Weapons are items used to kill mobs faster which can be found as loot or created through crafting. When a player left-clicks a mob no more than 3 blocks away, they will deal a level of damage based on what they are holding. There are currently only two items in Minecraft which are considered as proper weapons: Swords and Bows. Axes can also be wielded as weapons (as can some other tools), but they are considered as tools, and therefore they have detrimental side-effects when used as weapons.
Weapon materials and efficiency
Swords can be crafted from five different materials. The sword materials, from highest to lowest attack strength/durability, are as follows:
Each material has a limited number of uses (referred to as the weapon's level of Durability), and each will deal a specific number of hearts damage (attack power). Better materials both mean more damage and higher durability, with the exception of gold, which has very low durability.
A Mobs' health is measured in "hearts", just like a player's.
|Slime||Varies based on size - 0.5 to 8x|
|Magma Cube||Varies based on size - 1 to 8x|
|Cat / Ocelot||5x|
This is a chart cross-referencing weapons with materials to find the amount of damage dealt. Notice the pattern.
As fists and arrows do not have a "material", their damage is constant. Although Hoes are tools, they are not counted as weapons and have the same effect as fists (no durability loss and same damage).
Before Beta 1.5, fist and non-tool attacks did damage. This was increased in Beta 1.5 to damage, but it was then reverted in 1.8 The Bountiful Update. However, this was balanced somewhat with the addition of critical hits.
- Main article: Bow
Arrows provide ammunition for a bow, and they can either be crafted or found as a common drop from Skeletons. When fired, they will fly in a ballistic trajectory affected by Gravity and drag in air or Water traveling approximately 3 blocks when fired parallel to a flat plane with no charge, 2 blocks average with minimum charge 15 blocks average with medium charge, and 24 blocks average with maximum charge. Players can pick up previously-fired arrows that have stuck into a surface; however, if the arrow was shot by a creative player or by a bow with infinity, only players in creative can pick the arrow up. If a skeleton shot the arrow, then no player can pick it up.
Tools as weapons
Axes, Pickaxes and Shovels can be used as weapons. If a player is holding anything besides these three or a sword, a normal attack will deal 'fist' damage. However, the Durability of a tool will wear down at twice the rate if it is used as a weapon, with the rationale that it is not being used for its intended purpose.
Weapons as Tools
Swords can break many blocks faster than punching them by hand, but each broken block wears down the durability of the sword at twice the rate, similar to when tools are used as weapons, as it is not being used for its intended purpose. The one exception is that the fastest way to break Web is too use a sword.