A Skeleton Horse in Minecraft standing on the beach.

How to Get a Skeleton Horse in Minecraft

Take a ride on a wild—and undead—side!

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

Key Takeaway

In Minecraft, Skeleton Horses have a very small chance to spawn when lightning strikes during a thunderstorm. You can tame one by approaching it and killing the Skeleton rider that appears on the Skeleton Horse’s back. Be wary not to kill the Skeleton Horse in the process.

There are few mounts cooler and scarier than the Skeleton Horse in Minecraft. However, they’re very rare. You’ll only find one if you’re patient and adventurous. Furthermore, Skeleton Horses only spawn during thunderstorms, so don’t skip these by sleeping in a Bed!

Table Of Contents

    Criteria for Spawning a Skeleton Horse in Minecraft

    A player spawning Skeleton Horses with Skeleton Horse Spawn Eggs.

    Before you try spawning a Skeleton Horse in Creative Mode, keep in mind that Skeleton Horses spawned this way cannot be ridden. Skeleton Horses can only be tamed by killing the Skeleton mob that rides their back; however, no such Skeleton mob spawns on the undead mount if you use a Skeleton Horse Spawn Egg. Therefore, you’ll never be able to ride a Skeleton Horse spawned from an egg in Creative Mode.

    Now, for spawning a rideable Skeleton Horse. Firstly, a Skeleton Horse has a very small chance of spawning when lightning strikes the ground during a thunderstorm. The odds are affected by the difficulty you’re playing on. Harder difficulties have higher chances of spawning a Skeleton Horse during a thunderstorm:

    • 1.5% on Easy Mode
    • 4% on Normal Mode
    • 6.75% on Hard Mode

    Furthermore, lightning created from using a Trident that has the Channeling Enchantment can never spawn a Skeleton Horse. What’s more, lighting that strikes a Lightning Rod also never spawns a Skeleton Horse.

    Taming a Naturally-Spawned Skeleton Horse

    If you do come across a naturally-spawned Skeleton Horse, you can tame it! As you approach the spectral steed, be careful, as a Skeleton rider spawns on its back when you get within 10 blocks. You must slay the Skeleton rider without killing the Skeleton Horse to tame the latter.

    Afterward, the Skeleton Horse is tamed and allows you to ride it. At this point, it acts like a regular Horse—minus the ability to be fed and bred.

    The Uses of a Skeleton Horse

    Like regular Horses, Skeleton Horses are great steeds as they allow you to travel and transport goods quickly. One way Skeleton Horses are better than their flesh and blood brethren is that Skeleton Horses can be ridden in water—specifically underwater.

    A Skeleton Horse underwater.

    Usually, when you ride a regular Horse through water, you’ll get forced off as your Horse swims around. With Skeleton Horses, you’ll instead slowly sink to the bottom of whatever river or ocean you’re in. Once you reach the riverbed or seafloor, you can gallop underwater without needing to worry about your mount. With that said, you still need to worry about yourself, as you can’t breathe underwater.

    To get around this, consume a Potion of Water Breathing and make use of the Respiration Enchantment. On top of this, remember that your Skeleton Horse cannot swim. Getting out of the water while astride requires you to find a slope you can ride up to the surface. Alternatively, you can bring a few stacks of Dirt to make your own ramp out of bodies of water.

    There have been tons of cool animal mobs added to Minecraft over the years besides the Skeleton Horse. For example, the odd but majestic Sniffers can help you find Torchflowers. Who knows what bizarre and beautiful fauna will get added next?

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