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

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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 to get it?

Piercing enchantment works on a crossbow to increase its piercing ability. Meaning with a single arrow, more than one entity can be killed. Arrows can kill mobs both with a crossbow or a bow. But to increase the effectiveness of each shot, piercing is used.

Piercing is one of the less famous enchantments in Minecraft but has its own merits and demerits. Like other enchantments, if the benefits weigh the demerits out, then it’s a good enchantment. Piercing has more gains than demerits, making it perfect for archery. In this article, we will understand everything about piercing, from enchanting 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 these, necessary items like an enchanting book, table, and anvil are required in the inventory.

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


Piercing enchantment is only compatible with crossbows. The level of the piercing varies from I to level IV. Fireworks are not impacted by pierced crossbows. Piercing can be used to kill birds as well. The integrity of the crossbow has nothing to do with the enchantment.

Piercing is available both in Java1.14 and Bedrock 1.8.0 and their later editions. Players use piercing in survival as well as creative modes.

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. 

The other way to get the crossbow is looting pillagers and piglins. Emeralds trade with the villagers can also get you a crossbow. Bridge chest and Generic chests are also the sources of crossbows.

RELATED: 7 Best Minecraft Crossbow Enchantments

Crossbow with Piercing

Crossbow integrity does not affect the level of piercing enchantment. Piercing with a crossbow makes it a whole new weapon. 

The enchanted crossbow can kill multiple enemies without the range being of any concern.

So every time an unenchanted crossbow arrow hits a target, it instantly dies. 

Can Piercing Be Used with a Bow?

Piercing with a crossbow looks natural. But piercing is not compatible with bows because the whole concept of piercing is the speed and force of the arrow. Enough to go through multiple targets. Therefore developers of the game might have thought about making it available for crossbows only. 

But did they try it with the bow during the development? That is the question 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. Crossbow with piercing is best for the player-to-player battles and player VS mobs.

A single player with an enchanted crossbow can take on hordes of enemies: players or mobs. Hoard of players because piercing can be used in Minecraft servers as well. The fight for survival becomes fun with unlimited shots of a single arrow. This enchantment is best applied in Minecraft survival servers.

Damage with Piercing

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 serversA large hoard of mobs can be killedComplete advancementsUse with fireworksJust have fun in creative mode

Advancements or Achievements with Piercing

Advancements 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 side missions. Out of all these tasks, two are specifically meant to be completed with piercing. Without piercing, it’s impossible to complete these tasks. Advancements are mapped in the form of a tree with branches representing sub-level tasks.

Both of the below enchantments are in the adventure category of resources

Killing Two Birds with One Arrow

This advancement involves piercing an enchanted crossbow and killing two phantoms with one arrow. 


Visible only after it is accomplished. This one is tough. Killing 5 mobs with one single blow adds Arbalistic in the completed advancements. 

How to Get a Piercing in Minecraft?

There are three ways to get piercings in Minecraft. We will discuss how to get a piercing from level I to level IV. But before that, if you don’t have 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 piglThereins. Killing a pillager or a pilin can award players a crossbow. This crossbow might be 100% or reparable with another crossbow.Chest loot or trading with the Fletcher level villagers. To find a Fletcher-level villager, look for their outfits. 

How to Enchant a Crossbow with Piercing?


Combine the crossbow and the enchantment book to enchant with the piercing. 


Use the command /enchant @p piercing <level of piercing>  to get a desired level of enchantment.

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. You will have a piercing with a crossbow.

Is Piercing a Good Enchantment?

Piercing is a powerful enchantment for crossbows to use in high-intensity battles. All the entities need to be in a single row for the arrow to pass through them all.

RELATED: Crossbow vs Bow in Minecraft

Merits of Piercing Enchantment

Apart from enhancing the power of a crossbow, there are plenty of secondary benefits of using piercing.

Reusable Arrows

Arrows from bows or crossbows get consumed after just a single hit.

Once an arrow is fired from an enchanted crossbow, it can be picked up and rescued. This can be done infinite times without losing a single one of them.

Battling 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.

Breaching 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.

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