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How to kill Mobs in Minecraft

Are you tired of not knowing which mob is which and hate dying to some mobs? Well, say no more, as this guide takes you through the wonderful mobs of Minecraft!

Passive Mobs

Passive mobs are the easiest category of mobs to kill in Minecraft as they don’t fight back and defend themselves but rather run away rather feebly. There is no real strategy to killing these mobs but below are some tips and tricks.
Cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, cod, salmon and rabbits all drop food. Cows drop raw beef and leather, pigs drop raw porkchop, sheep drop raw mutton and wool colored their own wool color, chickens drop feathers and chicken, cod drops raw cod and bones, and salmon drops raw salmon and bones. You will notice that all of these animals drop not only food but raw food. To get this food cooked immediately light the animals on fire and kill them before they extinguish themselves.
Other passive mobs include the horse, the parrot, the ocelot and many more. The only mobs you might have trouble killing are the flying ones like the bat and the parrot but shooting them with a bow while they are still is a good option.

Neutral Mobs

Neutral mobs are mobs that will attack you when provoked. In the below sections we will walk you through how to deal with all types of neutral mobs.

Spider/Cave Spider

The spider is mostly hostile but is neutral in the sense that it will only attack you in the night. You will probably not come across this scenario as spiders spawn in the night and you will most likely kill them before dawn. Spiders have 16 health points or eight hearts and you should be able to kill them easily with normal melee attacks or with a bow. Don’t attempt to get the high ground over the spider as they are one of the only mobs in Minecraft with the ability to scale walls.
The spider’s poisonous counterpart, the cave spider, spawns only in abandoned mineshafts and will attack you under the same rules as the normal spider. One thing to note is that cave spiders have the ability to poison you when they hit you which can in some cases leave you with a measly half heart. All cave spiders spawn from a spawner and breaking this spawner destroys their ability to spawn anymore (note that there can be more than one spawner). The cave spider can also fit through half-block gaps unlike the regular spider. One last thing to remember though is that cave spiders only have 12 health points or 6 hearts.

Iron Golem

The Iron Golem is a formidable opponent to fight fairly and generally it is not a good idea to. This huge mob has 100 health points or 50 hearts. Instead of regular pvp, you can hit the golem once and since it’s reaction time is considerably low, you can run away and stack a minimum of three blocks up (you can stack no more than four blocks up as five blocks and up means you will not be able to reach the golem). Then proceed to hit the golem without it being able to hit you. Another unique strategy is to dig down three (or four) blocks and hit the golem. This strategy works too! Iron Golems are found in villages and serve a purpose of protecting its inhabitants. You can also construct a golem yourself! Iron Golems can’t go in water so another strategy to kill it would be to hang out in the water and kill it off taking little damage. One last thing to remember is that Iron Golems will also be provoked when you attack a villager. If it witnesses the crime, it will attack you.

Dolphin

It’s best to never attack a dolphin as they give you the “Dolphin’s Grace” effect, which means you swim faster in water and they drop nothing but fish. Dolphins do a considerable amount of damage and fighting one on it’s own turf (the water) is not advised. Instead get to land and hit them (they will still be in water) or hit one onto land where it is most vulnerable.

Enderman

Enderman are a bit of a confusing mob. They will attack you under two conditions. The first one is if you outright attack them in which case they will start screaming and move towards you and inflict damage at super fast speeds. The second case is if you look them directly in the eyes in which case the same process happens. There are a couple of strategies to kill off an enderman. The first one is to use it’s size against it and stack up four blocks and punch it to death. You could also go into a two block space such as a doorway and kill it as it won’t be able to fit through. You could also just go in with the intent to just fight. It is a good strategy to use a shield against enderman as this prevents them from hitting you and will save you against multiple enderman attacks at the same time. Tip: It is physically impossible to damage an enderman with a bow. Lastly, know that enderman hate water, so when all else fails, place a water bucket and get into the water; no enderman will reach you!

Bee

Bees are found in plains biomes and flower forests. Hitting a bee will get it angry at you and with a hard enough difficulty you will be poisoned if a bee hits you. Harvesting honey comb from a bee nest with shears will get all the bees in the nest angry at you and lastly, breaking the nest itself without silk touch, will get all the bees angry at you.

Goat

Goats won’t outright attack you when provoked but rather will throw you off big cliffs where you will probably fall to your demise. Another thing is that goats don’t need to be provoked but will ram into you at their own leisure. To kill a goat make sure you are not on the edge of a cliff and proceed to just hit it with melee attacks. If the goat rams into you, you will not fall of a fatal height. Also make sure that the goat has nowhere to jump to. Goats can jump incredible heights and you don’t want yours escaping so easily. When using a bow, all these rules can be bypassed as you will be able to shoot it wherever it goes without being in danger. Goats don’t drop anything but getting it to ram into a wall will make it drop a horn which can be used to craft a spyglass. Pretty useful, right?

Llama

Llamas are a pretty straight forward mob to fight as when hit they will only be provoked to spit at you doing very little damage and a bit of knockback. Just hit them until they die and pick up any leather they may drop. If you absolutely don’t want to take damage, shoot it from afar with a bow and arrow. If the llama belongs to a wandering trader, you may get leads dropped upon their death.
Fun Fact: With the correct timing, a Llamas spit can be redirected towards it with a weapon!

Piglin

Piglins are generally hostile towards you and will attack you with crossbows and gold swords. Remember that a Piglin’s aim is much better than a skeletons and it's harder to dodge their arrows. Wearing any piece of gold armor will stop the Piglin’s hostility and they will not attack you. Mining any gold or hitting a piglin will make the Piglin’s hostile whether you are wearing gold or not. To kill a piglin, try to seperate it from it’s pack and one vs one it, if they have a sword. If they have a crossbow, you may want to use a shield to reflect it’s arrows.

Panda

Pandas will be provoked when attacked and have an interesting strategy of harming you. At first they retreat backwards but come back quite slowly and do a bit of damage. They can really surprise you as it can take quite a few seconds for them to fight back. Once they have hit you though, they will be satisfied and leave you alone. It’s best to kill off a panda before they retreat backwards which is pretty easy. There is no real reason to kill a panda because they drop nothing but bamboo.

Polar Bear

Polar Bears are a formidable opponent. When attacked they will leap up onto you and deal huge amounts of damage. Furthermore, they only drop fish. The best way to kill a polar bear is to use a bow and shoot it from afar, although if you feel you are a good fighter you can go hit the polar bear with a melee weapon and dodge it’s attacks. Don’t try to escape a polar bear via water as they are excellent swimmers.

Wolf

Wolves are not the worst opponent but since they spawn in packs they are to be reckoned with. When attacked, the wolf in question will attack you as well as any other wolf in the area. At times you can have tons of wolves on you at once. It is useless to kill wolves as they drop nothing but if you really do it would be best to get high ground the wolf can not get to such as stacking up a few blocks. You could also use a bow and arrows but chances are the wolves will reach you before you kill them all.

Zombified Piglin

Zombified Piglins drop small quantities of gold when killed, and are the mob Minecrafters turn to, when wanting to make a gold farm. Zombified Piglins much like wolves will all attack you if you hit just one of them. Unlike wolves, If you one shot a Zombified Piglin, the others will not attack you. Try to get the high ground against Zombified Piglins as shields are rendered useless against them. These foes do a lot of damage.

Hostile Mobs

Now we discuss the full gamut of hostile mobs.

Zombie/Zombie Villager/Husk

Zombies are probably the first hostile mob you saw in the game as they are one of the most common. Zombies have the same health as the player does (20 health points/10 hearts) and can spawn wearing armor and/or wielding tools/weapons. On the hardest difficulty, zombies do two hearts with no armour. The best way to take out a zombie, is to outright duel it in which you will win fairly easily, but if you are being swarmed you may want to shoot them from afar with a bow and arrows. Also consider going in with a shield (note that the zombies can come from behind you). Zombies drop rotten flesh which can be eaten by the player as a last resort. The zombie villager variant acts the same as a normal zombie and can be found in abandoned villages, igloos, or by regular spawning. If you cure a zombie villager by feeding it a golden apple and throwing a splash potion of weakness at it the now “revived” villager will lower his prices. Husks are another zombie variant and one of the main differences between the standard zombie is that husks don’t burn in sunlight. Husks also give you the hunger effect when they attack you making them even more dangerous. The strategy for killing husks is the same as killing normal zombies. Fortunately, husks only spawn in the deserts during nighttime.

Creeper

Creepers are a dangerous mob, but the thing is you might not understand that at first because you will realize you don’t always want to go near them. Creepers have a tnt core that explodes when the player comes in the required range. The player has a few seconds to get out of range of the bomb until it goes off. If you are lucky you might get out of range quick enough and the bomb won’t go off and the creeper will stay as it is. If you are not so lucky you may lose your life. Note that the creeper also dies, sacrificing itself to kill you. The best strategy to kill a creeper, would be to shoot it from afar with arrows which even gains you the advancement/achievement: “Archer”. If you want to fight it directly the best strategy would be to hit the creeper, run away before it explodes, hit it again, run away and so on. Both these strategies gain you gunpowder. This is one of the only ways (and by far the most efficient) to acquire gunpowder which can be used to craft fireworks, and tnt, useful late game items. Remember that if the creeper blows up it will not drop gunpowder.

Skeleton/Stray

Skeletons are a dangerous and common Minecraft hostile mob that attacks you with arrows shot from a bow. If you are a beginner the easiest and safest way to take out a skeleton is to use its weapon against it and shoot it with arrows. Note that unless you are on hard mode, skeletons do not have the best aim. A lot of the time when you are on a difficulty that is at most normal, the skeleton will shoot a block or half away from you. Because of this attribute, you are able to dodge its arrows. If you are more experienced you can charge in and take out the skeleton with a weapon. Skeletons can hit you with their hand as well as with their arrows so when you are hitting the skeleton with a melee weapon make sure you don’t get too close. Never let the skeleton get high ground, or get you in a position where you can’t get to it but it can shoot you (e.g. one block high water). Also remember, to never let the skeleton shoot you into a pit or something dangerous like lava. If you want to make a quick getaway, know that skeletons can’t shoot underwater. So submerging yourself for a while might be a good idea. If a skeletons head is above water, they will be able to shoot you. Skeletons drop bones, arrows, and worn out bows. If a skeleton shoots a creeper and kills it with their shot the creeper will drop a music disk.
The stray is a skeleton variant which spawns only in snowy biomes. The only difference between skeletons is that their arrows give you slowness so you might want to use a shield to reflect their arrows. Fortunately, strays burn in sunlight,
Fun Fact: In the Java edition of Minecraft, skeletons have an 11% chance to hold a bow with their left hand and a 89% chance to hold it in their right. This is estimated to be the real world ratio.

Drowned

Drowned are a zombie variant that lives in the water. They can be found in any body of water but primarily in oceans, most of the time near underwater ruins or structures. Drowned mobs can spawn regularly in the water but can also spawn if a zombie drowns underwater (in which case the zombie just turns into a drowned). Drowned mobs can spawn holding tridents, fishing rods, and nautilus shells and can drop these items as well as rotten flesh and copper ingots (in pre 1.17 versions of the game instead of copper drowned drop gold. Drowned are hard to shoot underwater as arrows are a bit funky there. Instead resort to melee weapons to kill the drowned. Beware of drowned with tridents as they have infinite of them and can kill you in just a few hits with no armour. Note that drowned have the ability to chase you out of water so don’t feel safe getting on to land. Unlike zombies, drowned are accomplished swimmers.

Witch

Witches are a dangerous mob and you can find them spawning naturally during nighttime or in a witch hut found in swamp biomes. A lot of strategies you would use against other mobs would not work against a witch. Don’t try to push them into lava or a pit as they can drink fire resistance potions and potions of instant healing to save themselves. Witches also have the ability to throw potions at you such as a splash potion of poison which in most cases will get you to half a heart. Try taking out a witch from a distance with a bow and arrow because a bow's range is much bigger than a witch’s. If you are feeling brave, take out the witch with a melee weapon, but beware because you only have a couple of seconds before it throws the inescapable potion of poison or another even more annoying one. Upon death, a witch will drop glowstone dust, redstone dust, sugar, sticks, a spider eye, gunpowder, glass bottles, and a potion of healing. They will usually only drop one of these items, all of which are useful for potion making except sticks.
Tip: If killing a witch in a witch hut, come prepared with glass bottles, as the cauldron inside might be filled to the brim with a useful potion!
Fun Fact: In the Java edition of Minecraft, spawning a cat in a witch hut will result in the cat always being black.

Illagers

Illagers are dangerous hostile mobs that look exactly like villagers but aren’t exactly that nice. Listed below are all three of them.

Pillager

Pillagers are a very dangerous mob to deal with if you don’t know what you are doing. All pillager’s spawn with crossbows and the only time you will see one without a crossbow is if their crossbow has broken. Along with that is an infinite supply of arrows. Pillagers have excellent aim and you usually want to shoot them with arrows to pick them off one by one. Killing a pillager with a crossbow gives you the advancement/achievement: “Who’s the pillager now?”. It is also best to use a shield against pillagers if you want to engage with melee weapons as they not only block arrows but can reflect them back to the pillagers. Hit a pillager while it is chagrin its crossbow as this is when it's most vulnerable.
Pillagers spawn in Pillager Outposts, Raids, and in Pillager Patrols. Pillager Patrols are small in size (consisting of 2 to 5 pillagers). On hard difficulty Pillager Patrols may spawn with vindicators (mentioned below). Pillager Patrols always have a Pillager (or Vindicator) captain which will give you the Bad Omen effect. This effect lasts for one hundred minutes and can only vanish upon waiting it out, drinking milk, or dying. Going into a certain radius of a villager with Bad Omen, will activate a raid consisting of several rounds in which all types of illagers can spawn. After completing a raid your villagers will throw useful items at you and lower their prices! Pillager Outposts have pillagers spawning constantly in and around the outpost. If you want to grab the loot from the outpost, find the entrance and climb the stairs to the top floor and loot the chest. You may encounter a few pillagers on the way. Use the tactics mentioned above to defeat them. It may be worth going into the outpost with an item such as a water bucket to mlg off the top if you are being swarmed as jumping off normally will leave you on extremely low health or even kill you. If you are a beginner you may want to go into the outpost with a full set of iron armour.
Pillagers can drop crossbows of varying durability, an ominous banner (only dropped by Pillager Captains), arrows. In the Bedrock Edition pillagers can also drop emeralds, enchanted books, any piece of iron armor (not including a shield) and any iron tool except for a hoe (these items are only dropped when the Pillagers have spawned as a result of a raid).

Vindicator

Vindicators are only found in Pillager Patrols, Raids, and in Woodland Mansions. They are a fierce and strong axe wielding mob that does a heap of damage. One popular method to kill a vindicator is to just stack up and kill it as it won’t be able to hit you. This is because axes can disable shields so they are pretty much useless against Vindicators. If you are a good mob fighter you may want to outright kill the Vindicator as with a few critical hits (jumping and hitting which does 50% more damage) the Vindicator will die. This will probably leave you on low health even if you have decent armour so if you are being swarmed reconsider your strategy. You could also shoot a Vindicator from afar with a bow and arrow. Vindicators drop emeralds and an Ominous Banner if they were captaining a Pillager Patrol. Additionally, in the Bedrock Edition during raids, they can drop a better amount of emeralds, any iron tool except a hoe, and any piece of iron armour (no shield).
Fun Fact: Naming a vindicator “Johnny” will cause it to turn hostile to all mobs except other illagers.

Evoker/Vexes

Evokers are the advanced form of witches in Minecraft. They spawn in raids and in Woodland Mansions. Getting too close to an Evoker, will provoke it and it will make spikes shoot from the ground that do quite some damage and probably will hit you. That’s only the first round. Soon after that, if you are still in range, the Evoker will spawn vexes. Vexes are arguably the most annoying mob in the game and can only be spawned by evokers. Vexes are tiny one block creatures that can fly and move through walls. They wield iron swords and can do a ton of damage. Even with good armor, vexes can kill you in a couple of shots and they are hard to kill themselves. If you need to kill them it is best to hit them as they come as they take so long to line up and shoot.
Shields are useless against Evokers. Evokers don’t just summon one vex, they summon multiple. For this reason it is almost mandatory if you are a beginner to kill one with a bow and arrow as it won’t sense you and therefore do nothing. If you feel you are a bit experienced, jump in to kill the evoker but remember that you only have a couple of seconds before a swarm of vexes (try to go in with a good weapon (at least an iron tool).
Evokers drop the prized totem of undying which can save you from death (after using it once though, you lose the totem).
Fun Fact: Any blue sheep in a 16 block radius to an evoker will cause the evoker to turn the sheep red.

Endermite

Endermite are a mostly annoying half-block tall mob in Minecraft as they are just a hazard and don’t even drop anything. They have a 5% (1/20) chance to spawn when throwing an ender pearl. You might not realize they are there at first which gives them the opportunity for a surprise attack. If for some reason you are in a bad situation or are being swarmed simply stack up to kill off the endermite.
Fun Fact: Endermen are scared of endermites!

Silverfish

Silverfish are also a half block tall mob and like endermite are extremely annoying. They spawn either from a spawner in a stronghold portal room or when infested blocks are broken. These blocks can be found in strongholds, mountain biomes, woodland mansions, or igloos. Like endermites simply stack up to kill silverfish if you find yourself swarmed. In the case of silverfish, if you don’t kill one that has spawned from an infested block immediately all other infested blocks nearby will break revealing quite a lot of silverfish!
Enjoyed this blogpost? Checkout our blogpost on the Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Update (Part 1; June 2021). Also see our Minecraft 2021 Beginners Guide.
Want to learn Minecraft modding? Checkout Kodeclik's 1:1 and small group classes.

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