game as its explosion is stronger than TNT. However, the lightning also damages the creeper, making it a faster kill if you decide to attack it. Just make sure it doesn't explode and you should be able to kill it just like normal creepers.
Skeletons can be of some help. If there's one nearby, you can lure the creeper between you and the skeleton, let it damage and kill the creeper and as a bonus get a music disc. Make sure to stay far enough away so the skeleton doesn't knock the creeper straight into your face when it shoots an arrow into the creeper.
Slimes are found only below altitude level 40 in certain chunks and in swamp biomes at night, but usually occur in large numbers (especially at full moon). They drop slimeballs that can be used for sticky pistons and drop large amounts of experience but are often a major pest in mines. A solution is to dig the mine only one block wide so that only the harmless tiny slimes can fit in it, but in natural caves and larger mines, they can become a nuisance as they will spawn in any light level. Since the larger slimes are slightly over 1 block wide, you can trap them behind walls and hit them easily. They are also easily killed by attacking from above. Attacking from above or backpedaling will prevent too many from attacking at once. Water is also effective at slowing them down and it is common on the surface, while lava will kill large numbers, so it is a good last resort or if you don't care about drops. Note that a tiny slime can be killed with a one punch (saving sword durability).
Witches are hostile mobs with an appearance similar to villagers that spawn in swamp huts and in other parts of the Overworld. They throw negative splash potions at you and will drink Water Breathing, Fire Resistance and Instant Health potions to protect themselves, and are one of the more dangerous mobs in Minecraft. Drowning them or killing them with lava or fire is not effective. Witches often start their attacks by throwing splash potions of poison or slowness, following up with harming or weakness and have 26 points of health. If you find one, shoot it with a bow or attack it with a sword in the way that you would attack skeletons. If you are holding a diamond sword, another strategy would be charging towards it and hitting it 4 times before the witch is finished drinking their potion of Instant Health. However, don't use splash potions on them as they are almost completely immune to them. Fire attacks are also useless. The witch drops spider eyes, sugar, glowstone dust, redstone dust, sticks, empty glass bottles, and sometimes a potion it was still drinking when killed, making them a great way to get various resources. When a witch drinks a potion, you can rapidly attacking witch and get a chance of dropping potion. It's usually a healing potion but if attacked with fire damage such as fire aspect enchantment, witches will drink potion of fire resistance that can be dropped when killed while drink it, the same for water breathing and swiftness.
The guardian has two methods of attack, engaging a laser-like beam and a thorn-like attack. The beam takes several seconds to charge, doing no damage while doing so, and changes from purple initially to bright yellow when fully charged. Once charged, the beam abruptly disappears and deals damage. The guardian 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 guardian, unlike other hostile mobs, 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 beam cannot be dodged, as it follows the player, but can be obstructed by solid blocks, and has a range of approximately 15 blocks.
Guardians also have spikes on their bodies. Although these spikes don't do any direct damage upon contact or as a melee attack, they act similar to the Thorns enchantment. The guardians can extend and retract their spikes. If a player attacks the guardian when its spikes are extended, the player takes a small amount of damage if attacking the guardian with a melee strike.
Guardians are fairly resistant to melee attacks when under water, as the player will not be able to quickly approach the guardian due to the slowing effect of the water and guardians will swim away when approached by a player it is targeting. The guardian will deal around 1 heart of damage every time it is hit when its spikes are extended. If cornered, the guardian will usually extend its spikes and fire its laser at the player, even at point-blank range.
If brought to land they may take fall damage from their swift and erratic movement.
If the player must melee a guardian, they should try to corner it and hope for the best; or else try to trick it into swimming within melee range repeatedly.
The guardian cannot shoot as fast as a player with a bow can, so a skilled player will be able to shoot the guardian, and then hide to break the beam's lock, repeating until the guardian is dead. Arrows will slow down and eventually fall when in water, so the player may be forced to shoot at very close range. If player want to use ranged attack, a trident is only viable choice as it doesn't slow down underwater. The main difficulty with fighting guardians is the mining fatigue effect from the elder guardians, which will slow down weapon cool-downs. If the guardian is in shallow water the player(s) can use a fishing rod to pull it out of the water where the player(s) can then kill it using melee attacks without being shot at or hurt by the spikes (The guardian can still shoot while out of water and unless it's held still, it flops around too much to easily attack with melee).
Fighting guardians is incredibly dangerous without armor. Armor is essential to combating guardians, especially within an ocean monument. Entering their territory without armor will almost always lead to a swift death, even if armed with a sword or bow and arrows.
The elder guardian has a very large amount of health (80), making melee kills even harder. Elder guardians do more damage than regular guardians. Fighting elder guardians is incredibly dangerous without armor. Armor worn should include diamond equipment enchanted with Respiration (or Turtle Shells due to their longer breath) and boots with Depth Strider. Tridents enchanted with impaling also recommended since Elder Guardian is aquatic mob. They will also give you Mining Fatigue III making it almost impossible to tunnel out in case of emergency, mine the gold treasure inside the ocean monument, and makes your weapons charge up slower. Players can use tridents with impaling and riptide enchantments and ram into elder guardian and if under the effect of strength II, it can cause massive damage to Elder guardian.
Silverfish are small mobs, which can be spawned from a silverfish spawner, which only naturally generates in strongholds or by breaking a monster egg block. Monster egg blocks can be disguised as cobblestone, stone, stone bricks, or variants of stone bricks, and spawn in strongholds and extreme hills biomes. The breaking speed of monster egg blocks are the same with any type of tool or your hand, making it easy to find which blocks are monster egg blocks. When using your hand to break blocks, monster egg blocks break a lot faster than cobblestone, stone, or stone bricks, but when using a better quality pickaxe, such as iron or diamond, monster egg blocks break a lot slower than cobblestone, stone, or stone bricks. Monster egg blocks spawn one silverfish when mined.
One silverfish only deals very little damage, or no damage with better quality armor on. However, when you attack a silverfish, it can summon other silverfish hiding in other nearby monster egg blocks. This problem can be solved by killing a silverfish in one hit. You can do this with any type of axe except a wooden axe or golden axe. With a sharpness enchantment, you can also do this with a stone axe, iron axe, or diamond axe or diamond sword. If you're going to the End and the silverfish spawner in the end portal room is bugging you, you can go ahead and remove the spawner. Silverfish don't drop anything upon death, so it won't be useful to make a silverfish farm, unless you want an XP only farm. Silverfish have a weakness to the bane of arthropod enchantment which increases damage to "arthropod" mobs and inflicts slowness. Since silverfish has low health, high levels of bane of arthropods may not be very useful or necessary due to the fact that high levels of sharpness can also achieve the same effects.
If you use ender pearls often, you're sure to come across an endermite at some point. Endermites are not very difficult to fight because they have only 8 health points (4 hearts). When using lots of ender pearls, they become more of an annoyance than a hazard. When you have spawned an endermite, there are a few things you can do. If you don't want to bother with killing an endermite, go to at least 16 blocks away from it so that it won't attack you, and it will despawn after 2 minutes. If you want to combat an endermite for its experience, it's not too difficult. Just get a sword or axe of any type, and keep hitting it till it's dead. If you use a stone, iron, or diamond axe (this will not work in bedrock edition as axes do less damage than swords), or a diamond sword enchanted with Sharpness, you will be able to kill the endermite in one hit. Any nearby endermen can also kill the endermite for you.
Phantom mobs are difficult to kill as they have a small hitbox and only briefly swoop down from the skies to attack before retreating. They only spawn at night if a player hasn't slept in a bed for at least 3 in game days. Players can check how much time has passed since their last rest in their statistics. The longer you have not slept in your bed, the more phantoms will spawn.
When they spawn, they will fly around you and swoop down to attack. Straight up out running them is not possible. Instead the best way to avoid being attacked is by going inside a house, cave, or even just a small hole in the ground. Sleep or wait till daytime and the phantoms, being undead mobs, will burn in the sunlight. Phantom are afraid of cats, so its best to have one around you to prevent phantom from swooping down.
They drop Phantom Membrane upon killing them, this item can be used to repair Elytra when using an Anvil. they can also be used as a Brewing item by using a awkward potion to turn into potion of Slow Falling.
Added along with the woodland mansions these deal the highest melee damage that can be received legitimately on single player (7 on easy, 13 on normal, 19 on hard), and almost always spawn in groups with other vindicators. Since the woodland mansion has many U-turn areas where a mob can hide (as there are some generation problems with the torches, so the vindicators will not be alone), it is easy to be ambushed and swiftly killed, especially when entering bedrooms, the primary spawn location. As the mansion is already dimly lit, it is best to explore using night vision, have another player with you (if possible) and keep your hostile mob noises up (they make grunting noises while idle). Having armor enchanted with Protection will reduce damage taken but beware of vindicators holding an enchanted axe as it can deal even more damage than it normally does. This is not a mob to be taken lightly, even late game. Even more so when it is coupled with the other illager type, the evoker. Blocking with Shield sometimes doesn't work as Vindicator has ability to disable shield. In 1.14 vindicator can spawn outside mansion, spawn as part of illager patrol or raid, they also have ability to break down door.
The shamanic counterpart to the vindicator. They summon vexes, small spirit-like creatures that eventually die off, assuming they do not kill you. Most of the time you will not find lone evokers and with 2 or more vindicators with them (can potentially be more if being followed already), the vindicators will charge you, giving the evoker time to use one of its summoning attacks:
- Vex summoning. Summons 3 small mobs, which can pass through blocks. They die within 2 minutes and are limited by a binding radius.
- Fang attack, explained better in the main article. It does 3 hearts of true damage (ignores your armor, potions and enchants), it can hit multiple targets and it cannot damage other illagers (the vindicators/evokers). When fighting in a room with the evokers, keep an eye out for the vexes, especially their red glow when charging. They are weak but deal large damage due to the fact that multiple summons can happen. Fangs can be avoided if the player is constantly moving. Simply kill the evoker as soon as possible after killing the vindicators, especially if it attempts a spell. Fangs have two uses. Offensive and defensive, when on offensive, they spring up in a line toward the player. When used defensively, the fangs form a circle around the evoker. A good strategy is attacking at a distance with a bow, then move in with a sword. Wooden swords and armor is almost always recommended.
Very small creatures about the size of a baby zombie. They float around, passing through blocks and deal damage on their own. They do 5-9-13 damage and have 14 hit points. A player with good gear will be able to kill it in one hit with a strength potion. Prioritize killing them over vindicators when you can see them in range of your sword, as they move fast and can get behind you.
The third type of illager, they don't spawn naturally. They have the ability to blind you for 20 seconds, and can even spawn duplicates to fool you. These duplicates move in the same way as the regular mob, but real illusioner is invisible. The illusioner attacks with a bow. Due to it dealing poor damage, illusioners are more of a nuisance than deadly. It drops the occasional bow on death. It's recommended to use a bow for this mob, search where real arrow comes and hit at that direction until you find the real illusioner as duplicates are the same distance from the invisible real illusioner. When the player is blinded, it's best to back away, waiting for the blindness to disperse, then attack again.
The fourth type of illager, they spawn in 3 types: Illager Patrols as they spawn naturally with groups of pillagers and vindicators, Pillager outposts are outside of their naturally generated structures and Raids only occur when you have the Bad Omen status effect in a village. They hold a crossbow and sometimes enchanted. As they load up their arrow in the crossbow, they shoot at you 6 blocks away every 2 seconds, pillagers can sometimes be dangerous especially in group
To avoid making contact with the pillager, it is best to stay away if you do not have any armor to protect yourself. It's also best to have at least a strong weapon, a Shield can help stop the pillagers arrows if successfully timed the blocking and attack as soon as it reloads its next attack. A bow or crossbow can help kill pillagers in a safe distance if you aim at the right angle.
An Illager-Bull type mob, they only spawn on Raids if have Bad Omen status effect, which start spawning from second wave. They have same health as Iron Golem and are very dangerous to face in combat as they have a powerful attack if you get too close. Their attack on hard difficulty can almost instantly kill you and can also destroy crops and leaves in their path while they chase you.
To avoid getting almost killed, its best to stay further away from the illager beast, you will need some strong protection diamond armor and a strong diamond sword to face them. You can use a bow or crossbow to kill illager beasts in a safer distance if you aim at the right angle. A shield can help if you time the blocking right; however, there is a 50% chance for them to stop for a moment to growl and roar. This will hurt you and after that, they continue to chase again.
Upon killing a illager beast, they have a chance to drop a Saddle.
Only 5 mobs spawn exclusively and naturally in the Nether. This list is sorted by chance of encounter. As zombie pigmen are neutral, combat strategies for them are listed under neutral mobs. Currently, all Nether mobs are hostile, with the exception of the zombie pigman, which are neutral. All can be very dangerous without sufficient weapons, but all can be outrun fairly easily while sprinting, and all despawn on peaceful. These nether mob are immune from fire damage, making fire aspect and flame enchantment useless
Ghasts are often considered the most difficult mob to kill in the Nether because of their extreme attack range, explosive attack power, mobility and flight. Players in any exposed area will have to deal with them sooner or later and possibly from the moment they step out of a portal. Ghast fireballs have a profound effect on nether architecture, making a compelling case to use only materials resistant to their explosions for outer walls and exterior fittings in places where their attacks may be drawn. As a result of their large size and the extreme unpleasantness of an indoor ghast spawn, the primary defense mechanism for buildings in the Nether becomes enclosure. A ghast's firepower is highly inaccurate at most ranges if one is moving. Players are most vulnerable when they are building in the Nether, when they may not be moving and possibly standing above a long fall. Ghasts can also break blocks from under the player, often dropping them into lava or causing death through falling damage.
The player can reflect fireballs by hitting them with anything before they impact, even bare hands. Because of their low speed, spamming mouse clicks is often enough to deflect any given attack. It is possible to kill ghasts by reflecting their attacks back at them, but it can be difficult since they are agile. You can easily make a fireball reflect in the direction you want by shooting an arrow, fishing rod, or snowball at the fireball. In fact, snowballs or eggs are the easiest as they are easy to get and don't have a speed limit, so you can just bombard snowballs and you'll hit the fireball at some point. The fishing rod, when released, slightly affects the fireball's trajectory. This relationship goes both ways and a ghast's constant stream of fireballs may well interfere with the firing arc of your bow.
Most ghast kills are made with a bow and arrows or a ghast fireball for obvious reasons, but a ghast can be killed with melee weapons if the player can get close enough before it flies away. Ghasts are highly vulnerable when caught on the ground since their attacks can be deflected and their health is quite low - 2 blows from a diamond sword will kill one. It is possible to use a fishing rod to draw ghasts near enough to hit them with a sword. A close ghast is also much easier to hit with a bow, though reaction time against its fireballs is likewise lessened. When aiming your bow, be sure to lead your shots as ghasts can quickly change trajectory and move quite quickly. Depending on the ghast's range and relative altitude, it is usually necessary to also aim at a high trajectory to gain extra range. Where possible, having the advantage in altitude (such as shooting from the topmost layer of the Nether) is of enormous help. Also, ghasts move much slower when caught in a lava fall or pool, so waiting for the perfect opportunity can help your accuracy. If ammunition is not a concern, it is advisable to shoot many arrows at differing trajectories in order to find the range to the ghast. The ghast's hitbox is mainly its body, and aiming too low may cause a shot to go through the ghast's tentacles, dealing no damage. However, it is perfectly practical to shoot the hitbox through the ephemeral body from above using plunging fire.
Much like using neutral or enemy mobs as shields against arrows fired by skeletons in the regular world, it is feasible to use zombie pigmen as shields against ghasts in the Nether. It is possible to injure or kill zombie pigmen in this fashion without ever making them hostile to the player. If a ghast hits a zombie pigman, other zombie pigmen will try to kill the ghast and will if it is close to the ground.
An effective method of fighting ghasts in the Nether is to make a shelter, preferably out of brick, cobblestone, obsidian, or other explosion-resistant materials. Nether brick is ideal because it is completely immune to their fireballs, and is commonly found in the fortresses and as smelted netherrack. Make a 1x1 hole in the roof and add ladders leading up to it, in such a way that you can poke the upper half of your body through the roof. When a ghast is near, climb the ladder, shoot an arrow at the ghast and quickly descend again into your explosion-proof shelter. This should mean that you can kill ghasts easily with minimal health loss. To improve this even further, add a small 3x3 roof 1 block above the hole in the main roof. Most of the ghasts' fireballs will now hit this roof rather than you, meaning that you should be safe against most ghast attacks.
Ghasts do full 10 hearts damage when a direct hit from a fireball is taken. If reflected back to the ghast that shot it, the fireball will deal 1000 damage, instantly killing it.
Overall though, an enchanted bow and good skill are the most effective ways to deal with a ghast. Shooting arrows can be difficult at longer ranges, meaning a bow enchanted with infinity helpful, letting you shoot many arrows without losing any. Another great weapon is the Crossbow with the multishot enchantment as it fire 3 arrow at once at different direction, giving a high chance that one of them hits the ghast. Arrows fired from crossbows has faster and further range than bows.
Magma cubes drop magma cream, and they are common in the Nether and give the player large amounts of experience, so being able to fight them is a necessity for anyone who explores the Nether a lot and is a good source of experience and useful potion ingredients. The smaller two kinds of cube are both easily killed with a stone sword or better even in large numbers, as they have low health and a slow attack rate, but big cubes can be deadly. Due to their jumping attack, they are very hard to hit and dodge, and while they have less health than the player at 8 hearts, they have natural armor that negates some of the damage dealt to them, making their practical health much higher than the player's base. Preferably trap them on a ledge above you and use a hit and run tactic, but if you must fight them in the open, hit them immediately after their jump so you have time to escape the next one. Once the big cube is defeated, fighting its smaller counterparts should be much easier.
When fighting one a magma cube in a flat area, a trapdoor-like technique is often a safe way to kill them while avoiding taking damage. Stand just out of reach of the magma cube, and start walking toward them just before they jump. As they jump over you, look up and hit them, but keep on moving. If done properly, the magma cube should be knocked over you and you should be safe. If they are knocked sideways or backwards when you hit them, move to avoid them. A sword enchanted with Knockback will also help. Sprint-hitting a cube also gives increased Knockback; however it is much more difficult to hit them when moving faster. This technique requires practice, but may be the most reliable way to kill them without a bow.
Blazes are rare and spawn from spawners in nether fortresses. They are essential to get blaze rods, which have many uses, such as in making brewing stands. They can occasionally spawn elsewhere in a nether fortress, so it is best be prepared, even if you do not plan to go near a spawner. Blazes are one of the most difficult mobs to fight, due to their ranged attacks and rapid rate of fire. Their ability to fly usually leaves the player's sword useless, while a player's bow's charging time and move speed leaves the player highly vulnerable to attack. On the other hand, blazes have a much shorter attack range, which makes it more feasible to snipe them from afar. Blazes can only spawn in light level 11 or lower (at the lower half of their body). Much like ghasts, the blaze's ability to fly can make it difficult to recover their loot after killing them. However, a viable tactic of combat is to fight them at close range by reeling them in with a fishing rod first. The use of a potion of Fire Resistance is extremely helpful when fighting blazes.
Blaze spawners occur in nether fortresses, and will start spawning blazes once the player gets within 16 blocks. The spawners have a chance of spawning 1-4 blazes at once. 'Camping' at a blaze spawner is an effective way to gather blaze rods, as they will almost always appear close enough to attack with a sword, and there is a delay in their attack after they spawn because they have to charge first. This is best done in combination with the fire resistance potion in effect, which makes the player immune to the blaze's ranged attacks and can be brewed by adding magma cream to awkward potions. You can also build a doorway, 2 blocks tall and 1 block wide, where you can camp and kill the blazes as they come down. This strategy is extremely effective if you cover up the roof of the spawner room and camp in the doorway with a diamond sword. But be careful, as the blaze also has a melee attack that damages the player if they get too close. You can also just dodge the fireballs (stand still for 1-2 seconds, the blaze will shoot at you, then you can run away), then run up to them while they're charging and attack them with melee combat, since they charge on the floor. Then, run away the second they start flaming again.
A blaze suffers damage from snowballs, and would be damaged by water if there was any in the Nether. Alas, snow golems do not survive in the Nether unless immediately provided with a potion of Fire Resistance or possibly a Regeneration potion. However, player-thrown snowballs are still a viable tactic. Due to their ease of acquisition and infinite supply, snowballs can be considered superior to archery for battling blazes. Though they can't be used to damage other kinds of mobs, carrying a few stacks of snowballs while exploring nether fortresses is an excellent way of repelling unexpected waves of spawned blazes. In addition, other mobs like wither skeletons and magma cubes can often be knocked off the high fortress bridges with snowballs, adding further usefulness.
Wither skeletons are the Nether equivalent of skeletons. They use stone swords and will give you the Wither effect if you are damaged by one. They spawn in nether fortresses. If you see one, shoot it with a bow or trap it with blocks, or use a tactic similar to creepers -- sprint hit them, then retreat a few blocks, and repeat. A shield is also very useful as it completely blocks their hits including the wither effect. Wither skeletons are exactly 2.4 blocks tall, but their path finding works as if they were 3 blocks tall. This provides some safe tactics for combating them: the player just has to build a 2 blocks high space where it is safe to hide upon engaging a wither skeleton. If you are too close and can't place a block in front of it fast enough, use an attack strategy similar to zombie pigmen. They will rarely drop wither skeleton skulls used to make the wither. A sword enchanted with looting will increase the chance to drop a skull up to 5.5% smite enchantment can deals high damage to them, due being undead mob. They can spawn with pumpkins on Halloween, and can sometimes pick up armor and weapons, but they cannot pick up blocks or items. An efficient way of killing them will be making a wither skeleton farm by filling in large parts within the bounding box of the fortress with nether brick.
Shulkers only appear in end cities. They shoot shulker bullets which follows players and makes the player get the Levitation effect for 10 seconds. This is an advantage for him/her to travel to the top rooms in the end city and end ship, but also a disadvantage if they are on top of the end city dungeon or higher, as you levitate high into the air and can take fall damage and possibly die. However this can be completely avoided by having slow falling status effect as player will fall slowly and don't take any fall damage.
Shulkers often hide in their shells, which give them a large amount of resistance, and makes arrows shot at them bounce off. To kill shulkers effectively, the player can use a bow and time it with the shulker opening its shell, or take advantage of the levitation and hit them with a sword while floating up towards them. An effective way to kill shulkers in tight, tall spaces is using explosions from firework rockets.
The main strategy to defeating shulkers relies on protecting against the bullets they shoot. The player can punch the bullet, which will break it. A shield can block the bullet entirely. Since the bullet turns in right angles, you can place blocks in the path of the bullet, which will break it.
Ender dragons spawn naturally (when player enters the End first time) or can be respawned with 4 end crystals on exit portal and have extremely high health (100 hearts). They can only be found legitimately in the End. Always craft armor and bring an iron sword or better. Instead of bringing a helmet, bring a pumpkin instead, as there are lots of endermen and the pumpkin will stop them from becoming hostile when looked at. A tactic to fight one is to stock up on ladders, as there are obsidian pillars with end crystals on top. However, when the end crystals are destroyed they blow up, and the diameter of the explosion is larger than the pillar, so you will fall off. It would be a better idea to mine lots and lots of obsidian or end stone, so that you can make your own pillars and shoot the end crystals from a distance. That way, you won't fall off and die. Coming unprepared will most likely result in your death (if you die in the End you would spawn like normal in your default spawn point.)
The ender dragon will approach the player when he/she is at the exit portal frame, allowing successful melee attacks, as the ender dragon fires acid at the player. When the ender dragon is killed, it plays a unique death animation and drops an Exit portal. When you jump in, the credits appear. The portal also has a dragon egg on the top, which can break bedrock, and it can be collected if you put a piston on one side of the egg and any block on the other. Then, activate the piston and the dragon egg drops. It's a great way to prove to your friends that you killed the ender dragon.
Withers are boss mobs that can be summoned by making a "T" shape with soul sand and placing 3 wither skeleton skulls on top. They have 150 hearts of health (300 in bedrock and legacy console edition) and shoot black or blue skulls that give the Wither effect and do as much damage as a ghast fireball, the blue skull are also able to destroy any block except bedrock, barriers and end portal frames. So when spawning the wither make sure you are in a confined space (made with obsidian if being done in survival) with lots of effective potions drank to kill the wither quicker. Upon summoning one, drink a potion of Strength, a potion of Regeneration, a potion of Swiftness, and maybe eat an enchanted golden apple. When the Wither has gotten up to max HP in a few seconds the Wither will gain health and cause a massive explosion. A good thing to do is to shoot it with arrows until down to 75 hearts of health and then kill it quickly with a sword to end the battle. The wither drops 1 nether star which can be used to make a beacon. Enchanted diamond swords especially smite and diamond armor is required.
Wolves are neutral mobs that will become hostile should you attack them directly. If you accidentally hit a wolf, they and any other wolves nearby will become hostile. They will remain hostile until you or they die, similar to zombie pigmen. Try and escape them by tunneling away from them, sealing the entrance (and bring torches so you will be able to see) or combat them with a stone sword or higher while sprinting backwards. An extremely effective method is building a two block pillar, and slowly dispatching all of said wolves.
Spiders can be a nuisance if handled incorrectly. They are one of the monsters that are 1 block high, and as such they will be able to sneak into your house if a hole is sufficiently large for them. However, spiders are also 2 blocks wide, so a 1x1 hole will not let them pass. Spiders have a special feature in which they can climb blocks. If you hear spider noises but can't see one, usually they are on top of your house. In the daytime, spiders will become neutral — they will only attack you if you attack them (but if they were hostile towards you during the night, they will still stay hostile. Also, even in their neutral state, if you try to sleep in a bed the usual "you can't sleep there are monsters nearby" message appears. However, they can ambush you in the daytime if you exit your house when one is on your roof, attacking your back as you walk away from your house. Spiders have a jump attack, and so it is best to swing a sword while walking backwards to avoid most damage. During the day, they can be killed by lava or flint and steel without becoming hostile to you. On Survival a spider becomes neutral towards you if the light level around you is around 12. One can also kill spiders by pillar jumping, creating a ledge around the pillar, bombing the spiders with snowballs, and watching them climb and fall. (See Spider Masher.)
Spiders drop 0 - 2 string, and have a chance to drop a spider eye. String is useful stuff, and precious in the beginning game as it is needed for bows, fishing rods, and leads. It can also be crafted into wool (12 string makes enough for a bed), and it can be placed in the environment as tripwire.
These are rare, they have 1/100 chance to spawn in place of a regular spider and from a spider spawn egg in Creative mode. It is also highly fatal if confronted head-on, as the spider will pounce and climb to you, while the skeleton shoots you with arrows. On Hard difficulty, a spider jockey deals a total of 5.5 hearts of damage if attacked head on. If the spider climbs into an area that is only one block high, the skeleton will suffocate.
Wolves are a messy way to combat them because the wolf will attack the mob who last attacked it, so it may alternate from attacking the spider to attacking the skeleton, etc.
The player can attack spider jockeys with a bow outside of the mobs' search range. Be sure you do not hit the spider until you have killed the skeleton.
If a spider jockey spots you from a high place, the skeleton may hurt the spider trying to shoot at you, causing the spider to attack the skeleton, provoking a fight between them. You can wait until one of the mobs dies so you will have to deal with a single mob, or use the confusion to climb up and fight the already damaged spider jockey to get both loots. Be careful, as you could still be pushed off.
Cave spiders only appear in abandoned mineshafts underground, but are a pain to deal with. Not only are they smaller than a regular spider, meaning they can fit through 1x1 holes, but also their bite will poison you (except on Easy and Peaceful difficulty). On Normal difficulty, the Poison effect lasts for 6 seconds if not countered by drinking a bucket of milk. On Hard, the Poison effects will last for a deadly 15 seconds. Keep in mind that the poison effect on Hard can deal 10 (5 hearts) of damage if not treated with said milk, and will eventually be the ultimate cause of player deaths in the abandoned mineshafts from the poison leaving only 1 health left on the player. Cave spider spawners are often difficult to take out, due to their location being surrounded by cobwebs. If you run across a cave spider spawner, make sure you have shears or a sword to cut the cobwebs quickly (a sword will be used up quickly by this). Another great option would be a bucket of water. You can also tunnel under the floor to reach them, then mine upwards and break the spawner. Neither type of spider is affected by the cobweb slowing effect, so be aware that they cannot get stuck like other mobs and entities can.
Iron golems spawn in villages containing 10 or more villagers and at least 21 houses (counted as doors). They do massive damage and have high health (100 ( × 50) hitpoints), and they throw you into the air, doing even more damage when you land, so it is advised to use a diamond sword or a very highly enchanted iron sword to engage them. You can also use cactus to kill it, if you can get the iron golem to walk into the cactus either by provoking it or placing the cactus in its path. If you can figure out which area of the village spawns iron golems, an iron/poppy farm can be created. Bows are effective, as iron golems are extremely deadly at hand to hand combat. However, they have a lot of health, so attacks will take pretty long.
Although they are technically neutral, you are sure to end up fighting an enderman sooner or later, either by unintentionally looking at one or trying to get ender pearls.
Despite their somewhat unsettling appearance, endermen are damaged by fire, lava, water, rain and attacks. You can safely look at an enderman if you have a pumpkin on your head (place it in the spot where you would put a helmet). Alternatively, if you see it before it sees you, you can build a 2-block high ceiling, at least 3 by 3. Then look at it until you see the anger animation, and quickly retreat under your shelter as it teleports to you. Since endermen are three blocks tall, you can then attack it without fear of reprisal.
Emptying a bucket of water on the ground will hurt the enderman without it becoming hostile to you, though it will teleport away. All types of swords are effective against one, though wood, stone, and gold swords may not deal enough damage to kill the enderman before it kills you. Cacti will also damage endermen, so a wall of cacti also help you against endermen.
Hostile endermen will teleport away when the player closes in on them to strike. When this happens in a small underground space, the enderman may teleport into inaccessible caves or to the surface. They will not teleport back to the player unless he/she moves to an area that has enough space for the enderman to teleport back. On the surface, an enderman's tendency to teleport away when the player is close enough to attack can be used to keep an attacking enderman at bay. The player can also change to 3rd person view by pressing F5 and Fn (Mac) to make sure he or she can't be attacked from behind because of the enderman tendency of teleporting behind them.
Any block held by an enderman is dropped upon its death (except in console edition [verify]).
One easy strategy to kill one is to hit one, then jump into a pond or lake. Stay in hitting range so you can kill it. The enderman will not be able to jump into the water to attack you. This is a good way for an unprepared player to kill one.
Endermen teleport to avoid being hit by arrows and splash potions and teleport to a new location when hit with one. They will also teleport away from water, lava, rain, and sunlight, despite the fact that sunlight does not harm them. They will also teleport if on fire, so the Fire Aspect enchantment is going to be an annoyance.
A less exciting but effective way of killing an enderman is by staring below their torso, preferably attacking the 'feet' of its legs constantly with a sword or an axe. However, due to their tendency to teleport when the player closes in on them, you should either stand still while attacking their legs or move backwards keeping your distance (should multiple endermen be in pursuit of you). This can also be done by simply punching them (providing this strategy is done correctly) without taking a single point of damage, but could be considered tedious to some.
You can wear a pumpkin as the head armor piece in order to stop endermen from turning hostile when you look at them. If you hit an enderman with any kind of sword while doing this, the enderman will not teleport away from you, allowing you to kill it safely.
When alone, polar bears are neutral in that they will attack the player if they are attacked, but they can also be immediately hostile when approached if a polar bear cub is nearby. If the cub is attacked, any adults in a 41 block cuboid area will come to its defense. Attacking the adult first when a cub is nearby will cause all adults in a 21 block cuboid to attack the player. Cubs are passive in any situation.
Polar bears have 15 hearts, and do 4 damage on Easy, 6 on Normal, and 9 on Hard. They attack by rearing up on their back legs and smashing down with their front legs. This attack can sometimes miss or be dodged if the players is moving in circles or irregular movements. Iron gear or better makes dealing with them in low numbers trivial, but when in large groups (which is fairly uncommon) they can quickly overwhelm the player. The player can create a 3 block tall pillar to easily dispatch of any hostile adults.
Polar bears have a much faster swimming speed than the player, so it is recommended to not engage polar bears in water if possible.
Llamas will attack the player if provoked by spitting at them for half a heart of damage one time, after which they become neutral again. They can have between 15 to 30 health points. Their extremely low damage and lack of pack mentality basically nullifies them as a threat to any player with weapons or armor of any level. However, if you happen to find yourself completely unarmed and unprotected against a llama with half a heart of health left, its spit can be dodged by sprinting sideways to the llama.
There is currently only 1 neutral mob in the Nether: zombie pigmen.
Zombie pigmen are neutral mobs. This means that they are not naturally hostile, but will retaliate if attacked, just like wolves. These mobs will attack in medium-large groups and unprepared players should be cautious of their strength in numbers.
To an unprepared or careless player, a charging group of zombie pigmen can mean a swift death, but the fight becomes easier after you can recognize how they behave and attack. Zombie pigmen attack with a mob mentality. If you attack one of them they will all join in and attempt to kill you. As soon as one pigman is attacked, all of the others within a 32 block radius become hostile and will charge the player if they are in sight range (16 blocks). Zombie pigmen will notice attacks from behind walls and at different heights. Their hostile status lasts between 20–40 seconds since the last attack by the player, so taking cover and waiting can be used, but it is better to bunker down (in a narrow cave/choke point, for example) and dispatch them safely. The hostility radius is centered around each zombie pigman that is attacked, not the player. This means that you can attack a far-away zombie pigman with a bow without nearby pigmen becoming hostile (although this is not suggested). Note also any pigmen between 17 and 32 blocks will continue to wander as normal unless you come within 16 blocks of them (or vice versa), upon which they will rush you (assuming they haven't calmed down by then), but when you defend yourself, any pigmen within a new 32-block radius will be angered.
They carry a golden sword, and so they do quite a bit more damage than a zombie. On hard difficulty they will do 13 hp(6.5 hearts) of damage. Compared to the Zombies 4 hp(2 hearts) damage on hard difficulty, there is a considerable difference. They do, however, share zombies' natural armor (8% damage negation). Zombie pigmen always spawn with a golden sword. They will never spawn with armor pieces on them (chestplates, helmets, etc.), but their sword may be enchanted. If items are dropped near them, they will pick up the items. Armor and swords will be automatically equipped.
The easiest way to kill zombie pigman is in one hit, as they will not be aggravated if another pigman is killed in one hit. This can be achieved with Strength II and a Diamond sword, or a Diamond sword with Sharpness III and Strength I.
Another easy way to kill zombie pigmen is to build a 2-block-high tower next to one by pillar jumping. Make sure the pigmen can't jump onto the tower. Then hit the zombie pigman. All other pigmen will be angered, and come rushing towards you, however, they can't reach you. Now dispose of them. When done, check to see if other pigmen are coming. Then, destroy the tower. Be careful of baby zombie pigmen, because, they are small and hard to see in all those adult zombie pigmen, and can really surprise you.
Despite dealing no damage, the snow golem's use in combat is not to be underestimated. Defensively, they can either knock enemies away from your base, or lure them into a trap. They are very cheap to make, and offensively, they can distract mobs, making them much easier for you to kill, as after being hit by a snowball, they will ignore the player to attack the golem. This allows you to make easy kills on most mobs. They also alert you if a mob approaches from behind, as well as slowing it. If you need to retreat, place a snow golem or two to occupy incoming mobs, buying you plenty of time to escape or let your health regenerate. Unfortunately, they do not attack creepers, so you may want to take a cat with you if possible.
After boss mobs, the iron golem is the most powerful mob in the game (he has 100 ( × 50) hitpoints), and can kill most mobs in one or two hits. However, it is also extremely expensive to build, requiring 36 iron ingots, and apart from creating it, the player has no control over it. It also takes longer to build than a snow golem, making it less useful as a last resort. In general, it's a better idea to use wolves instead, as they are much easier to acquire. However, an iron golem has the advantage that it can attack where you are far away or inattentive, making them useful in mob traps and base defending. It may also be useful when you are in the Nether and fighting a blaze and wither skeleton. They are especially useful because they do not take fall damage and cannot be knocked back.
All other players have 20 ( × 10) HP. If you are engaged in a duel, be sure to be prepared with armor and weapons as your opponent will make quick work of you if you are unprepared. It will be great if you could get some help. Engaging other players may possibly be the most challenging fights in Minecraft, depending on you and the other's skill. Observe battle tactics and use them to your advantage. Use splash potions and flint-and-steel if allowed. When the opponent attempts to spam you with sword hits, block at first, then backpedal and fire several arrows. Then, sprint/critical hit them to finish them off. A failsafe is to drop an anvil on them from 24 blocks high, which will kill them.
Cobwebs can be used to greatly impair enemy movement and makes any mobs stuck in it easier to hit. You can acquire cobwebs from abandoned mineshafts. If you are running away or an enemy is approaching you can place cobwebs in their path. Even if they don't run into it, they will still have to waste precious time going around and there is also the chance of them accidentally stepping into it while fighting you.
- Style: Offensive, direct
- Range: Ranged/Melee
- Damage: 8-9
It is a good weapon, but rare to obtain, which can be thrown or used in melee. The trident can be thrown as a ranged attack but unless it has been enchanted with Loyalty, the player will have to retrieve it in order to use it again. When used as a melee weapon, it deals about as much damage as an axe but can attack slightly faster.
- Style: Offensive, direct
- Range: Melee
- Damage: Varies with material
The primary weapon which is the most versatile to use. A sword's damage varies on material and a rule of thumb is the rarer the material, the stronger the sword (with the exception of gold). A sword deals far more damage than by hand, and will greatly increase a player's chance of survival upon being faced with hostile mobs. Even the wooden sword, the lowest tier of sword, deals four times as much damage as the fist (and each further increase in material increases the damage of the sword by half a heart). Swords may also deal sweeping attacks capable of splash damage when the attack bar is full, making short work of grouped mobs. A sword, like many of the weapons mentioned here, has a limited amount of uses, and disappears when its uses reach zero. Again, the higher tier the sword is, the more uses it has, and each tier approximately doubles the uses that a sword possesses, apart from the diamond, which has more than 5 times the number of uses as iron. Enchanting your sword can also greatly increase its power.
- Style: Offensive, direct
- Range: Melee
- Damage: Varies with material
Axes deal much higher damage compared to swords and have the ability to momentarily disable shields. However, the also have a slower attack speed cooldown and cannot be enchanted with Fire Aspect. Also, axes are unable to deal sweeping attacks, making them less effective than swords against multiple mobs.
- Style: Offensive, direct
- Range: Melee
- Damage: Varies with type and material
When a player is out performing tasks in the world, they might not have a sword/axe or set a sword/axe in their hotbar. Tools that have a shaft (more specifically, the shovel and pickaxe) can also be used to deal damage when a sword or axe cannot be drawn. Different tools and weapons have a different attack strength and attack speed.
Style: Offensive, direct
Damage: no charge: 1, medium charge: 6, high charge: 9-10 damage
The bow is the longest, easiest to use, and most widely employed ranged weapon in the game. However, it requires arrows as ammunition. Enchanting a bow with Infinity can sidestep the ammunition problem, as wielding one arrow is enough for infinite shots, limited only by the weapon' durability. Infinity can also prevent one's opponents from picking up your fallen arrows to use as ammunition of their own. Other bow enchantments will greatly enhance the bow's attacking power, allowing it to deal more than ten hearts per shot.
Although bows are very useful weapons in most land combat situations, they do not work well in water or lava. When shot through fluids, arrows will drop downwards after travelling 4 blocks from the player, making underwater archery useless and sometimes dangerous (players can be hit by their own arrows).
Style: Varies with contents
Range: Varies with contents
Damage: Varies with contents
The bucket can be filled with either water, lava, or milk to become arguably one of the most powerful weapons in the game. It also does not have a use limit, and therefore can be used infinite times. A bucket is primarily used as a defensive weapon against approaching mobs, as the player must place the contents of it between the mob and themselves for it to be effective. A bucket can also be filled with milk which removes all potion effects.
Style: Defensive, hindering
Range: 7 from source
Damage: None (Except for endermen and blazes)
A water bucket can be used to reduce approaching mob speed, leaving them highly vulnerable to arrow fire and sword damage. Combining this with height, a player can hold off hordes of mobs with little effort. A water bucket provides advantages over the lava bucket in the fact that it is safe to use, is easily removable, and also doubles as a fire extinguisher should the player be set alight. However, it cannot be used in the nether. Also, by using traps it is possible to drown an opponent. For drowning players it is best to encase the trap in obsidian. It also helps that blocks are harder to break underwater.
A water bucket also has the added benefit of being a guaranteed protection from endermen, provided the player is standing in the water.
Style: Contact, flame, lasting
Range: 3 from source (7 from source in the nether)
Damage: Contact (Except for all Nether mobs)
A lava bucket is capable of causing an immense amount of damage to multiple mobs in addition to providing light and greatly hindering mob movement, even more so than water. Any mobs (without fire resistance) that come into contact with lava will suffer 2 whole hearts of constant burn damage every half-second for a total of 4 hearts of damage per second. In addition to that, they will also be set on fire, suffering additional burn damage over time even after leaving the lava. The lava bucket is especially dangerous in confined spaces where it can be used to block off a pathway, preventing most mobs from reaching the user. One should be very careful, however, about where they place lava as that extreme damage figure mentioned above also applies to players. Lava buckets are almost completely worthless against all nether mobs — their only use is to slow down land based mobs such as the zombie pigman or the magma cube in the same way that a water bucket is used. Also, the player should note that lava destroys any drops that the mobs would otherwise give, so lava should only be used for an outright kill.
Furthermore, with the bow enchantment update which gives flaming arrows the ability to do burn damage, the lava bucket can be used to place a block of lava and fire arrows through it. The best method is to create a two block high stack of cheap blocks (wool or wood is recommended), which you place the block of lava upon at the top, thereafter you remove the two blocks under the lava source block creating a lava wall/pile of sorts. You can now shoot arrows through the wall against enemies which will set them alight. This method is slow, and suited for long range combat, but is useful for players who do not have access to an enchantment table. This method is also able to ignite enemy TNT at a distance when not equipped with a flame bow.
- Deals extremely high damage, leading to very fast kill.
- Infinite uses, no durability.
- Large area of effect, depending on terrain.
- Slows down the mobs.
- Also acts as lighting.
- Can be used as a trap.
- Can help players keep a distance from hostile mobs.
- It won't make endermen hostile (unless you look directly at them).
- Use in accordance with a bow or power bow for devastating long range attack.
- Just as dangerous to the player, usually deadly if water is not near. To avoid this downside drink a potion of Fire Resistance.
- Will cause anything flammable nearby to catch fire.
- Takes long time to flow.
- Destroys all items that come into contact with it.
- Can take a long time to disappear, potentially blocking your escape route.
- Does not yield experience.
- Since Nether Mobs are fire-resistant, lava will not harm them.
|Range||~10 blocks in diameter|
|Damage||Up to 15 hearts to all enemies in range|
As an explosive, TNT is an incredibly powerful weapon, dealing enough damage to instantly kill most mobs caught in the blast radius and creating a sizable crater, making the area difficult to navigate for future mobs. Because TNT has a rather lengthy fuse and can be activated with redstone, either directly or through a dispensed fire charge, it is most effective as a trap, allowing you to dispatch an enemy indirectly. But because TNT does just as much damage to you, it is rather dangerous to use in direct combat unless you can get away from the primed TNT faster than your foes can. In addition, TNT is expensive to make and nonrenewable, so using an alternative explosive method in this situation, such as a primed or lit creeper or a bed while in the Nether, is preferred.
Bed (Only in the Nether)
Put your enemies to bed and lay them to rest. If you happen to be fighting in the Nether and are about to die, one of the most cruel and ironic ways to kill your enemies is to take them down with you as you die by using a bed. Simply equip the Bed, place it, click on it and KA-BOOM! it will instantly explode, killing just about anything within a 10-15 block radius. In terms of blast force, the bed is actually more powerful than TNT which makes it that much more deadlier and harder to survive. One major downside is that you have to click on the bed to detonate it which means you will have to be very close to it in order to do it and since the detonation is instant, you are very likely going to kill yourself when using a bed as a weapon in the Nether. As a result, aside from taking on the role of a crazy suicide bomber or tricking your opponent into accidentally detonating the bed for you, you better off using the Bed as a last-ditch final attack to take an opponent with you into death.
Flint & steel (Held Fire charge)
Style: Contact, Lasting
Range: Damage on contact
Damage: ½ heart per second, while lit
Flint and steel is a unique weapon, as you can set a block of fire, and while it burns, any mob that comes into contact with it will catch fire, suffering burn damage over time. This can be very useful when being chased by multiple mobs, as it will weaken all or most of them down to the point where a sword hit or two will be enough to kill them. However, there are several downsides to this method. First of all, mobs may elude the fire by pure luck, requiring another light. Second of all, if you are in a confined space, circling to avoid mobs, you could potentially set yourself on fire by accident. Third, burning mobs can also set you on fire when through melee attacks. Lastly, it can take a long time for the mob to die, enough time for more mobs to join the party! A fast player could make a short 1-block netherrack wall and light the top. Mobs would have to jump and they would take damage instantly/over time. Particularly effective with a sword with the knockback enchantment.
Sand or Gravel
Style: Ambush, Lasting
Damage: From suffocating
Sand or gravel aren't weapons in true sense, but they can be used to kill mobs. Best use is in caves — when you're on a high place and you have a mob directly below, you can place that block on a wall near where you're standing; the block will fall, and with right aim, it will fall on the mob, and thus suffocate it. However, killing with this weapon doesn't yield any experience, but that block will make the mob stuck, and you can finish him with the sword.
Style: Offensive, Trap
Range: 1 block
Damage: Contact (0.5 heart)
Cacti can be used to make effective traps against mobs. When in contact with the block, any mob (including the player) will lose mid heart (0,5) life, however mobs may avoid them. But if you want make a trap, you can place three cacti plants, two blocks high, in a V format. You might want to lure them nearby (around 10 blocks far from the trap) and hide in the opposite side, where they will try pursue you but will not be able to reach.
Style: Assistive, Hindering
Range: Ranged, up to approx. 50 blocks depending on aim.
Damage: 0 (Except for blazes and the Ender Dragon)
Snowballs may seem a useless weapon at first, as they deal no damage against mobs other than the blaze and the Ender Dragon. They have their use however because of their two important traits. Firstly, they push a mob backwards just as any hit does even despite the lack of damage. Secondly, unlike arrows snowballs can be fired as quickly as the player can right-click. This allows them to be used to keep even large amounts of approaching mobs at bay with relative ease, or to quickly interrupt a mob's attack when necessary. This speed combined with the fact that snow is abundant in certain biomes, renewable and easily gathered make it a cheaply obtained and useful long or short-range option, even after a bow has been located.
Range: 10 - 30 blocks
Dispensers can be loaded with a wide variety of ammunition, such as arrows, fire charges, snowballs, eggs and potions and will fire said items when activated by redstone. Loading a dispenser with arrows or fire charges and linking it to a (fast-cycling) redstone clock can turn it into a full-auto machine gun turret with enough firepower to level just about any mob that happens to be in front of it.
Arrows: Will be fired is a similar fashion to a skeleton's arrows with a slight inaccuracy, dealing 1.5 hearts of damage per shot. Simply right-click the dispenser, and load the arrows into the nine-grid squares. A dispenser can be loaded with up to 9 stacks of arrows. Dispensers can also be loaded with Tipped Arrows which will apply status effects to whatever mob they hit in addition to the contact damage.
Fire charge: A dispenser loaded with fire charges will shoot them out as fireballs like a Blaze would, dealing both contact damage as well as setting mobs on fire, dealing additional damage over time. One should be careful not to use fire charges near anything flammable as the fireballs will start random fires upon hitting surfaces and can cause any flammable blocks nearby to catch fire.
Fireworks: A dispenser loaded with Firework rockets will launch the rockets in the direction the dispenser is facing. This allows you to launch firework rockets sideways and presents you with a highly customization type of ammunition. A firework rocket will, upon exploding deal 2.5 hearts of damage for every firework star loaded into it. All firework stars go off simultaneously when the rocket detonates and up to 7 firework stars can be used per rocket, making a max-payload rocket deal a whopping 17.5 hearts of damage upon exploding. Alongside firework stars, the player can also add more gunpowder to the rocket to extend its range and fuse length, allowing you to time it to detonate after traveling a certain distance. Up to three gunpowder can be used but be aware that adding more gunpowder will reduce the amount of fireworks stars that can be added and vice versa.
Snowballs/eggs: Can be used to knockback mobs, for defense or offense (where the mobs will be knocked towards is a hole). Snowballs will do nothing but throw them back (but will damage blazes), but eggs may spawn chickens. If you're in a tundra biome, those surely will be the easier to make, as you can take snowballs.
Splash potion/Lingering Potion: A dispenser loaded with potions can be used for a multitude of purposes. It can be loaded with harmful potions (Poison, Instant Damage, Slowness, Weakness, etc...) and used as a weapon against enemies or it can be loaded with beneficial potions (Healing, Regeneration, Speed, Strength etc...) and used to apply positive status effects on oneself in the middle of a fight. Just be careful of what the dispenser is loaded with when using it so as to not accidentally hit yourself with bad status effects or accidentally give your enemies a good status effect.
Dispense water: Dispensing water on your target can be used to push them off ledges or into other hazards but is otherwise not very efficient: it is much simpler to get close and place the water yourself. Dispense water only when your target is far away from where you are standing, yet you want to slow them down.
Dispense lava: A dispenser loaded with a lava bucket can act as a powerful area denial tool as it creates an extremely harmful hazard that will make short work of any mob that runs into it. Dispensing lava to attack your foes is slightly more efficient than placing it as the dispenser allows you to maintain a safety distance between yourself and the lava to avoid burning yourself and the dispenser can also suck up the lava without problems, making it a much safer alternative to placing lava by hand.
Style: Offensive, Hindering, Lasting(Varies)
Splash potions can be a lot of help to hinder your foe or dealing damage, but use them sparingly! Remember that there is a big difference between throwing a splash potion of damage at one mob than at a group of mobs. Another good strategy is to know your potions. Splash potions of Healing or Regeneration can let you get closer to zombies or zombie pigmen and receive the Healing/Regeneration boost while damaging your target. Splash potions that have increased time make for hit and run tactics, a good strategy if you are low on health. If you are being chased by a group of hostile mobs and you have a splash potion of Instant damage, remember that you still take damage from splash potions. Use the knockback from the potion to take shortcuts or get over walls two blocks high.
Damage: Fall Damage
Fishing rods are not a weapon in the traditional sense, but useful nonetheless. Their ability to grab and draw in mobs is useful to keep passive mobs from running away when hit, or to draw hostile mobs into traps or hazards. Additionally, reeling in a mob while standing high above it can launch it quite far into the air, causing it to take fall damage on the way back down. To maximize effectiveness for combat, keep a sword in the item slot next to the fishing rod, so that drawing in an enemy, then striking them with a sword becomes faster.
Anvils deal as much damage when falling on an entity as that entity would take with no armor or potion effects falling from the same height. This means to kill a player or mob with 20 health, it has to fall 24 blocks. This will damage the anvil as well.
Here are some fighting styles that players use to fight mobs and other players. Note that some of these styles are only helpful when fighting other players. Also, not all items that should be brought in combat are listed under "Required items", so make sure to bring all the required items, but also bring standard and basic defensive items, such as tools and armor.
- Diamond sword with Sharpness enchantment
- Shield (preferably with Unbreaking enchantment)
- Armor (preferably diamond) with protection enchantment
- A few splash potions of Regeneration/Instant Health II
- Great saturation and hunger-filling foods, such as steak or cooked porkchops
Be sure not to consume any of the following items before battle.
The reason for this is that these items have a very low effective quality and will make your hunger go down very quickly, especially while in combat. In combat, you will be sprinting, jumping, attacking, and taking damage. These all effect your hunger saturation, or the amount of time each hunger point will last, so you are going to want as much saturation as possible. The following foods are the best choice for pre-combat preparation and are recommended to have while in combat.
- Golden apple
- Steak (cooked)
- Cooked porkchops
- Golden carrots
- Cake (unless you can't place blocks due to plugins)
All of these foods, except for cake, have an effective quality score above 20. Cake, with a score of 14.4, is useful because you can place and eat it without being forced into the speed of crouching. If you are on a server with plugins that keep you from placing blocks in certain areas, then cake might not be the best choice. Always be sure to keep your sword as set as your most easily accessible item in your hot bar, depending on how your controls are set up. If you are using the default controls, it is recommended that you set your sword as the leftmost item on your hot bar. Also, be sure to keep other important items such as food or potions to the left of your hot bar.
Engaging in combat
When engaging your opponent, sprint jump towards them with your sword equipped and start your swing as you approach your opponent. Try to be in mid air when you attack to get a critical hit, which will increase the amount of damage you deal. If successful, it will leave a star-like particle effect. If you make contact, your opponent will be knocked back.
If you are the one that gets hit, and the damage is too much for you to re-engage combat, the best option is to use a splash potion. Don't immediately use the potion, because you might also heal your opponent. Instead, run out of your opponents range, and, while running, look down briefly and throw the potion. If it is an instant health potion, turn around and surprise your opponent with a quick attack. If it is a regeneration potion, wait for your health to regenerate to full and turn around and lay as many hits on them as you can. The regeneration effect will be a huge advantage, allowing you to attack without fear of losing health too quickly.
If you are at a distance from your opponent and your opponent attacks with a bow, start to move towards them, sprint jumping and moving from side to side. If possible, block with your shield to protect against incoming arrows. Using a shield to block will protect you against 100% of incoming damage; however, it will also damage the shield.
- When attacking with multiple hits at once, keep in mind that your opponent is invulnerable 0.5 seconds after they take damage, as indicated by their avatar turning red while they cannot be hit. Try to keep your crosshair on your opponent while in melee range to ensure your attacks won't miss, wait until the instant they are not red anymore, then hit them again with your sword.
- Eating food, besides cake, can be tricky because of being forced into crouching speed. When being attacked with arrows, watch your opponent to see when they fire an arrow. As soon as the arrow is in the air, move some distance away from your current location, eat, and move out of the way quickly.
- Know when you are beaten. If your opponent has significantly better equipment than you or you are not well prepared to engage combat, then you are highly unlikely to win the fight.
You may want to use a splash potion or potion of Strength, as you can kill other players wearing armor much more easily.
Being skilled in melee combat can make a big difference in winning or losing a PVP match. You can practice on competitive multiplayer servers to get tips from highly skilled and experienced players online.
This strategy allows you to take down heavily armored foes using ranged attacks. This style is recommended for players with good aim. It is very effective, but it requires an elytra, which is very rare.
- Elytra. Mending and Unbreaking on it is recommended but not necessary
- Many fireworks to boost elytra
- Plenty of arrows, unless you have an Infinity enchantment on your bow, in which case you only have to bring one arrow
- Plenty of food that satisfies both hunger and saturation
Other items that help greatly for strategy:
- Armor with Protection or Projectile Protection. Consider boots enchanted with Feather Falling to minimize elytra landing damage.
- Enchantments on all tools, weapons, and armor
- A pickaxe to dig out covers in mountains
- A water/lava bucket for eventually creative uses. Don't (unintentionally) burn down your forest
- A sword. If all goes well, a sword won't be necessary, but it is recommended to bring one just in case
- Step 1: Equip the elytra and armor for the remaining armor slots.
- Step 2: Jump and use fireworks to speed up your elytra. Fly to a place where you can safely fire at your target.
- Step 3: Fire repeatedly, until target is defeated or until the target gets too close.
- Step 4: If the target gets too close, repeat step 2 and 3.
This strategy is best used in environments that have high vantage points available such as mountains, jungles with high trees, amplified worlds etc, with a lot of places where you can safely use your bow.
- You need an elytra, which is a late-game item.
- If you die, you will lose the elytra, which is very rare.
- Allows you to mostly avoid melee combat, and grants you force and engagement at longer ranges on your premises.
- If you need time to regenerate, drink potions, rearrange your inventory or even place an anvil to repair your elytra, you can easily fly to a place far away where you can do just that.
- If you are about to lose the battle, it is relatively easy to escape, and the target will likely have a hard time following you.
- If you have an elytra, it means you probably have shulker boxes too. You can use those for extra storage since you have time to place and use them behind your cover. Or use an ender chest if you want to keep the items in there in case you die.
Alternatively, you can also go airforce-style and shoot from your elytra while flying. However, you will not be able to hide behind cover this way, and it will be harder to hit the target while you are moving.
- Knockback is effective when near environmental hazards like very steep ledges or cacti, and it is very useful for fighting multiple creepers. However, as much as possible, avoid using it on foes that have ranged attacks, like blazes or skeletons.
- Fire Aspect is one of the most valuable enchantments in game, as considered by most players. However, if you spend a lot of time in the Nether then this enchantment is virtually useless, since most nether mobs are fire-resistant.
- Bane of Arthropods is very resourceful for clearing abandoned mineshafts and strongholds. The sword itself can cut through cobwebs quickly, while the enchantment (at least Bane of Arthropods II) can instantly kill cave spiders and spiders if the sword is diamond. A Bane of Arthropods IV diamond sword can make you sure you kill a regular spider in one hit. Bane of Arthropods is also good against silverfish as if it kills them in one hit, it prevents them from alerting other silverfish inside monster eggs, averting a possible swarm.
- Sharpness is the most versatile enchantment for the sword, it does not have any disadvantages against certain mobs, but does neither have any good advantages against certain mobs.
- Smite is a good enchantment for surviving the night without a shelter. As it increases damage dealt to skeletons and zombies which spawn in hordes at that time of the day. It is also useful for killing the wither.
- Sweeping Edge is the best enchantment for clearing a horde of monsters which usually spawn from monster spawners in dungeons, nether fortresses or abandoned mineshafts. Sweeping Edge III has high sweeping attack power for better slash damage, but Sweeping Edge also can kill multiple mobs in a farm easily especially chicken.
- Punch is more effective for battle archers than for snipers - The increased knockback on mobs lets the user push enemies back, granting them time to use fully charged shots more before retaliating with sword strikes.
- Power is more effective for snipers than for battle archers, as the enchantment requires fully charged shots and allows the user to kill enemies in fewer shots.
- Flame will set targets on fire, allowing the user to focus on more than one target at once and it will also increase the overall damage dealt per shot as any enemies hit by a Flame arrow will suffer both arrow impact damage and additional burn damage over time after that. Flame is very ineffective against Nether mobs or any other fire-resistant enemies.
- Infinity is very good for snipers and battle archers alike - A sniper will usually be in an isolated spot, where the slightest bit of movement may alert enemies, preventing them from easily resupplying more arrows. Infinity helps remedy this problem as the use will only need one arrow to keep firing the bow until it breaks. Battle archers do not need to worry about wasting any arrows, so they can be as trigger happy as they want (as long as the bow doesn't break), allowing them to lay down an impressive amount of fire. Just be aware of the fact that Infinity does not work with Tipped Arrows, they will still be consumed just like they would be without the enchantment.
- Sharpness, Smite and Bane of Arthropods all have the same effect as they would have on a sword, but axes have higher base damage and will therefore deal more damage per hit.
- Knockback can be helpful considering the axes' slow attack speeds as knocking a target back can grant the user enough time for the axe to recover from the previous swing, allowing one to deal another full-damage swing.
- Unbreaking can help counteract the problem that axes lose durability twice as fast if used as a weapon.
- Loyalty is the best enchantment for a trident as it will make thrown tridents come back to their user, which is useful when using it as a ranged weapon.
- Impaling is a good enchantment for hunting guardians or attacking players. As it deals high damage to players and underwater mobs, it is useful for killing elder guardians in a short time.
- Channeling is a good enchantment for fighting during thunderstorms. As this enchantment will summon a lightning bolt if it hits a mob during a thunderstorm, causing both contact damage as well as additional damage from the lighting bolt and setting the target on fire. One should be careful, however, as lighting can potentially cause a variety of bad things to happen such as causing villagers to turn into witches, pigs into zombie pigmen, creepers to become charged and if on high difficulty, sometimes spawn a group of skeleton horsemen if a skeleton trap is triggered.
- Riptide is a good enchnatment if you want to travell long distances. It shoots you up out the water and if it’s raining then you can shoot around in the rain like a propeller.
- Fire Protection is very effective in the Nether, since you have many fire-related things to worry about; blaze fireballs, ghast explosions, fire everywhere, and lava pouring from the walls and ceilings. It can also be considered as an Anti-Fire Aspect(Flame) enchantment, since if the foe relies on fire to deal damage, Fire Protection can give you a great advantage.
- Protection in its raw form gives you moderate protection from most kinds of damage. It is recommended to use this enchantment with diamond armor, since diamond armor combined with a high Protection level gives you an overall great defence, plus damage taken from Protection-enchanted armor instantly goes to your armor durability. Diamond armor has relatively high durability, making it the best choice for this.
- Projectile Protection is useful when fighting skeletons as they rely on arrows to deal damage and this enchantment can block most of that damage. Projectile Protection is also recommended if your bow is low on durability. This means that you will need to go into close combat to strike, and foes will often take advantage of this by striking you from afar. This enchantment, especially Projectile Protection IV, is also useful against drowned holding a trident. It decreases heavy amounts of damage from thrown trident impact.
- Blast Protection is very good against creepers and ghasts, as their only form of attack is an explosion, which Blast Protection is effective against. It is useful when fighting with, near or around TNT (such like minefields) as it reduces damage taken from those sources. It is also efficient for the non-combat related topic of TNT mining.
- Feather Falling is good if you are in a high place, as this enchantment protects against damage from falling. It can successfully protect against the form of combat known as "Knockback striking" if the only environmental damage is fall damage. It is also very valuable if you frequently use ender pearls or when you fall while using elytra.
- Respiration is not very combat related, as you will rarely be fighting underwater. However, should someone drop sand above you then it can increase your survivability of the attack, due to respiration giving you more time to breath underwater. This enchantment is also useful when fighting against drowned.
- Depth Strider is good if you are raiding an ocean monument, because it allows you to move faster underwater and avoid guardians more easily.