Foxes can only spawn naturally in taiga and snowy taiga biomes, in groups of 1–3, most commonly at night. They may spawn in either adult, or baby form. In the taiga, their coat is orange (resembling a red fox), whereas in a snowy taiga, they are white (resembling an arctic fox). A fox may spawn in a village if it is within one of the taiga biomes. When a fox spawns, there is an 8.5% chance it will be holding one of the following items in its mouth:
During the daytime, a fox will try to find shelter to sleep (a space with a block above it). It will curl up and make snoring noises, slowly lift it's head every so often while lying down. If a player who is not sneaking (or a wolf or polar bear) approaches, it will wake up and run away.
At Night, foxes will wander around, eating nearby sweet berry bushes, and will run from wolves, polar bears and players if they get too close. They will sometimes head over to villages to roam around. During the night, foxes will emit a screeching noise.
Foxes will chase and attack small animals such as chickens, rabbits, baby turtles (and even fish, if they are close enough to shore). Trusting foxes will attack any mob that harms the player. Foxes may even jump over fences and other blocks to get to their prey.
If an item is dropped near a fox, it will walk over and pick it up to hold in its mouth. However, foxes will prioritize mostly food items.
Fox mobs were revealed as a possible addition in the lead-up to Minecon Earth 2018. Viewers were encouraged to vote for one of three existing biomes during the livestream (in a segment titled "Biome Chooser"), and the one with the most votes would be updated with various additions.
In an animated video, developers Jens Bergensten and Agnes Larsson revealed foxes as a feature of a taiga update, if it were to get the most votes (campfires and sweet berry bushes were also mentioned). Jens also mentioned that they hadn't decided whether the fox mobs would be hostile.
Following the Minecon Earth livestream on September 29, 2018, Mojang announced the winner in a Twitter post:
- "The winner of the MINECON Earth biome vote is Taiga!!!
- Foxes, berries and campfires coming to an Overworld near you."
- If a fox happens to be holding a totem of undying in its mouth and receives fatal damage, the totem will activate the same as if it were a player holding it. The totem will disappear, and the fox will stay alive.
- Foxes won't attack chickens that are invulnerable.
- Foxes will also wake up if a chicken, rabbit, or fish is nearby.
- Like other animals that produce offspring, using a spawn egg on a fox will spawn a baby fox that is trusting to the player.
- Foxes that are holding any weapon with an enchantment will deal the same effect to the fox's victim when attacked (Ex. if a fox is holding a sword with a fire aspect enchantment, they will deal fire damage to their victim).
- Foxes can eat a food item in its mouth. If they eat food with any side effect (Ex. Rotten Flesh), they will get the side effect after eating the said food.
- Foxes are one of the first passive mobs that are nocturnal in Minecraft.
- If a fox pounces on an area that has snow, it will get stuck on it temporarily and will dig out of the area.
- Wolves and polar bears will attack nearby foxes. Though, foxes can usually outrun them.
- The first texture of the fox is actually glitched, as it appeared as a flat box. This glitch is mentioned in a video of Minecraft's, Ten Things You Probably Didn't Know About Village & Pillage.
- Foxes are the only mob that will not take damage from sweet berry bushes.
- Foxes will look cross-eyed when viewed in the front, but they would look normal when viewed from their sides.
- Foxes will deal more damage if they are holding a weapon in their mouth.
- Foxes cannot eat cake when they are holding it.