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I’ve been sorta caught up on the recent Minecraft updates, but the one that I’m mostly confused about is the new mob. It’s called an Allay and I’ve never seen one in the game before. At first I thought you had to craft it, then I recently discovered from a friend that you have to find one out in the wild. First, where do you even find these things? Second, what’s the point of them and what do they do? All I know is that they can carry things for you.

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You find them in cages in pillager outposts and those jail rooms in woodland mansions. Once you have one you can duplicate it by giving them amethyst shards and playing a music disc (I have heard that the discs "blocks", "cat", and "13" do NOT work with this) in a jukebox near the allay. (This is similar to breeding. The allays also have a 5 minute cooldown before they can duplicate again.)

You can right click them with an item and they will hold the item. When they are holding an item from you they will wander around looking for the item they are holding. If they see it dropped on the ground they will pick it up and bring it to the player who initially gave them an item.

Keep in mind they won't wander a very long distance, and no mobs can move outside a certain range of players, world spawn chunks, and chunk loaders. The allay will stay within a certain distance of you so you probably won't lose them very often. However, they often prove very unreliable and aren't used that often outside of the early-game (to gather items such as saplings from a tree farm, or stone from the mines when your inventory is full), or in redstone.

You can "bind" them to a note block if you activate it every few seconds (you can automate this with redstone) in which case they will drop their items next to the note block instead of the player. This has been used in sorting systems with items such as music discs which cannot be sorted using a traditional item sorter. (This is the redstone use I was talking about.)

They can also bring you unstackable items like totems, however if they take fatal damage they would use the totem you gave them, similar to foxes.

A good source of reliable information is the Minecraft Wiki

TL;DR: find them in pillager outposts or woodland mansions, they can pick up items for you, or can be used in item sorters with note blocks, but they can be quite unreliable.

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  • It's worth nothing that you can find them in pillager outposts' cages, they are a quite rare spawn.
    – pinckerman
    Dec 1, 2022 at 17:01
  • Woodland mansions are also quite rare, I'd say its more common to randomly find an allay in an outpost than a mansion but I could be wrong. You could of course purchase a woodland explorer map from a cartographer villager, but it can still take a while to find the mansion and flying around with an elytra looking for outpost seems to work for me. Dec 7, 2022 at 5:30
  • I exlored something like 10 pillager outposts to finally find one with Allays. Don't know the actual odds, but I hope that woodland mansions will have better chances since they're rare by themselves.
    – pinckerman
    Dec 7, 2022 at 11:15
  • I think you were just unlucky. The first one I found today had 3 cages each with 2 allays. The second had 4 cages. then 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 2, 1, 0. with my small sample size i got about 2.4 allays per outpost (each cage has 2) Dec 7, 2022 at 15:43
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The Wiki provides all the information you'll need on the Allay:

Spawning

Allays can be found surrounding pillager outposts, confined inside dark oak cages. One to three allays can spawn in each cage.

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Allays can also spawn inside jail cells within woodland mansions. One to three allays can spawn in each cell.

Behaviour

[...]

The allay wanders around until a player gives it an item with their use key. The allay starts following the player, seeking out dropped versions of the same item and delivering them to its player. The allay returns to wandering around if any player takes its item back by using an empty hand on it.

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