How To Enchant and Disenchant Items in Minecraft

The game of Minecraft has two major elements, and from the name, they’re obvious, mining and generally gathering resources, and crafting those resources into useful tools and items. Technically speaking, you could play through the whole game and never even look at the enchantment system, but you’d be missing a powerful and incredibly useful bunch of enhancements for your tools, weapons, and armor that can not only save you time but also save your life! 

How To Enchant and Disenchant Items in Minecraft

How To Enchant Items in Minecraft

The enchantment system is Minecraft’s version of player level from other games, the only difference being that you’re taking your experience and using it to imbue your equipment with enhancements rather than intrinsically applying it to yourself. 

The Mechanics

As you defeat monsters, mine certain materials, smelt blocks or cook food, breed animals, fish, and trade with villagers you will gain experience. Experience builds more slowly with each increasing level; for example, it takes 7 experience points to move from level 0 to level 1, but it takes 9 points to move from level 1 to level 2 and the levels don’t become any more valuable (it’s like 7 cents equaling your first dollar, and 9 cents equaling your second dollar, but when you go to spend them, you still have just 2 equal value dollars). This means if you want to be as efficient as possible you should try to only collect enough experience for whatever you are trying to do. Hoarding your experience only makes sense if you don’t have a good way to spend it. 

This is more experience than you generally want to hold

In addition to the increased cost of gaining each level, if you accidentally perish while holding all that experience, when you come to reclaim your stuff, you’ll lose the majority of the experience you had at the time of death. Obviously the more you’re holding, the more you stand to lose in this way. 

You can spend your experience in two different places the enchanting table and the anvil

The Enchanting Table 

Your first option for using all that hard-earned experience is the enchanting table. To use the enchanting table, you’ll need something to enchant like a tool, weapon, a piece of armor, or a book and you’ll need at least 1 piece of lapis lazuli. 

With just an enchanting table you’ll only have low-level enchantment options available which will cost 1, 2, or 3 lapis to apply. This will add a random low-level enchantment to the item you placed in the enchanting table that is relevant to that item. For example, you won’t get the Feather Falling enchantment on a sword, or the Sharpness enchantment on a shovel. 

To unlock the higher-level enchantments, you’ll need to add bookshelves to your setup. For them to apply to the enchantment table they need to be placed at the same height as the enchantment table or 1 block higher or lower, and 1 block away from the enchantment table (so there is a 1 block space between the enchantment table and the bookshelves).  

This area also needs to be clear of other items, for instance, placing torches in this gap will block the connection between the enchantment table and the bookshelf the torch is in front of. 

To gain access to the highest level of enchantments you’ll need 15 total bookshelves placed around the enchanting table. 

only 15 are necessary but I often do 16 for symetry

This will unlock the highest level of enchanting options in the enchantment table’s menu. As you go up in enchantment level, you’ll also have to spend more lapis to apply them, either 1, 2, or 3. 

This method of enchantment is a great route if you’re not looking for anything specific and just want to get some generic improvements on an unenchanted piece of equipment. This is also perfect if you need something equipment specific as this method limits the possible enchantments to whatever kind of equipment you place in the interface (so if you put in a sword, you’ll get only sword or generic enchantments applied to it. If you put in a helmet, you’ll get only helmet or generic enchantments, etc. A notable exception is the ax which is considered a tool and a weapon so it can get both types of enchantments). 

This can only happen in creative

The Anvil 

The other method available to players for enchanting is the anvil. The anvil can be used to combine 2 identical pieces of enchanted equipment into one of those pieces of equipment with all the enchantments of both. For example, let’s say you have 2 enchanted bows, 1 has Unbreaking II and Punch II while the other has Flame I and Unbreaking II. If we combine these on the anvil, we will get 1 bow with Flame I, Punch II, and Unbreaking III. The unique enchantments of both bows transfer over to the new bow and similar enchantments combined to provide a higher-level version of that enchantment. It’s important to note that for similar enchantments to combine they have to be the same level and not at the cap of that particular enchantment. In other words, had it been Unbreaking I and Unbreaking II, the new bow would have just kept the better version of the two, in this case Unbreaking II. Similarly, had both bows already had Unbreaking III (the max level for the Unbreaking enchantment) the resulting bow would have also had Unbreaking III. 

If you don’t have two pieces of the same equipment you want to combine, you can also apply new enchantments to your equipment (both unenchanted and already enchanted) with enchanted books.  

As before, put the equipment you’d like to enchant in the Anvil interface, but instead of putting in the second piece of equipment, you add the book with the enchantment you’d like to apply to the equipment. This will simply add that enchantment to that piece of equipment.  

If for some reason your enchanted book has multiple enchantments on it for different equipment (Protection IV and Sharpness V for instance) the interface will apply the enchantment that is relevant for that equipment and the other will be lost. 

You might be wondering where to get enchanted books from. There are a few different sources. Obviously, you can create them yourself with the enchanting table and an unenchanted book. The enchantment you get on the book will be random so it’s not a sure-fire way to get what you want, but if you’re just looking to get rid of some extra experience points it’s a good option. 

You can also get enchanted books as loot in most generated structures (dungeons, abandoned mineshafts, Nether fortresses, etc.). These are randomly generated, but will usually offer better enchantment options than your homemade enchanted books. 

Finally, and probably your best option is to get enchanted books from librarian villagers. Most will be able to offer 2 to 3 options when at their master level and if you get enough of these villagers, you can basically get exactly the enchantments you need every single time. 

Also, be sure to choose the enchantments you apply carefully as each additional enchantment will cost more experience than the last and the interface does eventually cap out and tell you it’s too expensive to apply new enchantments (even if you have plenty of experience to cover it). 

It is possible to get just a little more onto a piece of equipment by pre-combining the enchantment books you want to add to the equipment and adding the combined books to the equipment in a couple of steps instead of several. In the same way that you can combine unique enchantments together for efficient application to equipment, you can also combine similarly enchanted books to increase the level of the enchantment (for example you can combine 2 Unbreaking II enchanted books to get 1 Unbreaking III enchanted book). 

How To Disenchant Items in Minecraft

Sometimes, it’s necessary to remove the enchantments from a piece of equipment. For instance, you’re in a Nether fortress and you find a chest with a Netherite Sword! That’s an awesome find, but sadly it has Bane of Arthropods on it. That’s only good against a few different hostile mobs you won’t face that often, clearly not something you’d want to invest a ton of experience into making better. However, there are a couple of ways to remove enchantments from items in the game. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to remove curses from most items. This will look cool in an item frame though

Option number one, and probably your go-to for most situations is going to be the grindstone. Simply place the equipment to be disenchanted into the grindstone menu and the grindstone will present a completely unenchanted version of that item for you to grab. Disenchanting the equipment will also give you back a little of the experience spent to apply the enchantment. Unfortunately, this won’t remove curses so on to method two. 

This is a great option for situations where you need to remove less-than-ideal enchantments from equipment obtained from loot chests or villager trading, leaving a blank slate for you to enchant as you see fit. 

The second way to remove enchantments from your equipment, and one not many people know about is to combine your equipment in a crafting grid. Let’s say you got 2 enchanted bows as drops from your hostile mob farm. You don’t need either to be enchanted, but you are collecting full-durability unenchanted bows for use making dispensers. You can take the 2 enchanted bows and combine them in your crafting grid to make 1 unenchanted bow with durability greater than the sum of the 2 damaged bows (capping, of course at the max durability of the item). This method does not give you back any experience, however, and also will not remove curses. 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you found the information enchanting … So sorry, I know my jokes leave people disenchanted, but Minecraft’s enchanting system certainly won’t! 

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