Dual wield

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A player holding a shield and an iron sword.

The way I want dual wielding to work is that it uses the right click action of your off-hand item if your main-hand doesn't have its own.

Dinnerbone [1]

Dual wielding is a gameplay mechanic which allows players to hold two items or blocks[Java Edition only] simultaneously.


The off-hand slot highlighted in the inventory

This section is a stub, meaning that it lacks some important information. You can help by expanding it with further information relating to the topic.
Reason: Missing information about dual wielding in Bedrock Edition.

Players can equip an item to the off-hand slot from the inventory, similarly to armor. Players can also select an item and press F to automatically equip it. The off-hand slot will then appear beside the HUD opposite from the main hand. If the player is in first person view, then the off-hand will appear in the screen along with the held item. Whichever hand should be the main hand is configurable in the Skin Customization menu.

The off-hand can use the item it holds when there are no usable items on the main hand (e.g. swords), or the item held on the main hand cannot be used directly (e.g. shovel or hoe with no grass nearby). Otherwise, the main hand takes priority over the off-hand. Players also cannot break blocks or attack with the off-hand, even if nothing is held in the main hand.


Arrows held in the off-hand are prioritized over other arrows in the hotbar and the inventory. Players can equip a specific arrow in their off-hand slot to fire it with a bow. If the bow is on the off-hand, then the arrow selected on the hotbar (with the main hand) is prioritized. Shields can be held in the off-hand as defense.


Java Edition Beta
10 July 2011Jeb states that "Notch is working on dual-wielding of items" during an interview.
Java Edition
1.9May 28, 2015Nathan Adams tweets a picture of dual-wielding fish.
June 4, 2015Nathan Adams tweets a short guide explaining how the dual-wielding system will work.
15w31a Added dual wielding.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha Added the off-hand slot, which can be used by totems of undying and arrows only.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0beta player can now use maps in the off-hand slot.
1.4.0beta player can now hold sparklers in the off-hand slot.
1.5.0beta player can now hold the nautilus shell in the off-hand slot.
1.8.0beta player can now hold firework rockets in the off-hand.
1.10.0beta player can now hold shields in the off-hand slot.
Legacy Console Edition
TU53CU431.49Patch 23Patch s3Added the off-hand slot, which can be used by maps and arrows only. What sprite it uses is unknown.
TU54CU441.52Patch 24Patch s4The player can now use the totem of undying in the off-hand slot.


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


See also[edit]