In Java Edition:
In Bedrock Edition:
Built by player; 10 second spawn delay.
The fight varies across editions; the Bedrock wither has twice as much health and different attacks than its Java counterpart.
The wither is spawned by placing 4 blocks of Soul Sand and/or Soul Soil in a T shape (see top imageimage to the left), and putting 3 wither skeleton skulls on top of the three upper blocks. The last block placed must be one of the three skulls and can be placed by the player or a Dispenser. Air blocks are required on either side of the base soul sand or soul soil block under the upper blocks (non-solid blocks such as Grass and flowers prevent the wither from spawning). The building pattern can have any orientation (including horizontal and upside-down) as well as the skulls; the wither always spawns at the foot of the pattern. When the wither has successfully spawned, it is angered and creates an explosion around itself.
The wither always drops one Nether Star upon death. In Java Edition the dropped nether star takes ten minutes to despawn, twice as long as normal items. In Bedrock Edition the nether star never despawns. It cannot be destroyed by explosions, as all dropped nether stars are immune to them. The Looting enchantment does not increase this drop. It also drops 50 when killed by a player or a tamed wolf. The wither can also make a withered rose if it shoots a poppy or rose bush and it doesn't get destroyed.
When spawned, the wither grows larger in size as its health bar fills up. While in this state, the wither is invulnerable, and neither moves nor attacks. When this state ends (after 10 seconds), the wither creates a large explosion centered on itself, destroying nearby blocks and dealing up to 99 × 49.5 damage to nearby mobs/players. This explosion has a blast power of 7, more than that of a charged creeper or an end crystal. It is accompanied by a loud gruesome sound that can be heard equally from across the map and in all dimensions. After this, the wither attacks nearby mobs and can take damage.
The wither is immune to fire, lava and drowning damage. Suffocation is usually ineffective because, upon taking damage, the wither breaks any block it touches. However, it cannot break bedrock, end gateway blocks, end portal blocks, end portal frames, command blocks, structure blocks, jigsaw blocks, barriers or moving pistons. Accordingly, it can be suffocated in the exit portal or end gateway, for example. Like other undead mobs, the wither is harmed by the Instant Health effect and healed by the Instant Damage effect as well as affected by weapons with the Smite enchantment. It is immune to all other status effects, like the ender dragon.
The wither is hostile toward all mobs except:
- Undead mobs
- Players in creative or spectator [Java Edition only] mode
- Mobs spawned with the Invulnerable NBT tag.
If the wither is idle, it simply hovers and is unable to gain altitude. On Normal or Hard difficulty, it fires blue skulls in random directions until it finds a target.
The wither has a dark purple[Java Edition only] or pink[Bedrock Edition only] boss health bar that appears only when a player is looking in the wither's direction, including through walls. When looking at the wither, the world gets slightly darker. All withers display a boss bar on the screen.
Upon noticing a mob, the wither hovers above it and rapidly shoots black wither skulls. Each head fires independently, allowing a wither to attack up to three different mobs/players at the same time. The main head controls the Wither's movement, and has a 0.1% chance to shoot a blue wither skull instead of the default black one.
Whenever a wither kills another mob, a wither rose is either planted or dropped as an item at that mob's location; however, it may be destroyed by other wither skulls.
The wither has a passive regeneration rate of 1 every 20 ticks (1 second), and a direct killing blow on a target instantly heals 5.
When its health drops below half (150 × 75), the wither gains a natural "wither armor" effect, which makes it immune to damage from arrows and thrown tridents and causes it to fly at the same height as the player. The armor disappears if it regenerates above half health.
Upon noticing a player or mob, the wither flies to a random location and hovers in place. It shoots 3 black wither skulls and one blue wither skull before flying to another location. On Normal difficulty or higher, if the wither has targeted an entity but cannot find a location to pathfind to, it will shoot random blue skulls in a random direction along with the skulls directed towards the target.
At half health, it causes a large explosion that spawns 3–4 wither skeletons (except on Easy difficulty), as well as gaining wither armor. Instead of flying to a random location, it dashes toward its target, destroying blocks and damaging mobs in its path. It also fires up to 4 skulls per burst: three black skulls followed by one blue skull. It has different spawn and death animations, both of which involve the wither exploding. Wither roses always drop as an item when the Wither kills a mob. The Wither rose inflicts the Wither effect when stepped on.[verify]
The sky light level drops to 11 from the moment the wither spawns until it is dead, preventing zombies, skeletons, and drowned from burning in sunlight.
The wither rapidly fires explosive projectiles called wither skulls, which look like extra heads of itself, at its target. There are two types of wither skulls: a fast-moving black one, and a slower blue one. Black wither skulls explode with a blast power of 1, the same as a ghast's fireball, and cannot break blocks with a blast resistance above 4. The blue wither skull has the same explosion strength, but moves slower and treats all blocks except for a few "unbreakable" blocks as having a blast resistance of no more than 0.8, making it more destructive to the terrain. This means that blue wither skulls can break obsidian. This doesn't apply to unbreakable blocks, like bedrock or an end portal frame.
If either type of wither skull hits a player or mob, it does 8 damage on Normal difficulty. It also inflicts Wither II for 10 seconds on Normal difficulty and 40 seconds on Hard, which turns the player's hearts black () and drains health, similarly to poison. However unlike poison, it can kill the player.
|Sound||Subtitle||Source||Description||Namespaced ID||Translation key||Volume||Pitch||Attenuation|
|Wither breaks block||?||?||?||?||16|
|Wither released||?||?||?||?||16 (technical) / ∞ (effective)|
|Name||Namespaced ID||Entity tags (JE)||Translation key|
|Name||Namespaced ID||Numeric ID||Translation key|
|Dangerous Wither Skull|
Withers have entity data associated with them that contain various properties.
Wither skulls have entity data associated with them that contain various properties.
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Actual requirements (if different)||Gamerscore earned||Trophy type (PS)|
|The Beginning?||Spawn the Wither||Be within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned.||20G||Bronze|
|The Beginning.||Kill the Wither||Be within a 100.9×100.9×203.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it drops the nether star.||40G||Silver|
|Icon||Advancement||In-game description||Parent||Actual requirements (if different)||Namespaced ID|
|Withering Heights||Summon the Wither||Spooky Scary Skeleton||—|
|Monster Hunter||Kill any hostile monster||Adventure||Kill one of these 34 mobs. Other mobs, if any, may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement.|
|Monsters Hunted||Kill one of every hostile monster||Monster Hunter||Kill each of these 34 mobs. Other mobs, if any, may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement.|
|Withers currently do not spawn naturally.|
|Withers have been left unfinished by Jeb and hidden in the code. They were discovered through the presence of its skin in the /mobs/ folder.|
|Withers can be spawned only with edited monster spawners, mods, or hacks, and can crash the JVM.|
|12w34b||When the wither's health is taken down to half, it now gains wither armor, which makes it immune to arrows.|
|The projectile firing rate and movement speed of withers has been increased.|
|?||At PAX, Dinnerbone revealed that it would be possible to spawn withers by arranging wither skeleton skulls in some way.|
|12w36a||Withers can now be spawned by arranging soul sand in a T shape and placing three wither skeleton skulls on top.|
|The wither now drops 20 experience and a nether star upon death.|
|12w37a||Withers now make a massive explosion upon their creation after their health is fully charged.|
|When there are no targets, the wither sometimes shoots blue wither skulls, which move slower and can destroy any block besides bedrock.|
|12w38a||Added a sound when withers break blocks.|
|12w42b||The experience dropped by withers has been increased from 20 to 50 points.|
|1.4||Various new sounds have been added for withers.|
|1.4.4||1.4.3||The oversight where withers can be created in peaceful difficulty has been fixed. Before this update, attempting to spawn the wither in peaceful resulted in a waste of soul sand and skulls.|
|Withers can no longer destroy end portals, which are now supposed to be unbreakable.|
|1.5||13w05a||Withers are no longer able to ride minecarts.|
|April 1, 2013||Added a pink wither to the april fools update, Minecraft 2.0. The pink wither is passive, starts with one head and can be fed sugar to gain two more heads.|
|1.7.2||13w37a||Added achievements for spawning and killing the wither.|
|1.8||14w04a||The player can now spawn withers by dispensing the wither skulls.|
|14w11b||The hitbox of the wither has been changed.|
|14w20a||Withers no longer break barriers.|
|14w25a||Withers now move while invulnerable due to.|
|Withers can now be built sideways and upside-down instead of just upright.|
|release||Barriers can now be broken by withers again.|
|1.8.1||pre3||Barriers can no longer be broken by withers.|
|1.9||15w46a||Withers no longer move while invulnerable.|
|15w49a||Withers no longer travel through portals.|
|?||Withers now have a uniquely colored boss bar.|
|1.11||16w32a||The entity ID has been changed from |
|The projectile entity ID has been changed from |
|16w38a||Structure blocks and structure voids can no longer be destroyed by withers.|
|16w40a||The tags |
|The wither |
|1.12||pre3||Withers can no longer break piston extensions or end gateways.|
|1.14||18w43a||The texture of withers has been changed.|
|All mobs killed by withers now have one wither rose planted at their location upon death.|
|18w44a||Withers now have loot tables.|
|1.16||20w07a||Withers can now also be summoned using soul soil as well as soul sand.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.16.0||build 4||Added withers.|
|When withers are at half health, they spawn 4 wither skeletons.|
|Withers attack differently and have twice the amount of health as Java's withers.|
|1.0.2||Wither skulls from withers can now be deflected with a sword.|
|1.1.0||alpha 126.96.36.199||The entity ID has been changed from |
|1.10.0||beta 188.8.131.52||The texture of withers has been changed.|
|1.13.0||beta 184.108.40.206||All mobs killed by withers now have one wither rose planted at their location upon death.|
|1.16.0||beta 220.127.116.11||Withers can now also be summoned using soul soil instead of soul sand.|
|Added piglins, which attack withers.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU19||CU7||1.12||Patch 1||1.0.1||Added withers.|
|TU60||CU51||1.64||Patch 30||1.0.11||The behavior of withers has been changed.|
|Withers now blow up and spawn wither skeletons at half health. Upon death, withers stop moving, and slowly grow in size while turning white until they explode. They also do the dash attack like in Bedrock Edition.|
|Withers are no longer able to regenerate health.|
|1.90||The texture of withers has been changed.|
|New Nintendo 3DS Edition|
- According to Jeb, the wither was inspired by Terraria, which has a summonable boss mechanic. The name itself is inspired by poison spell in another game made by Jeb called Whispers in Akarra.
- There is a painting showing the soul sand and wither skeleton skull formation needed to spawn a wither.
- If the wither is damaged by the Void, it frantically attempts to fire blue skulls.
- Above half health, the Wither always attempts to stay a few blocks above the mob it is targeting. This means that attempting to build or climb up to hit the Wither using a sword is essentially impossible.
- If the wither is after a blaze and the blaze tries to fly up to it, the wither attempts to keep rising above the blaze, thus making both of them rise higher until they hit a ceiling or until the blaze despawns.
- Although the wither is 3.5 blocks tall, 3 blocks wide, and 1 block thick, its hitbox is only 3.5 blocks tall, 1 block wide, and 1 block thick.
- The true dimensions of the wither are: 2.844 blocks tall (varies), 3 blocks wide and 1.719 blocks long (also varies).
- A variant of the wither called the Friendly wither appears in two of the April fools updates.
- The wither appears on the four sides of chiseled red sandstone.
- Withers have the greatest natural health of all vanilla mobs in Minecraft, making it brawnier than even the ender dragon. The wither, however, is slower and deals less damage than the ender dragon.
- However, the wither does not resist damage unlike the ender dragon.
- The wither's smaller heads shoot targets slightly slower than the main head. The interval for smaller heads is 2-3 seconds, while the main head's always 2.
- An enemy called the Wither Storm appears in Minecraft: Story Mode. It was created by replacing the center block of soul sand with a Command Block.
- Despite not having visible feet, withers are still capable of making footstep sounds.
- In Java Edition 3D Shareware v1.34, withers drop red keys.
- According to Quinn, Marketplace Partner Manager, the wither's name is "Simmons?", similar to the Ender Dragon's name being "Jean?" 
- The name is a pun for "summon", as the wither is spawned in by the player.
- Wither skulls spawned through
/summondo 5 magic damage upon a direct hit, as opposed to the usual 8 mob attack damage.
- The wither has twice as much health in Bedrock Edition as opposed to Java Edition.
- You can deflect wither skulls by shooting an arrow at it. [Bedrock Edition only]
- If you deflect wither skulls and they hit the wither, the wither will take damage from wither skulls [Bedrock Edition only]
In Other Media
- Ender dragon, the other boss mob in Minecraft
- Tutorials/Defeating the wither, a tutorial explaining different tactics to fight and kill the wither