Minecraft shields: recipe, enchantments, and how to block

Prepare for battle by learning how to create a Minecraft shield, what enchantments you can give it, and how to use them to defend yourself against attacks

Minecraft shield: a person holding a gold sword and a shield with a custom decoration.

Want to learn how to create and customise your Minecraft shields? Shields are a state of the art defensive tool to aid in pixelated combat, used instead of blocking with swords. Minecraft shields are not upgradable, so it’s one size fits all, but they can be customised using a Minecraft banner.

Minecraft shields will completely negate all front-facing attacks of up to four damage, with the shield taking damage equal to the strength of the attack if the incoming attack exceeds that value. Minecraft shields can be used to deflect some incoming attacks, including arrows that will ricochet and deal damage back at the enemy who fired it, and melee combat which will knock an enemy backwards.

All non-damage effects through a ranged attack, such as being set on fire or poisoned by an arrow, are prevented when blocking with the shield. Knockback from melee attacks or projectiles is negated, except explosions, which are reduced to one block or less. Find out how to create, customise, and enchant your shield in Minecraft with these handy tips.

The Minecraft shield recipe requires six wood blocks and one iron ingot.

Minecraft shield recipe

If you want to create a shield from scratch, you’ll need the following seven ingredients for your Minecraft shield recipe:

  • 6x wood planks
  • 1x iron ingot

Arrange your six wood planks into a Y shape in your crafting grid and then place the iron ingot into the top slot. If you have a damaged shield, it can be repaired using either an anvil, or by combining two damaged shields in your crafting grid.

Player is blocking with their shield in Minecraft by crouching.

How to use Minecraft shields

Your newly crafted Minecraft shield is used for defending against enemies and other players. The best home for your shield is in the off-hand slot, and once equipped can be quickly accessed using the right-click function in the Java Edition or crouch in the Bedrock Edition to block incoming attacks, however, your movement speed will be significantly reduced as you crouch.

The shield’s weakness is an axe attack – the blow will cause the shield to deactivate for five seconds, leaving you exposed to incoming attacks. You can block the following attacks using your shield in Minecraft:

  • Melee attacks
  • Arrows (without the piercing enchantment)
  • Fireballs
  • Tridents
  • Snowballs
  • Thorns
  • Explosions
  • TNT (not ignited by yourself or by a redstone mechanism)
  • Non-magical projectiles
  • Guardian/elder guardian lasers

Using your newly crafted Minecraft shield, you’re able to fend off melee attacks from hostile Minecraft mobs, prevent ranged damage, and recover quickly by using enchantments or repairing your shield.

How to enchant minecraft shields

It is possible to enchant shields in Minecraft using a Minecraft anvil or enchantment table. The following Minecraft enchantments can be applied to your shield.

Enchantment Outcome
Curse of Vanishing Cursed shield will disappear when you die
Mending Repairs the shield using your XP
Unbreaking Increases the durability of your shield

And that’s everything you need to know about Minecraft Shields. If you’re looking for something different, our guide to Minecraft brewing will give you all the potions you need to prepare for combat. Unsure about the differences between Minecraft Java and Bedrock? Read our guide to find what makes these versions unique. We also have details for the Minecraft Wild release date and all the info on the next big update.

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