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The ender dragon is one of the two bosses in Minecraft, the other being the wither. It lives in the End, and is usually considered the final boss of the game, despite it being added first‌[JE only]. The dragon is a highly anticipated boss to fight as its downfall grants the player access to the End's outer islands, via an end gateway portal. It will also activate the exit portal and allow the player to return to the Overworld.

Equipment checklist[]

Defeating the dragon requires a lot of preparation, as the only way back from the end is by either killing the dragon or by dying. Make sure to have everything in your inventory before jumping through the portal!

Here is a list of items that can be useful to take with you:

Sword[]

The sword (ideally diamond or netherite) is used to damage the dragon on its perch as it is immune to arrows at this time. A secondary use will be for provoked endermen.

Enchanting the sword is highly recommended. Sharpness is useful for increasing damage to both the dragon and endermen. While Knockback is ineffective against the dragon, it is helpful against endermen. Fire Aspect will make endermen more difficult to deal with since they teleport upon taking damage for every fire tick. Looting does not help you with the fight but enhances ender pearl drops.

Bow[]

The bow will be the player's main weapon; both for destroying the end crystals, and against the dragon while it is flying through the air. You should bring two to three stacks of arrows or the Infinity enchantment, though with enough practice you can get by with far less.

If you get the chance to collect some snow blocks in your travels, it's a good idea to hang on to them until you either get Infinity or the means to craft or buy a large quantity of arrows from fletcher villagers. If you reach the end portal with only limited ammunition, you can save your arrows for the dragon, and use snowballs to destroy most if not all the End Crystals. Prior target practice is always a plus, though the rapid rate of snowball throwing can make up for inaccuracy if you brought enough. Thrown eggs, and even ender pearls, can be used the same way against end crystals, but the point is to use something easier to obtain than arrows, not harder. Pearls, though valuable, do teleport you to the top of the obsidian tower after destroying the end crystal, if that is where you want to be, assuming you don't miss and teleport to somewhere you don't want to be.

Having the Power enchantment on your bow greatly increases damage against the dragon, so it can come in handy. You may need poison to throw at the dragon.

If you get the chance to collect a supply of glowstone or glowstone dust, you can craft arrows into spectral arrows. While this makes no difference against the Ender Dragon or End Crystals, you end up with twice as much ammo.‌[Java Edition only]

Crossbow[]

If the player does not want to use a bow, a crossbow is a great alternative. The advantages of a crossbow are that it has a longer range and can inflict more damage than a regular bow. However, a crossbow cannot be enchanted with Infinity, so it is possible to run out of arrows while using it. You can also cannot enchant a crossbow with power but you can enchant a bow with power which will make a bow deal more damage. On the plus side, with the Piercing enchantment the arrows fired can pass through non-mob entities, so it is possible (although difficult) to destroy multiple end crystals with a single shot. Fireworks are not recommended since they do not destroy the end crystals and don't deal any damage to the ender dragon. Alternatively, Multishot can greatly increase your hit rate while the dragon is circling high around the tops of the towers, where it is usually a waste of arrows to even try with a bow or ordinary crossbow.

Armor[]

The ender dragon has an attack strength of 15♥ × 7.5 with its head on hard difficulty. It is the fourth strongest direct attack of any hostile mob, topped by the vindicator, the iron golem and the ravager. In Bedrock Edition, it is tied with the wither’s dash attack making it the fifth-strongest. Therefore, the player should wear a full set of diamond or netherite armor enchanted with Protection IV. Netherite armor also helps negate the ender dragons strong knockback because of its natural knockback resistance. Wearing enchanted armor increases your chances of not dying, but it isn't necessary. Wearing an unenchanted full iron set reduces the damage on high difficulty to about 10♥♥♥♥♥, a diamond or netherite set reduces it to 5♥♥♥.

Since one of the hardest damage to avoid during the fight is fall damage, Feather Falling IV on the player's boots can be critical. Thorns is also recommended, because it will damage any provoked endermen when they attack the player. The ender dragon can also deal incredible knockback, which the knockback resistance of netherite armor can somewhat mitigate.

Pickaxe[]

When the player enters the End, they might spawn underground, so some kind of pickaxe is vital to mine through end stone to reach the surface. Having a regular diamond pickaxe is just fine, you can enchant it with Efficiency to dig your way free faster. A diamond pickaxe with Silk Touch is necessary to reclaim an ender chest.

An iron pickaxe (or even stone) is enough if you are not going to mine additional endstone and if you have brought enough building blocks.

Food/Healing[]

As you are going to receive a lot of damage from the dragon or the endermen, healing items are critical to survive the fight. The higher the difficulty, the more food/healing you are going to need.

  • Golden apples are the most efficient healing item because they provide Absorption, which grants the player 4♥♥ temporary health, as well as the Regeneration effect which restores another 4♥♥ health over 5 seconds. Beginners should bring a lot of them to avoid dying
    • Enchanted golden apples provide Absorption IV, which grants the player 16♥ × 8 temporary health and restore 16♥ × 8 health over 20 seconds. They are however difficult to find, so save them for an emergency if you found one
  • Golden carrots are a highly nutritious food, but quite expensive
  • Cooked porkchops, steak, bread and pumpkin pie are other nutritious foods to bring to the end

You should bring at least one stack of food items to prevent starving and allow for quick regeneration.

Also, potent healing potions and extended regeneration potions can bail you out of low-health scenarios quickly. It is recommended to convert them to splash potions to skip the drinking time.

Potions[]

Potions are extremely useful in the fight to enhance the player’s performance. Aside from the already mentioned healing/regeneration potions, here are some more potions to bring to the end:

  • Slow falling potions are helpful, because they negate the fall damage of the dragon’s knockback ability. However, a bucket of water can serve the same purpose. Because of the slow fall, you also have more time to react in case your are kicked off the island, so you can save yourself with an ender pearl.
  • Night vision potions can be nice to have, because the end is dark and it helps you see better. However, end stone's bright texture contrasting with obsidian, endermen and the dragon's darker textures makes this optional, although you may confuse the voids' darkness with enderman.
  • Strength potions boost your melee damage against the dragon and endermen.
  • Leaping potions and swiftness potions can be used to boost the player's movement during the fight.
  • Poison potions and harming potions can be used to damage the dragon when it perches down or in the air.


Ender pearls[]

Ender pearls are extremely useful to have in the End. The player can use them to get up to the tops of tall towers, or if the spawn platform is away from the island, the player can use them so that they don't have to waste their blocks.

Pearls can also be used to save yourself from getting kicked of the island or fall damage. Unfortunately, pearls don't fall faster than the player at most velocities, so throw the pearl straight down around 1 second before you would hit the ground. However, ender pearls will cause damage to the player and has a slight chance of spawning an endermite, a hostile mob that deals damage to you on contact.

If you get knocked high in the air with a slow falling potion active, you can also use pearls to quickly return to solid ground.

Blocks[]

Blocks can be useful for climbing up the towers or to pillar up in order to get a better angle to shoot the end crystals. You might also have to bridge over from the spawn platform if you do not have any ender pearls. Harder blocks, such as cobblestone, are better than softer blocks such as netherrack, which is also commonly used as it is easily obtainable. End stone, which has the additional benefit of being dragon-proof, can also be used for this. It is recommended to use blocks to climb the taller towers and just shoot the end crystals on the short ones from the ground. However, the player might build to the top of the towers that have cages around the end crystals. Alternatively, they can throw an ender pearl to get to the top. The player can choose to use blocks or ender pearls to bridge to the central island if they spawned on an obsidian platform outside of the main island.

You should bring several stacks of blocks because mining endstone is slow, especially without a tool enchanted with Efficiency.

Ladders[]

Ladders can be an alternative to blocks to climb the obsidian pillars as the player will not need to break the ladders to get down. Ladders are generally easier to place down unlike blocks in which case the player must jump every time. Ladders can also be used to prevent fall damage, but this is difficult, and should just be replaced with a water bucket to prevent fall damage.

Water bucket[]

A water bucket is extremely useful to have when the player fights the dragon, and even before the fight begins. It can be used to put out lava that is encountered while looking for the end portal. In the End, if the player falls off a tower and doesn't have enough ender pearls or slow falling potions, players can try to place a water bucket below their feet just below they land (water bucket MLG). Water can also help them deal with provoked endermen. If an enderman is pursuing the player, dump the water at their feet (or yours) and the enderman will take damage and teleport away. The water will also neutralize the enderman on Java Edition and it will ignore the player again.

Water buckets are another alternative to get to the top of towers, although this requires a little training.

It is also possible to use several water buckets to make a infinite water generator and flood big parts of the island. This gets any endermen out of the way and removes the need for slow falling potions or water bucket MLGs.

Beds[]

Beds can be extremely useful for dealing large amounts of damage to the dragon. Placing them down when the ender dragon is on the portal and blowing them up will take away up to 1/5 of the ender dragon's health. Although this is a good strategy it is extremely dangerous and you have to be careful. The main way to not take damage is going inside the ender portal, placing a bed, putting a block next to that bed and then right-clicking. Doing this will negate the damage to 0 as the explosion will not go down to hit your legs and the block you placed will block your head from being hit.

Alternatively, End Crystals may be used in place of beds. If you place several end crystals on the portal, wait for the dragon to swoop down and perch on the portal, then shoot the crystals with a bow or throw a egg/snowball at it. The dragon will take explosive damage, plus 10 extra points of damage if the crystal was destroyed while the dragon is charging from it. This is significantly safer than using beds, and end crystal explosions don't create fires that beds do. However, end crystals are more expensive than beds, and it will cause significant damage to the terrain.

You can also use a bed to set your spawnpoint in the overworld just before you jump through the portal, which allows you to return quickly in case of death.

Optional items[]

There are more items that are useful in the end, but are not needed to beat the fight:

  • A torch to collect the dragon egg after the battle
  • An ender chest to bring additional items into the end. Note that you can only reclaim the chest with a Silk Touch pickaxe. As the ender chest inventory can be accessed from any dimension using any ender chest, you can also use it to protect valuables such as the dragon egg or any loot you might find.
  • Empty glass bottles to collect dragon's breath
  • A carved pumpkin which prevents endermen from getting aggressive
  • Iron blocks to build an iron golem, which deals with the endermen
  • Tridents are good weapons for the fight as well, but they should have Loyalty. You can also use Riptide to boost yourself up with the help of a water bucket. Note: If your trident goes into the void, it does not return even if it is enchanted with loyalty.‌[Java Edition only]
  • Having a totem of undying in your offhand saves you from death once. This can be helpful if things go wrong, but note that totems don't protect from falling into the void. You can get totems of undying from killing an Evoker.
  • Having wood can allow you to craft chests which can ultimately allow you to craft shulker boxes from the shulker shells that you get from end cities.
  • If you are going to explore the outer islands in search for end cities, bring some firework rockets. Once you find elytra, you can fly back home without having to take a gateway portal. You can also bring an anvil, a Mending book and an Unbreaking III book to instantly enchant your elytra, giving you extended flight time and an option to repair them by killing endermen.
  • If you are playing on Bedrock Edition, you can brew potions of harming, put them in cauldrons, and make tipped arrows of harming which can increase your damage to the dragon a lot. Note: tipped arrows are not affected by Infinity.

Journey to the portal[]

All players begin the ender dragon fight with eyes of ender, because they are needed to locate and activate the end portal, which is found in a stronghold. To make one, you will need one ender pearl and one piece of blaze powder. You will need to set aside 12, because you will need up to 12 to activate the portal, and you will also need a few extra eyes to find the stronghold.

Stronghold[]

To find the stronghold, throw an eye of ender into the air, and it floats upward in the direction of the nearest stronghold. It then falls back to the ground and you can pick it up and throw it again. However, the eye has a chance of breaking when you throw it, so bring at least 15 eyes to spare. Follow the ender eyes until they float downward, which indicates that a stronghold is underneath. If the eyes direct you to a village, the stronghold will most likely be under the village's meeting point.‌[BE only]

Dig underground to find the stronghold. You might dig into a cave or even a ravine, so it could be difficult to find. Use water to put out any lava that is in the way. Keep exploring the cave or keep digging until you see stone bricks, which will indicate that you have found the stronghold. Once you break in, get out your torches so that you can mark your exit and light up the area. You should also block off dead end passages with cobblestone to avoid getting lost.

Triangulation[]

An alternate method for locating strongholds is to use the angles, in which ender eyes move from two different points to mathematically calculate the coordinates of the stronghold. Given the coordinates of two points in the world, (X1, Z1) and (X2, Z2), and the exact angles at which eyes of ender move, A1 and A2 (all of which can be measured from the F3 debug screen), the stronghold is at the following coordinates:

X = (Z1 - Z2 - X2cot(A2) + X1cot(A1)) / (cot(A1) - cot(A2))

Z = (X2 - X1 - Z1tan(A1) + Z2tan(A2)) / (tan(A2) - tan(A1)),

where tan(x) is the tangent function and cot(x) is the cotangent. By using this method to find the starting point for searching, it is usually possible to find the stronghold using only three or four ender eyes.

Accurate positioning[]

A more sophisticated method to find a stronghold is to make use of the exact functioning of the eye of ender, as well as the generation rule of the stronghold. An eye of ender points to the chunk where a spiral staircase, the first room generated in the stronghold, is located. The center of this entrance staircase is always exactly at the chunk coordinates 4, ~, 4, although the eyes of ender leads to chunk coordinates 8, ~, 8 (the center of the chunk). So if the eye of ender starts traveling downward, the player should go to the 4, ~, 4 chunk coordinates (or one block next to it, so they don't fall down the middle of the staircase) and start digging downward. This method requires a lot of practicing and sufficient understanding of the mechanics, but is so far the least time consuming method to find a stronghold, and is widely practiced within the Minecraft speedrunning community. Note however that this doesn't apply to bedrock edition as the eye of the ender leads straight to the starting staircase.

Stronghold navigation[]

While exploring the hallways of the stronghold, a few techniques can be used to help not to get lost. First, notice the placement of oak and iron doors. If the door is flush with the wall, the same way it's facing when you place the door between the walls, it means this doorway leads further from the entrance staircase mentioned above. If the door is carved into the wall, that means the doorway leads toward the entrance staircase. So if you enter the stronghold from somewhere other than the entrance staircase, it is recommended that you trace along the carved-in doors until you find a spiral staircase going upward that is not connected to a room above. This is the entrance staircase of the stronghold, and exploration from this point onward will be much easier.

A few things to keep in mind when exploring the stronghold:

  • Doors flush with the wall always lead away from the entrance staircase.
  • Both spiral and straight (cobblestone) staircases can only lead downward from the entrance staircase.
  • The entrance point of a five-way crossing is always the one opposite to the arch.
  • The portal room is at most 5 corridors from the entrance, so if you have go to far without fiding the portal room, you are likely to be on the wrong way, so you should head back to the etrance and start discovering again.
  • If you heard the sound of silverfish or lava, the portal room is likely nearby.

Portal room[]

Keep exploring the stronghold's hallways until you find the end portal room. Collect any chest loot that you find. As soon as you see the portal room, run in as quick as you can, as an active silverfish spawner sits in the broken staircase that leads up to the portal. Kill all the silverfish in the room and destroy the spawner. You can also place a stone brick stair in the empty space to complete the staircase, which will make the walk up to the portal smoother. It is also recommended that you quickly turn the lava into obsidian because silverfish could emerge from the blocks beside the lava basin and it could mean that you will be engulfed in lava.

To activate the portal, simply insert an eye of ender into each portal frame. Some of the portal frames may already contain an eye. Once all of the portal frames have been filled, the portal will activate and let out a loud, dragon-like roar, "reminding" that you are about to fight the ender dragon.

The end portal room in a stronghold, with the portal activated.

Since the trip to the End is one-way, don't even think about jumping into the portal until you rearrange your inventory so that your hotbar contains the following:

  • Sword
  • Bow or crossbow
  • Pickaxe
  • Golden apples
  • A slow falling potion
  • Ender pearls
  • Food (a full stack)
  • Blocks (a full stack)
  • Empty bottles

Put all of the items that you will not use in the fight, such as the loot found in the stronghold, into your ender chest. Pick up the ender chest using your Silk Touch pickaxe. Make sure you are wearing all of the armor, but instead of your helmet, wear the carved pumpkin. It is also recommended that you place a chest with things like: a chestplate (any type), leggings (any type), a shield, and a sword. You can use these items if you die, however if you have the gamerule "keep inventory" on, you will not need these. Holding the ender pearls, enter the portal when ready.

The fight[]

Entering the End[]

The hitboxes of the ender dragon. The green boxes are where the dragon can be damaged.

When you jump into the portal, you will instantly get teleported to the End, giving no time to escape. When you arrive in the End, you will spawn on a 5×5 obsidian platform. The platform usually generates on the surface of the island, so you can just walk off. If it generates underground, dig up to the surface using a pickaxe. If it is away from the island, throw an ender pearl to the island to save your extra blocks.

If you are playing on Java Edition, it is strongly advised that you press F3 + B as soon as you enter the End, which shows the hitboxes of the endermen and the ender dragon. Because the background color of the End is dark, it can be hard to distinguish endermen from the background, thus the white-colored hitboxes can help you avoid accidentally looking at them. The dragon's hitboxes are also shown, which can help you determine the areas where the dragon can be damaged.

Get to the center of the island as quickly as possible, and if you see the dragon diving at you, quickly jump out of its way. Drink a slow falling potion in case you get knocked off. Before fighting, you will need to do a few things.

Terrain[]

Because falling into the void will kill you and destroy your gear, you should stay as close to the center of the island as possible, or at least inside the circle of towers. If you get knocked off, you should immediately throw an ender pearl back up. If you are quick enough, and have aimed your shot correctly, it is possible to teleport out of the void and back onto the surface.

Backups[]

It is recommended to bring backups with you, because they will deal with the endermen while you are taking on the dragon. They may also clear the area in the middle of the island so that you will have more space to move around. Snow golems or iron golems make the best backup because they have stronger and more effective attacks than tamed wolves. The only difference between the two is that iron golems will actually attack the endermen, while snow golems will only chase them away. Bring enough materials to spawn at least five golems.

Until you have spawned your golems, you should wear a carved pumpkin to avoid the endermen. The best time to spawn them is when the dragon is resting on its perch, as it will not attack you or your golems. You should also spawn them to the sides, in case it releases the dragon's breath.

After the reinforcements are spawned, reorganize your inventory so that your hotbar contains the following:

  • Sword
  • Bow or crossbow
  • Pickaxe
  • Golden apples
  • A slow falling potion
  • Ender pearls
  • Blocks (a full stack)
  • Food (a full stack)
  • Empty bottles

As soon as your inventory is organized properly, quickly take off the pumpkin mask and put on your helmet. Now the showdown with the dragon will begin.

Destroying the end crystals[]

Destroying the end crystals is a key part of the battle, because they heal the dragon. With all of the crystals active, the dragon will recover faster than you could ever hope to damage it under normal conditions. It is possible to defeat the dragon while some crystals remain, provided the dragon spends enough time away from them, but it is best to destroy all of them. One end crystal sits atop each obsidian pillar. There are usually eight to ten towers of different heights arranged in a circle around the empty exit portal. The crystals on the tallest towers may be difficult to see, but the healing beam they emit when the dragon is nearby will give away their location. Try to destroy a crystal while it is healing the dragon because the dragon will take 10♥♥♥♥♥ damage if you do this.

The ender dragon being healed by an end crystal.

Shooting[]

The easiest way to destroy the crystals is to shoot them with your bow or crossbow. You should move so that you can see it at least partially, aim your shot just above the crystal from your view, and adjust your aim if needed. When destroyed the crystal will generate a massive explosion. If you have not seen the explosion, you will know that it has been destroyed by hearing for the explosion sound. You should always shoot the crystals on the shortest towers because they are the easiest to shoot, and if you are using a crossbow you should check how many arrows they have after every shot.

Again, if you are playing on Java Edition, F3 + B can help you clearly see the bounding boxes of the end crystals, as well as that of your arrows. The hitboxes of crystals are quite a bit larger than their models, meaning you can see their hitboxes at angles where you normally cannot see their models. Being able to clearly see where your arrows landed is also a huge advantage, since you can stand still and adjust your shots, based on the landing sites of previous shots. Always keep your attention on the dragon though, since a charge attack or a dragon fireball can catch you off guard!

Climbing[]

Attempting to climb to the tops of the towers is extremely dangerous. Even if you build up using a dragon-proof material, such as end stone, the dragon can easily knock you off while you are climbing. Because of this, do not start to climb the towers until you have drunk another slow falling potion. However, it is necessary to get up to the top of the caged towers somehow, because shooting them from the ground is ineffective unless you have the skill to find the gap between the obsidian and iron bars. If you choose to use the method of pillaring up with blocks, place water below so that in the event of you getting knocked off the platform, you can land safely in the water. Additionally, if you use water, and you have brought a Riptide trident, launch yourself into the air and land on the tops of the towers. However, this technique may be unreliable.

It is quicker and safer to use ender pearls than building up. One trick to measure your ender pearl shot is to fully charge your bow or crossbow and shoot an arrow just over the top edge of the cage. If you throw an ender pearl at the exact same angle it will strike one block below the arrow's trajectory, teleporting you to the side of the cage. Break into the cage with your pickaxe, and wait for the dragon to fly away, since it cannot break the iron bars. If you have strong enough armor and are affected by Absorption, hit the caged crystal with your sword. Otherwise, build a few blocks away from the crystal and shoot it with your bow or crossbow.

Once the caged crystal has been destroyed, don't go back down, because some towers are taller than the caged ones. Build a few blocks above the caged tower and shoot the taller ones with your bow or crossbow. If the dragon knocks you off, and you are not affected by Slow Falling, you should use an ender pearl to break your fall if you didn't start with water. Throw a pearl back to the top of the caged tower and try to shoot the taller ones again. You could also throw a pearl to the tops of the tall towers and destroy the crystals with your sword. If you are on the tallest tower, you can check how many crystals have been destroyed and how many remain. It is also a good spot to snipe the dragon.

Killing the dragon[]

If you are not sure that you have destroyed all of the crystals, let the dragon fly away. If you see a healing beam, you will know that there is a crystal left. Once the last crystals have been destroyed you can start to attack the dragon. You can also swap out your extra blocks with your water bucket, because you will not need the blocks anymore. There are many ways to attack the dragon, but there are many things to watch out for.

Healing[]

The dragon has three types of attacks: body attacks, the breath attack, and dragon fireballs. The more crystals you have destroyed, the more often the dragon will attack you. It will inflict 15♥ × 7.5 damage if it hits you with its head on hard mode, but its wings will only inflict 7♥♥♥♥ damage (without armor). The dragon's breath will inflict 6♥♥♥ damage per second. The dragon has an extremely high knockback ability and can throw the player into the air to fatal heights, so they should keep drinking their slow falling potions when they run out. They will make the player immune to all fall damage.

Keep track of health at all times. If you take at least 12♥ × 6 damage at a time, hide behind a tower and eat a golden apple. You should use your healing potions if they are on the brink of death to recover instantly. If the totem of undying in your hand goes off, and you have another totem, quickly throw it in your off hand and resume fighting immediately.

Dragon's breath[]

The ender dragon perching and releasing the dragon's breath.

It is extremely useful to collect the dragon's breath during the fight because it can be used to make lingering potions, which can help if you want to fight the dragon again, or if you want to fight the wither (if you chose to fight the dragon first).

To collect the dragon's breath, wait for the dragon to perch and do its breath attack or shoot a dragon fireball, either of which will puff out into lingering purple clouds. The only difference is that the dragon's breath comes instantly from the breath attack, whereas you must wait for the fireball to slam into the ground. To collect it, simply hold out an empty bottle and scoop up the clouds in the same way you would fill a bottle with water. However, you should avoid making contact with the clouds, because the clouds will hurt you. Armor cannot protect you from damage from the dragon's breath, because it counts as magic damage. The dragon's breath is stackable, so you should collect as much as possible. Additionally, the leftover bottles from your used potions can increase your collection.

Attacking[]

While the dragon is flying you can shoot it with your bow or crossbow. However, the dragon is difficult to shoot because it can fly fast, and shots will miss if they don't line up properly. It is recommended to shoot at a spot in the dragon's flight trajectory, which is the area in front of it, and it will fly far enough to get hit by the arrow. Try to mainly shoot it in the head because the dragon takes the most damage on its head.

The more crystals you have destroyed, the more often the dragon will dive at the portal. When it's hovering over the portal, it is immune to arrow damage, and you will be forced to use your sword. Here, get as many critical hits as possible, which will deal more damage, and it is possible to get more critical hits when you have Slow Falling. It is also suggested to drink a strength potion because you will inflict more damage using the strength the potion provides.

You will begin to notice a pattern in the dragon's behavior after a few minutes. It will dive at the portal once for every circle, so you should make sure that you always have the strength from the potions when the dragon perches. Remember the pattern of the dragon’s attacks, so that your attacks will be efficient for the rest of the battle.

Once 200♥ × 100 damage has been inflicted, the dragon will die and drop four rare rewards.

Alternative Strategy[]

A alternative approach (for Java edition only) to defeating the Ender Dragon is based on trapping it in downflowing water while it is attempting to perch. This allows the player to easily attack the dragon until it dies, for example, by using a bow.

The rewards[]

When killed, the dragon floats upward and disintegrates, with bright purple beams of light erupting from its body. It will then explode and cause a sound effect to play that gradually fades away into the infinite darkness of the End, leaving almost no trace that it was ever there. Four rewards will then appear.

Experience[]

What the ender dragon looks like a few seconds after being killed.

After the dragon disappears, experience orbs will rain from the sky. These orbs can take the player from level 0 to level 68, which is worth 12,000 experience points. Some of the orbs may fall into the portal, so run a few laps around the portal and then sneak on the rim of the portal to grab some more. Since it takes progressively more experience to gain a level at higher levels, they will have enough to make over ten level 30 enchantments. The player doesn't have to get enchantments that they will use; they can simply enchant extra equipment to use as a backup set. The best time for the player to enchant extra equipment is as soon as they go back home, in case they die and lose all of the precious levels they have earned (unless you have a lot of experience farms to get more levels than that).

Dragon egg[]

The second reward is the dragon egg. It sits on top of the portal when it first appears. However, it cannot be broken directly, as the egg will teleport if the player attempts to do so.

Instead, touch the egg once and let it teleport to a block of end stone. If the player can't find it, follow the purple teleportation particles. To pick up the egg, place a torch two blocks underneath it, and break the end stone block it is sitting on. Since the egg obeys the law of gravity, it will fall onto the torch and break as a collectible item. If you forget to bring a torch with you, take one from the exit portal frame or use any other transparent/half block like a button, slab or pressure plate.

Alternatively, if the player has a piston and a source of redstone (such as a lever), place the piston facing the egg and power it with the redstone source. The egg will still break as a collectible item. To prevent the egg from falling into the portal, cover the portal with blocks.

If the player uses either of these strategies, they will get the dragon egg successfully. It currently has no use other than as a trophy to show that the player has defeated the ender dragon, but it can serve as a beautiful decoration or an addition to a trophy room at the player’s base.

End gateway portal[]

Perhaps the biggest reward of defeating the ender dragon is the end gateway portal, which generates after the dragon dies. The player cannot walk through it normally because it is too narrow to walk through. The easiest way to enter it is to throw an ender pearl through it, but it is also possible to sprint-swim through it in if the player has a water bucket or fly through it with an elytra if the player already has one. In Village and Pillage, the player can also use trapdoors to crawl through the portal. This portal is sometimes considered the only reason to need to fight the dragon, because it gives the player easy access to the End's outer islands, which is the only place where the player can find end cities, shulkers, chorus trees, the elytra and the dragon head. Without the end gateway, they are about 1,000 blocks away from the main fighting area against the dragon (in any direction). Note that you can live in the outer islands and just wander around, and you can find a lot of treasure. If you go too far and you want to get back, you can jump into the void as long as you have "keep inventory" on.

Exit portal[]

Since the fight takes place in the End, the most important reward is the exit portal, which is the only way back home. It appears all the time, but only activates when the dragon is killed. The portal looks like a fountain made of bedrock, with torches on the sides, and the "water" of the fountain is made of the portal blocks that will take the player back home.

When the player jumps into the portal, they will be treated to the end poem, which will tell them that they have basically "completed" the game. Even though it can be skipped, it is still highly recommended to read it. They will then respawn in the Overworld at their respawn point, which can be the world spawn point, a respawn anchor, or the last bed the player had slept in. The player can then safely return to their base.

The rematch[]

To have a rematch with the ender dragon, the player must respawn it using end crystals. To make one, the player will need seven pieces of glass, an eye of ender and a ghast tear. The player will need to go to the Nether to get some of these materials.

To respawn the dragon, place four end crystals one on each side of the exit portal. The crystals that are placed will instantly deactivate the portal, shoot beams at the tops of the towers, and reset the crystals and cages on the towers. Afterward, all of the crystals will shoot beams into the sky in harmony. The player will hear an extremely loud roar and see a massive explosion, which will resurrect the dragon and begin the fight again.

To respawn the dragon, place the end crystals in the configuration shown in the image below.

The positions of end crystals on the exit portal needed to respawn the ender dragon.

Subsequent dragons will drop less experience and will not drop another dragon egg, but it is still useful because it is the only way to obtain more dragon's breath. Also, it will create another end gateway, which can be used to find more end cities more easily, but the player will need to prepare the same equipment all over again. However, if the player does want to fight again, the player can use new equipment that could not be used in the first battle.

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