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End cities are special structures found in the End. They are highly anticipated to explore, because they are inhabited by shulkers, and are the only place where you can find elytra, an extremely useful set of wings that you can use to fly. Since elytra can only be found here, end cities are a great place to go before going on long journeys. Players would go to the end to loot the end cities; this act is nicknamed 'End Busting'.

End city exploration checklist[]

Exploring a city requires a lot of preparation, but not everyone has the same skills. So depending on how skilled you are, different preparations may be needed. The following is a suggested collection of equipment you might need:

Preparing equipment[]

Sword []

Your sword (preferably diamond or netherite) will be used to take out shulkers, as well as provoked endermen. You should enchant your sword with Sharpness V, to deal as much damage as possible. Knockback is ineffective against the shulkers, since they cannot move without teleporting, but it works against the endermen. If you have Fire Aspect on your sword, any endermen you hit will be harder to deal with, since they teleport upon taking damage. However, if endermen get set on fire, they will still get weaker for every firetick. Looting is also extremely useful, because it will allow you to get more shulker shells from shulkers, and more ender pearls from endermen.

Bow []

The bow will be your secondary weapon, for taking out shulkers. It is ineffective against the endermen, since they will teleport away from the arrow, but it works against the shulkers. You should enchant your bow with Power IV or V, to deal as much damage as possible, and Infinity, so that you don't run out of arrows while exploring. Unbreaking is also recommended, but not required. Flame is extremely useful, because shulkers will almost never teleport if they get set on fire. Punch is ineffective, since they are immune to knockback. Shulkers will deflect arrows if their shell is closed, so wait for them to open their shell before shooting them.

Crossbow []

If you do not want to use a bow, a crossbow is a great alternative, since it deals more damage and has a longer range. However, a crossbow cannot be enchanted with Infinity so it is possible to run out of arrows whilst using it. If the player does plan to use a crossbow, they should enchant it with Quick Charge III, so it reloads faster, and Piercing or Multishot, to shoot multiple enemies in a line or a row respectively.

Trident []

If you don't have Infinity or lots of arrows, a trident with a high level of Loyalty serves as a great replacement since they do more damage than an unenchanted diamond sword does. Also when playing in Bedrock Edition the trident won't get deleted if it falls into the void.

Armor []

You will take a lot of damage when exploring a city, especially from attacks by shulkers and endermen. Therefore, armor is absolutely essential. You should wear a full set of diamond or netherite armor enchanted with Protection IV. Because of the narrow bridges, and the height of the buildings, Feather Falling IV on your boots is almost necessary. Thorns is also recommended, because it will damage provoked endermen when they attack you. However, Thorns has a high enchantment weight, so be sure to add Unbreaking to your armor as well.

Pickaxe []

Most materials in the End are stone-related. A pickaxe (preferably diamond or netherite) will be needed to collect these. The most common items to collect are end stone and purpur blocks, which require a pickaxe to collect. You should enchant your pickaxe with Efficiency IV or V, to collect blocks quickly. And Silk Touch is necessary to reclaim your ender chest.

Axe []

Besides end cities, you will find several new places in the End, such as chorus forests. Chorus trees grow in abundance here. You should bring an axe (preferably diamond) to collect them, because they take a while to cut down without an axe. You should enchant your axe with Efficiency IV or V, to chop the chorus trees down fast, and Unbreaking III and Mending to prevent it from breaking.

When you chop down the tree, it will drop some chorus fruit. In order to take the chorus home and farm it yourself, you will need to collect chorus flowers, which grow at the very tops of the tree. They can be identified by their slightly different appearance from the rest of the tree. Collect at least five flowers, so that you can start your farm with a good amount of trees. Do be warned that chopping down a chorus tree at the base will drop no chorus flowers; they must be harvested directly or shot with a bow or crossbow.

Healing items []

Since shulkers and endermen can deal a lot of damage, healing items are absolutely necessary. Golden apples are the most efficient healing item, because they provide Absorption, which will protect you from most damage while you heal, so bring at least 10 of these, also you can find 2 of potions of instant healing in the brewing stand of a end ship, but they are not enough when exploring end cities. Potent healing potions and extended regeneration potions are also required. Enchanted golden apples can heal you more than regular ones, but they are extremely difficult to find, so save them only for emergencies, and use regular golden apples otherwise.

The totem of undying can also be used, but it can only be accessed after you explore a woodland mansion or defeat a raid. However, it is absolutely worth it, because will prevent you from dying. To use it, simply place it in your off-hand and ignore that it is even there while you explore. When you take fatal damage, the totem will explode and cause an animation of fireworks, which will "resurrect" you and provide you with Regeneration and temporary Absorption.

Note that totem doesn't protect player from dying in void

Food []

There should never be a time when you do not have food with you. Golden carrots, cooked porkchops and steak are some of the most nutritious foods possible, so bring at least a stack of either of these. Bread can also be found in loot chests that are found along the way to the end portal. You don't have to worry about running out of food, because you can just collect some chorus fruit along the way.

Golden apples and enchanted apples can also restore food points, but they are mainly used as a healing item. Eat your normal food if you do not have full saturation, and only use golden apples when you take damage. Only eat the enchanted golden apple if you are sure that you will die.

Potions []

Potions are highly recommended to have when you explore a city, to enhance your performance. Strength potions, invisibility potions, and swiftness potions can be extremely useful. When you use an invisibility potion, mobs can still see you if you are wearing your armor. To stay safe, take off all of your armor before drinking it, and put it back on at least 30 seconds before the effect expires.

Potions can also be used for emergency healing, since you will take a lot of damage from shulkers and endermen. Healing potions and regeneration potions are different, because healing potions will heal you instantly, and regeneration potions will heal you gradually. However, both of them are great healing items, so bring at least six of each type of potion.

Water bucket []

A water bucket is extremely useful to have in the End, because it can save your life in several ways. For example, it can save you from long falls, if you accidently fall then you can dump the water below you before you hit the ground so you don't take any fall damage, and being in water also neutralizes Levitation. If you are in a city on a bridge, place down your water so that it falls to the ground. If you fall off the bridge, you can jump into the waterfall to survive. Water can even help you deal with provoked endermen. If an enderman gets mad at you, dump the water at your feet, and the enderman will get hurt and teleport away.

Bringing multiple water buckets is also a possibility, so you can flood the city with water and decrease the risk of dying to fall damage.

Chorus fruit []

It is extremely useful to have because the shulkers inflict Levitation, eat the Chorus fruit to instantly teleport to the ground or any hard surface.

Potion of Slow Falling []

This can also be useful as you can actually control where you fall when getting inflicted with Levitation or accidentally dropping off the edge, as well as taking no damage when hitting the ground. If you fell off the edge, you must drink it quickly. If you don't think you can drink it that quick, use the water bucket. Splash potions of slow falling can work better since you can use them quicker. However, they have shorter duration, and if you fall off the edge, you can't use it because it won't effect you until it hits the ground. But both counterparts are useful, bring at least six.

Ender Chest[]

The Ender Chest is where you put your most important items. It links with all other ender chests in the world. So if you die, all of your important stuff will be accessibl (Except for hardcore mode) if you have another ender chest placed at your base(There is one at the city).

Ender Pearls[]

Ender pearls will help you teleport away from danger or to new places. Bring at least a stack and if you run out, then you can kill endermen to get more.

Blocks to Build With[]

You should bring blocks that you can use to block up rooms or tower or build bridges. You don't have to bring them, because of end stone everywhere. Mining purpur blocks around the end city can also help. Keep in mind that you can bridge double the distance by crafting end stone into end stone bricks and then slabs. Or bring extra wood: a stack of logs converts to 8 stacks of slabs!

Crafting Table[]

A must is a crafting table. There is not wood in the end so you cannot create things that you may need.

Other Items[]

Other items and blocks that you should bring in preparation for defeating an end city are an anvil, a map, and a carved pumpkin.

The journey[]

A map in the end.

Before finding an end city, you must go to the outer islands. Between the central island and the outer islands is 1,000 blocks of deadly emptiness. Rather than building a 1,000 block long bridge, you can teleport yourself to an outer island by throwing an ender pearl into the end gateway portal or building a flying machine with redstone.

Once you arrive at the outer islands, start a map so you can see which islands you have already explored. Apply a compass to it so that you'll know where you are. Save the coordinates of your end gateway portal so that you don't get lost.

To cross a gap between islands, build a bridge, sneaking as you go to avoid falling into the void. Ender pearls can also do fine. Don't worry about them falling into the void, because they won't teleport the player if this happens. However, be very careful to not let them hit the sides of islands, as you will be teleported over the void, and it is very hard to save yourself from losing all your gear, and possibly valuable loot. This is more of a problem when traveling large distances. Try not to do this too much, as this will cost you ender pearls (though you can easily gain more by killing endermen if you run low).

It is recommended to bring an ender chest in case you find valuable items in the city, although some cities generate with ender chests in them, so you can just steal those ender chests.

There are much faster ways of finding end cities than going from island to island, but they involve cheats. One way is using /locate endcity (/locate EndCity in Java Edition).

Here is a tool to find them.

If you already have elytra and some firework rockets, you can simply fly around to find end cities. If you run out of them, try to land on an island or you will slowly fall into the void, unless you throw an ender pearl onto an island.


One is not likely to get lost in an end city, as down always leads out and up always leads in. However, it may be helpful to mark which towers have already been explored. A simple way to accomplish this is to break all the end rods you see as you explore so that you know that you only need to go to the towers with end rods.

You will see that there are few endermen in the cities. Instead, the main hazards in end cities are shulkers and falling. To stay safe, bring armor, preferably a full set of diamond/netherite armor with enchantments such as protection and feather falling, as well as ender pearls to teleport if you fall. Shields are also helpful, because they can block shulker bullets.

Avoiding falls[]

End city towers are relatively empty. They are 3x3 tubes with blocks only on the edges, not the corners. Because of the emptiness, it is easy to fall when jumping up a step. Place blocks in the corners to complete the staircase.

Fighting shulkers[]

Whenever you see a shulker, wait until it opens. Then, hit it repeatedly with a sword or use the bow and arrows to damage it from some distance away. Tipped arrows such as Arrow of Poison and Arrow of Harming are recommended because they can do more damage. Deflect or destroy its bullets if necessary. Fireworks can also be an effective weapon against these shulkers.

If you get hit with a bullet, you will also be inflicted with the levitation status effect but you shouldn't panic as there are a few methods to overcome the effect. See below for different methods you can use to avoid levitating too high:

  • Using a boat or minecart will prevent you from levitating while fighting shulkers. Because of the added hitbox a boat can also totally block shulker projectiles when hit from the side or below also making placing a boat a very effective method of avoiding knockback and damage and reducing most of the risk of fighting shulkers.
  • Deploying the elytra as the levitate effect wears off can ensure a safe landing.
  • Placing water before you hit the ground will negate any fall damage.
  • Using an Enderpearl to land as the levitation effect wears off.
  • Drinking Milk to remove the Levitation effect.
  • Using the protruding sections of the end city to prevent further levitation.
  • Consuming a Chorus Fruit as the levitation effect wears off will safely teleport you to a random flat surface in range, just be careful as it could also teleport you into another room with shulkers.
  • Slow Falling Potions and Feather Falling can also remove all or a very considerable amount of fall damage.

If the shulker teleports out of sight, the battle is essentially complete because the shulker cannot attack anymore. If you happen to encounter the same shulker later, you can finish it off and collect the shell.

Shulkers may appear in inconvenient places, such as rooftops, outside walls, and even the undersides of platforms. To get to these shulkers, pillar jump to the shulker, or descend using sand. Try to shoot the shulker only if it opens otherwise the arrow will not deal any damage. If you get hit, place blocks and as you go up, and make sure you are directly over your pillar. You can also break the shulker's support block, thus forcing it to teleport, hopefully to a better location.

Shulkers can help you get up some end city watchtowers quickly. If you want to get up the top of a end city tower and don't want to pillar jump or use a ender pearl you can go provoke some shulkers so they can give you the levitation effect and you quickly go to the center of the tower, float up, and arrive at your desired destination. Make sure you press "Z" on your keyboard to see how long the levitation effect can last, and before the effect runs out quickly go to an end rod to prevent falling down. Using this way to get up the tower isn't 100% safe, but it can be effective if you don't want to risk pillar jumping in case a shulker hits you or accidently flying the ender pearl to somewhere else.

Special rooms[]

When exploring end cities, you may find special rooms.

Treasure room[]

This is what a treasure room looks like inside of an end city, with 1 chest and 1 ender chest.

If a room has chests, simply collect the loot. Some rooms will have an ender chest beside the regular chest. Bring a pickaxe with the silk touch enchantment to pick these up.

Large shulker room[]

Large shulker rooms have a spiral staircase around the edge, but it is much easier to go down than up. An easier way is to pillar jump, killing shulkers as you go. Another way of going up is letting a shulker hit you, use the levitation effect. If you want to try this, make sure that you have a good armor. After killing the shulkers, go down the spiral staircase and collect the shulker loot, or use a fishing rod.

An easy strategy to use is to sit at the top of the stairs leading to the room, looking down, and blocking with your shield. At first, almost every bullet will hit you, but as you float up, more will be caught by the shield. Make sure you keep yourself aligned to the middle of the room, and then land at the top with the loot chests. This strategy is effective because it causes the majority of the shulkers to start fighting each other. Generally speaking, by the time you finish raiding the loot chests, most of the shulkers are either dead or severely weakened.

If the room branches out at the top, place ladders along the walls and continue exploring.

End ship[]

Before going to the ship, make sure you have the necessary equipment for end cities. In addition, have an ender pearl and some chorus fruit (both of which are fairly easy to obtain in the end).

To enter, you need to throw the ender pearl onto the roof of the ship or build a one block wide bridge to the ship. Then, you can go inside, and then to the treasure chamber. First, kill the shulker. Then collect the elytra and chest loot.

Finally, go to the bow of the ship (the front), where the dragon head is. Place blocks around and under the head. Once it is secure, you can mine the head and return to the ground by building a bridge back to the pier, eating chorus fruit, or teleporting using an ender pearl. Alternatively, you can use your elytra to get back to the pier.

Because end ships contain extremely rare items, it is recommended to put the items in an ender chest. If the end city doesn't have one, but you brought an eye of ender, a diamond pickaxe and a crafting table, just mine the obsidian on the bottom of the ship and then you can make an ender chest. Just like the dragon head, mine the purpur blocks around the obsidian and place blocks under the obsidian to prevent the obsidian from falling down. You can also simply mine the obsidian and then jump off the edge of the ship, be sure to place some water on the bottom before you hit the ground.


Shulker shells are useful. Keep as many as you can, and using the chests from in the cities, you can create shulker boxes. It is recommended to store stackable loot separately from the non-stackable loot. You may only need one shulker box to store the stackable items, but you will definitely need more than one shulker box for non-stackable loot. If you really would like to go on a spree, you can clear out your ender chest, as these can hold boxes too. Since the chances of death and/or getting lost are so high, it is best to store your loot in an ender chest. Unfortunately, recursive tactics don't work here, as shulker boxes cannot hold shulker boxes. However, the combination of shulker boxes and an ender chest allows for a quick and easy way to get home via the void.though you will lose your exp doing this and it doesn't work on hardcore).


After looting the end city and killing all the shulkers, you have many things you can do with it. Using it as a home/base, destroying it, taking all the blocks for future plans or leaving it as it is are a few options.

Turning it into your base[]

An end city is a beautiful structure with many towers and maybe an end ship, you can build ladders or a spiral staircase inside the tower (or you use ender pearls to get up) to get up easily. You can put furniture inside each tower or different rooms (brewing room, anvil room, tannery room, bedroom, etc.) inside each tower. Adding a gateway or a bridge to the end ship and repairing the ship with purpur blocks (if you broke all the obsidian at the bottom of the ship) can make the ship look better, cleaner, and prevent you or other players from falling from the hole. Lighting up the island keeps endermen from spawning around the entrance. Make sure to put an ender chest in at least one of the towers so you can access your items in the end from the overworld note you cannot respawn in the end so dying will be a major setback.

Destroying the end city[]

This is not recommended, as blowing up the city wastes time and important resources, a better way is to collect the resources and important blocks before leaving if you don't want the end city as your base or you already have a base somewhere else. The best way of doing this is blowing the city up with TNT since purpur blocks cannot catch fire. Try to pillar jump to the desired block. place TNT, light up the TNT using flint and steel, and jump down using a water bucket or an ender pearl before it explodes, and pillar jump again to another part of the city. Using an ender pearl might not be a good option as you can land somewhere else and fall down the end city. Keep on blowing up the city until it's gone.

Mining the resources and blocks[]

Another way is to mine all the blocks or important blocks of the end city. This can be done if you start from the top of the city and mining down until you reach the bottom. Keep a few shulker boxes at the bottom in case your inventory is full. Using an highly enchanted diamond or netherite pickaxe, preferably with Unbreaking 1-3 or Efficiency 1-5 can help you mine the city quicker and with less pickaxes. In case you accidently fall while mining, keep an water bucket in your hotbar or a potion of slow falling can prevent you from falling and dying. Be careful of shulkers hidden in the city that you didn't kill earlier, as they can give you the levitation effect and cause you to rise high and fall down. Keep on mining until the city is gone.