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Minecraft Villagers: Everything you need to know

MInecraft villager
(Image credit: Mojang)

The humble Minecraft Villager is one of the most important features of modern Minecraft. But you might not have realised this if you haven't paid attention to them recently. Gone are the days where they simply wandered around and got in your way. They’re now incredibly useful, and you can take advantage of this if you know how. If only there was a Minecraft Villager guide to show you the way...

What is a Minecraft villager?

Villagers are neutral mobs in Minecraft that serve a variety of purposes. Taller than the player when fully grown, Villagers tend to be found in the villages that spawn when the world is generated. They can fall in love with one another, have kids, get jobs, and can be traded with by the player. 

Several other mobs in-game—like Illagers and Witches—can be considered offshoots of Villagers due to using the same model as a base, but they aren’t true Villagers as they are hostile mobs with their own mechanics. One variation that can be lumped in with regular Villagers is the Zombie Villager, because they can be cured of their affliction by applying weakness to them and feeding them a Golden Apple. 

What do villagers do?

(Image credit: Mojang)

Villagers start off with no job and will tend to wander around until they find a purpose in life. That purpose tends to be a profession of some sort. You can influence these professions by placing specific blocks down. If an unemployed Villager comes across one, they’ll claim that block as their job site and change into a different outfit. The blocks that are required for these jobs are as follows:

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  • Blast Furnace: Armourer 
  • Smoker: Butcher
  • Cartography Table: Cartographer 
  • Brewing Stand: Cleric
  • Composter: Farmer
  • Barrel: Fisherman
  • Fletching Table: Fletcher
  • Lectern: Librarian 
  • Stonecutter: Mason
  • Loom: Shepherd
  • Smithing Table: Toolsmith 
  • Grindstone: Weaponsmith

Each profession will give the Villager a new set of items to trade for. If you’re willing to spend some time developing a village, this makes acquiring certain materials much easier than searching for them in the world. The quality of a Villager's trades improves as they gets better at the profession too, so it pays to keep an eye on them.

How to breed Minecraft Villagers

This bit is a little creepy, but you wanted to know everything, so here we go. You can breed the villagers in order to increase the population of a village, allowing for more professions and therefore more trades. 

Villagers will breed on their own anyway, so you don’t necessarily have to play cupid. But if you want to speed up the process, you start by making sure they have enough food, as a full stomach puts a Villager in the mood for love. A Villager will be sated by 3 Bread, 12 Carrots, 12 Potatoes, or 12 Beetroots. 

You need to do this with two Villagers to put them both in the mood, as well as ensuring they're in close proximity with one another. Finally, you need to provide them with a bed each, as well as a spare bed for the incoming baby. In this way, you can set up entire breeding factories if you want to (Minecraft is a weird game sometimes). 

The baby will grow up 20 minutes after being born, which is not a lot of time to figure out a career. Makes you appreciate those 16 years at school a little more.

What else you need to know

(Image credit: Mojang)

If lightning strikes a Villager, or near one, they’ll become a Witch, and I don't mean the kind that will attempt to sell you healing crystals. Witches are dangerous, so be sure to take them out.

Occasionally villages will get raided by Illagers. You can help to defend the village, and if you’re successful, you’ll earn the title ‘Hero of the Village’. This means you’ll get better rates on trades and can even end up with gifts from the humble townsfolk. It pays to be nice. 

Last of all, attacking a Villager will sour the entire village against you, resulting in higher demands when attempting to trade. You can offset this by saving them or taking the last item they offer in a trade, but it’s far simpler to just not attack them in the first place.