I recently discovered my homely village has been ransacked by a marauding horde of zombies. They managed to get inside one of my large apartment houses and wiped out all but two (!) of the village population.

Because the attack was inside a building, my Iron Golems were helpless, rose-wielding bystanders.

As the population is (hopefully, albeit slowly) rebuilt, what more can I do to fortify my village against outside attack?

  • Is your difficulty mode set to "Normal" or "Hard"?
    – gnovice
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 3:00
  • 1
    @gnovice Normal, though I'd be interested to know how Hard would change the strategy...
    – fbrereto
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 4:13
  • Sieges will happen from the inside no matter how much you light. Barriers are pointless because they spawn near you if you are in village. Best bet is light and wall it, then stay out at night. You are the cause for the siege after all. minecraft.gamepedia.com/Zombie_siege
    – ydobonebi
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 8:01

14 Answers 14


General Strategy (regardless of difficulty level)

  • Barriers:

    While exploring abandoned mine shafts, I was certain to strip the place bare of all the fencing that was present in the tunnel supports. This gave me a few full stacks of fencing which I then used to encircled the lone desert village I have found thus far. You could also chop down a bunch of trees and craft the fence yourself. Either way, it's very good at keeping all the nasty nighttime crawlies out of the village (except for the spiders, but they go after you, not the villagers). A few well placed fence gates make it easy for you to get in and out, and I have yet to see a villager manage to open one (they seem to only use wooden doors).

    In addition, be sure to leave at least two blocks clear laterally both on the outside and the inside of the fence. Outside, because you don't want mobs to be able to jump onto (and over) the fence from a nearby block. Inside, because you don't want villagers to be able to jump onto the fence either, or the specific problem I had of my Iron Golems walking onto the fence from a one-high step one block away (I guess they take big steps). I kept having to let my Golems back in when they wandered out before I realized how they were getting out.

  • Lighting:

    Hostile mobs could still spawn inside your barrier if there are poorly lit areas, so be liberal with the torches. I put them beside doors and windows, on corners of wheat fields, and spaced out along my fence barrier. It's also easy to forget to light up the roofs of structures. Roofs made of stairs or slabs don't need lighting, since they are non-opaque blocks and thus mobs can't spawn on them. However, flat-roofed structures, such as the small houses I've seen in my desert village, need illumination lest your villagers fall prey to "death from above" attacks.

  • Defenses:

    If there are 16 adult villagers and at least 21 houses (i.e. doors) then an Iron Golem should spawn eventually. If your village is small, or you are impatient, you can craft one yourself with a pumpkin and 4 blocks of iron (36 iron ingots). You should leave at least two blocks of space between your structures so that they can freely move around your village and get to where they are needed.

    Other mobs that can be used for defense are Snow Golems (as long as you're not in a melty desert), Tamed Wolves (if you are involved in the mob attack as either a defender or a victim), and Tamed Ocelots (which scare off Creepers with their mere presence).

Strategy for "Normal" Difficulty

There's no additional strategy other than what I list for the general strategies above. On "Normal" (or "Easy") difficulty, zombie sieges are possible, so zombies can occasionally appear inside your well-lit village barriers. Villagers are generally smart/fast enough to get inside a house and shut the door before the zombies get them, and since zombies are unable to break down wooden doors on "Normal" difficulty, they will be stuck outside the house until an Iron Golem can lumber over and dispatch them.

Strategy for "Hard" Difficulty

On "Hard" difficulty, zombies are able to break down wooden doors, which means they can get to your villagers during a siege if your Iron Golems can't intercept them first. They can't break down iron doors, but your villagers can't open them either, so that's a wash (unless you are fine with trapping your villagers inside their homes). The Siege Defense wiki entry suggests the following:

Hard mode: All doors should be one block above the ground. This still allows villagers to enter but prevents zombies from breaking in.

  • As of 1.3 mobs do spawn on slabs Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 7:34
  • @SergeBekenkamp: They can only spawn on top of upside down slabs and stairs, as per the listing in the most recent version history. To my knowledge, they still can't spawn on right-side up slabs and stairs.
    – gnovice
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 13:46
  • 2
    I have seen villagers open fence gates in 1.3.
    – Chris Nava
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 13:59
  • @Chris Nava: Really? I've spent a lot of time in my village recently, and have never seen any of my villagers pay any attention to the gates. Maybe they just like what I've done to the place so much, they don't want to leave. ;)
    – gnovice
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 19:58
  • I have several villagers that enter the outer gate (it's airlock style) of my animal pens and stand inside all day. I have NO IDEA why. ;-) They don't seem to enter the inner pens and there's no roof at all.
    – Chris Nava
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 20:13

You can use pistons.

As you probably know, the villagers go inside at night. You can use a tripwire or something else to trigger a piston to push a block in front of the door so zombies can't break it.

When the sun rises they will go to the door, the piston will retract and the villagers can go outside again easily.


Dig a 4 block deep ditch, push 2 villagers in, the golem will stay in the area and no need for ugly walls.

If you wish to be nice place a little house underground for them, cover roof with dirt and nobody will ever know.


I am struggling with the same issue with my Iron Golem spawner/trap. Based upon the wiki and my experience, zombies can spawn anywhere in a village during a siege (a different kind of zombie spawn than regular spawning).

To avoid the issues of siege, I am changing my traps to include iron golems in areas where villagers are permanently trapped. My villager traps used to be 1x1 now they are 2x2. So, 250 villagers in a 2x2 region, and add an iron golem. As the iron golems continue to spawn in the trap areas, occasionally they have to be manually purged.


What you should do is put a circle of lava around the village, and have a railroad going out. Your body can go through any type of block, but the cart cannot.


Zombies can't break iron doors. That'd be one way to do it (though it naturally keeps your villagers from opening those doors as well). You could use daylight sensors to fix that problem though.


I had the last days an Idea that i have finished today in my own Village that i wish to create. I hate walls of any kind and so I thought, i have wnough Pistons and slimeballs, my Redstone is more than sufficient....

I have a 2 Cobblestone wide Street from my Well, that is the center of my town. Houses are 5 Blocks wide and vour Blocks deep, I simply prefer these houses ^^ ... the houses are not ground, but +1 level. Wasting Res and so eh ;)

Now started the drag, in front of every door a hole, piston facing up inside and this at every house. Now placed a Stair on it for Villagers to enter their home.

Now i started digging under the street to add my redstone maze to my main house an one of the street ends where a Lever is that controlls the Pistons. To have no spawns in your tunnels down their, you have to fill every possible field with dirt.

Whenever night comes and 'my' villagers are at home, i simply switch the lever and the Stairs are elevated so that they create a barrier so that villagers are no more able to leave their homes and also zombies are not really abe to come inside, they might glitch inside, but all in all i feel quite save, and it is in my opinion a funny and INVISIBLE way to fortify your village. Invissible in daytime and in nighttime i am usually not out..

I had even thought about three stairs in front of each door and pushing all up, but for that i would waste way too many pistons.

Not i have used 16 Pistons so far and five repeater to get the power till to the last piston.

  • Tried in Creative my Plan and with like 50 zombies surrounding one house with 4 villagers, Level hard, neither the door was broken, now any villager dead.... Seems really working
    – Caylean
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 8:54
  • In my last attempt I had a village with 17 houses per row, each 4 doors and 5 rows long in a total of 396 doors. Regular houses, not this fake (door behind door behinf door trap whatever stuff) so it looked also pretty nice. The real problem was then the Piston wiring.. as there were 396 Pistons to be placed. This time i spared a bit time and material otherwise, because houses were groundlevel and the Piston pushed the block in front of the door up. I really liked it, as it was totally invisible in daytime, no walls around town and so it was perfect for my taste.
    – Caylean
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 1:40

Build wall with high blast resistance around village. put lip on outside edge to ward of spiders. the gate is your choice of material/structure.


i simply build a big sandstone fort like wall around it and set fence gates to able get in and out also set a ring of cactus around it to prevent creepers get close to the wall and if possible i set a mote between the cactus and the wall to prevent endermen taking any wall blocks then i light up the inside with torches and glow stone and set 1-2 iron golems as a night patrol around the village and if i wanted to set a glass dome to prevent and spiders climbing over the wall and if you want to be extra secure set some pits outside the ring of cactus to either slow mobs down or trap them so you can let the sun kill them


For my villages safety I surround my village with a cobblestone fence and stack a wooden fence on top, that has so far kept out even spiders. I am generous with my torches and tend to stay up through the night to prevent attacks, but when I still am attacked, I just update some houses and move on. I play on hard so there's not much I can do about random mob spawning but like others have said, you can build your house +1 block up and zombies shouldn't be able to break the doors.


Build a wall at least 3 blocks high. Put an overhanging block on the top edge along the outside. This will prevent spiders from climbing over.

Like this:

** * *

Light the village, no block with light level below 8. Don't forget roofs.


Nobody thought of the door inside out technic. Just break the door of each house in the village andnplace them inside out. So when you open the door it will be closed. Zombies can't pass but villagers can.

Afther that jou just have to make shure that zombies can't get near villagers outside of the buildings.

Just light up the area around the village.


Fence iron golems in next to the doors of the houses, because then they can attack all mobs coming at the doors. The downfall to this is those bow-wielding skeletons(that can attack the player). You could enclose the villagers to all sides except the door side if you wanted to really go OCD.

  • 1
    Skeletons don't attack villagers.
    – John
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 8:54

Try buildng a wall with doors,which villagers will detect the wall as housing. Because siege zombies spawn at the edge of the village,they will spawn outside the wall,without troubling the village.

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