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Zombie Villager

Zombie villagers are variants of zombies that can be cured into normal villagers using golden apples while they are under the effect of weakness.

Spawning [edit]

A plains zombie villager with an enchanted iron sword.

When a group in the normal spawn cycle spawns zombies, there is a 5% chance to instead spawn a group of zombie villagers‌[Bedrock Edition only], or a single zombie villager.‌[Java Edition only]

If any type of zombie kills a villager, there is a chance for the villager to transform into a zombie villager. If the villager has previously been traded with, this zombie villager does not despawn when the player moves far away from it.

Difficulty chance
Easy0%
normal50%
Hard100%

A cleric zombie villager appears alongside a cleric villager in every igloo basement (a normal zombie villager in Bedrock Edition only and a cleric zombie villager in Java Edition only). One of them transforms into leatherworker, due to the workstation (a cauldron). They also generate as part of abandoned villages. Zombie villagers generated in both of these structures do not despawn naturally.

Zombie villagers have their own spawn egg, which can be found inside the creative inventory. This spawn egg spawns a zombie villager when used.

Variants [edit]

Baby zombies

All mobs that can be ridden by baby zombie villagers in Bedrock Edition.

Baby zombie villagers makeup 5% of zombie villager spawns. They behave similar to regular zombie villager, with the following oddities:

  • They are 30% faster than the normal zombies, yet they have the same health as normal zombies. This makes the baby zombie villagers more dangerous than their bigger counterparts.
  • The noises they make are higher-pitched than adult zombie villager sound effects.
  • They can sometimes ride chickens. They can also ride‌[Bedrock Edition only]:
  • Baby zombie villagers turn into baby villagers, if cured.
  • Worn armor shrinks to fit their body size.
  • They are able to fit through 1 × 1 block gaps.
  • They drop 12 experience when killed by the player instead of 5.
  • Unlike most other baby mobs in the game, they stay as babies indefinitely and never grow into "adult" zombie villagers.
  • They have a decreased hitbox size.

Baby zombie villagers are spawned when a zombie kills a baby villager, the chance of infection being the same as adult zombie villagers. Baby zombie villagers also spawn naturally, but the combined chance (5% villagers × 5% babies) is low at 0.25% (or 1 in 400 chance) of all newly spawned zombies.

Armed zombie villagers [edit]

Along with skeletons and regular zombies, some zombie villagers are capable of picking up dropped items. These zombie villagers automatically pick up and hold any item that they come across (except jack o'lanterns‌[Java Edition only], mob heads and pumpkins, as these are worn on their heads), and use any armor, weapons, or tools picked up. If they encounter another similar item, they pick it up and drop their previous item:

  • if the new item is armor or a sword and the old item was not (for example, zombie villagers prefer swords to pickaxes and helmets to pumpkins),
  • if both items are armor / swords and the new item is better damage-wise (reduces more damage for armor, or inflicts more damage for swords),
  • if both items are armor / swords with the same damage reduction / infliction, the new item has NBT tags while the old does not or the new item is moredamaged than the old item, or
  • if both items are bows and the new item has NBT tags while the old does not.

Items dropped by mobs in exchange for another cannot be picked up by players or mobs for 10 game ticks (0.5 seconds, barring lag), but can be picked up by hoppers.

Armor worn by zombie villagers is not damaged from most damage sources, which means it cannot "wear out" the way player armor does. Helmets (not blocks like pumpkins) on zombie villagers can wear away and break if the zombie villager is exposed to daylight, or has an anvil or other falling block dropped on its head. Zombie villagers also have a natural armor rating of 2 (), which gives 1.6 - 8% damage reduction from most sources.

Some zombie villagers that are capable of picking up items spawn already in possession of such items, and those items may also be enchanted. The chances of that event are listed below. If a zombie villager spawns wearing multiple pieces of armor, the armor is never mismatched (i.e. all pieces are made of the same material).

If a zombie does spawn with armor, the chances of specific armor are as follows:

Armor Easy & normal Hard
Helmet 100% 100%
Helmet & Chestplate 75% 90%
Helmet & Chestplate & Leggings 56.25% 81%
Full set 42.19% 72.9%

The chances of it being of a particular material are:

Armor Type chance
Leather 37.06%
gold 48.73%
Chain 12.90%
Iron 1.27%
Diamond 0.04%

Any zombie villager that spawns with equipment (picked-up items don't count) drop 1-3 extra experience per item.

Villager variants [edit]

In Java Edition, a zombie villager retains its biome and profession after conversion from a villager. They also retain their trades. Below is a table of the variant and what workstation it required before zombification. In Bedrock Edition, zombie villagers do not display their professions, but they still have the same profession after curing as before zombification. They use the texture of an unemployed villager from their corresponding biome.

Below is a table listing the various professions, along with the specific job site block that each profession requires:

  1. ^ In Bedrock Edition, all naturally spawned zombie villagers use the unemployed textures.

Drops [edit]

When they die, zombie villagers drop 0–2 Rotten Flesh. The maximum drop is increased by 1 per level of Looting, for a maximum of 0-5 with Looting III.

They can also drop an iron ingot, carrot, or potato when killed by a player or tamed wolf. This drop has a 2.5% chance of occurring, increasing by 1% per level of looting. Individual items have the following chances of dropping:

  • 1120 (about 0.83%)
  • 7600 (about 1.17%) with Looting I
  • 9600 (1.50%) with Looting II
  • 11600 (about 1.83%) with Looting III

Any picked-up equipment has a 100% chance of dropping on death or when cured and drops with the same damage level it had when picked up.

Naturally-spawned equipment [edit]

Experience [edit]

Adult zombie villagers drop 5 and an additional 1–3 per naturally-spawned equipment. Baby zombie villagers drop 12 experience.

Halloween [edit]

If a zombie villager wearing a carved pumpkin or jack o'lantern‌[Java Edition only] is killed using a weapon that is enchanted with Looting, there is a chance equivalent to the level of Looting used to drop the pumpkin or jack o'lantern, up to a maximum of a 3% chance of a drop.

Behavior [edit]

Zombie villagers behave as ordinary zombies, except that they do not convert to drowned when submerged.

In Java Edition, zombie villagers that were converted from villagers retain their professions and clothes, which gain a tattered appearance. In Bedrock Edition, all zombie villagers have the same appearance, which looks like an unemployed zombie villager. Naturally spawned zombie villagers (or ones spawned with spawn eggs) have a random profession that is not retained upon being cured; Instead, they become unemployed and may gain a new profession if a job site block is nearby. Zombie villagers can also spawn with the unemployed or Nitwit outfits. Baby zombie villagers are always unemployed.

Curing [edit]

Zombie villagers can be cured by using a golden apple (regular) on them while they are under the effects of weakness, which can be applied by:

If successful, a loud sizzling sound is heard and the zombie villager begins to shudder. The curing process takes 3–5 minutes, during which time the zombie villager behaves like a normal zombie. The zombie villager gains Strength I in Easy difficulty, II in Normal, or III in Hard while converting.

Conversion time is initially determined by picking a random integer between 3600 and 6000, representing the number of ticks. On every tick, the conversion time decreases by 1, and there is a 1% chance for the game to look for up to 14 iron bars and beds within a 9 × 9 × 9 cube centered on the villager; each one found has a 30% chance to decrease the conversion time by 1 more for that tick. The top and bottom halves of a bed are counted separately. Therefore, having at least 14 half-beds and / or iron bars within range of a zombie villager speeds up conversion by an average of 4.2%.[1]

When the conversion time reaches 0, the zombie villager transforms into a villager. In Java Edition, if the villager is not locked to a profession (i.e by trading with it once), the villager is unemployed unless it was a nitwit, in which case it remains a nitwit; if it was locked to a profession, it keeps both that profession and trades. However, in Bedrock Edition, the villager keeps whatever profession it had while it was a zombie but its profession can be changed after curing if it wasn't locked.

If the zombie villager is wearing any armor or wielding tools or weapons, those items disappear when the villager is cured and are not dropped on the ground. However, any items they picked up are dropped.

The newly-cured villager, if it had a profession prior to being zombified, offers a large discount on trades to the player who administered the cure. The discount from curing a zombie villager persists permanently. If a villager is cured more than once, its discounts increase until the price reaches the minimum of one emerald. Villagers around the cured villagers are also affected. In Bedrock Edition, villagers in a range of 16 blocks in a cube surrounding the cured villager also offer a small discount proportional to the number of cured villagers (up to 10). In Java Edition, curing a villager spreads gossip through the villager gossip system. It is also possible for cured villagers to become nitwits, meaning that they cannot offer discounted trades.

Zombie villagers that are in the process of converting do not despawn if the player moves far away from them.

A zombie villager cannot be cured by switching from Easy, Normal, or Hard difficulty to Peaceful; they simply despawn like all other monsters.

Sounds [edit]

Data values ​​[edit]

ID [edit]

Java Edition:

SurnameNamespaced IDTranslation key
Zombie Villager

Bedrock Edition:

SurnameNamespaced IDNumeric ID Translation key
Zombie Villager (old)