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How to enchant your tools and armor in Minecraft

Time to upgrade your tools

An Enchantment Table surrounded by Bookshelves and other tools in Minecraft Image: Microsoft/Mojang via Polygon

Minecraft's enchantments add buffs to your tools, weapons, and armor. Enchantments do things like make fishing faster, increase your mining speed, or even add lightning damage to attacks.

In this Minecraft enchanting guide, we’ll walk you through building an enchanting table, getting better enchantments, and list some of the available enchantments.

Build an enchanting table

To enchant items, you’ll really only need an enchanting table, but a grindstone (2 sticks, 1 stone slab, 2 planks) and an anvil (3 blocks of iron, 4 iron ingots) will come in handy too.

An enchanting table requires one book, two diamonds, and four obsidian.

Books can be made from three paper (that you can craft from sugar cane) and one leather.

Diamonds are a little harder to come by. First, you’ll need (at least) an iron pickaxe. Then, you’ll have to dig down below level 15 or so (15 blocks above where stone becomes deepslate). Diamond gets even more common the lower you go, so 15 is the minimum depth, but closer to level -60 will be more productive.

Once you have some diamonds, craft a diamond pickaxe so you can gather obsidian. You might find obsidian on the surface in a ruined portal, or in caves where flowing water meets lava. It’s much easier, though, to make your own. If you have a steady supply of lava — like with a lava farm to generate infinite lava — place a bucket of lava in a hole and dump a bucket of water onto it. The lava becomes obsidian.

With all your resources gathered, make your enchanting table.

Enchanting items and enchantment level

To enchant an item, you’ll need the item you want to enchant and some lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli is that blue-speckled ore that you find while mining. It’s most common right around level 0 where stone transitions to deepslate.

The Enchant screen in Minecraft Image: Mojang/Microsoft via Polygon

To enchant your tool, you’ll simply place it on the enchanting table in the left slot and place some lapis lazuli in the right slot. Three enchantment options will appear to the right. Applying one of the enchantments will cost 1 to 3 lapis lazuli and 1 to 3 player levels (that you earn from XP). The green number to the right side is the minimum level you need to unlock that enchantment, but doesn’t affect the cost.

The three enchantments that pop up depend on two things: your level (the green number at the bottom of the screen) and the enchantment level. You’ll increase your player level by collecting XP, which you can earn from doing things like killing mobs, mining ores, and smelting. Increasing the enchantment level requires bookshelves.

A Minecraft enchanting table surrounded by 15 bookcases. Image: Microsoft/Mojang via Polygon

Placing a bookshelf (3 books, 6 planks) one block away from an enchanting table increases its enchanting level. Every bookshelf you add makes the enchanting table’s level a little higher, up to a total of 15. (Basically, this means that the more bookshelves you have, the better the enchantments will be.) There needs to be one space between the bookshelf and the enchanting table, and nothing can be in that space (not even a torch).

Getting different enchantments

The three enchantments that pop up when you use an enchanting table are pulled from a set list. There’s some randomness to it, so you’ll get better ones as your level increases or as you add and remove bookcases — but the list won’t change too much.

To get a new list for the table to randomly pull from, you’ll need to use one of the enchantments offered. Grab the cheapest one — it’ll always cost 1 lapis lazuli and 1 level — and apply it to something like a book or a random weapon. When you go back to the table, the list will be (mostly) new.

Removing and combining enchantments

Using a grindstone (2 sicks, 1 stone slab, 2 planks) will remove the enchantments from an item.

An anvil (3 blocks of iron, 4 iron ingots) allows you to combine enchantments from two items or apply an enchanted book to an item.

List of Minecraft enchantments

A list of enchantments that can be added to tools and armor using an Enchanting Table can be found below, courtesy of the Minecraft Wiki. For a full list of Enchantments, check out the Minecraft Wiki.

Minecraft Enchanting Table Enchantments

Enchantment name Effect Compatible armor/tools
Enchantment name Effect Compatible armor/tools
Aqua Affinity Increases underwater mining speed Helmet, Turtle Shell
Bane of Arthropods Increases damage and applies Slowness to spiders, cave spiders, silverfish, endermites, and bees Sword, Axe (Bedrock only)
Blast Protection Reduces explosion damage and knockback Helmet, Chestplate, Leggings, Boots, Turtle Shell
Channeling Channels a bolt of lightning towards a hit target, only works during thunderstorms Trident
Cleaving Increases damage and shield stunning Axe
Depth Strider Increases underwater movement speed Boots
Efficiency Increases mining speed. Increases chances axes may stun a shield Pickaxe, Shovel, Axe, Hoe
Feather Falling Reduces fall damage Boots
Fire Aspect Sets target on fire Sword
Fire Protection Reduces fire damage and burn time Helmet, Chestplate, Leggings, Boots, Turtle Shell
Flame Arrows set target on fire Bow
Fortune Increases certain block drops Pickaxe, Shovel, Axe, Hoe
Impaling Deals addition damage to mobs that spawn in the ocean Trident
Infinity Shooting a bow consumes no regular arrows Bow
Knockback Increases knockback Sword
Looting Increases mob loot Sword
Loyalty Trident returns after being thrown Trident
Luck of the Sea Increases rate of good loot Fishing Rod
Lure Decreases time until rod gets a bite Fishing Rod
Multishot Shoots three arrows at the cost of one Crossbow
Piercing Arrows pass through multiple entities Crossbow
Power Increases arrow damage Bow
Projectile Protection Reduces projectile damage Helmet, Chestplate, Leggings, Boots, Turtle Shell
Protection Reduces most types of damage Helmet, Chestplate, Leggings, Boots, Turtle Shell
Punch Increases arrow knockback Bow
Quick Charge Decreases crossbow charging time Crossbow
Respiration Extends underwater breathing time Helmet, Turtle Shell
Riptide Trident launches player with itself when thrown, only works in water and rain Trident
Sharpness Increases damage Sword, Axe (Bedrock only)
Silk Touch Mined blocks drop themselves Pickaxe, Shovel, Axe, Hoe
Smite Increases damage to undead mobs Sword, Axe (Bedrock only)
Sweeping Edge (Java only) Increases sweeping attack damage Sword
Thorns Reflects some of the damage taken when hit Chestplate
Unbreaking Increases item durability Helmet, Chestplate, Leggings, Boots, Turtle Shell, Pickaxe, Shovel, Axe, Sword, Hoe, Fishing Rod, Bow, Trident, Crossbow

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