When Minecraft added turtles, turtle eggs, and scutes as a part of the game's Aquatic Update in 2018, players were incredibly excited.
It's always fun to explore and learn about new mobs when they are released, and the turtle mob was no different. Since then, players have gotten used to turtles as cute, ambient mobs in the game. However, many players still haven't realized how useful they and their drops can be.
Scute — a drop that spawns when baby turtles age up into adult turtles — is the sole ingredient in crafting the excellent turtle helmet, making it an essential drop for players wishing to have the added effects of the turtle helmet in their game.
Here is all that players need to know about the scute in Minecraft: what it is, how to collect it, and the easiest way to get it.
When do scutes drop?
Once turtles grow up and increase in size by over ten times, they drop the scute.
Each baby turtle drops a single scute when it grows up, making it quite a rare item to find in Minecraft without farming it.
Scutes can be used to create the turtle helmet — a cute helmet that looks like a green turtle shell. These helmets have the same level of armor toughness as iron helmets, providing a player with two armor points or one full armor icon.
This means that, although they are not as strong as diamond and netherite helmets, they are quite good at protecting the player, and their added effect makes them quite beneficial.
How can players get scutes?
The easiest way to get scutes in Minecraft is by locating, breeding, and aging up turtles.
Turtles can be found in both beach and ocean biomes, move very slowly on land, and are quite tricky to relocate whether using land or ocean travel because players cannot use a lead on them. They can be placed in boats, but that is quite taxing as turtles may spawn far away from the player's base.
This process can luckily be expedited as players can breed the turtles where they were originally found, wait for them to lay eggs, and then collect the eggs with a silk touch pickaxe for relocation.
Turtles hatched from an egg determine their home beach from the placement of that egg and try their best to return to that beach to lay their own eggs from then on. This means that relocation to a closer space to the player's area is useful, especially if players want to collect many scutes.
Turtle eggs form in clusters that vary from 1-4 eggs and will only hatch if placed on sand or red sand. The eggs crack three times before hatching, and this process can vary from three to five in-game days.
Once they have hatched, players can either wait for the turtles to grow up organically or be fed seagrass until they age. Either way, a single scute will drop per aged up turtle.
In addition to traditionally getting scutes, i.e., breeding turtles, players can also potentially access scutes through villager trades. Cleric villagers at the expert level (in both Java Edition and Bedrock Edition) can possibly trade four scutes for a single emerald.
Expert level leatherworker villagers can also do a reverse form of that trade, allowing players to provide the villager with scutes in return for an emerald.
What does the Minecraft turtle helmet do?
The turtle helmet provides the player not only with two armor points but ten seconds of water breathing when submerged.
When submerged, any player wearing an unenchanted turtle helmet will get ten seconds of water-breathing before their air bubbles begin to go down.
Turtle helmets can also be enchanted to have every enchantment that a regular helmet can have. They can even be enchanted with respiration and aqua affinity, making them an excellent helmet option for players, as they add extra effects on top of the most overpowered of helmet enchantments.
What is the most efficient way to collect scutes in Minecraft?
Many players interested in getting a lot of scutes in their vanilla Minecraft world will create a turtle farm, which works to breed turtles and have them lay eggs continually.
These eggs will then break and create baby turtles, which will produce one scute once grown up.
There are some great instructional YouTube videos on creating turtle farms in Minecraft — some of which are entirely automatic, too.
Avomance (the above video) has a wonderful video showing how to create a simple turtle farm in Minecraft.
For detailed guides, walkthroughs, tips & more, check out SK Minecraft Wiki