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Wither.pngBlue Wither.png
Health points

300♥ × 150[JE only]
600♥ × 300[BE only]

Armor points

4 ()



Attack strength
Wither Skull

Easy: 5♥♥♥
Normal: 8♥♥♥♥
Hard: 12♥ × 6

Dash Attack‌[BE only]

15♥ × 7.5


1♥ per sec
Wither 2 for 9 sec (♥♥♥♥♥)
Wither 2 for 39 sec (♥ × 19.5)


Varies by proximity.
Maximum damage: 68♥ × 34


Height: 3.5 Blocks
Width: 0.9 Blocks


Built by player; 10 second spawn cooldown.

Internal ID*

JE: 64
BE: 52

Namespaced ID*


The wither is a undead boss mob that floats and shoots explosive skulls at its enemies and is currently the only player-made hostile mob in the game.

The fight varies across Minecraft editions; it is much harder in Bedrock, which includes two times more health, new attacks, and animations to this boss and is fast-paced.

Their drops are a good amount of experience and the nether star, a crafting ingredient for beacons.


Wither build configuration.
Blue shield wither.
Wither when spawned with its blue shield.

New Boss: Wither! Better craft a diaper, pal.

The Pretty Scary Update promo poster

The wither is spawned by placing 4 blocks of soul sand or soul soil[upcoming: JE 1.16 & BE 1.16] 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 block under the upper blocks (keep in mind that "block" refers to any block, not just those that are block-shaped; therefore objects such as tall grass and flowers still prevent the Wither from spawning). The building pattern can have any orientation (including horizontal) 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.

Like other hostile mobs, the wither despawns when the difficulty is changed to Peaceful. The wither spawning structure also fails in Peaceful difficulty; the blocks simply do nothing.

The wither cannot be spawned below y=2 in any dimension.[JE only]


The wither always drops the nether star upon death which, until picked up, cannot despawn or be destroyed by explosions. The Looting enchantment does not increase this drop. It also drops 50 when killed by a player or a tamed wolf.


Marsh Davies Mojang avatar.png

This undead triple-headed creature will then immediately attempt to destroy every living thing in the vicinity, spitting out skulls from each of its three heads and inflicting a creeping corruption on their target, which turns a player's hearts an unhealthy black. In its fury, the Wither will destroy blocks it comes into contact with - even if you survive the battle, there's often precious little left standing nearby.

Marsh Davies[1]
The difference between the ender dragon's boss bar and the wither's boss bar.

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 very large explosion centered on itself, destroying nearby blocks and dealing up to 68♥ × 34 damage to nearby mobs/players. This "birth" explosion is larger than that of a charged creeper or an end crystal and is accompanied by a loud gruesome sound that can be heard equally from across the map and isn't actually centered on the wither. After this, the wither attacks nearby mobs and can take damage.

The wither is immune to fire, lava and drowning damage. Suffocation is ineffective, since upon taking damage, the wither breaks any block it touches (except bedrock, end gateway blocks, end portal blocks, end portal frames, command blocks, barriers and moving pistons). Like other undead mobs, the wither is harmed by the Instant Health effect and healed by the Instant Damage effect. It is immune to all other status effects, like the ender dragon. However, it takes extra damage from weapons with the Smite enchantment.

The wither is hostile toward all mobs except:

Hostile mobs that can be targeted by the wither include spiders, creepers, guardians and elder guardians.

The wither is immune to all attacks from other undead mobs except skulls from other withers.

If the wither is idle, it simply hovers and is unable to gain altitude. On Normal or Hard difficulty, it also randomly fires blue skulls in random directions until it finds a target.

The wither has a dark purple 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 sky gets slightly darker. All withers display a boss bar on the screen.

Java Edition[edit]

The wither killing a villager.

Upon noticing a mob, the wither hovers above it and rapidly shoots wither skulls. The central head and the side heads fire independently, allowing a wither to attack up to two different mobs/players at the same time. The main head controls the Wither's movement, and has a smaller chance to shoot a blue wither skull instead of the default black one.[check the code]

Whenever a wither kills another mob, a wither rose is planted at that mob's location. In select cases, the wither rose drops as an item.

The wither has a passive regeneration rate of 1♥ every 20 ticks (1 second), and a direct hit 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 projectile damage (except from fireworks shot from crossbows) and causes it to fly at the same height as the player. The armor disappears if it regenerates above half health.

Bedrock Edition[edit]

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.

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. It has different spawn and death animations, both of which involve the wither exploding.

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.

Wither Skull[edit]

Wither Skull
Wither Skull.pngDangerous Wither Skull.png

Height: 0.3125 Blocks
Width: 0.3125 Blocks

Internal ID*

JE: 19
BE: See § ID

Network ID*

JE: 66

Namespaced ID*

See § ID

The wither rapidly fires explosive projectiles called wither skulls, multiple skulls a second, 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 radius 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 most blocks as having a blast resistance of no more than 0.8, making it more destructive to the terrain.

The "pink wither" in snapshot 15w14a compared to the regular wither.

If either type of wither skull hits a player or mob, it inflicts the wither effect, which turns the player's hearts black () and drains health, similarly to poison. However, the poison effect drains the player's hearts till 1 half heart, but the Wither status effect can kill the player, unlike poison.

Like other harmful status effects, the wither effect can be cured by drinking milk.

The blue skull can be deflected by hitting it with hand or throwable entities (similar to ghast fireballs).‌[BE only]

Data values[edit]


Java Edition:

Entity Namespaced ID
Wither Skull wither_skull
Dangerous Wither Skull

Bedrock Edition:

Entity Namespaced ID Numeric ID
Wither Skull wither_skull 89
Dangerous Wither Skull wither_skull_dangerous 91

Entity data[edit]

Wither skulls are also entities that have associated entity data.

  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities see Template:Nbt inherit/entity/template
    •  direction[until JE 1.16]: List of 3 doubles. Should be identical to Motion.
    •  life[until JE 1.16]: Increments each tick when the projectile is not moving; resets to 0 if it moves. Has no effect, though is still saved/read
    •  power: List of 3 doubles that adds to direction every tick. Act as the acceleration.


The following sounds section uses an outdated format and should be redone using {{Sound table}}.
You can help by converting the contents of this section into a sound table template.
Examples can be seen at Bee#Sounds and Ladder#Sounds.
The wikicode should be laid out neatly as in these examples for improved readability.
Sound Subtitle Namespaced ID Subtitle ID Source Pitch Volume Attenuation distance
Wither angers entity.wither.ambient subtitles.entity.wither.ambient ? ? ? 16
Wither attacks entity.wither.break_block subtitles.entity.wither.shoot ? ? ? 16
Wither dies entity.wither.death subtitles.entity.wither.death ? ? ? 16
Wither hurts entity.wither.hurt subtitles.entity.wither.hurt ? ? ? 16
Wither attacks entity.wither.shoot subtitles.entity.wither.shoot ? ? ? 16
Wither released entity.wither.spawn subtitles.entity.wither.spawn ? ? ?

Data values[edit]

Withers have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the mob.


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
The Beginning?Spawn the WitherBe within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned.20GBronze
The Beginning.Kill the WitherBe within a 100.9×100.9×203.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it drops the nether star.40GSilver


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Namespaced ID


Withering HeightsSummon the WitherSpooky Scary SkeletonBe within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned.nether/summon_wither


Monster HunterKill any hostile monsterAdventureKill one of these 25 mobs. ‌In Java Edition 1.16, elder guardians, ender dragons, endermites, hoglins, piglins, vexes, withers, and zoglins can also be killed for this advancement. Other mobs may be killed, but are ignored for the advancement.adventure/kill_a_mob


Monsters HuntedKill one of every hostile monsterMonster HunterKill each of these 25 mobs. ‌In Java Edition 1.16, elder guardians, ender dragons, endermites, hoglins, piglins, vexes, withers and zoglins are also required for the advancement. Other mobs may be killed, but are ignored for the advancement.adventure/kill_all_mobs



Java Edition
1.4.212w34aWither Revision 1.png The wither has been introduced into the game, but it does 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.
12w34bWhen 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.[2][3]
12w36aWithers 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.
12w37aWithers 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.
12w38aAdded a sound when withers break blocks.
12w42bThe experience dropped by withers has been increased from 20 to 50 points.
1.4Various new sounds have been added for withers. 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.
1.513w05aWithers are no longer able to ride minecarts.
1.7.213w37aAdded achievements for spawning and killing the wither.
1.814w04aThe player can now spawn withers by dispensing the wither skulls.
14w11bThe hitbox of the wither has been changed.
14w20aWithers no longer break barriers.
14w25aWithers now move while invulnerable due to MC-57569.
Withers can now be built sideways and upside-down instead of just upright.
releaseBarriers can now be broken by withers again.
1.8.1pre3Barriers can no longer be broken by withers.
1.915w46aWithers no longer move while invulnerable.
15w49aWithers no longer travel through portals.
?Withers now have a uniquely colored boss bar.
1.1116w32aThe entity ID has been changed from WitherBoss to wither.
The projectile entity ID has been changed from WitherSkull to wither_skull.
16w40aThe tags xTile, yTile, zTile, inTile and inGround have been removed from the wither skull entity data.
The wither life tag is no longer used for anything, but still saved/read.
1.12pre3Withers can no longer break piston extensions or end gateways.
1.1418w43aWither.png The texture of withers has been changed.
All mobs killed by withers now have one wither rose planted at their location upon death.
18w44aWithers now have loot tables.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.1620w07aWithers can now also be summoned using soul soil instead of soul sand.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.16.0build 4Wither Revision 1.png 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.
Pocket Edition
1.0.2Wither skulls from withers can now be deflected with a sword.
1.1.0alpha entity ID has been changed from wither.boss to wither.
Bedrock Edition
1.10.0beta The texture of withers has been changed.
1.13.0beta mobs killed by withers now have one wither rose planted at their location upon death.
Upcoming Bedrock Edition
1.16.0beta can now also be summoned using soul soil instead of soul sand.
Added piglins, which attack withers.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU71.12Patch 11.0.1Wither Revision 1.png Added withers.
TU60CU511.64Patch 30The behavior of withers has been changed.
Withers now blow up and spawn wither skeletons at half health. They also do the dash attack like in Bedrock Edition.
Withers are no longer able to regenerate health.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Wither.png The texture of withers has been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.3.12Wither Revision 1.png Added withers.


Issues relating to "Wither" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • 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.[4]
  • 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).
  • Summoning the wither in a small underground room at the end of a long tunnel can make the fight easier, as the Wither does not have as much space to maneuver. Back up along the tunnel and the wither needs to destroy blocks continuously to chase after the player, hopefully giving the player enough time to shoot arrows to whittle down its health.
  • A variant of the wither called the Friendly wither was in two of the April fools updates.
  • The wither appears on 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.
  • 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.[5]
  • 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?" [6]
    • The name is a pun for "summon", as the wither is a utility boss mob.


In Other Media[edit]

See also[edit]