What does Protection actually do in Minecraft?

Protection is one of the best armor enchantments that you can get. This is assuming that what you want the enchantment for is to boost your defense, otherwise there are plenty of situational and helpful enchantments like Mending, Respiration or Aqua Affinity. But what does Protection do in Minecraft, exactly?

There are many types of damage in Minecraft, will this enchantment protect you against all of them? Even against suffocation? Let’s see how and when this enchantment works, how you can get it and its incompatibilities.

what does protection do in minecraft

How to get it

We already covered how to get a specific enchantment in How to get Silk Touch. What works for Silk Touch works for Protection as well, so you can just check that article.

What you can enchant

You can enchant every piece of armor with Protection: Boots, Chestplates, Leggings and Helmets (including Turtle Shell).


What it protects from

Protection doesn’t technically reduce every kind of damage, but mostly. It protects from the following types of damage:

  • Attack (which is the damage coming from most mobs or from other Players using non-enchanted melee or ranged weapons)
  • Cactus and Berry Bush
  • Drowning
  • Explosion
  • Falling
  • Fire
  • Firework
  • Freezing
  • Lava
  • Poison
  • Suffocation
  • Wither

And it does not protect from:

  • Starvation
  • Void
  • /kill command (which is not damage, but stil worth mentioning)

In the Bedrock edition it doesn’t reduce Wither damage and Poison as well.

What it does

The Protection enchantment reduces the incoming damage (of the kinds we saw above) by a certain percentage. This percentage is equal to 4 times the enchantment level. The damage reduction provided will then be:

  • Protection I –>4%
  • Protection II –>8%
  • Protection III –>16%
  • Protection IV –>20%

In Bedrock edition Protection IV grants a 24% redcution, while it’s the same for Protection I, II and III.

If you enchant more pieces of armor, the percentage of damage reduction of each of them will be added to the total. This means that if you have an entire set enchanted with Protection IV (4 pieces of armor), the total damage reduction will be 80%.

The damage reduction provided by the enchantment is applied after the normal armor damage reduction, it is not added.
For example, if you’re wearing 4 armor pieces that have together a damage reduction of 20% and Protection IV on each of them (for a totale damage reduction of 80%) the damage prevented will be:

armor reduction+(1-armor reduction)*enchantment reduction = 0.2+(1-0.2)*0.8 = 0.84 = 84%

To understand how the armor reduction works you can check this link to the Wiki.


Protection enchantment cannot be applied to a piece of armor at the same time of the following enchantments:

  • Blast Protection
  • Fire Protection
  • Projectile Protection

If for example you try to combine a Protection enchanted Chestplate with Fire Protection using an Anvil (related article: How to repair enchanted items) it will look like this:

MINECRAFT PROTECTION incompatibilities

Keep in mind that these 3 enchantments reduce specific kinds of damage that are already covered by Protection, but they offer 2x damage reduction for that specific kind of damage. For example, Boots enchanted with Blast Protection IV will grant 20% damage reduction against explosions and Fireworks.

Video guide

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