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How to find and kill the Ender Dragon in Minecraft

Beat the boss of Minecraft

Steve and Alex fight the Ender Dragon in Minecraft Image: Mojang/Microsoft
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Minecraft is an open-world sandbox game with no end, but lots of players consider killing the Ender Dragon as “beating the game.”

To find and kill the beast, you’ll have to craft quite a few items to prepare, while also tracking it down.

Preparing to fight the Ender Dragon

To prepare for the fight, you should make Diamond armor pieces, a Diamond Sword, and a bow with lots of arrows. (You can use Netherite armor and swords, but honestly, that’s overkill.) Ideally, you’ll want the sword to have a level three or higher Sharpness enchantment and the bow to have a level three or higher Power enchantment. If you can get an Infinity enchantment on the bow so you won’t need any arrows, that’ll work even better. Since the Ender Dragon flies around, your best bet at damaging it will be firing arrows at it. You’ll also want to have lots of spare dirt blocks to build simple towers with and a Shovel to break them.

Some players also take buckets of water, so when they fall from a tower, they can quickly use the bucket to land in water, rather than taking fall damage. If you don’t want to use a bucket, you can also make Potions of Slow Falling to remove that risk.

There will also be a ton of Endermen hanging out during the Ender Dragon fight, so if you’re having a hard time looking away from the Endermen, you can wear a Carved Pumpkin.

You’ll also need many Eyes of Ender to find and activate the End Portal. Eye of Enders are made from one Blaze Powder (found in the Nether from Blazes) and one Ender Pearl (dropped by Endermen).

A Minecraft crafting screen showing how to make an Eye of Ender Image: Mojang/Microsoft via Polygon

How to find the Ender Dragon

To reach the Ender Dragon, you’ll need to find a Stronghold on the overworld map. These are underground and can be found using an Eye of Ender. Using the Eye will cause it to fly up into the sky in the direction of the Stronghold. Continue to follow it and the eye will begin to float lower, which means you are close to the Stronghold and need to start digging.

An Eye of Ender floats in the sky, pointing the player in the direction to find a Stronghold Image: Mojang/Microsoft via Polygon

Note that the Eye of Ender will break after using it several times, so you’ll need to preserve your uses and make a handful of them to successfully find the Stronghold.

Strongholds are big stone mazes, so once you dig where the Eye showed you to, keep an eye out for Stone Bricks. Once you get in the Strondhold, you’ll need to find the room with the End Portal.

It may take a while to find the End Portal room. We recommend blocking off paths you’ve already taken or marking paths with torches as you go to avoid getting lost.

Once you find the End Portal room, you’ll need to fill up the portal border with 12 Eye of Enders to activate it. (Some of the slots may already have Eyes, which means you’ll need slightly fewer.) Once the portal is up and running, jump in to head to The End and find the Ender Dragon.

An open End Portal in Minecraft, complete with Eyes of Ender Image: Mojang/Microsoft via Polygon

Killing the Ender Dragon

There are two parts to the Ender Dragon fight.

The first part involves taking down glowing End Crystals sitting atop Obsidian towers. Some will have metal cages around them. Use your Dirt blocks to elevate yourself up the towers. From the dirt tower you make, you’ll be able to aim up and into the End Crystal cage from the corner. Place your cursor on top of the crystal and smash away. The remaining End Crystals with no cages can be broken using bow and arrows. Any crystals that are too hard to shoot can be destroyed by building Dirt block towers to get an easier shot, but keep in mind that if you are on top of the tower when the End Crystal is destroyed, you will take a lot of damage. Try to be far from the tower when the End Crystal is destroyed.

A Minecraft Dirt tower to access an End Crystal
Your Dirt tower should point you up at the End Crystal like so
Image: Mojang/Microsoft via Polygon

After all the End Crystals are broken, the Ender Dragon will fly down, allowing you to jump and slice at its tail. It will eventually fly back up into the air, at which point you can fire arrows to damage it.

While this is happening, the Ender Dragon will shoot fireballs at you, so make sure to listen carefully and dodge them accordingly. The dragon may also launch you in the air, which is why you want buckets of water or Potions of Slow Falling with you.

How long the fight against the Ender Dragon takes is dependent on the gear you have. The better gear you have, the shorter the fight will be, as you’ll be able to dish out more damage. If you’re fighting it for the first time, take your time. Dodge the attacks (and the surrounding Endermen) to kill the dragon at your own pace, as racing through can lead to careless mistakes and death.

When the Ender Dragon dies, a portal will open up, allowing you to leave the End.

You’ll also get a ton of player experience and a Dragon Egg will drop, which you can place anywhere as a trophy for your achievement.

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