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This article is about the skeleton variant. For the boss, see Wither.
Wither Skeleton
Wither Skeleton.pngWither Skeleton Targeting.png
Health points

20♥ × 10

Behavior

Hostile

Attack
strength

Melee:
Easy: 5♥♥♥
Normal: 8♥♥♥♥
Hard: 12♥ × 6
Wither:
1♥ per 2 sec
Wither for 10 sec (♥♥♥)

Hitbox size

In Java Edition:
Height: 2.4 Blocks
Width: 0.7 Blocks

In Bedrock Edition:
Height: 2.412 Blocks
Width: 0.864 Blocks

Speed

0.25 when idle and 0.3125 when attacking

Spawn

Nether Fortress
When a wither reaches half health ‌[BE only]

Natural
equipment

Wither skeletons are tall variants of skeletons equipped with stone swords found in nether fortresses, which inflict the fatal Wither effect.

Spawning[]

Wither skeletons spawn in nether fortresses at a light level of 7 or less, in groups of 4. Uniquely, they can spawn on wither roses as they are not harmed.

Halloween[]

Information icon.svg
This feature is exclusive to Java Edition. 

On Halloween, wither skeletons have a 22.5% chance of spawning wearing a carved pumpkin and a 2.5% chance of spawning wearing a jack o'lantern.

Withers[]

Information icon.svg
This feature is exclusive to Bedrock Edition. 

The wither spawns 4 wither skeletons when below half health on normal or hard difficulties.

Jockeys[]

Information icon.svg
This feature is exclusive to Bedrock Edition. 

Spiders and cave spiders spawned in the Nether have a 0.8% chance of spawning a wither skeleton on their back and form a spider jockey. Spiders do not naturally spawn in this dimension.

Drops[]

  • 0 to 2 bones. The maximum drop is increased by 1 per level of Looting, for a maximum of 0 to 5 bones with Looting III.
  • There is a 13 chance to drop a single coal. Each level of Looting increases the maximum drop by 1, so that Looting I drops 0-2 coal with an average of 0.67 coal per kill, Looting II drops 0-3 coal with an average of 1.11 coal per kill and Looting III drops 0-4 coal with an average of 1.58 coal per kill.[verify]
  • 2.5% chance to drop a wither skeleton skull when killed by a player or tamed wolf. Looting increases the chance by 1% per level‌[Java Edition only] or 2% per level‌[Bedrock Edition only], for a maximum of 5.5%‌[Java Edition only] or 8.5%‌[Bedrock Edition only] chance with Looting III. Their skull is always dropped if killed by a charged creeper.
  • 8.5% chance of dropping their unenchanted stone sword which has a random durability. This chance increases by 1% per level of Looting, for a maximum of 11.5% chance with Looting III.
  • 5 experience orbs when killed by a player or tamed wolf. If it has armor, an additional 1 to 3 is dropped per piece.
  • If a wither skeleton wearing a carved pumpkin or jack o'lantern is killed using a tool enchanted with Looting, there is a chance equivalent to the level of Looting used to drop the carved pumpkin or jack o'lantern, a maximum of a 3% chance of a drop.

Behavior[]

Wither skeletons wander aimlessly when idle, but sprint to attack players, snow golems, iron golems, baby turtles, piglins and piglin brutes. They also run away from wolves.

When an entity is attacked by a wither skeleton, it is inflicted with the wither effect for ten seconds in any difficulty, which turns the health bar black (♥ × 10) and decreases it by 1♥ every two seconds, similarly to Poison, except that it can kill.

Some wither skeletons may have the capacity to pick up dropped gear in normal or hard difficulties. The chance depends on regional difficulty, with up to 55% of them capable of picking up swords higher than stone tier plus any armor. Wither skeletons never take bows; in Java Edition, if they hold a bow (which can be done with /summon wither_skeleton ~ ~ ~ {HandItems:[{id:bow,Count:1b}]}) they shoot flaming arrows even if their bows are unenchanted. They cannot use crossbows.

Wither skeletons are immune to fire and the Wither effect. They still seek shade or water during daylight if they are in the Overworld. Like most undead mobs, they sink in water but do not drown, are healed by Instant Damage and harmed by Instant Health effects, are immune to Regeneration and Poison effects and are not attacked by the wither.

Strangely, the player can burn them by throwing a trident enchanted with Channeling during a thunderstorm.‌[Bedrock Edition only]

Sounds[]

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
distance
Wither Skeleton rattles??entity.wither_skeleton.ambientsubtitles.entity.wither_skeleton.ambient??16
Wither Skeleton dies??entity.wither_skeleton.deathsubtitles.entity.wither_skeleton.death??16
Wither Skeleton hurts??entity.wither_skeleton.hurtsubtitles.entity.wither_skeleton.hurt??16
Footsteps??entity.wither_skeleton.stepsubtitles.block.generic.footsteps??16

Data values[]

ID[]

Java Edition:

NameResource locationEntity tags (JE)Translation key
Wither Skeletonwither_skeletonskeletonsentity.minecraft.wither_skeleton

Bedrock Edition:

NameResource locationNumeric ID Translation key
Wither Skeletonwither_skeleton48entity.wither_skeleton.name

Entity data[]

Wither skeleton have entity data associated with them that contains various properties. The wither skeleton is taller than the skeleton.

Java Edition:

Main article: Entity format
  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities
    • Tags common to all mobs

Bedrock Edition:

See Bedrock Edition level format/Entity format.

Achievements[]

Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Gamerscore earned Trophy type (PS4)
PS4 Other platforms
Sniper DuelKill a Skeleton with an arrow from more than 50 meters.Use a launched arrow to kill a skeleton, wither skeleton, or a stray from 50 or more blocks away, horizontally.30GBronze

Advancements[]

Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Resource location
Advancement-plain-raw.pngSpooky Scary Skeleton
Obtain a Wither Skeleton's skull A Terrible FortressHave a wither skeleton skull in your inventory.nether/get_wither_skull
Advancement-plain-raw.pngAdventure
Adventure, exploration, and combat Kill any entity, or be killed by any entity.adventure/root
Advancement-plain-raw.pngMonster Hunter
Kill any hostile monster AdventureKill one of these 34 mobs: Other mobs, if any, may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement.adventure/kill_a_mob
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngMonsters Hunted
Kill one of every hostile monster Monster HunterKill each of these 34 mobs: Other mobs, if any, may be killed, but are ignored for this advancement.adventure/kill_all_mobs
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngSniper Duel
Kill a Skeleton from at least 50 meters away Take AimBe at least 50 blocks away horizontally when a skeleton is killed by an arrow after the player has attacked it once.adventure/sniper_duel

History[]

}}
Java Edition
1.4.212w36aWither Skeleton Revision 1.png Added wither skeletons.
12w38bWither skeletons now spawn more frequently.
1.4.41.4.3Wither skeletons can now sprint toward the player.
1.814w11aWither skeletons now run away from creepers that are about to explode.
14w30aWither skeletons now drop their skull when killed by a charged creeper.
Wither Skeleton Revision 2.png The weapon holding position of wither skeletons has been changed.
1.8.1pre1Wither skeletons no longer run away from creepers that are about to explode.
1.915w31aWither Skeleton Revision 3.png Wither skeletons now lower their arms when idle and swing their arms when damaging something.
Wither skeletons now sometimes (11% of times) spawn with their left hand as their main hand.
Wither skeletons now have the ability to hold items in both of their hands.
15w39aWither skeletons are now slightly shorter (2.4 blocks tall rather than 2.535) and narrower (0.7 blocks instead of 0.72).
1.1016w20aAdded separate spawn eggs for wither skeletons.
pre2The wither skeleton spawn egg has been removed.
1.1116w32aThe wither skeleton spawn egg has been re-added.
The entity ID has been changed changed from Skeleton to wither_skeleton, SkeletonType tag is removed.
The wither skeleton's in-game name is now "Wither Skeleton" instead of "Skeleton".
16w39aWither skeletons now have their own sounds.
1.1318w19aWither skeletons now sink underwater.
Wither skeletons no longer drown underwater.
1.1418w43aWither Skeleton.png The texture of wither skeletons has been changed.
Wither skeletons are now immune to the Wither effect.
September 28, 2019Announced piglins, which attack wither skeletons.
1.1620w07aAdded piglins, which attack wither skeletons.
20w10aWither skeletons now attack piglins on sight.[1]
20w21aWither skeletons are now the only mobs that can spawn on wither roses.
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.12.1build 1Wither Skeleton Revision 1.png Added wither skeletons.
build 9Wither skeletons are now larger than regular skeletons.
build 12Added new sounds for dying wither skeletons.
v0.15.0build 1Wither Skeleton Revision 3.png Wither skeletons now lower their arms when idle and swing their arms when damaging something.
Added separate spawn eggs for wither skeletons.
v0.16.0build 4Wither skeletons now spawn when a wither's health reaches 50%.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha 1.1.0.0The entity ID has been changed from skeleton.wither to wither_skeleton.
Bedrock Edition
?Wither skeletons no longer spawn with gear (or enchanted gear).
1.5.0beta 1.5.0.0Wither skeletons now sink in water.
Wither skeletons no longer drown underwater.
beta 1.5.0.4Wither skeletons now seek and attack baby turtles.
1.10.0beta 1.10.0.3Wither Skeleton.png The texture of wither skeletons has been changed.
1.16.0beta 1.16.0.51Wither skeletons now have ability to pick up items.
Added piglins, which attack wither skeletons.
Legacy Console Edition
TU19CU7 1.12 Patch 11.0.1Wither Skeleton Revision 1.png Added wither skeletons.
TU31CU19 1.22 Patch 3Wither skeletons now drop their skull when killed by a charged creeper.
TU46CU36 1.38 Patch 15Wither Skeleton Revision 3.png Wither skeletons now lower their arms when idle and swing their arms when damaging something.
TU54CU44 1.52 Patch 241.0.4Added separate spawn eggs for wither skeletons.
TU57CU49 1.56 Patch 271.0.7Wither skeletons no longer fear daylight and attack anything that lives.
TU60CU51 1.64 Patch 301.0.11Wither skeletons now spawn when a wither's health reaches 50%.
TU69 1.76 Patch 38Wither skeletons now sink in water.
Wither skeletons no longer drown underwater.
1.91 Wither skeletons now have the same sounds as in Java Edition.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Wither Skeleton Revision 1.png Added wither skeletons.

Issues[]

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

Trivia[]

  • Wither skeletons can't fit through the gap under the staircase of the nether wart room in fortresses.
  • If a Wither Skeleton is summoned in via commands to hold a bow, it shoots fire arrows, even if the bow doesn't have flame.

Gallery[]

Screenshots[]

In other media[]

References[]

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