Every so often you may spot a zombie that looks, ah, different than the other zombies. You might be looking at a zombie villager, or an undead version of the loveable traders inhabiting villages. Zombie villagers are a real problem in Minecraft nowadays. They're a danger to you, and to your hapless villagers that have as of yet avoided the disease. It's not without hope, though, since you can actually cure zombie villagers and return them to normal. Here's how to do it.
How to collect supplies for curing
Curing a zombie villager doesn't entail waving a magic stick in its general direction. Instead, you have to collect a handful of rare items and ensure that you're dutifully prepared for the task. The items in question aren't lying around in an easy-to-reach place, either, so you probably won't become the hero of the villages on your first night in Minecraft.
Here are the items you need:
Golden apples are created by coating an ordinary apple in a layer of gold. They're powerful food items that absorb incoming damage and regenerate your health quickly, but they're also useful for curing zombie villagers. You can either obtain one by finding them in chests scattered throughout Minecraft, or you can craft them yourself with 8 gold ingots and 1 apple. They're expensive, but worth it.
Just having a golden apple isn't enough. In order to convince a zombie villager to ingest the metallic fruit, you need to weaken it first. There are three ways for a player to apply the weakness effect to something else:
Splash potion of weakness
This will be the most effective method by a considerable margin. You don't run the risk of damaging your quarry, and there are no additional ingredients needed.
In order to craft a splash potion of weakness, you'll need to have all the basic ingredients and tools used for potion brewing. First you'll want to raft a regular potion of weakness with a bottle of water and 1 fermented spider eye. Once you have your potion of weakness, combine it with gunpowder. Gunpowder can be collected from creepers or chests, and allows you to throw the potion and cause a miniature potion explosion. An "explotion," if you will.
Lingering potion of weakness
Lingering potions are different from splash potions, in the fact that they leave a cloud of potion that hovers above the ground and affects any mobs or players that walk through it. This could be an option if you truly have terrible aim and can't rely on hitting your target.
To craft a lingering potion of weakness, do this:
- Craft a splash potion of weakness. You can accomplish this by following the above directions.
- Collect a bottle of dragon's breath. Dragon's breath is a brewing item only used for brewing lingering potions. It's collected by capturing the breath attack of the ender dragon in an empty glass bottle.
- Combine the splash potion and the dragon's breath. You can add the dragon's breath to any splash potion by combining them in a brewing stand.
Tipped arrow of weakness
This is a good option if you want to accomplish your task from a distance, or don't have any gunpowder lying around to make splash potions. Keep in mind that you'll damage your patient, so be careful not to accidentally kill them.
To craft a tipped arrow of weakness, do this:
- Craft a potion of weakness. You're probably pretty familiar with this by now.
- Craft a cauldron. If you don't already have a cauldron available, you can craft one using 7 iron ingots.
- Fill the cauldron with the potion of weakness. You can pour potions into a cauldron by tapping/clicking the "use" button on it.
- Craft some arrows. Arrows are pretty easy to make, and are very useful to have in Minecraft. Craft some with sticks, flint, and feathers.
- Dip arrows into the cauldron. You can now take your arrows and dip them into the cauldron to coat them with the potion of weakness.
How to cure a zombie villager
Here's how to cure a zombie villager using your new supplies:
- Find a zombie villager. Zombie villagers have about a 1 in 20 chance of spawning instead of a normal zombie. Your best bet is to search around your village at night.
- Lure your zombie villager somewhere safe. You don't want anything interfering with this process. While being cured iron golems still see the zombie villager as hostile, and other hostile mobs will still attack you.
- Trap the zombie villager. The curing process is far from instant, so you'll want to trap the zombie villager while it happens. Anything will do the trick, but iron bars can potentially speed up the process.
- Apply the weakness effect. Whatever method you chose to apply the weakness effect to the zombie, now is the time to do it.
- Feed the golden apple to the zombie villager. Once the zombie villager is weakened, it should be susceptible to being fed a golden apple. Once you do, you'll see a particle effect around the zombie villager.
- Wait and watch. This process takes up to five minutes to fully finish. During this time the zombie villager is still hostile, so do not expose it to sunlight or let it out of its enclosure. After the time has passed, the zombie villager will turn into a villager.
You're a hero now
You've now cured a zombie villager! This is a great way to increase the population of villagers, especially if you no longer have enough villagers to breed anymore. You can use this method as many times as you want, too, so build up your army of very, very fragile villagers.
Have you cured a zombie villager? How did it go? Why did you do it? Sound off below!
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.