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Blocking is a gameplay mechanic which allows players to block many forms of damage.


Java Edition[edit]

A player holding a custom shield while blocking.

Shields are used for blocking incoming attacks. Using one causes the player to slow to a sneaking pace, and after four ticks 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 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[edit]

Swords are used for blocking incoming attacks. Blocking will decrease damage by 50% from 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.


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Not Today, Thank YouDeflect an arrow with a shieldSuit UpDeflect a projectile with a shield.minecraft:story/deflect_arrow



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.
Java Edition
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.
Legacy Console Edition
TU5CU11.0Patch 1Added the ability to block with swords.


Issues relating to "Blocking" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • 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).

See also[edit]