Damage represents injury from attacks or natural causes. Players and mobs in Minecraft each have a supply of health points, which are reduced when they are injured. The player has 20 () health, but these are measured on a health gauge with 10 hearts. Thus each health point is "1⁄2 a heart", shown as 1 (). Mobs have varying numbers of health points, but these are not generally visible to players. However, when riding a tame horse/donkey/mule/pig, the player can see their mount's health, and a dog's health is visible in its tail angle.
Damage from attacks or natural causes will subtract from a player or mob's current health. When their health reaches zero, they die. Players can also recover health naturally by being well-fed, or through status effects. Most mobs do not recover health except through magic, but horses and dogs can be healed by feeding them.
Armor will absorb some of the damage that would have been done to its wearer, but will take damage itself in the process.
Damage to tools and armor can be viewed in the item's tooltip by pressing the debug key combination F3+H.
- 1 How damage is stored and displayed
- 2 Dealing damage
- 3 Damage immunity
- 4 Damage inflicted by mobs
- 5 Natural damage
- 6 Achievements
- 7 Video
- 8 History
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Notes
How damage is stored and displayed
Health and damage are stored as floating-point numbers in units of half-hearts, i.e. 20 health is represented as 10 full hearts. When displaying the GUI, fractional values are rounded up to the next integer.
Players can deal damage by hitting mobs or other players with items at close (melee) range. An "unarmed" attack only does 1 () damage, but weapons and certain tools do more:
- Swords are crafted for this purpose. While swords do not extend attack range, they deal significantly more damage than with any other item or tool except axes.
- Axes, pickaxes, and shovels also deal more damage than bare fists. Also, axes deal most damage, but its attack speed is slowest.
- Any other item is equivalent to fists and does the same damage. This includes hoes, and hitting something directly with a bow or held arrow.
- While falling, melee attacks deal a critical hit (150% of the weapon's damage including potion effects, but before enchantments are applied, rounded down to the nearest hit point).
There are a few ranged weapons in the game:
- Arrows are shot by holding and releasing right click when wielding a bow, and deal a certain amount of damage, depending on the "charge" of the bow (see below).
- Snowballs only inflict damage on blazes, while eggs don't deal damage to mobs. Both still knock mobs back as if they had been damaged.
- Splash potions can be thrown, inflicting various effects depending on the potion.
- Lingering potions can be thrown, creating a cloud that inflicts various effects depending on the potion.
- Ender pearls don't deal damage to mobs.
- Fishing rods cannot be used to damage mobs.
A few items can be used to damage monsters indirectly:
- Flint and steel allows the player to light a block on fire, which causes most players and mobs that touch the fire to be set on fire (some monsters are fireproof, mostly those native to the Nether). Players and mobs that are ignited stay alight until 8 () hit points of damage is dealt, they touch water, or use a fire resistance potion.
- Likewise, contact with Lava also ignites players and mobs.
- TNT can be triggered by fire, redstone, or another explosion.
- If a mob or player is next to an End Crystal, the End Crystal can be hit with something and explode, dealing damage.
The below values detail the damage dealt per hit using various weapons. Critical hits can do variable extra damage.
|Tool||Attack speed||Attack damage||Damage/Second (DPS)|
|Sword||1.6||4 ()||5 ()||6 ()||7 ()||4 ()||6.4||8||9.6||11.2||6.4|
|Shovel||1||2.5 ()||3.5 ()||4.5 ()||5.5 ()||2.5 ()||2.5||3.5||4.5||5.5||2.5|
|Pickaxe||1.2||2 ()||3 ()||4 ()||5 ()||2 ()||2.4||3.6||4.8||6||2.4|
|Axe||0.8||0.8||0.9||1||1||7 ()||9 ()||9 ()||9 ()||7 ()||5.6||7.2||8.1||9||7|
|Hoe||1||2||3||4||1||1 ()||1||2||3[note 1]||4[note 1]||1|
|Other||4||1 ()||4[note 1]|
- Against a single target, DPS is effectively limited to 2 due to damage immunity.
Some other items will do damage as well
|Arrows (from a bow)||1 () – 10 () [note 1]|
|Fire (contact)||1 () per half-second|
|Fire (burning)||1 () per second|
|Lava (contact)||4 () per half-second|
|Magma block (contact)||1 () per half-second|
|TNT (explosion)||59 ( × 29.5) [note 2]|
|End Crystal (explosion)||97 ( × 48.5) [note 2]|
- Depending on charge.
- The damage will decrease the further it is away from the core of the explosion.
Attacking too quickly will reduce the strength of attacks. The base damage done (as a fraction of the full possible damage) depends on the time between attacks, which is also reflected in the height of the held weapon on screen and the attack indicator bar (which is configurable in the options menu):
The "attackSpeed" attribute controls the length of the cooldown time, with the time taken being
T = 1 / attackSpeed * 20 ticks. The damage multiplier is then
0.2 + ((t + 0.5) / T) ** 2 * 0.8, restricted to the range 0.2–1, where
t is the number of ticks since the last attack or item switch.
Damage done by enchantments (Sharpness, Smite, and Bane of Arthropods) is also reduced, but not as severely (the multiplier is not squared):
'Critical hits' are attacks that deal extra damage compared to regular attacks. Critical melee strikes, regardless of the weapon used, cause small star particles to fly out of the target who was critically hit. "Critical arrows", which occur when arrows are fired from a fully charged bow, leave a trail of the same small star particles as they fly through the air. Critical hits affect all damageable entities including players, mobs, paintings, boats and minecarts.
In melee, a critical hit occurs when a player attacks a mob while falling, including while coming down from a jump, but not while jumping up. The attack deals 150% of the attack's base damage (before enchantments or armor are applied).
The requirements for a melee critical hit are:
- The player must be falling.
- The player must not be on the ground.
- The player must not be on a ladder/vine
- The player must not be in water.
- The player must not be affected by blindness.
- The player must not be riding an entity.
- The player must not be sprinting.
- The base attack must not be reduced to 84.8% damage or lower due to cooldown.
For instance, if you attack a mob with a sword repeatedly hitting the mouse button, the sword's rate of fire will exceed the mob's allowable rate of incoming damage, and several of the attacks will not damage the mob even if they land. It is recommended to wait for a mob to be hittable again before swinging your sword, making your hits more precise. The tool used won't lose durability after unsuccessful attacks.
However, if a mob or player is recovering from damage and then receives higher damage, it gets counted. Players are also subject to damage immunity.
Damage inflicted by mobs
The damage mobs deal to players is affected by the difficulty of the game. The below values represent the amount of damage taken per hit.
- This only applies to mobs attacking the player. Mobs attacking other mobs (wolves, iron golems, etc.) always deal the 'Normal' damage listed, regardless of difficulty.
- Values for the creeper and ghast assume the player is directly adjacent to the explosion.
- The damage of slimes and magma cubes depends on their size. Tiny-sized slimes, while hostile, are unable to do damage directly.
- In contrast, the damage for an iron golem just has a large random factor.
- Mobs deal no damage on peaceful, apart from the wolf.
|Blaze||4 ()||6 ()||9 ()|
|Blaze's fireball||5 ()||5 ()||5 ()|
|Cave spider||2 ()||2 ()||3 ()|
|Creeper's explosion||25 ( × 12.5)||49 ( × 24.5)||73 ( × 36.5)|
|Charged creeper's explosion||49 ( × 24.5)||97 ( × 48.5)||145 ( × 72.5)|
|Elder guardian||5 ()||8 ()||12 ()|
|Ender dragon||6 ()||10 ()||15 ()|
|Enderman||4 ()||7 ()||10 ()|
|Endermite||2 ()||2 ()||2 ()|
|Evoker's fangs||6 ()||6 ()||6 ()|
|Ghast's fireball impact||6 ()||6 ()||6 ()|
|Ghast's fireball explosion||9 ()||17 ()||25 ( × 12.5)|
|Giant (unused)||26 ( × 13)||50 ( × 25)||75 ( × 37.5)|
|Guardian||4 ()||6 ()||9 ()|
|Iron golem||4 () – 11 ()||7 () – 21 ( × 10.5)||10 () – 31 ( × 15.5)|
|The Killer Bunny||5 ()||8 ()||12 ()|
|Llama's spit||1 ()||1 ()||1 ()|
|Magma cube (big)||4 ()||6 ()||9 ()|
|Magma cube (small)||3 ()||4 ()||6 ()|
|Magma cube (tiny)||2 ()||3 ()||4 ()|
|Polar bear||4 ()||6 ()||9 ()|
|Shulker's bullet||4 ()||4 ()||4 ()|
|Silverfish||1 ()||1 ()||1 ()|
|Skeleton's arrow||1 () – 4 ()||1 () – 4 ()||1 () – 5 ()|
|Slime (big)||3 ()||4 ()||6 ()|
|Slime (small)||2 ()||2 ()||3 ()|
|Slime (tiny)||0 ()||0 ()||0 ()|
|Spider||2 ()||2 ()||3 ()|
|Vex||5 ()||9 ()||13 ()|
|Vindicator||7 ()||13 ()||19 ()|
|Wither skeleton||4 ()||7 ()||10 ()|
|Wither skull||5 ()||8 ()||12 ()|
|Wolf (tamed)||3 ()||4 ()||6 ()|
|Wolf (hostile)||2 ()||2 ()||3 ()|
|Zombie||2 ()||3 ()||4 ()|
|Zombie pigman||5 ()||9 ()||13 ()|
When receiving damage from a hostile mob you will also be knocked back, and similarly a mob will be knocked back when it is attacked. The resulting disorientation and loss of control should not be underestimated, as it is possible to be knocked back over a cliff or into lava, both of which are potentially fatal. A sprinting attack causes extra knockback. A thrown chicken egg or snowball also causes knockback, despite not damaging most monsters. Players/Mobs riding an entity (typically a boat, minecart, pig, or horse) never receive any knockback when attacked.
Besides mob attacks, players can take damage from several other sources in Minecraft.
Lightning striking on or near the player will do 5 () damage, which can be reduced with armor (enchanted or not). Lightning strikes on the player are very rare, and only occur during thunderstorms. Mobs/players that get hit by lightning will be set on fire, but will be quickly put out from the rain during a thunderstorm.
Most mobs receive damage when falling from excessive heights. Armor itself does not reduce fall damage, however the enchantments Feather Falling and Protection do. Some mobs are immune to fall damage: chickens, ghasts, blazes, magma cubes, snow golems, iron golems, shulkers, ocelots, bats, and the wither. Horses treat all falls as half the actual distance.
Fall damage is calculated based on distance fallen rather than on velocity when hitting the ground. The distance is accumulated based on change in position each tick and rising does not reduce the accumulator, thus an entity bouncing in mid-air on the end of a lead will accumulate fatal amounts of fall distance despite never being more than a few blocks above the ground.
Fall damage is 1 () for each block of fall distance after the third. Thus falling 4 blocks causes 1 () damage, 2 () damage for 5 blocks, 3 () for 6 blocks and so forth. Assuming full health (but no Feather Falling or relevant status effects), a 23 block fall should be fatal (23 - 3 = 20 () of damage), but due to the way fall distance is calculated, a 23.5 block fall is required instead.[note 1]
In some cases, it is possible to avoid falling or otherwise survive a fall.
- Sneaking will prevent the player from falling off a drop of one block or greater.
- Entering or being in water (when not in a boat) resets fall distance.
- This typically includes falling into water of any depth.
- Being in the area of effect of cobwebs resets fall distance.
- Being in lava reduces fall distance by half each tick.
- Flying using elytra such that the vertical movement is upwards, level, or less than 0.5 blocks per tick downwards resets fall distance to 1 block.
- Moving into a ladder or vine's area of effect reduces fall distance to 0. This also applies to trapdoors when acting as a ladder.
- Falling onto the top of a ladder will not reset fall distance and counts as hitting the ground.
- Horses are unaffected by ladders and vines, and so their fall distance is not reset.
- Spiders climbing a block count the block as a "ladder" for this purpose.
- An entity riding another entity does not accumulate fall distance. However, when the ridden entity takes fall damage it damages all riders for the same fall distance.
- A minecart's fall distance is reset when landing on rails.
- Boats do not accumulate fall distance while in water deeper than 1 block.
- Teleporting due to a thrown ender pearl resets fall distance, however the teleportation itself causes 5 () fall damage to players.
- Wearing armor that is enchanted with Feather Falling or Protection reduces fall damage based on the level of the enchantment.
- Having the Jump Boost status effect reduces the effective fall distance by 1 block per level, e.g. falling 5 blocks with Jump Boost II counts as having fallen only 3.
- Slime blocks negate all fall damage, but will send the entity bouncing into the air.
- This does not apply to players sneaking.
- Hay bales decrease fall damage to 20% of normal.
When a player runs out of air underwater, they will start drowning and will take approximately 2 ()/sec.[note 2] Mobs can drown as well, though they usually do not, as all mobs (besides iron golems) attempt to swim upward when in water. Squid will die in air instead of in water, and iron golems and guardians will not drown at all. Withers do drown, but break blocks around them upon taking damage.
Ladders, signs, fences, trapdoors, doors and sugar cane can create permanent air bubbles underwater, which can immediately refill the oxygen bar. Placing a torch or using an empty bucket on a water block creates a temporary air block, which can be used for the same effect.
In Pocket Edition 0.8.0, the player actually has 11 air bubbles but once submerged, the 11th bubble instantly disappears.
As of Pocket Edition 0.16.0, the player can "drown" in lava and while suffocating in a block (the oxygen bar appears), however lava or suffocation will kill the player before oxygen runs out.[Verify]
- The last tick of fall distance isn't added in when calculating fall damage. For certain heights, including 23-block falls, this discrepancy is enough to avoid an entire 1 () of damage.
- Damage is taken when air supply value reaches -20. Usually air supply value decreases each tick, and resets to 0, after damaging player. Respiration gives a chance for air supply to not decrease itself per tick. Chance is x/(x + 1), where x is the level of enchantment.
A falling anvil deals 2 () per block fallen after the first (e.g., an anvil that falls 4 blocks will deal 6 () damage). The damage is capped at 40 ( × 20), no matter how far the anvil falls. Wearing a helmet will reduce the damage by 25%, but this costs durability on the helmet.
When a player or mob deals melee or projectile damage to a player or mob that is wearing Thorns-enchanted armor, the attacker will also be damaged. The amount changes with the enchantment level. ( (Level × 15)% chance of inflicting 1 ()–4 () damage, or Level − 10 damage if level is over 10)
Suffocation happens when a player or a mob is unable to breathe because its head is inside of a opaque block. They will lose 1 () every half-second (10 ticks). When inside a block, the player can easily step out of it as the blocks do not prevent their movement.
The player's screen will be a darkened form of the block the player is suffocating in. When the player is in third person, the view will automatically switch to first person.
The usual ways a mob can get suffocated are:
- Sand or gravel falling into the space the mob occupies.
- Riding a pig, boat or minecart or throwing an ender pearl into a one-block-high space.
- Riding a horse into a two-block-high space.
- Standing where a tree just grew from a sapling, or where a huge mushroom just grew from a mushroom.
- Standing where an exit portal just spawned after killing the Ender dragon. (is now pre-spawned as of 1.9, but does regenerate itself if broken after dragon is summoned or killed)
- Standing where an End Gateway appeared after killing the dragon.
- Having a solid block pushed into the mob's head with a piston.
- Sleeping in a bed that is surrounded by blocks and/or has a solid block above it.
- Being teleported or filled into a block via commands.
- When playing on a distant server, sometimes broken blocks can reappear because of lag, and if the player moves where the block respawned, it can provoke suffocation (for example, chopping down a tree by moving right below the trunk).
- When water and lava meet, and create a cobblestone, stone, or obsidian block on the mob's head.
- Standing where a world border getting into more than 5 blocks. (can be changed with /worldborder damage buffer)
- Summoning a mob inside of a block through spawn eggs, commands, or with a golem/wither structure laying down.
maxEntityCramming gamerule defines a maximum number, above which a player or mob will take 3 () suffocation damage every half-second (10 ticks), as long as that player or mob is pushing greater than that number of other pushable entities. Pushable entities include players, mobs, boats and minecarts.
When the food bar reaches zero, the player will take 1 () damage every four seconds. The player stops taking starvation damage when the player eats or the health bar drops to 10 () on easy mode or 1 () on normal mode. In hard/hardcore mode, the damage will not stop until the player either dies, or eats something.
Mobs/players take 1 () damage every half-second that they are touching a cactus.
Mobs without fire immunity and players take 1 () damage every half sec if they are walking on magma blocks, this can be avoided by having the Fire Resistance effect, sneaking, or wearing Frost Walker enchanted boots.
By far the most dangerous natural occurrence, except for the unlikely case of falling into the void. Players and mobs will take damage from contact with lava at a rate of 4 () every half-second, and stay on fire even if they exit it, causing 1 () point per hit for 15 hits or more (15 () total damage) unless extinguished with water.
Cave spiders will poison players when they bite (only in normal and hard difficulty). Eating a spider eye, poisonous potato, or pufferfish; or drinking/being hit by a potion of poison will give the same result. While poisoned, the hearts in the health meter turn from red to an olive green () and the player takes 1 () each 25 ticks (1.25 seconds) until the poison wears off. The poison itself cannot kill the player, but it can reduce them to 1 (), thus leaving them very vulnerable to damage from other sources.
Withers and wither skeletons will inflict the Wither effect with their attacks. (The wither boss's skulls do not inflict the effect on easy difficulty.) This will darken the health bar to , while inflicting damage over time. The effect deals 1 () every 2 seconds (40 ticks) for the wither skeleton's attack (level I), and every second (20 ticks) for the Wither boss's skulls. Unlike poison, withering can kill on any difficulty level, and the darkened healthbar makes it harder to keep track of the damage.
If one were to break through the bedrock barrier found at the bottom of worlds, the Void can be seen. Players in the Void below height -64 will take damage at a rate of about 4 () per half-second (or 8 () per second). You will usually die from falling in the Void, even in creative mode, but the player may be saved by throwing an Ender pearl before they fall below y = -64. In Pocket Edition, the player will take damage at any negative y value.
/effect to give yourself regeneration 8+ or instant health you can fall infinitely into the void without dying.
Firework rocket explosion
Firework rocket explosions can deal damage to players, mobs and entities.
If a rocket has been crafted with a firework star, its explosion will deal damage within a radius of about 41⁄2 blocks. At the edge of the radius, it will deal only 1 () damage, but this increases as you get closer until the explosion maxes out at its strongest: 5 () damage at distances of 2 blocks or less.
If a rocket crafted with a firework star is used to provide a speed boost while gliding with elytra, it will explode as it is used, dealing 7 () damage to the player.
|0.24_03||You can now receive fall damage.|
|0.24_06||You can now only hold your breath underwater for 15 seconds.|
|Lava now causes damage.|
|0.24_07||Fall damage is now much harsher.|
|0.24_SURVIVAL_TEST||Mobs and the player now jump back when damage is taken.|
|Added arrows which cause damage when they hit a player.|
|0.25 SURVIVAL TEST 2||Arrows deal more damage.|
|?||Before suffocation was implemented, players that were covered by blocks could see through dirt and stone. Suffocation was added after Notch discovered that players were abusing this exploit to find underground caves and hollowed carvings. The patch added suffocation damage and made the player unable to see anything when experiencing it. However, variations of this glitch are still possible to perform even in the current version of the game.|
|In Survival mode, eating a red mushroom would deal the player 3 ().|
|1.0.4||Players no longer suffocate when riding in a minecart.|
|1.5||Unarmed damage was increased from 1 () to 2 ().|
|1.8||Unarmed damage was decreased from 2 () to 1 ().|
|The Adventure Update extended the combat system with critical hits, sprinting (for knockback) and blocking.|
|Hunger system added: Health is no longer restored directly by eating. Instead, it recovers slowly when well-fed, but is lost if starving.|
|Poison added, which deals damage, until the player or mob's health is 1 ().|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9-pre1||Armor no longer prevents certain types of damage.|
|Beta 1.9-pre3||Sword damage was decreased (a diamond sword went from 5 hearts to 3.5 hearts damage).|
|Beta 1.9-pre4||Enchantments added, some of which increase damage you deal or decrease damage dealt to you.|
|1.0.0-RC1||The sound of the player taking damage was changed from a masculine "OOF! or UGHH!" sound, to a painful sounding crunch. These were changed to remove the restriction that all avatars have a male voice, regardless of the gender of the character depicted in the skin.|
|1.3.1||12w25a||Removed the downwards knockback while drowning.|
|12w30a||Explosions damage the player different amounts in different difficulties, and the player doesn't take any damage from explosions on Peaceful.|
|1.3.2||Mobs no longer shove the player when moving into them.|
|1.4.2||12w32a||Mobs can hold weapons, making them deal more damage. Also, the crunching noise from 1.0.0 was changed, sounding more like a slap rather than a bone-breaking punch. The fall damage noise was also changed from a crunch to a dull, thumping noise.|
|12w34a||Wither effect added, which deals damage. Unlike poison, withering can kill players or other mobs.|
|1.6.2||Instead of replacing the barehanded damage (1 ()), swords, shovels, pickaxes and axes now add their damage onto the barehanded damage, which results in all tools doing 1 () more damage than before.|
|1.8||14w32a||The health bar has a new animation for damage that shows how many hearts are lost. (Not new, merely a revived feature that was lost after 1.2.5).|
|1.9||15w34a||Added attack cooldown.|
|15w34c||Tool damages and cooldowns adjusted.
|15w35a||Tool damages and cooldowns adjusted again.|
|15w47b||Added sounds for critical hits, fully-charged and not-fully-charged attacks, blocked attacks, sweep attacks and dealing knockback.|
|16w02a||Cooldown damage reduction formula adjusted, reduction is now linear 50%–100% rather than quadratic 0%–100%.|
|16w05a||Cooldown damage reduction formula adjusted again, reduction is now quadratic 20%–100%.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.2.0||Added survival mode and mobs, making damage possible.|
|0.12.1||build 1||Added critical hits.|
|Punch damage is now added to damage from swords, axes, pickaxes, and shovels.|
|build 12||Critical hits now have more particles.|
- Critical hits can be done while reflecting a ghast's fireball, but won't change the damage or speed of it.
- In Creative mode, attacking a mob while flying after having descended will score a critical hit.
- Quitting the game will reset the fall damage that will be dealt to the player.
- Maximum damage dealable by player in survival is 35 HP: 9 from a stone, iron, or diamond axe + 6 from Strength II, all × 1.5 with critical, + 12.5 damage from Smite V on an undead target or Bane of Arthropods V on an arthropod. The maximum on a non-undead non-arthropod target is only 25.5 HP: 9 from a stone, iron, or diamond axe + 6 from Strength II, all × 1.5 with critical, + 3 damage from Sharpness V. A full set of Protection IV diamond armor would reduce the 25.5 damage to 4.1769.
- With all possible reductions to fall damage currently available in survival (landing on a hay bale, Feather Falling IV boots, Protection IV on other armor pieces, and Resistance II from a beacon) the maximum height the player can fall while surviving without absorption is a little over 800 blocks.