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Minecraft enchanting guide: How to improve your weapons and items using Minecraft enchantments

Minecraft enchanting guide
(Image credit: Mojang)

Applying Minecraft enchanting to items and gear can be a huge help when it comes to surviving whatever your particular world chooses to throw at you. So whether you're looking to enhance your armour or weapons to make taking down monsters a breeze, or you just want a more efficient way of gathering resources, Minecraft enchantments could well be your answer.

As with almost everything in Minecraft, there are certain tools needed for specific jobs and enchanting is no different. Before you can begin reliably enhancing your items with Minecraft enchantments, you'll need to collect the materials to build an Enchantment Table.

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How to build an Enchantment Table in Minecraft

Minecraft enchanting

(Image credit: Mojang Studios)

To enchant items in Minecraft, first, you'll need to build an Enchantment Table. You'll need to gather two diamonds, four obsidian blocks, and one book in order to make one.

If you need help locating the materials, diamonds are usually found far underground and you'll need an iron pickaxe (or better) to mine them. Obsidian needs to be mined with a diamond pickaxe and you'll find it where lava and water meet – if you aren't having any luck locating any, you can fill a bucket with water and dump it on some lava to make your own. Books can be crafted with paper and leather or obtained by destroying bookcases, which are often found inside villager's houses.

How to enchant items in Minecraft

Minecraft enchanting

(Image credit: Mojang Studios)

Once you have crafted yourself an Enchantment Table and placed it in a suitable location, you'll be able to enchant your items. The Enchantment Table works in a similar way to the regular crafting table but you'll need one additional resource in order to start enchanting – Lapis Lazuli. This is usually found in deeper caverns and mines and only requires a stone pickaxe to harvest. You should look out for the telltale dark blue colouring that gives it away.

Once you have the item you want to enchant and the Lapis Lazuli placed in the Enchantment Table, you'll have three enchantment options to choose from. The enchantments listed are entirely random and once an item has been enchanted, you won't be able to change it so choose carefully. Alternatively, you can enchant a book which can be saved and applied to an item later.

The Enchantment Table will only let you apply one enchant to an item. If you want to apply multiple enchantments, you'll need to either use an enchanted book or combine two enchanted items using an Anvil.

How to increase the level of enchantments in Minecraft

Minecraft enchanting

(Image credit: Mojang Studios)

There are a couple of ways to ensure you get better quality enchants. There is no level requirement to start enchanting in Minecraft but a higher level character will have a choice of higher-ranked enchants. It's worth remembering that these will still be random so it will involve a lot of trial and error (and patience!) to get the exact enchants you want. To further increase the potential of possible enchants, you should place bookcases around your Enchantment Table as this also increases the potency of the enchants it can create.

To maximise the potency of your enchants, you'll need to raise your character to level 30 and arrange 15 bookshelves around the Enchantment Table. There is a very specific way they need to be placed or they won't have any effect – bookshelves should be positioned two blocks away from the table and on the same height or one block higher and nothing should be placed in between.

If you don't have the materials for bookshelves, there's no need to go above level 8 on your character as further levels won't influence the strength of the enchants produced.

The best enchantments in Minecraft

Minecraft enchanting

(Image credit: Mojang Studios)

There are many Minecraft enchantments to discover, and you should experiment with combinations that work for you and your playstyle. To get you started, we've picked out some of the best ones to look out for and listed them here. 

Mending (max. Rank 1)
Best applied to:
Weapons or resource gathering tools that you frequently use.
Effect: You'll have noticed that tools and weapons in Minecraft will wear down and break with repeated use. This enchantment allows an item to use any experience gained to repair itself so whenever you see those little green orbs that are produced from either killing monsters or mining resources, they will replenish the durability of the enchanted item.

Unbreaking (max. Rank 3)
Best applied to:
Weapons, armour, or resource gathering tools that you frequently use.
Effect: Similar to Mending, Unbreaking will increase the durability of the item it is applied to. You'll still need to repair it manually but it should take a lot longer to wear down.

Fortune (max. Rank 3)
Best applied to:
Pickaxe, shovel, or axe.
Effect: This enchantment will increase the number of resources that can be collected from a single block quite significantly. It's especially useful for gathering rarer materials such as diamonds or even Lapis Lazuli (which you'll need plenty of for all of your enchantments!).

Looting (max. Rank 3)
Best applied to:
Sword.
Effect: This one is similar to the Fortune enchantment, except that it increases the loot that an enemy drops when killed. It should be noted that this doesn't increase the experience gained.

Sharpness (max. Rank 5)
Best applied to:
Sword or axe.
Effect: The Sharpness enchantment increases the melee damage of a weapon. There are specialised enchantments that will increase your damage against certain monster-types but Sharpness will make a good all-round damage boost against anything you encounter.

Power (max. Rank 5)
Best applied to:
Bow.
Effect: The Power enchantment will increase your arrow damage by a significant amount. This is handy if you prefer to take out monsters at range.

Protection (max. Rank 4)
Best applied to:
Armour.
Effect: As the name suggests, the Protection enchantment will increase the damage reduction on any piece of armour. There are specialised enchantments that will protect against specific damage types but generally, Protection is the better choice if you don't have the resources for multiple armour sets. 

Efficiency (max. Rank 5)
Best applied to:
Pickaxe, shovel, axe.
Effect: The Efficiency enchantment increases the gathering speed of the tool it is applied to. This is handy if you want to save time but will only work when the tool is being used to gather the correct resource. Using a pickaxe to gather wood, for example, won't see any speed benefit.

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