Is aqua affinity compatible with respiration in Minecraft?

A player swimming through a river. (Image via Minecraft)
A player swimming through a river. (Image via Minecraft)
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Jacob Burkett

Minecraft's oceans went a long time as bare, uninteresting expanses of gravel and dirt. However, this is no longer the case, with monuments, ruins, and reefs now populating the undersea. Players now more than ever will want to spend significant time underwater, which is where aqua affinity and respiration come in.

Aqua affinity and respiration are two similar yet distinct Minecraft enchantments. Due to their beneficial underwater effects, players will want to have both enchantments on their helmet, if possible.

Can players have both aqua affinity and respiration enchantments on their Minecraft helmet?

Aqua affinity


Aqua affinity is a single level enchantment that can be put on either helmets or turtle shells. Normally, whenever a player’s head is underwater, it takes five times as long to mine any blocks.

However, the aqua affinity enchantment removes this penalty in its entirety. This means all levels of the enchantment have the same effect, even if levels above one are placed on a helmet using console commands.

There is a related but distinct penalty on mining speed when a player is floating and trying to mine. This penalty also results in five times longer mining speeds. This compounds the underwater mining speed penalty.

This means that a player underwater that is trying to mine while floating downwards does so 25 times slower than normal. The aqua affinity enchantment does not impact the floating mining penalty, but it does remove the underwater penalty.

This means that in a similar situation where an unenchanted player would mine 25 times slower, aqua affinity results in just a five times slower penalty.



Respiration is an enchantment that has a total of three levels. This enchantment can be placed on either a helmet or a turtle shell. Each level of this enchantment increases a player’s underwater breathing time by 15 seconds per level.

This is in addition to the base underwater breathing time of 15 seconds. This means that at respiration level three, players can remain underwater for a total of 60 seconds.

If a player wears a turtle shell, this additional time will be extended by another 10 seconds. This brings them up to a maximum underwater breathing time of 70 seconds.


Both enchantments on one helmet in survival. (Image via Minecraft)
Both enchantments on one helmet in survival. (Image via Minecraft)

Thankfully, these two Minecraft helmet enchantments are not mutually exclusive. They also cover each other's weaknesses quite well. Respiration gives players additional time underwater, but that time means much less when players mine five to 25 times slower than normal. Aqua affinity fixes that issue.

And vice versa, mining at a regular speed while underwater means little when players only have 15 seconds before taking damage. In the deep ocean, that might not even be enough time to reach the sea floor.

This problem is solved by respiration, which gives players ample time to do what they need to do underwater. These are incredible complements to each other, and should be on any helmet that players plan on using long term.

For detailed guides, walkthroughs, tips & more, check out SK Minecraft Wiki

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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