Minecraft enchantments guide: how to use your enchanting table

Forget the cauldrons and incantations, here’s how to instill your diamond gear with a little block magic using the best Minecraft enchantments

A Minecraft enchanting table in a room lined by bookshelves

Minecraft enchantments can be crafted using an enchanting table and are how you create magic armour, weapons, and tools in Minecraft. There is a significant gamble associated with enchantments in Minecraft, as there’s no way of knowing what the enchanting table will spit out when you’re done. You could end up wasting a perfectly good diamond sword, or you could imbue it with the Fire Aspect enchantment so that it also deals burn damage with each strike.

As you can probably tell, Minecraft enchantments are very powerful, and you’ll want to rack up as many as possible to stand the best chance of surviving in this cruel, blocky world. To offset their extraordinary power, getting to the stage where you can build and use a Minecraft enchanting is no mean feat, and there are a lot of steps involved in creating a weapon with a decent enchantment.

Join us as we break down the basics on building a Minecraft enchanting table, using enchantments, and offering some additional tips on this advanced crafting mechanic.

Here is a list of all of the Minecraft enchantments currently in the game:

  • Aqua Affinity
    Increases your mining rate while under water. Max rank 1.
  • Bane of Arthropods
    Increases damage to arthropods, exclusive with Smite and Sharpness. Max rank 5.
  • Blast Protection
    Reduce damage from explosions. Max rank 4.
  • Channeling
    Applies to the Minecraft trident only. Channels a bolt of lightning towards an entity you’ve hit – only works during thunderstorms and is mutually exclusive with Riptide. Max Rank 1.
  • Curse of Binding
    Prevents removal of items. Max rank 1.
  • Curse of Vanishing
    Item destroyed on death. Max rank 1.
  • Depth Strider
    Move faster underwater (mutually exclusive with Frost Walker). Max rank 3.
  • Efficiency
    Mine faster. Max rank 5.
  • Feather Falling
    Take less fall damage. Max rank 4.
  • Fire Aspect
    Sets the target on fire. Max rank 2.
  • Fire Protection
    Take less fire damage. Max rank 4
  • Flame
    Arrows set the target on fire. Max rank 1.
  • Fortune
    Get more block drops (mutually exclusive with Silk Touch).
  • Frost Walker
    Turns any water beneath you into frosted ice, which explains why this can’t be used in tandem with Depth Strider. Max rank 2.
  • Impaling
    Deal more damage to ocean mobs with the trident. Max rank 5.
  • Infinity
    Consume no arrows when firing your bow (mutually exclusive with mending) Max rank 3.
  • Knockback
    More knockback. Max rank 2.
  • Looting
    Get more loot from mobs. Max rank 3.
  • Loyalty
    Trident returns after you throw it (mutually exclusive with Riptide). At higher ranks the trident returns faster. Max rank 3.
  • Luck of the Sea
    More luck with catching fish. Max rank 3.
  • Lure
    Faster fishing. Max rank 3.
  • Mending
    Repair items using experience (mutually exclusive with Infinity). Max rank 1.
  • Multishot
    Fire three arrows at once, while only consuming one arrow (mutually exclusive with Piercing). Max rank 1.
  • Piercing
    Arrows can go through two targets (mutually exclusive with Multishot). Max rank 4.
  • Power
    Deal more damage with arrows. Max rank 5.
  • Projectile Protection
    Take less damage from projectiles. Max rank 4.
  • Protection
    Reduces damage taken from most sources. Max rank 4.
  • Punch
    Your arrows have more knockback. Max rank 2.
  • Quick Charge
    Reload your crossbow faster. Max rank 3.
  • Respiration
    Swim underwater for longer without needing to resurface. Max rank 3.
  • Riptide
    When you throw your trident you go with it (mutually exclusive with Channeling and Loyalty). This only works in water or during rain. Max rank 3.
  • Sharpness
    Deal more damage with sword and axes (mutually exclusive with Smite and Bane of Arthropods). Max rank 5.
  • Silk Touch
    Mined blocks drop automatically (mutually exclusive with Fortune). Max rank 1.
  • Soul Speed
    Increases walking speed on soul sand and soil blocks. Max level 3.
  • Smite
    Dish out more damage to undead mobs (mutually exclusive with Sharpness and Bane of Arthropods). Max rank 5.
  • Sweeping Edge
    More damage with sweeping attacks. Max rank 3.
  • Thorns
    Deals damage to attackers upon being hit. Max rank 3.
  • Unbreaking
    Increases the durability of the enchanted item. Max rank 3.

What is Minecraft enchanting?

If you’ve reached the point where you’ve got all you need to survive in Minecraft, but feel you could always be more powerful you may want to get yourself an enchanting table. These special blocks can bestow powerful (and weird) magical abilities on your weapons and armour, but you can’t guarantee what effect you’ll end up with.

What Minecraft items can you enchant?

Enchantments can be applied to a huge number of items in Minecraft, but the broad set of item categories that you can enchant in Minecraft are as follows: armour, tools, weapons, and books.

Anvils used for Minecraft enchanting and repairing. The current sword shown has seven enchantments attached to it.

How to enchant items in Minecraft

There are three main ways to enchant items in Minecraft:

  • Go to a Minecraft enchanting table and exchange XP and lapis lazuli to enchant an item
  • At a Minecraft anvil, combine an enchanted book with an unenchanted item – this uses XP
  • At an anvil, combine two enchanted items to create one item with two enchantments

Alternatively, you can get enchanted items occasionally by trading emeralds with villagers. There is also a chance you’ll find an enchanted item while fishing, or as a drop from killing a zombie, drowned, zombie pigman, husk, stray, wither skeleton, or skeleton. Enchanted items can also be looted in the end city.

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If you play on Bedrock Edition then you can get enchanted items by slaying pillager and vindicator enemies during a raid. Or you could use Minecraft console commands and cheats to get the job done.

How to build a Minecraft enchanting table

You’ll need four obsidian, two diamonds, and a book to build an enchantment table in Minecraft. Open up your crafting menu and arrange three obsidian along the bottom row with a fourth in the centre of the grid.

Related: How to create a Minecraft book and make paper

Place the Minecraft diamonds either side of the protruding obsidian and finish by putting the book in the middle of the top row. An enchanting table should now appear on the right, so simply drag and drop this in your inventory and there you have it.

How to use your enchanting table

Once it’s placed go over and interact with the enchanting table. This will open a new interface. On the left you can drop in a number of lapis lazuli and the item you want to enchant, then on the right you’ll see some scripture that signals your choice of randomly rolled enchantments – hover over one of the glyphs and will give you a clue as to one of the possible enchantments.

Minecraft enchantments: an enchantment book sitting in a Minecraft player's inventory

How to get better Minecraft enchantments

Minecraft enchantments will generally be much higher the higher your experience level, so don’t expect the best enchantments should you manage to craft one of these tables early on.

You can also increase your enchantment level by placing a bookshelf next to the enchanting table – with a buffer zone of one block. To access the very best enchantments you’ll need to create a full bookshelf border – 15 in total. The best way to place these is to create a second row of bookshelf blocks should you run out of space.

If you don’t have a specific item you want to enchant then you can create an enchanted book, which effectively saves the enchantment for use later. As for changing enchantments in Minecraft, there’s not much you can do to manipulate your choices as it’s based off you experience level, your enchantment seed, and the item type you’re trying to enchant. You can fudge the options you’re shown by reducing the number of bookshelves connected to the table, but this doesn’t affect the possibilities.

The best way to store up Minecraft enchantments to craft a max enchanted weapon is to keep enchanting books. With the highest level enchantments available to you just keep enchanting books until you have a selection of max level enchantments, then take your desired item and the books to an anvil and pair them together. Jace has an exceptional guide on achieving max enchantments on different items, which you can watch below.

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Minecraft best enchantments

What are the best enchantments to use in Minecraft? While preference plays a huge part there are a few enchantments that no player should be without.

Mending is the most useful enchantment, especially for tools and weapons you’re likely to use a lot. Wear and tear costs a lot of resources the longer you play in Minecraft, with successive repairs increasing in cost. Mending repairs your equipped weapon by picking up XP bubbles. So, every time you slay one of the countless Minecraft mobs the XP bubbles that pop out will immediately repair the weapon you just used. Just switch to your pickaxe before hoovering up the XP and you can keep your diamond pickaxe in good condition.

In a similar vein, Unbreaking increases your item’s durability, meaning you can spend longer using it before having to go on a mender bender.

For weapons it’s generally just easier to use an enchantment like maxed out Sharpness or Power than a specialist enchantment like Smite or Impaling as these will buff your overall power and you won’t need to carry around several swords. For tools you’ll want Mending and Unbreaking, but also Efficiency and Fortune.

Finally, when it comes to the best Minecraft armour enchantments, you always want Feather Falling on your boots to reduce fall damage and maxed out Protection on all your armour pieces.

This is one of the many enchantment languages, If you translate it spells out different random things from Minecraft

How to read Minecraft enchantment language

The Minecraft enchanting table language is actually known as standard galactic language, and originated in Commander Keen. There are many, many tools available to convert the letters, but the words don’t correlate to the enchantment you get: it’s nothing but a fun easter egg. So while you can translate the enchanting language in Minecraft, it’s not helpful at all.

And there you have it, everything you need to know about Minecraft enchantments. Some of these are especially powerful – we’re big fans of using Punch to knock mobs of ledges – so use them wisely. You can also enchant your Minecraft shield with three different Minecraft enchantments to improve your defence in battle, and you can use Minecraft banners if you want to show off.