Since its release in 2011, Minecraft has seen quite a few major and minor updates. And while most of these updates have focused on improving the world itself or adding new structures, Mojang has managed to sneak a few updates for bows and other weapons into the game.
Bows, swords, and axes have changed quite a bit as weapons, with the introduction of weapon reloads and the damage-dealing axe, it’s always essential to stay on top of the latest mechanics. But anyone can learn the mechanics of the game, what will really give you an advantage over your friends in Minecraft is what enchantments you have on your weapons.
The same goes for the latest update 1.19. The game has introduced three new biomes, two new mobs and a dangerous new enemy which makes it absolutely essential for you to stay on top of your lovely gameplay.
What are enchantments in Minecraft?
In simple words, enchantments are buffs that you apply to your weapons, armor, or tools to make them more efficient. Enchantments can provide a variety of upgrades to your weapons, the most common being to make them last longer or make them better at their job.
In addition to some general enchantments like Unbreakable or Efficiency, there are also item-specific enchantments like Sharpness, Might, Punch, or Loyalty. Building on that, these enchantments also have levels to them. Unbreaking has ranks from Unbreaking I to Unbreaking III, and most other enchantments also follow the same pattern.
How to enchant in Minecraft?
Enchanting in Minecraft can be tricky to understand, but it’s simple enough to do once you get the hang of it. To start enchanting in Minecraft, there are three simple requirements.
- You need a lovely table. This can be done using four obsidian blocks, two diamonds, and a book. To make the table, you need to open the crafting menu via a crafting table and place the items mentioned above in the following order:
- 1st row: Empty, Book, Empty
- 2nd row: Diamond, Obsidian, Diamond
- 3rd row: Obsidian, Obsidian, Obsidian
- Once you’ve acquired a crafting table, the next requirement is to get some lapis lazuli. Lapis Lazuli can be found at the same level as diamonds when mined, but it is much easier to find and much less rare. Each enchantment you get will cost you one lapis lazuli.
- The final requirement to start enchanting is XP. You need at least 30 levels to have the most powerful enchantments equipped on your weapons.
In addition to the above requirements, it is also important that you have an adequate number of shelves placed around the enchantment table in a square to ensure you get the most powerful enchantments.
The best bow enchantments in minecraft
As of update 1.19, there are seven enchantments in Minecraft that can be applied to a bow. This does not include enchantments that are shared between crossbows and bows.
Enchanting a bow is simple. All you need is a bow and all the requirements we just met to enchant. Once you have all of these things, you can then interact with the enchantment table, place the bow and lapis lazuli on the table, and select the enchantments you want from the options that appear.
Tip: If your preferred enchantments aren’t available on the table, you can use the table to get a low level enchantment on a book, this will toggle enchantments for your bow and any other items you want to enchant.
Here are all the bow enchantments available in Minecraft, in order of utility and which ones you should try to get.
- curse of disappearance
Power is the first enchantment you should try to get on your bow in Minecraft. In the same way that a sword must have Sharpness, it is absolutely necessary for a bow to have Power.
Since there is only one variation of the bow in Minecraft, the Might enchantment is the only way to increase the damage the bow does with each shot. Each level of the Power enchantment increases the damage of a bow by 25%, which means the total increase for Power V will be 150%.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the damage a bow deals at each level of the Might enchantment:
- Power 0: 3 Hearts
- Power I: 3.75 Hearts
- Power II: 4.5 Hearts
- Power III: 5.25 Hearts
- Power IV: 6 Hearts
- V Power: 6.75 Hearts
Once you’ve enchanted your bow with Power (ideally Power V), the next thing on your mind should be getting Unbreaking on the same bow. Our tutorial on how to combine enchantments in minecraft is at the end of this guide.
Since there is only one version of the bow in the game, the wooden bow is both the strongest and the weakest variation. But even then, a full durability bow doesn’t last that long, and you really don’t want to lose the bow you spent so much time enchanting. It is for this reason that Unbreaking is absolutely essential on any weapon or tool, and especially the bow.
Unlike Power, Unbreaking has only 3 levels. And even then, those three levels work in the same incremental way as Power and other enchantments. Every time you shoot an arrow from your bow, you take one point of durability out of a total of 384 points. On the other hand, Unbreaking gives the bow a total of 1536 durability points.
This is how Unbreaking levels work in an arc:
- Unbreakable 0: 384 Durability
- Unbreakable I: 768 Durability
- Unbreakable II: 1152 Durability
- Unbreakable III: 1536 Durability
As the name suggests, Flame is a fire-based enchantment in Minecraft that is capable of setting your opponents (or anyone you hit with an arrow) on fire. It is the bow equivalent of the sword enchantment called Fire Aspect and is extremely useful both in PvP and at night when you are hunting monsters.
Flame, unlike the previous two enchantments we just talked about, doesn’t have any levels. This means that no matter what happens, a player or entity affected by Flame will always burn for 5 seconds and take 2.5 hearts of damage per flame tick. (these stats are for players without armor or fire resistance)
Flame has other uses as well, except distracting players during combat by setting them on fire. The flame can also affect mobs and TNT, and can also be used to light candles if a flaming arrow passes over or falls near them. Also, if you shoot a food-dropping mob with a flame bow, the food it normally drops will now be cooked.
Following the theme of enchantments that come directly from the other Minecraft weapons and just go by different names when applied to a bow, there’s Punch. And if you still can’t guess, Punch has the exact same effect on your arrows that Knockback has on your sword and axe.
When an opposing player or mob is hit by an arrow fired from a hitting bow, they will be pushed back approximately 2 blocks. It’s worth noting that Punch doesn’t remove any of the other enchantment effects, meaning you could potentially shoot an arrow with Power, Punch, and Flame effects all in one.
Just like the other enchantments we’ve mentioned so far (except Flame), Punch also has a level system and it actually has two levels. Punch I will move an opponent back 2 blocks, while Punch II will move an opponent back 4 blocks.
Infinity is a bow-only accessory that cannot be found anywhere else in the game and is extremely rare to get. This particular enchantment also shares a slot with the next enchantment on the list, Mending. This means that you can only have one of these two equipped on a single bow.
Of these two, we personally recommend you to invest in Infinity. Why? Infinity provides you with unlimited ammo for your bow. The only prerequisite is that you must have at least one arrow in your inventory. Infinity means you never run out of an arrow, no matter how many arrows you shoot with your bow.
So if you’re on an SMP server with lots of other players, or engaging in multiplayer battles with your friends, Infinity is a must have in your bow.
Mending is without a doubt the rarest enchantment in Minecraft. It can be applied to any item, but cannot be obtained from a crafting table and must be traded with a villager or fished in the ocean.
And while he may initially think the effort isn’t with him, he’ll stop once he figures out what it does. Repair allows you to repair your items using XP. So whenever you kill a mob or another player, or mine Redstone, the XP from it, instead of going to your XP bar, will go to the item that Mending has and repair it.
We highly recommend Mending to all solo players facing endless Minecraft nights alone. Repair is especially useful on bows because while items like armor and swords can be repaired with ingots of the original material, the same is not true for a bow. Bows cannot be manually repaired, so using Mending to make your OP bow last forever is the way to go.
7. Curse of Disappearance
Curse of the Vanishing is what kids today would refer to as a meme incantation. That said, we personally think it may have some niche-specific uses. Curse of the Vanishing makes it so that if a player is using a bow with this enchantment and the player dies, the bow will not fall to the ground. Instead, the bow will simply disappear and be lost forever.
While this may seem counterproductive in solo survival modes, the enchantment could prove quite useful in a multiplayer SMP lobby. Curse of the Vanishing is a good way to make sure no enemy player gets their incredibly powerful bow and uses it against you.
How to stack enchantments on a bow?
Stacking enchantments in Minecraft can be tricky, but more often than not it’s the easiest way to get a high level version of an enchantment. To stack and match enchantments, you’ll need an anvil and lots of XP levels.
Once you have both, you’ll need two iterations of the same enchantment, on two of the same item, or on a book and the item you want to place it on. After this you will place the book and item on the anvil and then combine the enchantments on the item itself.
For example, if you have a Power I book and a Power I enchanted bow, you can use an anvil to turn them into a Power II bow. After this, you can combine that Power II bow with a Power II book to make a Power III bow. You can also do this for enchantments that can be on items together, like Power and Punch. For example, you can combine a Punch II book with your Power III bow to make a bow that has both Punch II and Power III.