How can I make skeletons shoot arrows that explode in Minecraft?

  • 4
    Exploding arrows! I don't care how much work it takes, this is worth it. Apr 14, 2013 at 3:43
  • Modding Minecraft is probably involved, so according to the faq it should be asked on Game Development.
    – Alvin Wong
    Apr 14, 2013 at 4:02
  • 2
    @Alvin There may already be such a mod. I don't think this asker is asking how to make a mod… I don't get any "programmer vibe" off this. Apr 14, 2013 at 4:45
  • I believe Notch actually did this to Minecraft during a live stream. Of course he had full access to the Minecraft source code. So you would definitely need a mod for this.
    – Dracs
    Apr 14, 2013 at 7:23
  • @Dracs you mean this. He was trying to make these in the vid later on, but then the player died and he was in Creative Mode which was weird and that's why he uses it as a mod.
    – Jim Jones
    Jan 5, 2016 at 2:15

5 Answers 5


The simple answer is, that currently, there is no 'native' way to do this in minecraft. (At least not from what I've seen).

From 'native' I mean producing the desired effect without making any modifications to your Minecraft Client.

Meaning, right now, there are only two ways to get skeletons to shoot explosive arrows:

  • Wait till it's added into minecraft (Though, no guarantees that it will be ever officially added into minecraft)
  • Suggest a mod idea here. (More info below)

The link is to minecraft forum's "Requests / Ideas For Mods" section, which is where you will be able to (hopefully) find someone who is willing to fulfill your request.

Hope this helps.


At this point you have two options to get that feature implemented:

Of course, there is also the remote possibility of making an insane Redstone contraption using TNT spawners and such, but that is probably harder than implementing it using a mod.


It is possible to make exploding arrows not shot by skeletons:

  • Fire an arrow, and exit the game before it lands
  • Use SethBlings MCEdit filter for stacking entities to stack primed TNT on top of the arrow and make a spawner
  • You now have a spawner that fires exploding arrows!
  • This is answering a different question...
    – Alex
    Apr 15, 2013 at 15:53
  • @Alex Not a lot of detail is given in the question, this could potentially still be useful to op.
    – fredley
    Apr 15, 2013 at 15:56

Okay here's your answer after 5 years for 1.12 xD

Command 1: /execute @e[type=skeleton] ~ ~ ~ scoreboard players tag @e[type=arrow,c=1] add ExplosionArrow

Command 2: /scoreboard players tag @e[type=arrow,tag=ExplosionArrow] add ExplodeArrow {inGround:1b}

Command 3: /execute @e[type=arrow,tag=ExplodeArrow] ~ ~ ~ summon tnt ~ ~ ~ {Fuse:0}

Command 4: /kill @e[type=arrow,tag=ExplodeArrow] this is where you should put the commands. Set All The Command Blocks On [Unconditional] and [Always Active] Here you are :D after 5 years ;P enter image description here


Ok, use the exploding arrow system from here (or anywhere else).

Then, add to the clock a system, that checks for all arrows next (r=2) to a Skeleton and if output is true, deletes all other arrows (with r=MoreThen2).

/execute @e[type=Skeleton] ~ ~ ~ testfor @e[type=Arrow, r=2]

/execute @e[type=Skeleton] ~ ~ ~ kill @e[type=Arrow, r=5]

Also plug in CMD blocks which testfor an Arrow next to a Player - if positive, kills all other Arrows and for a short while closes off the exploding arrow system.

If you want, you can add CMD blocks to kill all Arrows that are both next to a Player and a Skeleton.


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