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How the Efficiency enchantment works in Minecraft

Steve with an enchanted diamond pickaxe in Minecraft (Image via Minecraft)
Steve with an enchanted diamond pickaxe in Minecraft (Image via Minecraft)
ANALYST
Modified 20 Feb 2021
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A tool with the Efficiency enchantment in Minecraft can be used to break corresponding blocks faster than normal.

Breaking blocks is one of the core aspects of Minecraft gameplay. After all, the word 'mine' is right in name of the game itself.

A majority of players likely spend a great deal of time on this activity, whether to get blocks to build a house or hunt for diamonds.

The Efficiency enchantment can be used to reduce the time it takes for players to mine blocks throughout the game world.

Once a tool has been empowered by this enchantment, it can be used to break corresponding blocks at a substantially faster speed.

This article breaks down how the Efficiency enchantment works in Minecraft and explains how players can get it on their very own in-game tools.

How the Efficiency enchantment works in Minecraft

The Efficiency enchantment can be placed on any of the four main tools in the game: pickaxes, shovels, axes and hoes.

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The enchantment can also be placed on shears to reduce the speed of breaking cobwebs and leaves. This is a niche use and is fairly excessive and unnecessary.

Once a tool has been amplified with the Efficiency enchantment, the time that it takes to break a corresponding block with that tool is significantly decreased.

This enchantment has five levels of power, with each level of power progressively increasing the mining speed of the tool.

For example, a Minecraft player with a diamond Pickaxe with Efficiency IV would be able to mine a block of obsidian faster than a player using a diamond pickaxe with Efficiency II.

The material that the tool is made of also plays a role in determining how fast it can break a block with the Efficiency enchantment.

The formula for calculating mining speed on a tool with Efficiency (Image via minecraft.gamepedia.com)
The formula for calculating mining speed on a tool with Efficiency (Image via minecraft.gamepedia.com)

The basic formula to determine how much the Efficiency enchantment will increase the mining speed of a tool is the level of the enchantment squared plus one.

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Minecraft players must use the tool with Efficiency on a correct corresponding block in order to receive the speed benefit.

For example, a pickaxe must be used on ores, rock, rock-based and metal-based blocks in order to mine with the increased speed granted by the enchantment. A pickaxe with Efficiency used to break something like a dirt block will not break the block any faster than normal.

On Java Edition, axes with the Efficiency enchantment also have a chance to stun or temporarily disable a shield. At Efficiency I, the chance for this to occur is 25%, with each level of the enchantment increasing the likelihood by an additional 5%.

The haste status effect can also be acquired and used in tandem with the Efficiency enchantment in order to maximize the speed that players can mine even further.

Getting the Efficiency Enchantment

An enchanting table in Minecraft (Image via Sportskeeda/Minecraft)
An enchanting table in Minecraft (Image via Sportskeeda/Minecraft)

Efficiency can be placed on any tool by using an enchanting table and expending experience earned by the player and some lapis lazuli.

Higher-level enchantments can be placed on tools by surrounding an enchanting table with additional bookshelves. Minecraft players should note that higher-level enchantments will cost an increased amount of experience to obtain them.

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This enchantment can also be placed on a piece of equipment with an anvil and the correct corresponding enchantment book.

Tools made out of wood, gold, iron and netherite can receive all five levels of Efficiency through an enchanting table. Diamond and stone can get up to level IV with an enchantment table.

In order to get Efficiency V on those two items, players will need to combine two items with Efficiency IV at an anvil.

Combining two diamond pickaxes with Efficiency IV into one diamond pickaxe with Efficiency V in Minecraft (Image via Minecraft)
Combining two diamond pickaxes with Efficiency IV into one diamond pickaxe with Efficiency V in Minecraft (Image via Minecraft)

Diamond tools with the Efficiency V enchantment can also sometimes be found inside chests in end cities and bastion remnants.

Console commands can also be used to grant enchantments for players who do not mind a bit of cheating.

A complete guide for enchantments in Minecraft can be found here.

Published 20 Feb 2021, 05:57 IST
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