Minecraft enchantments guide: how to use your enchanting table

enchanting table in minecraft

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.

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.

minecraft anvils for enchanting

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.

If you play on Bedrock Edition then you can get enchanted items by slaying pillager and vindicator enemies during a raid.

If you really don’t want any hassle then you can 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. 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 enchanted book

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.

More Minecraft help:

Minecraft texture packs
Minceraft seeds
Minecraft mods

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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List of all Minecraft enchantments

If you’re curious about all of the possible enchantments you can get in vanilla Minecraft then the list below has the lot, plus their max ranks.

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.
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.
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
Arrows set the target on fire. Max rank 1.
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.
Deal more damage to ocean mobs with the trident. Max rank 5.
Consume no arrows when firing your bow (mutually exclusive with mending) Max rank 3.
More knockback. Max rank 2.
Get more loot from mobs. Max rank 3.
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.
Faster fishing. Max rank 3.
Repair items using experience (mutually exclusive with Infinity). Max rank 1.
Fire three arrows at once, while only consuming one arrow (mutually exclusive with Piercing). Max rank 1.
Arrows can go through two targets (mutually exclusive with Multishot). Max rank 4.
Deal more damage with arrows. Max rank 5.
Projectile Protection
Take less damage from projectiles. Max rank 4.
Reduces damage taken from most sources. Max rank 4.
Your arrows have more knockback. Max rank 2.
Quick Charge
Reload your crossbow faster. Max rank 3.
Swim underwater for longer without needing to resurface. Max rank 3.
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.
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.
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.
Deals damage to attackers upon being hit. Max rank 3.
Increases the durability of the enchanted item. Max rank 3.

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.

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

And there you have it, all the basics on Minecraft enchantments plus descriptions of every vanilla enchantment in the game. 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.