Wither Skeleton

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Wither Skeleton
Wither Skeleton.png
Health points

20 (Heart.svg × 10)

Attack strength

Easy: 5 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Half Heart.svg)
Normal: 8 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg)
Hard: 12 (Withered Heart.svg × 6)


Height: 2.4 Blocks
Width: 0.7 Blocks


Nether fortresses at light level 7 or less
When a wither reaches half health ‌[Bedrock and Legacy Console editions only]

First appearances

See History

Common drops
Rare drops
Natural equipment


Internal ID

JE: 5
BE: 48

Entity ID


Wither Skeletons! Tougher, scarier, witherer.
The Pretty Scary Update promo poster

Wither skeletons are black sword-wielding variants of skeletons found in nether fortresses.


Wither skeletons spawn in nether fortresses at a light level of 7 or less. They spawn in groups containing up to five mobs.

Spawning is not limited to the nether fortresses.‌[Legacy Console Edition only][1]

On Halloween, wither skeletons have a 22.5% chance of spawning wearing a pumpkin and a 2.5% chance of spawning wearing a jack o'lantern.


On Normal difficulty or harder, the wither will spawn 3–4 wither skeletons when below half health.‌[Bedrock and Legacy Console editions only]

Spawn eggs[edit]

A wither skeleton spawn egg can be found in the Creative inventory. This egg spawns only wither skeletons.


Wither skeletons drop:

  • 0–2 Bones
  • 0–1 Coal
  • 1 Wither skeleton skull (2.5% chance) when killed by the player, and Looting increases the chance by 1 percentage point per level (up to 5.5% chance of a drop with Looting III).
  • 8.5% chance of dropping their stone sword, which will have a random durability, and will be always non-enchanted‌[Legacy Console and Java editions only](may be enchanted‌[Bedrock Edition only]).
  • They may spawn with armor in normal or hard, which they have 8.5% chance to drop.‌[Bedrock Edition only]
  • They drop 5 experience when killed by a player or tamed wolf.


If a wither skeleton wearing a pumpkin or jack o'lantern is killed using a tool enchanted with Looting, there will be a chance equivalent to the level of Looting used to drop the pumpkin or jack o'lantern, up to a maximum of a 3% chance of a drop.


Wither skeletons walk aimlessly when idle, but will sprint at the player's walking speed when attacking, with their stone sword. When the player is attacked by a wither skeleton, they are inflicted with the wither effect for 10 seconds, which turns the health bar black (Withered Heart.svg × 10) and decreases the health by 1 (Withered Half Heart.svg) every 2 seconds, similarly to poison. Wither skeletons deal 5 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Half Heart.svg) on Easy, 8 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg) on Normal and 12 (Withered Heart.svg × 6) on Hard. Like other undead mobs, wither skeletons may spawn with the ability to pick up dropped melee weapons and armor.


Like most Nether mobs, wither skeletons are immune to fire damage, and thus are not affected by fire blocks or lava. Wither skeletons are undead mobs, causing Wither bosses to not attempt to attack them. Their immunity to fire prevents them from burning in sunlight if transported through a nether portal or manually spawned in the Overworld, but they will still seek shade and water.

Data values[edit]

Wither skeletons have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the mob. Their entity ID is wither_skeleton


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Xbox PS Bedrock Nintendo
Sniper DuelKill a skeleton with an arrow from more than 50 metersUse a launched arrow to kill a skeleton, wither skeleton, or a stray from 50 or more blocks away, horizontally.YesYesYesYes30GSilver


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Advancement-plain-raw.pngSpooky Scary SkeletonObtain a wither skeleton's skullA Terrible FortressGet a wither skeleton skull in your inventory.minecraft:nether/get_wither_skull
Advancement-plain-raw.pngAdventureAdventure, exploration, and combatKill any entity, or be killed by any entity.minecraft:adventure/root
Advancement-plain-raw.pngMonster HunterKill any hostile monsterAdventureKill one of these 24 mobs. In 1.14,‌[upcoming] you can also earn this by killing one of these 2 mobs. Other mobs are ignored for this advancement.minecraft:adventure/kill_a_mob
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngMonsters HuntedKill one of every hostile monsterMonster HunterKill each of these 24 mobs. In 1.14,‌[upcoming] also kill each of these 2 mobs. Other mobs may be killed, but are ignored for the advancement.minecraft:adventure/kill_all_mobs
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngSniper duelKill a skeleton from more than 50 meters awayTake AimUse a projectile to kill a skeleton from 50 or more blocks away, horizontally.minecraft:adventure/sniper_duel



Java Edition
1.4.2 12w36a Added wither skeletons.
12w38b Wither skeletons spawn more frequently.
1.4.4 ?Wither skeletons can sprint towards the player.
1.8 14w11a Wither skeletons now run away from creepers that are about to explode.
14w30a Wither skeletons now drop their skull when killed by a charged creeper.
1.8.1 pre1 Wither skeletons no longer run away from creepers that are about to explode.
1.9 15w31a Wither skeletons now lower their arms when idle and swing their arms when damaging something.
Wither skeletons now sometimes spawn with their left hand as their main hand.
Wither skeletons now have the ability to hold items in both of their hands.
15w39a Wither skeletons are slightly shorter (2.4 blocks tall rather than 2.535) and narrower (0.7 blocks instead of 0.72).
1.10 16w20a Added wither skeleton spawn egg.
pre2 Removed wither skeleton spawn egg.
1.11 16w32a Re-added wither skeleton spawn egg.
Entity ID is changed from Skeleton to wither_skeleton, SkeletonType tag is removed.
Their in-game name is now "Wither Skeleton" instead of "Skeleton".
16w39a Wither skeletons now have their own sounds.
1.13 18w19a Wither skeletons now sink underwater.
Wither skeletons no longer drown underwater.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1 build 1 Added wither skeletons.
build 9 Wither skeletons are now larger than regular skeletons.
build 12 Added new sounds for dying wither skeletons.
0.15.0 build 1 Wither skeletons now lower their arms when idle and swing their arms when damaging something.
Added wither skeleton spawn egg.
0.16.0 build 4 Wither skeletons now spawn when a wither's health reaches 50%
Pocket Edition
1.1 alpha The entity ID is changed from skeleton.wither to wither_skeleton.
Bedrock Edition
1.5 beta Wither skeletons will now sink in water, and won’t drown.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU71.12Patch 1Added wither skeletons.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Wither skeletons will now drop their skull when killed by a charged creeper.
TU54CU441.52Patch 24Patch 4Added wither skeleton spawn egg.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0 Added Wither Skeletons.


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


  • If hit by a wither's skull, wither skeletons can be afflicted with the Wither effect.
  • Spiders spawned in the Nether (via spawn egg, monster spawner, etc.), have a 0.8% chance of spawning as a Wither Jockey.‌[Bedrock Edition only]
  • Although they may spawn with the ability to pick up items, wither skeletons will never pick up a bow under any circumstances.
    • If a wither skeleton is wielding a bow (which can be spawned with /summon wither_skeleton ~ ~ ~ {HandItems:[{id:bow,Count:1b}]}), it will use it like an ordinary skeleton, but the arrows it shoots will always be set on fire, regardless of enchantments.
  • Wither skeletons run from wolves like normal skeletons do.