Any player who’s tried enchanting their crossbow will have wondered to themselves “What does piercing do in Minecraft?”
In Minecraft, players can use enchanting tables to imbue their items with various magical properties. These enchantments generally apply different buffs that improve their abilities, be it mining, fighting, or exploring.
One equipment type is the crossbow weapon. Players can enchant it with the Piercing attribute.
What does piercing do in Minecraft?
Piercing is an enchantment that, when applied to crossbows, causes arrows to go through entities.
Piercing has multiple levels, up to level four. This level determines how many entities it can go through per shot.
For example, at Piercing I the arrow will go through the first entity to hit the enemy behind it. Meanwhile at Piercing IV, the arrow can hit up to five entities, provided they’re in a line.
What makes piercing so special is that it can go through shields to do full damage to the person hiding behind it. This makes Piercing a great enchantment on crossbows for PvP combat.
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Piercing has no effect on Minecraft fireworks, so don’t bother loading up your crossbow with one.
Players should note that the Piercing enchantment is incompatible with the Multishot enchantment.
This means that they’ll have to choose between width or depth when it comes to the effectiveness of their crossbow arrows.
Is Piercing or Power Better?
Minecraft players may wonder which is better between Piercing on crossbows or Power on regular bows. As the two primary ranged weapons, players will generally need to pick one or the other.
When it comes to the pure damage game, Power V bows have higher raw output. When the bowstring is pulled back for a fully charged shot, a Power V bow will deal 15 hearts of damage, up to 25 on a critical hit.
Meanwhile, crossbows don’t get the Power enchantment to raise their numbers. With basic arrows, a crossbow can deal at best 11 damage, bumped up to 18 with a firework projectile.
However, because Piercing can go through defenses, it’s a more consistent form of damage against players who can otherwise defend against arrows with their shield.
So players will want to use Piercing if they have to fighting armored or shielded opponents, but Power for monsters that will be taking the full damage of any shot that lands.