How to Find and Use a Name Tag in Minecraft

Name tags are arguably one of the most useful and fun features in Minecraft. They help you protect your mobs from despawning and allow you to make a personal connection by giving your pets custom names. Not to forget, there are many popular easter eggs based exclusively around name tags. Nevertheless, they aren’t as common and easy to find as you might imagine. So, we are here to help you find and use a name tag in Minecraft while also unlocking some fun tricks. With that said, let’s get started!

We are first going over the basics of name tags followed by their spawning and usage. Use the table below to learn about the aspects that interest you the most.

What is a Name Tag in Minecraft

Bob the camel

A name tag is a functional item in Minecraft that allows you to name most of the in-game mobs. Doing so prevents the named mobs from naturally despawning and also affects the records of their in-game action. For example, if a Warden named Bob killed you, then the game’s death message will display “Player was slain by Bob”.

Moreover, every mob that the player names get a nameplate above its head, showing everyone its custom name. This is quite useful while creating a mob collection or distinguishing tamed mobs.

How to Get a Name Tag in Minecraft

Unfortunately, there is no way to craft a name tag in Minecraft nor is there any mob that drops it on dying. This makes it one of the hardest items to collect. But, if you plan it right, you will get all the name tags you need in no time. Let’s find out how.

Chest Loot

The name tag naturally spawns inside the chest of the following structures:

On the Bedrock Edition, you can also find a name tag in the buried treasure chests. Furthermore, in both variants of the game, Mineshafts have the highest chance of spawning the name tag in their chests.


If looting structures doesn’t go as planned, you can also literally fish for the name tag in any water body of Minecraft. You just need to make a fishing rod and wait to catch a name tag, which is a treasure catch in the game. Since there are more than one treasure item and only a 5% chance of you getting a treasure catch, this process can easily take hours.

Luckily, you can use the Luck of the Sea enchantment to improve your chances. Alternatively, you can also make an AFK fish farm and let your character fish by itself for a few hours.


Last but easily the most reliable way to get a name tag in Minecraft is by trading with a villager. But even this trade isn’t easy. You first have to trade with a librarian villager to make it reach the “master” level. Only then it will give you a name tag for 20 emeralds. If you make a villager trading hall, things might get a bit simpler, and you can use the other villagers to easily get emeralds.

How to Use a Name Tag in Minecraft

Once you have obtained a name tag, it’s time to put this item to the test. So, follow the steps below to use your name tag in Minecraft:

1. First, create an anvil in Minecraft and place it on a solid surface. Then right-click or use the secondary action key on it.

2. Then, place the name tag in the leftmost slot of the anvil. Leave the other slot completely empty.

3. Finally, type the name you want to use with your name tag in the slot at the top of the anvil. Then, you can simply pick up the new name tag from the rightmost slot. Do keep in mind that you need at least one level of experience to add a custom name to a name tag.

4. Next, hold the name tag in your hand and use it on any in-game mob to give it a custom name. The name tag will get consumed in the process.

The Name Tag is Not Working? How to Fix!

If your name tag is not working in Minecraft Java or Bedrock edition, it can be due to the following reasons:

  • Name tags don’t work on the Ender dragon or any player.
  • If you use a name tag on an armor stand, it will get consumed by the nameplate doesn’t show up.
  • Wandering Traders can be named but it doesn’t prevent them from despawning. Similarly, changing the world’s difficulty to peaceful despawns all hostile mobs including the ones with names.
  • The silverfish loses its name when it goes inside a block.
  • Once a mob gets a name, you can’t rename it nor can you remove that name.

Name Tag Easter Eggs in Minecraft

Name tags are a popular item in the Minecraft community, and that’s mostly thanks to the various easter eggs attached to them. That said, let’s explore all of them here.

Dinnerbone or Grumm

Paying a tribute to Nathan ‘Dinnerbone’ Adams, a technical director at Mojang Studios, the name “dinnerbone” or “grumm” turns any mob upside down. This doesn’t affect the behavior or movement of the mob but definitely creates a hilarious scene.


If you name a sheep “jeb_” in Minecraft, it produces a rainbow effect and channels through various dye colors. Though, when reared or killed, the sheep only drops wool in its original color. This is a tribute to Jens Bergensten, Minecraft’s lead designer, who popularly goes by the name “Jeb” in the community.


Using the “Toast” name tag on a rabbit gives it black and white skin, which looks beautiful but has a tragic history attached to it. This skin makes the rabbit look similar to the user xyzen420’s girlfriend’s missing rabbit. In case you are wondering how this skin ended up in Minecraft, you can explore the Reddit post (here) where it all began.


Last but definitely the most dangerous easter egg in Minecraft is unlocked by naming a Vindicator “Johnny”. Doing so makes it hostile toward all in-game mobs, except Ghasts and other Illagers. In the Java edition, Jhonny the Vindicator’s hitlist includes all Ravagers.

If you haven’t guessed already, this easter egg pays homage to the cult classic psychological horror novel “The Shining” by Stephen King, which was later adapted into a movie of the same name. In the novel, the main villainous character, named Johnny, uses an axe to hunt down his victims.

Whether you want to permanently keep your mobs around or put them in tricky situations with easter eggs, the name tag will come in handy. But it’s of no use unless you have the Minecraft mobs to name. So, make sure to first explore all the Minecraft biomes and collect some of your favorite mobs. Though, if you don’t want to travel, you can also use the name tag on your in-game tamed pets like wolves. Having said that, on which mob are you going to put the name tag first? Tell us in the comments below!

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