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How to Build a Duck Hunter Mini-Game in Minecraft

Note: This guide was written before Command Blocks were a thing.

The older minecrafters among you will probably remember the old duck hunter game from the NES, this game is (almost) exactly that game. The aim of chicken hunter is to kill all the chickens before they reach the ground by shooting them with a bow and arrow. Other objects and mobs can be used, but we’ll get into that later. Though chickens have do have the advantage of falling slowly while they flap their wings.

The game is usually played on your own, though larger versions could be built for more players or perhaps even team vs team styles by building 2 fields.

Building the Game

This game requires a basic knowledge of redstone as we’ll be using automated dispensers to “dispense” chickens using spawn eggs. The dispensers will be attached to a redstone clock, which will be togglable. You can go all out on this and make more complicated versions, with automatic field clearing systems (pistons?), score boards and by even making a dog pop up, like in the original game. But in our example we’re keeping it to a basic setup.

Begin by creating a frame, it doesn’t really matter what blocks you use or what size it is, but try to make it look fun and inviting. This frame will basically be your computer screen for this mini game, as chickens will be falling from the top to the bottom.

Next, setup some dispensers behind the top of the frame, these will be dropping the chickens at different intervals. Connect the dispensers with redstone repeaters and set each to a different time, preferably long times. This is to make sure you don’t have a large amount of chickens spawn at the same time.

Now connect all the repeaters with redstone and lead it to another place where you can build a redstone clock. To mimic the original game, try to make a clock with larger intervals, this way each wave of chickens will have a slight pause between them.

Now create a t flip flop which will connect and disconnect the clock from the dispensers. This is one of the easiest ways to create a start and stop button for your game. Connect the t flip flop to a button at the front of the frame, wherever you want to place the start and stop button.

You’ve now created the basic structure, all that’s left to do now is fill the dispensers with spawn eggs and make everything look much better by hiding the redstone and making the overall mini game structure look good. Add a tree and a bush somewhere behind the frame and grass in front to mimic the general look of the original game.

You could add a lava pit or something similar at the bottom of the frame, under the dispensers. This way you don’t have to kill any chicken that wasn’t shot by the player. Alternatively, build a large pit and put some ocelots in it. They’ll kill the chickens, eventually.

Note that our simplistic version will always spawn at least 2 chickens (the middle dispensers) in the same interval, so people will be able to recognize the pattern and aim accordingly. The other chickens also spawn in same intervals, but their intervals are considerably longer, so their dispense rate appears to be more randomized to the player.

If you want to prevent this, either spawn more chickens than somebody could possible shoot or create a different redstone system that randomizes the dispense rates. A simple solution would be to add one ore more pulse limiters and one or more pulse delayers to the circuits leading to each individual dispensers, which will be turned on and off by clocks as well.

Though this could lead to a huge redstone circuit, which would have to be hidden. More compact solutions are available, but those usually require more advanced knowledge of redstone circuitry, which we won’t go into in this guide.


Once you’ve got everything set up it’s time to play. Push the button to connect the clock to the dispeners and wait for the chickens to pop out. The player has to shoot the chickens with a bow and arrow before they reach the ground (or fall into a death pit). You could play several rounds or untill the player has missed a certain amount of chickens. After the game is over, bring in the next player and see if a new chicken killing record can be set.

Other Versions

As mentioned at the start, other mobs and items could be used instead of chickens. However, they all fall much faster than chickens, so a higher frame is usually advised.

The big advantage other mobs and items like boats and minecarts have, is that they have more health. This means they can be pushed back against a wall, which will then cause them to fall onto a pressure plate, which could then activate a sound or perhaps a dog will pop up, like in the original duck hunter. You can kill any mob that’s alive on the pressure plates by using dispensers to shoot fire charger, which are linked to the same pressure plates they’re standing on.

You could also use chicken eggs instead of a bow and arrow, which will knock back the chickens and could spawn a chick. Those chicks could count as a bonus point, or perhaps as minus points as people could simply shoot all their eggs in the hope more chicks will spawn. The same goes for snowballs, though they obviously don’t spawn chicks.