Tutorials/Defeating a dungeon

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Dungeons are special structures that generate underground connected to caves or other generated structures. They contain up to 2 loot chests and a spawner that spawns zombies, skeletons, or spiders. The spawner can be farmed for XP and mob drops and the chests can contain useful and valuable items as well, so they are very good to find.

Item loadout[edit]

  • Iron sword enchanted with Sweeping Edge[Java Edition only] if possible
  • A full set of iron or better armor (enchanted if possible)
  • Iron pickaxe or better
  • Nutritious food like bread or steak
  • A golden apple (optional)
  • Torches or other light emitting block to disable the spawner
  • Shield (optional)
  • Potions (optional)

Finding a dungeon[edit]

Dungeons generate at any altitude (even if Generated Structures is turned off) provided they are next to a cave. If mining and you stumble along cobblestone, that's a good sign you might have found a dungeon, but water and lava mixing also generates cobblestone, so be careful when investigating. Mossy cobblestone generates a lot in the floor, and there are only two naturally occuring sources of mossy cobblestone: dungeons and jungle temples. So if you're not in a jungle biome or aboveground, you've found a dungeon.

Dungeons also generate next to caves. Turning sound on can be significantly helpful and subtitles still help. If you hear a lot of a mob in one direction, chances are there's a spawner in a dungeon. The spawner has a chance to be a zombie (50% chance), skeleton (25% chance), or spider (25% chance) spawner. Dungeons cannot be located with /locate.

Defeating the dungeon[edit]

Once you've located your dungeon, turn on subtitles or sound to determine what type of dungeon it is and how to prepare.

  • If it's a zombie dungeon, take care to note what difficulty you are on. If you are on hard difficulty, additional zombies can spawn as you're dealing with the zombies in the spawner, attacking you from behind[needs in-game testing]. Smite will be the most effective sword enchantment here, as well as wielding a shield and good armor.
  • If it's a spider dungeon, know that spiders can climb walls and are 1 block tall but can't fit in a one wide gap. Spiders are affected by Bane of Arthropods.
  • Skeleton dungeons might be the best but most dangerous to defeat type of dungeon. Stock up on Projectile Protection armor and a shield. Note that they are the same size as zombies but can still shoot through gaps.

If you've found a zombie or spider dungeon, block up the entrance (if there is any) and use your pickaxe to make a 1x1 hole somewhere in the dungeon's wall. Use your sword to fight the zombies and spiders as they come. New groups of 1-4 zombies/spiders will spawn every 10-40 seconds, so when you've defeated all the current mobs in there, quickly break in and scatter torches everywhere to deter mob spawning. Don't look in the chests unless you're absolutely sure no mobs will spawn, as being ambushed while looking at a chest is difficult for you. Remember that all dungeons generate an entrance, so you could be attacked by creepers or skeletons from outside.

The spawner in the center of the room is the key prize. You can destroy it if you like (it gives a modest amount of experience when broken with a pickaxe) but that is very unrecommended unless you never, ever, ever want to farm the spawner. Once you're done, look in the chests. The loot normally contains a lot of things, but the best prizes are golden apples, horse armor, name tags, enchanted books, and saddles.

If you've discovered a skeleton spawner, follow the advice above except always have your shield at the ready. Skeletons will fire at you from afar, so have a bunch of arrows and know how to shoot as soon as the bow is fully charged. If you have enchantments on the bow, relatively high levels of Power can kill a skeleton in one shot.

Aftermath[edit]

Spawners can make very useful XP and mob drop farms.

All of these mobs will also drop experience upon death.

Advice on how to make farms of these mobs can be found on the Spawner Traps page.