What Does Piercing Do in Minecraft? Explained

In Short
  • The piercing enchantment in Minecraft allows the arrows to pass through and damage multiple entities in a line.
  • This enchantment ignores shields, can pass through up to four entities, and is required to complete two advancements.
  • You can apply piercing on the crossbow through the enchanting table or by using enchanted books.

The crossbow is a pretty overlooked weapon in Minecraft most of the time. Players generally stick to swords and bows and rarely try crossbows and tridents. Well, this little item can be quite dangerous, especially if upgraded with the best Minecraft enchantments. So, in this guide, we’ll be covering one of them and it’s called the piercing enchantment. It can be rather powerful and is necessary to apply to get certain advancements. So with that said, let’s see what piercing does in Minecraft.

What is the Piercing Enchantment in Minecraft

Piercing is an enchantment that you can put on a crossbow. Its special ability is to allow all types of arrows to pierce through multiple entities or mobs. The number of piercings is equal to the number of levels of this enchantment.

Piercing Enchantment Pros

If you’ve got a crossbow with Piercing I applied to it, then it means the arrows will hit an entity and go straight through it until they reach the second entity, which they cannot pass through. This level of piercing can therefore damage two entities or mobs at once if they are standing in parallel.

However, if you have Piercing IV on a crossbow, which is the maximum level of this enchantment, then the arrows will pierce through four entities, allowing you to damage five entities in total. All the arrows shot from a piercing crossbow are retrievable, so you can use them over and over again.

Killing five villagers with one piercing arrow

This crossbow enchantment already gives you a fair advantage against mobs, but it offers even more opportunities in Minecraft PvP servers. Piercing arrows will completely ignore the shields that your opponents are using to block your attacks, essentially making shields useless.

Furthermore, piercing enchantment is required if you want to obtain two Minecraft advancements. One of them is called “Two Birds, One Arrow,” and it implies you kill two phantoms with a piercing arrow. The other one is “Arbalistic,” and it’s a secret and challenging advancement. You need to kill five different mobs with a single piercing arrow to get it.

Piercing Enchantment Cons

The arrows can change the direction when they pierce through a mob, so they will only travel in a straight line. So, as expected this means piercing is most effective when mobs are lined up.

Apart from that, piercing does not affect firework rockets used in a crossbow. There is no way to make these dangerous projectiles pierce through multiple mobs. Though firework rockets already provide AOE damage, so piercing is not necessary.

Another key disadvantage of piercing is that it is not compatible with multishot enchantment. You cannot have a crossbow with both multishot and piercing in survival mode.

So, if you thought you could damage up to 15 mobs with just one arrow, unfortunately, that’s not a possibility as it would be too overpowered. You can still have quick charge and piercing on the same crossbow, so you can quickly shoot at the approaching mobs.

How to Apply Piercing Enchantment in Minecraft

Piercing is one of the regular enchantments in the game, so you won’t have issues obtaining it. You can get it on a crossbow through the enchanting table. This block will even offer piercing if there are no bookshelves around it, though it’ll be a low-level enchantment.

Enchanting a crossbow with piercing in the enchanting table in Minecraft

Moreover, you can also buy an enchanted book with any level of piercing from librarian villagers in Minecraft. Just like other enchanted books, you can get piercing from loot chests in various in-game structures. Every structure that offers enchanted books includes a possibility you come across one with piercing. Some of those structures are:

You will also find enchanted books while fishing in Minecraft, which provides you with another way of obtaining the piercing enchantment.

So that’s all you need to know about the piercing enchantment. It is relatively easy to get and use in the game and mimics the piercing effect many combat video games offer. That said, don’t forget to give this cool and fun enchantment a shot if you haven’t already.

Is piercing or multishot better?

The choice between piercing and multishot comes down to your personal preference. If you don’t enjoy aiming too much then multishot will be better. But if calculating your next shot is super fun for you, piercing will make it even more satisfying.

Can Piercing go on bows?

No, piercing is a crossbow-exclusive enchantment and not available for the bow in Minecraft.

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