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The Mobs of Minecraft

Minecraft Walkthrough and Guide
 
 


The Mobs of Minecraft

This section of the guide is broken up into major subtypes of mobs for your convenience, including the following:

(1) Boss Mobs
(a) The Ender Dragon

(2) Hostile Mobs
(a) Blazes
(b) Cave Spiders
(c) Creepers
(d) Ghasts
(e) Magma Cubes
(f) Silverfish
(g) Skeletons
(h) Slimes
(i) Spiders
(j) Spider Jockey
(k) Zombies

(3) Neutral Mobs
(a) Enderman
(b) Wolves
(c) Zombie Pigmen

(4) Non-Player Characters (NPCs)

(a) Blacksmith
(b) Butcher
(c) Farmer
(d) Librarian
(e) Priest
(f) Villager (No Profession)

(5) Passive Mobs
(a) Chickens
(b) Cows
(c) Mooshrooms
(d) Pigs
(e) Sheep
(f) Squid

(6) Utility Mobs
(a) Snow Golem

There are actually a number of different mobs in the game, and they do not always behave in the same exact way, as different conditions will cause them to act differently -- for example spiders may be encountered in the day time with no risk of them attacking the player, but when encountered at night or in dark areas like caves, mines, and the like, they are very aggressive.

To help you in both dealing with and making use of the different mobs we present to you here a complete encyclopedic listing by type that presently exist, with notes and factoids that may be of particular use to you... 

You should be aware though that planning for the Xbox 360 release of the game is thought to include a regular expansion of mobs and features, so you may find that there are additional mobs with updates.



(1) Boss Mobs


At the moment there is really only one type of Boss Mob in the game: The Ender Dragon.   It was the first official Boss Mob to appear in Minecraft (there can be more than one in a given world), and as it is the signal of the end game, naturally it only spawns in The End.

The Ender Dragon is worth 20,000 XP, and when killed drops the Overworld Portal and Dragon Egg, but then, it is not so much a question of when it is killed, but IF it is killed -- you will want to be a very high-level and very well-equipped if you plan on taking this bad boy on, and even if you are confident that you can do the job, it would be an idea to set up a bed near the End Portal and sleep in it so that you respawn there when you die (not if, seriously, WHEN).


The Ender Dragon Boss Mob in all its Glory 

Ender Dragons take the most damage from damage dealt to the head. Hitting other areas of the body will not do as much damage.   Bear in mind that any battle with the Dragon will be a lengthy one, because The End has a number of Ender Crystals on top of Obsidian Pillars, and the Dragon can recover health from these.  Of course if it tries to do that and you destroy the Crystal it is using to heal, you will do serious damage to the Dragon in the process.

It is generally considered to be a sound strategy to destroy ALL of the Crystals BEFORE you engage the Dragon in combat, that way it does not have the option to seek out a Crystal and heal -- and really, considering the work you have to put in to dealing damage to it, it would be a shame for it to easily reverse your progress.

Because this beast is fast and dangerous, and prefers to perform charging attacks on the player, your best tactic is to use ranged attacks rather than melee -- though it should be noted that Snowballs are very effective against the Dragon, having the potential to stun-lock the Ender Dragon, and as its recovery time is slower than the firing rate of snowballs, this is an effective strategy.  While ranged attacks will be easier for you, melee attacks will deal more damage per attack; an effective tactic is to wait for it to charge, sidestep its attack, and then wack it with your Sword.


A Dragon in the Overworld - a Sign of Things to Come 

The End Portal that drops from the Dragon at its death is powered by two Torches, which you place on either side -- and upon entering you are treated to a long text cutscene (CS) that serves as the formal "ending" for Minecraft -- after which you are teleported to your spawn point.

Rumors:  There is a rumor that Dragons were originally intended as mounts that can be ridden in the game -- Notch made comments in the past that one of his favorite book series was Dragon Riders of Pern, and that he did not consider it out of the question for Dragons to be a mount in the future.  He has also dropped hints about a "dragon expansion" for the game in the coming years.

Useful Factoids:

-- The Ender Dragon flies at 10 times the player's normal walking speed.

-- When hit, an Ender Dragon will make the same pain sounds as the player.

-- Ender Dragons can be damaged by Snowballs, as snow is made of water, which damages Ender-mobs. However, Snow Golems will not attack it.

-- Defeating the Ender Dragon will level you up about 105 levels.



(2) Hostile Mobs

Hostile mobs by definition will attack the player whenever they get in range.  Cave Spiders, Creepers, Skeletons, Spiders, Spider Jockeys, and Zombies require a light level of 7 or less to spawn, so keeping the area well-lit can help you prevent them from spawning in areas you control.   Note that hostility levels are based upon how the mob spawns -- so Spiders may become neutral in daylight, but they do not spawn as neutral at night or in the dark.


-- Blazes

Blazes are a mob with yellow skin and brown eyes that are found in The Nether and spawn only from Monster Spawners found inside Nether Fortresses when the player gets within 16 spaces from them.  When they spawn it is generally in groups of from 2 to 6,  and only spawn in light levels of 11 or below.  Their bodies are made up of a head atop a central column of smoke, with three rotating sections, each containing four floating yellow rods.  

Blazes are a flying mob, though they remain on the ground when they are not aggro'd.  They attack on sight, so when a player comes into their range they immediately begin flying and shooting, and will catch fire briefly before shooting a three round burst of Fire Charges at the player.  There is a brief cool down period between their attacks.


The Blaze is one of the tougher mobs to master the strategies for killing... 

Blazes can be damaged by normal weapons, and can also be damaged by water and snowballs.  They take no damage from fire or lava, naturally, and when they are defeated, they drop Blaze Rods, but only if defeated by a player.

Honestly these are the most dangerous mob in the game, and when they aggro their attacks are pretty much unblockable, so if you are not a high-level, with good kit and a serious willingness to kill them, they are best avoided.

If you must fight them, consider using a potion of fire-resist prior to doing battle with them, and rather than fight them on even terms, you are better off camping their spawn-point, so you can quickly kill them rather than have a long and protracted battle with them in the air that potentially will lead to their loot dropping where you cannot claim it.

Considering their weakness to water and snowballs, harvesting their drops is an excellent time to unleash your army of Snow Golems on them...  I am just saying...

Useful Factoids:

-- Projectiles fired by a Blaze cannot be deflected.

-- With a Fire Resistance Potion in effect, the Blaze is the only mob whose attacks can be neutralized.

-- Blaze cannot shoot if trapped in a Cobweb.

-- Snow Golems can kill a blaze with snowballs, but Snow Golems are easily killed by the Blaze attacks, so you will need a lot and need to be able to replace them when they are killed.



-- Cave Spiders
The Cave Spider was first introduced in the Beta 1.8 Pre-Release, and are a small bug-like monster that is far more dangerous than a regular Spider -- but fortunately they are not anywhere near as common as their regular cousins, in that they only spawn in Abandoned Mine Shafts, where they are spawned by Spawners there.  Like their less-lethal cousins the Cave Spider drops string and Spider Eyes as its resources. 

Smaller than regular spiders, they can squeeze through spaces as tiny as a  1x1 hole, and they can pass through passages only half a block high -- which means that they can usually get to you if you are in an Abandoned Mine Shaft...


Unlike the larger regular Spiders, Cave Spiders can poison you! 

What makes them especially dangerous is that they have a venomous bite -- and when you are bitten by one, your health bar turns yellow-green and gradually decreases as the venom removes a half-heart in damage every 1.5 seconds!  It lasts for 5-seconds, so you do the math on whether it will be fatal on you at the time...  Milk has the ability to cure the player of venom poisoning FYI...  But luckily for the player even if their health is low when they are bitten, the venom alone cannot kill you; but it can drop your health to dangerously low levels and then taking a melee hit could.

Useful Factoids:

-- Cave Spiders are faster than normal spiders

-- Cave Spider spawners are surrounded by Cobwebs, and Cobwebs don't affect Cave Spiders.

-- Cave Spiders can track you through walls.

-- Spiders are unaffected by Splash Potions of Poison.



-- Creepers
Creepers are probably the best known and most hated of the hostile mobs, largely due to the fact that its habits are to ambush players and then to explode, causing massive damage to the player and the surrounding blocks -- a sort of roaming sneaky walking bomb. 

This is especially annoying because they can appear pretty much any time -- unlike the other night-mobs they do not burst into flames in the daylight, so if any have spawned outside of your home in the night, they will still be there in the morning!  I can say from personal experience that walking out in to the cheerful sunshine only to have a Creeper sneak up and then blow up myself and a large crater in front of my house to be a rather unpleasant surprise indeed!


The much hated and despised Creeper 

Creepers spawn at night and in dark locations that have a light level of 7 or less, so it is generally thought to be a good idea to make sure that your bastion is very well-lit at night.  While they take a particular interest in blowing up players, they tend to run from Cats and Ocelots -- which they have a natural fear of for some reason -- and in fact will ignore the player when one of these is close, which is food for thought.

In addition to being a really great source for Gunpowder -- which is a primary ingredient for TNT -- they are also the source for the music discs (CD's) that can be collected in the game and played on the player-crafted Jukebox.  Obtaining the CD's requires that a Creeper be killed by a Skeleton archer -- but they can also be found in dungeons which can make that process a bit easier...

-- Creeper Behavior --

As mentioned above, the Creeper generally uses the technique of sneaking up on a player and then when they are within one square, hissing briefly and blowing up -- though once they start to hiss they generally then blow up, it is possible to distance yourself to limit the amount of damage you take, I am just saying...

If a Creeper can see you and get within the one-block distance, they will explode, but the good news is that they cannot see you through glass (as far as we know none of the mobs can) -- so having them lounging outside your house does not mean that they will count down and blow -- unless you do something really stupid like open your door...

Their explosive force is roughly 25% less than that of TNT, but if the Creeper is struck by lightning (and thus in a "charged" state) their explosion is twice the power.

Killing them is best accomplished with a bow and two or three fully-charged shots -- you can do it with a sword but if you do you sort of need to be backing away from it all the while so that it never starts its countdown while you are killing it.

Iron Swords will kill a Creeper better than Stone or Wood, and faster as well, but the Diamond Sword can do them in in just two or three hits, which is something to consider if you are actually hunting them -- but it would be an idea to wear armor just in case one blows up on you...

Useful Factoids:

-- Despite their explosive properties and the fact that they drop gunpowder when killed, Creepers will not detonate when exposed to lava or fire.

-- Despite having no arms, creepers can climb up ladders and vines like any other mob.

-- The creepers path finding allows for it to notice lava, and it will not attempt to chase the player if they are on the other side of the lava.

-- Glass walls around entrances can prevent the creepers' habit of hiding in ambush around corners.

-- To minimize creeper damage to shelters and structures, the surrounding, interior, and roof areas should be well-lit.



-- Ghasts
With the appearance of a snowy jellyfish and the ability to float through the air and shoot fireballs at players below, the Ghast are perhaps one of the more formidable mobs in the game -- but as they only spawn in the Nether, they are more of an avoidable menace than they are a constant danger.  They are fairly large and relatively easy to spot -- their body takes up the space of 4x4x4 blocks, and they make a child-like crying noise as they move about in the sky.

One of the more vocal of mobs -- which is actually sort of a good thing -- they tend to fly around with their eyes and mouth closed but, when they see you and attack, both open.  The crying sound they make while traveling is replaced by a bird-like noise when they are attacking.  When you damage one it will scream, and when you kill it, it will make a distinct death-rattle sound.


These scarey-looking mobs.. Oh, wait, that's Kelly Ripa...  Our bad! 

Fortunately their main attack -- fireballs -- are not player-seeking missiles so they can be avoided if the player is paying attention...  They use a line-of-sight attack mode, so if the player can place something that they cannot see through between themselves and the Ghast, they can avoid being attacks, though it should be noted that lava is NOT something a Ghast cannot see through!

In addition to dropping Gunpowder when they are killed, Ghasts may also drop a Ghast Tear, which is a positive potion ingredient, and very desirable loot!  It is a primary ingredient for potions, but is also rather difficult to collect due to the fact that when killed in the air, the drops from Ghasts tend to fall onto whatever is in the area, so you could easily lose your loot to lava or it falling out of reach.

-- Strategies for Fighting Ghasts --

First and foremost, the player needs to remember that while their fireball attack is not a guided one, as it will go in a straight line from where it was fired, it is a very dangerous one as it explodes when it hits the ground or an object, and that explosion includes blast damage that can injure the player if they are within its radius.   If a Ghast fireball strikes on or near a Portal, it will close the Portal, but when it strikes an already closed Portal it can actually provide the power to re-open it!

When a fireball hits the ground it will set fire to any blocks within the blast radius - which can pose a significant threat to the player.  The farther away that the player is from the blast, the less damage that it does, but being hit directly will damage the player for as many as 10 Hearts, so it is best if you avoid that, right?


An actual Ghast without its Kelly Ripa costume... 


Your best defensive tactic against their fireball attack is to deflect it - you can do that by hitting it just before it hits you and you can use literally anything to do that, including bare hands.  If you manage to deflect the fireball back at the Ghast and it hits it, it will kill it in one-shot, so that may be a tactic that the player will want to get good at!

Your best tactic in farming Ghasts is to use your Bow and Arrows, from an explosive-proof shelter.  Bear in mind that while both Lava and Fire do not seem to damage Ghasts, if you can lure one into a Lave flow that will slow it down enough so that you can easily get two or three full-power arrow shots into it, killing it.  The main drawback to that tactic is that the drops may land in the Lava.

Useful Factoids:

-- Ghasts can cause other mobs to attack it, but the Ghast will never target other mobs; it will only target the Player.

-- Despite being fireproof, Ghasts require air to stay alive, so they will drown if they are lured under water or lava for too long.

-- The explosive property of Ghast fireballs can be used by players to mine blocks in the Nether.

-- If a Ghast is killed, any Fireball the Ghast has launched will disappear.



-- Magma Cubes
Appearing as dark-brown blocks with a face that is similar to that of the Creeper, Magma Cubes are a hostile mob that drops Lava Slime and Magma Cream -- the later being a core ingrediant in fire-resist potions, which makes it a desirable drop.

When killed, a Magma Cube will release 2 to 4 smaller versions of themselves in addition to Experience Orbs and their drop items -- but be aware that all sizes of Magma Cubes can drop Magma Cream, so you will want to kill the small ones as well!


The Magma Cube in its natural environment

Normally a slow-moving creature, Magma Cubes will jump towards the player and speed up slightly when they have detected them, but they can still be outrun if you would rather not fight them -- a decision you may want to make if you are facing more than one at a time.  In groups their tactic of jumping on the player to damage them is very effective, so running is generally considered to be a sane reaction.

Useful Factoids:

-- Magma Cubes seem to be the Nether equivalent of Slimes.

-- Unlike tiny slimes, tiny Magma Cubes can still hurt the player.

-- Magma Cubes have much more time between jumps than slimes.



-- Silverfish
These small bug-like mobs are found inside special blocks in Strongholds which appear to be regular cobblestone and regular stone blocks, but when you mine them they take more hits to break, which is your warning that they are a special rather than regular block that may contain a Silverfish.  While these are very rare, when you mine a Silverfish block, it will attack you as soon as the block is destroyed.   Note that if you are mining with TNT, that will kill the Silverfish when the block is destroyed.


Learning to get the feel for a Silverfish-infested block is an important mining skill

If you attack but fail to kill a Silverfish, it can awaken and call to its aid any other Silverfish in the area, which could then result in you facing a swarm of them, and dying.  That being the case, it is a good idea to make them dead as quickly as you can, right?

While you might enjoy your first experience in finding and battling one of these, chances are good that it will be the first and the last time you want to do that, since they do not drop anything so they are not really a very rewarding mob to battle.

Useful Factoids:

-- The block they spawn from when destroyed is ID 97, which can appear as stone, cobblestone or stone brick.

-- Block 97 is mined at the same speed regardless of the tool used.

-- If you attack a Silverfish with a Diamond Sword that is enchanted with Sharpness I, it will kill the Silverfish in one hit and it won't call any reinforcements.



-- Skeletons
Perhaps one of the most common mobs to be encountered in the Overworld, Skellies drop Bones, Arrows, and very rarely, their Bow (and there is a very very rare chance that the Bow that they drop will be an enchanted one), and are easier to kill up close than they are far away, since far away makes their bow attacks a lot more effective for them than yours are on them.  A good sword and a willingness to rush in and swing are your best tactic.

Like zombies, skeletons spawn in dimly lit areas, burn in daylight -- unless they are swimming in water or are standing in the shade, in which case they will not.  Still that is not necessarily a bad thing as they are easy to kill...


Skeletons are more annoying than dangerous as long as you are wearing decent Armor 

As the sole source of bones (and by extension of Bone Meal which is an incredibly useful item as it allows you to instantly grow some plants like trees),  they are also a source of Arrow drops, but bear in mind that any Arrows that they actually fire AT you can not be harvested and used by the player.

In addition to serving as the primary source for Bones, Skeletons are also half of the path to obtaining Music CD's in the game, since a Creeper must be killed by a skeleton's arrow in order to drop a Music CD.  Obtaining CD's in your world is widely considered to be a major achievement.

Useful Factoids:

-- Skeletons may spawn on top of a spider creating a "Spider Jockey."

-- A skeleton hit by a splash potion of harming will gain health, however, when it is hit by a splash potion of healing it will lose health.

-- Skeletons cannot see the player through glass.



Slimes provide Slime Balls and a fun slaying experience

-- Slimes
This somewhat rare mob appears as a green gelatinous cube that will pursue and attack the player -- fortunately they are only found in the lowest 40 layers of the world, and at that only in certain areas like caverns, but can also spawn on the surface in Jungle zones.  When killed, the Slime will drop  Slimeballs, which are used for making Sticky Pistons and Magma Cream, which makes this a desirable loot item and resource.

When killed Slime will spawn several smaller Slime, which while they do not do direct damage to the player, can push them.  The larger Slime do contact damage to the player, and can jump on them which will also cause damage. 

Useful Factoids:

-- Slimes will only attack the player, even if a skeleton accidentally shoots it.

-- Slimes hop faster when pursuing a player.

-- Despite Slimes being hostile mobs, many players have tiny Slimes as pets since they follow and can't directly damage players.



-- Spiders
The form that these take is instantly recognizable for what they are -- big black or brown spiders that would have Harry's mate Ron running for the hills!   While these are included as a Hostile Mob here, that only applies to Spiders encountered in the dark, since Spiders encountered during daylight are actually Neutral and will not actively attack the player unless they first attack the Spider.

Spiders are a highly desirable target as they are the source for String as well as Spider Eyes -- the String is the thing though, because you need that to make Bows and Fishing Rods.  Spider Eyes are used as an ingredient for potions.  Note that String can actually be used to make Wool, but as it requires four String to make one Wool, and as you can only get up to two String for each Spider killed, you are better off looking for Sheep to get your Wool from.

If you have a decent set of armor and a good weapon, dealing with spiders in melee is likely to be the most effective way to kill them -- if you are a good shot and know how to lead your shots you can also do OK with Bow and Arrows, but Swords is a more reliable method.


Overland Spiders are a source for String and Spider Eyes

There is a 1% chance that a spider can spawn with a skeleton on its back, which creates the dreaded Spider Jockey (see that entry for more details).  Unlike Cave Spiders, which are much more dangerous, regular Spiders do not poison the player when they attack.

In addition to spawning in the dark, Spiders are really good at climbing walls, so even if you build walls around your Stronghold it is possible for them to enter -- though putting a lip around the wall can prevent them from climbing it.

Useful Factoids:

-- If a player throws a chicken egg at a docile spider and hits, the spider will stay neutral.

-- Spiders slow down when climbing vertical surfaces, making it easier for a player to outrun them around steep mountains and cliffs.

-- When you set fire to a spider, it will be surrounded by a giant fireball.

-- Spiders are one of the few hostile mobs that will take recognizable notice of you while you're hidden behind glass.



-- Spider Jockey
A Spider Jockey is an incredibly rare spawn that happens when a Spider spawns under a Skeleton, which causes the appearance of it being ridden by the Skeleton.   The chances of this happening are about 1% for all Spider spawns.

These are especially dangerous because of the speed that a Spider has, and the ranged attack that the Skeleton has -- the Spider Jockey having the ranged arrow attack of a Skeleton and the vision, agility, and wall-climbing ability of a Spider, but also the combined total of both their stats.  Although the two mobs appear to be joined, they are in fact two mobs, so killing one does not damage or kill the other.


The red glowing eyes of a Spider Jockey mount and its Bow-wielding rider are good reason to feel fear!

The Spider Jockey is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous enemies the player can encounter in the game.

Useful Factoids:

-- A Spider Jockey can kill itself - sometimes the Skeleton arrows will injure the Spider and other times the Spider's pouncing will run the Skeleton into its own arrow.

-- The world can create up to 3 Spider Jockeys at a time, but the spawn percentage is still 1%.

-- If the Skeleton on the Spider Jockey is shot by another Skeleton, it will jump off and leave the spider.



-- Zombies
Similar in appearance to Creepers -- but having two arms which instantly differentiates them -- they have green skin, empty eye sockets, and wear the same clothing as The Player and humans Villagers.

Zombies spawns in dimly lit areas and attacks the player by shambling towards them and touching them. Like skeletons, zombies catch fire in sunlight.  When they are killed by the player -- or they die by bursting into flames in sunlight, they drop Rotten Meat, which while it has a very good chance of giving the player food poisoning if they eat it, is nonetheless an excellent food to use in taming Wolves, who will not get food poisoning from it.


With their plodding steps and distinctive moans Killing a Zombie feels like doing it a favor!

In addition to dropping Rotten Meat when killed, there is a much lower chance that they may also drop Iron Ingots, Iron Shovels, Iron Swords, and Iron Helmets, and they may drop other pieces of Iron armor.

Unless they are found in a large group -- not likely -- Zombies really do not present much of a threat to the player, and are easily killed.

Useful Factoids:

-- If a zombie is in water, it will not catch fire and die, regardless of the light level.

-- A zombie hit by a splash potion of harming will gain health, and when it is hit by a splash potion of healing it will lose health.

-- Zombies can break doors, but they can't break trapdoors.



(3) Neutral Mobs

Generally speaking a Neutral Mob will not attack the player unless they are provoked into doing so, but just because they are included and listed here as a Neutral Mob does not mean that they cannot or will not ever present a threat to the player.


-- Enderman
Enderman are a black 3-block-high humanoid mobs with long arms and legs, glowing purple eyes, and a purple particle effect similar to a Portal.  They are known to randomly pick up and move (relocate) blocks in the environment, and they can (and will) damage player structures by removing blocks.

While an Endermen will not usually attack a player, if the player points their view crosshair directly at them (in other words looks at them) they will.   When you are attacked by one, if you do not want to battle it simply head into water -- they will follow and, as soon as they touch the water, teleport away and switch back to neutral.

They are rare in comparison to other mobs, but can still be seen regularly at night on the Overworld in groups of up to five, and have the ability to teleport.  When teleporting, Enderman leave a faint trail of particles that look like purple flowers leading to where it teleported to.  Endermen cannot tolerate water, and will take damage from any contact with water, including water blocks and rain.


Endermen are rumored to be based upon the Angel statues from an episode of Dr. Who

With the full release of the commercial version of the game Endermen now teleport whenever they are touched by rain, water, or sunlight -- but they can be set on fire by the player using flint and steel or through contact with lava -- such as in a Lava Trap.

For the most part building traps is the best way to kill them -- though you can also build a four-block high stand and, positioning yourself on top of it, look at them to engage them in hostile mode, which allows you to hit them but not them to hit you.  Why would you want to do that?  Simple really -- they drop some rare items!

Their normal drop is either none or 1 Ender Pearls, and they have a very rare drop of a Diamond -- but that really is a very rare drop.

There is a rumor that the Ender were inspired by the Weeping Angels from the Dr. Who episode "Blink" in which a young woman, Sally Sparrow, is trying to solve the connection between 17 separate DVD titles and statues that move when no-one is looking at them. 

Useful Factoids:

-- Endermen cannot teleport when they are in minecarts.

-- Endermen eyes glow in the dark.

-- Endermen can't see the player through transparent blocks such as Glass.

-- When an Enderman picks up a flower or a normal mushroom, those blocks will appear to be floating between their grasp. This can lead to the player being beaten to death with a flower.



-- Wolves
Unlike most of the mobs in the game, Wolves are a type that can actually be domesticated in the sense that they will be allied with the player once they are tamed (you tame them by feeding them bones).   Generally they are a neutral mob until attacked.

They are very agile and active creatures who jump and run on land, and swim in lakes and oceans very well.  Like the real thing, they shake themselves dry when they leave the water, or if drenched by a rainstorm, and they act in much the way one might expect a dog to act.  They spawn in all difficulty levels (including peaceful), but only in Forest, Pine Forest, and Taiga Biomes areas.

While they are wild wolves they have white fur and black eyes, and when they are hostile their eyes turn red.  When they are tamed their eyes consist of two white pixels at a diagonal and one black pixel in the center.


Wolves are passive until attacked but make very good pets...

To tame a Wolf feed it a bone (right-clicking while holding the bones) until a puff of hearts appears and the wolf sits down.   Once it has been tamed a wolf will not accept any more bones, and it will show a  red collar to indicate that it has been tamed.   The number of bones required to tame a Wolf is random -- some will tame with a single bone while others require more.  As far as we can tell there is no limit to the number of Wolves that a player can tame...

When the Wolf is standing they will follow the player around, when sitting (to have it sit simply right-click it) they will remain where you told them to sit indefinitely.  Sitting Wolves do NOT despawn, which means it is safe to walk out of visual range when you have told your Wolf to sit.  If the player is attacked by a hostile mob, your pet Wolves will immediately attack the mob to defend you -- unless the mob happens to be a Creeper, which Wolves will not attack under any circumstances including the player being attacked by a Creeper, because hey, they are not stupid.

Like all pets your Wolf must be cared for -- and fed -- to keep it healthy.  You can determine the current health state of your pet by checking its tail, which will rise and lower depending upon its health.  Health may be restored by feeding them a cooked or raw Porkchop, a Steak, Raw Beef, cooked or raw Chicken, or rotten flesh.  You feed them by holding the food and right-clicking on the Wolf.

Rotten Flesh does not seem to make wolves sick, which means it actually has a use in the game it seems, though the other sorts of food seem to restore a larger amount of health than Rotten Flesh.  While you can feed them cooked meat they get more nutrition from raw meat -- something to bear in mind.  Wolves may be bred with one another through the use of meat if tamed, and at full health.

Useful Factoids:

-- Wolves are the first official tameable mob in Minecraft.

-- A tamed wolf that falls far enough to teleport back to the player may still take damage upon landing.

-- If you order a wolf to attack an untamed member of its own pack, it will kill it, but it will then turn hostile towards you.

-- Wolves can teleport into transparent blocks, which is why it is not recommended to bring a Wolf underground or near lava/fire.

-- Wolves number among only four mobs that don't drop anything when killed.



-- Zombie Pigmen
Zombie Pigmen were the first completely neutral, non-passive mob, and were introduced in the Alpha as part of the Nether update along with Ghasts.  They are an irregular mob and spawn naturally in the Nether, and appear in the Overworld when lightning strikes within 3 to 4 blocks of a Pig, which is a very rare occurrence.

Like wild Wolves, Zombie Pigmen are not naturally hostile, but will converge on a mob or player as a group to attack them if a single member is attacked.   Zombie Pigmen roam the Nether in packs of 4 to 10, dislike Ghasts, and are smart enough to avoid falling off of cliffs.   Bear in mind that a group of attacking Zombie Pigmen is a force to be feared, with each able to do up to three-hearts in damage with each sword swing!   Once they aggro against you, if you cannot kill them chances are they will kill you, and quickly, because they are nearly impossible to outrun unless you get really serious about it.


Zombie Pigmen are formidable opponents, especially in packs...

They are known to drop Gold Nuggets and Rotten Flesh, and have rare drops of Gold Helmets and Gold Swords, and Gold Ingots.  Because of that they are a desirable target to kill -- and they can be killed if you are very careful about how you do it.  Ideally what you want to do is pick them off when they are alone or out of sight of their mates -- because it is SEEING you attack one that causes the others to attack.

Another popular method is to build a perch three-blocks-tall and then stand on it and attack them with bow and sword.  As long as you stay on top of the column they cannot damage you, but you can damage them, so it really does not matter if they attack in packs with this tactic.

Useful Factoids:

-- About one in two Zombie Pigmen will drop a Gold Nugget.

-- Zombie Pigmen can climb ladders and attack while doing so but generally only do so if the ladder is directly in their path.



(4) Non-Player Characters (NPCs)

While Minecraft is largely a survival-type game for the player, there are in fact NPC's in the game -- called Villagers -- who appear and live in small towns (or Villages hence the name) and who each have a specific role that is indicated by their color of dress...  Also known by the name "Testificate,"  they are considered to be a passive NPC,  and their appearance is characterized by a large bald head, green eyes, and a uni-brow.

As mentioned above they are differentiated by their clothing color:

Black = Blacksmith
Brown = Farmer
Green = Villager (No Profession)
Purple = Priest
White = Librarian

In addition to the above there is also a Villager who wears a White Apron:

White Apron = Butcher


Villagers add a touch of humanity that makes the game feel less like Tom Hank's role in Castaway and more like, well, Balthazar Getty's role in Lord of the Flies

The Villagers act like passive mobs -- though they will randomly look at the player as they wander about the area of the village that largely describes the extent of their voluntary interaction.  While they will not attack when they are attacked, they can be knocked back and will not run away like other passive mobs.   The hostile mobs in the game do not appear to see the Villagers, and killing them is rather useless since they do not drop anything that the player can use.  A recent update to the game allows the Villagers to socialize with each other, and with other passive mobs, though their interaction is rather basic.

Useful Factoids:

-- Originally Notch planned to use the Pigman as the villager skin.

-- Villagers do not drop Experience Orbs when killed, so there is no good reason for killing them.



(5) Passive Mobs

Passive mobs never attack the player -- and require land to spawn upon, save for the Squid, which spawn in water blocks.  For the most part the passives are the primary source for food resources in the game as well as other useful bits...  The following animals are part of this group:

-- Chickens
-- Cows
-- Mooshrooms
-- Pigs
-- Sheep
-- Squid

Of the above mobs all save for the Squid are commonly included in the selection of Passive Mobs that can be used for ranching activities by the player.  The Squid cannot, as of yet, be effectively used for ranching simply because there does not appear to be a mechanism for the breeding of Squids.  That is not to say that breeding them is impossible, it just means that we do not know how... But in any case to include Squid as part of your ranching activities means that you will need a relatively deep and flowing area of water within the area that you control safely.


Which Came First: the Chicken or their Egg?

-- Chickens
Chickens are a passive mob and they first appeared in the Alpha release of the game.  Chickens were added to the game in order to serve as a source for feathers, which are an essential resource for creating arrows, an absolutely key ammunition for ranged defense.  In addition they serve as a source for both Raw Chicken and Eggs, which are used in making food items (see the Culinary Arts Section for details and recipes).

While they appear to wander aimlessly, they actually possess very decent path-finding capabilities, and they will willingly follow you when you are holding wheat in your hand.  For some odd reason they have a liking for caves, but are also drawn to light in dark environments, and swim very well.  They have the ability to jump, and are keen on escaping when they find themselves trapped, which can make it a bit difficult to farm them.

Chickens lay Chicken Eggs every 5 to 10 minutes, and they have a 1-in-8 chance of spawning from a thrown egg.  When they fall from a height they do not receive falling damage because while they cannot fly as such, having insufficient wing area to manage it, they can slow down their fall, thus avoiding falling damage.


The Broiled Chicken Recipe

If you decide to farm your Chickens be aware that they require a fairly large area to walk around in because the chickens push each other into the walls, which will often cause them to die by being  suffocated.  To solve that problem, make sure that you surround your Chickens with fences and not solid blocks.

Useful Factoids:

-- Although they are an animal that does not actually give live birth, chicken breeding will cause the chickens to create a baby chicken instead of laying an egg.

-- Cooked Chicken can be obtained by having chickens fall onto a block of burning netherrack.  Or you could just harvest the meat and cook it yourself the usual way -- what sort of monster are you?!

-- When you throw chicken eggs at Glass Panes, there is a chance that a chicken will spawn on the other side of the glass.

-- Baby chicks cannot be lured by wheat like adult chickens.



-- Cows
Cows are a passive mob and are the sole source for Leather, Raw Beef, and Milk.   While they are not the most commonly encountered animal in the game, when they are encountered it is often in herds of 4 to 8 cows (and there can be baby cows too).  They are not the most durable animal, or the smartest, and have been known to walk off of the edge of cliffs, falling to their death.

Cows appear to like water -- and they swim very well -- and their primary defensive move is to flee when attacked.   The largest of the 5 common animals in the game that are used for resources and farming by the players, Cows will willingly follow you when you are holding Wheat in your hand, which is useful for herding them into enclosures in order to breed them or harvest them.


Cows are great for their Steaks and their Leather


When they are harvested, cows drop either none or as many as 2 pieces of leather, and between 1 and 3 pieces of raw beef, which you can cook to make steak, which is an excellent food item.  In fact if a cow is killed by fire they drop steak instead of raw beef -- go figure!

The Leather obtained from Cows is used to craft the first level of armor -- and some of the more complex food items like cake, require cows for their milk, which can be obtained by simply right clicking the cow while you are in possession of an empty bucket.  A cow may be milked an unlimited number of times with one bucket, so once you have a few on your farm they are an excellent source of cooking material.  

Useful Factoids:

-- All cows in Minecraft have udders, therefore all baby cows have two mothers.

-- Cows seem to be a less common mob in the game -- which may have something to do with the fact that they give an abundance of resources including beef, leather, and milk -- so it is considered smart to obtain a breeding herd of them at your earliest convenience.

-- It takes one complete  Minecraft day (approx 20 minutes) for baby calves to grow into fully mature cows.

-- Calves, while not full-grown cows, can still be milked.



-- Mooshrooms (Cow Variant)
Mooshrooms are an alternate form of the cow mob that spawn in the Mushroom Biome; they were introduced in the Beta 1.9 Pre-Release Update 1, and they differ in appearance from regular Cows in that they have red skin and are covered with red mushroom growths.

When they were first introduced the Mooshrooms existed only in the Mushroom Biome, but since Beta 1.9 Pre-Release 4, they can spawn in other Biomes as well.  They commonly roam the Mushroom Biome and occasionally can be found in other Biomes, usually in herds of between 4 and 8 and like regular Cows they are good swimmers but unlike regular Cows, who are rather stupid, Mooshrooms will avoid cliffs, and are much less likely to die in that fashion.


Mooshrooms are a cross between Cows and Walking Mushrooms

Mooshrooms can be sheared for between 2 and 5 Red Mushrooms, but doing so will convert them into regular Cows -- and when they are killed they drop leather and raw beef like normal cows.  The very cool thing about the Mooshroom is that it can be milked with a bucket -- like a normal cow --  but when they are "milked" with an empty bowl, in place of milk they produce a bowl of Mushroom Stew!

Useful Factoids:

-- While a Mooshrooms only drops Red Mushrooms when they are sheared, they can be "milked" using a bowl to obtain mushroom stew, which normally needs both Red Mushrooms and Brown Mushrooms to create.

-- When a Mooshroom is sheared after it has been bred once, it can then be immediately bred again.

-- The Mooshroom's name is a portmanteau of "moo," and "mushroom."

-- Mooshrooms are generally considered to be a more efficient animal to farm than regular Cows, since they offer both Stew and Milk and also provide the same resources as regular Cows when harvested.



-- Pigs
Next to Chickens and Sheep, Pigs probably the most frequently encountered and easiest to find passive mobs in the game,  and considering that they are the source for porkchops, a very useful bit of foodstuff, that is a good thing.  You will not likely confuse a Pig for any other animal in the game, considering that they are bright pink and have a curly tail -- but you should be aware that you are not the only thing in the game that likes to eat them -- Wolves rather enjoy a bit of Pig when they can get it as well, each pig dropping from none-to-two Raw Porkchops, so in this case, to see one should be to harvest it, if you see what we mean?

As implied above, they are a common animal to find roaming the Overworld -- often encountered in groups of three-to-five Pigs, and they are a very mobile animal, being good swimmers and able to jump up and down ledges, which means that they can and will flee when attacked.  Having said that they are generally considered to be a rather stupid animal, mostly because they are not very good at fleeing, often getting stuck or trapped in the environment, which is good news for you as it means that they are pretty easy to harvest.


Wild Pig encountered in Map 0

Interestingly, if you happen to have a saddle you can right-click a Pig and ride it -- though as you cannot actually steer them, you still end up going where the Pig wants to go rather than where you do, so what would be the point other than for a laugh?  It has been said that riding a pig off a cliff is one of the more unusual and challenging achievements in Minecraft -- so take note of that if you wish to number among the more achievement-oriented of players, right?

Useful Factoids:

-- If you can manage to get a Pig with a saddle equipped on it into a Minecart, the pig will boost the speed of the Minecart.

-- When a ridden pig is hit by lightning it turns into a Zombie Pigman as it would otherwise, but in addition to being knocked off of the Pig, the Player takes 2-and-a-half hearts in damage and loses their Saddle.

-- When a pig that is being ridden is killed, it will not drop the saddle.

-- It takes one full Minecraft day for baby piglets to become Pigs.




-- Sheep
Having been raised on a Sheep Station I can confirm that Sheep are a devious and mean sort of animal, and really you are doing them a favor when you kill them...  They are also the passive mob in the game that serve as the source for wool both when sheared (prividing 1-to-3 pieces) or killed (usually resulting on only one piece of wool).   Originally they were planned as a source of meat as well as Wool, but at some point following the addition of Chicken and Cows it was decided that this was not a necessary addition to the game after all.


Wild Sheep encountered in Map 0

Sheep tend to wander around aimlessly, usually in flocks of  between 2 and 8, and are generally considered to be a rather stupid animal and easily killed by Wolves.  Sheep are generally excellent swimmers and seem to like water, which is why you often encounter them jumping up and down in it. 

The Wool that you get from Sheep is used in making some rather nice items in the game, including beds and paintings, and can be dyed with any of the 16 colors of dye that can be made in the game, so that they can be used as decorations as well.  Sheep naturally spawn as white, black, gray, light gray, brown, and pink.


A Sheared Sheep looks exactly the same regardless of Wool Color


While you can obtain Wool through crafting using String (you are much better off using your String to make Bows IMHO) it is much easier to obtain your Wool from sheep -- which you do by either killing them or shearing them.  Shearing requires you to use the tool "Shears" which you equip and then Right-Click on the Sheep (or you can just kill them), but shearing is generally the preferred method since a wild Sheep can easily regrow their Wool by eating tall grass.

Wolves rather enjoy eating Sheep -- naturally -- so bear in mind that you have competition for this resource and so it may be an idea to add some to your Stronghold Farm so that you have a reliable supply of Wool...

As mentioned above Wool can be died -- a block of white wool can be crafted with a unit of dye to produce the desired colored wool --  but a much more efficient method for achieving that end is to simply make your dyes and then apply the dye directly to sheep prior to searing it!  The dye can be applied by holding it and Right-Clicking a sheep of any color, and then using the Shears to shear the Sheep, which allows you to harvest whatever the number of Wool you would get but in the color you have made it.

Useful Factoids:

-- After being sheared all sheep (regardless of their original color), will display remnants of white wool on their head and legs, but when they eat Tall Grass and regrow their Wool it will be whatever the color was that you harvested from them, which means you can encounter oddly colored Sheep if you 

-- If you shear a baby sheep it will produce the same amount of Wool as an adult Sheep would drop, but when it grows up it will remain sheared, making it pretty much useless to you.

-- Sheep can be herded when you have Wheat in your hand; thus a Sheep will follow you around which makes it easy enough to herd them into a pen.

-- Sheep can get stuck in the environment, and particularly in fences.



-- Squids
Squid spawn in water, and are always passive towards the player, even when attacked.  They were introduced in the Beta 1.2 Update and can be found in water of any depth, and are also found in any Biome and are difficulty independent.   When moving their tentacles open and close, giving an appearance of pushing themselves forward, and they can hover in place as well as swim around in what appears to be an aimless fashion.


Usually encountered in water, Squids can sometimes be found flying through the sky due to a bug in the game...

Squid are attracted to lights like Glowstone, and when they are killed they can yield anywhere from 0 to 3 Ink Sacs that can be used to dye wool.    

Useful Factoids:

-- Squids are the only passive animal that cannot breed, so there is no point in trying to get one into your Stronghold Farm then.

-- Squid were the first passive water mob to be added into the game, and were also the first water mob.

-- Squid cannot be damaged by attacking their tentacles.

-- It is possible for squid to spawn in underground lakes or waterfalls due to their ability to spawn in any water, source block or not.



(6) Utility Mobs

At the moment there is only one mob in the game that fits into this sub-category, however Notch has indicated in the past that he plans to implement additional Utility-type Mobs to the game eventually, and with the expansion of the game to include Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console, the likelihood of this happening soon is certainly improved.  Note that it has been confirmed that the Xbox 360 version of the game (which will be sold and distributed as part of the Xbox LIVE Arcade game scheme) will be developed by a third-party studio, and NOT by Notch personally, though it is presumed (and we believe that this is a safe presumption) that the developing process as well as expansions to the game will seek to and maintain parity with the other versions, which is good news for all players, not just those who choose to play on the Xbox 360.



-- Snow Golem
The Snow Golem is the first "utility mob" to be introduced to the game -- and it likely will not be the last as when Notch added it he presented it as a sort of player-created pet mob -- and he indicated at that time that there will be additional types of this sort eventually added to the game.

The Snow Golem is created using Pumpkins and Snow Blocks, and is friendly to its creator, serving the function of a protector of sorts in that it will throw snowballs at enemy mobs who come into its range and patrol area -- if  killed, the Snow Golem drops approximately 10 snowballs.  In addition to serving as a guard, the Snow Golem may also be used for farming snow -- as they leave a trail of snow as they move, which the gamer can then collect.

Snow Golem are not created on the Crafting Table -- they are instead made by stacking two Snow Blocks on the ground and then placing a Pumpkin on top of them -- the action that actually brings them to life being the placing of the Pumpkin.


Snow Golems can be used as a perimeter defense unit...

One of the best uses for Snow Golem is as tower guards -- simply build a 4x4 tower to whatever the desired height, then ring it with wood or metal fences and place the Golem on top -- which should allow them to act defensively while at the same time being mostly protected from attack by mobs such as the Skeletons (who shoot arrows).

A very common use by more advanced gamers is to utilize Snow Golem as bait to draw in other mobs and trap them, in order to kill them.  This is best accomplished by placing the Golem in a protected position in a pit-like area in order to draw in the enemy mobs so that they can be conveniently killed.

What you need to understand about Snow Golem is that while they do a bang-up job in luring in the enemy mobs, they are not effective at killing them -- their snowballs do hardly any damage at all to most mobs.  They are fierce in their desire to attack the hostile mobs, however, to the point of being nearly suicidal -- or so it seems.  Their enthusiasm towards attacking hostile mobs is such that they WILL open doors to get to the enemy -- you need to be aware of this so that you do not accidentally place a Golem in your home or the bastion space of your Stronghold, because they could very easily let hostile mobs in by opening doors!

Useful Factoids:

-- Snow Golems can only be crafted by placing a pumpkin on top of two snow blocks; placing the pumpkin then snow underneath will not produce a Snow Golem.

-- Snow Golems will distract hostile mobs completely, which will allow the player to approach and kill them at no risk.

-- If you are dealing with a Zombie problem, using a group of four Snow Golems can be sufficient to stop them in their tracks, as four thrown snowballs provide sufficient enough force to push a Zombie back.

-- Snow Golems are not affected by fall damage -- but you should try to ensure that they do not fall off of the towers you build for them to man and defend, otherwise what is the point?

-- Snow Golems do not leave snow trails in the Nether, Mushroom Biomes, near Bedrock, and on glass.

-- Snow Golems will not attack Ghasts, Magma Cubes, Slimes, Wolves, or the Ender Dragon.
   
-- Snow Golems will jump over fences if they feel that they need to do so to achieve their mission in life, which is to seek out and attack the enemy.



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