A Detailed Guide to Impaling

Some people describe Impaling as Sharpness but for tridents, in that it increases the damage output of your trident like Sharpness does for swords. However, this comparison is a little reductive; while Impaling does increase the damage you deal, it only does so to aquatic mobs. But, what is classified as an aquatic mob to begin with? How does someone even get a trident?

First of All, What is a Trident?

In Minecraft, a trident is both a range and melee weapon. The melee aspect is similar to using a sword, but the ranged aspect is what makes it interesting. When you press and hold use while holding the trident, it will be thrown and damage whatever entity it hits, and then it can be picked up again. With certain enchantments, it can also summon lightning, return to you without needing to go pick it up or help you fly through the rain.

Tridents can only be obtained from killing drowned zombies, specifically naturally generated ones, and not converted drowned. The drowned has to have a trident upon spawning in order for the weapon to drop.

In Java Edition, there is only a 6.25% chance that the drowned will spawn with one, and there is only an 8.5% chance that it will drop a trident after being killed. If the weapon used to kill the drowned has Looting, it will increase the drop rate by 1% per level of Looting. That means without Looting III, the chance of a drowned dropping a trident is about .5% and with Looting III, the chance is about .7%. I personally have played Minecraft Java Edition for more than five years and only got my first trident in Survival last month.

In Bedrock Edition, the chances of obtaining a trident are significantly better, and by that I mean a whopping 3.75% or 5.55% if you have Looting III.

Evidently, tridents are notoriously hard to obtain in survival mode without using a cheat code. Your only real option is spending a significant amount of time making and harvesting a trident farm with a steady supply of water-breathing potion, a Respiration helmet, and patience. That being said, no judgment if you used command/ to get yours.

What Are Aquatic Mobs?

The Impaling enchantment deals extra damage to aquatic mobs in Java Edition.  Aquatic mobs in this case include all fish (salmon, cod, pufferfish, tropical fish), squids, glow squids, dolphins, turtles, axolotls, guardians, and elder guardians. Unfortunately, drowned are not affected by this enchantment due to their classification as an undead mob rather than an aquatic mob.

In Bedrock Edition, the enchantment deals extra damage to any mobs that are in contact with water, whether it be a single block or rain.

What Does Impaling Do?

Impaling adds 2.5 health points (or 1.25 Hearts) of extra damage per hit with each additional level adding another 2.5 points of damage. The maximum level of impaling is V (5), meaning the maximum additional damage it can add is 12.5 damage. Trident’s base attack damage is 9 points for melee and 8 for ranged attacks.

LevelAdditional DamageTotal Melee DamageTotal Ranged Damage

Impaling is one of the four enchantments exclusive to tridents, the other three being Channeling, Riptide, and Loyalty. Notably, if your trident is enchanted with Riptide, it cannot be enchanted with Loyalty or Channeling. This restriction, however, does not apply to Impaling, so you could have a Riptide & Impaling V trident or a Loyalty III & Channeling & Impaling V trident.

How to Obtain Impaling

You can obtain the enchantment the same way you obtain other enchantments in Minecraft: enchanted books or an enchantment table.

An Impaling enchanted book can be found as a rare drop from fishing with a fishing rod, a rare drop from pillagers and vindicators from raids in Bedrock Edition, trading with Librarian Villagers, treasure chests, and enchanting books on the enchantment table with 30 Levels. Once you have the book, you can place the enchantment on the trident by using an anvil and some experience levels.

Alternatively, you can put your new trident on the enchantment table and try to enchant it directly with Impaling. Either way, you’re going to need some lapis lazuli, bookshelves, and a little bit of patience if you want to get a high level of it.

How to Enchant Impaling Efficiently

For enchantment level efficiency, it is always best to try to enchant the trident with Impaling V first, whether that means obtaining Impaling V from putting the trident on the enchantment table or obtaining Impaling IV on the trident from the enchantment table and then enchanting with an Impaling IV enchanted book to reach V. This is because Impaling V is the most costly trident enchantment due to its high level, requiring 10 levels to enchant with an Impaling V book. 

The most efficient way to apply the Impaling enchantment to your trident is doing it directly from the enchantment table. Not only does this mitigate the amount of experience levels you have to pay, but there is also the chance of getting extra enchantments for free, such as Unbreaking III, Mending, etc.

On the enchantment table, you should have 30 levels of experience, 3 pieces of lapis lazuli, and your trident. Then place the lapis and trident into the table’s slots. If the enchantment that appears is not Impaling IV or V, then you can enchant something else and check it later as it will change after doing one enchantment.

Alternatively, if the Enchantment that appears is one that you want (ie Loyalty III or Riptide III), you can try enchanting it then to save time since there will be a chance that Impaling will be randomly added as well. However, the chances of this are not the highest and it is not super likely for it to be max level, so if you want to err on the side of caution, try to wait for Impaling V to appear and take care of enchanting your other items in the meantime.

In general, doing enchantments in the right order is crucial not only for exp efficiency but also to avoid a work penalty, which can prevent you from enchanting items to their optimal builds. I recommend using this tool to figure out the best ways to enchant your items in general since you can modify it to suit your specific situation: https://iamcal.github.io/enchant-order/


Ultimately, it is significantly easier to get an Impaling enchantment than to get a trident, so if you are lucky enough to have a trident naturally drop within the game, then you probably already obtained an Impalement enchanted book simply from playing the game and enchanting books for other enchantments. I know I had about three Impaling enchanted books ready to go when I finally got mine.

If you accidentally enchanted the wrong thing like Channeling instead of Riptide, check out our step-by-step guide on disenchanting: https://www.minecraftvault.com/guides/how-to-disenchant-in-minecraft/

Good luck with your trident farming and enchantment rolling, everyone!

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