Minecraft may seem like a game focused heavily on collecting and crafting, but combat plays a fairly big role in it, too. Unless you’ve switched to the Peaceful setting or you’re playing Creative mode, there’s a chance that one or two hostile Minecraft mobs will creep up and attack you.
Survival, Hardcore, and Adventure Mode all carry with them the foreboding promise of a Creeper blowing up your home or a Guardian swarming you as you’re admiring some underwater architecture.
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Not all Minecraft mobs are hostile. Neutral mobs like Llamas, Pandas, and Iron Golems are more likely to ignore you than charge at you. But Bees, Skeletons, and Baby Zombies?
Now those, you should keep at a fair distance from your player.
Whether you just gathering tips on how to kill all mobs in Minecraft or you’re a beginner and you’d like to know which ones to avoid, this list is for you. These 15 notorious Minecraft mobs contain the creepies, the crawlies, and the undead that you should definitely know about before you set out to explore this sandbox world.
Table of Contents:
- Guardians/Elder Guardians
- Baby Zombies
- Ender Dragon
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Ravagers are large (roughly 2.2 blocks high) bovine-like mobs that spawn in raids and attack literally everything in sight – players, villagers, iron golems, you name it. These death-on-four-legs are probably one of the worst Minecraft mobs you can encounter while you’re off-guard and unequipped.
By itself, a Ravager is pretty tough to beat. When another hostile mob is riding it (like a Vindicator or an Evoker)? It’s near impossible.
If you’re kitted out in fairly high-level gear, you might have a decent chance at standing your ground (or escaping with your life). However, Ravagers hit hard. Really hard. Their roar alone deals a total of 6-ish damage. They take 50% less knockback (because they’re so heavy). One hit from them can deal roughly 3/4s of your health bar in damage. They can render your shield useless.
And did we mention they can also swim?
Tips for Handling Ravagers: If your equipment is better than a full set of Level 1 Enchanted Diamond gear, you could try going toe-to-toe with them. Hit fast, hit hard, and make sure you have a lot of Potions of Healing on you. Anything lower than that and our best advice would just be to run.
In Minecraft lore, Evokers are basically Villagers “driven mad by the magic they studied.” Unhinged mobs don’t make for very good encounters, and they’re two main attacks – ground chomp and summon ethereal Vexes – can deal a lot of damage in a very short time.
If you’re wandering around woodland mansions hoping to score a Totem of Undying, you’re sure to run into these spell-casting Villagers.
Thankfully, they’re not as scary as Ravagers.
Unfortunately, they can mount those bovines to deal double the damage and double the fear.
But by themselves, these hostile mobs in Minecraft aren’t too bad. Just stay on your toes, make sure your gear is of a high-enough level, and try to keep a cool head. After all, a Totem of Undying is very much worth a run-in (or two) with these mad magicians.
Tips for Handling Evokers: You’re going to be surrounded by either ethereal Vexes or painful fangs springing up from the ground. For this reason, going melee might not be such a good tactic. Your best chances of survival would be (1) really good armor, (2) lots of Potions of Healing, or (3) killing from a distance with a bow.
Vindicators may not be the tankiest Minecraft mobs around, but they do wield a pretty scary iron ax. If you’re trekking through woodland mansions, you’re likely going to encounter them.
Thankfully, these humanoid mobs are exactly that – humanoids. They can disable your shield and they can hurt (especially with lower equipment), but you can do the same to them.
Ranged attacks may not be as effective against them (unless you have a really high-level enchanted bow) as other Minecraft mobs simply because they start following you from up to 12 blocks away. And they can sprint, so yes. They’re pretty mobile.
Still, the drops are worth taking them on. Emeralds, iron equipment – even their iron ax.
Tips for Handling Vindicators: These guys don’t have the best lifespan nor the best defense, so we highly recommend being aggressively offensive. Use your normal strategies if you must but don’t focus too much on dodging and blocking.
If they’re attacking as a group, they will annihilate you. Hit them as hard and as fast as you can in melee range.
A lone Skeleton isn’t very scary, but a horde of Skeletons can mean instant death. They’re one of the four main hostile Minecraft mobs and they’re really, really fond of spawning in multiples.
The good news is that they’re not too tanky. Their maximum shooting radius is also fairly low (about 10 blocks) so you can outrun their ammo.
The bad news is that their bows hurt (a lot) when they connect.
If there are more than six Skeletons shooting at you at the same time, you’ll need to act quickly.
Thankfully, Skeletons burn in the sunlight. So the chances of you running into one during daytime travel are fairly low.
Nighttime’s a whole different story, though.
Tips for Handling Skeletons: Again, one or two Skeletons won’t prove to be much of a problem with good armor and weapons. If you’re facing a full-on ambush, you definitely want to take them out as quickly as you can.
Try to memorize their shooting rhythm so you can block their shots as you close the distance. Once you’re in melee range, give them a good, hard whack. Don’t try to outshoot and outlast a horde of Skeletons, especially if you don’t have a shield.
Meet one of the other four main hostile Minecraft mobs: the iconic Creeper.
Even non-Minecraft players are (more or less) familiar with this mob’s grimy, green-and-gray façade. They’re silent, deadly, and explosive.
They explode violently when a player is near them – usually before the player can get a couple of attacks in. Stealth and speed are their best assets, so you need to beat them at their own game if you don’t want to get blasted to smithereens (and have a gaping hole in your home – that can get pretty annoying).
These medium-sized mobs move at medium speed, but they’re always hostile. And, as we mentioned, they’re pretty quiet. In fact, they’re one of the quietest Minecraft mobs – second only to Ocelots.
If you’re going against a Creeper, please have enchanted equipment. Otherwise, run as fast as you can.
Tips for Handling Creepers: You need to be faster and stealthier than them if you want to get the first hit in. Because a Creeper’s first hit is also it’s last (and probably yours, too). Make sure your weapon is something that can kill it in two or three hits, too. Otherwise, the Creeper will explode.
Alternatively, a bow would be a better option. If you can stand far enough away and kill the Creeper before it scuttles into your space, the odds are in your favor.
Compared to the Top 5 of this list, Ghasts can seem pretty tame.
They’re these giant flying jellyfish-like ghosts from the Nether and if you ignore the context of your encounter, they can be pretty cute. However, they are the second-largest Minecraft mob; easily 4 blocks high and 4 blocks wide, and they can only spawn in areas that are 5×5 or bigger.
At least you don’t have to worry about them sneaking up on you in narrow corridors, yeah?
Ghasts are known for highly explosive – and highly destructive – fireballs.
Not only do these fireballs hurt a ton, but they also shred the areas surrounding the site of impact. Even if the player survives the initial blast, they could still fall through the fresh hole in the floor (created by the fireball, as promised) and land right in the Nether’s lava ocean.
Tips for Handling Ghasts: Obviously, their fireballs and size make this hostile mob a huge problem. The best way to dance around the Nether’s resident spooksters would be to shoot from a distance or deflect the fireball right back to them. This can be done by “attacking” the fireball when it’s close to you.
Any item will do for deflecting – a sword, a shield, a fishing rod – but your timing needs to be impeccable. Otherwise, you’re going to get a lot of flame to the face.
One of the few Minecraft mobs guaranteed to wreck any peaceful boating day, the Drowned are essentially Zombie variants capable of swimming, breathing underwater, and wielding very pointy tridents.
And since they’re the only source of tridents in Minecraft, you’re probably going to take several on.
Don’t worry; Drowned – while definitely a little scary at first – are one of the easier hostile mobs to take on. They’ve got decent HP, pretty low armor, and their size is well within the normal 2×1 height and width (give or take a couple of quarter-blocks) measurements. Their weapon of choice and their love for spawning in water is what makes them difficult to face at lower levels.
The trident is a versatile thing that can be used as either a melee weapon or a ranged one. And Drowned take full advantage of that.
Tips for Handling Drowned: Their ranged attacks deliver 2x – 3x more damage than their melee attacks so stay as close as you physically can. If you have to take them on in ranged combat, make your shots count. They’re not very beefy nor armored, so they’ll definitely die quickly if you do it right.
If they attack you during the day, you can also try removing them from the water and blocking their access to any other water sources. This will turn them passive, giving you a chance to escape (if you want to).
They’ll turn hostile again once night falls, so make sure you’ve long since cleared the area.
8. Guardians/Elder Guardians
Guardians are yet another water-based Minecraft mob worth going toe-to-toe with only if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, they can deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
Guardians and Elder Guardians are the embodiment of “hit hard, hit fast,” thanks to their lasers that you cannot dodge.
Yes, it is as unfair as it sounds.
These lasers have an effective maximum range of 15 blocks and will hit the player so long as the player remains in the Guardian’s line-of-sight.
Elder Guardians are pretty much just stronger and beefier versions of Guardians. Their lasers deal more damage and they have considerably heftier health bars. Elder Guardians are also capable of hitting players within a 50-block radius with Mining Fatigue III for five whole minutes.
Guardians and Elder Guardians will usually spawn around ocean monuments and – unlike Drowned – won’t chase players or other passive mobs on land, so they can be avoided. But if you’re going to face them, here’s what we’d recommend:
Tips for Handling Guardians: Hit them before they can hit you. Seriously. It’s all about who draws first blood.
If you can’t aggro them before they agro you, do your level best to cancel their laser. Their laser takes several seconds to charge and emits a sound while doing so, so you at least have a head’s up before their attack. If you can get out of their line-of-sight via a wall or pillar, their laser gets canceled. If you can move out of the laser’s range of 15 blocks, the attack also gets canceled.
You’ll need a bit of strategy to take them on, but it’ll pay off in the end.
Just please don’t go against them without Water Breathing and Depth Strider.
Remember those ethereal things that Evoker’s summon? Those are Vexes – Illagers with wings and swords capable of dealing a lot of damage. Like, a lot. And they come in groups, too, so you rarely have to worry about just one.
These hostile mobs in Minecraft are just as relentless as Endermen. But whereas those gentle (until they aren’t) giants can teleport, these tiny 0.8-blocks-tall mobs can phase through most materials. Walls, water, lava, fire … you name it, they can probably move right through it.
This means that hiding from them isn’t a feasible tactic at all.
Thankfully, they don’t last long in the Overworld. Given enough time, sufficient damage, or the death of their Evoker master, Vexes eventually phase out.
Tips for Handling Vexes: Hit hard if you can, run when you can’t. They may have fairly low HP but they can deal up to 13 damage on Hard difficulty, 5 on Easy. And there’s usually more than three of them, which means that damage is going to stack quickly. Retreat when necessary to avoid getting cornered.
Vexes despawn in 2 minutes. If you can flee the scene and wait it out for that long, you’ll have a better chance of survival.
As we mentioned earlier, these teleporting giants are usually neutral and very gentle – until you look at them funny. Then they absolutely lost it and turn hostile.
Normally standing at a very respectable 2.9 blocks, these Minecraft mobs quickly grow to 3.25 in their anger. And even on Easy setting, their hits hurt.
Once you’ve provoked an Enderman, you need to kill it before it kills you. There is no waiting them out or running and hoping they lose interest. An aggravated Enderman will pursue you until one of you is killed.
Endermen will feel provoked by players making eye contact up to a maximum range of 64 blocks. They can also teleport up to 32 blocks. This means ranged attacks won’t do a lot of good. The Enderman can see the projectile from a mile away and simply ‘port out of danger.
This eyesight-plus-teleportation combo also means that outrunning these mobs isn’t a viable option, either.
Tips for Handling Endermen: Kit yourself up with good, high-level equipment and enchantments. Pack a lot of Potions of Healing. And then just use the tried-and-true, whack-and-attack approach. If you can run up to them and deal significant damage before they can retaliate, you’ll have the upper hand. We recommend using Netherite armor and a sword for the hit stun.
These mobs are the Minecraft representation of your parents telling you to get enough sleep.
They’re undead, stingray-looking hostiles that spawn only when a player hasn’t attempted to use a bed for three or more in-game days. Sleep deprivation is typically considered unhealthy, but only in Minecraft do the consequences of pulling straight all-nighters actually take shape.
Phantoms are hostile mobs that spawn in groups of six and swoop down to attack the sleepless player. They’re fast, sharp, and terrifying. They don’t deal a lot of damage individually, but there’s a lot of them and they’re relentless.
If you’re trying to collect phantom membranes, then sure. Go ahead and skip sleep on the regular. But if not, getting a couple of hours of sleep is worth it if it means never having to deal with them.
Tips for Handling Phantoms: Pick them off as fast as you can. They have average health, which means that taking down one or two won’t be much of a problem. Don’t spend too much time trying to down one, though, as the others will probably return the damage you’re dealing tenfold. Run if it’s getting too difficult.
Or just sleep. Every day or every other day. It’s not that hard.
Just like Endermen, Bees are a neutral Minecraft mob until you aggravate them. Or their nest. Provoked Bees are fast, furious, and capable of inflicting poison. Keep in mind that you’re not just swatting one Bee, either. You’re dealing with a whole swarm.
Bees will also continue attacking a player until they successfully hit, sting, and poison the player. Then they turn neutral, are incapable of attacking, and die approximately 60 seconds later.
Pretty much like real bees.
Tips for Handling Bees: Unless you really, really want the experience, killing Bees doesn’t yield much. They don’t drop anything special when killed. You don’t get anything from destroying their nest, either (i.e., rare collectibles and such).
If you do end up aggravating a whole swarm or two, just run away and come back after a few hours. You definitely don’t want to have to deal with all the poison damage that’s going to accumulate.
13. Baby Zombies
Before you go, “Aww!” know this; Baby Zombies are basically miniature versions of actual Zombies. They’re just as green, mean, and relentless as the full-size variants. What makes Baby Zombies worse is that they’re faster (about 30% more) and harder to hit. They can fit in one block spaces, too, meaning they can easily swarm a small area in a matter of seconds.
Canonically, a Baby Zombie deals the same damage as a regular Zombie. That means one Baby Zombie can take down an Adult Villager if it’s so inclined.
Best not to wonder how Baby Zombies are made. Just focus on defeating them.
Tips for Handling Baby Zombies: Deal with them as you would regular Zombies, only at a faster pace. They have the same HP as the normal variants so killing them can easily be done with a standard weapon like a sword or bow. Their speed and size make them deadly but you should manage to hold your own against a full horde if you’ve got decent armor, equipment, and potions.
Quick riddle for you: what has three heads and floats like an otherworldly omen?
A Wither, that’s what. And if you’ve yet to encounter them in your game, that just means you’ve yet to summon them.
Currently the only player-made hostile mob in-game, you can only encounter a Wither if you want to. Unlike other Minecraft mobs, they don’t spawn and wander around certain areas. There is a specific ritual the player must perform in order to bring them about.
Why would one deliberately summon a Wither, you ask?
For the experience points and the Nether Star, of course.
As far as attacks go, Withers are definitely one of the heavy-hitters. They give off an explosion 10 seconds after they’re summoned, and this explosion can deal up to 96 damage on Normal difficulty. They’re also immune to fire, lava, and drowning damage.
To date, Withers have the highest HP amongst all hostile Minecraft mobs – yes, even higher than the Ender Dragon.
Tips for Handling Withers: When Withers first appear, they don’t appear full-sized. It takes them a good 10 seconds or so to reach their actual size, after which they will immediately create a large explosion centered on themselves. This “Birth Explosion” has a blast power of 7. For reference, that’s more than a Charged Creeper.
So what to do? When you spawn the Wither, run away immediately and wait for it to explode. While the Wither is growing, it is immune and invulnerable, but it also can’t move. So avoiding their Birth Explosion is pretty simple, so long as you move quickly enough.
After that, it’s a matter of outliving one of the most long-lived mobs in Minecraft. Bring tons of Potions and golden apples to keep your health constantly topped up.
15. Ender Dragon
Standing at a whopping 8 blocks tall and 16 blocks wide, the Minecraft Ender Dragon is the stuff of legends. Only for Minecraft players, this hostile mob is very, very real. This hostile momma “boss mob” is widely acknowledged as Minecraft’s final boss,” and you can only encounter her when you first enter the End.
Killing an Ender Dragon is 100% worth the loot drop. 12,000 experience points when you first slay her, 500 experience points every time you do it again (through summoning), and a neat little Dragon Egg for your troubles. You also get sweet, sweet bragging rights.
But just like every notorious Minecraft mob, you have to earn your victory. And believe you me, the Ender Dragon makes you work for it. It has a melee attack, a wing attack, Dragon’s breath, and a Fireball. She can fly, deal 15 damage (on Hard difficulty), take only 1/4th of the damage you deal (if you don’t hit her on the head), and immediately destroy any block she touches.
The Ender Dragon also has an effective charge distance of 150 blocks, will ignore all other enemies except the player, and can reset her damage accumulator when she’s taken a significant amount of damage.
Yes, it’s like she can heal.
Tips for Handling the Ender Dragon: The only blocks the Ender Dragon cannot destroy are Obsidian (and the End stone). If you can, bring as much Obsidian to the fight and build a shelter for yourself.
As for weapons, we highly, highly recommend bows. If you get within melee range of her, you’re looking at potentially 15 points of damage on the first hit alone. Enchant a Bow with the highest Power enchantment you can manage and bring as many arrows as you physically can.
For armor, you can’t go wrong with Diamond. Aim for something with at Protection IV.
You’ll want to have a hefty stash of Potions of Healing and Regeneration on-hand because the hits will hurt. But as long as you keep your wits about you and do what you can to beef up your resilience, you should – theoretically – be able to kill it. Just be prepared for a long, long battle.
So, to summarize. The 15 most notorious Minecraft mobs that are hostile and should be given wide berth are:
- Guardians/Elder Guardians
- Baby Zombies
- Ender Dragon
A good rule of thumb, if you’re just starting out, is to be wary of any hostile Minecraft mob you see. If you aren’t sure whether they’re hostile or neutral, keep your distance and be ready to run at a moment’s notice.
Once you’ve leveled up a bit and gotten better armor, equipment, and enchantments, you should be more versed in Minecraft’s creature lore. Then you’ll have a better understanding of which mobs you can take on and which ones are better left for another day (and a higher enchantment level).
And, hey. You can always use codes to spawn specific mobs if you’re looking for a challenge.
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