How to Enchant in Minecraft? [Beginner-Friendly Guide]

Selma Citakovic
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Updated · Oct 16, 2022

Selma Citakovic

Streaming and Gaming Expert | Joined October 2021

Selma is a content writer with a love for all things nerdy by day and an internet archaeologist that... | See full bio


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Ready to master enchanting in Minecraft?

This guide could help you in your quest, then. It has all you need to know about:

  • How to enchant in Minecraft
  • The best power-ups for your weapons, armor, and tools 
  • How to craft an anvil, enchanted book, and table.

So, let’s get cracking!

What is Minecraft Enchanting? 

Enchanting is a cool game mechanic that lets you imbue items (like armor, weapons, tools, and books) with special powers. You can easily recognize them thanks to their purple glint animation.

What kind of powers am I talking about?

Oh, the usual: water-walking, setting things on fire, shooting lightning bolts, that sort of thing.

Want to know how it works

In a nutshell, you need to trade in your levels/exp. points and Lapis Lazuli to enchant in Minecraft. There are several ways to do this and we’ll get right into it in the next section.

For now, it’s important to know that the more levels you invest in the enchantment, the stronger it will be. Each one comes with a number from one to five.

So, for example, “Sharpness V” has max strength. The top ones usually require level 30. 

You can also add multiple upgrades to a single item. The sky is the limit — well, almost. You can’t combine conflicting power-ups.

For example, you can’t put all the protection enchantments into a single piece of armor — only one. The same goes for weapon and damage power-ups.

How to Enchant in Minecraft?

There are three main methods to instill your tools, armor, and weapons with powers. You can use an:

  • Enchanting table
  • Enchanted book
  • Anvil.

You’ll probably be using all three since they perfectly complement each other. 

Additionally, you can also trade with librarian villagers. They will enchant books for emeralds, which can be profitable sometimes. However, it’s much more efficient if you do it by yourself.

So, let’s get down to business!

Enchanting via Table

First, you’ll have to craft your table — or “borrow” it from a village. Here’s how to make an enchantment table:

  • Four blocks of obsidian
  • Two diamonds
  • One book.

Now, the book is pretty easy to get. You can craft it from paper and leather

However, the obsidian and diamonds can be a handful sometimes.

So, here are some pointers:

You can create obsidian by covering lava with water. You’ll need a bucket of water and a diamond pickaxe for mining.

Diamonds, on the other hand, require a bit of luck. The optimal layers to look for them are between -50 and -60 (since Minecraft 1.18).

To check where you’re at, press F3 and look for the Y coordinate. Oh, and don’t forget to bring an iron pickaxe!

Now, back to the actual enchanting process:

Once you’ve placed your freshly-made enchantment table, press Use on it. A small menu will open up, with two slots beneath a book. One of them is for your item, the other for lapis lazuli.

When you place the items in the slots, randomized power-ups will appear on the right side of the menu. Mouse over them and you’ll learn what they mean. You’ll also be informed of the level and lapis lazuli cost for each.

Pick the one you want and ta-da! You got yourself your first enchanted piece.

But, let’s not stop there.

There’s a way to maximize the chances of getting better and rarer Minecraft enchantments.

How? Well, with bookshelves, of course!

You’ll need 15 of them at least. Now, all you need to do is surround your table with them, so that there’s always one block of space between it and a bookshelf.

You can add more and build a whole library if you want. But, 15 bookshelves arranged in this specific way are a must.

Without them, the experience level requirement never exceeds eight. As a result, you’ll be stuck with lousier power-ups. 

Enchanting via Books

Another method includes enchanted books. You can acquire them in various ways, like: 

  • Fishing
  • Trading with librarian villagers
  • Slaying pillagers and vindicators in raids
  • Looting treasure chests
  • Crafting.

Yep, you can even make them yourself with an enchanting table. You’ll just need to put a book in the item slot. Then you’ll be able to save one of the generated upgrades and use it later.

But, how do you use these items? 

You’ll need an anvil for that. I’ll cover anvils in the next method in detail and even how to make them later in the guide. 

For now, let’s assume you have it. Press Use on it and a simple menu will appear.

All you need to do is place the item you want to enchant and the book in the two slots.

You can add multiple power-ups this way, as long as they’re not incompatible.

Enchanting via Anvil

Anvils are one of the most useful Minecraft tools. They can help you repair and upgrade items. 

Other than using plain ol’ enchanted books, you can also combine power-ups. Of course, the rule for conflicting enchantments still stands. Otherwise, you’d get OP!

So, how does combining work? 

First, you should know that you can’t mix and match just anything. It has to be two items of the same type and material.

Let’s say you have two diamond swords, with compatible power-ups (e.g. Sharpness). Same as before, you’ll need to put them in the two slots in the anvil menu.

If both swords have the same enchantment level (e.g. Sharpness III), the final result will gain one level (Sharpness IV).

But, if the Minecraft enchantments differ in strength, you’ll need to pay extra attention to their menu placement. It will influence your final combining result!

Let me explain:

Think of the first slot as the target — the item that will take on the other’s upgrade. The second one is the sacrifice — it’s destroyed in the combining process.

So, there are two possible scenarios while combining pieces with different enchantment levels:

  1. Sacrificing the item with the stronger power-up will raise the target to the sacrifice’s level.
  2. Sacrificing the weaker item won’t change anything on the target.

In a nutshell, only sacrifices of equal or higher level will result in an upgrade!

One last thing:

The only way to obtain certain power-ups is by using an anvil in Minecraft. That includes treasure enchantments like:

  • Curse of Binding
  • Curse of Vanishing
  • Frost Walker
  • Mending
  • Soul Speed.

Mending is especially helpful! It automatically repairs your tool/weapon/armor as you’re gaining EXP orbs.

What are the Best Enchantments in Minecraft?

Right now you’re probably rearing to go and hunt down the finest power-ups in the game. You’ve come to the right place then!

Here’s my selection.

The Best Enchantments for Armor 

Overall, the most beneficial ones are:

  • Mending
  • Protection IV
  • Projectile Protection IV
  • Blast Protection IV
  • Fire Protection IV
  • Unbreaking III

Protection and its variations are basic defensive enchantments that will reduce damage. Unbreaking III is also a good candidate as it will make your armor more durable. But, it works even better on tools! 

Other than that, these power-ups deserve special mention:

  • Respiration III (helmet) — extends underwater breathing 
  • Aqua Affinity (helmet) — speeds up underwater mining 
  • Feather Falling (boots) — reduces fall damage.

The Best Enchantments for Weapons

Again, Unbreaking III and Mending are both universally great choices. But, let’s delve into specifics here for each weapon type!

The best enchantments for your sword are:

  • Sharpness V — increases damage
  • Smite V — does extra damage to undead mobs
  • Sweeping Edge III — gives you extra sweeping attack damage
  • Looting III — increases mob loot.

Honorable mentions include Fire Aspect II and Knockback II. Although convenient in certain cases, they can also make your life harder.

For example, Fire Aspect II can accidentally set you on fire too! And Knockback II will make skeletons much more annoying to fight.

The coolest bow enchantments are definitely:

  • Infinity — shooting doesn’t consume regular arrows
  • Power V — boosts damage
  • Flame — lets you shoot fiery arrows.

Infinity is vital! It lets you infinitely re-use one arrow, so you’ll never have to worry about ammo again.

If you prefer the crossbow for long-distance combat, here’s my pick:

  • Quick Charge III — speeds up crossbow charging
  • Multishot — shoots three arrows in a spread
  • Piercing IV — arrows can pierce shields and pass through multiple mobs.

Piercing is just as handy as Infinity because it lets you recover your ammo. In fact, it might even be better, since you can retrieve special arrows like the tipped and spectral ones. 

And here’s something for axe-wielding players! The best enchantments for your axe are:

  • Sharpness V
  • Smite V
  • Bane of Arthropods V — allows one-hit killing of spiders, silverfish, endermites, and bees
  • Cleaving III — increases shield stunning and damage.

As you can see, these are all combat power-ups. I’ll go over the more practical wood-chopping ones in the tool section.

Still, axes can be quite effective as melee weapons. They can stun and disable mobs with shields! Cleaving III enhances this unique ability.

Finally, tridents will benefit the most from:

  • Loyalty III — trident automatically returns after throwing 
  • Channeling — channels thunder in thunderstorms
  • Riptide III — launches you along with the thrown trident
  • Impaling V — does extra damage against ocean mobs.

They are rare Minecraft items, dropped only by Drowned. That means that Mending is practically a must-have enchantment because you can only repair them with other tridents.

The Best Enchantments for Tools

Generally speaking, the most practical power-ups for mining and farming are:

  • Mending
  • Unbreaking III
  • Fortune III — increases block drops, like ore
  • Silk Touch — mined blocks drop themselves
  • Efficiency V — increases tool speed.

Silk Touch is especially interesting - it allows you to mine blocks that would otherwise break into nothing, like glass and ice.

All of the above-mentioned enchantments are great for the majority of your Minecraft tools. That includes pickaxes, shovels, hoes, and axes. 

Fishing rods are the only exception. They have a couple of specialized power-ups that are worth mentioning: 

  • Luck of the Sea III — boosts the rate of rare and good loot
  • Lure III — makes you fish faster.

How to Make an Anvil in Minecraft?

You’ve already been introduced to the many uses of anvils. But, how do you even craft them?

Here’s the recipe!

You’ll need three blocks of iron and four iron ingots. And, since you’ll need nine iron ingots to make each block, that’s 31 ingots in total.

Luckily, it’s a relatively plentiful ore. You should have no trouble acquiring the materials.

One last tip:

If you want to move your anvil in Minecraft, you’ll need to mine it with a pickaxe. Any will do. Otherwise, you’ll just destroy it.

Wrap Up

So, what have we learned?

Enchanting is well-worth considering if you want to be more powerful and efficient. This game mechanic might seem overwhelming at first, but it’s pretty simple once you get into it.

Newer and low-level players can start with an anvil and enchanted books. But, you should try to get an enchantment table as soon as you can! All three methods have their uses and it pays off to be flexible.

With a bit of time and effort, you won’t bat an eye even at those pesky Creepers!


How many enchantments can a sword have?

As of now, swords can have up to seven enchantments.

But unfortunately, Sharpness, Smite, and Bane of Arthropods can’t be combined — you can only pick one.

What does Silk Touch do in Minecraft?

Silk Touch lets you mine the blocks as they are instead of their default drops. For example, you can mine actual diamond ore blocks rather than the usual diamond drops. Or, you can get fragile blocks like glass without destroying them!

How to enchant a shield in Minecraft?

You can enchant a shield using an anvil and an enchanted book. However, your options are quite limited. You can only use 

Unbreaking III and Mending! 

How to enchant a sword in Minecraft?

There are three ways to enchant a sword in Minecraft — via table, book, or anvil. The core principle is the same as for any other item.

To use the table, you’ll need experience levels and lapis lazuli. Opting for the anvil, on the other hand, often involves an enchanted book. Feel free to check out the guide for an in-depth explanation!

What does respiration do in Minecraft?

Respiration allows you to breathe underwater for a longer duration. It’s one of the smartest helmet enchantments if you plan on doing any underwater exploration. At its maximum level (III), you can stay for 45 seconds longer than usual.

What should you enchant first in Minecraft?

Once you learn how to enchant in Minecraft, your priorities should be:

  • Fortune III for your pickaxe to maximize the drop rates of rare resources
  • Sharpness V for your sword to give you the edge you might need in combat
  • Mending for valuable weapons and tools so they don’t break down as fast.



Selma Citakovic

Selma Citakovic

Selma is a content writer with a love for all things nerdy by day and an internet archaeologist that likes to dig up obscurities by night. Mostly she's trying to balance between many obsessions. Right now, it's bass playing and reading hard sci-fi about vampires in outer space - next week, who knows.

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