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Zombies vs Zombie Pigmen in Minecraft: How different are the mobs?

Zombie with armor (Image via minecraft.wikia)
Zombie with armor (Image via minecraft.wikia)
Holly Ellison
Modified 03 Apr 2021

Zombies and zombie pigmen are the main mobs of their respective dimensions in Minecraft. In the overworld, zombies roam around and hunt players at night, and in the Nether world zombie pigmen will do the same if attacked.

Although these two are both undead mobs and have similar names, these two are quite different in many ways. This is how zombies and zombie pigmen are different in Minecraft.

Differences between zombies and zombie pigmen in Minecraft


Zombies and zombie pigmen have different timelines in Minecraft. Zombies came first in the game, appearing all the way back in Minecraft Java Edition Classic Survival Test. This was even before the Minecraft Indev version of the game was released.

Zombies back then could appear with iron armor, but this armor didn't protect zombies from damage. The zombies back then didn't just fight players, though they would fight skeletons that shot them. Zombies these days would also drop feathers, but the developers soon changed these mechanics to fit the zombies we know today.

Zombie pigmen were first added to Minecraft back in Minecraft Alpha Edition of the game. These pigmen went through numerous updates, including their player forgiveness update in 2010.



Zombies and zombie pigmen may both be undead mobs but they don't look much alike.

Zombies in Minecraft (Image via turbosquid)
Zombies in Minecraft (Image via turbosquid)

Zombies resemble the player (Steve) dressed in a tattered light blue shirt and tattered dark blue pants like the player. Zombies are characterized by their dark green skin and their arms which are always sticking out in an attempt to attack players and villagers.

Zombie pigman Minecraft (Image via
Zombie pigman Minecraft (Image via

Zombie pigmen have a very unique appearance. Their skin isn't all one color like the zombies. Zombie pigmen have mostly pink skin like a pig, with green and white speckles on their bodies which resembles zombified flesh and the bones underneath.


Zombie pigmen are often seen carrying gold swords and with their hands out as well as the regular zombie.


Zombies and zombie pigmen definitely have a few key behavior differences towards players and with interaction with each other.

Zombies are hostile towards players all the time. If they come within close range to a player they will follow and attempt to kill the players until the player leaves close range. Zombies aren't intelligent mobs and are quite easy to kill.

Zombies are also hostile towards villagers and will attack them the same way they would attack a player. If zombies are strong enough and the difficulty is high enough in Minecraft, then zombies are capable of breaking down wooden doors.

Zombies who attack villagers are capable of turning the villagers into zombie villagers. These zombie villagers are a bit different from regular zombies, they keep their villager appearance, except their skin changes to green resembling the zombie status.


Zombie pigmen are neutral mobs towards players unless the player attacks. When the player attacks zombie pigmen, any zombie pigmen in the area will swarm towards the player and try to kill them. Zombie pigmen will continue to attack players who come into the Nether after a certain amount of time (two Minecraft days) until they revert to their natural neutral demeanor towards players.

Zombie pigmen act as a unit and seem to be protective of one another. This is much different from zombies, who have no semblance of protectiveness for their zombie counterparts.

Drowned variants

One other major difference between zombies and zombie pigmen is the different variant that exists for zombies. Zombies have two variants called the husk and the drowned. Husks and drowns act like regular zombies except they spawn in different places and can all be converted to the other through water exposure.

Zombie pigmen have no such variant.

Similarities between zombies and zombie pigmen

Baby variants


Both zombies and zombie pigmen have baby variants of their mobs.

Baby zombies are jokingly the most overpowered mob in Minecraft because players have much greater difficulty killing baby zombies than they do regular zombies. Baby zombies are much faster and even stronger sometimes than regular zombies.


Zombie pigmen next to Nether portal (Image via YouTube)
Zombie pigmen next to Nether portal (Image via YouTube)

Both zombies and zombie pigmen can travel through Nether portals upon coming into contact with the portal blocks. Some players will trick either mob into entering the portal by passing through the portal and waiting for the mobs to go into the portal in their attempt to catch the player.

This is great in the short term but once the player crosses over that portal the mobs will be waiting for the player all over again.

Who would win in a fight


?A fight between zombies and zombie pigmen in vanilla Minecraft would be either extremely rare or impossible. These two mobs rarely interact since zombies roam in the overworld, and zombie pigmen roam in the Nether. Besides that crucial fact, zombies and zombie pigmen are extremely unlikely to hit each other unless by accident.

If these two were to fight, the zombie pigmen would most likely win. This is because zombie pigmen work as a team to take down opponents and are also likely to have gold swords for combat use. Zombies don't fight in coordinated attacks and aren't that bright when it comes to movement. It's almost like zombie pigmen are more alive and smarter than the regular zombies.

Also read: 5 most annoying mobs in Minecraft

Published 03 Apr 2021, 00:58 IST
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