Bows and Arrows


20 hearts


Light level of 7 or less



First Appearance

Classic 0.24 SURVIVAL TEST (August 14, 2009)

Skeletons are ranged, hostile mobs that shootarrows at the player and any other mob that attacks it. Like zombies, skeletons spawn in dimly lit areas, and will burn when directly in sunlight(when the sun is 15 degrees or greater above the ground) unless they are swimming in water. The skeleton will not burn if not directly in view of the sun, e.g. underneath a tree.

Since their initial introduction into the game, skeletons have received an AI update that has allowed them be about as "intelligent" as zombies, since they were both given similar AI updates. Skeletons can since now seek cover when on fire, and can perform many other "smarter" actions.


A skeleton has gray bones, a skull head and has the same face as zombies, but with a different color and a mouth. In their right hand, they hold a bow. The skeleton's head was used on the Wither, only inversed.


Skeletons are an excellent source of bones (and bone meal) and can also drop arrows. Each skeleton will drop 0 - 2 bones and/or 0 - 2 arrows upon death. Although skeletons will fire arrows into walls and the ground, the player cannot pick up and re-use these arrows. Because of its valuable drops, skeleton dungeons are well sought-out for mob grinding purposes.

Creepers must be killed by a skeleton's arrow in order to drop a music disc.

Skeletons also have a 1/40 chance of dropping a bow only when they are killed by the player. There is a 1/5 chance the bow may be pre-enchanted with Power I. The bow will not be damaged if dropped by the skeleton.

Since snapshot 12w36a, skeletons will rarely drop their heads as a decoration block along with some other mobs, although rarely. A Wither skeleton will also drop it's head which can be used to spawn the Wither Boss. Wither skeletons spawn in the Nether, along with (albeit rarely) normal skeletons as of snapshot 12w36a.


When skeletons are nearby, their presence is indicated by the soft rattling sound of their bones. Skeletons will chase any player they see within a 16 block radius. They will climb steps, navigate mazes, and traverse other complex obstacles in order to get close to the player. When they are within 8 blocks of the player, with a clear line of sight, they will stop chasing and start shooting the player with arrows. If the player moves more than 16 blocks away from the skeleton, it will cease pursuit. In the old versions, the skeleton would have started to "bunnyhop" around you while shooting arrows. This was removed in 1.2, because Notch and Jeb thought it was then harder to kill the skeleton. Skeletons will attempt to avoid damage from the player by continuously circling around them while in combat.

If a skeleton's arrow hits another hostile mob, that mob will then attack the skeleton the same way it would attack the player (with the exception of zombies and creepers, which usually manage to continue pursuing the player). So, if a skeleton shoots another skeleton, they will inevitably become locked in a duel until one of them dies or is attacked by a player. As of 12w34a this is the same for the Wither.

[1][2]Two skeletons duke it out in a duel.Skeletons do not have a melee attack, their only weapon is their bow.

Skeletons will attempt to avoid sunlight by running under shade or into water.


Cleanly killing a skeleton generally requires the use of a bow and arrows. Melee combat will usually result in the player getting hit by at least one arrow before dispatching the skeleton. However, when using melee methods, it is recommended to circle around the skeleton in a decaying orbit by using the a/d keys and the w key simultaneously. This is a good way to dodge the arrows while getting close enough to attack.

If ranged combat is not an option, it is possible to minimize damage by blocking with a sword. This strategy can be used effectively by blocking just before the skeleton shoots an arrow and rushing forward after the shot. Repeating this process even while the skeleton is in melee range will allow the player to kill the skeleton while taking as little damage as possible from arrows.

Going after skeletons while swimming is not advised, as the water will slow the player's movement down to the point of making them an easy target for the skeleton's arrows.

Skeletons, like zombies and zombie pigmen, can be damaged by splash potions of healing and also are damaged heavily by a sword with the smite enchantment.

Defensice measuresEdit

Skeletons are vulnerable to daylight (when not standing in water), lava, fire, falling, suffocation, and contact with cacti. They are also able to climb ladders. Surface skeleton populations can be controlled if the player regularly sleeps in a bedat dusk, since skeletons will spawn in the dark if given the chance to. Players can keep an ear out for the clicking and xylophone-like sounds of nearby skeletons in caves and use certain corners and tight spaces to their advantage. If you have to face one, you can move around fast, making it harder for the skeleton to hit you. They also have somewhat bad aim when your still.

Construction safeguardsEdit

Proper lighting around and inside structures is essential to preventing skeletons (and other hostile mobs) from spawning.


  • skeleton cant climb ladders even though they have arms.