Minecraft shield recipe, enchants, and banners

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

How to make minecraft shield: Steve holds Minecrat shield customised with skull and crossbones using a banner

A Minecraft shield is a simple but useful defensive tool to aid in pixelated combat, used to block direct melee attacks or projectiles in the sandbox game. Minecraft shields are not upgradable, so it’s one size fits all, but they can be customised using a banner to cover it in your own design, and they do have a handful of compatible enchantments.

One of the best PC games of the last decade, Minecraft is always being updated, keeping players coming back year after years. As such, long-term fans’ dreams were realised when caving in the survival game was made even spookier with the Caves and Cliffs update – and, with that, a shield is one of the first things you should consider crafting before heading underground to Minecraft Lush Caves, Dripstone caves, and extended world depth. Not only is it fairly resource cheap, but since you can customise it, you also look fairly cool carrying one around. Here’s everything you need to know about making, using and decorating your Minecraft shield.

Minecraft shields recipe: crafting UI

How to make a Minecraft shield

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.

To repair a Minecraft shield that has taken damage, simply place two damaged shields together in a crafting table, and their durability will be combined.

Minecraft Shield: Player defends against a skeleton in the deep dark

How to use a Minecraft shield

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.

Outside of a brief cooldown, Minecraft shields will block all front-facing attacks. Preventing attacks of over three damage (one-and-a-half hearts) cause the shield to take damage equal to the strength of that attack, but your unique shield is repairable before it breaks entirely. Additionally, 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.

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.

The Minecraft 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.

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

How to add a banner to a Minecraft shield

If you have a fancy banner design marking your base, or even just one plain colour that matches your personality, you can quite easily apply it to your shield. All you need is a banner with your design, and a shield. We have a separate guide on how to make a Minecraft banner, but once you have it, just pop it in a crafting table next to your shield. Simple as that.

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.