The Nether Dragon is a boss mob that appears in The Nether.


  • Image Needed: An orange ender dragon with yellow eyes and red pupils.
  • First Appearance: Minecraft 1.11
  • Health: 200 (Heart x 100)
  • Damage: In peaceful, 0 damage; In easy, 6 damage; In normal, 10 damage; In hard, 15 damage; Fire breath attack, 6 damage and can burn players; Exploding fireball attack, 12 damage after a half second.
  • Spawn: The Nether
  • Experience: First dragon, 12,000; Subsequent dragons, 500.
  • Network ID: 121
  • Savegame ID: NetherDragon


Initial spawning

A single nether dragon spawns naturally in the Nether, immediately as the first player enters the dimension. It will spawn on any difficulty, including Peaceful, but will be unable to harm a player in Peaceful mode. In fact, the player has to find the nether dragon far away from your nether portal.


Players can re-spawn the nether dragon once the fight is completed, by placing four nether crystals atop the exit portal, one on each side.


The /summon NetherDragon command, by default, summons a harmless nether dragon that hovers in place. Setting the DragonPhase tag, for instance by issuing /summon NetherDragon ~ ~ ~ {DragonPhase:0}, will create a normal nether dragon, though with no health bar since the bar is managed by the Nether's dragon fight status rather than by the dragon entity itself.


Once defeated, the Nether dragon will appear to have beams of light spontaneously erupting from its body. It will then explode, dropping enough experience to bring a player from no experience to level 78 (12000 - 10 drops of 1000 experience, one drop of 2000 experience). Subsequent nether dragons (ones re-spawned via the Ender crystals) only drop 500 experience.

It will also activate the exit portal, and drop a red dragon egg onto the top. This portal is found at X=0 and Z=0, at the Y-coordinate of the surface of the location. The dragon egg is only dropped by the first dragon, and never by subsequent dragons.


The dragon has four main states of behavior:

  • Circling - the dragon begins in this state. When circling, the dragon will circle outside the ring of pillars if Nether crystals remain, or inside the ring of pillars if not. With increasing chances as crystals are destroyed it will land on the empty portal or strafe a player within 64 blocks of the portal.
  • Strafing - the dragon will fly towards the target player. When it is within 64 blocks, it will fire Nether charges and resume circling.
  • Charging - the dragon will fly rapidly towards the target player's position at the start of the charge, then resume circling whether or not the player was actually hit.
  • Perching - the dragon flies towards the empty portal (approaching from the side opposite the player, if possible) and lands on the highest block of (X:0,Z:0). The dragon is immune to arrows in this state; if the player attempts hit the dragon with arrows, the dragon will immediately charge at the player. After 1.25 seconds, if a player is within 20 blocks of the portal, the dragon will roar and use its breath attack for 3 seconds, which damages players similarly to a lingering Potion of Harming. If no player is near enough to the portal within 5 seconds, the dragon will charge at a player within 150 blocks. After four consecutive breath attacks, or if it does not find a player within 150 blocks, the dragon will take off and begin circling again. When cumulative damage while landed exceeds 50 (HeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeartHeart), it will take off to start circling, and reset the damage accumulator. The accumulator is not reset if the dragon does not take enough damage.

The firey clouds emitted from the Nether dragon's breath attack can be collected in an empty bottle to obtain Nether Dragon's Breath.

Whenever the dragon finds itself less than 10 blocks or greater than 150 blocks to its current target, it will attempt to choose a new target. When damaged it will target a point just behind itself, causing it to turn away and choose a new target.

The dragon is not hostile towards any other entities except the player. However, other mobs may turn hostile to the Nether dragon if struck. Any entities hit by the dragon's wings will be dealt 5 damage 10 damage when hit by its head) and thrown into the air, sometimes to fatal heights or even off the island. Neither of these effects are applied for 1⁄2 second after the dragon takes damage.

If it takes fatal damage, the Nether dragon will fly to within 10 blocks of the portal before actually dying, unless it is over 150 blocks away or inside blocks. When the dragon is respawned, a series of explosions resets the obsidian pillars, iron bars, and Nether crystals.

The dragon can pass through all blocks, destroying most types. Blocks not destroyed are those that naturally generate on the central End island and those that are intended to be indestructible:

  • Obsidian
  • Metherrack
  • Bedrock
  • Command Block
  • Barrier
  • Iron bars
  • Nether portal (block)
  • End portal frame
  • Nether Brick
  • Nether Brick Fence
  • Nether Brick Stairs
  • Nether gateway (block)

The nether dragon has a light orange health bar that appears at the top of the player's screen. Its health is periodically healed by nearby nether crystals, indicated by a white beam connecting the dragon and the crystal. Destroying an ender crystal while the nether dragon is being healed by it will cause the nether dragon to take 10 damage. The ender dragon can only take damage from explosions and player based damage. The nether dragon takes 1⁄4 normal damage when hit in any part that is not its head. The dragon does not take damage from snowballs, eggs, or other attacks that normally deal no damage. Suffocation cannot be used, as the nether dragon will destroy almost any block it comes into contact with and doesn't take suffocation damage from blocks that it cannot destroy.


  • Name tags cannot be used on an nether dragon.
  • The nether dragon's hitbox is larger than the nether dragon itself, causing players to be pushed away from it.
  • If you kill a summoned dragon in the Overworld or End, it will not create a portal, nor an egg.
  • In spectator mode, you cannot view the perspective of the nether dragon unlike any other mob.
  • Using F3+b to show hitboxes reveals that the nether dragon's head rotation faces in the opposite direction to that which its real head faces. This is also why the nether dragon faces the wrong way when set in a monster spawner.


  • On Reddit, Notch referred to the ender dragon as a he, and suggested his name to be "John?" in the same manner he called the players "Steve?" and "Alex?".
    • Dinnerbone later stated that he thinks the name is officially "John?".
  • The Xbox avatar item 'Nether Dragon Pet' has the description 'A handsome, friendlier version of his bigger, less playful Minecraft brother.'- revealing that the nether dragon is male.
  • The nether dragon is the third boss mob in Minecraft, the first being the Ender Dragon, and the second being the Wither.
    • On Reddit, Notch explained why nether dragons destroy matter.
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