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(See "Enchanting" for more information on enchanting in general.)
Enchantments, often shortened to Enchants, are special abilities that can be applied to any piece of Armor or certain tools whilst using an Enchantment Table. When a piece of armor or a tool is enchanted, It will glow, much like a potion, allowing the holder (and anybody else) to see that the item is enchanted. It is also to be noted that an enchanted item will display any current enchantments and their level of strength on the item if examined in the inventory. Using the Enchantment Table method only allows the player to enchant all Armors, Shovels, Pickaxes, Axes, Swords and the Bow.
Many more items are able to be enchanted, however, this can only be done with an Anvil and an Enchanted Book. This implementation is very useful, especially for enchanting other items with durability or items that would not normally get a certain enchantment. A few options of book enchanting are the Flint and Steel, Fishing Rod, or Hoe.
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 itself will not be able to use the enchantment (i.e.: Sharpness, Knockback). In order to make use of an Enchanted Book needed to place the item to enchant and the Enchanted Book in an Anvil. The book will be consumed and the item will (if compatible) receive the enchantment that the book had stored. This method is often ideal if one has an Anvil.
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 tool to repair another 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 weapon. This process can be repeated to keep adding the enchantments a player desires.
Efficiency increases the working power of the tool (the speed at which it mines/destroys blocks). It can be especially helpful for diamond picks that are used to gather Obsidian, which has a very high durability. You can also find efficiency useful for cutting down trees with an axe as it is often found very boring. Do not use Efficiency on a pickaxe if it's meant for Netherrack mining, since Netherrack is very fragile against higher-tier pickaxes. 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. 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. 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 ores give. Silk Touch is naturally available on both shovels and pickaxes. Silk Touch can 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.
Unbreaking gives a tool, weapon or armor 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 (Flint and Steel, Fishing Rod, Shears) using the book enchanting method. 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. 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. Can have a power level of up to V.
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. 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. Knockback can be done with this enchantment without having to sprint. 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. Can have a Power level of up to II.
Looting is a more rare enchantment that allows the player to obtain more drops from mobs as well as more rare 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. 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 gives the sword-of-choice a random chance of dealing one to two damage extra on the target, as if turning an Iron Sword into the equivalent of a Diamond Sword. Sharpness can be applied to an Axe using the book enchanting method. Can have a power level of up to V.
Smite is a more rare enchantment for swords, which can also be applied to Axes. A weapon with this enchantment deals more damage to undead foes. This leaves a large range of opponents; Zombies, Zombie Pigmen, Skeletons, and Wither Skeletons. Despite the Wither being "undead", damage is still not added to them. Can have a power level of up to V.
Unbreaking is the same as it is for the other tool enchantments. It is possible to get through normal enchanting methods, but is kind of rare and mostly found on really high enchant levels. In order to obtain unbreaking on a sword easily, the Player must enchant a book to get the enchantment on it. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Can have a power level of up to II.
Aqua Affiity (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.
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. 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. Can have a power level of up to III.
Feather Falling (Boots Only)
Feather Falling is a boot enchantment that reduces your fall damage. It is especially useful in Dropper maps, even though it is considered cheating. If used with Hay Bale, you 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 you bring armor with this enchantment when venturing the Nether, due to its large amounts of fire hazards. Can have a power level of up to IV.
Frost Walker (Boots Only)
Frost Walker is a treasure enchantment (it can only be found, and not crafted), 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.
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. 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. 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. This enchant also grants enhanced visibility underwater. Can have a power level of up to III.
Thorns is a rare enchantment that damages nearby mobs when they hit you. 'This can be helpful against Zombies, hostile Wolves and Iron Golems, The Wither, Wither Skeletons and others. The downside of this enchantment is that your durability drains faster. Can have a power level of up to III.
Fishing Rod Enchantments
As this is a fairly new principle, little is known about the enchantments; only being based upon educated guesses.
This enchantment will allow an extra chance of getting fish, and less chance of other items. 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 a special treasure enchantment (it can only be found, and not crafted), 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.