Underwater Breathing in Minecraft: 4 ways to do it

After the 2018 Aquatic update, Minecraft seas aren’t just an empty mass of water standing between us and another piece of land. Now they are populated by the fierce drowned, a variety of different water creatures and they offer outstanding attractions to visit, such as shipwrecks and reefs. They also updated how to swim.

Now we have a very good reason to dive in for more adventures. And, when we go deep down, the number one problem to solve is: how can you breath underwater?

minecraft underwater breathing

1 – Turtle Shell

Minecraft Turtle Shell

This method can be tricky, not gonna lie. For crafting a Turtle Shell you require 5 Scutes, items dropped by Baby Turtles when they grow. This means that you will need to breed Turtles in order to get them, which is quite a long process: Turtle Eggs take up to 7 nights (sometimes more) to hatch and Baby Turtles take their time to grow as well.

But if you’re patient enough you’ll be rewarded with a very unique and durable helmet that, other than giving you some decent protection, will provide a nice 10 extra seconds underwater.

2 – Respiration enchantment

This isn’t technically Water Breathing. In fact, what the Respiration enchantment does is making your oxygen deplete slower. It will make you stay underwater for longer nonetheless, which is why it made it in the list.

The enchantment maximum level is III and it will provide 15 extra seconds underwater for each one of its levels. This means that it can provide from 15 up to 45 extra seconds.

This enchantment applies to helmets only, so it could be a good idea to enchant a Turtle Shell and get a maximum (at lv. III) of 55 extra seconds underwater. Not bad.

Related article: How to repair enchanted items

3 – Water Breathing Potion

Water breathing potion minecraft

Water Breathing Potions are an excellent choice. Their flaws are that they are a consumable, so you will need to make them every time that you need to use them, and they are not stackable which means that they’ll take space into your inventory.

That being said, they also provide the longest amount of extra time underwater, since they can give you up to 8 minutes of Water Breathing. For long underwater explorations, Water Breathing Potions are the way to go.

4 – Conduit

conduit crafting recipe

This method is a bit different from the others, since it will not give you Water Breathing. Instead, it will provide Water Breathing in a 32-96 radius (32 minimum, 96 maximum) from the center of the Conduit.

You can craft a Conduit using a Heart of the Sea (which can be found following Treasure Maps) and Nautilius Shells. It will also need to be activated by building a structure of Prismarine blocks around it. To know more about how to craft and activate a Conduit you can check Minecraft Conduit: how to activate them?.

Once the structure is done, the Conduit provides different benefits:

  • underwater Vision
  • oxygen restoration
  • increased mining speed
  • it also damages every hostile mob that is 8 blocks away from it.

Considering the difficulty of finding a Heart of the Sea and the fact that you’ll need to build a structure on the spot, this may not be your standard choice.

But if you found a place underwater where you know you are going to build something important, this option becomes optimal. It will provide unlimited oxygen forever (or as long as the Conduit is not destroyed) and you will be able to hang around there without having to see the surface at all.

Bonus – Ocean Rift

If you find an Ocean Rift on the bottom of an ocean, you will see Magma blocks on the “ground”, with air bubbles coming from them (like in the picture at the beginning of this article). If you stand in the flux of air bubbles, your breath will be slowly restored.

You will also be pulled dwon by the air bubbles and this can be used to make air bubbles elevators.

I don’t consider this one of the main ways to breath underwater because you can’t always find Rifts wherever you go. You can still bring a Magma block with you to place on the ground, but it is not optimal. It can also be very useful if you’re building an underwater base.


After looking at the 4 available methods, we can rank them depending on how long they’ll let you stay underwater. So, for brief explorations there is a Respiration enchanted Turtle Shell, for longer dives you can use Water Breathing potions, and for a staying in a place for a prolonged period of time you can activate a Conduit.

Video Tutorial