Blocking is a gameplay mechanic which allows players to block many forms of damage.
Shields are used for blocking incoming attacks. Using one causes the player to slow to a sneaking pace, and after five ticks (0.25 seconds) blockable attacks and knockback coming from the front of the player will be negated. Any effects from the attacker (e.g. wither or fire) will not be placed on the defender. A successful block is indicated by a sound and the shield taking damage.
Blockable attacks include melee attacks, all non-magical projectiles, damage from Thorns, and some explosions. Creeper explosions or TNT ignited by another player are blockable, but TNT ignited by the player or by a redstone mechanism are not. Shields have no effect on other types of damage, such as fall damage and drowning.
Legacy Console Edition
Swords are used for blocking incoming attacks. Blocking will slightly decrease knockback and damage by 50% from melee attacks, arrows and explosions, by holding down the respective button for the console used (ex. Left Trigger on Xbox 360) while wielding any type of sword. Blocking does not decrease the sword's durability.
While blocking, the player moves at a speed slower than if they were sneaking.
Bedrock Edition and PlayStation 4 Edition
In Bedrock Edition and PlayStation 4 Edition, shields are used for blocking incoming attacks. Crouching (sneaking, flying downwards, or moving downwards in water) will activate the shield. Shields also automatically activate when riding mobs, and there is no way to prevent the shield from being activated when riding mobs.
|Icon||Advancement||In-game description||Parent||Actual requirements (if different)||Internal ID|
|Not Today, Thank You||Deflect an arrow with a shield||Suit Up||Deflect any projectile with a shield.|
|Java Edition Beta|
|1.8||Pre-release||Added blocking, which at the time could be activated by using a sword. Also, blocking only negated 50% of incoming damage, rather than 100%.|
|Pre-release 2 ;)||Blocking now correctly deals damage in multiplayer.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9 Prerelease||Blocking now moves the player's hand, unlike previous versions, in which blocking only moved the sword.|
|The player no longer rises faster underwater when blocking.|
|Blocking no longer decreases fall damage. Blocking previously allowed the player to fall 42 blocks without dying, instead of 22.|
|1.9||15w33c||The blocking functionality of swords was removed and is replaced with the functionality of shields.|
|15w34c||When an attack is blocked by a shield, the attacker may be knocked back.|
|Being attacked with an axe may disable the shield for 5 seconds.|
|15w37a||Cooldown reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.25 seconds.|
|Blocking now prevents some side effects like being set on fire when being hit by a mob that's on fire or being affected by the Hunger effect when being hit by a husk.|
|Arrows now ricochet off shields.|
|15w47b||Added shield blocking sounds.|
|16w07a||Added more variation of shield blocking sounds.|
|1.11||16w35a||Shields now block 100% of the damage.|
|1.10.0||beta 184.108.40.206||Added the ability to block with shields, which can be activated by crouching or riding mobs.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU5||CU1||1.0||Patch 1||Added the ability to block with swords.|
|PlayStation 4 Edition|
- Blocking allows for the slowest movements possible. This can occur when the player blocks, sneaks, and moves backward while under the effect of the slowness potion while going through cobwebs placed above still water on top of soul sand that is placed on top of ice. This causes the player to move at about 1/200 blocks a second, or 2/25 pixel a second (1 Pixel every 12-13s) on a default 16x16 texture pack. Blocking while sneaking and with the additional events (but without slowness potion) allows the player go at roughly 0.023854961832 blocks per second (1 block every 41.92 seconds).[Java and Legacy Console editions only]
- Shields can reduce Magma Block damage, even though the player is standing directly on it.[Java Edition only]