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Everything You Need to Know About Minecraft Mobs

Get to know some of the Overworld’s friends and foes

Minecraft is more than just a world of blocks. It’s also a world of mobs. No, not the type that runs around with pitchforks causing trouble (well, maybe a few, but will get to that later)! We’re referring to mobile objects – non-player characters that inhabit all of Minecraft’s different dimensions.  

Understanding how to interact with each mob can be both helpful – and sometimes crucial – when you’re playing Survival mode. Whether it's an encounter with the explosive creeper, or docile cattle like the cow, they all present unique challenges – and opportunities! Let's learn all there is to know about Minecraft mobs.


Mobs come in all shapes and sizes. Some mobs soar through the skies, others swim in the ocean. What they all have in common is that they fall within three behavior categories that dictate their level of aggression: neutral, passive, and hostile. 

Passive mobs are gentle creatures that have no quarrel with you. Their reaction to a player might vary (some may run away if they spot you) but the common denominator for this group of mobs is that they will never attack you – even if you were to attack them. Many of these mobs can also be tamed or bred if certain conditions are met, allowing you to keep them as pets, or as sources for food production. To do that, you usually feed the mob something that it likes, such as wheat, carrots, or even seaweed.

Hostile mobs, on the other hand, won’t ever be your best buddies. On the contrary, they will attack you if given the opportunity. Spotting you is usually enough, and if you find yourself head-to-head with one of these foes, you can either run away from it, defeat it, or if you’re creative, lure it into some kind of trap! The trick is to spot them first, and you can tell pretty quickly whether it’s a mean mob or not. If not by their often-creepy sounds or even monster-like looks, they will come at you. There are many different approaches you can take when dealing with them, but don’t try to reason with a hostile mob – many have tried, with little success. 

Neutral mobs, our last category, is something of a mix between the two previous groups. They are usually passive – but can quickly change their behavior to hostile if certain conditions are met, which will prompt them to attack the player. The criteria can be anything from hitting them, looking them in the eye, or standing too close to their children. Like passive mobs, many neutral mobs can be both bred and tamed. In this case, they might even turn their attacks against the player’s opponents.


On your journey through Minecraft, you will encounter many – many – different mobs. To interact with them is part of what makes it an adventure, but, if you'd rather know what's out there in advance, here’s a short introduction to the more common mobs. 

Creeper (Hostile)

A silent fellow with an explosive personality. The creeper is a mob that can sneak up on you when you least expect it and trigger a devastating attack by blowing itself up, leaving behind a terrible mess. Don't bother sending it to anger management class. Instead, try to keep it away from you at all times.

Zombie (Hostile)

The groaning zombie is a hostile – and also very needy – fellow. What does it need? To bite players! Preferably: you! While it may be persistent with getting what it craves, the zombie is also quite slow and not very smart. Keep it at arms’ length to avoid taking damage from one – and to make sure your brain stays where it is supposed to.

Cow (Passive)

This beefy bovine is a common sight in many Minecraft biomes. It can be found mooing about in grassy areas, minding its own business in smaller herds. It’s also very resourceful and makes for a great cattle companion. It can provide the player with sustenance and materials in the form of milk, meat, and leather. It’s also easy to breed, which is perfect if you’d ever want your own army of cows.

Pig (Passive)

If you ever hear a cute oinking sound near you, it can only mean one thing – there’s a pig in your bedroom! Or, if you’re lucky, a pig in your Minecraft world! Just like the cow, this bit of bacon is a great source of food friend and can be bred through simple means. With the right equipment (a saddle), you can even use it as a mount and take it for a ride across the Overworld.

Sheep (Passive)

Sheep can provide you with both food and wool, which is a useful material in many crafting recipes and can be dyed into different colors. To collect wool, you’ll need a pair of shears to cut them. We’d also be lying if we didn’t tell you that mutton is quite a delicacy...

Skeleton (Hostile)

The indifferent-looking skeleton is 1) an archer, and 2) a coward. With bow and arrow, they launch volley after volley at you from a distance. They spawn during the night and in poorly lit areas such as caves. A good way to dodge their arrows is to move sideways or protect yourself with a hefty shield.

Phantom (Hostile)

If you’re out walking late at night and suddenly hear a screech coming from the sky, chances are you’ve encountered this fearsome terror. The phantom is a flying mob that appears if you haven't slept for a few in-game days. If you want to avoid encountering one, make sure you get your beauty safety sleep!

Villager (Passive)

Villagers are friendly NPCs that you can do trade with, which can be beneficial as they are talented workers and artisans. They can be found in villages across the Overworld, all with different aesthetics depending on the biome it resides in. Be nice to them, keep many emeralds around, and they might offer you a hefty discount!

Illager (Hostile)

The villagers’ grumpy relatives that come in different types, such as evoker, vindicator, or pillager. Armed to the teeth with crossbows, axes, and even magic, the pesky illagers will attack you on sight, regardless of the time of day. They can be found guarding certain types of structures in the Overworld, but have also been seen roaming the countryside like an angry mob. They even like to attack poor and often defenseless villages from time to time.

Enderman (Neutral)

The tall and mysterious Enderman is a neutral mob that can be seen during late nights, standing in the distance while staring blindly into the horizon before teleporting away. The Enderman is a neutral mob – but will become hostile when attacked or stared at. Think twice before you commit to that decision...

Per Landin
Written By
Per Landin

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