Enchanting

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How does enchanting work in Minecraft? Well, you open a magical book and pick a random spell, not quite sure knowing what it will do. MAGIC!

Notch [1]

Enchanting is a mechanic that augments armor, tools, weapons, and books with one or more of a variety of "enchantments" that improve an item's existing abilities or imbue them with additional abilities and uses.

Enchanting methods[edit]

There are three ways to enchant an item in Survival mode:

  • Through an enchantment table in exchange for experience points and lapis lazuli. Only unenchanted items may be enchanted this way.
  • Through an anvil, combining an enchanted book with an item, which also costs experience points.
  • Through an anvil, combining two of the same item with different existing enchantments into a single item that has the enchantments of both.

A player may also obtain items already enchanted:

Server operators and players in singleplayer worlds with cheats enabled can also enchant items using commands such as /enchant. When enchanted with the /give command, the maximum enchantment level is 2,147,483,647. 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.

Enchantment table[edit]

Enchantment table interface. Top: Without item. Bottom: With item, hovering over the second line.

An item can be enchanted by using an enchantment table and placing the item in the input slots and 1–3 Lapis Lazuli in its dedicated slot. Upon placing the item, three (pseudo)randomized options appear on the right of the GUI. The glyphs here do not affect the enchantment, but hovering over a presented enchantment shows one enchantment to be applied. The only choices available have a level requirement equal to or below the player's current level and a lapis lazuli requirement equal to or below the number of lapis lazuli placed in the table. Each option imbues the item with a randomized set of enchantments that are dependent on the number of experience levels required (e.g. a level 1 enchantment can give a pickaxe the "Efficiency I" enchantment); the actual level cost and the number of lapis lazuli required has no effect.

The level requirement 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 significant random factor, and even a level 30 enchantment (the maximum) doesn't guarantee more than one enchantment, or even that enchantments will be "maximum strength" — a level 30 enchantment can still yield Fortune II or Efficiency III alone, for example.

In order to increase the enchantment level, a bookshelf should be placed next to the enchantment table while keeping one block of air between them. To gain access to the previously mentioned level 30 enchantments, a total of 15 bookshelves need to be placed around the enchantment table. See the enchantment mechanics page for more detailed information on this.

Enchanting a book produces an enchanted book, which does nothing on its own, but effectively "saves" the enchantment for later application to another item with an anvil.

Unlike with an anvil, using the enchanting table while on Creative still costs experience. However, if the player doesn't have enough experience, then experience reduces to zero and the enchantment still works, even when using the enchanting table while already at level zero.

Affecting offered enchantments[edit]

Enchanting any item at any enchantment level changes the player's enchantment seed, which changes the possible enchantments for every item at every enchantment level. Thus, if none of the available enchantments for a tool are desired, 1 lapis lazuli and 1 level could be spent to enchant a book or a different tool to refresh the list. Also, by enchanting any item, the player can alter the second enchantment by exiting without saving.‌[Legacy Console Edition only]

The possible enchantments depend only on the player's enchantment seed, the item type and material, and the enchantment level (1–30). Removing the item and putting it back in, clicking on the item slot with a different item, using a different item of the same type and material, replacing or moving the table (but keeping the same number of bookshelves), using a different table with the same number of bookshelves, or replacing or rearranging the bookshelves without changing their total number has no effect on the possible enchantments.

Changing the enchantment levels offered by adding, removing, or blocking bookshelves alters the enchantments shown, but does not change possible enchantments; using another enchanting table with the previous bookshelf number still shows the previous enchantments. The enchantments for a particular enchantment level (with the same seed and item) do also differ depending on which row it appears in, but they are no "better" or "worse" based on the row despite the different resource costs.

Anvil combinations[edit]

An anvil can be used to combine the enchantments of two items, sacrificing one of them and repairing the other. The items must be compatible; they must either be the same type and material (such as two iron swords), or an item and an enchanted book with an applicable enchantment (such as a bow and an Infinity enchanted book). In Legacy Console Edition, the Player can enchant any given item with an enchantment, e.g. an Iron Nugget with Bane of Arthropods. There are limits to how much work can be done in one operation.

Combining two enchanted items, books or one of each with the same enchantment at the same level produces an item or book with the next higher level of that enchantment up to the maximum allowed in survival mode; for example, a book with Thorns I and Unbreaking II combined with a book with Unbreaking II produces a book with Thorns I and Unbreaking III.

To combine items, the player places the target item in the anvil's first slot, and the sacrifice item in the second slot. If the combination is allowed, the resulting enchanted item appears in the anvil's output slot and an experience level cost, labeled "Enchantment Cost", appears below (green if the player has enough experience levels, black 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 experience cost depends on the enchantments, with highly enchanted items costing more. If the target item is also being repaired, that costs more as well. The target item can also be renamed, at additional cost. There is also an accumulating surcharge for prior work done on the anvil. In Survival mode, work that costs more than 39 experience is refused although it may still be possible to perform the same work in steps. For example, a damaged enchanted bow may be repaired on an anvil with an ordinary bow, and then another enchanted bow may be used to combine enchantments with the repaired bow.

Enchanted books[edit]

Enchanted books can be made by using an enchanting table to enchant a book. (They can also be found in generated chests, 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 is lost if the book is applied to anything but a helmet, and the Power enchantment is lost if the book is applied to anything but a bow.

Enchanted books are used on an anvil to add enchantments to items, including other books. They can apply some enchantments to items which cannot be enchanted from an enchantment table, such as applying Thorns to boots.

In Creative mode, books can enchant any item with any enchantment, such as a stick having Knockback II. Mutually-exclusive enchantments, such as Infinity and Mending, remain mutually-exclusive.

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 axe, pickaxe, or shovel, and the player can decide which item receives which enchantment.

Summary of enchantments[edit]

Each enchantment in the table below includes attributes 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.

  • Max Level: The maximum level that can be received legitimately. Higher levels are possible using commands. With commands the maximum value is 2,147,483,647.
  • Primary Items: The items that can receive the enchantment legitimately in Survival mode by using an enchanting table. 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.
  • Weight: Relative chance of the enchantment being offered.
Summary of enchantments
Name Summary Max
Level
Primary
Items
Secondary
Items
Weight
Aqua Affinity Increases underwater mining rate. I 3
Bane of Arthropods Increases damage to arthropods. Mutually exclusive with Smite and Sharpness. V 10
Blast Protection Reduces explosion damage and knockback. Mutually exclusive with other protections. IV 3
Channeling Trident "channels" a bolt of lightning towards a hit entity. Only functions during thunderstorms and if target unobstructed with opaque

blocks. Mutually exclusive with Riptide.

I 1
Curse of Binding[Java and Legacy Console editions only] Prevents removal of items (except for in creative). I 1
Curse of Vanishing[Java and Legacy Console editions only] Item destroyed on death. I 1
Depth Strider Increases underwater movement speed. Mutually exclusive with Frost Walker. III 3
Efficiency Increases mining speed. V 30
Feather Falling Reduces fall damage. IV 10
Fire Aspect Sets target on fire. II 3
Fire Protection Reduces fire damage and burn time. Mutually exclusive with other protections. IV 10
Flame Arrows set target on fire. I 3
Fortune Increases certain block drops. Mutually exclusive with Silk Touch. III 3
Frost Walker Turns water beneath the player into frosted ice. Mutually exclusive with Depth Strider. II 3
Impaling Trident deals additional damage to mobs that spawn naturally in the ocean,as well as players. V 3
Infinity Shooting consumes no regular arrows. Mutually exclusive with Mending. I 1
Knockback Increases knockback. II 10
Looting Increases mob loot. III 3
Loyalty Trident returns after being thrown. Higher levels reduce return time. Mutually exclusive with Riptide. III 10
Luck of the Sea Increases fishing luck. III 3
Lure Increases fishing rate. III 3
Mending Repair items with experience. Mutually exclusive with Infinity. I 3
Multishot Shoot 3 arrows at the cost of one. Mutually exclusive with Piercing. I 3
Piercing Arrows pass through multiple entities. Mutually exclusive with Multishot. IV 30
Power Increases arrow damage. V 30
Projectile Protection Reduces projectile damage. Mutually exclusive with other protections. IV 10
Protection Reduces most types of damage. Mutually exclusive with other protections. IV 30
Punch Increases arrow knockback. II 3
Quick Charge Decreases crossbow reloading time. III 10
Respiration Extends underwater breathing time. III 3
Riptide Trident launches player with itself when thrown. Only functions in water or rain. Mutually exclusive with Channeling and Loyalty. III 3
Sharpness Increases damage. Mutually exclusive with Bane of Arthropods and Smite. V 30
Silk Touch Mined blocks drop themselves. Mutually exclusive with Fortune. I 1
Smite Increases damage to undead mobs. Mutually exclusive with Bane of Arthropods and Sharpness. V 10
Sweeping Edge[Java Edition only] Increases sweeping attack damage. III 3
Thorns Damages attackers. III 1
Unbreaking Increases effective durability. III 10

The tables below summarize which enchantments can be given to which items on Bedrock Edition and in survival mode on other versions (in creative mode, any enchantment can be given to any item). Enchantments which can be applied to both hand slot items and armor slot items are listed in both tables.

  • An enchantment table indicates the item can receive the enchantment legitimately in Survival mode by using an enchantment table.
  • An anvil indicates the item cannot receive the enchantment legitimately in Survival mode by using an enchantment table (an enchantment table never offers the enchantment for the item), but can receive the enchantment by another method (for example, using an anvil to combine the item with an enchanted book or another enchanted item; note the enchantment table could still apply the enchantment to the item as a random additional enchantment).

Enchantments for hand slot items[edit]

Enchantment (Max)
(JE) (BE)
 
Bane of Arthropods (V)
Channeling (I)
Curse of Vanishing (I)
Efficiency (V)
Fire Aspect (II)
Flame (I)
Fortune (III)
Impaling (V)
Infinity (I)
Knockback (II)
Looting (III)
Loyalty (III)
Luck of the Sea (III)
Lure (III)
Mending (I)
Multishot (I)
Piercing (IV)
Power (V)
Punch (II)
Quick Charge (III)
Riptide (III)
Sharpness (V)
Silk Touch (I)
Smite (V)
Sweeping Edge (III)
Unbreaking (III)

Enchantments for armor slot items[edit]

Enchantment (Max)

Aqua Affinity (I)
Blast Protection (IV)
Curse of Binding (I)
Curse of Vanishing (I)
Depth Strider (III)
Feather Falling (IV)
Fire Protection (IV)
Frost Walker (II)
Mending (I)
Projectile Protection (IV)
Protection (IV)
Respiration (III)
Thorns (III)
Unbreaking (III)

Item data[edit]

  •  tag: The item's tag tag.
    •  Enchantments: Contains enchantments on this item that affect the way the item works.
      • : A single enchantment.
        •  id: The name of the enchantment.
        •  lvl: The level of the enchantment, where 1 is level 1.
    •  StoredEnchantments: Contains enchantments for enchanted books.
      • : A stored enchantment, identical structure to each enchantment in Enchantments.
    •  RepairCost: Number of enchantment levels to add to the base level cost when repairing, combining, or renaming this item with an Anvil.

Videos[edit]

History[edit]

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Java Edition
1.0.0September 30, 2011First mentions of the enchantment table.[2][3]. According to a picture Notch posted of the enchantment table,[4] they Enchanting Table (pre-release).png were originally crafted with cobblestone instead of obsidian.[citation needed]
October 1, 2011The 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.
October 3, 2011The first images of a player wearing enchanted armor are revealed.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 3Enchanting Table Revision 1.png Basics of enchanting have been added, along with the enchanting table. It does not require bookshelves to get maximum enchantments. Many enchantments are not yet in the game. Enchantments are to be labeled in the enchanting table as random words written in the Standard Galactic Alphabet.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4A bug where all enchantments would show up as Feather Falling I has been fixed.
Enchanting has been now properly enabled enchanting on multiplayer. 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.
1.1?Added four bow enchantments: Power, Flame, Punch, and Infinity.
1.2.112w05aEnchanting no longer requires experience in Creative mode.
12w06aBows and golden swords now have a small chance of being already enchanted when dropped by their respective mobs.
1.3.112w17aIce and glass panes can again now be collected with a Silk Touch-enchanted tool.
12w22aThe maximum enchantment power has been lowered from 50 to 30.
Experience is now collectable with mining and smelting in a furnace.
12w23aGlint (animated glow effect) on enchanted tools and armor is now visible on multiplayer.
1.4.212w34aFlame enchanted bows now ignite TNT blocks.
12w41aEnchantments can now be combined using anvils, allowing some high level enchantments to be applied where they were not previously possible.
1.4.4preEnchantments can now be applied using /enchant. However, Protection is unavailable due to a bug.
1.4.612w49a/enchant now works with ID 0, meaning it can be used to apply protection.
The player can now enchant books to then be used to enchant a tool.
12w50aAdded a new armor enchantment: Thorns.
The player can now add the Silk Touch enchantment to shears and the Unbreaking enchantment to anything that has durability.
Efficiency has been nerfed a bit, so that enchanted tools that don't match the block the player is breaking no longer work as quickly as before (e.g. Efficiency V Pickaxes no longer instantly break dirt or wood logs).
1.5?Efficiency has been completely nerfed when using tools on the wrong block types - they now break the block at the same rate as the player's bare fists.
1.7.213w36aAdded two fishing rod enchantments: Luck of the Sea and Lure.
The fishing rod can now be enchanted without the use of books.
Armor can now receive unbreaking without the use of books.
1.814w02aEnchanting has received a major overhaul where there is now a secondary cost, which is lapis lazuli.
When enchanting an item, one enchantment now appears 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 now be applied without the use of an anvil.
Villager trading has been revamped, causing clerics to no longer enchant items, while black apron villagers trade enchanted items.
14w04aLooting now give a 1 percentage point increase per level to the chance of getting rare drops.
14w25aAdded a new enchantment for boots: Depth Strider.
1.915w36aReduced benefits for Sharpness and the protection enchantments. Previously, Sharpness added 1.25Half Heart.svg damage per level; see Armor/Before 1.9#Enchantments for the effect of pre-1.9 Protection.
15w42aAdded Frost Walker and Mending enchantments.
When multiple pieces of Thorns armor are worn, one is chosen at random instead of always using the "bottommost" piece.
Enchantments with max 1 level no longer displays the level, e.g. "Infinity" rather than "Infinity I".
15w43aFrost Walker no longer works on flowing water.
15w43cLure no longer affects loot.
15w44aMending is now available at lower enchantment levels.
15w47bSilk Touch may no longer be added to shears.
15w47cSilk Touch is no longer required to collect cobwebs.
15w49aFrost Walker now works when standing on transparent blocks.
15w51aFrost Walker no longer affects water blocks that do not have an air block above.
1.1016w20aMobs with frost walker boots no longer take damage when walking on the new magma blocks.
1.1116w32aThe block entity ID for the enchantment table is changed from EnchantTable to enchanting_table.
16w39aAdded Curse of Binding and Curse of Vanishing.
1.11.116w50aAdded a new enchantment for swords: Sweeping Edge.
Infinity and Mending are now mutually exclusive.
?Anvils no longer allow enchanted books to apply to items, if no change in enchantments would take effect. This can occur if all enchantments on the book are incompatible with existing enchantments on the item – or if the enchanted book has no enchantments.
1.1317w47aRenamed "Enchantment Table" to "Enchanting Table".
Hoes can now be enchanted.
Prior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 116.
18w07aThe addition of tridents has added 4 new enchantments that can be applied to them: Loyalty, Impaling, Riptide, and Channeling.
18w08bRespiration no longer grants enhanced vision underwater.
18w14aRiptide is now no longer compatible with Loyalty or Channeling.
1.1418w43aEnchanting Table Revision 2.png Changed enchanting table textures.
Added 3 new enchantments for crossbows: Multishot, Quick Charge, and Piercing.
18w44aEnchanting Table Revision 3.png Changed the obsidian texture.
18w46aEnchanting Tables are no longer transparent from the bottom.
18w50aEnchanting Table TextureUpdate.png Changed the obsidian texture once again.
19w02aProtection, blast protection, fire protection, and projectile protection are no longer mutually exclusive.[5]
1.14.3Pre-Release 2Changes from 19w02a were reverted, so now it is impossible to combine protection, blast protection, fire protection, and projectile protection.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1build 1Added the enchanting system and enchantment tables.
Enchantment tables now emit a light level of 12.
Enchantment tables can now be crafted on the stonecutter.
Added enchantment tables to the Creative mode inventory.
build 11Enchanting tables are now craftable in the crafting table, instead of the stonecutter.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha 1.1.0.0Added Mending and Frost Walker enchantments.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0Added Curse of Binding and Curse of Vanishing enchantments, but they are obtainable only via trading with librarians.
?Curse enchantments are no longer obtainable via trading.
Hoes can no longer be enchanted in enchanting tables.
1.4.0beta 1.2.13.8Added Loyalty, Impaling, Riptide, and Channeling as part of Experimental Gameplay, able to be applied to the new tridents.
beta 1.2.13.11When Experimental Gameplay is enabled, tridents can now be enchanted.
beta 1.2.14.2Fully implemented Loyalty, Impaling, Riptide, and Channeling.
Tridents are now fully implemented and can now be enchanted.
1.8.0beta 1.8.0.10Added 3 new enchantments for crossbows: Multishot, Quick Charge, and Piercing.
1.10.0beta 1.10.0.3Enchanting Table TextureUpdate.png Changed enchanting table textures.
Legacy Console Edition
TU7CU11.0Patch 1Patch 1Added the enchanting system and enchanting tables.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Added the Luck of the Sea, Lure and Depth Strider enchantments.
Enchanting now consumes lapis lazuli.
Enchanting has now been re-balanced.
Enchanted Books can now receive multiple enchants at once.
TU43CU331.36Patch 13Added the Frost Walker and Mending enchantments.
TU54CU441.52Patch 24Patch 4Added Curse of Binding and Curse of Vanishing.
TU691.76Patch 38The addition of tridents has added 4 new enchantments that can be applied to them: Loyalty, Impaling, Riptide, and Channeling.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Enchanting Table TextureUpdate.png Changed enchanting table textures.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Added enchantments.
1.9.19Added the Frost Walker and Mending enchantments.


Issues[edit]

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

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]