How to defeat a Minecraft phantom, and use their gross membranes

Minecraft Phantom membrane uses
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Wondering how to defeat a Minecraft phantom? You can avoid meeting these flying threats completely if you keep a good sleep schedule—phantoms will only appear to pester you if you stay awake for three in-game days. And while it's usually in your interest to sleep once darkness falls, if you're busy working inside the safety of your base or below ground in the less-cozy confines of a mine shaft, it's easy to forget to get a little shut-eye.

If you happen to die at any point during that period, it will also count as sleeping, so if you're purposely staying awake to catch sight of a Minecraft phantom, make sure you're extra careful. These airborne stingrays also drop Phantom membranes if you manage to kill one, so this guide will help you out with that too. Here's everything you need to know about Minecraft phantoms and how to defeat them.

What you need to know about the Minecraft phantom

Ever stayed awake in Minecraft long enough to see a blue creature circling overhead? That's the Phantom, an undead hostile mob that preys on workaholic miners who haven't slept for three in-game days, or longer.

Best of Minecraft

Minecraf 1.18 key art

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft update: What's new?
Minecraft skins: New looks
Minecraft mods:  Beyond vanilla
Minecraft shaders: Spotlight
Minecraft seeds: Fresh new worlds
Minecraft texture packs: Pixelated
Minecraft servers: Online worlds
Minecraft commands: All cheats

Where do phantoms spawn? 

The overworld offers the ideal conditions to help you catch this beast, and they spawn during thunderstorms or at night. Standing outside in the open air with no blocks overhead (besides glass) encourages them to appear high in the sky. In contrast to other Minecraft meanies, phantom spawns depend on where you are on the map, rather than leaving it to chance. 

Avoid becoming a tasty midnight snack for these undead vultures by watching out for the smokey grey trails they leave in their wake. They tend to circle high above where you're standing, before dipping down to give you a nasty nip. To make matters worse, they're also remarkable swimmers.

Summoning phantoms

Providing you have cheats enabled, you can summon a phantom whenever you want. To turn cheats on, create a new world and click More world options. Ensure Allow cheats is on and create your world. 

Remember, phantoms will only stick around during the night so bear this in mind before attempting to summon them. To summon a phantom at your location, open the chat window and type /summon phantom.

Keeping phantoms at bay  

The best advice to keep out of the way of phantoms is by taking regular naps. If you're just too busy, keep a friendly feline closeby. Phantoms are seemingly wary of cats, and won't want to be too close to them. 

For a more aggressive solution, setting your trusty tamed wolf on them will do the trick. If you want to be a hero, you can always take matters into your own hands with a sword. Survive a phantom's advances long enough to see the sun again and these frightful flyers also burn in sunlight, akin to other undead mobs.

(Image credit: Mojang)

What is a Minecraft phantom membrane, and what does it do?

After you've slayed a phantom, it may leave you a gloopy chunk of membrane as a parting gift. This is essentially a portion of the phantom's skin. If you, or your tamed wolf manage to eliminate a phantom, you can expect the following drops:

  • 0-2 phantom membranes
  • 5 experience orbs

While a Minecraft phantom membrane doesn't serve much of a purpose on its own, it can be added to Minecraft potions or used to repair the rare Elytra wings.

Repairing Elytra

To repair your precious wings, combine your damaged Elytra with your phantom membrane using an anvil. Every phantom membrane accounts for 25 percent of the Elytra's durability, and repairs don't impact enchantments.    

Potion of Slow Falling recipe

Combining phantom membranes with an Awkward Potion creates a Potion of Slow Falling. To brew an Awkward Potion, simply add a Nether Wart to a water bottle. Awkward Potions create a base for you to add effects to. Adding a phantom membrane gains the Slowness effect.

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The best Minecraft Phantom skins

It's important to keep up with the hottest new looks in Minecraft and skins bring a little individually to your wardrobe. Let's be honest, who doesn't want to look like a big blue bird? Here are my top five picks:


The classic phantom style reimagined in human form. With your glowing green eyes and exposed stomach, jump out on your friends to give them a little scare. The head is just a mask that fits neatly over yours. Perfect for virtual fancy dress parties.

Link: Phantom  

Phantom Girl

Just when you thought phantoms couldn't get any cuter. Its face makes for a sweet little hat to show off long purple hair. Their tail has also been repurposed as a pair of blue boots. 

Link: Phantom_girl 

Phantom in a hoodie

This skin guarantees street cred. Colour-coordinating your shoes with your shirt ensures this look remains fresh and clean. 

Link: Phantom in a hoodie

Phantom in a suit

Spicing up that 'another day at the office' look with some monstrous fun. There's no shame in wanting to be presentable, and this phantom in a suit skin ticks all the boxes. Warning: this is sure to make your friends as green with jealousy as your snappy tie.  

Link: Phantom in a suit


If you were to visit a theme park that had a phantom as its mascot, this would be the suit employees would wear. Covering your entire body, this skin is probably the most realistic on offer right now, plus the detailing on the back looks awesome. Yes, this has the same name as the first skin, but they are different. We promise.

Link: Phantom 

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.