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Armor is a category of items that provide a player with varying levels of protection from common damage types, and appear graphically on the wearer. These items include several different classes of helmets, chestplates, leggings, and boots, which can each be placed in designated armor slots of a player's inventory for activation. Players, Horses, Zombie (Pigmen) and (Wither) Skeletons can wear armor.
Armor classes include (from weakest/least durable to strongest/most durable):
Chain armor is rare, and uncraftable via legitimate in-game means. It can be obtained through trading with villagers, as rare drops from mobs wearing them, or through the Creative inventory. It can be crafted with the fire block, though that item is only available via inventory editors or /give command if cheats are turned on.
 Novelty armor
A player can wear a pumpkin as a helmet. This will partially block the player's view and does not reduce attack damage, but it will prevent an Enderman from becoming aggressive towards the player when the player looks at it. However, putting on the pumpkin after provoking the Enderman or attacking the Enderman with the pumpkin on will NOT stop it from attacking. However the Enderman has a lower chance of teleporting when aggressive.
A player can wear a head as a helmet, changing their appearance. Heads do not reduce damage.
Whenever a piece of armor absorbs damage for the player, the armor itself is damaged, reducing its durability. After taking enough damage, the armor piece is destroyed.
The player's current protection level is represented visually by the armor meter, which contains 10 armor icons that each represent 8% damage reduction. With all 10 shown full, the player has a total of 80% damage reduction. The armor meter is affected by the particular pieces currently worn, as well as the class and current durability of each piece.
When the player takes damage of a sort that is not affected by armor (see damage types below), armor they are wearing does not take damage.
Armor can also be enchanted to provide protection enhancements, such as protection from additional damage types. These will not affect the armor meter.
 Damage types
The following types of damage are reduced by armor and, consequently, damage the armor itself:
- Direct attacks from mobs and players
- Getting hit with an arrow
- Getting hit with a fireball from a Ghast or Blaze, an ender acid ball, or a Fire Charge
- Touching fire, lava or cactus
- Getting struck by lightning
- Getting hit with a falling anvil
The following types of damage are not reduced by armor and have no effect on the armor itself:
- Ongoing damage from being on fire
- Suffocating inside a block
- Drowning in water
- Falling into the Void
- Poisoning; e.g., from a cave spider attack or a Potion of Poison
- Instant damage from a Potion of Harming
- /kill command
- Wither potion effects
- Fall Damage, (including Ender Pearls), although boots enchanted with Feather Falling will reduce fall damage.
- Standing next to where lightning strikes.
- Getting hit by snowballs.
However, all sources of damage in the Pocket Edition will damage all armor pieces worn.
Protection enchantments can protect from types of damage that armor doesn't normally protect against, such as fall damage. Armor durability still doesn't decrease when protection-enchanted armor takes environmental damage.
 Defense statistics
 Defense points
Defense points are each signified by half of a shirt of mail in the armor bar above the health bar. Each defense point will reduce any damage dealt to the player which is absorbed by armor by 4%, increasing additively with the number of defense points. Different materials and combinations of armor provide different levels of defense. A full suit of diamond armor protects the player from 80% of damage, whereas a full suit of iron will provide 60% protection and a full suit of leather will provide 28%.
The following table shows the amount of defense points added by each individual piece of armor, as well as the total points added by a full set of armor for each material.
The following table shows the number of defense points () per unit of material. Thus, a pair of iron boots () provides 50% efficiency (4 ingots to 2 points of armor), whereas a diamond chestplate () provides 100% efficiency (8 diamonds to 8 points of armor).
Thus, a full set of diamond armor gives .833 defense points per diamond, whereas a full set of leather armor gives .292 (65% less) defense points.
|5 ()||3 ()||2 ()||2 ()||1 ()||0 ()|
|5 ()||3 ()||2 ()||2 ()||1 ()||0 ()|
|6 ()||4 ()||3 ()||3 ()||2 ()||1 ()|
|7 ()||4 ()||3 ()||3 ()||2 ()||1 ()|
|8 ()||5 ()||4 ()||4 ()||3 ()||1 ()|
The table above shows the amount of damage received after being hit by a certain sword while wearing a certain full set of armor.
The following table shows the amount of damage each piece of armor can absorb before being destroyed.
Any "hit" from a damage source that can be blocked by armor will remove one point of durability from each piece of armor worn. Damage taken that armor doesn't protect (such as falling or drowning) will not damage the armor, even if it is enchanted to protect against that type of damage. The following chart displays how many hits each piece of armor can endure.
The following tables shows the durability per unit of material for each piece of armor, compared to that of the boots. Note that the durability per unit does not depend on the particular material.
This means that for the same number of leather/iron ingots/gold ingots/chain/diamond, boots can take 1.5 more damage than leggings. Thus, chestplate and leggings offer more defense points per unit, but have a less durability per unit.
Enchantments can improve armor's capability to reduce damage, or add capabilities.
An armor's material determines how enchantable it is. The higher a material's enchantability, the greater the chances of getting multiple and high-level enchantments (see enchantment mechanics for details).
As with several enchantments, several different levels of protection are possible. The maximum level of a protection enchantment is currently IV (4). Protection enchantments from multiple pieces of armor stack together, up to a calculated maximum.
Each protection enchantment protects against specific types of damage. The amount of damage reduction depends on the Enchantment Protection Factor (EPF) provided by that enchantment.
|Enchantment||Damage reduced for||Type Modifier||EPF
|Fire Protection||Fire, lava, and blaze fireballs||1.25||2||4||6||9|
|Projectile Protection||Arrows, ghast and blaze fireballs||1.5||3||5||7||11|
|Feather Falling||Fall damage (including ender pearls)||2.5||5||8||12||18|
The EPFs for each enchantment and level are the result of the following formula:
floor ( (6 + level^2) * TypeModifier / 3 ).
When a player or mob wearing armor is subjected to damage, the EPFs of all applicable enchantments are added together, capped at 25, multiplied by a random value between 50% and 100%, rounded up, and capped again at 20. The damage is then reduced by 4% per point of total effective EPF (for example, a total effective EPF of 20 reduces damage by 80%).
Because of the caps in the calculation, it's possible to max out protection against specific types of damage with only three pieces of armor. For example, two pieces of armor with Blast Protection IV (EPF 11 each) and a single piece with Protection III (EPF 3) would give a total EPF of 25 versus explosions (before the remainder of the calculation). Any additional EPF would be wasted against explosions (but might be useful against other types of damage, if applicable).
If the damage is of a type that armor protects against normally, this reduction applies only to the damage that got through the armor. For example, a full suit of diamond armor reduces damage from melee attacks by 80% -- if each piece of armor also had a Protection IV enchantment (EPF 5 each), the enchantments would further reduce damage by 40% to 80% each time, for a total damage reduction of 88% to 96% (i.e., 80%, plus 40%-80% of the remaining 20%).
It takes 24 units of a given material to make a full set of armor. It is not necessary that all of your armor pieces are the same class, though each individual piece can only consist of one material. You could wear a leather cap with an iron chestplate, for example, but you cannot craft a single chestplate from both iron and leather.
Chestplates (tunics) provide the most protection per unit of material, followed by leggings (pants). For Iron and Diamond, boots are then followed by helmets, but for other materials, the helmet (cap) is more efficient. However, boots are always the most durable.
As with other items with durability, armor can be repaired by placing two pieces of the same type (e.g., iron helmets) in a crafting grid. The resulting item will have slightly more durability left than the original items combined, but any enchantments will be lost. Armor can also be repaired on an anvil, which preserves and combines enchantments. Anvils can also repair a piece of armor using units of that armor's base material. Chain armor can be repaired in this manner by using iron ingots.
Duplicate armor pieces are not stackable in inventory slots.
|Name||Ingredients||Input » Output||Description|
Gold Ingots or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or
Iron Ingots or
* Fire is only obtainable via commands and inventory editors. It has Id 51.
|Alpha 1.0.8||Before this update, wool armor was the lowest tier of armor, rather than leather armor.|
|1.9pre1||Before 1.9pre1, all helmets gave (0.30 efficiency), all chest armor gave (1.00 efficiency), all leg armor gave (0.43 efficiency), and all boots gave (0.38 efficiency). Armor's effectiveness was linked to durability, with lower tier materials less durable than higher tier materials. Leather armor was as protective as diamond armor when undamaged, but leather armor quickly lost durability to attacks, thus its defense power would more rapidly diminish. Likewise, if you put on almost fully decreased boots when you had other armor on, it lowered your armor protection.|
|Also before 1.9 Prerelease 1, specific types of damage were reduced by a certain amount based upon the effective armor points of the player. Each point of armor reduced the damage you took by 8%, up to the maximum reduction of 80%.|
|1.9pre4||Armor can be enchanted.|
|1.0||There was a bug that caused all armor to be twice as effective at reducing damage as intended. This was fixed in Minecraft 1.1.|
|1.1||Iron armor naturally generates in NPC village chests.|
|1.2||Zombies can now drop iron helmets on rare occasions, and Zombie Pigmen can drop golden helmets.|
|1.3.1||12w15a||Jeb mentioned that shift-clicking armor into armor slots was "on the list of things to do.", and it was later added in weekly snapshot 12w15a.|
|12w21a||Chain armor is now obtainable legitimately in survival mode through trading with blacksmith villagers.|
|1.4.2||12w32a||A partial or full set of any armor is sometimes worn by zombies, skeletons and Zombie Pigmen, likelihood increasing with difficulty.|
|Jeb and Dinnerbone tweeted pictures of dyable leather armor.|
|12w34a||Leather armor can now be dyed. The dye can be removed by right-clicking a full cauldron.|
|Leather armor texture is changed to a darker one, and has been modified in the inventory tooltip.|
|12w34b||Leather armor texture slightly changed again. Leather armor sleeves are extended by one pixel. Their item texture has been changed to match the new texture. The part between the eyes was removed.|
|12w36a||Leather armor now uses two overlayed textures, one being the color.|
|12w37a||Leather armor now has a non-dyed base layer.|
|12w41a||If you wear any helmet, an anvil can fall from any height and you will always take 6 () health points of damage.|
|1.4.6||12w50a||Protection isn't as effective on armor as the other protection enchantments combined.|
|Thorns can be enchanted on chestplates.|
|1.5||Armor in your hand can be put on by Right clicking.|
|1.7.2||13w36a||Leather Boots can be obtained as one of the "junk" items by fishing.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.6.1||Fixed a bug where armor would be deleted if something else was put on over it|
|0.7.0||Bug introduced where armor (and items from furnaces) cannot be taken off|
|0.7.1||Fixed above bug.|
|0.7.4||Bug introduced where armor leggings appear on top of chestplates.|
 Mob armor
In Survival Test, certain zombies and skeletons could be found wearing armor; a chestplate or a helmet. Zombies had the potential, although extremely unlikely, to wear both a chestplate and a helmet at the same time. Skeletons could also be found wearing armor, albeit extremely infrequently. Mob armor was purely cosmetic; however, it is possible that it was a planned feature to increase hostile mob difficulty. The armor was soon removed.
In 12w32a, mob armor was reintroduced. Zombies and skeletons sometimes wear armor in Normal or Hard, increased likelihood in Hard. This can be any tier of armor, including chain armor. Zombie Pigmen can wear armor too. The armor can be dyed, or enchanted rarely.
In 1.6, horses can wear an armor type called horse armor. Donkeys cannot, however. Horses are more for battling than donkeys are. The horse armor comes in 3 variations; iron, gold, and diamond, and, unlike the other rules for gold, gold horse armor is stronger than iron. However, diamond still beats them all. Horse armor cannot be crafted now.
 Mob "armor"
Other mobs do have armor values built in.
- Sheep have wool unless they are sheared.
- Pigs can wear saddles, which is also "armor".
- Snow Golems have pumpkins worn on their heads as helmets.
- When a creeper is struck by lightning, it will become a charged creeper. Charged creepers have an electric glow around them, which provides no health, but makes the creeper's explosion twice as big in diameter.
- The wither will develop a shield when it is about halfway defeated, which will make it immune to arrows.
- A tamed wolf's collar is considered armor, and will still be seen even with invisibility potions, like all armor.
- The dead pig flesh on a zombie pigman's head is 3d, and is seen as armor, even though it goes invisible with invisibility potions.
The most armor a mob can have without using MCEdit or another external editing program is 88%, unless the armor is enchanted.
 Leather-chain armor
The leather-chain armor is a sprite from Indev 0.31's items.png file, along with the Quiver. In this version, all of the armor seen are only sprites. Usable and craft-able armor were added later, but leather-chain armor never made it to release versions.
- Mobs that burn when exposed to sunlight will be unaffected by day if they have a helmet of any type. However, their helmet's durability will plummet.
- If you are sitting in a boat or minecart with armor leggings on, and press E (for your Inventory), or press F5 (for third person view), your legs will be in a sitting position, but your armor will be a standing position. This can be fixed by un-equipping any bottom piece of armor and then re-equipping them.
- On Halloween, zombies, skeletons, zombie pigmen, and wither skeletons have a relatively large chance of spawning wearing a pumpkin, and a smaller chance of spawning with a jack-o-lantern. This will also make them invincible to the sun, as pumpkins have no durability
- Golden is the only armor not obtainable in villager trading. Butchers give leather, and the blacksmith just about every other type.
- It is rarer to get chain armor in villager trading than diamond or iron, even though chain is weaker than both.
- Leather armor represents what would be wood armor, and chain represents what would be stone armor.
- It is possible, albeit rarely, for a zombie or skeleton to spawn with armor on Easy.
- Helmets, chestplates, and leggings have different names when they are made of leather. Helmets are called caps, chestplates are called tunics, and leggings are called pants. Boots do not change.
- In the armor folder inside minecraft.jar, leather armor is called cloth armor. This is because leather armor was initially made from cloth (later renamed to Wool).
- The leather armor design, armor 'mannequin' outlines, and apple and iron sword sprites, were also used in Notch's RPG Legend of the Chambered.
- Chain armor is unique in that it is the only default armor with large amounts of transparency within the armor. Every other pixel is transparent, except for the front of the head, which has a clear space for the face, and other areas which have no covering.
- Chain armor has longer sleeves than other chestplates, by one pixel.
- The chain helmet covers all sides of the head completely except the face unlike most helmets where the face has a nose guard and covers the sides of the head partially.
- Chain mail can be repaired only with iron ingots rather than fire
- Armor was not legitimately obtainable until version Alpha 0.6.0. A set of illegitimate armor could be hacked in, but would crash the game when tapped on, regardless of being in the player's inventory or a chest. If a chest containing it was broken, and the armor picked up, the game would crash. The illegitimate armor still crashes the game in 0.6.1, and looks exactly like normal armor except for the red background.
- Armor is sometimes not lost when the player dies.
- Armor is never lost when falling into the Void.
- Leather armor was released with the old texture, even though the new texture was released for PC before it.
- Chain armor exists but is unobtainable without inventory editors. It can however be worn.
- Standing on a cactus will strangely damage the helmet most in 0.6. If you are not wearing the helmet, the chestplate will be damaged instead. If you are wearing no helmet or chestplate, leggings will take the most damage, etc.
- Pocket Edition armor does not last very long, as they are damaged from every causes, even drowning. It is not suggested to wear armor lower than Iron as they will just break quickly.
A zombie wearing a chestplate in Survival Test
A zombie wearing a helmet in Survival Test
Dinnerbone's first screenshot of dyed armor