Survive Minecraft's biggest dangers with this swords guide

Minecraft sword - all the different swords on the ground in Minecraft
(Image credit: Mojang)

Need to know how to get your hands on a Minecraft sword? Survival is serious business in Mojang's famous survival game. You don't want a hostile mob catching you off-guard and staying alive demands a good weapon. Bows or axes can do the job, but ultimately, nothing beats your trusty sword.

They come in many varieties, but chances are, you might not be using them as effectively as possible. With plenty of Minecraft sword enchantments available and mods, I’ve put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know about bladed weapons in Minecraft.

Minecraft sword types?

At time of writing, Minecraft offers six different sword types. Each have a durability system with varying attack strengths. Basing this off the Bedrock edition—Java Edition deals 0.5 fewer hearts damage each per hit—here’s what you can expect from each variant:

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Sword types
TypeUsesDamage (hearts per hit)

How to make a sword in Minecraft

Most swords are crafted in the same way. Looking at your crafting table’s middle column, a stick needs placing in the bottom row. Above it, depending on your chosen variant, requires two planks/gold ingots/cobblestones/iron ingots/diamonds, depending on the sword type you're creating.

A Minecraft Netherite sword requires a different approach: you need to create a Minecraft diamond sword first. Once crafted, place it and one Netherite ingot onto a Smithing Table, and upgrade it to the current best Minecraft sword in the game.

You can also just find swords in the game world, and there’s three ways to do so. Several enemies come equipped with swords and once killed, they might drop them. zombies and Husks offer iron swords, Minecraft piglins and their zombie equivalents drop golden swords, while Wither Skeletons drop stone swords. Weaponsmith villagers can trade swords for emeralds and they’re also commonly found inside chests. 

How Minecraft sword enchantments work

(Image credit: Mojang)

Enchantments are a great way to buff your shiny new sword, but they require an Minecraft enchantments table. Unfortunately, there’s no method to guarantee what enchantment you’ll get, and they hold different rarities. Each come with levels that increase their potency, too. Swords have eight different options in total, which are:

  • Bane of Arthropods: Increased attack against Minecraft bees, endermites, silverfish and spiders, offering an extra 2.5 hearts damage per hit with each level. Also inflicts Slowness for 1-1.5 seconds, going up 0.5 seconds with higher levels. 
  • Fire Aspect: Your sword sets fire to your target, adding 4 seconds of burning for each level. If used on a meat-holding mob, cooked meat drops when killed. 
  • Knockback: Adds three blocks to your base knockback per level and doesn’t require sprinting to activate. Also stops Minecraft creepers from exploding.
  • Looting: This is a rare enchantment, providing more drops and an increased chance of rarer items, which grows higher with each level. 
  • Sharpness: A more common enchantment which increases attack damage. In the Java Edition, that adds 1 extra heart damage and a further 0.5 for each level. Bedrock Edition adds 1.25 heart damage instead.
  • Smite: Relatively uncommon, but when applied, deals an extra 2.5 hearts of damage for each level to all undead enemies. 
  • Sweeping Edge: Unlike other enchantments here, this one is a Java exclusive. Letting you apply a damage multiplier if several enemies are hit within a sweeping attack, that grows with subsequent levels.
  • Unbreaking: Increases your sword’s durability. It requires you to enchant a book first - creating the Book of Unbreaking. Once done, you can use a Minecraft anvil to combine it with your sword, granting this.

How about Minecraft sword mods?

Best of Minecraft

Minecraf 1.18 key art

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft update: What's new?
Minecraft skins: New looks
Minecraft mods:  Beyond vanilla
Minecraft shaders: Spotlight
Minecraft seeds: Fresh new worlds
Minecraft texture packs: Pixelated
Minecraft servers: Online worlds
Minecraft commands: All cheats

There are a few worth considering. I advise using Minecraft Forge as your mod loader and Curse Forge to find mods. Here's some more help if you’re looking for wider options when it comes to the best Minecraft mods.

Mods are designed for specific versions of Minecraft, so check carefully before installing. You can change which version you’re playing and there’s an official guide available on how to do that. As a warning, if you use an existing world created via a newer edition, that can corrupt your data, so I recommend starting fresh. 

Whether you want to change how combat works or you’ve been seeking fancy new variants, I’ve rounded up a few of our top Minecraft sword mod suggestions below:

  • Advanced Combat (version 1.12.2): Offers buffs for existing swords, and new variants. Also increases enchantment upgrades and other weaponry.
  • Dynamic Sword Skills (version 1.12.2): Adds more strategic elements to sword combat, including parrying and dodging.
  • The Eight Fabled Blades (version 1.12.2): Includes eight extremely rare swords with unique abilities, such as arrow slicing and disenchantment. They cannot be crafted or repaired. 
  • ToLaserBlade (version 1.16.5): Want to wield a lightsaber in Minecraft? Look no further.
  • SwordCraftOnline (version 1.12.2): For anime fans, this mod offers swords based on those from Sword Art Online, including Karakurenai and Elucidator.
  • Useless Sword (version 1.16.4): Includes 60 brand swords, ranging from questionable picks with Mushroom Swords to Dragon Breath Diamond swords. 
  • Weapon Throw (version 1.16.5): As the name suggests, this allows you to throw your weapons at enemies for some fun. Also includes new enchantments based around throwing.