Donkeys are large creatures with an appearance smaller than a horse. They are gray in color with long ears, a short tail, and a short dark mane along the back of the neck.
Small/young donkeys are very similar in appearance, but shorter and slightly less bulky.
Donkeys are typically stubborn creatures and wonder aimlessly over the ground. A donkey's behavior usually consists of a few steps of movement then stopping to look at its surroundings before resuming its aimless movement. When stopped, a donkey will, at random, bray. Younger donkeys have a higher tone than when mature. Donkeys do not have a particular pattern to their movement and are able to climb blocks that are at most a one-block change in height. They do however, stay in the vicinity of carrots and carrot plants and do not stray too far from these.
While donkeys have no innate fear of Blockheads, they will attempt to flee from one that has attacked them. Adult donkeys tend to be slower than young ones and actually "run" slower than a Blockhead can pursue.
Donkeys currently have the most health of any non-playable, non-variable creature in the game. (Large sharks can have more.) They typically take a few more hits from a weapon or tool to kill than other creatures. Small donkeys have as much health as the larger ones. Whether dying on its own or killed, a dying donkey makes a distinctive braying sound before falling to the ground.
Donkeys are a source of three things:
- Travel - Tapping an adult donkey with a carrot on a stick will allow a Blockhead to mount the donkey and ride it, allowing for quicker travel over land.
- Leather - Randomly dropped by a donkey when it dies.
- Carrots - Randomly dropped by a donkey when it dies.
Only full-sized donkeys will drop items.
For a quicker method of traveling on land, Blockheads are able to mount and ride donkeys.
To mount and ride a donkey, a Blockhead must craft and then use a carrot on a stick on the donkey. In doing so, a Blockhead will climb and mount the donkey and dangle the carrot on a stick in front of the donkey to coerce it walk. The donkey walks at a faster pace than a Blockhead by foot and is controlled by tilting the game device in the direction of travel. Donkeys are also able to jump over small obstacles and over changes of height that are up to at least three blocks high by swiping the game device UP while tilting the game device in the direction of travel.
The carrot on a stick does not need to remain the selected item during a ride. It can even be shifted into a nested slot where it can't be viewed and the ride will continue uninterrupted.
A donkey can be ridden through any space at least two blocks high, but not through doors. If there is a solid block above the donkey, the rider's head will appear to be inside the block but will take no harm.
While riding a donkey, a Blockhead will continue to pick up loose items it passes in front of. Note that as of version 1.4, the rider is fully elevated one block above the ground. While its donkey is jumping, a riding Blockhead will pick up loose items in the spaces it intersects.
Donkeys will swim if ridden into water. They aren't terribly fast swimmers, and sometimes appear to be completely submerged. It may be necessary to make a donkey "jump" to clear an underwater rise.