Creepers

By far the most dreaded and hated monster in minecraft. The creeper has caused more destruction and anger than any other mob in minecraft. Creepers are unique in the way they attack. Unlike all other mobs, the creeper doesn’t attack you with anything. It will try to get close to you and explodes.

Upon death, a creeper will drop 0-2 lumps of gunpowder, but only when they’re killed by something other than themselves. It will also drop 5 experience points worth in orbs. If a creeper is killed by a skeleton, one of the 11 music discs is dropped, which is the easiest way to get them. Note that a skeleton only has to get the killing blow, any damage done before that can be done by the player or other sources. For tips and tricks on how to get the music discs, click here.

Occurrence and behavior

Creepers can be found in the Overworld, but can only spawn in light levels below 8. Unlike zombies and skeletons, creepers will not catch fire when they’re in direct sunlight. While zombies and skeletons will run for water or shade, creepers will simply keep wandering around, waiting for a player to walk by.

Creepers can be a real pain to deal with, they hardly make a sound which makes it difficult to defend yourself against them, especially when they sneak up on you. Before they explode they’ll hiss, inflate and start flashing a white light. If you cannot get away from them before this, it’s often too late.

Creepers are afraid of cats and ocelots, so they’re usually easier to avoid in jungle biomes. Cats can also be told to sit, which can work as a great defense for your house. The creeper will still try to follow the player and because the line of sight of a creeper is greater than its line of fear of cats, the creeper will often run back and forth when you’re next to a cat.

Creepers are capable of literally stalking a player. Their AI is advanced enough to allow them to overcome many obstacles, including maze like obstacles, stairs, lava pools and large drops. They can even climb ladders and vines, though this only happens when they’re directly between the player and the creeper. Though footsteps can be heard, they’re quite faint and are usually inaudible when you’re walking, mining or performing any other task with a lot of sound. Caves provide the perfect place for a creeper to creep up on you, as they could be hiding in any dark corner. Sufficient lighting and careful exploration is advised at all times.

Creepers will start to follow you when you’re within their line of sight, which extends up to 16 blocks. Once a creeper has you in its sight, it will move towards you while slightly strafing right, which makes it significantly harder to hit them with a bow and arrow. Note that the creeper strafes to its right, so it moves left for the player. Once the creeper is within a block away from you, it’ll start to hiss, inflate and flash white light. If you weren’t walking backwards already, now is definitely the time to do so. After 1.5 seconds the creeper will explode, anything caught in its blast radius will take damage. Its blast radius is about 3-4 blocks, though its advised to keep moving.

Creepers can and will attack other mobs that attack it, like skeletons. However, if you’re already engaging the creeper, any skeleton shooting it will simply push the creeper away from the skeleton, possibly in your direction. Creepers will attack mobs in the same way they attack players.

Like all other mobs, skeletons can ride minecarts. This is sometimes used in mob farms, though less common. It can also be used to send a surprise package to the other end of the tracks, like a friend’s house for example.

Explosive power and super charged creepers

With 75% of the explosive power of a TNT block, creeper’s can cause great amounts of damage to your structures, potentially destroying hard to get items. However, stone blocks and similar blocks are strong enough to protect any block behind it, meaning the creeper can only destroy up to 1 stone layer. Any harder to obtain items should best be kept behind at least a stone wall, in a well lit area to prevent creepers from getting or spawning in the room.

Damage done to mobs and players depends on how close they’re standing to the creeper. But if you’re caught in the center of their blast, a creeper will do 24.5 hearts of damage and a charged creeper will do 48.5 hearts of damage, which instantly kills any player who doesn’t have a full set of diamond armour with at least 1 piece enchanted with blast resistance. The damage of normal creepers is enough to kill a player with full iron armour, anything higher will save you.

When a creeper gets struck by lightning (or is within 3-4 blocks of lightning), the creeper will be charged by that lightning. This drastically increases its explosive power, which is twice that of a normal creeper and 1.5 times that of TNT. The blast radius of a charge creeper is also much wider, so you have to move much further away. Note that creepers take up to 2 hearts of damage when struck by lightning, which makes them slightly easier to kill.

Killing and surviving creepers

There are various ways to kill and defend yourself against a creeper, but because there are so many ways we’ve put them in a separate guide which you can find right here.

The general idea when attacking is to keep your distance, either by using a bow and arrow or by walking backwards while pushing the creeper away with your swords. It takes 3 shots from a fully charged bow to kill a creeper. Attacking with a diamond sword will take 3 normal strikes or 2 critical strikes.

Other easy methods are fire and lava, TNT and other traps.

Defending yourself and your base against creepers is fairly easy. The first rule is to make sure your base is well lit, no darkness means no spawning creepers. Placing torches around the perimeter of your village or house will prevent them from spawning directly outside of your village, which often means they’ll simply wander in.

Due to the creeper’s fear of cats, placing a few of them in critical spots will greatly reduce the risk of any potential damage. Should a creeper still happen to make its way to your base, blast proof pits or shields will help to protect the surrounding buildings. Though stone structures are often easy to repair, mycelium, grass and other weaker blocks are often destroyed in the explosion. Luring and pushing a creeper towards a safe area like an obsidian pit will allow you to safely get rid of the creeper.