Tutorials/Defeating an end city

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Capturing an end city can be fun, and one can obtain valuable loot. However, it can also be difficult and dangerous.

Finding an end city[edit]

A map in the end.

Before finding an end city, the player must defeat the ender dragon and go to the outer islands. Between the main island and the outer island is about 1,000 blocks of emptiness. Rather than building a 1,000 block long bridge, you can teleport yourself to an outer island by throwing an ender pearl into the end gateway portal.

Once at the outer islands, start a map so you can see which islands you have already explored.

To cross a gap between islands, build a bridge, sneaking as you go to avoid falling into the void. Ender pearls can also do fine. Don't worry about them falling into the void, because they won't teleport the player if this happens. However, try not to do this too much, as this will cost you ender pearls.

It is recommended to bring an ender chest in case you find valuable items in the city, although some cities generate with ender chests in them, so you can just steal those ender chests.

There are much faster ways of finding end cities than going from island to island, but they involve cheats. One way is using /locate endcity (/locate EndCity in Java Edition).

Here is a tool to find them.

If you do not want to build bridges, you can build an engine using slime blocks, pistons, sticky pistons and redstone blocks.

If you already have an elytra and some firework rockets, you can simply fly around to find end cities. If you run out of them, try to land on an island or you will slowly fall into the void!

Recommended Equipment[edit]

Here is a list of recommended materials before defeating an end city:

  • A sword enchanted with Sharpness
  • An axe
  • A pickaxe, at least iron but preferably diamond
  • A bow and arrows
  • A shield, possibly enchanted with Unbreaking and/or Mending
  • Full iron or diamond armor (if you're not good at keeping enderman peaceful, wear diamond, and preferably enchanted with protection)
  • Boots enchanted with feather falling, preferably level III or IV
  • Pumpkin (optional, but consider bringing one in case you have to perform a task where you have to look into the eyes of endermen)
  • Plenty of ender pearls to ender pearl down to the ground as you levitate up
  • Water bucket, preferably 2, for an infinite water source (to eliminate fall damage if falling a long ways after getting the levitation effect)
  • Ender chest. Very important, in case you run out of inventory space, which is very, very likely to happen, especially if you don't have a shulker box.
  • Many stacks of building blocks, such as cobblestone. The more, the better.
  • Potions of leaping and potions of regeneration (optional)
  • High hunger-filling and high saturation foods, such as steak or porkchops. Golden apples provide very high saturation, as well as provide regeneration and absorption health, so it is recommended to bring several golden apples.
  • Plenty of milk, the more the better. If you are hit with a shulker projectile, you can drink milk, and you won't levitate. Unfortunately, milk does not stack, so make sure to not bring any unnecessary materials, so that you can bring plenty of milk.
  • Fishing rod to grab any shulker shells that fall down too far out of reach.
  • Crafting table to craft shulker boxes as you get the shells and chests.


One is not likely to get lost in an end city, as down always leads out and up always leads in. However, you might want to mark which towers have already been explored. A simple way to do that is to break all the end rods you see so you know that you only need to go to the towers with end rods.

You will see that there are few endermen in the cities. Instead, the main hazards in end cities are shulkers, and falling to your death. To stay safe, bring armor, preferably a full set of diamond armor with enchantments such as protection and feather falling, as well as ender pearls to teleport if you fall. Shields are also helpful, because they can block the shulker's bullets.

Avoiding falls[edit]

End city towers are relatively empty. They are 3*3 tubes with blocks only on the edges, not the corners. Because of the emptiness, it is easy to fall when jumping up a step. Place blocks in the corners to complete the staircase.

Fighting shulkers[edit]

Whenever you see a shulker, wait until it opens. Then, hit it repeatedly with a sword or use the bow and arrows to damage it from some distance away. Tipped arrows such as Arrow of Poison and Arrow of Harming are recommended because they can do more damage. Deflect or destroy its bullets if necessary. Fireworks can also be an effective weapon against these shulkers.

If you get hit with a bullet, make sure you do not levitate to fatal heights. To avoid this, drink milk as fast as you can or go under one of the purpur slabs and continue to hit the shulker. When the levitation wears off, you will only fall a few blocks. Also, you can wait off the levitation effect and then deflect your fall. To do this, get a water bucket or ender pearls into your hotbar. Use ender pearls if you don't want to worry about placing water at the perfect time, and use a water bucket if you are experienced with placing things at a moment's notice, and you don't want to take any damage. When the levitation effect has worn off, if you are high in the air and falling, either ender pearl to the ground or quickly place a bucket of water when you're about to hit the ground.

If the shulker teleports out of sight, the battle is essentially complete because the shulker cannot attack anymore. Showing the shulker's hitbox by pressing F3+B may help you to find it. If you happen to encounter the same shulker later, you can finish it off and collect the shell.

Shulkers may appear in inconvenient places, such as rooftops, outside walls, and even the undersides of platforms. To get to these shulkers, pillar jump to the shulker, or descend using sand. Try to shoot the shulker only if it opens otherwise the arrow will not deal any damage. If you get hit, place blocks and as you go up, and make sure you are directly over your pillar. You can also break the shulker's support block, thus forcing it to teleport, hopefully to a better location.

Special rooms[edit]

When exploring end cities, you may find special rooms.

Treasure room[edit]

This is what a treasure room looks like inside of an end city, with 1 chest and 1 ender chest.

If a room has chests, simply collect the loot. Some rooms will have an ender chest beside the regular chest. Bring a pickaxe with the silk touch enchantment to pick these up.

Large shulker room[edit]

Large shulker rooms have a spiral staircase around the edge, but it is much easier to go down than up. An easier way is to pillar jump, killing shulkers as you go. Another way of going up is letting a shulker hit you, use the levitation effect. If you want to try this, make sure that you have a good armor. After killing the shulkers, go down the spiral staircase and collect the shulker loot, or use a fishing rod.

An easy strategy to use is to sit at the top of the stairs leading to the room, looking down, and blocking with your shield. At first, almost every bullet will hit you, but as you float up, more will be caught by the shield. Make sure you keep yourself aligned to the middle of the room, and then land at the top with the loot chests. This strategy is effective because it causes the majority of the shulkers to start fighting each other. Generally speaking, by the time you finish raiding the loot chests, most of the shulkers are either dead or severely weakened.

If the room branches out at the top, place ladders along the walls and continue exploring.

End ship[edit]

Before going to the ship, make sure you have the necessary equipment for end cities. In addition, have an ender pearl and some chorus fruit (both of which are fairly easy to obtain in the end).

To enter, throw the ender pearl onto the roof of the ship. Then, go inside, and then to the treasure chamber. First, kill the shulker. Then collect the elytra and chest loot.

Finally, go to the bow, where the dragon head is. Place blocks around and under the head. Once it is secure, you can mine the head and return to the ground by building a bridge back to the pier, eating chorus fruit, or teleporting using an ender pearl. Alternatively, you can use your elytra to get back to the pier.

Because end ships contain extremely rare items, it is recommended to put the items in an ender chest. If the end city doesn't have one, but you brought an eye of ender, a diamond pickaxe and a crafting table, just mine the obsidian on the bottom of the ship and then you can make an ender chest.


Shulker shells are useful. Keep as many as you can, and using the chests from in the cities, you can create shulker boxes. It is recommended to store stackable loot separately from the non-stackable loot. You may only need one shulker box to store the stackable items, but you will definitely need more than one shulker box for non-stackable loot. If you really would like to go on a spree, you can clear out your ender chest, as these can hold boxes too. Since the chances of death and/or getting lost are so high, it is best to store your loot in an ender chest. Unfortunately, inception-style tactics don't work here, as shulker boxes cannot hold shulker boxes. However, the combination of shulker boxes and an ender chest allows for a quick and easy way to get home via the void.

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