In Java Edition:
In Bedrock Edition:
Built by player; 11 second spawn delay.
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.
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 falling anvil,[Java Edition only] cactus, fire, or lava. The Looting enchantment does not increase this drop. A wither also drops 50 when killed by a player or a tamed wolf.
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 99 × 49.5 damage to nearby mobs/players. 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]. 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:
- End Portal
- End Portal Frame
- End Gateway
- Command Block
- Structure Block
- Jigsaw Block
- Light Block[upcoming: JE 1.19]
- Moving Piston
- Moving Block[Bedrock Edition only]
- Reinforced Deepslate[upcoming: 1.19]
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:
- Undead mobs
- Mobs with the
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 has a dark purple[Java Edition only] or pink[Bedrock Edition only] boss health bar that 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).
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, or otherwise dropped as an item at that mob's location; however, it may be destroyed by other wither skulls.
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.
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 path find 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 3–4 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. The wither rose inflicts the Wither effect for a couple of seconds when stepped on.
On Easy difficulty, the wither does not inflict the wither effect or summon wither skeletons.
The wither rapidly fires explosive projectiles called wither skulls, which look like extra heads of itself, at its target. There are two types of wither skulls: a fast-moving black one, and a slower blue one.
- Black wither skulls explode with a blast power of 1, the same as a ghast's fireball, and cannot break blocks with a blast resistance above 4.
- Blue wither skulls have the same explosion strength, but move slower and are more destructive to terrain. Blue wither skulls break all breakable blocks (including obsidian, ancient debris, and blocks of netherite), but cannot break unbreakable blocks like bedrock and end portal frames. In Education Edition, blue wither skulls deal increased damage, but with the same explosion radius.
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.
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.
|Sound||Subtitles||Source||Description||Resource location||Translation key||Volume||Pitch||Attenuation|
|Wither attacks||?||A Wither breaking blocks||?||?||16|
|Wither attacks||?||A Wither shooting a skull||?||?||16|
|Wither released||?||Wither Spawning||?||?||16 (technical) / ∞ (effective)|
|Explosion||?||Explosions created by wither skull||?||(<1.0)||16|
|Name||Identifier||Entity tags (JE)||Translation key|
|Name||Identifier||Numeric ID||Translation key|
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
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Actual requirements (if different)||Gamerscore earned||Trophy type (PS4)|
|The Beginning?||Spawn the Wither||Be within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned.||20G||Bronze|
|The Beginning.||Kill the Wither||Be within a 100.9×100.9×203.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it drops the nether star.||40G||Silver|
|Icon||Advancement||In-game description||Parent||Actual requirements (if different)||Resource location|
|Withering Heights||Summon the Wither||Spooky Scary Skeleton||—|
|Monster Hunter||Kill any hostile monster||Adventure||Kill one of these 34 mobs:
|Monsters Hunted||Kill one of every hostile monster||Monster Hunter||Kill each of these 34 mobs:
|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.|
|12w34b||When 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.|
|12w36a||Withers 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.|
|12w37a||Withers 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.|
|12w38a||Added a sound when withers break blocks.|
|12w42b||The experience dropped by withers has been increased from 20 to 50 points.|
|1.4||Various new sounds have been added for withers.|
|1.4.4||1.4.3||The 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.|
|1.5||13w05a||Withers are no longer able to ride minecarts.|
|April 1, 2013||Added 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.|
|1.7.2||13w37a||Added achievements for spawning and killing the wither.|
|1.8||14w04a||The player can now spawn withers by dispensing the wither skulls.|
|14w11b||The hitbox of the wither has been changed.|
|14w20a||Withers no longer break barriers.|
|14w25a||Withers now move while invulnerable due to.|
|Withers can now be built sideways and upside-down instead of just upright.|
|release||Barriers can now be broken by withers again.|
|1.8.1||pre3||Barriers can no longer be broken by withers.|
|1.9||15w46a||Withers no longer move while invulnerable.|
|15w49a||Withers no longer travel through portals.|
|?||Withers now have a uniquely colored boss bar.|
|1.11||16w32a||The entity ID has been changed from |
|The projectile entity ID has been changed from |
|16w38a||Structure blocks and structure voids can no longer be destroyed by withers.|
|16w40a||The tags |
|The wither |
|1.12||pre3||Withers can no longer break piston extensions or end gateways.|
|1.14||18w43a||The texture of withers has been changed.|
|All mobs killed by withers now have one wither rose planted at their location upon death.|
|18w44a||Withers now have loot tables.|
|1.16||20w07a||Withers can now also be summoned using soul soil as well as soul sand.|
|1.17||21w17a||Withers are now immune to freezing.|
|1.18||21w37a||Fixed bug where Withers do not pursue players in survival mode unless attacked. |
|21w41a||Tweaked the Wither Skull's texture to use the new Wither face from the Texture Update.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|v0.16.0||build 4||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.|
|1.0.2||Wither skulls from withers can now be deflected with a sword.|
|1.1.0||alpha 126.96.36.199||The entity ID has been changed from |
|1.10.0||beta 188.8.131.52||The texture of withers has been changed.|
|1.13.0||beta 184.108.40.206||All mobs killed by withers now have one wither rose planted at their location upon death.|
|1.16.0||beta 220.127.116.11||Withers can now also be summoned using soul soil instead of soul sand.|
|Added piglins, which attack withers.|
|1.17.0||beta 18.104.22.168||Withers are now immune to freezing.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU19||CU7||1.12||Patch 1||1.0.1||Added withers.|
|TU60||CU51||1.64||Patch 30||1.0.11||The behavior of withers has been changed.|
|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.|
|Withers are no longer able to regenerate health.|
|New Nintendo 3DS Edition|
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?".
- Wither skulls spawned through
/summondo 5 magic damage upon a direct hit, as opposed to the usual 8 mob attack damage.
- 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.
- The wither has the most durable and has the highest health, even more than the ender dragon. The wither has a health of 600 maximum.
The "wither armor" that blocks arrows.
A larger image to show how to summon the wither.
The wither prepares for explosion with the invulnerable status after summoned.
The wither attacking horses.
In other media
Wither in promotional artwork for the Pretty Scary Update.
Wither pictured in the Mobestiary.
LEGO Minecraft wither.
- Ender dragon, the other boss mob in Minecraft
- Tutorials/Defeating the wither, a tutorial explaining different tactics to fight and kill the wither
- "Minecraft 1.4 - How to Spawn Wither Mob - Mojang PAX 2012 Live @ 3:07" – Accelerated Ideas on YouTube
- http://www.twitch.tv/pax2/b/330745811 (at 3:57:47)
- "Ask Mojang #4: To The Moon! @ 3:40" – Minecraft on YouTube, November 8, 2019