Minecraft Wiki
This article is about the mob in the base game. For the mob in Minecraft Dungeons, see MCD:Elder Guardian.
Elder Guardian
Elder Guardian.gif
Elder Guardian (Retracted).png
Health points

80♥ × 40






Easy: 5♥♥♥
Normal: 8♥♥♥♥
Hard: 12♥ × 6
Easy and Normal: 2♥
Hard: 3♥♥

Hitbox size

Height: 1.9975 Blocks
Width: 1.9975 Blocks

An elder guardian is a stronger and larger variant of the guardian, and it can inflict Mining Fatigue. It is the largest aquatic mob in Minecraft, as well as the strongest. Three of them spawn inside an ocean monument; one in the penthouse room and one in each wing.


Three elder guardians spawn naturally during the generation of each ocean monument: one in the top room of the monument and the other two in each wing section of the monument. They do not respawn after their initial spawn, thus there are a limited number of them per world.


Elder guardians drop the following items:

  • 0–2 prismarine shards – always. Affected by Looting: 1 more drop per level, for a maximum of 5.
  • 1 wet sponge – when killed by the player. Not affected by Looting.
  • One of the following:
    • 12 chance: a raw cod (cooked cod if killed by fire‌[JE only]). Affected by Looting: 0–1 more drops per level, for a maximum of 4.
    • 13 chance: prismarine crystals. Affected by Looting: 0–1 more drops per level, for a maximum of 4.
    • 16 chance: no drop.
  • 2.5% chance: a random fish. Affected by Looting: 1% more chance per level, for a maximum of 5.5% with Looting III. This drop uses the same chances that fishing uses, resulting in a 60% chance for raw cod, a 25% chance for raw salmon, a 13% chance for pufferfish, and a 2% chance for tropical fish.
  • 10 – when killed by a player or tamed wolf.


Missing Model JE3.png
This section would benefit from the addition of more images. 
Please remove this notice once you've added suitable images to the article.
The specific instructions are: Animated images of the elder guardian cursing effect, distinct ones for java and bedrock due to animation differences

Elder guardians do not swim around as much as normal guardians. Elder guardians do not swim away when approached by a player it is targeting, unlike regular guardians. Like normal guardians, elder guardians attempt to attack both the player and squid.

The elder guardian's eye follows and stares at any nearby players, and always looks directly at its target. The eye still follows a player under the effects of a potion of invisibility or in spectator mode, but doesn't attack.

Elder guardian are considered aquatic mobs, and thus are affected by the Impaling enchantment. ‌[Java Edition only][until JE Combat Tests]

The elder guardian has three methods of attacking, including firing its laser, inflicting mining fatigue, and a defensive thorn-like attack.

The elder guardian pathfinds toward an ocean monument if it is not within one.

An elder guardian attacks axolotls that are not playing dead. Otherwise, an elder guardian does not attack mobs (such as iron golems) that attack it, although the attacking mob takes damage from the elder guardian's natural spikes defense.



The laser takes several seconds to charge, doing no damage and allowing the player to move away in the meantime. As it charges it turns from purple to bright yellow (thus acting as a warning indicator). Once charged, the beam flashes green, abruptly ends, and deals 12♥ × 6 damage on hard difficulty. The elder guardian swims around for a few seconds before firing again. The beam cannot be dodged and has a maximum range of approximately 14 blocks. Once the player is out of range, or if the beam is obstructed by solid blocks, the guardian's beam disengages from the player and deals no damage.[more information needed]

Inflicting Mining Fatigue[]

In Java Edition, immediately after spawning and once each minute thereafter, the elder guardian searches for any player within 50 blocks to afflict with Mining Fatigue III. In Bedrock Edition the elder guardian inflicts any unafflicted player within range immediately.

When afflicted, the player sees a ghostly image of the elder guardian and hears a ghostly noise. The effect decreases a player's attack speed by 30% and decreases mining speed even more for 5 minutes. The attack targets players through blocks, even underground, and a potion of Invisibility offers no defense. This is not considered an attack in regards to the Thorns enchantment.

The image of the elder guardian is a particle effect that can be recreated by issuing the command /particle minecraft:elder_guardian.‌[Java Edition only]

Spikes defense[]

An elder guardian deals 2♥ (3♥♥ on hard mode) of damage every time it is hit while its spikes are extended, similar to the Thorns enchantment on armor. If cornered by a player or axolotl, the elder guardian usually extends its spikes and fires at point-blank range.

Elder guardian ghost[]

Information icon.svg
This feature is exclusive to Bedrock Edition. 

The elder guardian ghost flying.

The elder guardian ghost is an unused mob added in beta Its file isn't included in the behavior pack, and it can be spawned only by using the command /summon elder_guardian_ghost ~ ~ ~. The elder guardian ghost has defensive spikes.

The elder guardian ghost has the same model and texture as the elder guardian, but uses the player hurt sound, has less health, and is missing the back tail model. When spawned outside of water, it floats upward until it despawns, similar to a mob tied to a balloon, or under a high level of levitation effect, but it passes through blocks.

The elder guardian ghost itself isn't immune to suffocation damage, and drops only experience. It behaves similar to custom mobs added in behavior packs with broken AI; the mobs float upward and pass through blocks when hit.

If an elder guardian ghost is spawned underwater, it slowly sinks downward, passing through all blocks (including bedrock), until it eventually it falls into the void and dies. When underwater, the elder guardian ghost can rotate its body, look at players, and swim while slowly sinking downward.


SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Elder Guardian moansHostile CreaturesRandomly in waterentity.elder_guardian.ambientsubtitles.entity.elder_guardian.ambient1.00.8 - 1.216
Elder Guardian flapsHostile CreaturesRandomly on landentity.elder_guardian.ambient_landsubtitles.entity.elder_guardian.ambient.land1.00.8 - 1.216
Elder Guardian cursesHostile CreaturesElder guardian inflicting mining fatigueentity.elder_guardian.cursesubtitles.entity.elder_guardian.curse1.01.016
Elder Guardian diesHostile CreaturesElder guardian dying in waterentity.elder_guardian.deathsubtitles.entity.elder_guardian.death1.00.8 - 1.216
Elder Guardian diesHostile CreaturesElder guardian dying on landentity.elder_guardian.death_landsubtitles.entity.elder_guardian.death1.00.8 - 1.216
Elder Guardian flopsHostile CreaturesElder guardian floppingentity.elder_guardian.flopsubtitles.entity.elder_guardian.flop1.00.8 - 1.216
Elder Guardian hurtsHostile CreaturesElder guardian taking damage in waterentity.elder_guardian.hurtsubtitles.entity.elder_guardian.hurt1.00.8 - 1.216
Elder Guardian hurtsHostile CreaturesElder guardian taking damage on landentity.elder_guardian.hurt_landsubtitles.entity.elder_guardian.hurt1.00.8 - 1.216
Guardian shootsHostile CreaturesElder guardian shooting laserentity.guardian.attacksubtitles.entity.guardian.attack0.02250.77516

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierTranslation key
Elder Guardianelder_guardianentity.minecraft.elder_guardian

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID Translation key
Elder Guardianelder_guardian50entity.elder_guardian.name
Elder Guardian Ghostelder_guardian_ghost120entity.elder_guardian_ghost.name

Entity data[]

Elder guardians have entity data associated with them that contains various properties.

Java Edition:

Main article: Entity format
  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities
    • Tags common to all mobs

Bedrock Edition:

See Bedrock Edition level format/Entity format.


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Gamerscore earned Trophy type (PS4)
PS4 Other
Monster HunterAttack and kill a monster.Kill a hostile mob or one of the following neutral mobs: an enderman, a piglin, a zombified piglin, a spider, or a cave spider.15GBronze
OverkillDeal nine hearts of damage in a single hit.Damage can be dealt to any mob, even those that do not have nine hearts of health overall.30GBronze
The Deep EndDefeat an Elder Guardian30GSilver


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Resource location
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngHow Did We Get Here?
Have every effect applied at the same time A Furious CocktailHave all of these 27 effects applied to the player at the same time: The source of the effects is irrelevant for the purposes of this advancement. Other status effects, if any, may be applied to the player, but are ignored for this advancement.
Note: This is a hidden advancement, meaning that it can be viewed by the player only after completing it, regardless if one or more of its child advancements have been completed.
Advancement-plain-raw.pngMonster Hunter
Kill any hostile monster AdventureKill one of these 34 mobs: Other mobs, if any, may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement. Only the riders of the chicken jockeys and skeleton horsemen are counted in this advancement.adventure/kill_a_mob
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngMonsters Hunted
Kill one of every hostile monster Monster HunterKill each of these 34 mobs: Other mobs, if any, may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement. Only the riders of the chicken jockeys and skeleton horsemen are counted in this advancement.adventure/kill_all_mobs



Java Edition
1.814w25aElder Guardian Revision 1.png Added elder guardians.
14w26aGuardians and elder guardians are no longer immune to lava and fire.
1.915w43aThe drop chances for raw fish and prismarine crystals have been changed for elder guardians. Instead of a 33% chance of fish then a 33% chance of crystals only if the fish drop failed with both percentages adjusted by Looting, it's 40% fish, 40% crystals, and 20% neither, with the amount increased by Looting.
Elder guardians now drop dry sponges (on any kill).
15w43bThe drop chances for raw fish and prismarine crystals have been changed again for guardians. Now, the drop chances are 50% fish, 33% crystals, and 16.7% neither.
15w43cThe sponge drop of elder guardians has been restored to requiring a player kill, but is still dry rather than wet.
1.1016w20aAn elder guardian spawn egg has been added.
pre2The elder guardian spawn egg has been removed.
1.1116w32aThe elder guardian spawn egg has been re-added.
The entity ID has been changed from Guardian to elder_guardian and the Elder tag has been removed.
The in-game name of elder guardians is now "Elder Guardian" instead of "Guardian".
16w33aElder guardians now drop wet sponges on player kills, rather than dry sponges.[1]
16w38aElder guardian's common drop of raw fish now drop as cooked fish, if killed while on fire.
1.1418w43aElder Guardian.png The texture of elder guardians has been changed.
1.1620w14aElder guardians are now required for the "Monsters Hunted" advancement.
1.1721w11aElder Guardian tailfin change 21w11a.gif The texture of the elder guardian has been tweaked, so that a floating pixel present in the tailfin no longer exists.
21w13aNow drop cooked cod or salmon instead of raw cod or salmon if on fire when killed or killed by a fire source.
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.16.0build 1Elder Guardian Revision 1.png Added elder guardians.
Elder guardians are considered boss mobs in the blog post for this update,[2] but in-game they behave the same as their Java counterparts.
build 5An elder guardian spawn egg has been added.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha entity ID has been changed from guardian.elder to elder_guardian.
Bedrock Edition
1.10.0beta Guardian.png The texture of elder guardians has been changed.
1.13.0beta the elder guardian ghost, currently unused.
1.17.0beta Guardian tailfin change 21w11a.gif The texture of the elder guardian has been tweaked, so that a floating pixel present in the tailfin no longer exists.
Legacy Console Edition
TU31CU19 1.22 Patch 31.0.1Elder Guardian Revision 1.png Added elder guardians.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.3.12Elder Guardian Revision 1.png Added elder guardians.


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


  • The elder guardian's eye is the "head" part of the mob's model, giving the illusion of a dynamic eye.
  • The elder guardian texture has the name "jeb" on it.
  • According to Jeb, elder guardians were introduced to encourage players to solve the temple maze rather than dig through it easily. He acknowledges there are ways around it, but players still have to solve the challenge in a different way.[3]
    • Also according to Jeb, the "jump scare" by an elder guardian is unintentional, instead, he added it to provide a visual cue as to why players get slowed down by Mining Fatigue.[3]
  • In Java Edition 3D Shareware v1.34, elder guardians drop blue keys.
  • In Bedrock Edition, elder guardians make their underwater death sounds if killed on land. They also, like guardians, don't make flopping sounds on Bedrock Edition.



In other media[]