Enchantments (sometimes shortened to Enchants) are special bonuses or abilities that can be applied to Armor, Tools or Weapons through the use of an Enchantment Table, or an Anvil if the player has enchanted books. Enchanted books can be acquired via trading or by placing a Book in an Enchantment Table.
When a piece of Armor or a Tool is enchanted, it will glow (much like a potion), allowing the holder and any nearby players to see that the item is enchanted. An enchanted item will display any current enchantments and their level of strength on the item (unless the enchantment is limit to level 1) if examined in the Inventory menu. Using the Enchantment Table method allows the player to enchant Armor, Shovels, Pickaxes, Axes, Swords and Bows.
Many more items can be enchanted. However, this can only be done with an Anvil and/or an Enchanted Book. This process is very useful, especially for enchanting other items with Durability or items that would not normally get a certain enchantment. Some objects that can only be enchanted in this way are Flint and Steel, a Fishing Rod, or a Hoe.
In order to enchant, the player needs an Enchantment Table, several Experience Points and the item they wish to enchant. As of 1.8 The Bountiful Update, Lapis Lazuli is required as well. Up to 30 Bookshelf blocks may be placed around the table to allow higher level enchantments.
First, set up the Enchanting area. After placing the Enchantment Table, bookshelves should be placed 1 block away from all sides of the Enchantment Table (leaving a block of air on all sides). Carpet or torches laid on the floor between the table and bookshelves will block the bookshelf bonus from reaching the enchantment table. Since Minecraft only checks for a maximum of 15 nearby bookshelves, there is no reason to place more bookshelves (other than for aesthetic reasons).
The Enchantment Table can be used by right-clicking it and placing the item to be enchanted within a slot in the enchanting interface. Lapis Lazuli must also be added to a separate slot in the interface. The player will then receive 3 enchanting options with varying levels, requiring up to 30 Experience Levels, and subtracting up to 3 levels.
If a higher number of experience points is used for the enchantment, it is more likely the item being enchanted will get a better enchantment, or possibly more than one enchantment. However, this is not guaranteed.
Enchanting a Book will create an Enchanted Book with a random enchantment stored in it. Books can absorb any enchantment that the Enchantment Table can bestow, but the book only acts as a place to hold the enchantment in the player's inventory before it is transferred to an actual item. In order to make use of an Enchanted Book, it needs to be placed in an Anvil along with the item to be enchanted. The book will be consumed and the item will (if compatible) receive the enchantment that the book had stored.
If in Creative Mode, one can use the book enchanting method to enchant any item they wish, with any enchantment they wish. Some of these item-enchant combos can be completely useless (i.e.: Paper with Silk Touch, Sword with Flame, etc.).
A player can add additional enchantments to an item by using one item to repair another of the same type on an anvil. Any enchantments from the sacrificed item will be applied to the repaired item if the enchant is meant to be used on that type of item. This process can be repeated to keep adding additional enchantments.
Efficiency increases the working power of the tool (the speed at which it mines/destroys blocks). It can be especially helpful for diamond pickaxes that are used to gather Obsidian, which has a very high durability. Efficiency is also useful for cutting down trees with an axe. Do not use Efficiency on a pickaxe if it's meant for mining Netherrack, since Netherrack is very fragile against higher-tier pickaxes to begin with. The efficiency effect adds +30% mining speed over the previous level: I=130%, II=169%, III=220%, IV=286%, V=371%. The speed increase applies to all blocks that when mined, will drop an item. Using the wrong tool will not provide as much of a speed boost. It can have a power level of up to V.
Fortune is a special enchantment that gives the wielder of the enchanted tool a chance of obtaining copies of the mined object. Note that Fortune only works on immediate-drop ores, such as Diamond, Coal, and Emerald Ores. The higher the level, the more likely the player is to have the enchantment come into effect. It also makes it more likely to receive more than two. For coal, diamond, emerald, redstone, and Lapis Lazuli, level I gives a 33% chance to multiply drops by 2 (averaging 33% increase). Level II gives a 25% chance each to multiply drops by 2 or 3 (averaging 75% increase). Level III gives a 20% chance each to multiply drops by 2, 3 or 4 (averaging 120% increase). For carrots, glowstone, melons, Nether Wart, tall grass and wheat (seeds only), each level increases the drop maximum by +1 (+2 for tall grass, 4 for glowstone, and 9 for melons). For gravel, the drop rate of Flint is increased to 14% at level I, 25% at level II, and 100% at level III. It can have a power level of up to III.
Silk Touch is an enchantment that allows players to mine various things and get the exact item they mined. In other words, it grants the player ability to harvest blocks that normally would be unobtainable or difficult to obtain. Items can be converted to their regular form with the use of a normal tool. Blocks of interest to a player with a silk touch tool can be:
The negative side of the Silk Touch enchantment is that it will release the raw ore forms, not the drops of Coal, Emerald, Lapis Lazuli, Redstone Dust, Nether Quartz, and Diamond. This means that the player must smelt them (or use a normal tool) in order to receive them and they will only receive one of the material the ore gives. Silk Touch is naturally available on both shovels and pickaxes. Silk Touch can also be applied to Shears using the Book Enchanting method.
Silk Touch also allows the player to obtain blocks that can't be obtained any other way in Survival. In addition to the mining blocks listed above, Silk Touch can be added to Shears, which allows the player to obtain Cobwebs found in Abandoned Mine Shaft.
This enchantment also allows the player to harvest ore blocks in dangerous situations (such as harvesting a Nether Quartz Ore in The Nether) and mine them in a safer situation at a later time. This Enchantment has only 1 level.
Unbreaking gives a tool, weapon, or piece of armor the chance to not use up a durability point when it normally would. The higher the level, the greater chance that this will happen. It is especially useful for pickaxes and diamond tools. Unbreaking can be applied to any item that has durability (Flint and Steel, Fishing Rod, Shears) using the book enchanting method. This effect adds a (100/(Level+1))% chance to not reduce durability. On average, the lifetime added to an item is (Level+1) times as long. This is different for armor, however: the chance is (60+(40/lvl+1))% chance that durability is spent, leading to a 25%/36%/43% longer lifetime for the armor. The Unbreaking enchantment is applied to each point of durability attempting to be removed (notable with Thorns armor, fishing rods on entities, etc.) It can have a power level of up to III.
Bane of Arthropods
Bane of Arthropods, sometimes referred to as BoA, is a common enchantment for swords, which can also be applied to Axes via an anvil. Bane of Arthropods affects all enemies classified by science to have an exoskeleton. In-game, it affects Spiders, Cave Spiders, Silverfish, and Endermites. Bane of Arthropods increases the amount of damage dealt to these types of enemies. The effect adds 1.25 hearts extra damage per level for every hit. At level one, 1-1.5 seconds of Slowness 4 will be dealt to the arthropod; the limit is increased by 0.5 seconds per level of BoA (up to 3.5 seconds). Note that BoA does not stack with critical hits, unlike Strength. It can have a power level of up to V.
Flame's Sword counterpart, Fire Aspect makes the enchanted sword set the target on fire when hit. The higher the level, the longer the opponent will burn. Meat-bearing animals will drop cooked meat when slain. Fire Aspect is also useful for keeping player targets from running away, as taking environmental damage will cease a player's sprint, slowing them down. It can also be used to periodically wear down another player's armor. It can have a power level of up to II.
Knockback is an enchantment that can commonly be found on Swords and is usually paired with Sharpness, creating a force to be reckoned with. Knockback increases the knockback dealt to an enemy or target depending on the level. With this enchantment, Knockbacks can be performed on enemies without having to sprint. However, enchant and sprint-related knockbacks do not combine to make a stronger knockback. Knockback can be applied to an Axe using the book enchanting method. This enchantment is useful for fighting creepers because it stops them from exploding. It can have a Power level of up to II.
Looting is a rarer enchantment that allows the player to obtain more drops from mobs as well as rarer mob drops. Looting has three levels: I, II, and III. The higher the level, the higher the chance is the player will receive rare loot, as well as more of it. This is especially useful for players looking for rare loot such as Wither Skeleton Heads and Ender Pearls. It can have a power level of up to III.
Sharpness is an enchantment for a Sword, which can also be applied to Axes. It is one of the most common enchantments. Sharpness makes the weapon do extra damage; for example, level one will turn an Iron Sword's amount of damage dealt into the equivalent of a Diamond Sword's. Sharpness can also be applied to an Axe using the book enchanting method. Sharpness I adds half a hart of damage; each additional level adds a quarter heart extra damage for every hit (up to 1.5 hearts extra). Note that sharpness does not stack with critical hits, unlike Strength. It can have a power level of up to V.
Smite is a rarer enchantment for Swords, which can also be applied to Axes. A weapon with this enchantment deals more damage to undead foes. This affects a large range of opponents: Zombies, Zombie Pigmen, Skeletons, and Wither Skeletons. Despite the Wither being "undead", damage is not added to them. The smite effect adds 1.25 heats of extra damage per level for every hit. Note that smite does not stack with critical hits, unlike strength. It can have a power level of up to V.
Sweeping Edge is an enchantment for swords. It applies a damage multiplier to every enemy hit within the arc of a sweeping attack. The damage multiplier is increased with enchantment level.
Unbreaking is the same here as it is for the other tool enchantments. It is possible to get it through normal enchanting methods, but is somewhat rare and usually only applied on high enchant levels. In order to obtain Unbreaking on a sword more easily, the Player must enchant a book to get the enchantment on the Sword. Once the book of Unbreaking is created, it is then possible to use an Anvil to combine the book and the Sword, thus making a Sword with Unbreaking on it. It can have a power level of up to III.
Fire Aspect's Bow counterpart, Flame will set the opponent on fire on hit with an arrow. Unlike Fire Aspect, there is only one level. As with any fire weapon, cooked goods are dropped from peaceful farming mobs. Flame is useful for dealing extra damage along with keeping other players from being able to sprint (as taking damage from the environment ceases the player's ability to sprint). Flame bows can also be used as a ranged detonator for TNT. It can have a power level of up to I.
Infinity is the most useful enchantment for the bow. When Infinity is wielded by a Bow, it will give the user infinite arrows, requiring only one arrow in the player's inventory to use it. Although it can create an infinite amount of arrows, it still wears down durability and does not protect the Bow from taking damage. It is also important to know that the infinite arrows cannot be collected if they hit a block instead of the intended target. It is also important to note that this enchantment does NOT affect Tipped Arrows. It can have a power level of up to I.
Power is an enchantment for the bow that is very similar to Sharpness for the Sword, dealing more damage to the player's foes on hit with an arrow. The higher the power level is, the stronger the hit will be. After collecting a few Power levels on a bow, it will eventually do enough damage to take out unarmored foes, such as a Creeper, in a single shot. It is the most common bow enchantment, and it can have a power level of up to V.
Punch is the counterpart of Knockback for Bows. Punch will hit the opponent farther when this enchantment is applied on the bow. Although the Bow already has an original small amount of knockback, increasing the amount of knockback allows for easier medium-range combat, knocking enemies farther, giving the player time to reload and fire again. It can have a power level of up to II.
Unbreaking gives the bow the chance to not use up a durability point. The higher the level, the greater chance that this will happen. It is especially useful for Pickaxes and Diamond tools. Unbreaking can be applied to any item that has Durability such as: Armors, Tools and Weapons. It can have a power level of up to III.
Aqua Affinity (Helmet Only)
Aqua Affinity is a Helmet enchantment which increases the rate at which a player can mine blocks underwater. Mining speed is increased to the same as a character would have when mining out of water. The player must be standing on a solid surface underwater to gain the full effect. This can have a maximum power level of 1.
Blast Protection is a less common enchantment that reduces the damage taken from explosive damage. This can be helpful against Creepers and when standing too close to a TNT's blast radius. It can have a power level of up to IV.
Depth Strider (Boots Only)
Depth Strider is a boot enchantment that makes the player swim faster in water. It can have a power level of up to III. Note: Depth Strider and Frost Walker cannot be put on the same boots.
Feather Falling (Boots Only)
Feather Falling is a boot enchantment that reduces the player's fall damage. It is especially useful in Dropper maps, even though it is considered cheating. If used with Hay Bale, the player can reduce large amounts of damage taken from drops (1.9+). Can have a power level of up to IV.
Fire Resistance is a less common enchantment that reduces the damage taken from fire damage. This can be helpful against Blazes, especially when combined with Fire Resistance potions. It is also recommended that the player brings armor with this enchantment when venturing the Nether, due to its large amounts of fire hazards. It can have a power level of up to IV.
Frost Walker (Boots Only)
Frost Walker is an enchantment, which allows a player to walk across the surface of water by freezing water blocks as they come into contact with the player's boots. Frost Walker and Depth Strider cannot be put on the same boots.
Projectile Protection is a less common enchantment that reduces the damage taken from ranged damage. This can be helpful against Skeletons, Ghasts and the Ender Dragon (1.9+), especially when starting a server in multiplayer. It can have a power level of up to IV.
Protection is a the basic enchantment for armor that helps reduce the overall damage taken from attacks. It can have a power level of up to IV (V using commands).
Respiration (Helmet Only)
Respiration is a helmet enchantment which allows a player to breathe longer underwater before succumbing to drowning, and to take damage from drowning at a slower rate. The underwater breathing effect adds 15 seconds to a player's breath and the time between suffocation damage +1 second per level. This enchant also grants enhanced visibility underwater. It can have a power level of up to III.
Thorns is a rare enchantment that damages nearby mobs when they hit the player. The downside of this enchantment is that the Armor's durability drains faster. The thorns effect adds a 15% chance of damaging the attacking enemy per level. It can have a power level of up to III.
Fishing Rod Enchantments
This enchantment means that the player doesn't have to wait as long to catch fish, and the chance of getting junk or treasure decreases. It can have a power level of up to III.
Luck of the Sea
This enchantment will allow a 3% increase in catching "treasure", and a 1% reduced chance of "junk". Can have a power level of up to III.
Mending is an enchantment, which can be applied to any tool, weapon or piece of armor. This enchantment will use any experience orbs collected by the player to repair the enchanted item. The used orbs will not count toward a player's Experience. If more than one item equipped by the player has this enchantment, the repairs will be performed randomly on one of the enchanted items. Mending is the only enchantment that cannot be applied via the enchantment table, but can be applied to any tool, weapon, or armor. It is one of only two enchantments that can be applied to any tool, weapon or armor; the other enchantment being Unbreaking.