Why are nautilus shells so rare in Minecraft?

A drowned carrying a trident and nautilus shell (Image via Mojang)
A drowned carrying a trident and nautilus shell (Image via Mojang)
Spencer Whitworth

Used in the creation of conduits in Minecraft, nautilus shells are quite rare compared to most items in the game.

Why are these particular items so difficult to find? Currently, they can only be obtained by killing Drowned that carry them, fishing them up, or purchasing them from the Wandering Trader.


Though this seems quite accessible, the chance of nautilus shells appearing from any of these three sources is quite small. This is likely due to the fact that the shells are needed to craft conduits and hearts of the sea.

Since conduits are one of the most beneficial structures to create in Minecraft, it's no wonder that their materials aren't easy to obtain.

Chances of obtaining nautilus shells in Minecraft

The Wandering Trader can sell up to five nautilus shells at a time (Image via Mojang)
The Wandering Trader can sell up to five nautilus shells at a time (Image via Mojang)

Overall, getting nautilus shells in Minecraft can be a time-consuming endeavor. However, since the end result is often the creation of a powerful buff-friendly conduit, the time invested tends to be worth it.

As previously stated, nautilus shells can be obtained from either fishing, killing Drowned, or trading with the Wandering Trader. Some of these options are more reliable than others and have higher acquisition chances.

When fishing for nautilus shells, players will have their work cut out for them. Even with the maximum rank Luck of the Sea enchanted to their fishing rods, players' chances of pulling up a nautilus shell stand at less than two percent (1.9%). With that in mind, players who attempt to fish for the elusive shells may be in for a long trip, and this should be expected.


For players attempting to obtain nautilus shells by killing Drowned, items have a 3% chance of spawning in the hands of Drowned in Java Edition. Meanwhile, there is an 8% chance of nautilus shells spawning in the hands of Drowned in Bedrock Edition. These chances are higher than fishing but are still less than ten percent, which isn't ideal.

If players pursue this method, they may want to set up a farm specifically for Drowned. They could also utilize the Looting enchantment on their melee weapon to improve their chances of rare drops.

Trading with the Wandering Trader may be the most effective way for players to get multiple nautilus shells quickly. The Wandering Trader doesn't appear regularly, but its inventory is randomized. It can be found mingling in villages on occasion.

As a matter of fact, Minecraft's engine is constantly attempting to spawn this particular trader. It checks spawning conditions every few ticks until it finds a place to spawn the entity.

There's no guarantee that the trader's inventory will feature nautilus shells. However, if it does, players can buy up to five of them for the cheap price of five emeralds.

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh


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