Tutorials/Defeating a pillager outpost
Pillager outposts are the second illager-filled structure added to the game, after woodland mansions. They are flooded with pillagers, both inside and in the surrounding area, making it a difficult challenge for any player to conquer it. Note that this can be achieved at any point during the game. The loot obtained from these outposts is of questionable value, despite the challenges associated with raiding it.
Finding an outpost
Pillager outposts can be found in any biome that a village can, and usually generate ~300 blocks from a village, though they can spawn anywhere else in the Overworld, such as on a small island in the ocean. It is worth nothing that the outpost can be in a different biome than the village. Do not think that an illager patrol means an outpost is nearby.
Because a pillager outpost can be found anywhere, it can be hard to prepare. Ideally, a player will have:
- An iron at minimum, or at best a diamond or netherite sword enchanted with the highest possible level of Sharpness, Fire Aspect, Sweeping Edge[Java Edition only], and Looting if possible. Avoid using weapons enchanted with Knockback as pillagers wield ranged weapons. They need to be at close range to attack you, so you have a range advantage.
- A Bow, preferably with enchanted with Infinity and the highest level of Power and Flame possible (Punch can both help and hinder you because pillagers also use ranged weapons).
- An Arrow, multiple stacks if using a crossbow or a bow without infinity (In Bedrock Edition, pillagers drop arrows, so this will be less of a problem)
- A full set of at least iron armor, preferably enchanted with Unbreaking and Projectile Protection
- A Shield with unbreaking, or two unenchanted shields (note that pillagers with piercing crossbows can still damage you with your shield raised)
- A Crossbow, which can be used instead of or alongside a bow. If possible bring one with Piercing and one with Multishot, both with Quick Charge. Multiple required for machine gunner tactic (see #Tactics below)
- Highly nutritious food like Steak, Cooked Salmon, or Cooked Porkchop
- Potions such as strength and/or the turtle master (invisibility is ineffective in the Java Edition)
- Enchanted or normal golden apples
- A Trident with Loyalty III, and if wanted Channeling and/or one with Riptide (water will have to be nearby or you need many water buckets), as another ranged weapon option
- A Lava Bucket
- TNT with Flint and Steel or Fire Charges to ignite it (these can also be used to burn the outpost down)
- Snow blocks and/or iron blocks with carved pumpkins to create golems to help fight (sometimes pillager outposts have targets with carved pumpkins on them, which you can use)
- Ender Pearls
- Totem of Undying
- A tamed Wolf and/or Fox, preferably multiple, to help fight
- If a crossbow is being used, bring firework rockets crafted with several firework stars for ammunition and a crossbow
- A Milk Bucket to remove the bad omen effect one gets after killing a captain.
Pillager outposts typically have smaller buildings around it. These can be used for cover. If a cage has an iron golem in it, let it out so it can help you fight. If it survives, do what you want with it, such as using a lead to bring it to a nearby village.
It's possible to go around with a ranged weapon and pick off all the pillagers from afar. If using a crossbow, don't fire fireworks unless you're sure the fuse time is right and you're firing at a large group. Once the coast is clear, go in the outpost, deal with any pillagers inside, kill the outpost captain if you haven't already, and collect your loot. This tactic takes the longest.
With good armor, this tactic can be effective. Run in with your shield and sword, blocking arrows and hitting pillagers nearby as you go. Run into the building, grab what you want, kill the captain, and leave. Once you're at the top of the outpost, you can use the sniper tactic to get rid of the rest if you like, or just leave. Ender pearls can help in this tactic.
This tactic is expensive and not always reliable but can work. Load your entire hotbar with loaded crossbows, get into relatively close range, and as soon as you fire a crossbow draw your next one. this allows you to fire multiple arrows quickly, but this is ineffective against large groups unless most or all of the crossbows are enchanted with piercing and/or multishot. Also, it takes a long time to reload all the crossbows, even if some or all have quick charge, so you may be able to only do this once. It can, however, be combined with the blitzkrieg tactic as your charging in, as after you unload the crossbows you can just pull out a melee weapon and have a shield in your offhand the whole time. This tactic is ineffective at long range due to the time it takes to range the target is about the same as the reload time for a bow or crossbow or the time it takes for a loyalty trident to return. Overall, this tactic would be better for a single target with a large amount of health, like a ravager, ender dragon, or wither.
Go around the pillager outpost, getting all the pillagers to follow you. Because they will be clumped together, they might friendly fire while trying to shoot you, which can further assist you. Once you have all or most of them behind you, you have several choices as to how to get rid of them all in a short time.
- You can pour lava down where they are standing, melting them all. Note that the lava will destroy the pillager drops and pillagers have good enough AI to try to avoid lava.
- If playing in Java Edition and have a sword with Sweeping Edge, you can go close the group and damage large amounts of pillagers at once with your sword, raising your shield while your weapon recharges. When the pillagers are about to fire raise your shield to ricochet the arrows back at them. This can work in Bedrock, but not as well since there is no sweeping edge, but as a benefit, there is no recharge.
- You can use a crossbow with piercing arrows or multishot fireworks to hurt and kill several pillagers at a time
- You can lure a Creeper or use TNT to blow up the pillagers once they are together. Multiple blocks of TNT can be more effective but can also destroy the pillager drops.
Bread and Bucket
Alternatively, a pillager outpost can be conquered using nothing, but a water bucket and bread. This is not a reliable strategy, but can be done. This can be done on Bedrock Edition using the "Outpost Ahead" seed in the seed picker, which is how you can get the bucket (it generates in one of the chests in the nearby village). The idea is not to be seen by the pillagers. It is a good idea to release the iron golem in the cage if it generates. Next, make it to the top of the watchtower and then use the bucket to wash a pursuing pillager down the staircase. Collect the water after looting the chest and attempt to use the remainder to break your fall. This can be conducted early-game (as it does not require armor or weapons), but is considered very difficult.
Video of the event:
Create a "mine" to approach the fort safely from underneath. Keep dirt/sand at all times in case you breach the surface or reach water.
Similar to the bread and bucket method above, it is possible to build straight up with dirt at a reasonable safe distance with a water bucket in hand. Then build a platform above the outpost and place water directly above the center of the tower. If possible, also collect a bucket of lava (or just another bucket of water) for combat before dropping in, and keep dirt on hand for escape. Swim down to the roof of the outpost, break through the roof and drop either the water or lava down the stairs and collect your loot. Leisurely climb back through the ceiling with dirt and swim back up to the platform above. If you used lava, watch as the world burns. This is an admittedly labor-intensive method of defeating an outpost, and you don't get any pillager loot from killing pillagers, but it is a mostly foolproof strategy, and can also be done early game and only requires a bucket, and two to three stacks of dirt/cobblestone. This method is easier if there are hills or tall trees nearby. Stone tools and food may be useful but are not required.
Quickly enter the outpost and run to the top level. Seal off the stairway and shoot the pillagers from there. Subsequently, work your way down.
Most players would consider the outpost conquered once all the pillagers are killed, and the player has taken the loot. You can do the following once you have conquered it.
- You can just leave. Note that pillagers (including captains) will respawn.
- You can use it in a raid farm, to deliberately get the Bad Omen effect to spawn raids to attack a village you have built as a trap, and collect the loot from raids.
- You can strip the outpost of its resources: it has cobblestone, which is a useful general use item. It has dark oak wood, which is relatively rare as it can only be found in dark forests and woodland mansion. It has birch planks, which is less rare but still useful. It has eight ominous/illager banners, which are rare. If it is overgrown, there are mossy cobblestone materials.
- You can burn it down. Many players do this with woodland mansions; this is a similar situation.
- You can turn it into a base. Please note that it will be constantly attacked by newly spawned pillagers. If you are making a PvP base, then they can be used to your advantage as they will attack other players as well.