Dungeons are structures that generate underground connected to caves or other generated structures. They contain up to 2 loot chests and a spawner that spawns zombies, skeletons, or spiders. The spawner can be farmed for experience and mob drops and the chests can contain useful and valuable items as well, so they are very good to find.
- Torches or other light sources to disable the spawner, as many as possible
- A sword, stone or better, preferably enchanted with Sweeping Edge[Java Edition only], Sharpness, if possible (Knockback and fire aspect are optional)
- A full set of iron or better armor (enchanted if possible) (If you are experienced enough, and is not playing on hard difficulty, you don't need armor.
- A pickaxe
- Nutritious food like bread or steak
- Plenty of cheap building blocks, such as dirt or cobblestone
- A golden apple (optional)
- A shield (optional)
- Potions (optional)
- A lava bucket (optional)
- A water bucket (Always needed for mining trips)
Finding a dungeon
Dungeons generate at any altitude provided they are next to a cave, even if "Generate Structures" is turned off. When mining or exploring underground, if you stumble along naturally generated cobblestone, that's a good sign you might have found a dungeon, but water and lava mixing also generates cobblestone, so be careful when investigating. Mossy cobblestone generates a lot in the floor, and there are only five naturally occurring sources of mossy cobblestone: dungeons, jungle temples, pillager outposts, ocean ruins and mossy cobblestone boulders. So if you're not in a jungle biome or aboveground, you've found a dungeon.
Dungeons also generate next to caves. Turning sound on can be significantly helpful and subtitles[JE only] still help. If you hear a lot of mobs of the same type in one direction, chances are there's a spawner in a dungeon. The spawner has a chance to be a zombie (50% chance), skeleton (25% chance), or spider (25% chance) spawner. Unlike most generated structures, dungeons cannot be located with
Defeating the dungeon
Once you've located your dungeon, turn on subtitles or sound to determine what type of dungeon it is and how to prepare.
- If it's a zombie dungeon, take care to note what difficulty you are on. If you are on hard difficulty, additional zombies can spawn as you're dealing with the zombies in the spawner, attacking you from behind. Smite will be the most effective sword enchantment here, as well as a shield and good armor.
- If it's a spider dungeon, know that spiders can climb walls and are 1 block tall but can't fit in a one wide gap. Spiders are affected by Bane of Arthropods.
- Skeleton dungeons might be the best type of dungeon, but is also the most dangerous type to defeat. Projectile Protection armor will be helpful, and a shield is absolutely essential. Note that skeletons are the same size as zombies but can still shoot through gaps. Like zombies, they are affected by Smite.
If you've found a zombie or spider dungeon, immediately block up the entrance with building blocks, and make a 1x1 hole in the dungeon's wall. If you can reach the spawner from the hole, place a torch or another light source on or near the spawner as soon as possible, so that less mobs will be spawning in. Use your sword to fight the zombies and spiders as they come. New groups of 1-4 zombies or spiders will spawn every 10-40 seconds, so when you've defeated all the current mobs in there, quickly break in and scatter torches everywhere to deter mob spawning. Don't look in the chests unless you're absolutely sure no mobs will spawn, as being ambushed while looking at a chest is difficult for you. Remember that all dungeons generate an entrance, so you could be attacked by creepers or skeletons from outside.
The spawner in the center of the room is the key prize. You can destroy it if you like (it gives a modest amount of experience when broken with a pickaxe) but that is strongly discouraged unless you never, ever, ever want to farm the spawner. Once you're done, look in the chests. The loot normally contains a lot of things, but the best prizes are golden apples, horse armor, name tags, enchanted books, and saddles.
If you've discovered a skeleton spawner, follow the advice above except always have your shield at the ready. Skeletons will fire at you from afar, so have a bunch of arrows and know how to shoot as soon as the bow is fully charged. If you have enchantments on the bow, relatively high levels of Power can kill a skeleton in one shot.
Spawners can make very useful experience and mob drop farms.
- Zombie farms can offer tons of rotten flesh, but might also give the occasional carrot, potato or iron ingot. Random armor, iron swords or shovels might drop if the mob spawned with it.
- Skeleton farms offer bones (for bone meal or bone blocks) and arrows, as well as the occasional armor or bows, which are sometimes enchanted.
- Spider farms drop spider eyes and string.
All of these mobs will also drop experience upon death.
Advice on how to make farms of these mobs can be found on the Spawner Traps page.