Chest armor is one of the most important pieces of armor you can acquire in Minecraft. Unlike other pieces like helmets or boots, there is little incentive to wear anything less but the absolute strongest chestplate in Minecraft, ideally complete with the best enchantments!
Of course, obtaining and maintaining a good chestplate will take a hefty number of diamonds over the course of your explorations. It’ll take eight pieces of Iron or Diamonds in order to make a decent chestplate, and you’ll want to make sure you use good enchantments after that to keep it operating at maximum efficiency for a long time. And that’s not even getting into the enchants.
How Chest Armor Enchantments Work in Minecraft
Enchantments are usually applied at an enchanting table, but on occasion, you’ll also find chest pieces that have already been enchanted hiding inside chests that you’ll find hidden inside various structures. Enchantments are currently the same across the different Java and Bedrock editions of Minecraft, so this list should work the same for both versions of the game with some minor caveats here and there.
Every kind of armor has a different “enchantability” rating that determines how easy it is to apply enchantments to it. Diamond armor actually has a lesser enchantability rating than Netherite, so you might want to hold on to Diamond chest pieces until you can upgrade them, prior to adding any enchantments at all. Golden armor has the highest enchantability but the lowest defensive rating and the least durability out of any kind of armor, yet it also allows you to walk among the Piglins of the Nether.
Best Chestplate Enchantments in Minecraft, Ranked from Decent to Essential
Without further ado, let’s go over our list of the best chestplate enchantments in Minecraft!
Projectile Protection / Blast Protection
These enchantments are tied for last place on our list of chestplate enchantments in Minecraft. Projectile Protection blocks damage from arrows, ghast fireballs, and blaze charges, along with other lesser sources of projectile damage like llama spit.
Blast Protection reduces the damage of creeper explosions, TNT traps, ghast fireball’s radial damage, exploding bed traps, and firework rockets. Each level of protection across your armor will reduce the relevant damage it prevents to a maximum of 80%.
These enchantments are both highly situational. Therefore, having a suit of armor with these enchantments applied to the entire suit will maximize their situational effects. As mentioned earlier, Projectile Protection is especially useful against arrows fired by skeletons, Illagers, and other players. Both enchantments are beneficial in PvP situations or early attempts at clearing out the Nether, as most projectiles are encountered in the Nether.
If you are confident enough in your bow skills to keep any target from getting close or have an ally ready to block them, then Projectile Protection may be a fantastic pick. Blast Protection has less application, but it does reduce the knockback of an explosion in the Java Edition, potentially saving you from being blasted into a lava pit in the Nether.
The downside to both of these enchantments is that they are only helpful in specific situations and are mutually exclusive with the other Protection enchantments, such as the more well-rounded Protection enchantment.
Since a lot of fighting against higher-level enemies in Minecraft happens up close, having Projectile Protection may be redundant, especially since you can prevent all damage from arrows simply by using a shield.
How To Get Projectile/Blast Protection & How to Upgrade It
Enchantment tables are the best option for acquiring these enchantments, and they are fairly accessible even at lower levels. You can obtain these enchantments up to level IV by spending more levels at the table or by combining multiple chest pieces of the same material and enchantment level. High levels of these enchantments can also be acquired by trading with villagers or fishing.
Fire Protection reduces damage from stepping on fires, ranged fireball attacks from Blaze mobs in the Nether, and the immense amounts of damage you would usually take from stepping in lava. Fire Protection also provides damage reduction against fire damage that would usually ignore your armor altogether.
Reducing fire damage is immensely helpful in the Nether since dying to fire is one of the worst things that can happen to a survival Minecraft player. Fire damage can destroy all the loot you were carrying, potentially burning your hard-earned diamond gear to dust.
Each level of the Fire Protection enchantment on your gear reduces fire damage by 8% and the time spent on fire by 15%. Having at least seven levels of Fire Protection on your gear in Bedrock edition will reduce the time spent burning by 100%, immediately extinguishing you if you are lit on fire. However, in Java edition, this protection only extends to 60% reduction.
Fire Protection shares the same problem as previous Protection enchantments, as it is mutually exclusive with any other enchantment sharing the Protection title, yet has more niche uses than other Protection enchantments. If you are not fighting in the Nether or digging in a cave full of lava, there is basically no reason to wear this type of armor.
Additionally, having full Netherite gear makes you completely immune to lava damage, negating most of the usefulness of this enchantment at the highest levels of the game.
How To Get Fire Protection & How to Upgrade It
You can commonly acquire this upgrade at the enchantment table. Like other Protection enchantments, it can be upgraded to level IV. If you want to swap one Protection enchantment for another, make sure to keep the desired enchantment in the “Sacrifice Slot” of the anvil when combining two enchanted chest pieces.
You can also obtain the highest levels of this enchantment by fishing or finding them in chests at various structures. You’ll probably find a lot of gold armor in the Nether or alongside ruined portals that already have this enchantment applied.
Unbreaking is a versatile enchantment that can be applied to almost any wearable item in Minecraft, including tools and shields. Each time your character takes damage from a mob attack or environmental effects such as falling, the armor that absorbs the damage has a chance to lose durability. Unbreaking reduces the chances of this durability loss occurring.
This enchantment is a good choice all around because it doesn’t conflict with many other enchantments, it’s relatively inexpensive to apply, and it will always be useful by reducing the number of resources you’ll need to spend on replacing your armor.
Once you’ve established an enchantment table, you should consider applying Unbreaking to every piece of gear you use to minimize the number of diamonds and iron you’ll need to use.
Unbreaking gear is still bound to break down eventually, requiring you to spend more and more XP to repair the piece over time. However, it is still worth applying to every single item you can put it on to help it last longer.
The only time you wouldn’t want to bother with an Unbreaking enchantment on your chest piece is if you have a lot more iron than lapis and no easy way to replenish your enchanting resources
How To Get Unbreaking & How to Upgrade It
You can easily get Unbreaking from an enchanting table, and putting it into books to save for later can be a smart way to invest your XP if you’re taking a risky journey where you could lose your hard-won experience points. It comes in levels up to III. On average, each level of Unbreaking will make an item last double the length of time than the level before.
Thorns is an interesting armor enchantment because of how offensive-minded it is. Instead of reducing the damage you take from attacks, you’ll actually inflict a little bit of damage back to anyone who hits you with an attack.
This enchantment lets you plow through big groups of enemies with ease, proving especially useful against slime-cube-style enemies (even magma cubes). Keeping some armor with a high-level thorns enchantment around can be a great thing to pull out for special occasions where getting hit is essentially unavoidable, like trying to fight a Pillager raid all by yourself.
It’s much stronger in the Java edition where it also adds some knockback effects, keeping you from getting swarmed by weak mobs.
Thorns will deal some damage to your armor every time it inflicts damage on an enemy. You can mitigate this by stacking it with the Unbreaking enchantment.
However, Thorns is bound to break down the armor it’s applied to more quickly than other enchantments. If you save it for a set of iron armor, you can just put it on when you need it.
How To Get Thorns & How to Upgrade It
The first two levels of Thorns can be acquired via an enchanting table, but you can’t obtain the third level without fishing up a book, trading with villagers, combining two level II Thorns chest pieces, or finding a book of Thorns III in a structure’s chest.
This enchantment provides a flat protection bonus against all sorts of damage, including damage that armor usually wouldn’t be capable of blocking. Each level of Protection applied to any piece of armor gives you an additional 4% damage resistance. Out of all the chestplate enchantments in Minecraft, this one provides the best defensive value!
This well-rounded enchantment not only reduces the damage that your armor usually blocks but can also reduce damage from effects that can bypass even the strongest Netherite armor. The only sources of damage you might encounter in survival that aren’t reduced by Protection are starvation and the new Warden’s sonic boom attack.
The maximum amount of damage reduction you can achieve from having Protection IV on all four pieces of armor is 64%, which is less than the maximum damage reduction you can achieve from more specialized forms of protection enchantment. Like the others, this enchantment is mutually exclusive with every other form of protection.
How To Get Protection & How to Upgrade It
The Protection enchantment can be upgraded all the way to level IV, just like the other protection upgrades. You can obtain it from enchantment tables or find it already applied to armor in chests.
Mending is the rarest and most coveted enchantment in the game. When an item has mending applied to it and you earn XP points, those XP points will be used to repair the durability of the equipment instead of being saved up for other new enchantments. This effectively lets you keep the item forever.
Mending is arguably the best chestplate enchantment in Minecraft, especially if you’re using Netherite gear. Since Netherite is difficult to obtain, as you need to mine through massive amounts of dangerous Netherrack to get it, you want to do everything you can to avoid losing a piece! You get a good deal for your XP with Mending, as it repairs two points of durability for every point of XP that goes into your items.
Additionally, you can equip more than one item with Mending at once, and the XP will be randomly split between them until they’re fully repaired. Once they’re fully repaired, any remaining XP orbs will just fill up your gauge as usual. This means that in-between expeditions to the Nether or other challenging areas, you should go farming or do some easy mining to fully repair your gear.
The only major downside of Mending is that it’s incredibly hard to obtain, so applying it must be done with extreme caution. Since a chest piece requires more resources than any other diamond-using item, it’s a great place to use your first charge of Mending.
However, that means you won’t be able to apply the same charge to your pickaxe or sword. Additionally, if you’re not properly situated to safely farm XP, fighting with this armor on will consume a lot of the XP that you could have earned by hunting monsters at night.
How To Get Mending & How to Upgrade It
Mending is incredibly difficult to obtain due to its immense power as an enchantment. The most likely way to acquire it is by finding a book inside certain structures, such as jungle temples, strongholds, or chests within the new Warden-haunted ancient city structures.
Alternatively, you can fish it up from the water at a very low rate, or trade with librarian villagers. Bedrock edition players can obtain it as a drop during a raid. Lastly, there’s a 1% chance of getting Mending whenever you enchant an item with a high-level enchantment using the maximum number of bookshelves around your enchanting table. Mending only has one level.
Join the High Ground
The ultimate chestplate in Minecraft is made of Netherite with Mending, Unbreaking III, Protection IV, and Thorns III enchantments applied. These enchantments stack with each other, providing the ultimate protection compared to other variations, although other variants might be appropriate in specific situations.
We hope this guide to enchanting your chest armor will assist you and your blocky allies in seizing the high ground. If you have any questions or think another enchantment deserves to make this list, leave a comment below! And make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more Minecraft content!