Wither Skeleton
Wither skeleton
Health Points: 20HP (10x Heart)
Attack Strength: Easy:
5HP (2.5x Heart)
(Both of the below difficulties apply the Wither debuff.)
9HP (4.5x Heart)
13HP (6.5x Heart)
Drops: Common


Stone Sword

Wither Skeleton Head
- 2% chance
Location: Nether Fortress
First Appearance: 12w36a
Experience Points: 5
Technical Name minecraft:wither_skeleton


This article is about Wither Skeleton. For a list of all skeleton-related articles, see Skeleton (Disambiguation).

Wither Skeletons are rare Mobs that can be found in The Nether, mainly in Nether Fortresses. They were released in the Pretty Scary Update (1.4.2).



A Wither Skeleton at a Nether fortress

Upon death, a Wither Skeleton will drop Coal, Bones, a Stone Sword, and rarely (1 in 50 chance) their Head. Three Wither Skeleton Heads and four Soul Sand blocks are required in order to spawn The Wither.

Wither Skeletons will only spawn within Nether Fortresses as of the 1.4 pre-release. It is assumed that they follow the same rules for spawning as blazes, which will only spawn naturally, and not from a spawn where the pack spawn is selected within a nether fortress. From this pack spawn, the mobs can be spawned in close to or even inside the fortress.

Unlike regular Skeletons, wither skeletons carry swords instead of bows. In appearance, they are black and slightly taller than the usual skeletons. If a player is hit by a wither skeleton, a player will be infected with the wither effect, which will slowly drain their health. Unlike poison, however, it can kill a player. Using a Skeleton Spawn egg in Creative Mode in the Nether has a 75% chance of forming a Wither Skeleton instead of a regular skeleton.


The Wither Skeleton is taller than the regular skeleton and is slightly shorter than the Enderman, making it the third tallest hostile mob in the game. It almost looks charred, possibly because of fire and lava, or because of the wither effect's color. It holds a stone sword instead of a bow.


  • Getting into a two-block tall space will prevent the wither skeleton from following a player.
  • Using a Bow and Arrows will allow a player to pick off the wither skeleton from a distance.


  • Using the /summon command, wither skeletons can be spawned with bows like skeletons. Unlike skeletons, if they shoot one, the arrow will be on fire.
  • In Creative Mode, a spider egg has a 0.8% chance of spawning a spider jockey with a wither skeleton.
  • Wither Skeletons appear to be bigger than normal skeletons.
  • Wither Skeleton can also spawn left handed with a sword, like normal skeletons.
  • When on Normal and Hard difficulty, the Wither Skeleton can put the Wither Effect on a player when it attacks one.
  • When one spawns a Spider in the Nether, there is a 2% chance of it spawning as a Wither Skeleton Jockey.
  • Wither Skeletons cannot spawn in the Overworld, but can travel there through a Portal.