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Enchantment table interface. Top: Without item. Bottom: With item and possible enchantments. The last enchantment is unavailable due to the lack of necessary experience levels, and the first enchantment is currently hovered.

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.


[edit] Enchanting methods

There are four methods of enchanting items:

  • Through an enchantment table in exchange for experience points.
  • Through an anvil, combining duplicate items with different existing enchantments into a single item that has the enchantments of both.
  • Through an anvil, combining an enchanted book with an item, which also costs experience points.
  • Through a Priest Villager, which will apply an enchantment to a specific item in exchange for emeralds.

Items can also be enchanted using the /enchant command 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 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.

[edit] Enchantment table

An item can be enchanted by right-clicking on an enchantment table and placing the item in the displayed slot. Upon placing the item, three randomized options will appear on the right of the GUI. The names here are meaningless and option must be chosen blindly, although the player is shown how many experience points each option will cost. Only choices with a cost equal or below the player's current level can be chosen. Each option will imbue the item with a randomized set of enchantments that are dependent on the number of experience levels spent (e.g.: a level 1 enchantment can give a pickaxe the "Unbreaking I" enchantment).

The level cost 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.

[edit] Strategy

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.

  • Up through level 16, each level costs 17 experience points. You can make low-level enchantments efficiently at any point in this range.
  • As you progress above level 16, each level requires more XP than the last; the XP required to progress from 30 to 31 could equivalently progress you from 13 to 16. Try to enchant using a level as close to yours as possible to make the high XP cost worthwhile.
  • If you don't have anything in particular you want to enchant, you can enchant a book, which allows you to choose an item later.
  • 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.
    • Levels 30–39 takes nearly as much XP as levels 0–30. It is wise to prepare your items before you start using the anvil and to plan your items accordingly so that the cost of repairing them does not go over 39.

[edit] Anvil Combinations

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.

For example, a diamond pickaxe at full condition with efficiency IV can ONLY be combined with another diamond pickaxe (no matter in what condition) with efficiency IV, and so on (Eff III with another Eff III, etc.)

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—often much more for diamond items. The target item can also be renamed, at additional cost. There is also an accumulating surcharge for prior work done on the anvil, which is limited by renaming the item. 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: rename, repair, then combine enchantments).

[edit] Enchanted books

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. However, the reduced costs come with a hazard: It's fairly easy to enchant an item so heavily that it can't be repaired, because the minimum repair cost would exceed the anvil limit.

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. (The unused enchantments will slightly increase the cost.) A book with multiple enchantments may also increase the hazard of over-enchanting an item.

[edit] Villager priest

A villager priest may offer to trade enchanted items for emeralds. The offers will be very specific, a certain enchantment for a specific item (for example, Projectile Protection III and Unbreaking II on an iron chestplate). To enchant an item, the player places it and the requested emeralds in the priest's trading slots and moves the resulting enchanted item to their inventory.

Unlike enchanting by enchantment table or enchanted book, enchanting by village priest has no experience level cost.

The priest does not technically enchant the item, but rather exchanges it for a new one with the enchantment (even if the old one is damaged). This means that priest-enchanted gear can be effectively "repaired" by buying the enchantment again on the same item, which is usually much cheaper than any other kind of repair. However, any other enchantments will be lost; a priest cannot augment an already-enchanted item.

Priests can enchant iron and diamond swords, pickaxes, axes and chestplates. There are several sets of enchantments for each of these, but a particular priest will only offer one option for each.

[edit] Enchantments

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.

Effect Identification Number, an internal code used in the software.
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 with third-party software, like NBT structure editors.
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.
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 Grid Diamond Helmet.pngGrid Diamond Chestplate.pngGrid Diamond Leggings.pngGrid Diamond Boots.png Reduces most damage[note 2]

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

1 Fire Protection
[note 1]
IV Grid Diamond Helmet.pngGrid Diamond Chestplate.pngGrid Diamond Leggings.pngGrid Diamond Boots.png Reduces fire damage[note 2]

Also reduces burn time when set on fire.

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

Also reduces the fall damage from ender pearl teleportations.

3 Blast Protection
[note 1]
IV Grid Diamond Helmet.pngGrid Diamond Chestplate.pngGrid Diamond Leggings.pngGrid Diamond Boots.png Reduces explosion damage[note 2]

Also reduces explosion knockback.

4 Projectile Protection
[note 1]
IV Grid Diamond Helmet.pngGrid Diamond Chestplate.pngGrid Diamond Leggings.pngGrid Diamond Boots.png Reduces projectile damage[note 2]

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

5 Respiration III Grid Diamond Helmet.png 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 Grid Diamond Helmet.png 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 Grid Diamond Chestplate.png Grid Diamond Helmet.pngGrid Diamond Leggings.pngGrid Diamond Boots.png 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. If present on multiple pieces of armor, only the highest one counts.

EID Name Max Level Primary Items Secondary Items Effect
16 Sharpness
[note 3]
[note 4]
Grid Diamond Sword.png Grid Diamond Axe.png Increases damage

Each level separately adds 1.25 extra damage (0.625 hearts) to each hit

17 Smite
[note 3]
V Grid Diamond Sword.png Grid Diamond Axe.png Increases damage to "undead" mobs (skeletons, zombies, withers, wither skeletons, and zombie pigmen)

Each level separately adds 2.5 (1.25 hearts) extra damage to each hit, to "undead" mobs only

18 Bane of Arthropods
[note 3]
V Grid Diamond Sword.png Grid Diamond Axe.png Increases damage to "arthropod" mobs (spiders, cave spiders, silverfish and Endermite)

Each level separately adds 2.5 (1.25 hearts) extra damage to each hit, to "arthropods" only

19 Knockback II Grid Diamond Sword.png Increases knockback

More knockback at level II. Does combine slightly with knockback caused by attacking while sprinting.

20 Fire Aspect
[note 5]
II Grid Diamond Sword.png Sets the target on fire

Level I adds 3 burn ticks, and each additional level adds 4 more burn ticks. Dropped meat will be cooked if killed while on fire.

21 Looting III Grid Diamond Sword.png Mobs can drop more loot
  • Increases maximum loot drop by +1 per level.
  • Increases chance of rare drops by +0.5% per level (i.e., 3% at level I, 3.5% at level II, and 4% at level III).
  • Notably, this applies not only to kills with the sword, but to any kills while holding the sword.
EID Name Max Level Primary Items Secondary Items Effect
32 Efficiency V
[note 4]
Grid Diamond Pickaxe.pngGrid Diamond Shovel.pngGrid Diamond Axe.png Grid Shears.png 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 preferred tool for a block in order to receive the speed. The speed increase applies to all blocks that when mined, will drop an item.

33 Silk Touch
[note 6]
I Grid Diamond Pickaxe.pngGrid Diamond Shovel.pngGrid Diamond Axe.png Grid Shears.png 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, tall grass, and wheat.

34 Unbreaking III Grid Diamond Pickaxe.pngGrid Diamond Shovel.pngGrid Diamond Axe.pngGrid Fishing Rod.png
Grid Diamond Helmet.pngGrid Diamond Chestplate.pngGrid Diamond Leggings.pngGrid Diamond Boots.png
Grid Diamond Sword.pngGrid Bow.png
Grid Diamond Hoe.pngGrid Shears.pngGrid Flint and Steel.pngGrid Carrot on a Stick.png 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 6]
III Grid Diamond Pickaxe.pngGrid Diamond Shovel.pngGrid Diamond Axe.png 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).

For redstone, carrots, glowstone, melons, nether wart, potatoes and wheat (seeds only), each level increases the drop maximum by +1 (maximum 4 for glowstone 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.

EID Name Max Level Primary Items Secondary Items Effect
48 Power V
[note 4]
Grid Bow.png Increases damage

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

49 Punch II Grid Bow.png Increases knockback

Mobs and players are knocked back further.

50 Flame
[note 5]
I Grid Bow.png Flaming arrows

Arrows are on fire when shot. 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 Grid Bow.png 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 Grid Fishing Rod.png 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 Grid Fishing Rod.png Increases rate of fish biting your hook

Decreases time before fish bite your hook by 5 seconds per level. Also decreases chances of both "junk" and "treasure" catches by 1% per level.

  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. a b c
    Sharpness, Smite and Bane of Arthropods are mutually exclusive.
  4. a b c
    Anvil required for level V on bow, diamond weapon or tool.
  5. 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.
  6. a b
    Silk Touch and Fortune are mutually exclusive. If an NBT editor is used to apply both Silk Touch and Fortune to an item, the Silk Touch enchantment will take precedence over the Fortune enchantment.

[edit] Video

[edit] Future

Introduced in 14w02a, enchanting requires lapis lazuli; the first, second, and third enchantments presented by the table require one, two, and three pieces of lapis lazuli, respectively, and costs the same number of player levels (though the player level must initially still be at least as high as the enchantment level). In addition, hovering over each presented enchantment lists one of the guaranteed enchantments the item will gain (it does not indicate whether any other enchantments will be present or what they are). However, for a given type of tool the presented enchantments cannot be changed until you enchant something; taking the item out and putting it back in, using a different item of the same type, replacing the table, using a different table, or modifying the bookcases around a table will not change the possible enchantments. The same update changes the XP curve, such that repeatedly making max-level enchantments at level 30 requires 268 XP (to return from level 27 to level 30) instead of the current 825 XP (to return from level 0 to level 30).

Here is the 1.8 enchanting interface: 1.8-Enchanting-1.png 1.8-Enchanting-2.png

[edit] History

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 1.9pre3 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.
1.9pre4 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 1.4.4pre 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.
Console Edition
TU7 Added the enchanting system and enchanting tables. It is based on the enchanting system from 1.3 - maximum level for enchantment is 30 instead of 50. Experience is collectable from smelting and/or mining ores, breeding and killing mobs.

[edit] Issues

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

[edit] Trivia

  • 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 and Sharpness VII.
    • It is possible to enchant non tools in creative mode using an anvil and enchanted books.
  • The Looting enchantment does not process on Wool, Spider Eye, Raw Chicken, and Cooked Chicken. The reason that Looting does not affect most of these is because they are considered rare drops by the game.
  • Similarly, using console commands to place 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.
  • 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.
  • All tools, swords and armor enchanted before 1.9 Prerelease 4 will only have Feather Falling I as their enchantment.
  • 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.
  • Along with torches, any snow or carpet on top of a block next to the enchantment table will decrease the enchantment levels.
  • In 1.2 and later Zombies, Zombie Pigmen and 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.
  • Before 1.4.4, if a pig, chicken, or cow was killed instantly using a bow with the Flame enchantment, it would drop cooked food. However, if one was killed instantly using a sword with the Fire Aspect enchantment, it would not drop cooked food. This is because the sword applied the damage first, and then the enchantment, but the arrows apply the enchantment first.
  • 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.
  • It is not possible to get a Feather Falling IV and a Protection IV enchantment on any kind of boots without the use of an anvil, but it is possible to get a Fire/ Blast/ Projectile Protection IV and Feather Falling IV enchantment
  • 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.
  • 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.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links