Slaying the Ender dragon is no easy task and requires both skills and a lot of time. Just finding the End portal can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more.
Before finding the stronghold, activating the portal and fighting the dragon, several preparations need to be done to help make your journey as swift as possible.
The most obvious things you will need are food, armour and weapons. Potions will also greatly help you in your fight, though splash potions have no effect on the Ender dragon. However, there are many more items you could take with you to make your journey and your fight just a little easier.
These are our recommendations, but they’re by no means the perfect setup for you and your specific play style.
A full diamond armor set is almost required in an Ender dragon fight. The Ender dragon is capable of dealing 5 hearts of damage and its knock back could push you off of heights, causing falling damage.
Enchantments are recommended, but by no means necessary. Protection would be the best enchantment to get on all pieces, except for maybe feather falling on your boots.
By wearing a pumpkin on your head, you can look at endermen without causing them to attack and since the End is filled with numerous endermen, looking at one of them by accident happens quite easily. However, your view does get obstructed a little, so it’s advised to use a texture pack without this view obstruction, or simply delete it yourself.
A diamond sword is recommended to deal with any monsters on your journey to the End, but could potentially be used as a way to fight the Ender dragon. Note that only the sharpness enchantment will have an effect on the Ender dragon. It cannot be hurt by fire enchantments.
Bow and arrows are the prefered weapon of many players, as it both allows you to fight the dragon and destroy the Ender crystals from a distance.
It’s recommended to use a bow with the infinity enchantment, though killing the dragon with a single stack of arrows isn’t too difficult. Take 2 or 3 stacks of arrows if you think you’re going to miss a lot. Good archers may want to get the power enchantment instead.
The Ender dragon cannot be harmed by fire, so there’s not really a point in taking a bow or swords with the flame enchantment.
Snowballs make a surprisingly good weapon. They’re capable of dealing 1 heart of damage to the Ender dragon, they’re fast and easy to obtain. You’ll need quite a lot of snowballs, but due to their fast shooting rate they can stun lock the Ender dragon in place, allowing you to easily kill it. This is due to the way the dragon recovers after getting a hit. It will turn to change direction, which takes longer than firing more snowballs, if it gets hit again it will try to turn again.
Any stack (or even half a stack) of meat, besides rotten, should be more than enough to last you on your journey to the End portal and through the whole dragon fight.
Potion of healing II:
It’s highly recommended to bring a good supply of these potions, you never know how often you might need them, both in the fight against the dragon, as well as the fights with other monsters on your way to the End portal.
Potion of Regeneration:
Any version of this potion will be better than a potion of healing, but only if you’re not on very low health. Any version will heal way more than a potion of healing, which is much more inventory space efficient.
Potion of Swiftness (8 minute version):
Drink this once before you leave towards the End portal. You could bring more, but depending on how good you can fight, you’ll might want to save the inventory space for something else.
Potion of Strength (8 minute version):
This could speed up your fight a little if you plan on using a sword, though it’s usually better to replace this potion with something more useful, like arrows or a potion of regeneration. The potion of strength II only lasts 90 seconds, which is hardly enough to attack the dragon enough to justify taking this version over the 8 minute version.
Other tools and blocks
They’re one of the fastest ways to get to the top of pillars, though also quite dangerous as you can easily get knocked off by the Ender dragon. They’re also destroyed when the Ender dragon comes into contact with it.
Getting to the top of the obsidian pillars can be done quite safely by simply mining your way up from within the pillar. Using a diamond pickaxe is the only way to do this. Any efficiency enchantment will be a huge help.
Easily harvested blocks:
Getting to the top of the pillar can also be done by creating a pillar underneath you, while jumping, or by building a staircase. By taking something that can be harvested easily, like dirt or netherrack, getting down again shouldn’t take long at all. Note that the Ender dragon can and will destroy any block it comes into contact with, with the exception of bedrock, end stone and obsidian.
A large supply of ender pearls could not only speed up your journey, it could also allow you to teleport to and from the obsidian pillars. Note that teleporting with ender pearls will cause you to take damage, so pack extra healing potions if you think you’ll need them.
It’s highly recommended to sleep next to the End portal in order to reset your spawn point, just in case you die in the End. This way you can easily retrieve your items. You can also cause the bed to explode by trying to sleep in it while in the End, which can deal a lot of damage to the dragon, but could also potentially kill you.
Items not to take
While it could potentially deal a lot of damage to the Ender dragon, using TNT to fight it requires great timing and some luck. You’re more likely to either hurt or kill yourself or hurt any of the endermen walking around.
Iron golem or snow golem materials:
While it is possible to create these in the End, they will not attack the Ender dragon, so they’re a complete waste of inventory space.
None of the splash potions have any effect on the Ender dragon.
Finding the End portal
To get the End you need to find and activate the End portal, which is located in a stronghold. There are 3 strongholds per world, though they’re seperated from each other in even angles from the center of the world, which makes it easier to focus on just one stronghold.
A stronghold is generated between 640 and 1152 blocks away from the center of the world, which means the coordinates are 0,0. You do not always spawn in these coordinates when you create a map. This means getting to a stronghold can be very time consuming, especially if you have to travel across large ocean or mountain biomes.
An eye of ender will show you which way you have to go when you fire it into the air. The eye will float up and in the direction of the stronghold. After a few seconds the eye will either drop on the floor or burst into small particles. It’s advised to carry about 10-20 eyes of ender with you, though more could be required.
Don’t use the eyes of ender too generously, the general direction they point in will usually stay the same. Just fire one of them, pick it up if it drops and continue walking in that direction for about 50 blocks before firing another one.
Once you’ve reached the same horizontal coordinates as the End portal, any eye of ender you fire will go straight into the ground. Now all you have to do is dig down. As always in minecraft, never dig straight down. This is especially true when digging towards the End portal, even if you don’t encounter any lava on your way to the stronghold, breaking the last block before the portal will usually drop you into a lava pool under the portal.
The easiest way to get down is to either dig in a spiral staircase fashion or by digging a 2×1 hole, each time only digging one side to see if it’s safe to jump a little lower. Note that the stronghold is made up out of stone bricks, mossy stone bricks and cracked stone bricks. Finding this block usually means you’re standing on the ceiling of the a stronghold room. Don’t dig through this block, but dig a block next to it so you can safely check what’s below.
Conquering the stronghold
Once you’ve made it to the stronghold, your next task will be to get to the portal room. Depending on how you dug down, most players will have dug themselves to the ceiling of the portal room, but some may have taken a different approach and ended up in one of the many other rooms.
If you’re not in the portal room, make your way through the large, maze-like stronghold by firing eyes of ender again. They will still fly towards the portal room. You shouldn’t have any difficulties getting to the portal room as only normal hostile mobs can spawn here, which shouldn’t be difficult to deal with at this point in the game.
Once you reach the portal room, you’ll be faced with a silverfish spawner. Disable this spawner as fast as possible, either by placing torches on it or by destroy it. Silverfish can be killed with a single strike of a diamond sword, though in large numbers silverfish can easily overwhelm any player.
After you’ve dealt with the silverfish, all you have to do is put an eye of ender in each end portal frame that doesn’t already have one. Once they’ve all been filled, the portal will activate. Do not enter right away, make sure your hotbar is equiped with any item you might need quickly and sleep in a bed in or near the portal room.
If you happen to die in the End, at least you’ll spawn next to the bed, right next to the portal, rather than 100’s or 1000’s of blocks away.
Some players might want to wear a pumpkin on their head to avoid the endermen from attacking you when you accidently look at one of them.
Once you’re ready to go, simply walk in and you’ll be teleported instantly.
Destroying the Ender crystals
The Ender dragon health is 100 hearts, but it’s constantly regenerated by the Ender crystals on top of the obsidian pillars.
It’s vital to destroy all of them, as even a single crystal can heal the dragon from near death to full within a seconds.
The Ender crystals are located on every obsidian pillar, which makes them difficult to get to. Depending on the items you brought you may either want to mine your way up through the obsidian pillars, or build your way up with ladders or other blocks. The first method is highly recommended as the Ender dragon can and will destroy any block it comes into contact with, with the exception of obsidian, bedrock and end stone.
One you’ve reached the top, do not hit the crystal with your sword. The Ender crystal can be destroyed with a single hit of a sword or arrow, but destroying it will cause it to explode. If you’re standing next to it while it explodes, you will be pushed off of the pillar and fall to your death.
If you brought a diamond pickaxe, simply dig about 5 blocks below the Ender crystal and fire at it from this safe spot. If you didn’t bring a diamond pickaxe you might want to leave this crystal for later, when you’re standing on a different pillar.
Depending on the height and position of the pillar, other pillars should be in range, so fire some arrows at them to destroy them. The pillars can be destroyed from a distance with any projectile, even eggs.
Repeat this step until you reach the last crystal, don’t even bother fighting the dragon at this point, it’ll just heal up anyway.
Once you’ve reached the last crystal, you have 2 choices. Either you destroy it immediately, or you wait for it to heal the dragon. Destroying a crystal while it heals the dragon will deal damage to the dragon, this can be a nice bonus before you start the actual fight.
Destroying 2 or more crystals this way is possible, but not recommended. The Ender dragon is much faster than you and the rate at which you can fire arrows, by the time you’ve reached or destroyed the second pillar, any damage the other pillars might have done will be healed up again.
Slaying the Ender dragon
You’ve finally reached the point at which you can begin dealing damage to the dragon, though ironically this part is usually perceived as the most boring part by many players. Killing the dragon isn’t too difficult, though it can take a very long time.
The Ender dragon will continue to fly around the End and occasionally attack the player by charging the player. This is the only time at which the player can deal any damage with a sword. Simply stepping to the side while the dragon is charging is enough to avoid its attack, while still being able to deal damage.
If you’re using a bow you can keep firing your arrows at the Ender dragon, though it’s speed makes it difficult to hit it before it turns into another direction.
In order to hit the dragon you have to aim above him and far in front of where’s flying towards. Though even then the Ender dragon often turns in another direction, which means you’ll miss a lot. The Ender dragon can be hit the easiest when it’s charging you, though swords deal more damage and are recommended over bows when dealing with a charging Ender dragon, as you avoid it’s charge much faster than while aiming with a bow.
Players using snowballs might also want to wait for the dragon to charge. This makes it much easier to hit it multiple times in a row and increases the chance to stun lock it in place.
Simply keep repeating the dodge and hit tactics and you’ll have to Ender dragon killed, eventually.
When the Ender dragon dies, it’ll start to disolve in mid air while beams of light shine out from within it’s body. After it has disolved it’ll explode into 20.000 xp points worth in orbs.
A portal will be created on the land directly under the dieing dragon. The portal also has a dragon egg resting on a pillar in the middle of it. The portal will lead you back to the Overworld. Note that this portal will teleport you instantly, just like the End portal. However, some xp orbs may have fallen through the portal and landed inside the bedrock barrier. So first jump on the side to attract any xp orb that may have fallen into it, to make sure you get all the xp you can get.
The xp orbs will take you to anywhere between level 100 and 110. Despite always dropping the same amount of xp, the levels you gain aren’t always the same, this has to do with the mechanics of how xp is calculated per level.
The dragon egg can be picked up, though it’s a little tricky as it will be teleported when you click it directly. There are several ways that make it easy to harvest it, though the first thing you should do is click it once to get it away from the portal. If you harvest it while it’s on the portal, you risk letting it fall into the portal, this doesn’t mean it’s gone, but it will make it close to impossible to pick it up as it’s under the portal block.
Once the egg is somewhere on the floor, the trick is to start mining the block next to it, preferably with your hands as it’s slower. Once you start mining the block, hover your mouse over the egg. You will now harvest the egg without causing it to teleport.
Another method to get the egg is to use a piston to push it. The piston will break it and drop it as an item.
Once you enter the portal to the Overworld, a cutscene will play. This cutscene is about 8 and a half minutes long, so if you’re running out of time you might want to skip it by pressing the escape button and watch it another time on youtube.