The bow is easily the most versatile weapon in Minecraft, able to rapidly fire magical arrows at targets near and far. A bow with a good supply of arrows is an absolute necessity for adventures into the nether, or even just to counter skeletons and pillagers in the overworld. Once you can start enchanting, it an be difficult to find the best bow enchantments to equip.
We’re here to help sort through the many choices so you can build the ultimate bow. We’ll start with four enchanting options that easily stack, then offer you the choice between an infinite bow and infinite ammo. You’ll be an archery master in no time!
4 Bow Enchantments You Should Stack Together
Our list of the best bow enchantments start with your stackable options. For these enchantments, it’s important to apply them in the proper order. We’ve listed them in order here, starting with Unbreaking and ending with Punch.
Unbreaking is one of the more basic enchantments in Minecraft. It reduces the chance of your equipment taking durability damage, keeping your bow from snapping during an important battle. Your weapon will last longer, which gives you time to stack three other enchantments on top of it!
Unbreaking comes in Levels 1–3. If you have the resources, go ahead and make Unbreaking the first enchantment you add to your bow.
The Power enchantment comes in five different levels, all of which increase the amount of damage your bow can do. At Level 5, it takes your damage per arrow from 3 hearts to 7.5 — enough to drop almost every basic enemy in the game. Even lower levels make a huge difference, especially out in the nether. You can drop ghasts out of the sky without needing to waste more arrows and more difficult shots against them.
For simple efficiency, you should get the Power enchantment early on. This helps with resource management, as you’ll use half as many arrows while they’re still at a premium. In newer versions of the game, you can acquire the Power enchantment through the enchanting table (the highest levels are available if you have 15 bookshelves in your enchanting library. You can also find higher-level versions as enchanted books hidden within the chests of various structures.
The Flame enchantment is where things finally get a little more interesting. Most of the enchantments we’ve included here have had more mechanical benefits, invisibly increasing your stats in the background. Flame is not subtle like the others, letting you fire flaming arrows at both your enemies and various flammable targets. Lighting TNT from a distance has never been easier.
Flame lights your targets aflame while still dealing physical damage. Each tick of fire damage deals 2.5 hearts, and the fire lasts an entire five seconds. If you already have Power V applied, you’ll be dealing 20 damage every attack — twice what it takes to kill an unarmored player character. Even the deadly ravager only has around fifty hearts of health, meaning you only need to fire three times before letting the fire do the rest.
The biggest downside to the Flame enchantment is that if the fire itself does kill your target, you won’t receive any loot. Try to land a second arrow after the first if you’re trying to collect anything of value.
The Punch enchantment is only useful in certain situations, but it’s still worth applying if you’ve already filled out your other enchantment slots. It’s okay to skip, but if you plan on using the bow as your main weapon, you may as well apply it.
Punch knocks back any target you hit by three blocks worth of space. It can be very useful in PVP, where getting knocked back is very disorienting and potentially hazardous. It’s also super useful in the nether, with its overabundance of sharp drops and high-health opponents.Punch is most useful against melee mobs, but you can also potentially knock a skeleton out of range. You can also use it to push mobs into traps for whatever nefarious reasons you may have.
There are two levels of Punch, with the second giving you more knockback.
Infinite Bow or Infinite Ammo?
Now that you’ve got a bow with extra durability, more damage, flaming arrows, and knockback, it’s time to make a big choice for your fifth enchantment. To you want an everlasting bow, or infinite ammo?
Infinite Bow: Mending
Mending is widely regarded as the best enchantment in Minecraft, and for good reason. It applies any XP you acquire directly into durability repairs for the enchanted item. This means every time you do any activity that grants XP, your bow could be magically repaired, potentially keeping it in your hands forever. This is especially helpful, as the bow has less durability than a lot of other items.
Ultimately, we recommend saving Mending for other items unless you’re really dedicated to your already-enchanted bow. Mending can be applied to more useful items, and it conflicts with our next enchantment.
Infinity is a relatively rare enchantment that is unique to the bow. You can acquire it at the enchanting table at Level 30 and above, using a fully equipped table and library. Infinity allows you to use a single arrow an infinite number of times, meaning you won’t need to keep plucking chicken feathers and sifting through piles of gravel looking for flint. This is obviously a huge advantage from an economical standpoint — it feels like an old-school cheat code for infinite ammo!
The main disadvantage to Infinity is that it conflicts with Mending. You’ll need to spend a lot of XP to keep the bow repaired via an anvil if it has a lot of enchantments attached to it already. You also can’t duplicate special magic arrows like the Arrow of Harming or the Arrow of Slowness with an Infinity bow — they’ll still be depleted as normal.
Join the High Ground
That’s it for our list of the best bow enchantments in Minecraft! Now you’ve got a bow that can contend with anything you might encounter in the overworld, the nether, or the end. Let us know your favorite enchantments in the comments below, and subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this.