Zombies are sometimes considered the least dangerous hostile mob in the game because they are slow and can only use close-range melee attacks. However, it is possible for several zombies to collaborate and attack as a team (referred to as a siege or horde), making them more difficult to overcome. Zombies come in many different variations as well, each with their own unique attacking abilities, or inflict a certain effect.
A zombie will target a player when he or she is within a 40 block radius. Zombies can jump 1 block up and will crowd around doors when in pursuit of players and villagers (in Hard mode, they will break wooden doors down). Zombies also occasionally spawn with the ability to equip dropped armor and weapons. Any item equipped in this way will be dropped after the zombie is killed. Zombies will also not drop down into an area if the ledge is taller than five blocks.
Zombies spawn in unlit areas either above ground or underground. They will attempt to break down one's door. When the sun rises, they will burn to death above ground if they aren't under a solid block and don't have a helmet. As of 1.2.3, they also have a chance of spawning with a pumpkin or jack o' lantern on their head (during Halloween), wearing a random type of armor or wielding an iron sword or shovel.
Occasionally, zombies will attack villagers. However, zombie villagers can be healed by using a splash potion of weakness on them and then giving them a golden apple. They heal faster by making a makeshift jail cell for the villager with iron bars and a bed.
When killed, zombies drop 0-2 pieces of rotten flesh. Rotten flesh can be eaten by a player, but it has an 80% chance of giving a player food poisoning. Rotten flesh can safely be used to heal and breed tamed wolves without any risk of the wolf being poisoned, as wolves are immune to rotten flesh poisoning. Also, players can trade rotten flesh with cleric villagers.
Because they also drop carrots and potatoes on occasion, a player can use a zombie mob spawner from a dungeon to potentially collect carrots and potatoes in order to start or supplement a vegetable garden.
Zombies will rarely drop shovels, swords, carrots, potatoes, and armor (if equipped). The looting enchantment increases the chance for these items to drop. Zombies can spawn with and drop chain armor. These items will only drop from zombies killed by a player.
Zombies are easily identified by their green skin and blue shirts. They also wear dark blue/purple trousers and are the only mobs that are dressed like the default player (Steve). This makes them easy to identify if playing on single player, due to the fact that there are no other players. They make constant moaning noises when they are nearby, giving away their location and allowing a player to prepare to fight. This can be used when mining underground. Following the moaning noises can assist a player in finding a cave, or dungeon. Other zombie types wear different clothing. (eg. a Husk wears a desert outfit) The zombie villager used to wear the same outfit as a zombie, but later got changed to what the village would have been wearing in a later update.
Baby zombies are a mini version of regular zombies which have a rare chance to spawn in either Creative Mode or Survival Mode, with cheats, or with a spawn egg. In 1.6.2, normal baby zombies would spawn, but rarely. Since 1.7, it is now common for a baby zombie to spawn, and there is an extremely rare chance for a baby zombie to spawn riding a chicken. This is called a chicken jockey. As of 1.13, baby zombies now burn in sunlight (except for zombie pigmen and husks). Baby zombies (and their counterparts) are the same as zombies with these exceptions:
- They move faster than regular zombies, they can fit through one-block high spaces, yet they have the same health as their adult counterparts, making them more dangerous than adult zombies.
- They do not grow into adult zombies, unlike villagers. This also applies to their variants.
- When they wear armor, it shrinks to fit their body size.
- Baby zombies can also ride on a regular zombie, spiders, or other animals, doing damage to players while making the animals charge.
- In the Bedrock Edition, baby zombies can ride adult zombies.
- Baby zombies have a higher pitched growl than their adult counterparts.
Baby villagers are made by villagers when there are a sufficient amount of doors in a village. Baby villagers may turn into baby zombie villagers when they are killed by zombies.
Because they can only use melee attacks, they're easy to farm if one is prepared correctly. Just get a ladder in a building 4 blocks high with a roof, then make a door, and then attack a zombie, and then let him follow. Then, when the zombie comes in, shut the door, climb up the ladder, and get out. Also, placing glass around the building allows for a good view. Just make a hole 4 blocks deep, and then put a trap door at the top, and then follow it with redstone with a lever, then pull the lever when a zombie comes.
Another way to farm zombies is to wall off a zombie spawner, make a hole a single block-wide into the spawner, and chop at the zombies' feet. Make sure to be sealed off from the surrounding cavern, if applicable, and be careful. Baby zombies can still run through the hole and attack. This will have the benefit of collecting massive quantities of rotten flesh, as well as the possibility of harvesting carrots, potatoes, and the occasional iron ingot.
The most basic way is to find a dungeon with a spawner in it, then make a 2 block high pit, which then you can safely kill them all. Extending pit depth to around 10 blocks will allow the player to kill zombies more easily after they're weakened by damage from falling.
Zombies are somewhat easy to defeat. They are slow and have no ranged attacks, but if shot with an arrow, they will attack with however many zombies are next to it. They will also do the same if attacked with a sword (as of 1.5). Zombies can be defeated with any weapon. A good sword will easily dispatch a zombie. The only hazard about zombies is their tendency to spawn in groups, which makes them a danger for unprepared or unskilled players. They are also capable of spawning with armor, giving them extra durability. Zombies wearing headgear will not burn up in sunlight, but their headgear's durability will eventually run out and break, leaving it exposed to the Sun. Also, be aware that, since 1.6.4, zombies will call other zombies to "help." Within seconds, more zombies will pursue a player. The way to prevent this is to kill the zombie as quick as possible.
Regular zombies wear default (Steve-like) clothing, and are the most basic and common type of zombie. They were the second hostile mob to be added followed by the human mob, which was removed.
Zombie villagers are zombies that have a 5% chance to spawn in place of a regular zombie. They also spawn when a villager successfully gets killed by a zombie. This will also happen on the current difficulty. As of 1.11, zombie villagers have new sounds.
- Main article: Husk
Husks spawn in deserts. They have an 80% chance to spawn under the desert sky in place of a regular zombie. Unlike regular zombies though, husks don't burn in sunlight, and can also inflict the hunger effect.
- Main article: Zombie Pigman
Unlike most other zombies, zombie pigmen are neutral. They will also not chase villagers. Zombie pigmen only spawn in the Nether, or when a pig is struck by lightning. They will also spawn holding a gold sword and are immune to fire damage.
- Main article: Zombie Horse
Zombie horses are passive mobs and cannot be spawned in normal gameplay. However, they can be summoned via commands or by a spawn egg in the creative inventory.
- Main article: Drowned
Drowned are hostile zombie-like mobs, that, similar to the husk, spawn in exclusive biomes, but only in the ocean. They meet the criteria, as they drop rotten flesh. They do have a rare chance to wield a trident or a fishing rod, and have an 8.5% chance to drop them. Drowned mobs will also chase villagers.
- Before the Beta 1.8 update, instead of rotten flesh, zombies would drop feathers on death, making them a difficult alternative to chickens.
- When they come into contact with sunlight, they will catch on fire unless they are wearing any headgear, or in water.
- Since the 1.2 release, zombies are able to break down wooden doors on hard mode. This makes them even more dangerous at night since a player or Villager cannot easily hide in their home. The zombie will continue to pursue unless it is killed, a player is killed, or a player runs far enough. In 1.3.2, zombies can break down wooden doors on any difficulty except easy. However, zombies cannot break down iron doors.
- A group of 4-10 zombies are considered to be a horde, and it is quite rare to encounter one outside of a zombie-spawning dungeon. Thus, the presence of a horde of zombies is a good indicator that there may be a zombie spawner nearby.
- The sound made by zombies can help players pinpoint the existence of a cave when digging underground.
- It is very rare for zombies to spawn with dyed leather armor.
- Zombie attack range is higher in Xbox version than PC version, hence, making it harder to kill in Xbox Edition.
- Zombies have a chance of spawning with the ability to pick up items.
- Zombie sieges can spawn in villages which occurs when a large group of zombies spawn in villages.
- Zombies will attempt to avoid dangerous things (lava, cliffs, cacti), but will intentionally walk out into sunlight.
- Because they are undead mobs, zombies heal when hit with a potion of harming or poison, but they take damage when hit with a potion of healing or regeneration.
- Farming a zombie spawner on higher difficulties is one of the few ways of legitimately obtaining chain armor.
- Zombies during the Minecraft Survival Test were stronger in comparison to the recent versions.
- When a zombie is distracted by a villager, a player can touch the zombie without being damaged. Damage will be dealt, however, if the zombie is distracted in any way and attacks a player.
- The zombie's outfit is the same as "Steve" (The default male player).
- Zombies could originally run as fast as the player.
- The carrots and potatoes they rarely drop is possibly because they picked up the items when they attack NPC villages. This is a possibly reference due to the villager's farms growing crops.
- There is a glitch when baby zombie's pumpkins were still regular size, and floated on top of the baby zombie's head.
- Zombies have the most variant types of any other mob, having 5 different types.
- The zombie has 2 armor points, which makes it harder to kill than skeletons and creepers, despite all three of them sharing the same health.
- Zombies will now sink into deep bodies of water.
- In addition to this, if a zombie stays on water for a while, they can turn into drowned.
- If a zombie villager gets cured, the villager will remember what happened and will send a positive gossip to their fellow kind, leading to the player having better trades.