Minecraft Wiki
This article is about the boss mob. For the status effect, see Wither (effect). For the skeleton variant, see Wither Skeleton. For the storm mob in Minecraft: Story Mode, see Wither Storm. For other uses, see Wither (disambiguation).

The wither is a player-constructed and highly destructive undead hostile boss mob that can hover in mid-air and fire barrages of explosive wither skulls at its target (which happens to be everything living). It is the only source of nether stars, which are used to craft beacons.


Wither build configuration. Soul soil can be used interchangeably with soul sand.
Blue shield wither.

Wither when spawned with its blue shield.

The wither is spawned by placing 4 blocks of soul sand and/or soul soil in a T shape (see image on the right in the "Behavior" section), and putting 3 wither skeleton skulls on top of the three upper blocks. The last block placed must be one of the three skulls and can be placed by the player or a dispenser. Air blocks are required on either side of the base soul sand or soul soil under the upper blocks (non-solid blocks such as grass and flowers prevent the wither from spawning). The building pattern can have any orientation (including horizontal and upside-down) as well as the skulls; the wither always spawns at the foot of the pattern. When the wither has successfully spawned, it is angered and creates an explosion around itself.

Like all other hostile mobs, the wither despawns when the difficulty is changed to Peaceful. Building the wither spawning structure in Peaceful difficulty does not spawn anything.


The wither always drops one nether star upon death. In Java Edition the dropped nether star takes ten minutes to despawn, though in Bedrock Edition the nether star never despawns. It cannot be destroyed by explosions, although it can be destroyed by a cactus, fire, or lava. In Java Edition it can also be destroyed by a falling anvil. The Looting enchantment does not increase this drop. A wither also drops 50 when killed by a player or a tamed wolf.



The difference between the ender dragon's boss bar and that of the wither.‌[Java Edition only]

When spawned, the wither grows larger in size as its health bar fills up. While in this state, the wither is invulnerable, and neither moves nor attacks. When this state ends (after 11 seconds), the wither creates a large explosion centered on itself, destroying nearby blocks and dealing up to 68♥ × 34 damage to nearby mobs/players, depending on difficulty. This explosion has a blast power of 7, more than that of a charged creeper or an end crystal. It is accompanied by a loud gruesome sound that can be heard equally from across the map and in all dimensions‌[JE only].[1] After this, the wither attacks nearby mobs and can take damage.

The wither has the greatest natural health of all mobs in Minecraft (exceeded by the warden in Java Edition 1.19, while Bedrock Edition's wither still has the highest health), at 300♥ × 150 in Java Edition or 600♥ × 300 in Bedrock Edition. The wither is immune to fire, lava, drowning damage, and freezing. Like other undead mobs, the wither is harmed by the Instant Health effect and healed by the Instant Damage effect as well as affected by weapons with the Smite enchantment. It is immune to all other status effects, like the ender dragon.

Upon taking damage, the wither breaks all blocks within a 3×4×3 area around it, including blast-resistant blocks like obsidian, crying obsidian, and ancient debris, dropping them as items if possible. The wither is the only mob in the game that can destroy obsidian.

The wither cannot break the following blocks:

In Java Edition, these blocks are listed under the wither_immune tag.

WitherAttack 2

The wither attacking a villager.

The wither's block-breaking behavior makes suffocation ineffective under most circumstances. However, the blocks listed above, as well as some natural structures that include them, can be used to suffocate the wither due to their wither immunity.

The wither is hostile toward all mobs except:

If the wither is idle, it simply hovers and is unable to gain altitude. On Normal or Hard difficulty, it fires blue skulls in random directions until it finds a target.

The wither's boss health bar color depends on the Edition: Dark Purple on Java Edition, or Pink on Bedrock Edition. It appears only when a player is looking in the wither's direction, including through walls. All withers display a boss bar on the screen. Renamed withers display the changed name above its boss bar. The sky darkens when the wither spawns (a kind of fog).

Java Edition[]

Wither with wither armor effect

Wither with 'wither armor' effect, after half health depleted.

Upon noticing a mob, the wither hovers above it and rapidly shoots black wither skulls. Each head fires independently, allowing a wither to attack up to three different mobs/players at the same time. The main head controls the wither's movement and has a 0.1% chance to shoot a blue wither skull instead of the default black one.

Whenever a wither kills another mob, a wither rose is planted if the ground is grass block, dirt, coarse dirt, moss block, mud, netherrack, soul sand, or soul soil on Java Edition, or otherwise dropped as an item at that mob's location; however, it may be destroyed by other wither skulls. Wither roses are planted/dropped even when the game rule doMobLoot is set to false.[3]

The wither has a passive regeneration rate of 1♥ every 20 ticks (1 second), and a direct killing blow on a target instantly heals 5♥♥♥.

When its health drops below half (150♥ × 75), the wither gains a natural "wither armor" effect, which makes it immune to damage from arrows and thrown tridents and causes it to fly at the same height as the target. The armor disappears if it regenerates above half health.

Bedrock Edition[]

Upon noticing a player or mob, the wither flies to a random location and hovers in place. It shoots 3 black wither skulls and one blue wither skull before flying to another location. The time between each shot decreases as the wither loses health. On Normal difficulty or higher, if the wither has targeted an entity but cannot find a location to pathfind to, it shoots random blue skulls in a random direction along with the skulls directed toward the target.

At half health, it causes a large explosion that spawns 3 wither skeletons (except on Easy difficulty), as well as gaining wither armor. Instead of flying to a random location, it dashes toward its target, destroying blocks and damaging mobs in its path. It also fires up to 4 skulls per burst: three black skulls followed by one blue skull.

It has different spawn and death animations, both of which involve the wither exploding. Wither roses always drop as an item when the wither kills a mob. Wither roses are dropped even when the game rule doMobLoot is set to false.[4] The wither rose inflicts the Wither effect for a couple of seconds when stepped on.

The sky light level drops to 11 and dark clouds appear from the moment the wither spawns until it is dead, preventing zombies, skeletons, and drowned from burning in sunlight.

On Easy difficulty, the wither does not inflict the wither effect or summon wither skeletons.

Withers will retain their anti-projectile armor after healing it over 1/2 of its total HP (301♥ × 150.5), though it disappears after the game is restarted.[5]

Wither Skull[]

Not to be confused with Wither Skeleton Skull.

When attacking, the wither rapidly fires explosive projectiles called wither skulls, which look like its own heads, at its target. There are two types of wither skulls: a fast-moving black one, and a slower blue one.

If either type of wither skull hits a player or mob, it does 8♥♥♥♥ damage on Normal difficulty. It also inflicts Wither II for 10 seconds on Normal difficulty and 40 seconds on Hard, which turns the player's hearts black (♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥) and drains health, similarly to Poison. However, unlike Poison, it can kill the player.

Like other status effects, the Wither effect can be cured by drinking milk.

In Bedrock Edition and Legacy Console Edition, the blue skull can be deflected by hitting it with an empty hand, weapon, tool, or throwable projectiles such as tridents, arrows, snowballs, and throwable potions.


Java Edition:
Withers use the Hostile Creatures sound category for entity-dependent sound events. Wither skulls use the Friendly Creatures sound category for entity-dependent sound events.

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Wither angers [sound 1]Hostile CreaturesRandomlyentity.wither.ambientsubtitles.entity.wither.ambient1.00.8-1.216
Wither attacksHostile CreaturesWhen a wither breaks blocks upon taking damageentity.wither.break_blocksubtitles.entity.wither.shoot2.00.8-1.216
Wither attacksHostile CreaturesWhen a wither shoots a wither skullentity.wither.shootsubtitles.entity.wither.shoot2.00.8-1.216
Wither diesHostile CreaturesWhen a wither diesentity.wither.deathsubtitles.entity.wither.death1.00.8-1.216
Wither hurtsHostile CreaturesWhen a wither is damagedentity.wither.hurtsubtitles.entity.wither.hurt1.00.8-1.216
Wither releasedHostile CreaturesWhen a wither is finished charging up [sound 2]entity.wither.spawnsubtitles.entity.wither.spawn1.01.016 (technical) / ∞ (effective) [sound 3]
ExplosionBlocksWhen a wither is finished charging up or a wither's wither skull explodesentity.generic.explodesubtitles.entity.generic.explode4.00.56-0.8416
  1. MC-212623
  2. Does not trigger at all if the gamerule globalSoundEvents is false
  3. MC-177741

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
Hostile CreaturesRandomlymob.wither.ambient1.00.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesWhen a wither breaks blocks upon taking damagemob.wither.break_block1.01.0
Hostile CreaturesWhen a wither shoots a wither skullmob.wither.shoot3.01.0
Hostile CreaturesWhile a wither is dyingmob.wither.deathvaries[sound 1]0.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesWhen a wither is damagedmob.wither.hurt1.00.8-1.2
Hostile CreaturesWhen a wither is finished charging upmob.wither.spawn1.01.0
BlocksWhen a wither is finished charging up, changes stages, is finished dying, or a wither's wither skull explodesrandom.explode4.01.0
  1. Is normally 1.0, but can be 0.75 or 0.5 [more information needed]

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierEntity tags (JE)Translation key
Wither Skullwither_skullimpact_projectilesentity.minecraft.wither_skull

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID Translation key
Wither Skullwither_skull89entity.wither_skull.name
Wither Skullwither_skull_dangerous91entity.wither_skull_dangerous.name

Entity data[]

Java Edition:

Main article: Entity format

Withers have entity data associated with them that contain various properties.

  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities
    • Tags common to all mobs
    •  Invul: The number of ticks of invulnerability left after being initially created. 0 once invulnerability has expired.

Wither skulls have entity data associated with them that contain various properties.

  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities
    • Tags common to all fireballs
    • Tags common to all projectiles

Bedrock Edition:

See Bedrock Edition level format/Entity format.


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Gamerscore earned Trophy type (PS4)
PS4 Other
The Beginning?Spawn the WitherBe within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned.20GBronze
The Beginning.Kill the WitherBe within a 100.9×100.9×203.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it drops the nether star.40GSilver


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Resource location
Advancement-plain-rawInvicon Nether StarWithering Heights
Summon the Wither Spooky Scary SkeletonBe within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the wither when it is spawned.nether/summon_wither
Advancement-plain-rawMonster Hunter
Kill any hostile monster AdventureKill one of these 34 mobs: Only the riders of the chicken jockeys and skeleton horsemen are counted in this advancement. Other mobs may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement.adventure/kill_a_mob
Advancement-fancy-rawIt Spreads
Kill a mob near a Sculk Catalyst Monster HunterKill one of these 70 mobs near a sculk catalyst: Mobs that drop no experience are ignored for this advancement.adventure/kill_mob_near_sculk_catalyst
Advancement-fancy-rawMonsters Hunted
Kill one of every hostile monster Monster HunterKill each of these 34 mobs: Other mobs may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement. Only the riders of the chicken jockeys and skeleton horsemen are counted in this advancement.adventure/kill_all_mobs


Java Edition
1.4.212w34aWither JE1 BE1 Added withers.
Withers currently do not spawn naturally.
Withers have been left unfinished by Jeb and hidden in the code. They were discovered through the presence of its skin in the /mobs/ folder.
Withers can be spawned only with edited spawners, mods, or hacks, and can crash the JVM.
12w34bWhen the wither's health is taken down to half, it now gains wither armor, which makes it immune to arrows.
The projectile firing rate and movement speed of withers has been increased.
?At PAX, Dinnerbone revealed that it would be possible to spawn withers by arranging wither skeleton skulls in some way.[6][7]
12w36aWithers can now be spawned by arranging soul sand in a T shape and placing three wither skeleton skulls on top.
The wither now drops 20 experience and a nether star upon death.
12w37aWithers now make a massive explosion upon their creation after their health is fully charged.
When there are no targets, the wither sometimes shoots blue wither skulls, which move slower and can destroy any block besides bedrock.
12w38aAdded a sound when withers break blocks.
12w42bThe experience dropped by withers has been increased from 20 to 50 points.
1.4Various new sounds have been added for withers. oversight where withers can be created in peaceful difficulty has been fixed. Before this update, attempting to spawn the wither in peaceful resulted in a waste of soul sand and skulls.
Withers can no longer destroy end portals, which are now supposed to be unbreakable.
1.513w05aWithers are no longer able to ride minecarts.
April 1, 2013Added a pink wither to the april fools update, Minecraft 2.0. The pink wither is passive, starts with one head, and can be fed sugar to gain two more heads.
1.7.213w37aAdded achievements for spawning and killing the wither.
1.814w04aThe player can now spawn withers by dispensing the wither skulls.
14w11bThe hitbox of the wither has been changed.
14w20aWithers no longer break barriers.
14w25aWithers now move while invulnerable due to MC-57569.
Withers can now be built sideways and upside-down instead of just upright.
releaseBarriers can now be broken by withers again.
1.8.1pre3Barriers can no longer be broken by withers.
1.915w31aWithers now have a uniquely colored boss bar.
15w46aWithers no longer move while invulnerable.
15w49aWithers no longer travel through portals.
1.1116w32aThe entity ID has been changed from WitherBoss to wither.
The projectile entity ID has been changed from WitherSkull to wither_skull.
16w38aStructure blocks and structure voids can no longer be destroyed by withers.
16w40aThe tags xTile, yTile, zTile, inTile and inGround have been removed from the wither skull entity data.
The wither life tag is no longer used for anything, but still saved/read.
1.12pre3Withers can no longer break piston extensions or end gateways.
1.1418w43aWither JE2 BE2 The texture of withers has been changed.
All mobs killed by withers now have one wither rose planted at their location upon death.
18w44aWithers now have loot tables.
1.1620w07aWithers can now also be summoned using soul soil.
1.1721w17aWithers are now immune to freezing.
1.1821w37aFixed bug where withers do not pursue players in survival mode unless attacked.[8]
21w41aWither Skull JE3 Tweaked the Wither Skull's texture to use the new Wither face from the Texture Update.
1.19Deep Dark Experimental Snapshot 1Add reinforced deepslate, which cannot be broken by withers.
1.19.322w44aWither Spawn Egg JE1 BE1 Added spawn eggs for withers, which can only be obtained with commands as to avoid potential destruction of creative builds.[9]
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.16.0build 4Wither JE1 BE1 Added withers.
When withers are at half health, they spawn 4 wither skeletons.
Withers attack differently and have twice the amount of health as Java Edition withers.
Pocket Edition
1.0.2Wither skulls from withers can now be deflected with a sword.
1.1.0alpha entity ID has been changed from wither.boss to wither.
Bedrock Edition
1.10.0beta JE2 BE2 The texture of withers has been changed.
1.13.0beta mobs killed by withers now have one wither rose planted at their location upon death.
1.16.0beta can now also be summoned using soul soil instead of soul sand.
Added piglins, which attack withers.
1.17.0beta are now immune to freezing.
1.19.60beta Spawn Egg JE1 BE1 Added spawn eggs for withers.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU7 1.12 Patch 11.0.1Wither JE1 BE1 Added withers.
TU60CU51 1.64 Patch 301.0.11The behavior of withers has been changed to match the behavior of withers in Pocket Edition Alpha v0.16.0.
Withers now blow up and spawn wither skeletons at half health. Upon death, withers stop moving and slowly grow in size while turning white until they explode. They also do the dash attack like in Bedrock Edition and the amount of health that they get when spawning also depends on the difficulty.
Withers are no longer able to regenerate health.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.3.12Wither JE1 BE1 Added withers.


Issues relating to "Wither" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


Wither (painting texture) JE1 BE1

The painting depicting how to spawn a wither

  • According to Jeb, the wither was inspired by Terraria, which has a summonable boss mechanic. The name itself is inspired by a poison spell in another game made by Jeb called Whispers in Akarra.[10]
  • There is a painting showing the soul sand and wither skeleton skull formation needed to spawn a wither.
  • If the wither is damaged by the Void, it frantically attempts to fire blue skulls.
  • Above half health, the wither always attempts to stay a few blocks above the mob it is targeting. This means that attempting to build or climb up to hit the wither using a sword is essentially impossible.
    • If the wither is after a blaze and the blaze tries to fly up to it, the wither attempts to keep rising above the blaze, thus making both of them rise higher until they hit a ceiling or until the blaze despawns or dies.
  • Although the wither is 3.5 blocks tall, 3 blocks wide, and 1 block thick, its hitbox is only 3.5 blocks tall, 1 block wide, and 1 block thick.
    • The true dimensions of the wither are: 2.844 blocks tall (varies), 3 blocks wide, and 1.719 blocks long (also varies).
  • The wither appears on the four sides of chiseled red sandstone.
  • The wither's smaller heads shoot targets slightly slower than the main head. The interval for smaller heads is 2–3 seconds, while the main head's always 2.
  • An enemy called the wither storm appears in Minecraft: Story Mode. It was created by replacing the center block of soul sand with a command block.
  • Despite not having visible feet, withers are still capable of making footstep sounds.[11]
  • In Java Edition 3D Shareware v1.34, withers drop red keys.
  • According to Quinn Richter, Marketplace Partner Manager, the wither's name is "Simmons?", similar to the ender dragon's name being "Jean?".[12]
  • A wither skull can be deflected by shooting an arrow at it.‌[Bedrock Edition only] If a deflected wither skull hits the wither, the wither takes damage.‌[Bedrock Edition only]
  • A wither and an ender dragon can engage in combat, but neither one damages the other.
  • Despite being immune to projectiles when it has "wither armor", it is still able to be hit by the warden's sonic boom attack.
    • This is because the warden's sonic boom attack is not a projectile, but an instant damage attack. Therefore, the wither is unable to defend against it with the "armor".


In other media[]

See also[]


  1. MC-177741 — Wither sounds play for all players
  2. MC-162557 — "Withers no longer attack ghasts" — resolved as "Works As Intended".
  3. MC-154922
  4. MCPE-73842
  5. MCPE-161643 – After healing a wither boss over 1/2 HP, it still retains its anti-projectile shield
  6. "Minecraft 1.4 - How to Spawn Wither Mob - Mojang PAX 2012 Live @ 3:07" – Accelerated Ideas on YouTube
  7. http://www.twitch.tv/pax2/b/330745811 (at 3:57:47)
  8. MC-29274
  9. MC-189872 — resolved as "Fixed".
  10. https://minecraft.net/article/meet-wither
  11. MC-92623
  12. "Ask Mojang #4: To The Moon! @ 3:40" – Minecraft on YouTube, November 8, 2019

External links[]