Mob Spawner

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A player standing on top of a mob spawner.
When broken, spawners often leave visible flames floating where they were.
When spawners go very wrong...

"It's a flaming pig in a cage, why is it spitting out chickens?" ~Anonymous

A mob spawner is a block that intermittently produces either monsters or animals when the lighting and surrounding conditions are appropriate. They are naturally found in dungeons.


Obtaining spawners

Spawners can be found naturally occurring in dungeons.

Mob spawners in the MinecraftOnline server can be collected by hand, unlike in the vanilla server (where they don't drop an item when broken). Simply break them with a diamond pickaxe as usual.

Breaking spawners placed by other players counts as griefing, in the same way as any other player-placed block.

Alternatively, as with just about every other block, it can be purchased at shops if they stock it.

Setting up spawners

Once it has been placed, a spawner needs to be set to a specific monster type, using /setspawner <mob type>. A spawner type can also be changed at any time after placement with the same command.

Spawner types

Allowable mob types are:

  • Chicken
  • Pig
  • Cow
  • Sheep
  • Zombie
  • Skeleton
  • Spider
  • Cavespider
  • Creeper
  • Slime
  • MushroomCow
  • Bat

The other mob types have been deemed too unfair to allow to be produced with spawners, as harvesting their drops would make certain challenging aspects of the game too easy.


  • It used to be necessary to ask admins to convert mob spawners they found in dungeons to an item, although this is no longer the case thanks to a drunken idea by SlowRiot.
  • Previously mob spawners had to be configured using the /mspawn command by a moderator - this was a risky business, as there was a chance that a mistake could crash the server. This is no longer an issue since the creation of the /setspawner script.
  • Admins should take care not to confuse /setspawner with /setspawn - this is not the sort of mistake you want to make!
  • When broken, spawners often leave visible flames floating where they were. This can be fixed by relogging.
  • Spawners placed on grass produced invincible pigs before the 1.7 update, which were in fact client-side. Only you could see them, although most clients would produce their own invincible pigs when looking at the spawner, usually in different locations. They could be affected by you, but could move you around. It was one of Notch's little bugs caused by his deeply flawed philosophy of forking client code to make a server.
  • Zombie Pigmen (PigZombies) used to be permitted, as they dropped nothing. Now however they drop gold nuggets, making them a valuable resource.
  • Steves used to be able to be spawned, but Notch wrote them out of the game entirely. Villagers just aren't the same at all.

Further reading

See also

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