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A Parent's Guide To Talking About Minecraft: Minecraft Mobs

This lesson is a part of an audio course A Parent's Guide To Talking About Minecraft by Nathan Nance

In our last lesson, we talked about how Minecraft Biomes affect the plants, animals, and resources that are available in a Minecraft world.

In this lesson, we will learn more about how Minecraft mobs impact a user’s gaming experience.

First things first. When I was growing up, a mob was a large group of people who gathered together to act in a disorderly manner. In the context of Minecraft, a mob, short for mobile, is any computer-controlled character that exists within the game.

Mobs come into existence through a process called spawning. Spawning for each mob type occurs when certain conditions are met, as defined by the Minecraft code.

For example, hostile mobs generally spawn and are most active in low light conditions. You will see hostile mobs most in dark caves, heavily shaded forests, and at nighttime.

Although mobs have different predefined characteristics and behaviors, all mobs are impacted by the environment in the same way. All game characters, whether controlled by humans or the computer, are subject to Minecraft physics.

For example, falling from an extreme height within the game will decrease the health of all characters and possibly cause death.

There are four main categories of mobs:

  1. Passive mobs
  2. Neutral mobs
  3. Hostile mobs
  4. Boss mobs

Passive mobs are computer-controlled characters that never attack a player, even when provoked or attacked first.

Some passive mobs like chickens, cows, sheep, and pigs can be bred when given their favorite food. For example, you can breed two cows by feeding them grain.

Now don’t worry. Breeding in Minecraft is rated G. Your child will see some hearts appear and then moments later, the new mob will appear as well.

When a player attacks a passive mob, it will run away. When passive mobs are killed, usually after multiple attacks, they often produce usable resources. For example, a dead sheep provides wool and uncooked mutton meat.

There are two types of non-animal passive mobs that your child’s Minecraft character can interact with - Villagers and the Traveling Wanderer.

Neutral mobs are computer-controlled characters that attack when provoked and/or attacked first.

For example, a bee and a wolf will attack a player when attacked first, but a bee will also attack if a nearby hive is damaged by a player.

Hostile mobs will attack a human Minecraft character when in close proximity. Some hostile mobs attacked with short-range weapons like swords, while other attack with long-range weapons like bows.

If your child is struggling with the intensity and frequency of attack, remind her that she can change the difficulty level of the game.

Boss mobs are hostile mobs that are extremely challenging to kill. However, once killed, a boss mob provides unique rewards.

The most recognized boss mob is the ender dragon, the final boss of Minecraft. Although many people, children, and adults alike, just play Minecraft for the building aspect of the game, there is an official end game scenario – killing the Ender Dragon.

I personally have never attempted to kill the Ender Dragon, and as far as I am aware, my children are not aware of this end game scenario.

As your children interact with different types of characters within Minecraft, they will begin to understand the unique challenges and benefits associated with the different types of mobs. Mobs are an important part of Minecraft gameplay for your child and an important topic as you use Minecraft as a tool in your communication tool belt.

Today’s Takeaway: Your child’s character is not the only character in the game.

In this lesson, we talked about different types of computer-controlled Minecraft characters, also known as mobs. I recommend asking the following questions so you have a better understanding of your child’s experience with Minecraft.

Question #1 – What is your favorite mob (or character) in Minecraft?

Question #2 – In survival mode, Which mob is the most challenging to kill?

Questions #3 – Are there any mobs that scare you?

For additional context, other examples of hostile mobs include zombies, witches, and skeletons.

Question #4 – What resources can you gather from a dead mob?

In our next lesson, we will talk about how tools and weapons can be used in a Minecraft world to gather blocks, defend against attack, and improve your child’s overall game experience.

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Written by

Nathan Nance