How does the Armor Toughness work in Minecraft?

Updated to 1.20

What is the armor toughness? Everybody knows what the defense points of a piece of armor are, you can easily see them on top of your healt bar when you play:

armor defense points minecraft

or looking at the armor piece in your inventory:

iron boots defense points

But there is no bar dedicated to the armor toughness, you can only check the toughness of every piece of armor from your inventory.

armor toughness minecraft

The armor toughness is an additional layer of defense against incoming damage, and today we are here to see the toughness provided by each piece of armor, how armor toughness work and a mod to see the toughness of the armor that you are wearing. Let’s start!

Toughness of each armor piece

These are the defense points of each armor piece:

MaterialBootsLeggingsChestplateHelmetFull set
Turtle Shell///22

And these are the armor toughnesses of every armor piece:

MaterialBootsLeggingsChestplateHelmetFull set
Turtle Shell///00

There are two things that we can spot quickly by looking at these numbers:

  • You have armor toughness from Diamond and Netherite armors only
  • the only difference between Diamond and Netherite armors is in the toughness, not the defense points

Related article: Is Gold stronger than Iron?

How toughness work

Defense points and toughness work together in order to reduce the amount of incoming damage. The resulting damage reduction is calculated as follows:

minecraft damage formula
source: Minecraft wiki

I know: yawn.

It is not that difficult to calculate the damage using this formula if you have pencil and paper, but who cares? The point is, how does this affect us?

To understand it better, we are going to see 9 examples given by 3 different full sets of armor and 3 different amounts of incoming damage. This way we will see how toughness affects damage reduction.

The 3 sets of armors will be:

  • Iron armor
  • Diamond armor
  • Netherite armor

And the 3 amounts of damage will be (note: these numbers are from the Hardcore mode):

  • Bee attack – 2 damage
  • Piglin (with Sword) – 12
  • Iron Golem max damage – 32.25

Iron armor

While wearing a full set of Iron armor you will receive 0.88 damage from the Bee, 7.68 damage from the Piglin and 28.6 damage from the Iron Golem.

Diamond armor

While wearing a full set of Diamond armor you will receive 0.44 damage from the Bee, 3.84 damage from the Piglin and 17.06 damage from the Iron Golem.

Netherite armor

While wearing a full set of Netherite armor you will receive 0.43 damage from the Bee, 3.55 damage from the Piglin and 14.95 damage from the Iron Golem.

If we compare the results, we can see that there is a huge difference between the protection give by a full set of Iron armor and a full set of Diamond armor. Between Diamond and Netherite armor on the other hand, you can notice the difference only when the damage is high. Don’t think that this is the only reason why you should have a Netherite full set: Netherite armor comes with a higher enchantment value, giving it an edge over the Diamond one.

Related topic: How to repair Netherite tools in Minecraft?

Toughness mod

Normally we can see the defense points of the armor that we wear, but we have no indication about the toughness. If you want to be able to see the toughness as well, your only way to do so is to install a mod.

You can find here a mod that was updated until the 1.16, but it seems difficult to find a mod that makes you see the armor toughness and that is updated to the current version of the game.


Armor toughness is an additional layer of defense against incoming damage. Only Diamond and Netherite armors give you armor toughness, and you start noticing its effects when you receive high amounts of damage (20+). Thank you very much for reading the article this far and I hope I’ll see you again around here. See you and take care!

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