How to Spawn a Wither in Minecraft

Summon and fight Withers to get Nether Stars

Here's everything you need to know about how to spawn a Wither in Minecraft, including what they are and why you would want to create one.

These instructions apply to Minecraft on all platforms.

How to Summon a Wither

Follow these steps to summon a Wither in Minecraft:

  1. Mine 4 Sand Soul. Sand Soul can only be found in The Nether, so you may need to build a Nether Portal.

    Mining Soul Sand in the Nether in Minecraft
  2. Get 3 Wither Skeleton Skulls. Defeat Wither Skeletons in The Nether or Fortresses. Wither Skeleton Skulls have a 2.5% drop rate, so you'll probably have to fight a lot of them.

    A Wither Skeleton in Minecraft
  3. Go to where you want to summon the Wither and arrange your Sand Soul blocks in an upright “T” shape. Place one block on the ground, place another on top of it, then place blocks on each side of the top block.

    Choose a large, open area. You'll want plenty of space to avoid the Wither's attacks.

    Summon alter for Wither in Minecraft
  4. Place 3 Wither Skeleton Skulls on top of the “T” shape.

    Steps 3-4 must be performed in order exactly as described. Placing the skulls before you place all the other blocks won't work.

    Wither Skeletons on top of a Wither summon altar
  5. Get out of the way. You'll have 10 seconds before the Wither unleashes a massive explosion. After that, the battle begins.

    Spawning a Wither in Minecraft

Spawn a Wither With Cheat Commands

In the desktop versions of Minecraft, you can use a cheat command to summon Withers. First, go to your World Settings and make sure the Activate Cheats toggle is enabled.

Activate Cheats toggle in Minecraft settings

Then, go back to your game, press / to open the command window, and enter the following:

summon wither
/summon Wither command in Minecraft chat window

How to Fight a Wither in Minecraft

Bring a lot of healing potions and strength potions to the fight. Withers are vulnerable to the Smite enchantment, so use an Enchantment Table to enchant your strongest sword (preferably a Diamond Sword).

Bows do less damage, but they are a safer alternative since you can keep your distance. Enchant Bows with the Power enchantment, and enchant your arrows with the Infinite enchantment so you don't run out of ammo. If you have a Crossbow, use the Quick Charge enchantment to reduce loading time.

Withers cannot be damaged by fire, and they are immune to most status effects. However, the Instant Health effect harms Withers, while the Instant Damage effect heals them.

What Are the Wither's Attacks?

Withers toss two types of skeleton heads. Black skulls break blocks with a blast resistance lower than 4 on impact. Blue skulls are slower, but they inflict greater damage and can break almost any block. They will also charge directly at you, damaging everything in their path.

The Wither's behavior depends on your difficulty setting. On higher difficulties, the Wither will gain protective armor, summon Wither Skeletons, and start throwing more skulls once its health drops below 50%.

If you're having trouble, change your game mode to an easier setting to practice. Once you develop a good strategy, reset the difficulty to your preferred default.

Why Fight the Wither?

Withers are powerful creatures which attack everything in sight with the exception of zombies and other undead mobs. They only appear when summoned.

Once defeated, Withers drop Nether Stars, which are required to craft Beacons. There's no other way to get Nether Stars, but they are a worthwhile reward for defeating a tough enemy.

  • Can you summon a Wither Storm?

    No. The Wither Storm boss was exclusive to Minecraft: Story Mode, which is now defunct. The only way to spawn a Wither Storm is by installing a Minecraft mod.

  • How do you treat the Wither effect?

    When a Wither hits you with one of its flying skull projectiles, you'll be inflicted with the Wither status effect. Like the Poison effect, your health will start to deplete. To cure Wither, drink Milk or use a Totem of the Undying.

Was this page helpful?