Minecraft Wiki
This article is about the normal guardian. For its larger gray variant, see Elder Guardian. For the mob in Minecraft Dungeons, see :MCD:Guardian.

Guardians are pufferfish-like hostile mobs that spawn in and around ocean monuments. They attack with a slow-charging laser beam, and inflict retaliatory damage when damaged by a melee attack.


Guardians spawn naturally in ocean monuments. They require water, flowing or stationary, to spawn.

In Java Edition guardians spawn less often in ocean open to the sky than they do in covered areas (such as inside or underneath the monument). Specifically, spawning fails 95% of the time if the spawning water block is below sea level (Y=63 by default), all blocks between the spawning water block and sea level are liquid or fully transparent, and the block at sea level has a view of the sky. They can spawn only if the spawning block and the block below the spawning block are both water.

In Bedrock Edition, guardians are structure spawns, spawning in water source blocks in 25 pre-determined spawning columns. Guardians usually do not (or possibly never) spawn near a player. Also, guardians seem not to spawn below solid blocks such as the prismarine blocks of the monument unless there are no water source blocks available above the solid blocks. This means that guardians don't spawn inside an ocean monument until most or all of the spawning column blocks above it are unavailable (i.e., no longer water source blocks). Guardians can spawn between Y=39–61 (inclusive, from the monument floor to one block above its highest point). To find the X and Z coordinates of the columns, start counting from the northwest corner of the monument. That is, standing on the furthest corner prismarine block with the smallest X and Z coordinates, let's say (X, 41, Z). The coordinates of each spawning spot are in a grid at X+2, X+13, X+29, X+45, and X+55, combined with Z+2, Z+13, Z+29, Z+45, and Z+55. For example, the bottom of the most northwest column is at (X+2, 39, Z+2) and the top block belonging to the southeast corner column is at (X+55, 61, Z+55). The guardians spawn at the northwest corner of a spawning column block, which can be helpful for some guardian farming mechanics such as causing them to spawn inside of a portal where they are immediately sent to the nether.

Guardians will spawn even if the monument has been destroyed by the player.


See also: Guardian farming

When killed, guardians always drop 0-2 prismarine shards. Looting increases the maximum prismarine shard drop by one per level, for a maximum of 5.

They also drop one of the following:

  • 40% chance of dropping a raw cod (cooked cod if killed by fire‌[JE only]). An additional 0-1 drops are added per level of Looting for a maximum of 4 cod with Looting III.
  • 40% chance of dropping prismarine crystals. An additional 0-1 drops are added per level of Looting for a maximum of 4 prismarine crystals with Looting III.
  • 20% chance of dropping neither.

When killed by the player Guardians have a 2.5% chance of dropping a random fish as an extra drop in addition to the normal fish drop. This chance is increased by 1% per Looting 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. A guardian on fire drops cooked fish.

Guardians also drop 10 when killed by a player or tamed wolf.


Guardians swim around in water, attacking any players, squid, glow squid, or axolotl that come into range of its laser. They swim in abrupt charges, moving their tail rapidly when doing so. When swimming, their spikes retract. When not swimming, they sink slowly and their spikes extend and quiver.

The guardian's eye follows and stares at any nearby players, and always looks directly at its target. In Java Edition, the eye does not follow unarmored players under the effects of a potion of Invisibility and the guardians cannot attack them. A player can wear one piece of armor while under the effects of Invisibility and not be attacked.

Stationary guardians can be pushed by flowing water, but swimming guardians cannot. When pushed horizontally, they move significantly faster than other mobs pushed by water.

When out of water, guardians squeak while flopping about. They do not suffocate in air and can live indefinitely out of water. Their spikes always extend when out of water.

Guardians, as aquatic mobs, are affected by the Impaling enchantment.‌[JE only]


Guardians have two methods of attack: a laser and a defensive attack analogous to the Thorns enchantment. Unlike most other hostile mobs, a guardian does not follow a player who moves out of sight. Instead, it simply continues swimming until the player becomes visible again to start charging its laser.

Guardians attack players, axolotls, and squid. Otherwise, a guardian does not retaliate against mobs (such as iron golems) that attack it, other than damaging the attacking mob with its natural thorns defense.


The laser takes 2 seconds to charge, doing no damage in the meantime. It starts out purple and fades to yellow. Once charged, the laser flashes green and deals 6♥♥♥ regular damage and additional 1♥ magical damage on normal difficulty. The latter bypasses armor. Guardians swim around for 3 seconds before firing again. If the target approaches while the guardian is loading its laser, it stops firing and swims away until it is at a comfortable range, at which point it continues attacking. The laser cannot be dodged or blocked by a shield and has a maximum range of 15 blocks.

Once the target is out of range, or if the laser is obstructed by solid blocks (including transparent blocks like glass), the guardian's laser disengages.

Spikes defense

Guardians deal damage each time it is hit with a melee attack while its spikes are extended, similar to the Thorns armor enchantment. If cornered, the guardian usually extends its spikes and fires at the player, even at point-blank range.


Java Edition:
Guardians use the Hostile Creatures sound category for entity-dependent sound events.

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Guardian moansHostile CreaturesRandomly while in waterentity.guardian.ambientsubtitles.entity.guardian.ambient0.10.8-1.216
Guardian squeaksHostile CreaturesRandomly while out of waterentity.guardian.ambient_landsubtitles.entity.guardian.ambient.land1.00.8-1.216
Guardian shootsHostile CreaturesWhile a guardian uses its laser attackentity.guardian.attacksubtitles.entity.guardian.attack0.0-1.0 [sound 1]0.7-1.2 [sound 2]16 (technical) / ∞ (effective)[1]
Guardian diesHostile CreaturesWhen a guardian dies while in waterentity.guardian.deathsubtitles.entity.guardian.death1.00.8-1.216
Guardian diesHostile CreaturesWhen a guardian dies while out of waterentity.guardian.death_landsubtitles.entity.guardian.death1.00.8-1.216
Guardian hurtsHostile CreaturesWhen a guardian is damaged while in waterentity.guardian.hurtsubtitles.entity.guardian.hurt1.00.8-1.216
Guardian hurtsHostile CreaturesWhen a guardian is damaged while out of waterentity.guardian.hurt_landsubtitles.entity.guardian.hurt1.00.8-1.216
Guardian flopsHostile CreaturesWhile a guardian is on landentity.guardian.flopsubtitles.entity.guardian.flop1.01.016
  1. Increases quadratically from minimum to maximum as the attack goes on
  2. Increases linearly from minimum to maximum as the attack goes on

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
Hostile CreaturesRandomly while in watermob.guardian.ambient1.00.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesRandomly while out of watermob.guardian.land_idle1.00.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesWhile a guardian uses its laser attackmob.guardian.attack_loop??
Hostile CreaturesWhen a guardian dies while in watermob.guardian.death1.00.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesWhen a guardian dies while out of watermob.guardian.land_death1.00.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesWhen a guardian is damaged while in watermob.guardian.hit1.00.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesWhen a guardian is damaged while out of watermob.guardian.land_hit1.00.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesWhile a guardian is on land[upcoming: BE 1.20.40][sound 1]mob.guardian.flop1.01.0

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierEntity tags (JE)Translation key

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID Translation key

Entity data[]

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 destroy 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


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Resource location
Adventure, exploration and combat Kill any entity, or be killed by any entity.adventure/root
Advancement-plain-rawMonster Hunter
Kill any hostile monster AdventureKill one of these 34 mobs: Only the riders of the chicken jockeys and skeleton horsemen are counted in this advancement. Other mobs may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement.adventure/kill_a_mob
Advancement-fancy-rawIt Spreads
Kill a mob near a Sculk Catalyst Monster HunterKill one of these 70 mobs near a sculk catalyst: Mobs that drop no experience are ignored for this advancement.adventure/kill_mob_near_sculk_catalyst
Advancement-plain-rawTake Aim
Shoot something with an Arrow Monster HunterUsing a bow or a crossbow, shoot an entity with an arrow, tipped arrow, or spectral arrow.adventure/shoot_arrow
Advancement-fancy-rawMonsters Hunted
Kill one of every hostile monster Monster HunterKill each of these 34 mobs: Other mobs 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


Note: This video is outdated in Java Edition, as raw fish, cooked fish and clownfish are now called raw cod, cooked cod, and tropical fish as of 1.13.


Java Edition
1.8June 3, 2014Jeb announces he is working on a hostile mob that lives underwater, though currently doesn't do much.
June 8, 2014Jeb provides more details into the upcoming mob - it has a ranged attack and is hostile to squid as well as the player. He recommended using a full set of diamond armor, potion of water breathing and respiration enchantment on Hard difficulty.
June 9, 2014Jeb posted a stylized guardian image to Reddit for use as a user flair. This was the first indication of how the guardian would look.
14w25aGuardian Revision 1 Added guardians.
1.915w43aThe drop chances of guardians for raw fish and prismarine crystals have been changed. Instead of a 33% chance of fish and a 33% chance of crystals (only if the fish drop failed with both percentages adjusted by Looting), the percentages have been changed to 40% fish, 40% crystals, and 20% neither, with the amount increased by Looting.
15w47bSounds for guardians' defensive Thorns attack have now been added.
1.1116w32aThe entity ID has been changed from Guardian to guardian. The Elder tag has been removed.
16w38aThe common drop of guardians, raw fish, now drops as cooked fish, if killed while on fire.
1.1418w43aGuardian The texture of guardians has been changed.
1.1721w11aGuardian tailfin change 21w11a The texture of the 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 1Guardian Revision 1 Added guardians.
Bedrock Edition
1.4.0beta now attack fish.
1.6.0beta no longer attack fish.
1.10.0beta The texture of guardians has been changed.
1.17.0beta tailfin change 21w11a The texture of the guardian now have been tweaked that a floating pixel in the tailfin have now removed.
Legacy Console Edition
TU31CU19 1.22 Patch 3Guardian Revision 1 Added guardians.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.3.12Guardian Revision 1 Added guardians.


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


  • A guardian's eye is actually the "head" part of the mob's model. This gives the illusion of a dynamic eye.
  • Guardians' laser-beam attacks are affected by the potion of strength, which normally affects only melee attacks.
  • When placed or spawned on a slime block, guardians start bouncing and continue and each bounce higher than the last, until each bounce brings the guardian to 17 blocks height.
  • In the texture file for the guardian, "jeb" is written in the bottom right corner.[verify]
  • If summoned with {NoAI:1}, the guardian's eye still follows the player.
  • In Bedrock Edition, guardians do not make the flopping sounds while on land.



In other media[]


  1. MC-57057 — Guardian laser attack sound ignores distance

External links[]