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A mob spawning pad inside a nether fortress. The bounding box of the nether fortress is made visible using the mod Bounding Box Outline Reloaded.

A wither skeleton farm is a mob grinder that involves creating a spawning pad inside a nether fortress, while removing all other mob spawning points nearby.

Wither skeletons have a chance to drop a wither skeleton skull, three of which are required to create a wither, which drops a nether star used to craft a beacon.

Preparation[]

In Java Edition, you will need a variable amount of materials depending on the size of the grinder, but a small sized farm needs around:

1. Begin by finding a nether fortress in the Nether, preferably with a large portion of the fortress over a lava ocean.

2. Find and mark the bounds of the nether fortress chosen.[more information needed] Bounding boxes are only able to be made visible easily on Java edition.[more information needed]

3. Destroy all of the platforms that make up the nether fortress to limit spawning. In vanilla, it's anything within a 250 × 250 area that's comprised of nether bricks.[verify]

Creation[]

A typical farm of this type usually means destroying all platforms on which the wither skeletons can spawn and replacing them with collection points (usually lines of blocks with pressure plates on them for pistons to push into a grinding point).

Building the mob collectors[]

1. Create a line of a chosen building material (preferably cobblestone due to its common occurrence and resistance to ghast's fire balls) from one end of the marked area to the other.

2. Place pressure plates on the top of the line and redstone torches on one side of the line.

3. Place a line of cobblestone on top of the redstone torches and then place another line of redstone torches on the outward side of that line.

4. Place a third line of cobblestone on top of the second line and then place a line of sticky pistons that will push those above the first line of cobblestone.

5. Place half slabs on top of the third line of cobblestone to prevent wither skeletons from spawning on top of the collectors instead of inside them.

Note: In 1.16, Piglins naturally attack wither skeletons, and vice versa. You can use this to make an auto collector.

Grinding Point[]

After the mob collectors have been made correctly and wither skeletons are being spawned, you will need to make a bucket shape of cobblestone under the collector so that all spawned mobs are at one main point. This can easily be achieved using the remaining cobblestone by making a tube from the collectors to the area chosen for grinding. Once the mobs are at the grinding point they can all be killed in one area simplifying collection and speeding up the whole process.

Vwoop's Design[]

This design uses the ability to extend the nether brick platform of the farm area and spawn proofing the rest of the area, which allows more mobs to spawn in the area, allowing it to yield over 75 wither skulls per hour. It is designed on Bedrock Edition but can also be used on Java with it yielding about the same amount of drops, as long as you replace the trident killer with an entity cramming machine.

This farm does not work well below 1.16, however it does work on both 1.16 and 1.17.

Mikecraft’s Design[]

This design guarantees that the wither skeletons will drop their skulls 100% of the time, making for a very efficient grinder, however it requires a charged creeper. It is again primarily designed for Bedrock Edition but works on Java as well, however it is worth noting that only one head can be dropped per group of wither skeletons.

This does not work in versions previous to 1.13 Java, and 1.4 Bedrock due to lack of tridents.

Kkinders Method[]

In this method you use an iron golem to lure wither skeletons into a falling trap. This trap can be upgraded with pistons to push wither skeletons through a portal and then be blown up by a charged creeper. This is a very cheap method but only gets about 5 skulls an hour but with the modifications it can get a skull every minute. It is meant to be used as an alternative to grinding for skulls and not meant for killing the wither multiple times. This method is for all platforms but the modifications with the charged creeper is more effective on bedrock edition.

Other Addons[]

You may want to add a cage of some sort around the farm to prevent ghasts from blowing up the structure during collection. As well as that, most wither skeletons only drop coal and bones and only when they are killed by a player or a tamed wolf is a wither skeleton skull dropped.

Automatic and AFK-able designs[]

Using wolves, one can make an automatic wither skeleton farm by having the player stand nearby. As long as the wither skeletons cannot reach the wolves, there is no chance of the wolves dying.

Xisumavoid's Design[]

This design uses slime block machines to push mobs off the spawning platforms, sort them, and grind them.

Ray's Works's Design[]

This design uses ghasts' enormous hit box to push mobs off the spawning platforms.

Shulkercraft's Design (Based on another of Ray's Works's Designs)[]

This 2020 Java 1.16.4 design uses a spawn platform in the nether with wither roses and a piglin to attract them into a drop down chute.

Bedrock edition farms[]

Bedrock uses different spawn mechanics. Mobs spawn within a spherical radius of any player. The size of that radius is dependent on your world's simulation distance.

A wither skeleton farm is most easily and quickly built on a simulation distance of 4. On simulation distance 4, mobs spawn 24 blocks away from the player, and despawn further than 48 blocks away.[more information needed] For any other simulation distance, the despawn range is 64 blocks.[verify]

Wither Skeletons have further mechanics amended to the spherical rules. They always spawn in packs of 2-5 wither skeletons.

All mobs spawnable in nether fortresses always spawn in specific locations. These locations seem to be at random crossroads.[verify] If a crossroads is chosen, mark out a five by five area in its center that will be your drop pit to the kill zone. Then take all sides of that 5 x 5 center hole and build out using nether brick blocks to make a flat floor with at least three blocks between floor & ceiling if there is one.

Fortress hallways with fenceposts as windows spawn them[more information needed] more consistently.[verify] Fortress mobs always spawn on specific blocks.

Wither skeletons spawn specifically at blocks that are the center[verify] of the hallway, and also have a window nearby. Anywhere there's 2-4 windows, wither skeletons spawn specifically on the northwest corner of southwest block[verify] beneath them[more information needed].[more information needed]

Choose which of the spawn spots located to build a farm around. Place a fence post one block above the floor floating above the spawn spot. Mobs will still spawn on the corner of that block, and fall down to the kill zone.

Spawn proof the entire spherical area around your afk location. The easiest means to do that is by slabbing every block that's within your worlds simulation distance.

For anything to spawn you must create an afk chamber that is at minimum distance is 30 blocks aways from your killing pods. Use a trident killer[more information needed] so that your swords looting enchant will boost your drops while you afk.