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Thunderstorms are a very dangerous weather condition. As well as giving the world a light level low enough to allow monster spawning, lightning also has the ability to strike and set fire to the surrounding blocks, cause monster mutations, and possibly be lethal to the player. However, they can be a good challenge for a well-established player.

Basic dangers[]

Mobs during thunderstorm

This is a picture of what the Overworld looks like during a thunderstorm. Despite the fact that it is actually daytime Monsters are able to spawn.

If you decide to go out during a thunderstorm, be prepared to fight monsters. Thunderstorms come without warning and, due to the low light level, monsters will spawn. If you are not ready, retreat to your house and wait it out. If you are stuck outside accidentally, either make an emergency shelter (dig down three blocks, jump in and place dirt over your head or a similar design) or just try to fight the monsters and avoid lightning as best as you can.

Keep your health high to avoid a higher risk of dying. Try to keep your Hunger bar over (17 (🍗 × 8.5) to keep healing, and if it gets below 6 (🍗🍗🍗), you won't be able to sprint. In case of this, you should keep a food store, so that you can grab food if you happen to need some. An example of a good food to stock up on would be baked potatoes. Remember that it is possible for lightning to strike you by surprise. Fortunately, the lightning actually hitting you is extraordinarily rare and. doesn't do much damage, but it will set you on fire. Still, it's unlikely to do much damage, even if you're unarmored.


Every time lightning strikes, it will start a fire. Usually, the rain will quickly put the fire out, but the fire will remain lit if it is under a ledge or on netherrack and certain other blocks, allowing it to spread.

If you see a fire, put it out as quickly as possible. If you do not have a bucket, you can break the fire simply by punching the fire's hitbox. If it is not put out, it could spread and, although there is a limit to how far it can spread individually, it is still undesirable, especially if near the player. If you don't have a water bucket to put out the fire, and it's too big to break with your fist, just get away, and the fire should eventually stop.


Lightning can only strike in the rain. This means that snowy and dry warm biomes cannot have lightning, which cuts many of the hazards, such as fire and getting struck by lightning. However, you still have an "unexpected nighttime", as monsters can spawn, even if there is no rain.


Lightning strikes can spawn or change mobs in these ways:

  • Every single lightning strike could potentially spawn a skeleton trap. (See below)
  • Creepers will become charged if struck by lightning. This doubles their blast radius and damage. You can tell from the blue aura around them, these are rare spawn however it is good to have some blast protection armor or a shield.
  • Pigs will turn into zombified piglins if struck by lightning. These are a version of piglins normally found only in the nether and are passive until hit.
  • Villagers will turn into witches if struck by lightning. These mobs throw potions at the player and drink health potions themselves.

Remember that this will only occur if the mob(s) that are transformed in question are within 3 blocks of the lightning. However rare it may be, it's good to know in case they are present.

Skeleton traps[]

Skeleton HorseIngame

A skeleton trap before activation

Skeleton traps look like bone/skeletal horses when created, but as soon as the player comes within ten blocks, the horse transforms into a skeleton horseman, and three more spawn instantly near it. They have the AI of a skeleton or skeleton jockey and the speed and agility of a horse. What's more, they don't despawn, and they don't burn if the sun comes out again due to their enchanted iron helmets. Their bows are enchanted as well.

Skeleton traps have a 0.75% to 6.75% chance of spawning in a lightning strike, depending on difficulty. They do not spawn on peaceful mode.

Never get too close to a skeleton trap unless you're prepared. If, during or after a thunderstorm, you see a horse that looks like a skeleton version of a normal horse, beware. The safest way to fight them is with a bow, and a shield. However, you may want to activate a skeleton trap for one of these reasons:

  • The skeletons have enchanted armor and weapons, each with an 8.5% chance of being dropped.
  • If you kill the skeleton, the horse becomes yours, which is handy if you are in a biome that does not have normal horses. It is also the fastest type of horse you can get without breeding.
  • Skeleton horses sink in water and do not force you to dismount in water, allowing you to travel on the ocean floor with a Potion of Water Breathing.

Generally, iron armor is enough to deal with them. Make use of a Bow if you're confident in your abilities in not hitting the horses.

Charged creepers[]

Charged creepers are much more dangerous than normal ones due to the fact that they have a much larger blast radius with double damage. All strategies that work on their normal variants still work, but the consequences for failure are more drastic.

If you want mob heads, you can let the creeper follow you to a mob. When triggering the explosion, make sure that you are armed with a Shield and that the mob is close to the creeper. If the mob dies, it should drop a mob head. To allow yourself to run away without stopping the explosion, trigger the creeper with flint and steel. Mob heads are one of the advantages of thunderstorms, as they allow the collection of Heads from certain mobs, which may be unobtainable or scarce otherwise for most variants. Note that only one head can drop per explosion.

Zombified piglins and witches[]

Sometimes, lightning will strike in a pig farm or a villager that you have been trading with.

When killed, zombified piglins drop gold nuggets, rotten flesh and, occasionally, their own golden swords. However, they have high melee damage and attack in groups if provoked. To avoid such occurrences, place Lightning Rods away from the farms.

Witches are always hostile, and use potions. Their potions can be debilitating in the right circumstances, especially since their Poison deals massive amounts of damage and leaves you at 1♥ until the effect ends.

Materials needed[]

If you do decide to go outside in a thunderstorm, here is a list of recommended materials to carry in your inventory:

Note that anything that works for you at night will work in thunderstorms.

  • Sword or axe (preferably iron, diamond, or netherite).
  • Trident, Channeling enchantment can be used for mob head farming, while Riptide enchantment can be used as fast transportation or go to higher place easily.
  • Shovel
  • Pickaxe
  • Bow or Crossbow
  • Arrows
  • Shield (in your offhand slot)
  • Iron, diamond, or netherite armor.
  • At least a half stack of a cheap block, such as Dirt, to build pillars or blockades to escape mobs.
  • Plenty of food, 2 types is best: one that has a high saturation value, and another that has a high hunger value.
  • A bucket of water, to put out the larger fires from lightning.
  • A few things such as a Lantern or a Torch so that you can light up anywhere that you need to prevent mobs from spawning.

Avoiding thunderstorms[]

If you are a less experienced player, are in ultra hardcore mode where health can't regenerate, or just don't want to risk dying, you likely want to avoid thunderstorms. If you have a bed, Minecraft allows you to sleep through thunderstorms, so you can sleep and when you wake up, the thunderstorm will be gone. However, avoiding thunderstorms are more difficult to avoid safely than they seem if you don't have a bed to sleep through it.

First of all, the only border between you and the outside must not be wood, or any other flammable material unless you have a Lightning Rod. If it is, one lightning strike could set your whole house on fire, which could destroy your home, possibly set you on fire, and allow mobs to get in. If you don't want your house to be burned down, consider making it out of non-flammable material. Otherwise, you will need to completely cover up your house with a material that does not catch fire, such as cobblestone. If you don't mind your house burning down but want a quick way to be enclosed from the outside for your own safety, make a tiny hut around yourself, made of cobblestone, dirt, or another in-expensive non-flammable block. Although wooden doors can catch fire, they will not burn away or spread the flame so you do not have to worry about them.

If you are surrounded by a non-flammable block and you are completely enclosed from the outside, you should be safe. There are a number of things you can do so that you don't get bored. First of all, you can just dig down and start mining, and maybe explore a cave if you find one, but make sure you have enough materials and equipment for safety. Another thing you can do is organize your chests, and start crafting things for when you go outside again. Finally, putting decorations around your house is a great thing to do on a stormy day. If one has an indoor farm, they can also farm during storms. Though as monsters (especially creepers) spawn on the outside, going out after the storm is over may be a bit difficult.

See also[]