In vanilla Minecraft, bats serve very little gameplay purpose, outside of filling the unlit lower layers of the world with their shrill cries. Hence, they do not actually eat anything. However, the Pet Bat mod by AtomicStryker and the more recent Companion Bats mod by fulmineo64 enable the bats to eat pumpkin pies, which can tame these bats and make them your pets. After taming these tiny beasts, they can become worthwhile companions that provide an extra hand in fights and night vision.
In Minecraft, bats eat pumpkin pie once you enable the Pet Bat mod, which is a Minecraft mod developed by AtomicStryker and requires Minecraft Forge. It’s a fun mod that allows you to tame a bat that follows you around like Pikachu follows Ash.
Minecraft bats are passive flying mobs that spawn in dark areas underground, most commonly in caves. These mobs are smaller than a single block, and they usually fly around in a seemingly random way. When idle, they behave as a real-life bat would, perched upside-down on the underside of a solid block while emitting random bat cries.
They’re also not the most sociable mobs around, as they would flee when the player gets a bit too comfortable with their distance. However, as they mostly serve an aesthetic purpose in vanilla Minecraft, they also despawn when the player strays too far from them.
In vanilla Minecraft, they only spawn on layer 63 and below, and only if the light level of nearby blocks is 3 and there are at least 2 air blocks around. That means bats are unlikely to spawn above ground, since the light level there drops to 4 at night. However, in the spirit of Halloween, bats can spawn when the neighboring blocks have a light level of 6 and below from October 20 to November 2.
For now, bats in the base game don’t really do much aside from aesthetics. They’re what you can call “atmospheric mobs,” mobs that only spawn to enhance the atmosphere of a specific biome (in this case, the cave terrain). To emulate a truly real-to-life spelunking experience, you cannot just discount these resident critters from the image. However, in exchange, bats do only just that: emulate the experience by becoming a prop of the environment, and nothing more.
Of course, Minecraft mods can expand the game past the original limits that the developers set up, and so it shouldn’t be any surprise that several mods exist that allow you to tame a bat.
The Pet Bat Mod
The Pet Bat mod is a mod developed by AtomicStryker, which requires Minecraft Forge. The mod is quite straightforward; it allows you to tame a bat as long as you feed it with pumpkin pie. A tamed bat would then be named, like any other tamed beast, and would continually hover and follow you around.
Tamed bats also have cool features, such as being able to engage in combat against mobs that attack you and you have attacked, a 6-tier leveling system that makes them stronger, and even granting you night vision if you hold them. Significant upgrades include a lifesteal ability at level 3, and a shining effect similar to enchanted items at level 6, reflecting their strength at maximum power.
If they get defeated as they valiantly fought in your stead, they will instead return to your inventory, gravely hurt and cannot be deployed. They will need to be ‘fed’ by crafting them with a pumpkin pie, coming out as a healthy bat ready to be deployed again. You can also just simply drop pumpkin pie on the ground and they will eat it.
Unfortunately, the latest known version of the Pet Bat mod was 1.14, released on Curse. If you want to play on the more recent versions of Minecraft, you might want to opt for the next mod.
The Companion Bats Mod
The Companion Bats mod was developed by fulmineo64, who credited the Pet Bat mod as their inspiration for this mod. As it turns out, the Companion Bats mod is largely the same as the Pet Bat mod but with extra mechanics included.
In this mod, taming a bat gives you a flute to recall it to your inventory. You can also equip armor and accessories to your bat, the latter providing them with their class that gives them new effects and the former providing them with unique skills. These classes level up independently, and change the look of your bat. Additionally, tamed bats can also hold a bundle, which would allow them to pick up items on the ground and store them inside the bundle.
The Companion Bats mod is primarily available in Fabric, with the Forge version coming after the Fabric release. You can check out these mods here.
Vanilla Minecraft may not have done justice to many bat lovers out there among the playerbase, but dedicated independent developers with a great love to the game and to these special critters allow their existence in the game to be more than just mere “atmospheric mobs.” These initially annoying flying creatures that pester your eardrums every time you descend to the caves may now become your best friend and companion, journeying and growing with you.