Best armor enchantments in Minecraft 1.20 (Java edition)

Armor is the key to your survival when it comes to Minecraft, and with the 1.19 update, it's important to stay on top of what enchantments are best in the game.

Ever since the introduction of the Warden, players all over Minecraft have had to reconsider their armor sets and how they go about buffing up their defenses. After all, the Warden is a force to be reckoned with, and if you don't have the absolute best when it comes to armor, surviving is right up there next to impossible.

Best Armor Enchantments In Minecraft 1.19 (java Edition)

Since the introduction of Netherite, and with its insane durability and defense stats, certain enchantments have become less viable than others, and on the other side, newer enchantments like Soul Speed have changed up the meta entirely. Players now have to make decisions between what enchantments to keep on their armor and which to sacrifice so that they can have the best armor possible in the game.

What is enchanting in Minecraft?

To make it easier to understand, one can think of enchantments as extra upgrades for your gear in the game. Other than basic upgrades that come from progressively getting better armor, enchantments allow you to go even further beyond and add upgraded stats and abilities to even Netherite armor, which is the most powerful armor in the game.

Full Netherite armor on an armor stand.

After a certain point in the game, enchantments become necessary if you wish to fight certain mobs and defeat certain bosses. This holds particularly true for both the Wither and the Ender Dragon, along with Minecraft's latest big bad boss, the Warden.

Warden has to be the scariest boss in Minecraft.

So, whether you've been dying repeatedly to the same boss and want to make things a little easier on yourself, or whether you're preparing to fight the Ender Dragon and aren't prepared to lose your Hardcore world just because you couldn't take a hit, enchanting your armor is the way to do it. And we're here to help.

This guide will walk you through enchanting, tell you exactly how to do it, and what enchants are the best when it comes to armor. In the end, we will also tell you what the potential best pieces of armor in the game are, and what enchants you should have on them.

How to enchant in Minecraft?

Enchanting is one of the core aspects of Minecraft, but learning it if you're just getting started can be tricky. Here are the starting steps you need to take to start enchanting in Minecraft.

An enchanting table surrounded by bookshelves in Minecraft
An enchanting table surrounded by bookshelves in Minecraft.
  1. Your first necessity is an enchanting table. You can easily make one using just four Obsidian blocks, two Diamonds, and a book. To make the table, you have to open up the crafting menu through a crafting table and place the above-mentioned items in the following order:
    • 1st row: Empty, Book, Empty
    • 2nd row: Diamond, Obsidian, Diamond
    • 3rd row: Obsidian, Obsidian, Obsidian
    • Crafting recipe for the enchantment table.
  2. Once you have acquired a crafting table, the next requirement is to get some Lapis Lazuli. Lapis can be found at the same level as Diamonds when mining but is significantly easier to find and is much less rare. Every enchantment you get will set you back one Lapis Lazuli. You can find it anywhere between Y-level 64 to -64, according to the latest ore distribution graph.
    The Ore Distribution graph was shared by Mojang for version 1.18, but it is still applicable to version 1.20+.
  3. The final requirement to actually start enchanting is XP. You need at least 30 levels to have the most powerful enchants equipped on your weapons. You can do this by placing at least 15 bookshelves around your enchantment table with a distance of at least 1 block.
    You can place the bookshelves like this. There are 16, for the sake of symmetric builds.
Once you've completed the above steps, you can unlock higher-level enchants.

How to stack enchantments in Minecraft?

Stacking enchantments in Minecraft can be tricky, but is more often than not the easiest way to get a high-tier version of an enchantment. To stack and combine enchantments, you will need an anvil and a lot of XP levels.

Once you have both of these, you will need two iterations of the same enchantment, on either two of the same item, or on a book and the item you want to put it on. After this, you will put the book and the item into the anvil, and then combine the enchantments onto the item itself.

For example, if you have a Netherite chest plate with Protection I on it, there are two ways that you could upgrade that to Protection II.

  1. The first method is a bit longer and requires that you build another Netherite chest plate, enchant it, hope to get Protection I, and then combine the two using an anvil to get a Protection II Netherite chest plate. While there is the chance that you could get a better enchantment on your new Netherite chest plate, if you don't you will be wasting quite a lot of materials.
    Two Netherite chesplates, each having Protection I enchantment. When we combine them, we get a Netherite chestplate with Protection II enchantment.
  2. The second method is a bit more monotonous but requires fewer resources. All you have to do is keep on enchanting books till you end up with a Protection I book. From here you can just combine the book with your original Protection I Netherite chest plate and end up with a Protection II Netherite chest plate after only losing a book.
    A Netherite chesplate with Protection I is combined with an enchanted book having Protection I enchantment to give Netherite chestplate with Protection II.

Now that we've learned how to enchant, and also how to combine. It is time to see how we can manipulate the enchantment order to spend the least amount of XP and resources to get the highest enchantment levels on our gear.

The best way to do this is to use the Minecraft Enchantment Ordering Tool to get the order in which you must enchant your gear to spend less XP.

First choose your item from the drop-down menu and select all the enchantments you need to put on your item. After that, click on the 'Calculate' button to come up with an optimal solution highlighted in green on the right side of the selection menu.

Optimal Solution given after selecting the needed enchantments on a Helmet.

The optimal solution gives you the complete order in which you must enchant your gear, along with total XP needed to achieve the selected results.

Now, it's time to see what enchantments are best for your armor, and which ones you should target first.

What enchantments can armor have in Minecraft?

There are a total of nine different enchantments for armor in Minecraft, with two of them being general armor enchants, and the other seven being specific to certain armor pieces. These are:

  1. Blast/Fire/Projectile Protection (General)
  2. Thorns (General)
  3. Aqua Affinity (Helmet)
  4. Respiration (Helmet)
  5. Swift Sneak (Leggings)
  6. Depth Strider (Boots)
  7. Feather Falling (Boots)
  8. Frost Walker (Boots)
  9. Soul Speed (Boots)

Minecraft armor enchantments ranked:

Now that we know everything there is to know about enchanting and the way it interacts with armor in Minecraft, it's time to rank the enchantments according to their usefulness in the game.

1. Protection

Protection is the first enchantment that you should aim to get on all of your armor pieces. Even when you are starting out in the game, the difference between a regular Iron chest plate and a Protection I Iron chest plate is immense, and may well help you survive those encounters with a Creeper while you're mining in a cave.

Protection IV on a book in Minecraft.
Protection IV on a book in Minecraft.

While talking about protection, it's important to mention that there are four total types of protection.

  1. Protection: This is the base type of Protection and increases defenses against generalized damage from all sources. 
  2. Blast Protection: This is one of the three advanced types of Protection, and increases the player's defenses against damage received from explosions such as Creepers and TNT.
  3. Fire Protection: This is the second sub-type of Protection and is useful in areas like the Nether, and while fighting opponents that deal fire damage, given that it reduces burn damage.
  4. Projectile Protection: The final sub-type of the Protection family. This enchantment protects the user from damage dealt by ranged attacks such as arrows and Ghast blasts.

The four types of Protection are incompatible with each other. This means that one piece of armor can only have one type of protection enchanted onto it. On a similar note, all four types of protection can be applied to any armor piece, and have up to 4 tiers. So, you should aim to have at least Protection IV on all your armor pieces.

2. Feather Falling

Feather Falling is an armor enchantment that is specific to your boots in Minecraft 1.19. Straight off the bat, it is important to mention that this is one of four boot-based enchantments and used to share a slot with all of them. This means that while you had to choose between this and the three other boot enchantments, this isn't the case anymore.

Feather Falling IV on a book in Minecraft.
Feather Falling IV on a book in Minecraft.

Personally, we recommend Feather Falling for quite a few reasons, with the most important being the fact that Minecraft is a heavily vertical game. This means that more often than not, you will find yourself at the edge of a cliff and will be forced to build your way down and waste precious resources.

Feather Falling eliminates that completely and allows you to just jump off the edge by letting you take less damage from the fall. This stacks with every tier of Feather Falling, with Feather Falling IV, essentially cutting the fall damage you receive in half.

3. Swift Sneak

Swift Sneak is Minecraft's latest enchantment, and boy is it a good one. The enchantment is the first of its kind, and can only be applied to leggings. It allows players to have a faster crouch walk, and also make less noise while doing so. And while you might be thinking that it doesn't have much use, given the minimal noise players already make, Minecraft's latest boss might disagree.

Swift Sneak III on a book in Minecraft.
Swift Sneak III on a book in Minecraft.

The Warden is insanely powerful, can one-shot you if you aren't careful, and tracks you using the noise you make. Swift Sneak is absolutely essential if you want to have a chance at escaping him. So it comes as no surprise that the only way to actually get the enchantment is to find it inside chests hidden in the Warden's home biome, the Deep Dark.

Swift Sneak is a must-have given how difficult it is to escape a Warden without it, and having it on your best armor set has no downsides, so why not do it anyway?

4. Thorns

Thorns is the only other generalized armor enchantment in the game. But instead of buffing up the player's defenses, Thorns takes on a more offensive approach. The enchantment allows players to be a little more offensive, given that whenever another player will attack them, the attacking player will receive anywhere between one to four hearts of damage.

Thorns III on a book in Minecraft.
Thorns III on a book in Minecraft.

Thorns stacks up damage in two ways. Firstly, the enchantment is tier based, and the higher the tier, the more damage it will deal. The max cap for this is Thorns III dealing 4 hearts of damage to opposing players, and Thorns I dealing only 1 heart of damage.

This particular enchantment also functions with a probability-based approach. This means that whenever a player wearing Thorns is attacked, there is a certain chance that the attacking player will be damaged. The chance scale goes something like this:

  1. One armor piece with Thorns III = 11.25%
  2. Two armor pieces with Thorns III = 28.83%
  3. Three armor pieces with Thorns III = 46.33%
  4. Four armor pieces with Thorns III = 61.18%

5. Respiration

Respiration is one of two Helmet based enchantments, and sadly, both are easily replaced using a turtle shell helmet. But given that the turtle helmet doesn't have particularly high defensive stats, and it's impossible to know when you'll end up either fighting or mining underwater, both are essential to have on your helmet.

Respiration III on a book in Minecraft.
Respiration III on a book in Minecraft.

Respiration allows players to breathe longer underwater, which makes for longer underwater mining sessions and less inventory space being used up by doors. Respiration is also a tier-based enchantment and has a maximum of three levels, each of which allows you to survive just a little longer underwater. The tier stacks for respiration increase in this manner:

  1. Respiration 0 = 15 seconds underwater
  2. Respiration I = 30 seconds underwater
  3. Respiration II = 45 seconds underwater
  4. Respiration III = 60 seconds underwater

6. Aqua Affinity

Aqua Affinity is the second of the two helmet-based enchantments in Minecraft and is absolutely essential if you plan on mining in underwater caves, or hunting for magma blocks.

Aqua Affinity on a book in Minecraft.
Aqua Affinity on a book in Minecraft.

The enchantment has no tiers and has one constant effect when applied to a player's helmet. Aqua Affinity allows you to mine at the same speed underwater that you would on land. This means that players wearing an Aqua Affinity imbued helmet will now ignore the 5 times slowdown that usually occurs when mining underwater.

7. Frost Walker or Depth Strider

Frost Walker and Depth Strider are two of the four boot-based enchantments in Minecraft and are the only boot-based enchantments that are incompatible with one another. Players have to choose between having one or the other on their boots, with both granting very different buff effects to players.

Frost Walker III on a book in Minecraft.
Frost Walker II on a book in Minecraft.

Frost Walker is a tier based enchant, with a max tier stack of two. Frost Walker II allows players to freeze the surface of any water body, which in turn allows them to just simply walk over them.

This effect slowly loses its effect when players stand still over water blocks that they have previously frozen. The difference between Frost Walker I and II is the number of blocks frozen when a player nears a body of standing water.

Depth Strider III on a book in Minecraft.
Depth Strider III on a book in Minecraft.

On the other hand, Depth Strider is the exact opposite of Frost Walker, in the sense that it allows you to move through water faster. Every level of Depth Strider allows you to move faster through water, with Depth Strider III allowing players to move as fast as they would run on land.

8. Soul Speed

Soul Speed was added in the recent Nether overhaul that Minecraft had in the 1.18 update. The enchantment is extremely niche specific, with its only use being to let players walk on Soul Sand faster in the Nether.

Soul Speed III on a book in Minecraft.
Soul Speed III on a book in Minecraft.

The enchantment also has three levels, with Soul Speed I only allowing players to be 40% faster than Soul Speed 0, and Soul Speed III giving a whopping 65% speed boost. The enchantment is also extremely difficult to get, with players having to explore multiple bastions to get a book with the enchantment on it.

The best Minecraft armor enchantments

There are quite a few variations of the best armor sets in Minecraft, but the best armor sets are always objectively better.

Best helmet

The best helmet in Minecraft has a combination of Protection IV, Thorns III, Aqua Affinity, Respiration, and Unbreaking III enchanted onto it.

The best possible helmet in Minecraft.
The best possible helmet in Minecraft.

Best chestplate

The objectively best chestplate in Minecraft has Protection IV, Unbreaking III, and Thorns III enchanted onto it.

The best possible chestplate in Minecraft.
The best possible chestplate in Minecraft.

Best Leggings

The best leggings in Minecraft that you can currently make in the game should have Protection IV. Swift Sneak III, Thorns III, and Unbreaking III enchanted onto them.

The best possible leggings in Minecraft.
The best possible leggings in Minecraft.

Best boots

The best boots in Minecraft should have Protection IV, Unbreaking III, Thorns III, Soul Speed III, Feather Falling IV, and Depth Strider III enchanted onto them.

The best possible boots in MInecraft.
The best possible boots in Minecraft.

We hope this guide has helped you figure out how to enchant your gear properly in Minecraft 1.19 and also has helped you prioritize what enchantments to target for which gear.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Arsal Sher

Just an average videogame enthusiast who loves to share his passion with the world. The only grass I've touched in the past year has been the virtual kind.
Comparison List (0)