Minecraft Protection Guide

Latest posts by Erin Jamieson (see all)

Attacks, molten lava, or an accidental fall. Minecraft is full of ways you can get hurt during gameplay. I can be an attentive player, and I can also be a little careless. But one of my favorite hacks is to use protection enchantments to increase resistance and weather everything from mobs to natural elements.

In this protection guide, I’ll share my favorite tips for everything from Minecraft enchantments, to understanding the differences between protectin levels. Plus, I’ll tell you my favorite ways to make the most out of protection in Survival Mode. You may be surprised by how it doesn’t always come down to a simple formula.

Bottom Line Up Front Summary:  The General Protection Enchantment in Minecraft is useful for a wide variety of purposes, but it’s not as powerful as some more focused enhancements if you know what you need it for. The general protection enchantment can’t be used with fire protection, projectile protection, or blast projection. However, you can stack projections by enchanting other items. You can enchant by using an enchantment table on the armor, helmet, or boots of your choice. 

Minecraft Protection Explained

If you’ve been playing Minecraft for a while, you probably have heard about protection, but what does it mean? Protection is an enchantment in Minecraft that can be applied to armor, boots, helmets, leggings, or even plates.

I think that protection is one of the most underrated Minecraft enchantments because you can take it with you anywhere– and it has many uses. But at the same, there are limits. Here’s what the protection enchantment should be used for– and where it falls flat.

Damage Reduction

The main reason I use protection, of course, is to reduce damage. That includes damage reduction for:

  • Fire Damage
  • Lava Damage
  • Falling Damage
  • Attacks from Mobs (such as creepers and raids)

Unfortunately, protection in Minecraft has its limitations. The enchantment won’t protect against poison, mining fatigue, or even phantoms. It also can’t reduce hunger, the effects of wither, or any damage from the void. Plus, it’s not as effective at protecting at blasts and for projectiles as other enchantments– which is something I’ll discuss later.

The good news is that the protection enchantment not only reduces damage but also doesn’t impact how long your enchanted shield, armor, or helmet lasts. Of course, enchantments are never simple, and you also need to consider both compatibility and strategic enchantment stacking.

Compatibility and Stacking

Here’s where it gets tricky. I knew that Minecraft’s protection enchantment doesn’t usually go with other popular enchantments, such as blast protection, projectile projection, or fire projection. However, what it’s easy to miss is the hack of stacking protections. That means that you can have a helmet that has the protection enchantment, plus boots with fire protection and even chest armor with projectile protection.

In other words? Don’t waste your time applying more than one type of protection enchantment on the same item, but you can combine effects with different wearable pieces of armor.

Stacking Caps/ Limits

When I first learned about stacking enchantments, you could say I was tempted to go full out. But there is a limit to what you can do. That limit is around 80 percent with the protection, fire protection, blast protection, and projectile protection combined. Plus, it takes a while to get different enchantments. I think it makes more sense to focus on one or two and build up to a higher level vs several enchantments at levels 1 and 2.

Explaining Enchantment Levels

This is the part of Minecraft that can risk sounding dry, but I find knowing the formula helpful. Why? It’s not only easy to calculate, but it also helps me make decisions going into an invading mob or facing a potential fall. By having the formula, I’m able to assess risk and ask myself what my next move should be.

Minecraft Edition Protection Formula 
Java Edition Level x 4 (per enchanted piece)
Bedrock Edition Same Except For When You Reach Level 4:


(4x (1+ level)) %

  • This means that Protection 4 is acting more like Protection 5, with a bonus

Another easy way to look at it is in terms of percentages, based upon the level of the enchantment.

Protection Level  % Damage Reduced 
Level One 4% Java (5% Bedrock)
Level Two 8% Java (10% Bedrock)
Level Three 12% Java (15% Bedrock)
Level Four 16% Java (20% Bedrock)

Remember: there are only 4 protection levels in Java unless you’re using a mod or a command/ cheat. 

How to Get the Protection Enchantment

Knowing the formula for the protection enchantment for one thing–obtaining it is another. Of course, in my opinion, part of the fun of using enchantments is working a little for them. I enjoy working towards a goal, whether that’s looking for ways to improve my resistance, or, for a building comparison, working on some incredible town ideas.

But it’s not too challenging as much as it takes time. You can find the protection enchantment in the chest, other loot, villages, or  trading

If You Like Interacting with Villagers: Try Trading

If you’re like me and love going into villages, trading is one way you can obtain different enchantment levels. But it does require a little finesse. First, you either need to find a librarian or assign a villager to be a librarian. The librarian alone will have enchantment books. The problem? They may offer something you don’t want. I only accept deals I want and sometimes reset them for different options. You can also check back or wander to another village.

If You’re an Explorer: Try Fishing or Searching

Want a more direct method? I’d try fishing or searching around. I will be the first to admit I’m not the best at fishing in Minecraft, and frankly, I get a little impatient. The issue is that when you’re fishing, it’s all random chance. Even if you do catch something, it could be some other type of enchantment. While I like the challenge of this method, I admit it’s not the quickest or most efficient way to get the protection enchantment.  You can also search for chests and loot around the world, which I say has a better chance than fishing.

How to Use the Enchantment Table for Protection

Once you have the protection enchantment you want, it’s time to put it to use. Head over to an enchantment table, or, if you must, craft an enchantment table. You can read about how to craft an enchantment table, and all of its quirks, with my Guide to Enchantments.

How to Enchant Armor and Items

Once you’ve found or made an enchantment table, select what you want to enchant. I’d focus on a piece of armor or helmet that’s in great condition. Please note that you can only use an anvil for a few basic items, such as a basic shield– so you really should go with an enchantment table when possible.

Simply place your desired item in the first slot to enchant it. For it to be successful, you need experience. The orb system is important. You can collect orbs by fighting off mobs. The irony is, you’re probably using this enchantment so you can be stronger against enemies. Yet you have your best shot at a powerful enchantment through fighting and collecting those experience orbs.

Main Protection Enchantment vs Other Enchantments

But the question is: should you focus on the protection enchantment? There aren’t any easy answers, and goodness knows all Minecraft players have their own opinions. I think it’s a helpful enchantment but in certain situations.

I also think players sometimes use it, hoping it is powerful in other ways. I like to think of the protection enchantment as a general, universally useful one for just helping with resistance and defense. The plus is that it’s useful in many ways. Keep in mind that all of these protection types are exclusive, so you can’t use more than one type of protection on the same item.

Blast Protection Enchantment

Blast Protection Enchantment

This protection can be found the same way that general protection can be. Just like the general protection enchantment, the blast protection can be used on any armor (such as chest plates or helmets). It’s used for mining, attacking mobs, and smelting objects. If you don’t want TNT or fireworks, then this enchantment can be handy. There are four total levels of blast enchantment, and each level increases the force.

Fire Protection Enchantment

Another alternative to basic protection is fire protection. I’d recommend this if you’re headed into lava because it can keep your armor protected. But any mob using a form of fire damage will be less damaged. The best way to find this enchantment is through trading. Every single level of enchantment provides 8 times that level. In other words, the max enchantment level will give you 32 percent more protection from fire.

Projectile Enchantment

The final most common alternative to the general protection enchantment is the projectile enchantment, and it’s exactly as it sounds. This type of enchantment means you’ll take less damage from any thrown weapon. That’s pretty inclusive when you consider arrows and even tridents. It follows the same formula as fire protection, which means the top level–4- provides a 32 percent protection for any enchanted armor.

Choosing the Best Enchantment

At the same time, compared to say black or projectile or even fire protection enchantments, it’s not as specialized. In other words, while the protection enchantment is helpful in a wide range of situations and conflicts, it isn’t as powerful for specific circumstances. That means if you’re looking for the most powerful enchantment possible, then the general protection enchantment may not be for you. But if you are just getting started with Minecraft enchantments, it may be a good idea to focus on.

Minecraft Protection Glitch

One last thing I want to point out has to do with glitches. Now we all know that Minecraft is not a perfect game– and that means there are some bugs you have to find workarounds for. Case in point: the infamous bed glitch. But for the protection enchantment, these glitches are not true glitches most of the time.

The most recent patches have made it impossible for you to add multiple enchantments that are not compatible with protection on the same suit of armor. This is by the games’ design. The only weird thing I’ve seen happen is taking a non-enchanted item and pairing it with one that is enchanted but also damaged. A few players have had issues with objects duplicating.

It’s best to just try to enchant one item at a time, preferably one that is in the best condition possible. I’d also recommend checking to see if the object is already enchanted, of course, before trying to apply the protection enchantment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the best protection to have in Minecraft?

Answer: I mostly play games Vanilla, and for all players like mine, there is no level 5 for protection in Minecraft. Since Protection 4 is the cap without mods, it’s technically the best. But what makes this question interesting is that it also depends. See, how it’s applied and for what will change the impact, especially damage reduction. For types of protection, many agree that projectile is the least useful, while basic protection beats out a blast and fire protection. But again, it depends on what your main objectives are.

Question: How good is protection 1 Minecraft?

Answer: Since 1 is the very first and lowest level of protection, you can’t expect too much. At level 1 you get about 4 percent protection, with special enchants hiking it up to around 10 percent. It’s still really helpful, and it’s not too hard to make your way up to protection 2.

Question: How do you get protection from 4 villagers?

Answer: Finding a protection book level 4 from a villager is less likely than any other level of protection– that makes sense because it’s the best. A few hacks are to reset by changing your librarian, using a command block to summon villagers, and, of course, making valuable trades at trading posts to improve your chances.

Question: How much protection does a Netherite chest plate give?

Answer: A Nephrite chest plate is a great find for Minecraft Survival Mode. The reason why is simple. This type of chest plate gives you three points of defense if you have leather, along with 10 percent resistance for knockback. That may not sound that great, but this improves to six points for iron plates, five for gold plants, and a whopping eight if you’re lucky enough to find or have a diamond chest plate.

Final Thoughts

I’m not going to beat around the bush. The protection enchantment in Minecraft isn’t the very best if you care about the most powerful and most protective enchantment. At the same time, the most powerful or ‘best’ enchantments in Minecraft are focused on a specific context. That can, of course, produce myriad problems because you don’t always know what you’re facing up against. If you know you have to travel across the lava, that’s one thing. But if you just want a general, universally helpful enchantment, it’s not a bad place to start.

Of course, there are ways to either boost the influence of the protection enchantment or ways to go beyond the vanilla game’s limits. Sometimes it’s fun to do that, and sometimes I prefer to deal with the limitations and just enjoy working for the extra protection. Ultimately, protection enchantments aren’t the be-all-end-all for all Minecraft players- but they’re popular for a reason.

Final Recommendations: Protection Mods

If you just aren’t getting enough out of the Vanilla version of Minecraft protection enchantments, you could always go down the mod route. Now I only ever would download from Curse Forge, because those mods are secure downloads and tend to work fairly well.

Simple Protection Mod

The best mod I’d recommend is the Simple Protection Mod. The simple protection mod helps you take control over what happens or doesn’t happen in different regions of the world. Instead of just protecting yourself, you’re adding a layer of protection for wherever you select- or taking it away. It’s a simple system of whitelisting or blacklisting different items and blocks.

Protect It Mod

You can also try the Protect It Mod. The Protect It Mod allows you to stake a claim on certain areas with different colored markers. You can use this to add protection around a Minecraft house. I like this mod because it’s pretty simple and has a narrow purpose, with visual cues that are easy to keep track of.

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