WTF Even Are Phantoms

Sometimes I think that maybe I shouldn’t have taken such a long break from Minecraft. I stopped playing at around Minecraft 1.8, and now we’re on Minecraft 1.16. Although I did play Pixelmon for a bit, that wasn’t quite the same as modern Minecraft. Turns out, many, many mods and modded servers use 1.12. And a huge number of larger Minecraft servers actually remain in the past, stuck on 1.12. Namely because that version runs better with lots of concurrent players.

Funnily enough, this also coincides with the combat changes in 1.9, but even by 1.8, I was kinda getting tired of Minecraft.

Turns out, I missed a lot.

All the cool stuff kinda came after 1.9. Villagers were completely reworked, we got way more evil structures and we even got bees. Just like the end in 1.9, the Nether got a huge update and is no longer only one biome. However, we also got quite a few new enemies to go with these biomes and reworks. While some *cough* Husks *cough* are simply zombies but for other biomes, we got some unique enemies too. Zombie Pigmen became Zombified Piglins, and normal Piglins are their own gold-loving mobs now. There are also bees as big as your head.

But I’ve left out one new enemy. One that looks cool but annoys the heck out of me.

Phantoms in a Savanna next to a Creeper
Phantoms in a Savanna next to a Creeper


Phantoms are small, blue and black flying things. While they look pretty cool, Phantoms are designed to do one thing: punish insomniacs. If you don’t sleep for 3 in-game days, Phantoms appear and attack you. They spawn at night and swoop down at you from great heights, before flying away again. And they spend a long time flying away, circling ominously, before swooping down again. Phantoms ignore the mob-spawning cap, meaning they can spawn even if you’re in the middle of a zombie horde.

What I find creepy though is how Phantoms look pretty different to everything else. Are they miniature dragons with no arms? Skeletal, undead bats? Who knows? The original skins for them made them look somewhat End-related, but now they… almost stick out. Like weird, floating rectangles.

Of course, Phantoms also sound pretty fucking hellish. They hiss at you, and cats hiss back at them.

Thankfully, you can avoid them.

All you have to do is go to sleep more than once every three days. In fact, you don’t even need to sleep, you just need to try and sleep.That stops them from spawning, and you no longer get any nightmares. Seems like a simple fix, right? Not always. You don’t always have a bed available, and might be busy doing other things.

Phantoms aren’t even that hard to deal with (unless you’re lacking a bow) and their drop, Phantom Membrane, is kinda useful. Being able to repair the insanely rare Elytra is very handy. But having to keep track of time is just another annoying chore, especially when working on larger projects. Or exploring other dimensions, I guess.

It could be worse, I guess.

I suppose Phantoms are at least unique. As nightmare enemies spawned by not sleeping, Phantoms could have easily been zombies. Or maybe even another type of Illager. Instead, we got these interesting bat/stingray creatures. It’s a genuinely cool design, and I can definitely see why people voted for them at MineCon. Unfortunately, their implementation left a little to be desired. These guys could have been awesome neutral mobs like Dolphins, or maybe more closely related to the Ender Dragon.

What we got instead are swooping bastards who punish you for not using beds.

At least Phantoms aren’t as bad as Ghasts


Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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