Minecraft Impaling Guide

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I’ve always loved the sea in games, and that’s true for Minecraft. But I quickly learned that, with aquatic mobs, bodies of water are anything but calm. That’s why I’m giving you a guide to improving your attacks while in water with the impaling enchantment.

If you spend even a little time underwater, in rivers, lakes, or oceans, give this a read. While impaling isn’t a must-have enchantment, it can be really useful for angry mobs. I’ll tackle the basics of impaling, from its benefits to using it. I’ll also compare the impaling enchantment against similar enchantments like a riptide, channeling, and sharpness so you can decide how and when to use it.

Bottom Line Up Front Summary:

Impaling is a unique enchantment in Minecraft, useful only for tridents. The enchantment is your key to inflicting more damage against mobs underwater or in rivers. It’s really handy whether you’re building an underwater home or just trying to explore, but it also has several limitations. For instance, the impaling enchantment can’t be used with riptide, another popular enchantment for tridents. While limited in scope, the impaling enchantment can also be enhanced with the use of different tridents and expanded capabilities by downloading popular mods.  

What is Impaling in Minecraft?

Impaling is a great enchantment if you know how to use it. For me, impaling is a cool enchantment because it allows me to explore where I love most: underwater. While Minecraft has vastly different types of biomes, I am always drawn to bodies of water, whether that’s a sequestered lake, a flowing river, or a wide ocean. Of course, there are several limits to this enchantment. Here’s what you need to know about its effect, meaning, and how you can and can’t use it.

What it Does

The impaling enchantment is pretty simple for how it affects the game. The goal: increase the amount of damage you can inflict on mobs in water-based environments. The impaling enchantment can only be applied to a trident– not a crossbow or sword.

Who it Affects

The main reason to work towards an impaling enchantment is to be able to defend yourself– or rather, go on the offensive– against the mobs lurking in the water. That included aggressive and neutral mobs like elder guardians, guardians, dolphins, squid, glow squids, turtles, axolotls. However, it also works if you’re near a waterfall or river, or another water source.

I try to use it only on hostile mobs, but as you probably know, neutral mobs can attack when provoked. Your enchantment will make getting past aquatic mobs easier, especially if you’re in a densely guarded area. But it also impacts players who are the water too– so it’s pretty hand to have if you spend a lot of time exploring in the water.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on the drowned. I was a little disappointed when I first learned this, but I have to admit that it makes sense. The drowned reside in water, sure enough, but they’re technically classified as the undead.


Impaling can’t be used with some other enchantments. The reason why I think this is important? It pays to be strategic. What I mean by that is, before you seek the impaling enchantment for your trident, it may pay to assess your situation.

The impaling enchantment cannot be used with loyalty, riptide, or piercing- all of which are enchantments that are used on tridents. Because of this, I might use impaling in some situations and not others. Of course, it also depends on what enchantments you can get quickly.

How to Get Impaling in Minecraft

Impaling, like other enchantments, will require using an enchantment table or an anvil. But before I discuss enchanting a trident, the first thing you need to do is find an enchantment. Here’s how.

Option One: Trade for a Book

My first common-sense way to get the impaling enchantment is to trade with a villager in town, but not just any villager. I’d head straight to the village’s librarian. If you don’t have a villager that’s a librarian, who can always assign them the role. Now, trading is tricky, and you won’t have too much control over what level of enchantment you get. But what you can do is only accept a trade you want, and you could either find a different village or town. It’s a little luck of the draw, but there’s a chance you’ll be able to obtain the impaling enchantment this traditional way.

Option Two: Try Your Luck Fishing

Maybe a better way to get the impaling enchantment is to go fishing. Fishing can be fun, but also a little tedious. The chances of getting exactly what you want are slim, so you either need to be patient or tilt the scales with a fishing enchantment. A fishing rod that’s enchanted has a better chance of getting something useful, like an enchantment book.

Step Two: Find a Trident

This is a must. No matter if you stumble upon the impaling enchantment through exploring, trading or fishing, you have to have a trident. Luckily, this is easier than coming across the enchantment itself– but it may take a while. The direct source of tridents in Minecraft is from the drowned. These undead creatures will sometimes drop a trident after being defeated. The catch? There’s a less than 1 percent chance they will, meaning you may have to kill quite a few of them. Like so many things related to the impaling enchantment, patience and persistence are both keys. You can find drowned in rivers as well as deeper bodies of water.

But if this sounds like a pain, here’s a hack: by using a sword, you increase your chances. Around 6 percent of drowned mobs will have a trident in the first place. But I promise: as long as you actively seek them out, you will eventually get a trident (as well as the impaling enchantment).

Step Three: Enchanting a Trident

Now you’ve done all of the hard work. Honestly, finding a trident and the impaling enchantment is the hardest part. Next, find or craft an anvil or an enchantment table. If you need help, check out my Guide to Minecraft Enchantments.

Now all you need to do is use the first slot for your trident in the enchantment table. Remember: the impaling enchantment only works on tridents. Don’t try a sword or crossbow– you’ll just be wasting your time.

As a friendly reminder, you’ll need a minimum of experience level one to be able to use this enchantment. You gain experience by collecting orbs (which drop when you defeat mobs). Continue working on collecting orbs to upgrade your enchantment levels to make them more powerful.

How to Use Impaling in Minecraft

Now that you have your enchanted trident, it’s time to assess and make a plan for how to use it. The purpose of the enchantment is to attack mobs. But I like to consider what level of enchantment I have. Check out the table below to see the different levels of enchantment for impaling in Minecraft.

Enchantment Levels

These levels allow you to accurately assess how much you can take on– and help you understand how important it is to work your way up to the next level. As you can see, the type of attack also impacts how the impaling enchantment works.

Level of Impaling Enchantment Ranged Attack Damage Total Melee Damage  Bonus Damage Increase 
Impaling I 10.5 11.5 + 2.5
Impaling II 13 14 +5
Impaling III 15.5 16.5 +7.5
Impaling IV 18 19 +10
Impaling V 20.5 21.5 +12.5

Enchantment Commands

For the Java edition, you can save yourself time and react quickly by entering commands. The commands for each impaling level are listed in the table below.


Impaling Enchantment Level Command (Java/ PC)
Impaling I /enchant @p impaling 1
Impaling II /enchant @p impaling 2
Impaling III /enchant @p impaling 3
Impaling IV /enchant @p impaling 4
Impaling V /enchant @p impaling 5

Impaling Enchantment Tips

With all this considered, there are diminishing returns for higher enchantment levels. Still, the difference between Impaling I and Impaling V is pretty substantial. I’d focus on getting to the second or third level and see how it works for you. Very difficult water regions or prolonged water exploration may benefit from a higher enchantment level. So be strategic, plan, and be patient.

Impaling vs Other Enchantments

Riptide, sharpness, channeling, and loyalty are the most common enchantments used for tridents. The question is: Which is the best? You can’t use riptide, sharpness, or channeling on a trident that has impaling, so here’s a quick description of each and what they do.

Best Alternative for Transportation: Riptide

The riptide enchantment allows you to use a trident to move quickly through a body of water. In this sense, it’s best to think of it as a unique form of water transportation. Because of this, I wouldn’t even compare riptide vs impaling– they simply have very different purposes.

Best Alternative For Creative Mode: Sharpness

One odd quirk is that sharpness can be applied to a trident– but only in creative mode. The purpose of this enchantment is to enhance melee damage. It can be useful for looting for resources as well. In Survival Mode, it can only be used on swords and axes, though.

Best for Powerful Impact: Channeling

Channeling is a bit unpredictable. When a trident is enhanced with the channeling enchantment, you can summon lightning. This can be used to attack mobs, but there’s a catch: it only works when it’s raining. So it’s a pretty cool enchantment, but I’d never consider it as practical as impaling.

Best for Keeping Your Trident Safe: Loyalty

The loyalty enchantment is pretty handy if you don’t want to lose your trident. I get it: finding a trident takes a while sometimes. With the loyalty enchantment, the trident will return to you even if you throw it. But it’s not going to impact how much damage you do, so it’s not a direct alternative to impaling.

All told, I think that impaling is the most practical enchantments for tridents. While the others have circumstances when they’re useful, impaling is a good enchantment for exploring the ocean, and I don’t find myself drawn to its alternatives as much. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is smite 4 good in Minecraft?

Answer: Smite is one of the many helpful enchantments in Minecraft that I see making a huge impact on combat– that is, a certain type of combat. The main effect is that smite enhances the damage you inflict, but only undead mobs. That means enchanting a sword with smite will help you defeat drowned, wither bosses, zombies, zombie villagers, strays, husks, zoglins, phantoms, zombie horses, skeletons, and zombified piglins. Used on both swords and axes, it has a pretty narrow but impactful effect. By level 4, it’s quite powerful.

Question: Is channeling rare Minecraft?

Answer: Channeling is the enchantment I find interesting but rarely use. That’s because not only is its purpose rare, but the enchantment itself is rare, too. Channeling can only be used on tridents and is a unique enchantment that allows you to summon lightning. It’s quite hard to get if you’re not purposely seeking it. It can be used to attack mobs, but never in water, lava, on should sand, a honey block, or snow.  Still, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most interesting enchantments in Minecraft.

Question: What is infinity in Minecraft?

Answer: Infinity is an enchantment used for bows alone. It can’t be used with the mending enchantment and it stands out because there is a cap on a single enchantment level. Don’t write it off quite yet, though. Infinity is one of the most useful enchantments if you prefer using a bow. No longer will have to worry about running out of ammunition– this enchantment provides limitless arrows. While it doesn’t increase the damage you inflict, it’s pretty handy.

Question: What is the rarest enchantment in Minecraft?

Answer: I used to think that the channeling enchantment was the rarest in Minecraft, but there’s an enchantment that beats it out. The cleaving enchantment is considered the be the rarest enchantment in Minecraft. It can’t be used with the sharpness, smite, or bane of arthropods enchantments. The main purpose is to add damage and shield stunning, and, unlike many enchantments that cap at level 4, the cleaving enchantment has a mere 3 levels.

Final Thoughts

The impaling enchantment is limited in its use. I think that’s the tricky part, and where strategy comes in. Even with a comprehensive guide of Minecraft enchantments, it takes trial and error. I think we all go through periods when we might have to readjust our focus. My unpopular opinion is that there is no one best enchantment in Minecraft. It’s all about what makes sense to prioritize for your gameplay situation. If you’re handy with a trident and exploring the water, it certainly can be handy. And one last tip: even the best enchantments can’t make up for the great strategy.

Final Recommendations: Minecraft Impaling Mods

Impaling is a decent enchantment in itself, especially at the higher levels. But if there’s one thing I know about the Minecraft community, it’s that creators are always applying skills and creativity to improve gameplay. So if you’re not quite satisfied with the impaling enchantment on the surface level, you also have the option to enhance it by downloading mods. My two favorite mods are a bit different. One tweaks how impaling works in the game, while the other adds new tridents.

Better Impaling Mod

This simple mod impacts the way the impaling enchantment functions. Before you get too excited, I have to warn you that the overall damage doesn’t increase. What it does, instead, is expand the use of the impaling enchantment. The problem with the impaling enchantment is that it’s normally pretty limited in how it can be used. But with this mod, the enchantment won’t only work on mobs related to the water, but any mobs and other players that are touching the water at the time of the attack. That covers any type of water, under the water, and even rain. I like this because it adds incentive to seek an enchantment that’s relatively limited in its focus– but also doesn’t make things too ‘easy’ by increasing the damaging impact. If you love tridents and find yourself often near bodies of water– or in rain– it could be a great mod for you. Download the Mod Here.

Impaled (New Tridents) Mod

This mod adds four additional tridents to the game, all of which can be used with the impaling enchantment. But before you pass this one up, this mod isn’t just about aesthetics. The main draw to this mod is the special powers each new trident has. The fire/ Hellfire trident, End trident, and Atlas trident are the most notable. Each trident requires you to find them in-game or craft them. So, this mod adds new abilities and a bit of challenge to collect the tridents. It’s a great way to get more out of tridents and even add an initial challenge. Download the Mod Here.

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