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How to Zombie-Proof Your Village in Minecraft

Updated on December 11, 2015
Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl has been playing Minecraft since 2012. She enjoys building, farming, and breeding animals in vanilla and modded 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.


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! | Source

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

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

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. | Source

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

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. | Source

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 Ocelots

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tamed wolves will attack zombies for you if you attack the zombie at least once.No, cats will not kill zombies for you, but their cuteness scares away creepers!
Tamed wolves will attack zombies for you if you attack the zombie at least once.
Tamed wolves will attack zombies for you if you attack the zombie at least once. | Source
No, cats will not kill zombies for you, but their cuteness scares away creepers!
No, cats will not kill zombies for you, but their cuteness scares away creepers! | Source

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.

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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 Position

Click thumbnail to view full-size
These wooden doors were placed down to the right and are technically "closed". These doors are technically open. See how the doorknobs are on the wrong side?
These wooden doors were placed down to the right and are technically "closed".
These wooden doors were placed down to the right and are technically "closed". | Source
These doors are technically open. See how the doorknobs are on the wrong side?
These doors are technically open. See how the doorknobs are on the wrong side? | Source

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 Doors

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Zombies were uninterested in my villagers with fence gates in front of the doors. Fence gates are easy to build and are a great way to keep your villagers safe.
Zombies were uninterested in my villagers with fence gates in front of the doors.
Zombies were uninterested in my villagers with fence gates in front of the doors. | Source
Fence gates are easy to build and are a great way to keep your villagers safe.
Fence gates are easy to build and are a great way to keep your villagers safe. | Source

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

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. | Source

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!

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© 2013 Jessica Marello

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    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 2 months ago from United States

      @Minecraft lover I'm glad it helped you!

    • profile image

      Minecraft lover 2 months ago

      Thanks you are so creative the zombie is blocked to eat yummy villager and zombie is wait until it's day and burned but it inspirise me to make it spider proof thanks for your articles ^_^ I like you

    • profile image

      dave 3 months ago

      How do you make villager guards with the wiiU edition? Because I saw that you can make villagers into guards, but it said that it was for MCPE.

    • profile image

      Jjay 4 months ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      donny 5 months ago

      Also another thing is that if zombie villagers are in your house

      with villagers, don't worry. Once i saw two zombie villagers in a

      house with one villager and the zombie villagers were trying to

      break the door and didn't even bother to hurt the villager. So then i killed the zombie villagers.

    • profile image

      Nick Hill 6 months ago

      this really helped

    • profile image

      A.R.B. 7 months ago

      Thank you for these tips!

    • Dreamhowl profile image
      Author

      Jessica Marello 7 months ago from United States

      @donny Yeah, these ideas were brainstormed from my experience playing, and then tested on one of my old villages. Zombies were a bit of a problem there, so we did everything we could to keep the villagers from being turned!

    • profile image

      donny 7 months ago

      wow really cool. how did you come up with these ideas? did you

      test them or what? i play minecraft a lot and when i am going to

      build a village i will use everything you say on your website.

      your website is really cool thanks!!!!!!

    • Dreamhowl profile image
      Author

      Jessica Marello 13 months ago from United States

      @Stuff Thank you - I appreciate the feedback!

    • profile image

      Stuff 13 months ago

      I found this very helpful

    • Dreamhowl profile image
      Author

      Jessica Marello 16 months ago from United States

      @Firestar_247 Thanks!

    • profile image

      Firestar_247 16 months ago

      This is really cool! I never thought about the fence gates in front of doors thing. I'll have to try that.

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 22 months ago from United States

      @Dylan No problem! I'm glad this hub could help you out.

    • profile image

      Dylan 22 months ago

      Nice article, I have done these things in survival for a long time, but I never thought about the fence doors. Thx alot for the help! :)

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 2 years ago from United States

      @xp100 It's been so long I don't recall! The wall itself was hand-built, that much I know.

    • profile image

      xp100 2 years ago

      What's the seed for that village with the cobblestone wall around it?

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 2 years ago from United States

      @Kittycats I will have to test it and see! I know villagers can open fence gates now no problem, but I haven't seen zombies do it. I'll get back to you.

    • profile image

      Kittycats1 2 years ago

      I was suffering from villagers getting zombie proofed and killing untill i came across this i tried it and it worked but it turned out on my mob zombies could open fence things is that possible or was it a glitch

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      MrAnimalHead 2 years ago

      I was thinking about that the other day and wondered if it might be to stop golems wondering off into the sea.

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 2 years ago from United States

      @MrAnimalHead That's interesting! I'll have to try it myself. I would have never thought that water would have that effect on them.

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      MrAnimalHead 2 years ago

      I put an iron golem in relatively small square of land with a three block wide single block deep ditch around (I don't know if it works with less width) and filled the ditch with water. Even when a spider came really close to the edge of the water, the golem wouldn't cross over to bash it. So maybe it's possible to contain golems with water.

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 2 years ago from United States

      @Rena Thank you for the input! I will start the fact checking ASAP.

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      Rena Stygian 2 years ago

      The article says you Iron Golems spawn when there is 10 villagers [and 21 hours] but if you take the quiz at the end, it will tell you that 10 is incorrect, and that you need 16 villagers. Should probably do some double checking for one, or both of these

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 2 years ago from United States

      Very true! If zombies knew how to use fence gates. we would be in serious trouble.

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      Samantha 2 years ago

      Why not extend a fence around the entrance that leads to a gate. Baddies still can't get in, it doesn't block the door, and no risk of villagers being zombified with a zombie right next to the door!

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 2 years ago from United States

      Wouldn't they still be capable of stepping on top of the block and breaking down the door / turning villagers? I haven't checked this method in a while though, so you could be right.

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      TimmyBoyT 2 years ago

      For #3 maybe using a block instead of the traditional stair in front of the door would prevent zombies from getting close enough to turn villagers?

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

      Apparently placing the door that high prevents them from reaching the top half of the door, making them unable to break it. And we made that fence before cobblestone fences were a thing - it was super time consuming. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • ilikegames profile image

      Sarah Forester 3 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for the great Hub.

      I had no idea that zombies couldn't break doors if they were one higher! That changes everything. Really impressive fence around your village as well, I wouldn't mess with you with all those iron golems roaming.

    • Dreamhowl profile image
      Author

      Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

      I hope so! My Minecraft articles seem to catch the most attention, so I'm just rolling with it. And I enjoy playing and writing about it, of course.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know nothing about gaming but I do know something about writing. This is a great niche that will pay off over time. It takes a good year to start seeing the benefits of writing like this, so stick with it and good things will happen. Well done!

    • Dreamhowl profile image
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      Jessica Marello 4 years ago from United States

      You're welcome, thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      rylan 4 years ago

      this is really cool, thanks!