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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.