I think I know the issue but I'm looking to verify. My village is a coastal village and I walled the whole thing in. A good portion of what I walled in is water. For places where the wall goes over water I didn't build the wall all the way to the ground beneath - I just made sure the wall goes at least one block under water. In the earlier versions I played this was always sufficient, as any monsters that spawned outside just bobbed along the surface and hit the wall. The wall fully surrounds the village, has an exterior overhang, and 100% of the village is fully lit (the only exception is the water sections, which I'm not sure how to properly "light").

However, I came back to my village after a few days of mining underground and found that only a few villagers were left. I found a number of zombie villagers in the water, and, most importantly, I found one drowned inside a house.

I figure one of two things happened:

  1. Drowned spawned outside my village, swam under the walls, and came out of the water to attack.
  2. Drowned spawned in the water in my village and came out to attack.

The former is easily fixed by extending my walls all the way to the ground underwater (already done). The latter is fixed by.... lighting the water? Filling in the water with ground?

I'm hoping that extending the walls down to ground level will fix my issue, because filling in all the water will be a pain. However, I'm not sure about the spawning rules for these new Drowned, and how they might be getting in. I'm also not sure if I might be missing something else obvious.

So, what extra things might a village with large water sections have to worry about?

  • As far as lighting the water, you could create pillars with gravel or sand, topped with a solid block of your choosing, then torch it. This has the advantage of removing the pillar and just keeping the solid block.
    – Steve-o169
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 15:00
  • @Steve-o169 I did some reading about drowned on the wiki and it seems like they do spawn in water, although it's also not clear to me if the usual rules about light-levels govern the spawning of drowned underwater (presumably they do). I'm also trying to remember how deep the water in my village is. I think it's only a few blocks deep at deepest, but it is on the coast, so it could have ocean depths. At that point I think that lighting all of it would be near impossible - I'd have to use glowstones and cover a large volume...
    – conman
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 15:13
  • Perhaps just fencing along the coastline then?
    – Steve-o169
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 15:16
  • @Steve-o169 That's what I did - the village is 100% walled in, including sections of wall over water.
    – conman
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 15:17
  • What I'm saying is, use fences along the edge of the water -- strictly on land. That should prevent any mobs from coming ashore.
    – Steve-o169
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


According to the Minecraft wiki

Drowned will naturally spawn at light level of 7 or less in ocean biomes (all variants except warm ocean but including deep warm ocean‌[Java Edition only]), river (and frozen river), and swamp‌[Legacy Console Edition only] biomes

so by that logic, if you light up the small snippet of water so that every spot has a block Light Level of 8 or more no drowned should spawn


There may be a village nearby that was beset by zombies? Either way, zombie villagers are really great because you can cure them with a potion and then they will give you discounted trades.

  • 1
    There is another village nearby (almost within site of my village), but I'm not sure what impact that would have on my walled-off village.
    – conman
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 14:46
  • Oh you mean they spawned inside the walls? Interesting. I believe there is also a chance that zombies can spawn as zombie villagers iirc. Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 14:47
  • I'm not sure if they spawned inside the walls, but I found them inside the walls. I found a drowned inside my village so presumably monsters somehow got in and converted my villagers.
    – conman
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 15:02

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