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For the enchantment in Minecraft Dungeons, see MCD:Thorns.
Maximum level


Primary items

Secondary items

Enchantment weight


Thorns is an armor enchantment that causes attackers to be damaged when they deal damage to the wearer.

Guardians and pufferfish also have a thorn effect which inflicts damage when the spikes are out.


While wearing any piece of armor with the Thorns enchantment, the wearer has a Level × 15% chance of inflicting 1♥-4♥♥ damage on anyone who attacks them, regardless of whether they were hit by a melee attack, arrow, or other projectile. The entity also gets knocked back when being attacked by the enchantment.‌[JE only][1]

Multiple worn armor items with the Thorns enchantment do stack. Each piece confers an independent chance to deal damage to the attacker as described above. The total amount of damage that can be dealt this way is capped at 4♥♥.

Thorns applies a durability penalty to the armor. It reduces durability by an additional 2 points when inflicting damage. If multiple armor pieces are enchanted with Thorns, the durability penalty is applied to one piece chosen at random, regardless of what level of Thorns that piece has. If the item is also enchanted with Unbreaking, the damage penalty has a chance of being ignored.

If a projectile is launched toward an opponent equipped with thorns, using a shield damages the shield instead of the player when the projectile hits the opponent.

Using commands, the enchantment level can be increased. The maximum possible chance of dealing damage is 100% (at level 7). If the level of Thorns exceeds 10, then it deals Level - 10 damage.


Thorns I, II, and III can be obtained naturally from drops or by combining the enchantment from a book. Thorns III can also be obtained by using an anvil to combine two Thorns II enchantments, or by combining the enchantment from a book obtained via trading with a villager. Thorns III cannot appear on the enchantment table interface, but can be added as a side effect enchantment from a level 30 enchantment on armor.

Thorns can be applied to a non-armor item only by using commands or a third-party tool. When such an item is held in either hand, an attacker suffers damage according to the formula above.


SoundSubtitleSourceDescriptionNamespaced IDTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Thorns prick??enchant.thorns.hitsubtitles.enchant.thorns.hit??16

Data values[edit]


Java Edition:

NameNamespaced IDTranslation key
Thornsthorns enchantment.minecraft.thorns

Bedrock Edition:

NameNamespaced IDNumeric ID Translation key
Thornsthorns 5enchantment.thorns



Java Edition
1.4.612w50aAdded Thorns.
1.9?Sounds for Thorns have been added.
15w42aWhen multiple pieces of Thorns armor are worn, one is chosen at random to lose durability instead of always using the "bottommost" piece.
1.16.120w28aNow less demanding on durability.[2]
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1build 1Added Thorns.


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