Survive Minecraft's biggest dangers with this swords guide

best minecraft sword
(Image credit: Mojang)

Want to know how to make a sword in Minecraft? 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)
Wood602.5
Gold332.5
Stone1323
Iron2513.5
Diamond15624
Netherite20324.5

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 (opens in new tab) requires a different approach: you need to create a Minecraft diamond sword (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab): New looks
Minecraft mods (opens in new tab):  Beyond vanilla
Minecraft shaders (opens in new tab): Spotlight
Minecraft seeds (opens in new tab): Fresh new worlds
Minecraft texture packs (opens in new tab): Pixelated
Minecraft servers: Online worlds
Minecraft commands: All cheats

There are a few worth considering. I advise using Minecraft Forge (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab).

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) (version 1.12.2): Offers buffs for existing swords, and new variants. Also increases enchantment upgrades and other weaponry.
  • Dynamic Sword Skills (opens in new tab) (version 1.12.2): Adds more strategic elements to sword combat, including parrying and dodging.
  • The Eight Fabled Blades (opens in new tab) (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 (opens in new tab) (version 1.16.5): Want to wield a lightsaber in Minecraft? Look no further.
  • SwordCraftOnline (opens in new tab) (version 1.12.2): For anime fans, this mod offers swords based on those from Sword Art Online, including Karakurenai and Elucidator.
  • Useless Sword (opens in new tab) (version 1.16.4): Includes 60 brand swords, ranging from questionable picks with Mushroom Swords to Dragon Breath Diamond swords. 
  • Weapon Throw (opens in new tab) (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.