Nether Fortresses at light level 7 or less
Wither Skeletons are dangerous hostile mobs that spawn in Nether Fortresses. Wither Skeletons are the Nether equivalent of skeletons. Unlike skeletons, Wither Skeletons use stone swords and are over two blocks tall. When hit by a Wither Skeleton on any difficulty, the player is inflicted with the "Wither" effect for 10 seconds, darkening the health bar and further damaging the player. When killed, the mob may drop coal and bones, and very rarely drop their skull and the stone sword. They have a 1/40th chance of dropping either of these items. This chance will go up if you use a sword with a Looting enchantment. The skulls are the key items to creating the Wither boss.
Wither Skeletons, like all Nether mobs, are immune to fire and lava and are not damaged by daylight. Some Wither Skeletons can also pick up items, weapons, tools, and armor, similar to other undead-type monsters.
Wither Skeletons only naturally spawn in nether fortresses (even if the area where a fortress would be was generated before their inclusion, since it is tied to the location of the fortress, not the fortress itself). Block type does not matter with naturally spawned Wither Skeletons (e.g., replacing a Nether Fortress' bricks with normal blocks will still allow wither skeletons to spawn); they follow the same spawning conditions as naturally spawning Skeletons: light level 7 or less where their lower half will be.
When used in the Nether, Skeleton spawn eggs are able to spawn Wither Skeletons instead of the normal skeletons 80% of the time. Similarly, when a spider is spawned in the Nether (whether via spawn egg or a mob spawner), it has a 0.8% chance of spawning with a wither skeleton jockey instead of an ordinary spider.
Wither Skeletons are tough mobs to fight due to their high attack strength (9HP on normal), their ability to inflict the Wither effect, their ability to move faster than other mobs, and the probability of them being near a Blaze. Their biggest weakness is that they cannot pass through a two block high passage because of their height, much like Endermen.
If an Iron Golem is not an option it is advised that the player treat the Wither skeleton as they would a Zombie, albeit with far more care. If you attack and move backwards at the same time you should not have any trouble avoiding damage provided you have some room to maneuver. If you have your back to a wall spam attacking should be enough to kill a single Wither Skeleton without taking damage. If you have your back to a wall and are facing more than one Wither Skeleton it is strongly advised that you move to a position where you have room to maneuver as the Wither Skeletons move slightly faster than zombies and so more easily overwhelm you. Sniping with a bow is also effective although it is not recommended at under 10 blocks away (without a punch enchantment) as Wither Skeletons move surprisingly fast.
A Zombie Pigman deals the same amount of damage as a Wither Skeleton, and they attack in groups, which Wither Skeletons do not do, so if you're not sure if you're up for fighting a Wither Skeleton, try practicing on some Zombie Pigmen first.
If you find yourself facing a Blaze at the same time the best course of action is to move into a place inaccessible for the blaze -such as a corridor- and then proceed in taking the above steps to kill the Wither Skeleton. If this is not possible it is suggested that the player run out of range of the blaze and turn to face the Wither skeleton. It is strongly advised that inexperienced players do not face both mobs at the same time as this often leads to death, but for more experienced players willing to face both you should either; deal with the blaze first by charging at it with a sword (do not use a bow as you will be exposed to attack) and then turning and facing the Wither Skeleton or (more recommended) putting the Wither Skeleton between yourself and the Blaze so as to use its body as a shield against the Blaze's fireball attack, and then charging the Blaze once it is dead.
Like all mobs, Wither Skeletons can travel through a Nether Portal. This means that if you put a Nether Portal inside the Nether Fortress, and yourself between the portal and a Wither Skeleton (or any other hostile mob), the Wither Skeleton will travel towards you but teleport into the overworld. This means that once you get back from the Nether you might still be up for a fight against a Wither Skeleton.
It is also possible to use an invisibility potion to therefore be able to fight the Wither skeleton with only a stone sword and no armor. This is one of the easier ways to kill a wither Skeleton but it requires you to have an Invisibility potion.
You can also build partial walls in a nether fortress that comes down from the ceiling and leaves a walkway two blocks high. Wither skeletons cant move through two block high spaces so building such structures limits their mobility.
If a wither skeleton is able to acquire a bow, it will use it to shoot at you. Any arrows it shoots will be on fire, and will cause you to catch fire, regardless of the bow's enchantments. It is not recommended to allow a wither skeleton access to a bow.
Depending on your display settings, it may be possible to see your hearts' edges showing you the amount of HP left when suffering the wither effect.
|1.4.2||12w36a||Added Wither Skeletons.|
|12w38b||Wither Skeletons spawn more frequently.|
|1.4.4||Wither Skeletons will now sprint towards the player.|
- Because of their shared entity ID with skeletons, their behavior is similar, such as their hitboxes are the same as skeletons, along with other characteristics like heading away from sunlight despite that they cannot catch fire. Also, the Wither Spider Jockey is a glitch, because of their behavior, and only exist in Creative mode through spawn eggs.
- Rarely, when the Wither Skeleton is pushed in a minecart into the lava, it will float in the air, seeming to "jump" in there. The glitch will cause the skeleton to disappear within a minute.
- Because Wither Skeletons have the same entity ID as skeletons, they sometimes spawn in two-block-high spaces of Nether forts that are too short for them, preventing them from moving. They do not suffocate this way, allowing an easy way to hunt them.
- The drop rate for the wither skeleton skull is 1/40 (2.5%).
- A normal skeleton will spawn in a Nether Fortress instead of a Wither Skeleton 20% of the time.
- Wither Skeletons wield stone swords, yet there is no natural stone in the Nether.
- Their drop of coal makes it possible to craft fire charges without leaving the Nether, a way to reignite a portal, should a Ghast destroy the portal you came through.
- This also means that coal is a renewable resource.
- Wither skeletons could be seen as to skeletons as cave spiders are to regular spiders, because they both are a mob-variant and have a special player-damaging after-effect. However, unlike cave spiders, they have weaknesses compared to skeletons.
- It is a common misconception that the Wither effect gives Wither Skeletons health back when it actually only damages the player.
- Wither skeletons, as with zombies, zombie pigmen, and regular skeletons, will sometimes wear pumpkins on Halloween (October 31st).
- If a wither skeleton is wielding a bow, it will use it like an ordinary skeleton, but the arrows it shoots will be set on fire. This happens whether or not the bow has the Flame enchantment.
- Wither Skeletons burn in the sun, but don't die, due to being a nether mob, similar to Zombie Pigmen.
- Wither Skeletons are one of the three mobs that carry a weapon by default, the other two being the Skeleton and the Zombie Pigman.
- Ironically, Wither Skeletons aren't immune to the Wither effect.
- Wither skeletons, are among the only 3 mobs not having spawn eggs (the others being the Wither and the Ender Dragon), due to their shared ID with normal skeletons.