I have a village in a desert. I took all the villagers out and rode them to my base via a rail system so their village is deserted. The buildings are in one piece each with a wooden door.

I then updated to 1.2 and now no villagers are spawning. I remember reading somewhere that villagers will spawn if they have a "house" to spawn in. I've read the conditions on the wiki and the village houses meet that criteria but no villagers are spawning.

What needs to be done? Do I need to return the villagers and let them "breed"? Do villagers only spawn if they have houses AND other villagers around?

6 Answers 6


You will need to return at least 2 villagers. Then they will start repopulating the village. As of 1.2, villagers will mate and repopulate based on the number of available houses. See this post (especially the "your village died out" section) for more information.

As of the 1.8 snapshots, though, the villagers need to be "willing" to breed in order to breed. It seems that you can make a villager "willing" by trading with them. Willingness is granted on the first new trade offer, and at a 1 in 5 chance per subsequent trade. Once a villager is willing, they will immediately seek another willing mate, if the village can sustain more villagers (based on the number of houses).

  • 1
    After 3 failed attempts at returning some villagers and then getting slaughtered when I went AFK I managed to get a thriving village of 40+ villagers. My suggestions, fence the area, light it up and sleep in a bed a few times to let the population increase.
    – Dycker
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 18:06
  • 3
    They can become willing by having food,too.
    – John
    Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 11:05

Yes, you need to return them. Villagers do not randomly spawn, but only come into existence in one of these ways:

  • When the part of the world containing the village is generated.

  • By two existing villagers breeding.

  • As a “cured” Zombie Villager. This is a multi-step process but is the only way to get a villager from nothing (Zombie Villagers spawn randomly like other monsters).

  • Commands, spawn eggs, etc.

  • 1
    Villagers never spawn except at world generation time - Source?
    – fredley
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 13:39
  • I think this information is based on the fact that passive mobs spawn on chunk creation as of 1.8.
    – Unionhawk
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 13:44
  • @fredley I don't have any source other than paying attention to many discussions of the new features (mostly reddit.com/r/minecraft and monitoring Minecraft Wiki changes). I've never heard any reports of villagers spawning.
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 13:59
  • 1
    @Unionhawk Not relevant; animals still spawn at very low rates.
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 13:59
  • Okay, then my source must have been flawed (I think I was looking at a source on Mob farms, and, for all practical purposes, you can't use a traditional mob farm system with passive mobs)
    – Unionhawk
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 14:03

Villagers will mate depending on available housing. The amount of housing can be supplemented by the player placing wooden doors nearby. To allow Minecraft to recognize the doors as houses, there needs to be a difference in the amount of blocks that can "see the sky" (i.e., have only [Air] or transparent blocks above them), counting five blocks in each direction (depending on the direction the door was placed). A house is initiated by a nearby villager (up to 16 blocks away horizontally along both axis, and up to 4 blocks vertically), and then either added to an existing or a new village. Sometimes the Villager AI doesn't behave as expected until the game is restarted.

[Minecraft Wiki - Villager] 1

So a normal house nearby an existing village with a door is enough to get villagers mating.

  • So are you saying villagers only spawn at a village, but will mate anywhere (where there are houses)?
    – fredley
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 10:20
  • 4
    While thats a sparkly peice of information, I don't see it as answering the OP's question in any way.
    – Ender
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 11:00
  • Yes, villagers spawn in villages, and mate anywhere there's enough wooden doors around to sustain the population.
    – Unionhawk
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 3:03

ORRR you can do it the easier legitimate way without using mods or finding another village. It requires a bit of work but all you really need is a normal golden apple (made with ingots) and a splash potion of weakness. You can make one by placing water bottles in a brewing station, then adding a nether wart to the top. After that, put a fermented spider eye (spider eye, sugar, brown mushroom) and then some gunpowder. You must find a villager zombie (they have big noses and unibrows) and capture it. Make sure it does not burn from the sunlight. Once you have it captured, throw the splash potion of weakness at the zombie, and then feed it the golden apple, and then a weird noise should appear and the zombie will have red smoke particles. After around 110-130 seconds, the zombie villager will turn into a villager (random profession). Placing iron bars and a bed in the room where you have the zombie villager captured speeds up the process.

  • You now need ingots for a golden apple.
    – Timtech
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 11:16

What you can do I make a cage and fill it with doors the NPC villagers will open the doors and NPC villagers will spawn a baby after a certain amount of doors are opened.


Make a house. Then put doors on the top. Every three doors equals one villager. If you want an iron golem that equals 27 villagers. But make sure to keep it away from zombies!

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