I have a simple xp farm using a skeleton spawner. My main problem with it is that the skeletons won't stop moving.

Here's the basic setup as I have it right now:

w=water flow

w # b
b # b
b # b (etc for the appropriate height)
. . .
b # b
b # #
b b b

The skeletons fall down into the tube, and I can stand and punch them through the gap without allowing them to hit me. The problem is, they like to jump up and down, as if trying to escape, so it's hard to hit them. How can I keep them from jumping while still letting them come down for me to hit?

  • Or would simply making the bottom of the tube out of glass, rather than stone help? – Unionhawk Feb 27 '12 at 14:11
  • 7
    This is a bit vague as it stands. A diagram or screenshot of what you have so far would help tremendously. – Invader Skoodge Feb 27 '12 at 14:28

Actually, their jumping up and down helps, I think — assuming you're using the “idle to collect a lot of mobs, then kill them all” strategy.

In my skeleton-punching endeavors, I have found that, as best I can tell, dead bodies absorb hits. If I have mobs trapped in one spot and I hit in the same direction repeatedly, then only one or two will die, then nothing happens until the bodies vanish.

Therefore, if they are jumping, some of them will pop up while dying, allowing you to get more hits in. In fact, to further improve matters, I've widened my skeleton holding pen to 2 blocks wide so that I can alternately hit one side and then the other. (This picture shows only two skeletons because I just walked over to take it; ordinarily there would be a lot more, and some of them will constantly hop between the two open blocks.)

(My skeleton farm)

On the other hand, if you really want to stop them from jumping, such as if you only have one or two at a time, then here's some ideas:

  • From the drop, let them wander into a water current which then moves them horizontally into your holding area under a two-block ceiling.
  • Place a cobweb block above their heads.
  • Place a trapdoor above their heads, and toggle it open periodically (with a redstone clock) to let new mobs in. These two ideas will interfere with the fall damage.
  • Using the horizontal water flow strategy now - the trapdoor stratrgy is elegant, but I'd need to reconfigure the height again... Though, I suppose I could make an easy "kill them all" trap that way. – Unionhawk Feb 27 '12 at 22:06
  • Whoops, didn't think of that. (It wouldn't work consistently at all, since some would land on the edge of the open trapdoor, and some would fall through, etc.) In fact, the cobweb fails too (at least if there isn't a fall-damage bug there). – Kevin Reid Feb 27 '12 at 23:53
  • I tried cobweb, and yeah, that one fails too. And, unfortunately, cobweb is a sword item too, so, you'd end up breaking it too... It keeps them in place though. I suppose you could use a sticky piston instead of a trapdoor too. – Unionhawk Feb 28 '12 at 3:00
  • I think you can now get cobwebs with silk touch shears? – Tim Jan 4 '15 at 18:20

I have never found skeletons jumping to be a problem. (no idea why in this screen shot they are not jumping. Usually a few of them are.) I let them accumulate in my trap, then toss an instant healing splash potion, kill them all, and just sit and let the experience ring in. The trick is to have a big enough fall (23 spaces) so that when they land the have 0.5 hearts. Then a single love tap with a watermelon slice kills them if you don't want to go the potion route.

My skeleton trap


Do it like this:

b= block
w= water
#= air

w # # b
  b # b
  b # b
  . . .
  b # b
  b # #
  b b b

You need to finish with 1 dry block before they fall down, so that they won't jump, but push each other off the cliff. Don't put water at the end where they fall, because they won't take damage (or not enough) when landing on water.


re do as such:

w=water flow

w # b b
b # b b 
b # b b
. . . .
b # b b
b # # b
b w w #
b b b #

this prevents them from jumping. or add a trapdoor controlled by redsotone leaving two blocks of air.

  • This will prevent them from reliably taking the intended fall damage. – Kevin Reid Feb 27 '12 at 17:52
  • considering how close you have to be to a spawner for it to be active, fall damage is not worth in in my opinion. – legacy Feb 27 '12 at 18:16
  • 3
    I was assuming that Unionhawk was using a fall damage trap due to the "appropriate height". It's simple to handle the distance problem by lifting the mobs up and then dropping them near the spawner; example (direct link). – Kevin Reid Feb 27 '12 at 18:31
  • @KevinReid you could put a fence where they fall and water on that to move them to a 2-high holding area – Nick T Apr 30 '12 at 19:50

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