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I'm playing vanilla Minecraft, and am getting ready to head to the end. I need Eyes of Ender (and hence Ender Pearls), and in my main hunting grounds (a large desert area) as little as one Enderman may spawn per night. Is there any way to "promote" Enderman spawning so I can get pearls more quickly?

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Have you tried putting it on hard difficulty? –  Jonny Feb 17 '12 at 21:32
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@JonnyB difficulty does not affect mob spawn rate, only health and attack power. –  Joe the Person Mar 24 '12 at 15:58
    
I am currently having the same problem, but I'm just dealing with it. The best you can do is .Save up the exp for a looting sword .Its an end game thing so its supposed to take a whil .Be patient –  user37797 Dec 2 '12 at 14:12

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Endermen require a 3x1x1 space to spawn and a light level of 7 or less. The darker the place the more likely it is to spawn, the only way to decrease spawn rates it to light up/fill in areas.

Ways to increase Endermen spawning in particular include stopping spiders or slimes from spawning instead by filling in areas below level 40 in slime-spawning chunks. Also get rid of 1x2x2 areas for spiders to spawn. You will still get normal levels of the other tall mobs (skeleton, zombie, creeper), but they do not have any unique spawning requirements so nothing can be done.

Using a sword with a looting enchantment with give you more enderpearls per Enderman. And going to The End will mean only endermen can spawn.

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The darker the place the more likely it is to spawn - first I've heard of this, any evidence for it? –  fredley Feb 16 '12 at 23:44
    
@fredley I can't find any proof for this so I will take it out for now. –  Ronan Forman Feb 16 '12 at 23:52
    
Minecraft Wiki Spawn says "If it's a hostile mob in the overworld, then... • the light level of the spawning block must be 7 or darker, and more light increases the chance that the spawn will fail • sunlight falling on the spawning block further increases the chance that the spawn will fail, by up to 50%" That's not a fully reliable source, but in my experience the spawn info is accurate, and not a target of vandalism (I watch recent changes). –  Kevin Reid Feb 17 '12 at 0:22
    
Spiders still require a 2x2x2 area to spawn, though there is a bug allowing them to spawn under transparent (glass, ice) blocks. –  dlras2 Feb 17 '12 at 1:53
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The darker the place, the more likely for any mob to spawn, more than just endermen. –  Raven Dreamer Feb 17 '12 at 2:08

Mobs spawn between 24 and 128 blocks (spherically) of you. The spawn wiki page has a very good image showing the ranges of how far mobs will spawn and despawn.

If you're standing in the middle of a 40 square desert, a good third of that is not spawnable due to your presence.

Also be aware of the spawning caps. Apparently there's a limit of 70-80 hostile mobs (many of which may be underground.

Try this: before night, go up into the sky to at least ~100 blocks above your desert. This should despawn the underground. As night falls, go back down to an altitude of ~20-25 blocks. This should keep the influence of your presence to a minimum on the ground level. If you see more than 50 enemies, either kill or despawn them to stay below cap.

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I have built a farm where my spawning platform is 1 block wide so no spiders can spawn on it. I have a sticky piston at block 2 which occasionally (about once ever 10 seconds or so) will push in and sufficate skeletons and zombies, the endermen will survive this, so in theory over time only endermen will be in the trap. I've only JUST built it and haven't given it a good testing, but the theory is reasonable I think.

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There is a good way if you have block types other than dirt (dirt will NOT work due to Endermen picking it up). You can do it underground and I advise you to do so due to possibility of gaining ores and loot. Anyway what you do is flatten a big area and build a 4 block high wall around it. Then you need to cover the roof up with material of choice (other than dirt). Make a door at 1 side and you have a mob farm (under method) you can also hollow an underground one 3 tall.

You can also place a block get on top and look for black heads!

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