Swords are craftable weapons used to damage mobs or other players and entities, or to block attacks (by holding the "use" key or right mouse button). Swords can also destroy certain blocks more quickly than any other tool (such as cobwebs).
Swords are used to damage both mobs and players, or to block attacks. Upon damaging a mob or player, the sword's durability will decrease. A sword can also be used to destroy certain blocks more quickly than with fists. Using a sword to destroy any block that doesn't break instantly decreases its durability by the equivalent of two strikes to a mob.
The following table summarizes the damage that swords of different materials inflict. Enchantments can change these statistics.
Critical hits add a damage bonus of up to 50% (rounded down), plus one heart.
|Damage||1 ()||5 ()||5 ()||6 ()||7 ()||8 ()|
|Approx. Number of Kills||∞||15–24||8–13||39–66||87–138||624–1015|
|Lifetime Damage Inflicted||∞||300–480 points
(150–240 × )
(82–132 × )
(396–660 × )
(878–1380 × )
(6248–10,153 × )
The formula to find the minimum of the total lifetime damage is Durability × Damage per hit = Lifetime damage minimum. The formula to find the maximum is Durability × Critical Hits = Lifetime damage maximum.
 Sword digging times
The following table shows the time it takes to break blocks on which swords have any effect. Colors indicate what will be dropped:
- White: an original block.
- Blue: block's normal drop (e.g. seeds, sapling, apple).
- Red: nothing.
|20 s||0.4 s||0.4 s|
|1.5 s||1 s||0.15 – 0.75 s|
|1.5 s||1 s||—||—|
|1.5 s||1 s||0.15 – 0.75 s|
|0.3 s||0.2 s||0.05 – 0.15 s|
|0.3 s||0.2 s||0.05 s|
|0.3 s||0.2 s||0.05 – 0.15 s|
Despite its appearance, the sword grants no range advantage over any other tool, including bare hands.
Iron and stone swords kill most mobs in the same amount of hits. A diamond sword's damage of 4 over the iron sword's 3.5 is a much larger difference than the numbers imply, as it guarantees a kill of nearly any unarmored aggressive mob.
A way to use swords and other swung tools without being hit is to dig a trench such that the player's head is the same level as the mob's feet. The player must have blocks over his or her head so that mobs do not come into the trench. It is then possible to hit mobs without them seeing the player: this prevents mobs from retaliating. This method is efficient when defending a fortified building. It will not work against spiders unless slabs are placed on the ground in front of the trench, and skeletons at a distance may still have line of sight and keep shooting.
Unless the player engages in combat very frequently, swords in general will see a far longer useful life than a pickaxe or a shovel, which may mean swords are a more efficient use of rare resources (like diamonds and enchantments). Many players find that a diamond sword tends to outlast them, never being spent entirely but instead lost only due to accidental death.
Players with access to a bow and plentiful arrows will want to use them instead of swords for creeper combat when possible (especially on normal or hard), due to the range preventing the creeper from even beginning their detonation sequence. If you approach a creeper with a sword, use a hit-and-run tactic (run up, hit, run away until the hissing stops, then run forward and hit again). Swords with the knockback ("Knockback") enchantment aid these situations. When a mob is hit by the sprinting player, they are sent flying back further, which further increases the odds of a kill without much if any harm to the player.
A difficult but effective maneuver is sprinting towards the enemy before jumping and hitting in midair. This will both deal heavy damage and knock the mob far back, fall damage often finishing the mob off.
Swords are able to block attacks by holding the right mouse button. This will reduce damage from arrows as well as other projectiles, but will reduce the player to a speed slower than sneaking. Swords and all other player-dealt damage were also reduced by half a heart.
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Prerequisites||Actual requirements (if different)||Version restriction||Xbox points earned|
|Time to Strike!||Use planks and sticks to make a sword||Benchmarking||Pick up a sword from a Crafting Table.||None||10G|
|Overkill||Deal eight hearts of damage in a single hit||Enchanter||Deal nine hearts of damage in a single hit.||PC||N/A|
|1.2||Zombie pigmen added, holding golden swords.|
|1.2||Swords, like all tools, have more durability.|
|1.5 - 1.7.3||All melee attacks, including hands, did half a heart more damage, making the stone sword arguably nearly as effective as the iron one as it kills most mobs in the same number of hits. If the player combines swordplay with archery, the iron sword's extra damage will save some arrows and closely matches performance with the diamond sword.|
|1.8pre1||While holding a sword if the player double-clicked the use-button (Right mouse button as default) the player would sprint; this was fixed in the release of 1.8.|
|1.8||Added the ability to block, giving the player more options in combat. Swords no longer inflict more damage than bows.|
|1.0.0||1.9pre3||Swords have been nerfed to make way for enchanting. A diamond sword deals 3.5 hearts of damage instead of 5.|
|1.9pre4||You are able to enchant swords in the Enchantment Table.|
|1.2.1||12w06a||One has a rare chance to obtain Iron Swords by killing Zombies and Golden Swords by Zombie Pigmen from the addition of Rare Drops. These swords have a 20% chance of being enchanted.|
|1.3.1||12w21a||With the trading implementation, you can sell renewable items such as wheat to buy a Diamond Sword. This makes all swords renewable.|
|1.4.2||12w32a||Zombies may sometimes wield an Iron Sword, dealing extra damage.|
|12w34a||If you have dyed leather armor equipped and selected a sword of any kind, it will appear the color of the dye applied to the armor, when switching to second or third person view.|
|12w36a||Wither skeletons added, holding stone swords.|
|1.4.6||12w49a||You can put Unbreaking on a sword with an enchanted book.|
|1.6||13w25b||In Creative mode, swords will not break blocks, and no sound will play when they're hit with one.|
|1.6.2||Instead of replacing the barehanded damage (1 ()), swords now add their damage onto the barehanded damage, which results in all swords doing 1 () more damage than before.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.2.0||Added stone swords.|
|0.3.0||Added wooden swords.|
|0.3.2||Added diamond, iron and gold swords.|
- The sword's texture came from Notch's abandoned RPG, Legends of the Chambered. The iron sword's texture was created first, as it was from the game, and the other swords followed.
- It is possible to "farm" golden swords by crafting a bunch of easily renewable stone swords, and throwing them at zombie pigmen. There is a 33 1⁄3 % chance that the zombie pigman will happily trade their golden sword with your stone one. Then kill the zombie pigman and get your sword back. This also works with skeletons for bows.
- A Diamond Sword with the "Sharpness V" enchantment is powerful enough to kill most mobs with just one critical hit.
- An Iron Sword is powerful enough to kill cows and pigs with just one critical hit.
- When blocking, the player's vertical movement speed does not decrease. This applies to flying, falling, swimming up or sinking, and climbing ladders.
- A foam Iron Sword is one of the tools sold in the merchandise page of minecraft.net.
- It is possible to stack Swords by entering the command
/give <player> <ID of the sword> <amount>(as long as cheats are enabled).
- Before 1.4.2, any block that didn't require a pickaxe to drop could be mined about 50% faster with a sword.
- If you obtain a sword enchanted with silk touch, you can use it to collect cobwebs, instead of getting string.
- The link leads to Notch's RPG, Legends of the Chambered on mojang.com