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Enchanting

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Enchantment table interface. Top: Without item. Bottom: With item, hovering over the second line.

Enchanting is a mechanic that augments armor, tools, weapons (swords and bows) and books with one or more of a variety of "enchantments" that improve an item's existing abilities or imbue them with additional abilities and uses.

Enchanting methods[edit]

There are four methods of enchanting items in survival mode:

Items can also be enchanted using commands such as /enchant for OPs on a server, or in a singleplayer world with cheats enabled, which allows enchantments unavailable via normal enchanting. In creative mode, items can be enchanted via an anvil and enchanted books, with no experience or lapis lazuli required. Enchanted books are available in the creative mode inventory, with individual book displays for the highest level of each enchantment and other levels available via the "Search" tab.

Enchantment table[edit]

An item can be enchanted by right-clicking on an enchantment table and placing the item and 1–3 lapis lazuli in the input slots. Upon placing the item, three randomized options will appear on the right of the GUI. The glyphs here are meaningless, but hovering over a presented enchantment will show one enchantment that will be applied. Only choices with a level requirement equal to or below the player's current level and a lapis lazuli requirement equal to or below the number of lapis lazuli placed in the table can be chosen. Each option will imbue the item with a randomized set of enchantments that are dependent on the number of experience levels required (e.g.: a level 1 enchantment can give a pickaxe the "Efficiency I" enchantment); the actual level cost and the number of lapis lazuli required has no effect.

The level requirement influences the quantity, type, and level of enchantments instilled in the item, with a higher experience level generally resulting in more and/or higher-level enchantments. Nevertheless, there is a heavy random factor, and even a level 30 enchantment (the maximum) doesn't guarantee more than one enchantment, nor even that enchantments will be "maximum strength" — a level 30 enchantment can still yield Fortune II or Efficiency III alone, for example.

Enchanting a book will produce an enchanted book, which does nothing on its own, but effectively "saves" the enchantment for later application to another item via an anvil.

Affecting offered enchantments[edit]

The possible enchantments depend only on the player's enchantment seed, the item type and material, and the enchantment level (1–30). Removing the item and putting it back in, clicking on the item slot with a different item, using a different item of the same type and material, replacing or moving the table (but keeping the same number of bookshelves), using a different table with the same number of bookshelves, or replacing or rearranging the bookshelves without changing their total number has no effect on the possible enchantments.

Changing the enchantment levels offered by adding, removing, or blocking bookshelves will alter the possible enchantments. The enchantments for a particular enchantment level (with the same seed and item) do also differ depending on which row it appears in, but they are no "better" or "worse" based on the row despite the different resource costs.

Enchanting any item at any enchantment level changes the player's enchantment seed, which will change the possible enchantments for every item at every enchantment level. Thus, if none of the available enchantments for a tool are desired, 1 lapis and 1 level could be spent to enchant a book or a different tool to refresh the list.

Strategy[edit]

Since not all levels require the same amount of experience, the cost of an enchantment in terms of time and effort increases as your current level increases.

  • As you level up, each level requires more XP than the last; the XP required to progress from 30 to 31 could equivalently progress you from 0 to 8, or from 10 to just shy of 14. Try to enchant using a level as close to yours as possible to make the high XP cost worthwhile.
  • Generally, enchanting a tool or sword weaker than iron is a waste of levels because of their low durability.
  • Note that in time the anvil will be competing for your levels. It has similar logic, but can use a maximum of 39 levels instead of 30.

Anvil Combinations[edit]

An anvil can be used to combine the enchantments of two items, sacrificing one of them and repairing the other. The items must be of the same type (for example, an iron pickaxe and a diamond pickaxe cannot be combined), and there are limits to what enchantments can be combined and how much work can be done in one operation.

To combine items, the player places the target item in the first slot of an anvil, and the sacrifice item in the second slot. If the combination is allowed, the resulting enchanted item will appear in the anvil's output slot and an experience level cost appears below (green if the player has enough experience levels, red if they don't). To complete the enchanting, the player removes the enchanted item from the anvil's output slot, and their experience level is reduced accordingly.

The cost in levels depends on the enchantments, with highly enchanted items costing more. If the target item is also being repaired, that costs more as well. The target item can also be renamed, at additional cost. There is also an accumulating surcharge for prior work done on the anvil. In survival mode, there is a limit of 39 levels for any work performed on the anvil—if a job would cost more, it will be refused (though it might be do-able in steps: repair and then combine enchantments).

Enchanted books[edit]

Enchanted books can be made by using an enchanting table to enchant a book. (They can also be found in generated chests, or purchased with emeralds from a villager librarian or looted by fishing rod.) The book can receive multiple enchantments of any type, but only enchantments appropriate to a given item type may be applied to that item. For example, the same book may receive Respiration and Power enchantments, but the Respiration enchantment will be lost if the book is applied to anything but a helmet, and the Power enchantment will be lost if the book is applied to anything but a bow.

Enchanted books are used on an anvil to add enchantments to items. They can apply some enchantments to items which can't be enchanted on a table, or which could not (before 1.7) normally get that enchantment, e.g., Unbreaking on a sword, Silk Touch on shears, Thorns on boots. (In creative mode, books can enchant any item with any enchantment, such as a Knockback II Stick.)

The experience costs for using books are considerably less than for combining items with similar enchantments, since the books themselves cost levels to create. However, it's still an extra cost, and enchanting items directly has a chance to get multiple enchantments. The big advantage of books is that they can be stockpiled for use on an item of choice, and allow for controlled combinations. For example, a Silk Touch book could be used on shears, axe, pickaxe, or shovel, and you can decide which at your leisure—perhaps something that already has Unbreaking? An Unbreaking book might be used to preserve your Looting sword, Fortune pickaxe, or Thorns armor.

Books can receive multiple enchantments from the enchanting table. However, the enchantments may not all apply to a given item, and only the enchantments which do apply will be transferred.

Enchantments[edit]

The table below describes the enchantments that are possible for the player to acquire legitimately in Survival mode. Other combinations are possible in Creative mode or with cheats, mods, or third-party software.

EID
Effect Identification Number, an internal code used in the software.
Name
The enchantment's name will appear under the item's name when the player hovers the mouse over the item along with its level.
Max Level
The maximum level that can be received legitimately. Higher levels are possible using commands.
Primary Items
The items that can receive the enchantment legitimately in Survival mode, by any of the four possible enchanting methods. Items of any material can be enchanted (some more easily than others).
Secondary Items
Items which, in Survival mode, cannot receive the enchantment from an enchanting table, but can from an enchanted book with an anvil.
Effect
A description of the capability improved or added by the enchantment.
EID Name Max Level Primary Items Secondary Items Effect
0 Protection
[note 1]
IV Diamond HelmetDiamond ChestplateDiamond LeggingsDiamond Boots Reduces most damage[note 2]

Exceptions: doesn't reduce damage from The Void and the /kill command.

1 Fire Protection
[note 1]
IV Diamond HelmetDiamond ChestplateDiamond LeggingsDiamond Boots Reduces fire damage[note 2]

Also reduces burn time when set on fire.

2 Feather Falling IV Diamond Boots Reduces fall damage[note 2]

Also reduces the damage from ender pearl teleportations.

3 Blast Protection
[note 1]
IV Diamond HelmetDiamond ChestplateDiamond LeggingsDiamond Boots Reduces explosion damage[note 2]

Also reduces explosion knockback.

4 Projectile Protection
[note 1]
IV Diamond HelmetDiamond ChestplateDiamond LeggingsDiamond Boots Reduces projectile damage[note 2]

Includes damage from arrows, ghast/blaze fire charges, etc.

5 Respiration III Diamond Helmet Extends underwater breathing time
  • Increases underwater breathing time by +15 seconds per level
  • Increases time between suffocation damage by +1 second per level
  • Improves underwater vision
6 Aqua Affinity I Diamond Helmet Increases underwater mining rate

Breaking blocks underwater is allowed at regular speed, though the player cannot be floating to get the full effect.

7 Thorns III
[note 3]
Diamond Chestplate Diamond HelmetDiamond LeggingsDiamond Boots Damages attackers

(Level × 15)% chance of inflicting 1 (Half Heart.svg)-4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg) damage on anyone who attacks wearer. Success also reduces durability of armor, and this overrides the unbreaking enchantment. If present on multiple pieces of armor, only the highest one counts.

8 Depth Strider III Diamond Boots Increases underwater movement speed
  • Every level reduces the amount water slows you by ⅓.
  • Level 3 will make you swim as fast as you walk on land. (Any level beyond that will have no effect on speed.)
  • Speed potions will affect your swimming the same way as your walking at level 3.
  • Does not increase vertical speed.
  • Not currently in console versions
EID Name Max Level Primary Items Secondary Items Effect
16 Sharpness
[note 4]
V
[note 5]
Diamond Sword Diamond Axe Increases damage

Each level separately adds 1.25 extra damage (Half Heart.svg × 1 1/4) to each hit

17 Smite
[note 4]
V Diamond Sword Diamond Axe Increases damage to "undead" mobs (skeletons, zombies, withers, wither skeletons, and zombie pigmen)

Each level separately adds 2.5 (Half Heart.svg × 2 1/2) extra damage to each hit, to "undead" mobs only

18 Bane of Arthropods
[note 4]
V Diamond Sword Diamond Axe Increases damage to "arthropod" mobs (spiders, cave spiders, silverfish and endermites)

Each level separately adds 2.5 (Half Heart.svg × 2 1/2) extra damage to each hit, to "arthropods" only. The enchantment will also cause "arthropods" to have the Slowness IV effect when hit. The duration of the effect is a random value between 1 and 1.5 seconds at level I, increasing the max duration by 0.5 seconds each level, up to 3.5s with Bane of Arthropods V.

  • Notably, the slowness effect applies not only to kills with the sword, but to any "arthropod" kills while holding the sword.
19 Knockback II Diamond Sword Increases knockback

Increases knockback by 3 blocks at level I, +3 blocks with every additional level. Does combine slightly with knockback caused by attacking while sprinting.

20 Fire Aspect
[note 6]
II Diamond Sword Sets the target on fire

Fire Aspect I deals 3 (Heart.svgHalf Heart.svg) fire damage over 3 seconds. Fire Aspect II deals 7 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) over 7 seconds. Dropped meat will be cooked if killed while on fire.

21 Looting III Diamond Sword Mobs can drop more loot
  • Increases maximum loot drop by +1 per level.
  • Increases chance of rare drops by +1 percentage points per level (i.e., 3.5% at level I, 4.5% at level II, and 5.5% at level III).
  • Notably, this applies not only to kills with the sword, but to any kills while holding the sword.
  • The exact drop chances depend on the type of drop.
EID Name Max Level Primary Items Secondary Items Effect
32 Efficiency V
[note 5]
Diamond PickaxeDiamond ShovelDiamond Axe Shears Increases mining speed

Increases mining speed +30% over the previous level: I=130%, II=169%, III=220%, IV=286%, V=371%. One must use the proper tool for a block in order to receive the speed. Does not matter if you mine it with the incorrect tier. The speed increase applies to all blocks that when mined, will drop an item.

33 Silk Touch
[note 7]
I Diamond PickaxeDiamond ShovelDiamond Axe Shears Mined blocks drop themselves instead of the usual items

Allows collection of blocks that are normally unobtainable.

Items which can be obtained legitimately only through use of Silk Touch: coal ore, cobweb, diamond ore, emerald ore, grass block, huge mushrooms, ice, lapis lazuli ore, mycelium, podzol, packed ice, nether quartz ore and redstone ore.

Doesn't work on: cake, carrots, cocoa pod, double slabs, fire, farmland, melon stems, monster spawner, nether wart, potatoes, pumpkin stems, snow, sugar cane, wheat and inverted daylight sensors.

34 Unbreaking III Diamond PickaxeDiamond ShovelDiamond AxeFishing Rod
Diamond HelmetDiamond ChestplateDiamond LeggingsDiamond Boots
Diamond SwordBow
Diamond HoeShearsFlint and SteelCarrot on a Stick Increases durability

For most items, (100/(Level+1))% chance a use reduces durability. On average, lifetime is (Level+1) times as long.

For armor, (60 + (40/(Level+1)))% chance a use reduces durability. (In other words, each durability hit against “unbreaking” armor has a 20%/27%/30% chance of being ignored.) Thus, on average, armor lasts 25%/36%/43% longer.

35 Fortune
[note 7]
III Diamond PickaxeDiamond ShovelDiamond Axe Increases block drops

For coal, diamond, emerald, nether quartz and lapis lazuli, level I gives a 33% chance to multiply drops by 2 (averaging 33% increase), level II gives a chance to multiply drops by 2 or 3 (25% chance each, averaging 75% increase), and level III gives a chance to multiply drops by 2, 3 or 4 (20% chance each, averaging 120% increase). 1 drop has a weight of 2, each number of extra drops has a weight of 1.

For redstone, carrots, glowstone, sea lanterns, melons, nether wart, potatoes and wheat (seeds only), each level increases the drop maximum by +1 (maximum 4 for glowstone, 5 for sea lanterns, and 9 for melons). For tall grass, each level increases the drop maximum by +2.

For gravel, the drop rate of flint is increased to 14% at level I, 25% at level II, and 100% at level III.

For leaves, the drop rate of saplings is increased to 6.25% (2.78% for Jungle) at level I, 8.33% (3.125% for Jungle) at level II, and 10% (4.17% for Jungle) at level III. The drop rate of apples is increased to 0.556% at level I, 0.625% at level II, and 0.833% at level III.

EID Name Max Level Primary Items Secondary Items Effect
48 Power V
[note 5]
Bow Increases damage

Increases arrow damage by 25% × (level + 1), rounded up to nearest half-heart.

Arrow entities have an NBT tag damage which for an unenchanted bow is 2, and increments by 0.5 per enchantment level.

49 Punch II Bow Increases knockback

Mobs and players are knocked back further.

50 Flame
[note 6]
I Bow Flaming arrows

Arrows are on fire when shot, deals 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) fire damage over 5 seconds. Unlike flint and steel, flaming arrows only affect players, mobs, and TNT. No other blocks catch fire and they do not produce light. Fire damage applies after initial damage, similar to Fire Aspect.

51 Infinity I Bow Shooting consumes no arrows

Firing requires at least one arrow in inventory, but does not consume it. Fired arrows cannot be retrieved, except in creative mode.

EID Name Max Level Primary Items Secondary Items Effect
61 Luck of the Sea III Fishing Rod Decreases odds of catching worthless junk

Lowers chance of "junk" catches by 2.5% per level and increases chance of "treasure" catches by 1% per level.

62 Lure III Fishing Rod Increases rate of fish biting your hook

Decreases wait time until a catch by 5 seconds per level. Also decreases chances of both "junk" and "treasure" catches by 1% per level. At Level VIII the fish-catching particle effects start almost instantly. At Level IX you are not able to catch anything. Neither level can be achieved without editing.

Notes
  1. a b c d
    Protection, Fire Protection, Blast Protection and Projectile Protection are mutually exclusive.
  2. a b c d e
    Damage reduction from Protection, Fire Protection, Feather Falling, Blast Protection and Projectile Protection stacks up to an upper limit cap (see Armor).
  3. Anvil required to create Thorns III, by combining two Thorns II enchantments.
  4. a b c
    Sharpness, Smite and Bane of Arthropods are mutually exclusive.
  5. a b c
    Anvil required for level V on bow, diamond weapon or tool.
  6. a b
    Both the Fire Aspect and Flame enchantments are nullified on all Nether mobs, except normal skeletons, because nether mobs are immune to fire and lava.
  7. a b
    Silk Touch and Fortune are mutually exclusive. If commands are used to apply both Silk Touch and Fortune to an item, the Silk Touch enchantment will take precedence over the Fortune enchantment.

Data values[edit]

Enchantment Name
Protection protection
Fire Protection fire_protection
Feather Falling feather_falling
Blast Protection blast_protection
Projectile Protection projectile_protection
Respiration respiration
Aqua Affinity aqua_affinity
Thorns thorns
Depth Strider depth strider
Sharpness sharpness
Smite smite
Bane of Arthropods bane_of_arthropods
Knockback knockback
Fire Aspect fire_aspect
Looting looting
Efficiency efficiency
Silk Touch silk_touch
Unbreaking unbreaking
Fortune fortune
Power power
Punch punch
Flame flame
Infinity infinity
Luck of the Sea luck_of_the_sea
Lure lure

Videos

[edit]

History[edit]

Official release
September 30, 2011 First mention of the enchantment table.
September 30, 2011 According to a picture Notch posted of the enchantment table, they were originally crafted with cobblestone instead of obsidian.
October 1, 2011 The first images of the enchantment screen are revealed, with enchantments written in the Standard Galactic Alphabet. The first enchantment translates onto "Well Played Internets You Are Good", the second translated into "These Names Will Be Random And Confusing", and the third translates to "Each Spell Costs Experience Levels". The Standard Galactic Alphabet or SGA was originally created by Tom Hall for use in the Commander Keen series of computer games.
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre3 Basics of enchanting added, along with the enchanting table. It did not require bookshelves to get maximum enchantments. Many enchantments were not yet in the game. Enchantments were and continue to be labeled in the enchanting table as random words written in the Standard Galactic Alphabet.
Beta 1.9-pre4 Fixed a bug where all enchantments would show up as Feather Falling I.
Properly enabled enchanting on SMP. Previously, if a player attempted to enchant an item, it appeared enchanted for the client, but updated with the un-enchanted status once the player logged out and then back in again.
Enchantment tables drops the block only when mined by a pickaxe.
1.1 Added four bow enchantments: Power, Flame, Punch, and Infinity.
1.2.1 12w05a Enchanting no longer requires experience in Creative mode.
12w06a Bows and Golden Swords now have a small chance of being already enchanted when dropped by their respective mobs.
1.3.1 12w17a Ice and glass panes can again be collected with a Silk Touch-enchanted tool.
12w22a The maximum enchantment power was lowered from 50 to 30.
Experience is collectable with mining and cooking in furnace.
12w23a Glow on Enchanted tools and armor is now visible on multiplayer.
1.4.2 12w34b Flame enchanted bows now ignite TNT blocks.
12w41a Enchantments can now be combined using anvils, allowing some high level enchantments to be applied where they were not previously possible.
1.4.4 1.4.4-pre Enchantments can now be applied using /enchant, however Protection is unavailable due to a bug.
1.4.6 12w49a /enchant now works with ID 0, meaning it can be used to apply protection.
You can enchant books to then be used to enchant a tool.
12w50a Added a new armor enchantment: Thorns.
You can now add the Silk Touch enchantment to Shears and the Unbreaking enchantment to anything that has durability.
Efficiency is nerfed a bit so that enchanted tools that don't match the block you're breaking will no longer work as quickly as before (e.g. Efficiency V Pickaxes no longer instantly break dirt).
1.7.2 13w36a Added two Fishing Rod enchantments: Luck of the Sea and Lure. The fishing rod can now be enchanted without the use of books. Armour can now receive unbreaking without the use of books.
1.8 14w02a Enchanting receives a major overhaul where there is now a secondary cost, which is Lapis Lazuli.
When enchanting an item, one enchantment will now appear in the tooltip when selecting an enchantment (e.g Looting III?...).
Levels are hard to obtain again (like pre-1.3 settings.)
Level 5 enchants (Sharpness, Power, Smite & Bane of Arthropods) can be applied without the use of an anvil.
14w04a Looting now gives an extra 1% chance of getting rare loot per level.
14w25a Added a new enchantment for boots: Depth Strider.
Console Edition
TU7 Added the enchanting system and enchanting tables.


Issues[edit]

Issues relating to "Enchanting" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit]

  • Repairing an enchanted item by crafting will remove the enchantment on it. This happens with any enchantment on any tool.[1] If you wish to keep the enchantment on an item, repair it with an Anvil.
  • Enchantments shown enchantment.level.127 are unchanged in the language pack of Minecraft
  • When an enchanted weapon deals bonus damage to a mob, blue particles fly off of that mob, similar to getting a critical hit.
  • There are NBT tags for the level/player.dat file. This means that with an external program you can enchant unenchantable items and enchant items beyond their maximum level. For example, you could enchant a Cookie with a Looting X, Sharpness VII, and Protection 32767.
    • It is possible to enchant non tools in creative mode using an anvil and enchanted books.
  • The looting enchantment does not process on wool, raw chicken, cooked chicken, raw rabbit, cooked rabbit and nether star.
  • Placing the fortune enchantment on Shears will not cause more wool to drop from Sheep when used, as Fortune is only for use on blocks.
  • Items that are enchanted will receive a glowing aura around them. Using a custom enchanted_item_glint.png in a resource pack under assets\minecraft\textures\misc will change the glow accordingly. On past versions of Minecraft and only on certain graphics cards, enchanted items would cause the hotbar to become semi-transparent whilst they were the selected item.
  • On the enchantment screen, captions in the Standard Galactic Alphabet[2] includes several in-jokes:
    • On October 1, 2011, Notch tweeted an image of the enchantment screen, with enchantments .[3] The first enchantment translates into "Well Played Internets You Are Good", the second translated into "These Names Will Be Random And Confusing", and the third translates to "Each Spell Costs Experience Levels".
    • Three of the possible words for enchantments are "the elder scrolls," likely a joke at Bethesda, creator of "The Elder Scrolls" series and whose parent company, Zenimax, attempted to sue Mojang for the name of their upcoming game Scrolls.
    • The words "klaatu berata niktu" are a (misspelled) reference to "Klaatu barada nikto", a phrase that originates from the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still and has been since used as a reference in many other movies, cartoons and games.
    • Similarly, "Xyzzy" is a magic spell in the game "Colossal Cave Adventure" and has been used in several other games as an Easter Egg or cheat code.
  • The Silk Touch enchantment is possible on all levels of enchantment when enchanting a golden pickaxe, although extremely rare on enchantments below level 20.
  • Enchanted items still pulsate while you pause the game.
  • Zombies, Zombie Pigmen, Skeletons and Wither Skeletons are able to drop rare items, this includes enchanted weaponry on higher difficulties.
  • It's not possible to get more than 4 glowstone dust from a glowstone block using the fortune enchantment.
  • You can only enchant an item one time, but it is possible to get 2 or more enchantments on an item when first enchanting it. However, using Item repair on enchanted items (that is, in either crafting grid), but not the anvil) will effectively strip the enchantments from both items that are combined, producing a single unenchanted item.
  • The Enderdragon does not take extra damage from the Sharpness, Smite, or Bane of Arthropods sword enchantments, but does take extra damage from the Power bow enchantment before 1.6.
  • It seems the Xbox version of Minecraft has a different looking enchantment effect. It is more pixelated, and is white instead of purple.
  • If you kill any mob while holding a Looting sword (or anything enchanted with looting in creative) at the time of death, it will drop more than normal. This can include reflecting Ghast fireballs holding/using a Looting sword, killing mobs with potions after switching to a sword, or shooting an arrow that kills a mob while you are holding a Looting sword. (This does not apply to dispensers) Similarly, this makes looting-enchanted bows unobtainable in survival but fully functional.
  • If you mine a block without using the required tool, you won't obtain the block even with the Silk Touch enchant.
  • Enchanting with gold gives you the best enchants,despite it being the material with the least durability.
  • Using the /enchant command only allows you to enchant items up to levels on an enchantment table. However, if you summon a villager, with the proper tags you can cause him to sell any item with limitless enchantments.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]