Skeletons are a common hostile mob programmed to shoot arrows at you. These Skeletons spawn in light levels at or lower than seven, which means that can spawn at night, in dark caves, and in the ocean. Skeletons will track players from sixteen blocks away and upon spotting players they will be ready for their bows to shoot arrows at you. Their arrows are more accurate or less accurate depending on what difficulty you are playing on. They burn in the daylight and seek the shade of trees, clifftops, or water. Skeletons that spawn underwater will have a sword to melee attack you instead.
They can be dangerous to approach, especially when you have just started. Almost all skeletons will spawn with a bow to shoot arrows at you, but in the Bedrock edition, underwater skeletons will spawn with a sword to melee attack you instead. Knowing how skeletons behave will help you take them down easier.
Skeletons will spawn anywhere in the overworld where the light level is seven or lower. This means they can spawn at night, in dark caves, and in the ocean. Skeletons will even spawn in the nether, sometimes replacing wither skeletons.
Skeletons will also spawn in soul sand valleys in the nether.
There is another variant of a skeleton that can spawn in icy biomes called the stray. They have ragged clothes and an echoing rattle, strays will shoot arrows of slowness at you.
Strays are more dangerous as they can inflict slowness on you. Combined with their ranged attacks it may be difficult to close the distance on these enemies.
Skeletons will track players from sixteen blocks away. Once the skeleton has aggroed onto a player you can see them ready their bows to shoot arrows at you. Their arrows are more accurate or less accurate depending on what difficulty you are playing on.
In the Java edition, skeletons will sprint after players after they get out of range. In the Bedrock edition, skeletons will shoot their arrows faster if the player is closer. Their range advantage and increase in speed can make approaching skeletons difficult.
Skeletons will burn in the daylight and seek the shade of trees or clifftops to avoid burning to a crisp. They will also seek water, they do not swim, but they do not drown either. Some skeletons will spawn with armor and if they have a helmet they will be immune to daylight burning and track the player regularly until you run out of aggro range. Wearing a skeleton head will cut their aggro range in half, reducing their effective range to eight blocks.
Skeletons that spawn with swords will attempt to melee the player.
Skeletons will flee from wolves until they are attacked by one. Then they turn their attention to shooting the wolf.
Skeletons do not seem to be attracted to anything other than targeting the player. While they may not be interested in anything other than attacking the player, you can wear a skeleton head to prevent attracting them sooner.
If a skeleton is shooting tipped arrows, it will never run out. I tested a full set of netherite armor with Projectile Protection IV on Bedrock edition and the armor broke before the skeleton ran out of arrows. If they do run out of arrows, it is not soon enough to matter.
Every time a spider spawns, there is a 1% chance that it will spawn with a skeleton riding on it. The spider jockey is a very rare sight, but unfortunately, its rarity only increases its dangerousness. The spider jockey can climb walls and shoot you from a range. Take care of these enemies quickly or keep them far away.