Best Shield Enchantments in Minecraft [Top 3]

Why not ramp up your trusty shield with a few enchantments in Minecraft?

One of the key ways to improve a shield’s reliability in Minecraft is by equipping it with enchantments. Unlike weapons, however, shields have a very limited number of available enchantments, and they usually go into upgrading their durability. Still, having a single, reliable shield that you can freely customize and upgrade is much better than having multiple weaker shields clogging up your inventory and storage.

Key Takeaways
  • Shield enchantments are available in all Minecraft versions, including Java, Bedrock, Education, and Legacy.
  • These enchantments come in the form of enchanted books that you can either craft yourself for Enchantment Levels or find in the world.
  • You can usually find Enchanted books in chests in Minecraft’s dungeons, pillager outposts, temples, and other such structures.
  • Additionally, you can even trade them with librarians in villages for equally valuable loot.
  • They can easily be considered one of the best value enchantments and a must in your build because they affect one of the crucial aspects of a great shield.
  • Shield enchantments are primarily focused on increasing a shield’s durability since that’s the only aspect of it that can be improved.
  • Out of the 3 enchantments, 2 of them can actively make your shield resistant to breaking while one is an everlasting curse that you should avoid.
  • Mending, the first shield buff, automatically repairs your shield with XP orbs while Unbreaking, the other buff, is purely focused on adding more health to it.
  • The curse enchantment can make your shield permanently despawn from the world upon death so be on the lookout for unwanted shields with this debuff pre-applied.
  • These enchantments are also very versatile so that they can be applied to weapons and armor to weapon and armor enchantments.
  • If you have an enchanted book, you can use an Anvil to combine it with a shield and enchant the shield.
  • You can also apply more enchantments to a shield in survival mode with mods, but this feature is not available in Minecraft Bedrock due to a lack of modding support.

Ranking Minecraft’s Shield Enchantments

At most, a single shield in Minecraft can be paired with three enchantments – Curse of Vanishing, Mending, and Unbreaking. You can find these enchantments either pre-applied to a random shield in the world or find their enchantment books and apply the enchantment to the shield yourself.

1. Mending

  • Max Level: 1
  • Enchantment Cost: 4

Mending is a late-game treasure enchantment that uses XP orbs to restore durability. You can use it on armor, weapons, and tools, including your shield. This enchantment only has a single level, Mending I, so it has no levels of rarity or repairing speed/strength. The most common way of getting Mending is searching through chests found in dungeons, jungle and desert temples, and strongholds.

mending in a desert temple in Minecraft
The Mending Enchantment in a Desert Temple Chest (Image by eXputer)

Once you put this enchantment on a damaged shield, the XP orbs you collect in Minecraft from the ground will automatically go into repairing it. However, it’s important to ensure that you’re collecting XP with the shield equipped in your main or off-hand, since Mending only works when your enchanted item is actively equipped. As for easy ways to collect XP orbs with the shield equipped, you could try the following tactics:

  • Hunt hostile mobs such as Skeletons or Spiders at night
  • Kill herds of animals commonly found in green-covered areas like Forests and Jungles
  • Make an XP farm for collecting XP orbs in bulk
  • Search for common ores like Iron and Coal in mountainous biomes

The main advantage of using Mending on a shield in Minecraft is that it’s the best enchantment for durability. This is because, unlike Unbreaking, this enchantment essentially grants it infinite durability since it has no limit to self-repairing. You also don’t have to constantly run back to an Anvil or grindstone to repair your tools and weapons. Therefore, as you continue to use your shield and collect XP orbs, your shield will never come close to breaking.

One noticeable drawback of Mending in Minecraft is that it is incompatible with Infinity. However, this is hardly an issue if you’re looking to enchant a shield with Mending since Infinity is strictly a bow enchantment.

The Infinity Enchantment in Minecraft
The Infinity Enchantment found in a Desert Temple (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

2. Unbreaking

  • Max Level: 3
  • Enchantment Cost: 3

The Unbreaking enchantment improves an item’s lifespan and makes it much more durable and resistant to breaking. In terms of compatibility, this enchantment can be paired with any other shield enchantment in Minecraft. Apart from that, you can also apply it to all other weapons such as axe enchantments or sword enchantments, as well as farming tools.

Unbreaking on different enchantable items in Minecraft
Unbreaking III on a Shield, Diamond Sword, and Shears (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

You can obtain the Unbreaking enchantment book by trading with a librarian villager or looting dungeon chests. You can also test your luck by fishing or using an enchantment table to get this enchantment. The higher number of bookshelves surrounding the enchantment table, the better Unbreaking enchantment you’ll find. Similarly, if you’re trying fishing, having the Luck of the Sea fishing rod enchantment also has a better chance of getting a high-level Unbreaking.

It’s worth noting that this is one of the most common enchantments in all of Minecraft’s versions (Java, Bedrock, Legacy, Education) so it’ll likely be the first enchantment you apply to a shield. And since Mending is a late-game enchantment, Unbreaking is a good alternative to it. Once you pair it with Mending, it becomes almost impossible to break a shield.

shield with unbreaking and mending in Minecraft
A Shield with both Mending and Unbreaking III Enchantments (Screenshot taken by eXputer)

The progression of Unbreaking’s levels is linear, meaning that you’ll get +100% durability after you enchant an item with Unbreaking of a higher level. For example, enchanting a shield with Unbreaking I grants +100% durability, and enchanting it with Unbreaking II gives +200% durability. This consistent progression encourages players to continue looking for high-level Unbreaking enchantments.

3. Curse Of Vanishing

  • Max Level: 1
  • Enchantment Cost: 3

This is the last enchantment you can apply to your shield in Minecraft… although it’s not recommended. The Curse of Vanishing is a debuffing enchantment that removes your shield from the world when you die and respawn. As such, unlike other regular items, you can’t retrieve something which has this treasure enchantment applied to it. You also cannot remove this curse from a shield by any regular means, so it permanently sticks to an item.

Curse of Vanishing remains intact even after trying to disenchant it (Image Credits: eXputer)

One important to keep in mind is that this enchantment only vanishes your shield if you’re actively carrying it in your inventory or one of your hands in Minecraft right after you die. Therefore, if you drop it manually or store it someplace like a chest, the Curse of Vanishing doesn’t work. However, one way to carry your cursed items without worrying about them vanishing is by placing them in a shulker box and carrying that instead.

You can usually find the Curse of Vanishing’s enchantment book in jungle temples, raid loot, and fishing. It can also come pre-applied on items that you discover in Minecraft, so you can often see right away whether a shield you’ve just found from a chest has been debuffed or not. Furthermore, this curse is also compatible with all other enchantments and applicable to all enchantable items in Minecraft.

curse of vanishing's enchanted book in Minecraft
The Curse of Vanishing Enchanted Book (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

As seen, the Curse of Vanishing is a dangerous enchantment that can instantly remove your shield from the world entirely. Players mainly use this enchantment to troll others by applying it on valuable items, causing them to disappear once the player dies. Try to avoid grabbing a shield in Minecraft with this enchantment since it’s no use upgrading or keeping it due to its risk of disappearing!

Enchanting Shields With Enchantment Books

Once you have an enchanted book that you can apply to a shield, the first thing you need is an Anvil. To make an Anvil, you need 3 Iron Blocks and 4 Iron Ingots and put them on a crafting table. You can find Iron Ores in mountainous biomes and use a furnace to bake the ores and create Iron Ingots. Later on, you can use the crafting table and place 8 Iron Ingots to make an Iron Block.

Making an Anvil in Minecraft
Recipe for crafting an Anvil (Screenshot Grab: eXputer)

After making the Anvil, place it on the ground and interact with it to open its menu. Now place the shield on the left input slot and the enchanted book on the right input slot, name your new altered shield, and you’ll see the final product – an enchanted shield – on the right along with its Enchantment cost needed to complete the process. You can also combine 2 Enchanted Books with the Anvil to create a single book with both books’ enchantments.

Enchanting a Shield in Minecraft
Enchanting and Renaming a Shield (Screenshot by eXputer)

The Enchantment cost is the XP levels that the enchantment will need. The ‘Enchantment Cost’ along with the number will be in red if you don’t have the levels for it. If the enchantment itself is incompatible, you’ll see a red cross on the arrow in the menu.

Red Cross on Enchantment and Red Enchantment Cost when enchanting
Red Enchantment cost vs Red Cross during enchantment (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

Disenchanting A Shield Or Enchanted Book

In addition to enchanting items, you can also remove enchantments, excluding curses, if you want to gain some XP. For this, the main item you’ll need is a Grindstone, which you can make with 1 Stone Slab, 2 Sticks, and 2 Planks. There’s also a likely chance you can find one in a blacksmith villager’s house, and use your pickaxe to drop it and add it to your inventory.

Making a Grindstone in Minecraft
Exact recipe to craft a Grindstone (Image Credits: eXputer)

Once you have a Grindstone, place it down on the ground and open its menu where you’ll find 2 interactable input slots. Place an enchanted shield or book in one of the slots and the grindstone will automatically remove all of its enchantments.

Disenchanting a Shield in Minecraft
Disenchanting a Shield (Image by eXputer)

Disenchanting an item immediately gives you XP which you can use on the Anvil to make other enchantments. The more valuable the enchantment, the more XP it returns. Additionally, you can also use a grindstone to repair a shield or other tools and weapons.


That wraps up our guide on the best enchantments you can get on a shield in Minecraft Java, Bedrock, Legacy, and Education. Once you’ve gotten your enchantments, consider reading our Top 70 Best Minecraft House Ideas and store your shield someplace nice. If you want to learn about more interesting enchantments, check out our guide on Minecraft’s Fortune Enchantment. You can also learn more about the game itself by seeing How to Reset or Reload Chunks in Minecraft.

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Rabiya Rizwan

A veteran writer passionate about gaming and rarely ever spotted in the streets, Rabiya is either cooped up gaming or watching anime all the time. Striving to be a competitive gaming-based writer, she currently employs her writing skills working for eXputer.

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