Wither Skeleton

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Wither Skeleton
Wither Skeleton.pngWither Skeleton Targeting.png
Health points

20♥ × 10



Attack strength

Easy: 5♥♥♥
Normal: 8♥♥♥♥
Hard: 12♥ × 6
1♥ per 2 sec
Wither (status effect) for 10 sec (♥♥)


Height: 2.4 Blocks
Width: 0.7 Blocks


Fortresses at light level 7 or less
When a wither reaches half health ‌[Bedrock Edition only]

Common drops
Rare drops
Natural equipment


Internal ID

JE: 5
BE: 48

Namespaced ID


Wither Skeletons! Tougher, scarier, witherer.

The Pretty Scary Update promo poster

Wither skeletons are variants of skeletons found in fortresses and The Nether. They spawn with stone swords.


Wither skeletons spawn in fortresses at a light level of 7 or less, in groups of 1-5.

Spiders and cave spiders spawned in the Nether (via spawn egg, monster spawner, etc.), have a 0.8% chance of spawning as a Wither Jockey.‌[BE only]


On normal difficulty or harder, the wither will spawn 4 wither skeletons when below half health.‌[BE only]

Spawn eggs[edit]

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


When killed, wither skeletons will drop 0–2 bones.

Wither skeletons have a 13 chance to drop a single coal. The maximum amount of coal is increased by 1 per level of Looting. The chance of a wither skeleton not dropping any coal can be found using the formula 2 / (Looting Level + 3). For example, Looting III gives a 13 chance of not dropping any coal. All other amounts have an equal chance of occurring.

They also have a 2.5% chance to drop 1 Wither skeleton skull when killed by the player or tamed wolf. Looting increases the chance by 1% per level (5.5% chance of a drop with Looting III). They will always drop their skull if killed by a charged creeper.

They have an 8.5% chance of dropping their stone sword, which will have a random durability, and always be un-enchanted.

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.‌[JE only]

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.‌[JE only]


Wither skeletons wander when idle, but will sprint at the player's walking speed when attacking players, snow golems, baby turtles and iron golems within 16 blocks.

When an entity is attacked, it is inflicted with the wither effect for 10 seconds in any difficulty, which turns the health bar black (♥ × 10) and decreases the health by 1♥ every 2 seconds, similarly to poison.

Like other undead mobs, wither skeletons may spawn with the ability to pick up dropped melee weapons and armor. Although they may spawn with the ability to pick up items, wither skeletons never pick up a bow under any circumstances; if they hold a bow in their main hand, they shoot flaming arrows even if their bows are unenchanted.

Mob type[edit]

Wither skeletons are immune to poison and fire, this prevents them from burning in sunlight, but they still seek shade and water. Just like the skeletons they can not swim and end up sinking but do not take drowning damage.

Being undead, a Wither will not attack them.

If hit by a wither's skull, a wither skeleton is afflicted with the Wither effect.‌[JE only]

Finally, a wither skeleton is immune to the damage done by a Wither Rose.


Sound Subtitle Namespaced ID Subtitle ID Source Pitch Volume Attenuation distance
Wither Skeleton rattles entity.wither_skeleton.ambient subtitles.entity.wither_skeleton.ambient ? ? ? 16
Wither Skeleton dies entity.wither_skeleton.death subtitles.entity.wither_skeleton.death ? ? ? 16
Wither Skeleton hurts entity.wither_skeleton.hurt subtitles.entity.wither_skeleton.hurt ? ? ? 16
No subtitle entity.wither_skeleton.step (Step sounds) ? ? ? 16

Data values[edit]

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


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.YesPS3YesYes30GSilver
PS4, PSVitaBronze


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Namespaced ID
Advancement-plain-raw.png Spooky Scary SkeletonObtain a Wither Skeleton's skullA Terrible FortressHave a wither skeleton skull in your inventory.nether/get_wither_skull
Advancement-plain-raw.png AdventureAdventure, exploration, and combatKill any entity, or be killed by any entity.adventure/root
Advancement-plain-raw.png Monster HunterKill any hostile monsterAdventureKill one of these 25 mobs. Other mobs are ignored for this advancement.adventure/kill_a_mob
Advancement-fancy-raw.png Monsters HuntedKill one of every hostile monsterMonster HunterKill each of these 25 mobs. Other mobs may be killed, but are ignored for the advancement.adventure/kill_all_mobs



Java Edition
1.4.212w36aWither Skeleton Revision 1.png Added wither skeletons.
12w38bWither skeletons now spawn more frequently.
1.4.4?Wither skeletons can now sprint towards the player.
1.814w11aWither skeletons now run away from creepers that are about to explode.
14w30aWither skeletons now drop their skull when killed by a charged creeper.
Wither Skeleton Revision 2.png The weapon holding position of wither skeletons has now been changed.
1.8.1pre1Wither skeletons no longer run away from creepers that are about to explode.
1.915w31aWither Skeleton Revision 3.png 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.
15w39aWither skeletons are now slightly shorter (2.4 blocks tall rather than 2.535) and narrower (0.7 blocks instead of 0.72).
1.1016w20aAdded wither skeleton spawn egg.
pre2The wither skeleton spawn egg has now been removed.
1.1116w32aThe wither skeleton spawn egg has now been re-added.
Entity ID has now been changed changed from Skeleton to wither_skeleton, SkeletonType tag is removed.
The wither skeleton's in-game name is now "Wither Skeleton" instead of "Skeleton".
16w39aWither skeletons now have their own sounds.
1.1318w19aWither skeletons now sink underwater.
Wither skeletons no longer drown underwater.
1.1418w43aWither Skeleton.png The texture of wither skeletons has now been changed.
September 28, 2019Announced piglins, which attack wither skeletons.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1build 1Wither Skeleton Revision 1.png Added wither skeletons.
build 9Wither skeletons are now larger than regular skeletons.
build 12Added new sounds for dying wither skeletons.
0.15.0build 1Wither Skeleton Revision 3.png Wither skeletons now lower their arms when idle and swing their arms when damaging something.
Added wither skeleton spawn egg.
0.16.0build 4Wither skeletons now spawn when a wither's health reaches 50%.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha entity ID has now been changed from skeleton.wither to wither_skeleton.
Bedrock Edition
?Wither skeletons no longer spawn with gear (or enchanted gear).
1.5.0beta skeletons will now sink in water, and won’t drown.
beta skeletons now seek and attack baby turtles.
1.10.0beta Skeleton.png The texture of wither skeletons has now been changed.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU71.12Patch 1-Wither Skeleton Revision 1.png Added wither skeletons.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Wither skeletons will now drop their skull when killed by a charged creeper.
TU46CU261.47Patch 14Wither Skeleton Revision 3.png Wither skeletons now lower their arms when idle and swing their arms when damaging something.
TU54CU441.52Patch 241.0.4Added wither skeleton spawn egg.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Wither Skeleton.png The texture of wither skeletons has now been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Wither Skeleton Revision 1.png Added wither skeletons.


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


  • 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.
    • Like other skeleton variants, wither skeletons do not know how to use a crossbow, despite the same using method as a bow.
  • Wither skeletons run from wolves like normal skeletons do.