Enchanting

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An enchanting table surrounded by bookshelves

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.
  • 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 points 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 third 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 (on mobile devices, the player can tap an enchantment before putting in the lapis lazuli). 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 have no effect.

Although the player must have at least the level requirement to get an enchantment, the number of levels that the player is charged is the same as the lapis lazuli requirement. For example, if the third enchantment listed is a level 30 enchantment, the player must have at least 30 levels, pays only 3 levels and 3 lapis lazuli.

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 are "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.

The possible enchantments depend 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, click 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).

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, red 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 levels of 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 that 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 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 is able to be used on an axe, pickaxe, or shovel, and the player can decide which item receives which enchantment.

Disenchanting[edit]

The only way to disenchant items is via the grindstone. Disenchanting with the grindstone removes enchantments that are not cursed enchantments, and gives experience back based on the level of the enchantment(s) and their value.

Summary of enchantments[edit]

See Also: Enchantment Levels

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 that, in Survival mode, cannot receive the enchantment from an enchanting table but can from an enchanted book with an anvil.
  • Weight: Relative probability of the enchantment being offered.
Summary of enchantments
Name Summary Max
Level
Primary
Items
Secondary
Items
Weight
Aqua Affinity Increases underwater mining speed. I 2
Bane of Arthropods Increases damage to arthropods.
Mutually exclusive with Smite and Sharpness.
V 5
Blast Protection Reduces explosion damage and knockback.
Mutually exclusive with other protections.
IV 2
Channeling Trident "channels" a bolt of lightning toward a hit entity. Functions only during thunderstorms and if target is unobstructed with opaque blocks.
Mutually exclusive with Riptide.
I 1
Chopping[upcoming: JE Tests] Increases damage and shield stunning.
Mutually exclusive with Sharpness, Bane of Arthropods and Smite.
III
Curse of Binding Prevents removal of items from armor slots (except when in creative). I 1
Curse of Vanishing
[Java Edition only][upcoming: BE 1.16.0]
Item destroyed on death. I 1
Depth Strider Increases underwater movement speed.
Mutually exclusive with Frost Walker.
III 2
Efficiency Increases mining speed. When applied to an axe it increases the chance that the axe may stun a shield, with the base chance being 25% and a 5% increase for each level of efficiency. V 10
Feather Falling Reduces fall damage. IV 5
Fire Aspect Sets target on fire. II 2
Fire Protection Reduces fire damage and burn time.
Mutually exclusive with other protections.
IV 5
Flame Arrows set target on fire. I 2
Fortune Increases certain block drops.
Mutually exclusive with Silk Touch.
III 2
Frost Walker Turns water beneath the player into frosted ice.
Mutually exclusive with Depth Strider.
II 2
Impaling Trident deals additional damage to mobs that spawn naturally in the ocean. In Bedrock Edition, having impaling on a trident also deals extra damage to players or mobs in water or rain. V 2
Infinity Shooting consumes no regular arrows.
Mutually exclusive with Mending.
I 1
Knockback Increases knockback. II 5
Looting Increases mob loot. III 2
Loyalty Trident returns after being thrown. Higher levels reduce return time.
Mutually exclusive with Riptide.
III 5
Luck of the Sea Increases rate of random loot III 2
Lure Decreases wait time until fish/junk/loot "bites". III 2
Mending Repair items with experience.
Cannot be combined with Infinity, tools with Mending must be being held in hand in order to repair while gaining XP.
I 2
Multishot Shoot 3 arrows at the cost of one; only one arrow can be recovered.
Mutually exclusive with Piercing.
I 2
Piercing Arrows pass through multiple entities.
Mutually exclusive with Multishot.
IV 10
Power Increases arrow damage. V 10
Projectile Protection Reduces projectile damage.
Mutually exclusive with other protections.
IV 5
Protection Reduces most types of damage by 4% for each level.
Mutually exclusive with other protections.
IV 10
Punch Increases knockback (for bows). II 2
Quick Charge Decreases crossbow charging time. III 5
Respiration Extends underwater breathing time. III 2
Riptide Trident launches player with itself when thrown. Functions only in water or rain.
Mutually exclusive with Channeling and Loyalty.
III 2
Sharpness Increases damage.
Mutually exclusive with Bane of Arthropods and Smite.
V 10
Silk Touch Mined blocks drop themselves.
Mutually exclusive with Fortune, Looting and Luck of the Sea.
I [BE only] 1
Smite Increases damage to undead mobs.
Mutually exclusive with Bane of Arthropods and Sharpness.
V 5
Soul Speed
[upcoming: JE 1.16]
Increases walking speed on soul sand and soul soil. III 1
Sweeping Edge
[Java Edition only]
Increases sweeping attack damage. III 2
Thorns Reflects some of the damage taken. III 1
Unbreaking Increases item durability. III 5
The tables below summarize the enchantments that can be given to specific items on Bedrock Edition and in survival mode on other versions (in creative mode, any enchantment can be given to any item). Enchantments that 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).
Summary of enchantments by item
Item Possible enchantments Choice 1 Choice 2 Choice 3 Choice 4 Choice 5 Choice 6
Helmet Mending, Unbreaking III, Respiration III, Aqua Affinity Protection IV Projectile Protection IV Fire Protection IV Blast Protection IV
Chestplate Mending, Unbreaking III, Thorns III
Leggings Mending, Unbreaking III
Boots Mending, Unbreaking III,

Feather Falling IV, Soul Speed III

Depth Strider III Frost Walker II
Sword Mending, Unbreaking III, Fire aspect II, Looting III, Knockback II,Sweeping Edge III Sharpness V Smite V Bane of Arthropods V
Bow Power V, Punch II, Flame, Unbreaking III Mending Infinity
Shield Mending, Unbreaking III
Pickaxe Mending, Unbreaking III, Efficiency V Fortune III Silk Touch
Axe Mending, Unbreaking III, Efficiency V Fortune III Silk Touch Sharpness V Smite V Bane of Arthropods V
Shovel Mending, Unbreaking III, Efficiency V Fortune III Silk Touch
Hoe Mending, Unbreaking III
Shears Mending, Unbreaking III, Efficiency V, Silk Touch[BE only]
Fishing Rod Mending, Unbreaking III, Lure III, Luck of the Sea III
Trident Mending, Unbreaking III, Impaling V Channeling, Loyalty III Riptide III
Crossbow Mending, Unbreaking III, Quick Charge III Piercing IV Multishot
Enchantments for hand slot items
Enchantment (Max) (JE) (BE) (JE) (BE)  
Bane of Arthropods (V)
Channeling (I)
Chopping (III)
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
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)
Soul Speed (III)
Thorns (III)
Unbreaking (III)

Item data[edit]

  •  tag: The item's main 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. Saved as short when created by enchanting tables or loot tables, but read as an int and supports full int range.
    •  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]

This section needs more information.
Information requested: 1.16 hoe enchanting stuff
Java Edition
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.
1.0.0Beta 1.9 Prerelease 3The basics of enchanting have been added.
Enchantment tables do not require bookshelves to get maximum enchantments.
Enchantments are to be labeled in the enchantment 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 in 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.
1.2.112w05aEnchanting 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.
1.3.112w22aThe 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.
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.
1.7.213w36aThe fishing rod can now be enchanted 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 now hard to obtain again (like pre-1.3 settings.)
Level 5 enchants (Sharpness, Power, Smite and Bane of Arthropods) can now be applied without the use of an anvil.
Villager trading has been revamped: clerics no longer enchant items, while black apron villagers trade enchanted items.
1.915w42aEnchantments with max 1 level no longer displays the level, e.g. "Infinity" rather than "Infinity I".
1.11.1?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.
1.1317w47aHoes can now be enchanted.
1.1519w42aEnchanted items now glow in the dark.
?Due to a rewrite of the rendering engine, the enchanting animation was changed.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1build 1Added the enchanting system.
Bedrock Edition
1.4.0beta 1.2.13.11When Experimental Gameplay is enabled, tridents can now be enchanted.
Legacy Console Edition
TU7CU11.0Patch 11.0.1Added the enchanting system.
TU31CU191.22Patch 3Enchanting now consumes lapis lazuli.
Enchanting has been re-balanced.
Enchanted Books can now receive multiple enchantments at once.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Added enchantments.

Issues[edit]

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

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]