How Minecraft enchanting works and the best enchantments to get

Minecraft enchanting can be a bit of complicated process as you’ll need to craft an Enchanting Table, level up, and get lots of other resources. In doing so, you’ll ensure you’re always getting the best possible enchantments for your Minecraft tools, which can improve the durability and protection you get from armor, allow you to collect delicate objects without breaking them, or increase the amount of resources you gain from mining. It’s vital if you’re going to take on some of the game’s tougher threats, or if you’re going to make your mining and crafting as lucrative as possible. Here’s what you need to know about Minecraft enchanting, including how to craft and use an Enchanting Table, and what the best enchantments are.

  • Diamonds x2: Diamonds are found deep underground starting at Y-level 16 and become more common the deeper you go. Read our Minecraft diamonds guide for more information.
  • Obsidian Blocks x4: Obsidian can be found naturally in places where flowing water meets static lava, but if you aren’t having any luck, you can fill a bucket with water and dump it on a pool of lava to make your own. Obsidian must be mined with a Diamond Pickaxe!
  • A book: Can be crafted from three pieces of paper and one piece of leather. Paper is crafted from sugar cane, and leather is primarily obtained as a drop from cows, horses, donkeys, and llamas. You can also find books, or the materials required to craft them, as loot in generated structures such as villages and shipwrecks.
  • Lapis Lazuli: While not required for the construction of an Enchanting Table, Lapis is integral to applying enchantments to items, so it’s best to have some ready! You get Lapis Lazuli from Lapis Lazuli Ore, which is found between Y-level -64 and 64, with Y-level 0 being a likely spot.

Minecraft Netherite tools

Minecraft Netherite tools

(Image credit: Mojang)

Convert your enchanted items into Minecraft Netherite tools to make them even better

You’ll then be presented with a list of three random enchantment options which are fixed until an item has been enchanted – even taking your item to a different Enchanting Table won’t change the list of enchantments. You’ll see that each enchantment is of a level equal to or below your current XP level and has an associated Lapis Lazuli and XP cost. The enchantment’s level is just a requirement, so you won’t lose 30 levels by choosing a level 30 enchantment. You can also enchant a book which effectively saves an enchantment for later.

If you pick one of the enchantments from the list, it’ll consume the XP levels and Lapis and give you your now enchanted item back. There’s also a chance that additional enchantments can be applied, which is always a nice bonus. However, an item can only be enchanted using a Minecraft Enchanting Table once, so if you want to apply extra enchantments to an enchanted item, you’ll need to either use an enchanted book or combine it with another enchanted item using an Anvil.

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 enchantments 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. With that said, there are some standout enchantments to get that you should definitely prioritize. Here are some of the best ones to look out for for each item that we think is worth enchanting:

Best Minecraft Pickaxe Enchantments

  • Unbreaking III: Increases an item’s lifespan by giving it a chance to avoid losing durability.
  • Efficiency IV: Increases mining speed by 40%. While, this enchantment can reach tier V, we don’t feel like it’s worth the extra effort needed to reach it, as it can’t be done using an Enchanting Table for diamond tools.
  • Mending: Uses XP orbs to restore small amounts of durability to an item. This can be handy for prolonging your Pickaxe’s lifespan even more, but does mean you’ll be sacrificing XP gains. Mending is also a treasure enchantment and can’t be obtained from an Enchanting Table 
  • Fortune III: Allows you to get more item drops than usual from a mined block by adding a chance to receive double, triple, or quadruple the items. This is especially useful for mining rare materials, such as diamonds.   
  • Silk Touch: Causes certain blocks to drop as themselves rather than their usual dropped resources. This means fragile items, such as Glass blocks, can be mined without breaking.

    Note that Silk Touch and Fortune are incompatible so you will need a different Pickaxe for each of those enchantments.

Best Minecraft Sword Enchantments

  • Unbreaking III: Increases an item’s lifespan by giving it a chance to avoid losing durability.
  • Sharpness V: Increases melee attack damage. Essential for a sword!
  • Mending: Uses XP orbs to restore small amounts of durability to an item. This can be handy for prolonging your Pickaxe’s lifespan even more, but does mean you’ll be sacrificing XP gains. Mending is also a treasure enchantment and can’t be obtained from an Enchanting Table
  • Looting III: Increases the amount of items defeated mobs drop and increases the chances of them being of a higher rarity.
  • Swords can also get other combat enchantments such as Fire Aspect II, which sets mobs and other players on fire when they are hit, and Knockback II, which is good for keeping deadly mobs and players out of reach. These are good to have but not essential.

Best Minecraft Shovel Enchantments

  • Unbreaking III: Increases an item’s lifespan by giving it a chance to avoid losing durability.
  • Efficiency IV: Increases mining speed by 40%. While, this enchantment can reach tier V, we don’t feel like it’s worth the extra effort needed to reach it, as it can’t be done using an Enchanting Table for diamond tools.
  • Fortune III and Silk Touch are also available on shovels but are much less useful enchantments to have. Fortune will be useful for anyone looking to maximize their stocks of clay or flint.

    Silk Touch and Fortune are incompatible so you will need a different Shovel for each of those enchantments.

Best Minecraft Axe Enchantments

  • Unbreaking III: Increases an item’s lifespan by giving it a chance to avoid losing durability.
  • Efficiency IV: Increases mining speed by 40%. While, this enchantment can reach tier V, we don’t feel like it’s worth the extra effort needed to reach it, as it can’t be done using an Enchanting Table for diamond tools.
  • Fortune III, Silk Touch, and Sharpness V are also available on axes but are much less useful enchantments to have compared to how much they improve a pickaxe or sword.

    Silk Touch and Fortune are incompatible so you will need a different Axe for each of those enchantments.

Best Minecraft Bow Enchantments

  • Unbreaking III: Increases an item’s lifespan by giving it a chance to avoid losing durability.
  • Infinity: A bow with this enchantment does not consume arrows when firing, effectively giving it infinite ammo. However, you do need at least one arrow in your inventory to use the bow, and your bow’s durability will still suffer.
  • Power V: Increases the damage of fired arrows. 
  • Some good but non-essential bow enchantments are Flame and Punch II. Flame sets your arrows on fire, causing them to deal fire damage, and Punch II causes mobs and players you hit with an arrow to be knocked back further.

Best Minecraft Fishing Rod Enchantments

  • Unbreaking III: Increases an item’s lifespan by giving it a chance to avoid losing durability.
  • Luck of the Sea III: Increases your luck while fishing, giving you a better chance of finding treasure and a smaller chance of finding junk.
  • Lure III: Decreases the wait time for something to bite on the hook. 

Best Minecraft Armor Enchantments

Firstly, all of your armor pieces – that’s your helmet, chestplate, leggings, and boots – should all have Unbreaking III to maximize their durability. Protection IV is also good to have for even better damage reduction, although this rules out several specific damage reduction enchantments as they are incompatible with each other – Protection, Blast Protection, Projectile Protection, and Fire Protection are all mutually exclusive so it’s down to personal preference. 

Lastly, Thorns III can also be a good enchantment to have for all your armor pieces as it provides a chance for damage to be dealt to mobs and players that deal damage to you. However, Thorns III cannot be obtained from regular Minecraft Enchanting, so you may have to settle for Thorns II. Thorns also causes armor to lose extra durability, so you might have to do a lot of repairing! 

A few pieces of armor can get some bonus enchantments that allow you to survive a little better in less hospitable environments: Here are the specific Minecraft armor enchantments that we think are best:

Helmet

  • Respiration III: Increases the amount of time you can survive underwater without drowning to one minute. Combine with a Turtle Shell helmet for an additional 10 seconds of underwater survivability.
  • Aqua Affinity: Removes the underwater mining speed penalty.

    Both of these enchantments are great to have if you’re doing a lot of exploring in ocean biomes and trying to plunder shipwrecks and Ocean Monuments

Leggings

  • Swift Sneak III: Increases your sneaking speed to 75% of regular walking speed. If you’re planning an expedition to the Deep Dark, you’ll need this enchantment.

Boots

  • Feather Falling IV: Reduces fall damage by 48%. Also stacks with Protection IV for a greater fall damage reduction.
  • Depth Strider III: Increases your movement speed in water to normal walking speed on land.
  • Frost Walker II: Creates Frosted Ice Blocks under your feet when walking over water to  prevent you from falling in. Also makes you immune to damage from Magma Blocks and Campfires if you step on them.
  • Soul Speed is another enchantment you can get that allows you to move more quickly on Soul Sand and Soul Soil but, unless you’re planning on exploring a lot of the Nether, this isn’t an essential enchantment.

    Depth Strider and Frost Walker are incompatible so you will need different boots for each of those enchantments.

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