Minecraft Guide – How Enchanting Works In Minecraft

Once you make it through the first few nights in Minecraft and establish a base of operations, it’s time to think long-term and start doing things to reduce the grind. One great way to do this is to start enchanting your tools, weapons, and armor to give yourself a leg up on enemies. The hiss of a Creeper is terrifying to start, but with the right armor and enchantments, it can be little more than a nuisance.

Here’s how to get yourself started on enchanting, what you’ll need to build to make it happen, and what you should focus on to make the most of the system.

Note: This guide focuses on the Bedrock version of Minecraft, available on Windows 10, Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and mobile.

Build an Enchanting Table

First things first: You’ll need an Enchanting Table. None of the parts for this are super rare, but they do require a bit of time and work.

You’ll need:

  • A book
  • Two diamonds
  • Four blocks of obsidian

Obsidian can only be mined with a diamond pickaxe. So, really, you need five diamonds to build an Enchanting Table. There’s a good chance that you’ll find a book in a treasure chest by the time you’re ready to build. Just in case, though, you can craft one from three sheets of paper (made from sugarcane) and leather from one cow.

That alone will get you going, but to make a fully-functional enchantment table, you’ll want to surround it with bookshelves–crafted from books and wooden planks–around it. At least 15 bookshelves, with a one-block buffer around the table itself. You’ll know you’ve done it right because magical characters will start flowing into the open book on the enchantment table.

What You’ll Need To Start Enchanting

All it takes to enchant is Lapis Lazuli and some experience. By which I mean the literal experience you get from mining and fighting mobs.

To enchant an item, you’ll need 3 pieces of Lapis Lazuli and 30 levels of experience. By the time you have enough diamonds to build an Enchantment Table, you’ll have plenty of Lapis Lazuli. Staying alive long enough to get experience is the hard part–this is where building something like a Potato Baker XP Farm can come in handy.


You can mouse over each level of enchantment to see one of the enchantments the table will impart on your item. If you don’t like the enchantment you’re getting, try another item and come back to the first one–each time the Enchantment Table is used, the available enchantments shuffle.

If you’ve successfully enchanted an item, you’ll drop 30 levels of experience and lose those three Lapis Lazuli. This is really the core use for experience, so don’t save it up too long–use it before you lose it!

Note that some enchantments aren’t available at the Enchantment Table–such as the elusive and indispensable Mending enchantment. Make sure to check out our list of Minecraft enchantment definitions before you dive in.

Enchanting Using Books

Once you’re really deep into Minecraft, there are more orderly ways to go about enchanting items: Enchantment Books. You can find these in treasure chests and fishing (check out our guide on fishing your way to success in Minecraft!). If you’re really determined, you can also exploit certain elements to get villagers to sell you Enchantment Books on the cheap (but that’s a guide for another day). You can also make enchanted books, which can become a way to more reliably decide what enchantments you want to put on which items.

If you have some Enchantment Books, you can ignore the Enchantment Table for the time being. Instead, you’ll want to make an anvil, which is composed of three iron blocks and four iron ingots. Each iron block is made up of 9 ingots, for a total of 31 iron ingots.

From an anvil, you can combine any two compatible items, such as an item and an Enchantment Book, two Enchantment Books, or two like items. You can also re-name items here to make sure you can tell your Silk Touch-enchanted Pickaxe from your Fortune-enchanted one.

Even if you’re enchanting using books, it’s smart to start at the Enchantment Table, as that can often net you multiple appealing enchantments at once, and that can save you a few books. If you have all the books you need, though, and plenty of experience to burn, you can start to go wild.

Things To Watch Out For

As you build a collection of Enchantment Books, it’ll get easier to combine enchantments. However, you can only enchant a given item about six times before the game considers the item too expensive to continue enchanting.


After playing Minecraft for a long time, some of the magic might start to leave the game. But that’s not what this is about–this is about taking enchantments off items. If you spend a lot of time raiding temples and fishing, you’ll pick up all kinds of worthless enchanted items–gold swords, cursed fishing rods, and things like that. They do have one purpose, though. Run those worthless items through a grindstone, and it’ll strip any non-curse enchantments off the items and turn the magic into experience points that you can then dump into some better enchantments.

Eric P

Eric P


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