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How To Breed Horses And Mules In Minecraft

Despite all the drama surrounding "Minecraft" speedruns, the incredibly expansive sandbox crafting game isn't all about optimizing progression times to kill the Ender Dragon as quickly as possible. Even without leaving the Overworld dimension, there are a multitude of biomes to find with exclusive blocks as well as flora and fauna that can't be found anywhere else— a single generated "Minecraft" world is over five times bigger than Earth itself, offering players miles and miles of ground to cover.

The main problem with exploring all that "Minecraft" has to offer is, ironically, this very expansiveness. Players can only move so fast without the help of transportation vehicles in the form of boats and minecarts, and they have a limited inventory in which to be hauling their finds back to base. The inventory issue is mostly solved when it comes to traveling over water, as you can just make and bring a boat with a chest — but over land, the task of creating minecart rails through every new area you explore can get very costly.

Thankfully, there is a very handy solution in the form of mules. Like in real life, these "Minecraft" animals are the offspring of horses and donkeys and carry the best traits of both: faster than donkeys, while still able to be equipped with chests where horses can't. Unfortunately, they don't spawn naturally and must be bred from a player-tamed horse and donkey — here's a rundown on how to breed horses, donkeys, and mules in "Minecraft."

Find a wild horse and donkey to tame

First off, you'll have to find and tame a wild horse and donkey. Horses spawn in the Plains and Savannah biomes in herds of 2-6, making them fairly easy to find unless your world seed has spawned you in a more exotic biome to start with. Donkeys may or may not be harder to find depending on which edition you're playing: "Java Edition" players will find them spawning in very small numbers in Plains, Savannahs, and Meadows, while "Bedrock Edition" has them spawning in groups of 2-6 in Plains with a light level of 7 or above — i.e., about as common as horses. Before you go out looking, however, make sure you have a saddle or lead on you, as you will not be able to control the horse or donkey's movement without one of either item.

The process of taming the creatures is the same: With an empty hand, press the "use" button on the horse or donkey to mount it. Very likely, it will buck you off after a few seconds, and the trick is to continue doing so until it gives off heart particles and no longer tries to buck you off. Since this is based on randomly rolled chances, you might either tame one on your first try, or be left clicking and clicking on a horse or donkey to no avail — in that case, it's probably best to just move on to another nearby candidate.

Grab some apples, carrots, and gold

Similarly to taming, the process of breeding is the same for horses and donkeys — and most other tameable mobs in the game, for that matter. You have to put two adult animals of the same species in proximity to each other, then feed both of them the food item that puts that species of animals into "love mode." They'll then approach each other with heart particles before producing a new baby animal. Horses and donkeys are the only species in the game that can cross-breed: Breeding a horse with a horse will create a horse foal, two donkeys will produce a donkey foal, and a horse and a donkey will produce a mule foal. 

The "love mode" food for horses and donkeys is the Golden Apple or Golden Carrot – unfortunately, regular apples and carrots won't do the trick. Golden Carrots are by far the more cost-effective option, as they only require 8 Gold Nuggets with a carrot as opposed to the 8 Gold Ingots needed to make Golden Apples. On the flipside, however, there's the fact that carrots can only spawn in Villages while apples can be obtained from any Oak or Dark Oak leaf decay/breakage. If you've had extraordinarily bad luck with your world seed and can't find any Villages whatsoever, just stock up on as much gold as you can — good sources are mining in Badlands biomes or hunting Piglins in the Nether via some easily made mob farms.