How to Zombie-Proof Your Village in Minecraft
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.
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 chance to spawn with armor or weapons, making them harder to defeat. Killed zombies drop rotten flesh, which can be eaten by the player but almost always cause food poisoning. Tamed wolves can be fed rotten flesh without getting sick, however.
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!
1. Craft Torches or Glowstone Blocks
Torches are blocks that emit light and 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; having a constant light source around your village prevents monsters from spawning once darkness falls. Less 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.
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.
3. Build Iron Golems With Iron and Pumpkin
Iron golems will spawn naturally in villages that have least ten villagers and 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 OcelotsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Taming 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.
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.
What is your least favorite mob?See results without voting
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, while having 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 House
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 PositionClick thumbnail to view full-size
On Hard difficulty, zombies have the ability to break down wooden doors. This means that zombies can destroy the doors on your villager’s houses and turn (or kill) your villagers. 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 DoorsClick thumbnail to view full-size
If placing your wooden doors on backwards 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 is a great way 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!
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.
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?
© 2013 Jessica Marello
More by this Author
Are you having trouble surviving in SkyBlock? Learn the basics of this Minecraft map, as well as the list of challenges and tips for outlasting mobs and beating starvation.
Are you tired of Minecraft villagers, animals and mobs trampling your crops? Learn how to build an underground farm, whether it is surrounded by torches or lit by a redstone circuit!
Are there few villages on your Minecraft world? Learn how to make your own village by understanding doors, curing zombie villagers or transporting villagers from their village to yours.