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Health points

300 (Heart.svg × 150)
600 (Heart.svg × 300) [Bedrock and Legacy Console editions only]

Armor points

4 (Armor.svgArmor.svg)

Attack strength

Easy: 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg)
Normal: 8 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg)
Hard: 12 (Withered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svgWithered Heart.svg)
Dash Attack:[Bedrock and Legacy Console editions only] 15 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg)


Height: 3.5 Blocks
Width: 0.9 Blocks


Built by player - 10 second spawn cooldown.

First appearances

See History

Common drops


Sounds Spawn Idle Shoot Hurt Death
Internal ID

JE: 64
BE: 52

Entity ID


New Boss: Wither! Better craft a diaper, pal.
The Pretty Scary Update promo poster

The wither is a boss mob that shoots explosive skulls at the player. It drops the nether star, which can be used to create beacons.


The wither build configuration.

Withers are spawned by placing soul sand in a T shape (as shown in the image 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 wither skeleton 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. The building pattern can be configured upright, sideways, or upside-down; the skulls can also have any orientation. When the Spawn happens , the Wither roars a bit and starts to spin around with a weird music-like tone playing. Then a explosion plays and the Wither comes to life.

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


The wither drops 1 nether star upon death which, until picked up, won't despawn or be destroyed by explosions. The Looting enchantment will not increase this drop. It also drops 50 experience when killed by a player or 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 wither's and the Ender dragon's boss bar.

When spawned, the wither will grow larger in size as its health bar fills up. While in this state, the wither is invulnerable, and will not move or attack. When this state ends (after 10 seconds), the wither will create a very large explosion centered on itself, destroying nearby blocks and damaging nearby mobs/players. This explosion is accompanied by a loud, threatening sound that is not centered on the wither, but rather it can be heard equally from across the map. After this, the wither will attack nearby mobs and is now able to take damage.

The wither is immune to fire, lava and drowning damage. Suffocation is ineffective, since upon taking damage, the wither will break any block that comes into contact with it (except bedrock, end gateway blocks, end portal blocks, end portal frames, command blocks, barriers and piston extensions). Like other undead mobs, the wither is harmed by healing potions and healed by harming potions; however it is unaffected by any other status effect.

The wither is hostile to the player and all mobs except the following mobs:

The wither is unaffected by all attacks from undead mobs except other withers' skulls. They can see players/mobs under the Invisibility potion effect.

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

The wither has a dark purple boss health bar which is only shown when a player is looking in its direction, including through walls. When looking at the wither, the sky gets slightly darker. All withers will display a boss bar on the screen.

Java Edition

The Wither going on a Villager killing rampage.

Upon noticing a mob, the Wither hovers above it and rapidly shoots projectiles called “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.

The wither has a passive regeneration rate of 1 (Half Heart.svg) every 20 ticks (1 second), and a direct hit on a target instantly heals 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg).

When its health drops below half (150 (Heart.svg × 75)), the wither will gain the "wither armor" effect, which makes it immune to arrows and causes it to only fly at the same height as its target. The armor will disappear if it regenerates above half health.

Bedrock and Legacy Console Editions

Upon noticing a mob or player, the wither will fly to a random location and hover in place. It will shoot 3 black wither skulls and a 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 will now dash towards its target like a missile, destroying most blocks and damaging mobs in its path. It also has different birth and death animations, both of which involve the wither spinning and exploding.

Wither skull

Wither Skull
Wither Skull.pngDangerous Wither Skull.png
Internal ID

JE: 19
BE: 89

Network ID

JE: 66

Entity ID


The wither shoots wither skulls, which look like extra heads of itself launched as projectiles. If a wither skull hits a mob/player on Normal or Hard difficulty, it inflicts 40 seconds of Wither II effect (which drains their health and turns their hearts black).

There are two types of wither skulls: a fast moving black one, and a slow moving 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 20. 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 4, making it more destructive to the terrain.

In Bedrock Edition and Legacy Console Edition, the blue skull can be redirected by hitting it with a sword or arrow (similar to Ghast fireballs).

Wither skulls are also entities which have associated entity data. Their entity ID is wither_skull.

  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities see Template:Nbt inherit/entity/template

    •  direction: List of 3 doubles. Should be identical to Motion.

    •  life: 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 acts like direction but without resistance

Data values

See also: Chunk format

Withers have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the mob. Their entity ID is wither.


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Xbox PS Bedrock Nintendo

The Beginning? Spawn the Wither Be within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned. Yes Yes Yes Yes 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. Yes Yes Yes Yes 40G Silver


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Withering Heights Summon the Wither Spooky Scary Skeleton Be within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned. minecraft:nether/summon_wither



Official release
1.4.2 12w34a The wither was introduced into the game, but it does not spawn naturally. Left unfinished by Jeb and hidden in the code, it was discovered through the presence of its skin in the /mobs/ folder. Withers could only be spawned with edited monster spawners, mods, or hacks, and could crash the JVM.
12w34b When its health is taken down to half, it will gain wither armor, making it immune to arrows.
Projectile firing rate and movement speed increased.
? At PAX, Dinnerbone revealed that it would be possible to spawn withers by arranging wither skeleton skulls in some way.[2][3]
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 Wither will make a massive explosion upon its creation after its health is fully charged.
When there are no targets, the wither will sometimes shoot blue wither skulls, which move slower and can destroy any block besides bedrock.
12w38a Added sound when withers break blocks.
12w42b Experience dropped is increased from 20 to 50 points.
1.4-pre Various new sounds for the wither.
1.4.4 1.4.3-pre 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 supposed to be unbreakable.
1.5 13w05a Withers cannot ride minecarts anymore.
1.7.2 13w37a Added achievements for spawning and killing the Wither.
1.8 14w04a You can now spawn withers by dispensing the wither skulls.
14w11b The hitbox of the wither was changed.
14w20a Withers no longer break barriers.
14w25a Withers now move while invulnerable due to MC-57569.
Withers can now be built sideways and upside-down instead of just upright.
Barriers can be broken by withers again.
1.8.1 ? Barriers cannot be broken by withers.
1.9 15w46a Withers no longer move while invulnerable.
15w49a Withers no longer travel through portals.
1.11 16w32a The entity ID is changed from WitherBoss to wither.
The projectile entity ID is changed from WitherSkull to wither_skull.
16w40a Tags xTile, yTile, zTile, inTile and inGround were removed from the wither skull entity data.
The life tag is no longer used for anything, but still saved/read.
1.12 pre3 Withers can no longer break piston extensions or end gateways.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.16.0 build 4 Added the wither.
As a version exclusive, when the Wither is at 50% health, it spawns 4 wither skeletons. It also attacks differently and has twice the amount of health as the Java Edition's Wither.
Pocket Edition
1.0.2 Wither skulls can now be deflected with a sword.
1.1 build 1 The entity ID is changed from wither.boss to wither.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19 CU7 1.12 Patch 1 Added withers.
TU60 CU51 1.64 Patch 30 Updated Wither Boss behaviour. It will now blow up and spawn Wither Skeletons at half health. They will also do the Dash Attack like Bedrock Edition. Also removed being able to regenerate health.


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


  • According to Jeb, the wither was inspired by Terraria which has summonable boss mechanic, the name itself inspired by poison spell in another game made by him called Whispers in Akarra.[4]
  • There is a painting showing the soul sand and wither skeleton skull formation needed to spawn a wither.
  • The wither does not take damage from undead mobs' attacks or from drowning.
  • If the wither is damaged by the Void, it will frantically attempt to fire blue skulls.
  • If the wither is after a blaze and the blaze tries to fly up to it, the wither will attempt 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 was in two of the April fools updates.
  • The wither spawn structure can be built any way, such as downward or horizontal, however the wither will always spawn at the foot of the structure.
  • 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 Other Media

See also


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