Vindicators are hostile mobs that look like villagers, they spawn in woodland mansions and take part in raids. They are illagers equipped with iron axes. They sound like normal villagers but their tone is a bit grunting. Illagers are a type of villagers that are outcasted as hostiles. They and villagers have a similar silhouette but appearance-wise are quite easy to tell apart. For starters, their skin is grey in color and they wear different clothes, also their eyes are blue instead of green.
A vindicator (via screenshot)
Vindicators will usually spawn with an enchanted iron ax in normal and hard difficulties. The chances (0-25%) are higher if the regional difficulty is higher.
When a woodland mansion generates vindicators spawn inside particular rooms in groups of 1-3 sometimes and an evoker accompanies them as well. They will rarely spawn in hallways and corridors. After spawning once they dont respawn and despawn naturally unless the world's difficulty is set to peaceful.
When a raid starts vindicators will spawn and join the raid. They are more in number and tougher as the waves progress. Sometimes vindicators riding ravagers can spawn creating a vindicator ravager jockey.
Vindicators raiding a village (via screenshot)
Upon spotting a player, iron golem, villager, and wandering trader vindicators will draw their iron ax and charge at their target. The enchantment of their iron ax and any other equipment scales with the difficulty level of the game. They are allies with pillagers but if accidentally shot by one they will attack back.
When idle vindicators will stow away their ax and cross their arms like villagers. When they are chasing a target they will brandish their ax. If they dont have any weapons they will simply raise an empty hand in Bedrock Edition, in Java Edition they raise both their hands when attacking similar to zombies.
If the world difficulty is set to Normal or Hard vindicators can break a wooden door. After killing all the villagers or destroying all the beds they will celebrate like how Illagers do.
An idle vindicator with its arms crossed (via screenshot)
Unlike Illager who attack on sight, vindicators can find their target regardless of the distance. When attacked vindicators will call for help from other vindicators around them meaning attacking one will aggravate all vindicators nearby. Just like villagers they can open and break doors and like a pillager’s crossbow, a vindicator’s ax can break.
Vindicators cannot walk and will only sprint even if they are idle or unprovoked. They can be equipped with armor with a dispenser however, carved pumpkins cannot be equipped.
Vindicators can easily kill you if you are lightly armored as they deal high damage and can practically one-shot players without armor, so it is crucial that you are well equipped with durable gear when fighting them.
They are really dangerous when grouped up so refrain from getting too close, using a bow to pick them off from a distance is a good strategy for dealing with them but keep in mind that they will charge at you after the first arrow hits. One thing to keep in mind is that vindicators can disable your shield as they use axes.
Vindicators who are armed can deal damage from 7.5 to 19.5 damage depending on the game difficulty. If unarmed they tie with piglin brutes for dealing the heaviest melee damage in the game, following the iron golem at 21 and the warden at 45 damage.
Dealing with multiple vindicators at mansions, raids, and any other location can be very dangerous even for veteran/experienced players.
An aggravated vindicator charging with his ax in the air (via screenshot)
A vindicator will only drop items when killed by a player or tamed wolf. They drop the following items:
Things are a little different in the Bedrock edition. If a vindicator spawns in a raid it will drop the following items:
They also have a 65% chance of dropping the following on Easy and Normal difficulties and an 80% chance of dropping them on the hard difficulty:
In short, vindicators are dangerous especially in groups, players must be well equipped before engaging them in combat. Getting surrounded by them can prove to be deadly so constantly moving around is recommended. Vindicators are tough to deal with making even the overworld a constant challenge for new/veteran players.
A. Yes, vindicators can wear armor.
A. Yes, they can break through wooden doors.
A. Yes, with a confusion potion and a golden apple a pillager can be turned back into a villager