Thorns is an enchantment in Minecraft that is applied to armor so that when a player or creature physically attacks you, they take damage from your armor enchanted with Thorns.
How the Thorns enchantment works
You can add the Thorns enchantment to any piece of armor such as a helmet, breastplate, leggings, or boots by using a table, anvil, or command. You will then need to wear the enchanted armor to deal damage to opponents who touch you.
Armor items with the Thorns enchantment stack up. Each piece confers an independent chance to do damage to the attacker. The total amount of damage that can be inflicted this way is capped at 4 ♥.
The probabilities of inflicting maximum damage and average damage dealt based on the number of Thorns III pieces carried are as follows:
|Objects with Thorns III||Probability of damage max. (4)||Average damage incurred|
Thorns applies a durability penalty to armor. The enchantment reduces durability by an additional 2 points when it deals damage. If multiple pieces of armor are enchanted with Thorns, the durability penalty is applied to a randomly selected piece, regardless of the Thorns level of that piece. If the item is also enchanted with Unbreaking, the damage penalty has a chance to be ignored.
If a projectile is thrown at an opponent equipped with Thorns, using a shield damages the shield instead of the player when the projectile hits the opponent.
How to Obtain the Thorns Enchantment
In addition to the normal enchantment, Thorns I and II can be obtained naturally from creature drops, by trading with a villager or as loot from generated structures.
Thorns III cannot be obtained directly from an enchantment table, but can be obtained by using an anvil to combine two Thorns II enchantments, trading with villagers, or finding an enchanted item with it in the Looting Chest as below.
The enchanted book with Thorns III can be found in the following structures:
- Underground Structures
- Abandoned mine shafts
- Underwater Structures
- Ocean Ruins
- Surface Structures
- Desert Pyramid
- Jungle Pyramid [JE only] or Jungle Temple [BE only]
- Pillager Outpost
- Wooden Manor
- Various structures
Thorns III enchanted armor pieces can be found in the following structures:
- Ruined Portal
- Bastion remnant
- Ruined Portal
- City of End
- Guardians and pufferfish naturally have a Thorns effect that deals damage when their spikes are extended.
The maximum level for the Thorns enchantment is level 3. This means that you can enchant an item with up to Thorns III. The higher the level, the more powerful the enchantment.