Smite vs Sharpness in Minecraft: which one is better?

We want to have the best Sword or Axe possible. That’s why choosing the right enchantments is so delicate.

Since these weapons (particularly Sword) should mainly deal damage, we need to choose carefully what damage enchantment we want to enchant them with. That’s because Smite and Sharpness (along with Bane of Arthropods too) are incompatible enchantments, so you have to choose one of them.

Today we are going to see their differencies in details, in order for you to make the perfect choice. Let’s start.

minecraft smite vs sharpness

What they do

Both Smite and Sharpness will make your enchanted weapon deal more damage. They both come from level 1 to level 5 (or from I to V). The difference is that Sharpness will deal extra damage to every mob or player you will hit, Smite will instead deal extra damage only to undead mobs.

The undead mobs are:

Smite goes from level 1 to level 5 and each level gives an extra 2.5 damage against all these mobs. It goes then from 2.5 to 12.5 extra damage, depending on the enchantment level.

minecraft smite 5
It just says 7 attack damage, the default damage of a Diamond Sword. The Smite damage is not shown here

Sharpness goes from level 1 to level 5. In Java edition, Sharpness damage will be equal to 0.5*level+0.5, so from 1 to 3.
In Bedrock edition it will be equal to 1.25*level, so from 1.25 to 6.25.

minecraft sharpness 5
10 attack damage given by the default attack damage of a Diamond Sword (7) plus 3 of Sharpness V

So, as we can see, Smite deals extra damage only to specific mobs, but it deals more damage to those mobs.

Which one is better?

There’s no real answer to this question, since they can be better or worse than the other depending from the situation you find yourself in. Keep in mind that Smite is useless against other players, so Sharpness is the obvious choice in PvP.

Many players prefer to apply Sharpness to their main Sword or Axe, since it works against any enemy (Creepers included), and to keep a Smite enchanted weapon for particular situations. which we are going to see in the next section.

When to use a Smite enchanted weapon

There are three situations where you should choose Smite instead of Sharpness:

  • when dealing with a Wither. The Wither is, with the Ender Dragon, one of the Minecraft bosses. It will put up one of the thoughest fights you will have and it happens to be an undead mob, so the extra damage of a Smite enchanted weapon could represent the difference between life and death against it
  • when you have a Skeleton, Zombie or Zombie Piglins farm (check the video below for a simple Skeleton spawner farm). To collect their loot you will have to kill hundreds of these mobs, so the Smite enchantment could speed up the work (related: How to find ALL Mob Spawners in Minecraft)
  • when in Nether Fortresses, where there are Wither Skeletons. They are the only non-passive mob that you will find in the Nether (Ghasts will attack yo as well, but you usually want to kill them using a Bow) and they are quite dangerous, so you may want to be prepared to fight them

How to get them

We already covered how to get every enchantments in the article How to get Silk Touch easily. The methods explained in that article will work for Smite and Sharpness as well.

See also how to combine them with other enchantments in How to put multiple enchantments on an item in Minecraft.

If instead you want to get these enchantment using cheats, you just need to check below. Cheats are also the only way to obtain a weapon with both the enchantment.

How to get them – commands

You can enchant a Sword or Axe with these enchantments using cheats. To do so, keep the weapon in your hand, open the commands and type:

/enchant @p smite 5

/enchant @p sharpness 5

If you want to enchant your weapon with Smite or Sharpness I instead, you just need to change the ‘5’ with the level of the enchantment that you want.

Note: if you enchant your weapon by using cheats, you will be able to apply both the Smite and the Sharpness enchantment. Since they are incompatible enchantments, it is the only way to do it.


The best solution could be a Sharpness enchanted main Sword or Axe for the everyday action paired with a situational Smite enchanted weapon that you would only use in particular scenarios. But if you really dislike undead mobs and find fighting them particularly annoying you should consider using only a Smite enchanted weapon. 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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