What Does Piercing Do in Minecraft? & How to Get It?

minecraft piercing

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Minecraft has a plethora of enchantments that give any gamer an edge over their opponents. Each enchanting inside Minecraft is like a magical power that enhances the attributes of any weapon. One such enhancement is piercing with four levels of mastery. But, what does piercing do in Minecraft, and how can players get it?

The Piercing enchantment is applied to a crossbow in Minecraft, enabling users to hit multiple enemies with one shot. It primarily works well within small or narrow areas, as players can target an enemy and pierce through surrounding enemies with one shot.

Piercing is one of the less famous enchantments in Minecraft but has its own merits and demerits. Like other enchantments, if the benefits outweigh the downfalls, then it’s a good enchantment. Piercing has more advantages than disadvantages, making it perfect for archery. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the Piercing enchantment in Minecraft, from its primary benefits to its hidden applications.

What Is Piercing In Minecraft?

Piercing got introduced in the 1.14 update of Minecraft. Piercing is an enchantment that is applied to crossbows to increase the level of damage by each arrow. Any crossbow can be enchanted by using an Anvil or an enchantment table or simply using the command line. Before using all of these applications, players will need the necessary items like an enchanting book, table, and anvil in their inventory.

Arrows can shoot through multiple enemies, with the number of damaged enemies equal to the enchantment level. The arrows themselves will not target mobs specifically, meaning that the shot will simply go through the line of enemies being encountered. Below are some images of the Piercing enchantment in action, thanks to DigMinecraft:

Piercing 1
Piercing 2

The primary application of piercing is killing multiple mobs with a single arrow in a single line. But, it also enables you to get an infinite number of shots with just a single arrow. Players can have only one arrow with them and can keep on killing mobs day in day out. The trick is to collect the arrow after every kill.

Since players can equip awesome arrow types and special tipped arrows with unique effects, the Piercing enchantment is incredibly useful for getting the most out of each and every arrow. Players can use amazing arrows with a Piercing enchanted crossbow, additionally ignoring shields even when mobs are blocking attacks.


Piercing enchantment is only compatible with crossbows, and the upgrade level of the piercing can vary from level I to IV. Firework rockets are not impacted by pierced crossbows. Piercing can be used to kill birds as well.


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The integrity of the crossbow has nothing to do with the enchantment. Piercing is available both in Java 1.14 and Bedrock 1.8.0, as well as their later editions. Players can use Piercing in survival as well as creative modes.

Multishot 2

The main consideration when choosing enchantments for crossbows is that the Piercing enchantment is mutually exclusive, and it cannot be combined with Multishot. However, both enchantments can function as per usual with the two arrows added by Multishot getting the effect as well if they are combined using commands.

Crossbow in Minecraft

A crossbow is a repairable weapon similar to a bow but with extra range and damage. Crossbows get sourced from crafting and looting. Crafting of the crossbow requires a stick, iron ingot, string, and tripwire. 

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The other way to get the crossbow in Minecraft is by looting pillagers and piglins. Emeralds can be traded with the villagers, and can also get you a crossbow. Bridge chests and Generic chests are also the sources of crossbows.

Crossbow With Piercing

Crossbow integrity does not affect the level or the effectiveness of the Piercing enchantment. Using the Piercing enchantment with a crossbow will forge a whole new weapon. 

The enchanted crossbow can kill multiple enemies without the range being of any concern. So, every time an enchanted crossbow arrow hits a target, it instantly dies. 

Can Piercing Be Used With a Bow?

Piercing with a crossbow just looks and feels natural. But, the Piercing enchantment is not compatible with bows because the whole concept of piercing is the speed and force of the arrow.


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Realistically, only a crossbow would have enough power and arrow momentum to go through multiple targets with a single shot. Therefore, the developers of the game might have thought about making it available for crossbows only. They may have tried it with bows during development – but, that’s a topic for another day.

What Does Piercing Do In Minecraft?

Piercing increases the damage inflicted by a crossbow per blow. This means a piercing enchanted crossbow can go through shields, multiple bodies, and even flying birds. Crossbows enchanted with piercing are best for all-around combat use, including PvP and PvE instances in various game modes.

A single player with an enchanted crossbow can take on hordes of enemies, whether they be comprised of players or mobs. Hoards of players love this enchantment because Piercing can be used in Minecraft servers as well.

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The fight for survival becomes fun and interesting with access to a seemingly endless supply of shots with a single arrow, especially since the effectiveness of these arrows can be enhanced with special effect types or tips. Still, this enchantment is best applied in Minecraft survival servers.

Damage with Piercing

The Piercing enchantment’s effect will depend on the level of the enchantment applied to the player’s crossbow. As such, the formula to calculate the possible kills with one arrow adds the level of Piercing enchantment with one.

For example, an unenchanted crossbow can kill one chicken. Add level 1 enchantment with it, and you will be able to kill 2 chickens with one arrow. Add one more level of piercing, and you will be able to kill 3 chickens with one shot. And so on, up to level IV.

Possibilities with Piercing

  • One player can take on multiple enemies in the survival servers
  • A large hoard of mobs can be killed
  • Complete advancements
  • Use with fireworks
  • Just have fun in creative mode

Advancements & Achievements With Piercing

Advancements in Minecraft are long-term side tasks that do not impact the game directly but help the players to become better and increase their level. In totality, there are 91 advancements in the Java edition. These advancements become achievements in the Bedrock edition.

As mentioned above, these tasks are classified as side missions. Out of all these tasks, two are specifically meant to be completed with the Piercing enchantment. Without Piercing, it’s impossible to complete these two tasks.

These advancements are mapped in the form of a tree with branches representing sub-level tasks. There are 3 Advancements that can be completed using a Piercing Enchanted Crossbow.

Below are the Advancements for the Piercing enchantment, their descriptions, parents, requirements, and resources in-game:

Piercing AdvancementEnchanterTwo Birds, One ArrowArbalistic
DescriptionEnchant item at an Enchantment tableKill 2 phantoms with a Piercing arrowKill 5 unique mobs with 1 crossbow shot
ParentDiamonds!Ol’ BetsyOl’ Betsy
RequirementsInsert an item in an enchanting table, then apply an enchantment.Use a crossbow enchanted with Piercing to kill two phantoms.Hidden Advancement; can only be viewed by the players after its completion

How To Get Piercing In Minecraft

Piercing was initially announced as a secret enchantment when it was first released in Minecraft. There are three ways to get the Piercing enchantment in Minecraft and specific ways to upgrade it to max efficiency.

We will discuss how to get the Piercing to start with and how to get the enchantment from level I to level IV. But before that, you will need a crossbow. Let’s see how to get a crossbow quickly and apply the enchantment afterward.

How To Craft a Crossbow for Piercing

These are the ways to get a crossbow for Piercing in Minecraft.

  • Add the recipe containing a stick, iron ingot, string, and tripwire hook. Combine these to get a crossbow with 100% integrity.
  • Loot it from pillagers and piglins. Killing a pillager or a piglin can award players a crossbow. This crossbow might be 100% or reparable with another crossbow.
  • Loot chests or trade with high-level Fletcher villagers. To find a Fletcher villager, look for the corresponding outfits. 

How To Enchant a Crossbow With Piercing

To start off, the player will need an Anvil and an Enchantment Table. Follow these steps to apply the Piercing Enchantment to a crossbow:

  1. Anvil: Combine the crossbow and the enchantment book to enchant with the piercing. 
  2. Command: Use the command /enchant @p piercing <level of piercing>  to get a desired level of enchantment.
  3. Enchantment Table: Put at least 15 bookshelves around the enchanting table. This works with old setups as well. Combine lapis lazuli and the crossbow with the help of the table. Pick the Piercing from the enchantment slots on the right side to create an epic-looking crossbow with the Piercing enchantment.

Is Piercing a Good Enchantment?

Piercing is a powerful enchantment for crossbows and can be incredibly useful in high-intensity battles. Using this enchanted crossbow can result in massive kills and insanely fast takedowns.


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But, the entities will need to be in a single row for the arrow to pass through them all, and the Piercing enchantment level will need to be maxed for the highest damage output possible.

Benefits of The Piercing Enchantment

Apart from enhancing the power and efficiency of a crossbow overall, there are plenty of secondary benefits of using the Piercing enchantment for combat instances.

Reusable Arrows

Arrows from bows or crossbows generally get consumed after just a single hit, although players will be able to collect some of their arrows after the enemy has been defeated. Still, this can really add up to a lot of arrow losses – especially if you’re using special arrows or arrow tips with unique effects.

Once an arrow is fired from a Piercing enchanted crossbow, it can be picked up and rescued. This process can be done infinite times without losing a single one of your arrows, which makes the Piercing enchantment both easy and convenient to use as well as economical concerning Minecraft resources.

Safespotting Large Mobs

Hoards of mobs can kill players in no time. Without enchanted weapons, like a crossbow, killing them is not easy. Piercing with a crossbow passes through multiple entities, killing them instantly. This is advantageous in terms of saving time and effort.

Other weapons like swords and axes take a lot of time to kill a single mob. As the players strike the entities, they get damage from other surrounding mobs, making them vulnerable. Crossbows can be used to kill the entities without taking any damage. Just stand at the safety of the high ground and keep shooting the arrows. After killing all the entities, gather the arrows back.

Ignoring Shields

Piercing enchanted crossbow fires arrows that go through the shields as well. Which is extremely difficult to do with the other weapons. Irrespective of the level of the shielding, the pierced crossbow works on every level. In multiplayer games as well, players with high-level shields can easily be killed.

There are plenty of awesome enchantments to choose from in Minecraft, but the Piercing enchantment really stands out among the rest. Although it is technically incompatible with Multishot overall, players can still make the most of its amazing benefits and take on endless rows of enemies with ease.

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