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Guide to Minecraft Enchantments


Enchantments are a core part of Minecraft. They give your armor, tools, weapons, and other items huge buffs and more versatility, and some enchantments are absolutely essential for late-game (post-dragon fight) progression.

How do I get enchantments?

Enchantments can be obtained in a number of ways. The enchantment table block allows you to enchant armor, tools, and weapons. It offers you three enchantment levels to choose from, and those levels depend on the number of bookshelves placed one block away from the table (up to 15 bookshelves, which gives level 30 enchantments). It uses lapis lazuli and experience levels to enchant.

The anvil is the other way to enchant, and certain items can only be enchanted this way. You can either combine an enchanted item with another item (enchanted or unenchanted) to transfer or combine enchantments; or combine something with a book which has the enchantment you want on it. Books are very useful, since they allow you to put specific enchantments on items rather than having to roll the table over and over again. Some enchantments can only be applied this way. To apply an enchantment book, simply place the item you want to enchant in the first slot of the anvil, and the book in the second. It will have a certain EXP level requirement.

You can also disenchant items using a grindstone, which will remove all enchantments (except curses) from an item and give back some of the EXP used on the item.

Types of Enchantments


Unbreaking I-III: Unbreaking can be applied to any item that can be enchanted and which has durability. It gives the enchanted item a chance (20% at level I, 27% at level II, and 30% at level III) to ignore a use when reducing durability. For example, a pickaxe with Unbreaking III would have a 30% chance to not reduce the durability each time it’s used. At level III, this effectively triples the lifespan of armor, tools, weapons, and anything else enchanted with it.


Protection I-IV: Protection enchantments reduce the total amount of damage taken by the player. There are four different protection enchantments, each with a maximum level of IV, and each reducing a different type of damage; however, they are all mutually exclusive, so only one of these enchantments can be present on a single piece of armor when enchanting in survival mode. It is possible to get an armor piece with more than one of these enchantments using commands, as a mob drop, or in version 1.14. Additionally, although the damage reduction from having these enchantments on multiple pieces of armor does stack, the game puts a hard cap on the percentage of reduction at 80% for a single protection type.

  • Protection reduces damage from (almost) all sources by 4% per level. It does not reduce damage from the void or from hunger.

  • Fire Protection reduces damage from fire by 8% per level. It also reduces the amount of time for which the player is on fire by 15% per level, but this time reduction does not stack; only the armor piece with the highest level of Fire Protection will be considered.

  • Blast Protection reduces damage from explosions (including creepers, ghasts, beds, and TNT) by 8% per level. It also reduces knockback taken from explosions by 15% per level.

  • Projectile Protection reduces damage from projectiles (including arrows, tridents, ghast fireballs, blaze fireballs, wither skulls, and Shulker projectiles) by 8% per level. This enchantment does not reduce damage from splash potions of harming, fireworks, or dragon fireballs, though those are classed as projectiles.

Thorns I-III: Thorns can be applied to any armor piece. The enchantment reflects some of the damage dealt to the player back at their attacker, and has a chance to deal 1-4 points of damage to the attacker. This chance increases by 15% per level. The percent chance stacks with multiple pieces of armor, but the amount of damage dealt is capped at 4 points (2 hearts).

Respiration I-III: Respiration is a helmet enchantment, and increases the amount of time you can spend underwater before needing to get air by 15 seconds per level. This effect stacks with that of the Turtle Shell helmet, which extends that time by an additional 10 seconds.

Aqua Affinity I: Aqua Affinity is a helmet enchantment, and allows you to mine at normal speed underwater.

Depth Strider I-III: Depth Strider is a boots enchantment, and reduces the amount that water slows the player by ⅓ for each level (at level III, the player swims at the same speed as they walk). It also reduces the speed at which flowing water pushes the player.

Feather Falling I-IV: Feather Falling is a boots enchantment, and reduces the amount of fall damage taken by 12% per level. This stacks with the damage reduction from Protection. This enchantment also reduces the damage taken from ender pearl teleportations.

Melee weapons (swords and axes)

Sharpness I-V: Sharpness adds an additional (0.5 * level) + 0.5 damage to each hit dealt with the weapon. Sharpness is mutually exclusive with Smite and Bane of Arthropods.

Smite I-V: Smite adds an additional 2.5 damage per level when attacking undead mobs. Smite is mutually exclusive with Bane of Arthropods and Sharpness.

Bane of Arthropods I-V: Bane of Arthropods adds an additional 2.5 damage per level when attacking spiders or cave spiders. Additionally, it inflicts Slowness IV on spiders when hit for a random duration between 1 and 1.5 seconds at level I. Each level increases the maximum duration by 0.5 seconds. Bane of Arthropods is mutually exclusive with Sharpness and Smite.

Fire Aspect I-II: Fire Aspect sets mobs on fire when hit for four seconds per level. When a mob that drops raw meat is killed with a Fire Aspect sword, it will drop cooked meat instead, even if it is killed in water.

Sweeping Edge I-III: Sweeping Edge is a sword enchantment that increases the sweeping damage to 50% of the sword’s attack damage at level I, 67% at level II, and 75% at level III.

Knockback I-II: Knockback pushes mobs away from the player when struck. The sword’s knockback effect is increased by 3 blocks per level.

Looting I-III: Looting increases the chances for a mob to drop rare items, and increases the number of items dropped. It does this in multiple ways:

  • It increases the maximum number of common drops by 1 per level. A zombie killed by a non-looting sword has a chance to drop 1-2 rotten flesh; one killed by a Looting III sword has a chance to drop 1-5.

  • It increases the chance of uncommon drops by making the game try to drop an uncommon item twice instead of just once.

  • It increases the chance of rare drops by 1% per level of looting. Exceptions to this are the rabbit’s foot, the chance of which increases by 3% per level; and Shulker shells, which increase by 6.25% per level.

Looting does not affect the number of EXP orbs dropped by mobs.

Ranged weapons (bows and crossbows)

Power I-V: Power increases the base damage dealt by arrows by 25% per level.

Flame: Flame makes arrows set mobs on fire for 5 seconds. Flaming arrows will also ignite TNT.

Infinity: Infinity, mutually exclusive with Mending, allows bows (but not crossbows) to not consume normal arrows when shot. This does not apply to tipped or spectral arrows. The player must have at least one normal arrow in their inventory for Infinity to work. Arrows shot from an Infinity bow cannot be picked up.

Multishot: Multishot allows crossbows to shoot two additional arrows when firing without consuming those extra arrows (one shot will consume one arrow, but shoot three). Only one arrow can be recovered. This also applies to fireworks shot from a crossbow.

Piercing I-IV: Piercing allows arrows shot from a crossbow to pass through a number of mobs equal to the enchantment level. It also allows crossbow arrows to ignore blocking shields.

Punch I-II: Punch functions the same as Knockback, but applies to arrows shot from a bow.

Quick Charge I-III: Quick Charge decreases the amount of time needed to reload a crossbow by 0.25 seconds per level.


Efficiency I-V: Efficiency increases the mining speed of pickaxes, axes, shovels, and hoes when used to break the correct block (a pickaxe will receive the speed increase when mining stone, but not when mining dirt). It increases speed by (1 + level^2). This effect stacks with that of Haste (which increases mining and attack speed by 20% per level), allowing a player affected by Haste II to instantly break stone with an Efficiency V diamond or Netherite pickaxe. Efficiency also increases the chance for an axe to stun a shield by 5% per level.

Fortune I-III: Fortune functions as Looting for tools, and is mutually exclusive with Silk Touch. It increases drops from certain blocks in the following ways:

  • For most ores, Fortune I increases drops by an average of 33%; Fortune II increases drops by an average of 75%; and Fortune III increases drops by an average of 120%. Prior to version 1.16, this includes coal, diamonds, lapis, emeralds, and Nether quartz; after 1.16, it also includes Nether gold; and after 1.17, it also includes iron, gold, copper, and amethyst clusters.

  • For other blocks that may drop multiple items, Fortune increases the maximum number of possible drops by 1 per level. This includes glowstone, melons, sea lanterns, nether wart, and sweet berries, but does not include other crops. Redstone is classed as this type of block, and drops from it are increased this way rather than the way used by other ores.

Fortune does not increase the number of EXP orbs dropped by coal, diamond, redstone, Nether quartz, Nether gold, or lapis ores.

Silk Touch: Silk Touch makes things drop their block forms rather than the items they would normally drop. Pickaxe mining level still applies to ores, meaning that a wooden pickaxe with Silk Touch will still destroy diamond ore without dropping anything. This enchantment works on most blocks, with the exceptions being:

  • All crop blocks, cake, budding amethyst, cocoa pods, farmland, fire, frosted ice, grass path, and monster spawners all cannot be picked up with Silk Touch.

  • When mined with Silk Touch, infested blocks will drop the original version of that block, not the infested version (e.g. an infested stone block broken with Silk Touch will drop normal stone, and will not spawn a silverfish).

Fishing rods

Luck of the Sea I-III: Luck of the Sea increases the likelihood of obtaining good loot from fishing. It increases the chance of fishing treasure loot by 2% per level; decreases the chance of fishing junk loot by 2% per level; and decreases the chance of catching fish by 0.15% per level.

Lure I-III: Lure decreases the amount of wait time between casting and having something “bite” the hook by 5 seconds per level.


Riptide I-III: Riptide allows tridents to throw the player along with the trident when used in water, rain, or snow. The distance launched increases by (6 * level) + 3 blocks while in rain, snow, or while standing in water; and by (4 * level) + 3 while underwater or swimming. Riptide tridents cannot be thrown normally, but will deal damage as if they were thrown if the player collides with a mob while using it. Riptide is mutually exclusive with Loyalty and Channeling.

Loyalty I-III: Loyalty causes the trident to return to the player after it collides with a block or mob when thrown. Higher levels decrease the amount of time between throwing and returning. This only applies to thrown tridents; dropped tridents are not affected. A Loyalty-enchanted trident will not return to the player if thrown into the void.

Impaling I-V: Impaling increases the damage dealt by tridents to aquatic mobs by 2.5 damage per level. Drowned are not affected because they are classed as undead mobs, not aquatic mobs.

Channeling: If certain conditions are met, Channeling summons a bolt of lightning when the enchanted trident strikes a mob. This will only work in a thunderstorm, if the mob is exposed to open sky, and if the mob is on dry land. Under the same conditions, it will also work when a lightning rod is struck.

Treasure enchantments

Treasure enchantments are ones that cannot be obtained from an enchantment table - they must be applied using books, acquired from loot chests, fishing, or trading. They can also be found applied to armor pieces, weapons, and tools in loot chests or as mob drops.

Frost Walker I-III: Frost Walker is a boots enchantment that freezes water underneath the player's feet as they walk (but not if falling, flying, or jumping). Each level increases the radius of the effect and the duration before the ice begins melting. Additionally, this enchantment prevents damage from standing on campfires and magma blocks. It is mutually exclusive with Depth Strider.

Soul Speed I-III: Soul Speed is a boots enchantment that increases the speed at which the player walks over soul sand and soul soil. In addition to allowing the player to walk at normal speed over soul sand, it increases the player’s speed while walking on both blocks as if they were affected by Swiftness I. This is the only enchantment that can’t be traded for with librarian villagers; it can only be obtained by finding it in a Bastion remnant, or by bartering with piglins.

Mending: Mending is one of the most useful enchantments in the game. Like Unbreaking, it can be applied to any item that can be enchanted and which has durability. It repairs the durability of enchanted items using EXP orbs collected by the player using the following mechanics:

  • For every one point of experience inside an EXP orb, two durability points can be repaired. If all items have been repaired and there is still EXP remaining, it will be added to the player’s EXP bar.

  • Only equipped items (items in armor slots, the offhand, or the main hand) will be repaired.

  • If there are multiple equipped items that have Mending and need to be repaired, the enchantment will randomly select one for each EXP orb collected. Items at full durability are ignored by the enchantment, and will not be selected. There is no weighting system for which item will take priority when being repaired; it is completely random.

  • Even if the player is wearing or holding items with Mending, if they are at full durability, all EXP will be added to their total as normal.

Curse enchantments

Curse enchantments are the only negative enchantments in the game. They are technically “treasure enchantments,” and as such can only be obtained in loot chests, trading, or fishing. They are often found applied to armor or tools from ruined portal, Bastion remnant, and End City loot.

Curse of Binding: Curse of Binding applies to anything that can be worn (including armor, mob or player heads, pumpkins, and elytras), and prevents the player from removing the worn item. The only way to remove a worn item with this enchantment is by breaking it (if it has durability) or death, making it particularly dangerous for people who play in hardcore mode.

Curse of Vanishing: Curse of Vanishing can apply to any item that can be enchanted. It causes the item to disappear when dropped on death.

Like enchantments, potions are also a core part of the game that provide many different utilities and capabilities to the player. Check back next week for a post all about potions!


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