As if perilous ravines, pitfalls, caverns, and the crushing loneliness of digging through cave systems weren’t enough, Minecraft is also chock-full of creatures and baddies that all want to get a piece of you literally. Monsters in Minecraft are just as common as all the mining and crafting that gives this game its name. Even from the very start, you’ll likely catch a glimpse of a stray spider climbing a tree, or a skeleton chilling inside a cave, avoiding direct sunlight. For obvious reasons, you’ll want to steer clear of these mobs at the beginning since they can kill you with a few hits.
However, there will eventually come a time, after establishing your first shelter, where you’ll need to start making gathering trips into the depths of your world. It is at this moment when you’ll inevitably run into your fair share of nasties, which you either have to fight or avoid in any way possible. If you’re going for the former, then you’ll need to prepare yourself for combat. And what better way to ready yourself for battle than by reading up on the specifics of each mob?
In this guide, we’re going to share important info on some of the most common mobs that you’ll run into at the beginning of your journey into your Minecraft world. If you’re new to the game and are just getting started, then keep an eye out for the following baddies:
Spiders and Cave Spiders
The bane of arachnophobics around the world. Seriously, what is it with these open-world games and spiders? It’s like the go-to monster for scaring the heebie-jeebies out of people. Sure, Minecraft has been around for over a decade now, but give us a break!
In any case, these giant arthropods are definitely a handful if you’re unprepared, considering that they can aggro from a long distance and can even climb walls to give chase to the player. Once in range, spiders attack by leaping on the player, dealing around a heart of damage (1.5 on hard difficulty). Luckily, spiders only aggro when it’s dark enough outside, otherwise, they’re completely passive unless attacked by the player. However, if it’s dark (such as during nighttime or inside a cave), spiders WILL aggro and chase you down until they lose sight of you or are defeated.
The cave variant is even more dangerous. As its name implies, this type of spider spawns only inside caves and mineshafts. While their behavior is similar to that of their regular counterparts, they are always aggressive, considering that it’s always dark in the caves where they dwell. Furthermore, their attacks apply a poison effect that continuously drains the health of the player. And as if that wasn’t enough, cave spiders can also squeeze through tight 1×1 spaces, which can significantly complicate escaping from them, considering that all spiders can see through walls and will never stop chasing unless defeated.
Luckily, it only takes a few whacks from an iron sword to deal with these pesky critters. Once you’re armed, these nasties will definitely be more bark than bite… as long as your arachnophobia lets you get close enough to slay them.
Zombies and Baby Zombies
The main baddies, aside from skeletons, that you’ll want to look out for in caves and at night. Zombies are just that; walking corpses that slowly shamble towards you and deal damage on contact. They have several variants, though the main categories are the regular zombies, and their baby counterparts. Since they’re undead, zombies burn up in direct sunlight.
These mobs spawn in places where the light level is 7 or lower, including on the surface at night. Once aggroed, they slowly walk towards the player and deal damage when making contact, hitting for around 2 to 5 HP of damage depending on the difficulty. They’re only really dangerous in swarms since their damage and knockback can easily build up and kill an unwary player.
However, the baby variant, while sporting the same damage output and general stats as their adult counterparts, are 30% faster and can fit through 1×1 spaces, making them much more dangerous. Nevertheless, both types are easily dealt with by chopping at them with a sword a few times. Regardless, be extra careful with the baby zombies as they can also spawn as jockeys riding different animals.
Zombies that die by drowning become the drowned; hostile mobs that inhabit bodies of water in the overworld. These zombies are nothing to write home about since they attack in mostly the same manner as their landlocked counterparts. However, they have a small chance of spawning with the Trident weapon, which makes them the only source of this elusive piece of weaponry.
The absolute worst mobs when it comes to surviving early on. Skeletons, like zombies, spawn at night in the overworld and are prolific in caves and mineshafts. Basically, if it’s dark, there’s a good chance there’s going to be skeletons. The problem with these mobs is that they’re armed with bows so they can dish out a ton of damage from a distance. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to just give skeletons a wide berth and avoid them as much as you can.
Like zombies, skeletons burn when exposed to direct sunlight. However, unlike their shambling cousins, skeletons are a bit smarter and actively avoid sunlight, staying inside caves until nightfall when it’s safe for them to come out.
While these creepy, tall humanoids spawn mostly in The End, they can be seen in any dimension, including the overworld. Endermen spawn only at night, but they do not burn up when exposed to daylight; they only avoid light by teleporting away from the location if it’s daytime.
Endermen are interesting because they’re mostly passive, unless you trigger them by doing one very simple thing: staring them in the eyes. If an Enderman catches you staring, it’ll open its gaping maw and emit a loud, rumbling roar. Once you break eye contact, they’ll rush to you at blinding speeds and attack you until you’re dead. The only way to break off from an aggravated Enderman is when he gets distracted by rain (water hurts him), or when you finally manage to kill it. Nevertheless, killing an Enderman is tough because, every time you hurt him, he teleports away and attacks from another angle.
The best way to deal with Endermen is by avoiding fighting them until you’re fully decked out in diamond gear. Luckily, they’re not very common and it’s very easy to avoid triggering them.
Lauded by some as the mascots of Minecraft. These terrifying four-legged creatures silently make their way to you when aggroed and, after emitting a low, hissing noise for a few seconds, explode, dealing massive damage and leaving a large crater in the impact zone. The reason why these mobs are so infamous is that their explosions tear through everything, whether environment or buildings. If a creeper blows up near one of your bases, not only do you run the risk of dying, but you’ll also have to rebuild all the damage that the explosion caused. And the fact that creepers are utterly silent until they’re close enough to blow you up only adds to their danger.
Creepers are better handled from a distance using a ranged weapon. However, brave players can deal with them using a melee weapon such as a sword, as the knockback from each hit will blow them back enough to prevent them from exploding. By keeping your distance while striking them with your weapons, you can essentially kill a creeper before it’s able to detonate. This is one of the best ways to farm for gunpowder in Minecraft since creepers drop plenty of it and are very common mobs.
And those are the most common monsters that you’ll have to face during your humble beginnings in Minecraft. You’ll likely run into plenty of zombies, spiders, and skeletons during your spelunking expeditions to gather materials. Luckily, a good suit of armor and a nice iron sword is more than enough to deal with any immediate threats, as long as you don’t get ambushed, swarmed, blown up by a creeper, or thrown into a ravine and plummet to your death.