Skip to main content

How to Zombie-Proof Your Village in "Minecraft"

Dreamhowl has been playing "Minecraft" since 2012. She enjoys building, farming, and breeding animals. She especially enjoys magic modpacks!

Learn how to zombie-proof your village by using torches, fence gates, wolves and more!

Learn how to zombie-proof your village by using torches, fence gates, wolves and more!

What Is a Village?

In Minecraft, a village is a group of buildings lived in by NPC (non-player character) villagers. Villagers spawn into your Minecraft world naturally in existing NPC villages in plains and desert biomes. As an alternative, players can make their own villages from scratch. The more houses a village has, the more villagers that are likely to spawn into the village and breed. For every 16 adult villagers, an iron golem will spawn to help protect the village against hostile mobs like zombies. And zombies are a villager’s worst nightmare.

What Are Zombies?

Zombies are hostile mobs that spawn in dark or dimly lit areas, such as caves or outdoors during the night. They are slow-moving, but have the ability to “call” other zombies to their aid and form a potentially dangerous mob. Zombies even have the ability to spawn with armor or weapons, making them harder to defeat. When "killed," zombies drop rotten flesh, which can be eaten by the player but almost always cause food poisoning. However, tamed wolves can be fed rotten flesh without getting sick.

Most importantly, zombies have the ability to turn villagers into “zombie villagers” by attacking them. There is a 100% chance a zombie will turn a villager in Hard difficulty, a 50% chance in Normal difficulty, and no chance in Easy difficulty. Like zombies, zombie villagers will burn in sunlight (unless they are baby villagers). The entire population of a village can be destroyed overnight if villagers do not have proper housing or protection. Zombie-proofing your Minecraft village pays off in the long run, and is much easier than you think!

How to Zombie-Proof Your Village

While you could easily fend off zombies yourself with a sword and armor once the sun goes down, having to defend your village night after night takes time and materials. It’s easy to get overrun by a mob of zombies when you are alone, especially on Hard difficulty or without decent gear or weapons. By taking a few preventative actions, you can protect your village from zombies and other hostile mobs. It never hurts to be prepared!

Torches are simple to make and integral to preventing mobs from spawning.

Torches are simple to make and integral to preventing mobs from spawning.

1. Craft Torches or Glowstone Blocks

Torches are blocks that emit light. They are simple and affordable to craft. One stick and one piece of coal (or charcoal) in the crafting table makes four torches! Why bother with torches? Hostile mobs cannot spawn in daylight, and having a constant light source around your village prevents monsters from spawning once darkness falls. Fewer zombies spawning around your village means less danger to your villagers.

Glowstone blocks also emit light, but can only be obtained in the Nether. Using torches is the most cost-effective and low-resource solution to keeping hostile mobs at bay.

Having a fence or wall surrounding your village keeps out uninvited hostile mobs.

Having a fence or wall surrounding your village keeps out uninvited hostile mobs.

2. Build a Wood Fence or Cobblestone Wall

Just because hostile mobs cannot spawn around light sources doesn’t mean that they cannot pass through them; while torches and other light blocks prevent monsters from spawning in a small radius, they do not repel mobs that have already spawned in the world. Zombies only burn in daylight and can easily venture inside your well-lit village. Building a wood fence or cobblestone wall around the border of your village will keep zombies out and defenseless villagers in. It is up to you how simple or elaborate your barrier is, as long as it can keep out unwanted monsters.

Placing a pumpkin on top of these four iron blocks creates one iron golem.

Placing a pumpkin on top of these four iron blocks creates one iron golem.

3. Build Iron Golems With Iron and Pumpkin

Iron golems will spawn naturally in villages that have least sixteen villagers and twenty-one houses; however, iron golems can also be crafted with four iron blocks placed on the ground in the shape of a “T” and a pumpkin on top. Iron golems serve the purpose of protecting villagers and will kill any hostile mob within range of your villagers. They are incredibly powerful and can take down a zombie with a couple of hits. If you hit a villager, they’ll even attack you! Surround your village with a tall fence to prevent your iron golems from wandering off, as this happens often. Having iron golems patrol the village after nightfall will help keep the zombies at bay.

4. Tame and Breed Wolves and Ocelots

To tame a wolf, feed it bones by right-clicking the wolf with the bones in hand. It may take up to 12 bones to tame a wild wolf. The wolf will stop taking bones once tamed.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Levelskip

To tame an ocelot, attract it by holding raw fish and waiting—don't chase it! After the ocelot approaches you, feed it the raw fish. It may take up to 20 raw fish to tame an ocelot.

Iron golems are loyal to villagers, while tamed wolves and ocelots are loyal to the player. Tamed wolves will follow the player and attack mobs that the player attacks or is attacked by. Tamed ocelots will also follow players, but they do not attack hostile mobs; instead, their presence repels creepers. Both wolves and ocelots can be commanded to sit by right-clicking on them. Strategically placing ocelots around your village can keep away creepers and using a pack of wolves can help defend against zombies. Using pets to your advantage can help zombie-proof your village and keep you company, too!

How to Zombie-Proof Your Houses

Zombie-proofing your village goes a long way to keeping zombies and other hostile mobs away from your villagers. However, suppose some zombies get inside and go unnoticed by your iron golem, or turn a few loose villagers. Are your houses prepared? One zombie breaking into a house full of villagers spells disaster for any village. On Hard difficulty, zombies can break down wooden doors if they attack them long enough. Sometimes just putting a door on a house isn’t enough.

1. Place Doors in the Open Position

On Hard difficulty, zombies have the ability to break down wooden doors. This means that zombies can destroy the doors of your villager’s houses and turn (or kill) them. Thankfully, there are some loopholes to dealing with door-busting zombies. One trick is to place the wooden door so that when it appears to be closed, it is actually “open." Place the wooden door on the right side of the doorway so that it appears to be opened; when you close the door, zombies will recognize it as open and be unable to break it. You may need to break the blocks next to your doorway to properly position the door this way. The only problem I had with this trick was that my villagers kept leaving the house, even when the zombies were knocking! While clever, this is not the best method for dealing with zombies at night.

2. Use Fence Gates Instead of Doors

If placing your wooden doors on backward is too complicated or faulty for you, try using fence gates instead. Fence gates are ideal for added protection because zombies cannot open them. Other hostile mobs, such as skeletons and creepers, cannot open fence gates either. The downside to this hack is that villagers can no longer open fence gates. However, fence gates are a great way to keep villagers permanently inside their homes. This method allows you to keep track of villagers that are offering different items for trade. You would never have to worry about villagers wandering outdoors at night, potentially solving all of your zombie problems!

Zombies cannot break a door if they have to jump up and down to reach it.

Zombies cannot break a door if they have to jump up and down to reach it.

3. Raise Doors One Block Above Ground

If fence gates are too limiting, you can try placing your wooden doors out of reach of zombies! Try raising houses one block above ground level so that villagers need to access them by jumping up; you cannot have stairs in front of the door. Villagers have no problem entering and exiting houses this way, but zombies are met with a dilemma: because they have to jump up and down to reach the door, they cannot consistently break it down. Be careful: villagers standing right next to the door can still be turned by zombies on the other side of the door.

Protect Your Village From the Walking Dead!

Keeping your village well-lit, fenced-in, and patrolled by iron golems is a sure way to keep out the undead. Zombie-proofing your village’s homes with fence gates or raised wooden doors will keep zombies out of your houses and prevent your villagers from being killed or turned. Try testing new ideas and builds to further protect your village from the walking dead. If you have any more zombie-proofing plans, let me know in the comment section below!

Test Your Knowledge! What Did You Learn?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What pets will attack hostile mobs for you?
    • Wolves
    • Ocelots
    • Cows
  2. What won't protect your doors from zombies?
    • Placing fence gates in front of them
    • Putting torches above them
    • Putting them up "backwards"
  3. Is it possible to cure a zombie villager?
    • Yes, with a Potion of Healing and Glistering Melon
    • Yes, with a Splash Potion of Weakness and a Golden Apple
    • No, zombie villagers are permanently turned.
  4. How many villagers will spawn an iron golem?
    • 6
    • 10
    • 16
  5. On what difficulty can zombies break wooden doors?
    • Easy
    • Normal
    • Hard
  6. What light source won't keep mobs from spawning?
    • Torch
    • Redstone torch
    • Glowstone
  7. Hey, can villagers open fence gates?
    • Only adult villagers can
    • Adult and baby villagers can
    • No, villagers cannot use fence gates
  8. Bonus: Why not use iron doors on houses?
    • Because they require gold to make
    • Because zombies can still break them
    • Because villagers cannot open them

Answer Key

  1. Wolves
  2. Putting torches above them
  3. Yes, with a Splash Potion of Weakness and a Golden Apple
  4. 16
  5. Hard
  6. Redstone torch
  7. No, villagers cannot use fence gates
  8. Because villagers cannot open them

Questions & Answers

Question: I built a mansion in Minecraft, but when I came back from mining it was full of zombies. What should I do?

Answer: First, you'll need to kill the zombies and clear out your mansion. Then there's the lighting. Did you light up the mansion? Certain mobs can even spawn in low light, so try to space torches six to eight blocks apart. There are also some mods that let you see, based on a visible grid, where you need to place torches to prevent a mob from spawning.

Question: In Minecraft, if I build a wooden wall with an overhang to keep out spider and ocelots to stop creepers for blowing up the wall, is it mob proof enough to protect the villagers?

Answer: The overhang sounds like a great idea for spiders - good thinking. And tamed ocelots do help keep creepers away. As long as the inside of your wall and village is completely lit up, nothing should be able to spawn inside.

Question: I saw a baby zombie riding an adult zombie, and it was chasing me. What should I do?