I would like to have good enchantments on my armour, weapons, etc. But whenever I put Lapis Lazuli on my equipment, the enchantments never change to what I want! I get more XP and the enchantments change, but they are never helpful!

4 Answers 4


First, do make sure you have plenty of bookshelves with one air block between them and the enchantment table. A common arrangement is a wall 2 high with 3 sides:

Enchantment table with plenty of bookshelves

You can use the "torch trick" to re-generate enchantment lists if they are not appealing.

When you have bookshelves surrounding your enchantment table (with one space between) then the power of available enchantments improves. The list of enchantments is generated based on type of item and number of bookshelves with a single air space between them and the enchantment table.

If there is not an air space between a bookshelf and the table, then that bookshelf does not count. So you can do the following:

  • Try an item and see list of available enchantments.

  • Place a torch on the ground so that it is in-between one or two bookshelves and the table.

  • Look again, the enchantment list will have changed (and will probably offer you something slightly lower level, which can also be useful if you have less than 30 experience)

  • Try adding another torch to get a bit more variation.

It used to be possible to keep adding and removing torches to re-generate the enchantment lists. When I tried it just now in 1.11_prerelease, this was not happening.

Also, do note for high level enchantments on diamond or gold gear, there is a good chance you will get a secondary effect (not shown at time of selection) or even two. Sometimes by chance this secondary effect is really worth having, although you cannot control or predict it, don't let the "boring" factor of seeing Efficiency IV or Unbreakable III put you off just giving it a try. I ended up with a favourite diamond pickaxe, Efficiency III, Unbreakable II, Fortune II by just taking a chance on this.

  • At one time dying would reset your enchantment seed. I cannot test this for 1.11 currently. Unfortunately this also has a side effect of making you lose a lot of XP.
    – CAD97
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 0:19
  • Xp can easily be recovered using gold farms
    – Fennekin
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 5:07

You'll need to enchant something to get the offered enchantments to change. Have a selection of items ready to enchant and see what most appeals, or just choose to cheapest so that you can get a new selection to pick from.

  • Do you recall if it is for each individual item, or if its for each type of item that the enchantment selection applies to? I do not recall if having 2-3 pickaxes will allow you to cycle through them to get 2-3 different enchants or not.
    – Ryan
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 18:56
  • 1
    Just got one of the kids to check in 1.10, did not appear to change the offered enchantments when swapping between a couple of bows, so looks like it is for each type
    – Bonus
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 8:43

I suggest that you enchant a book with a table surrounded by bookshelves (level 30) with 3 lapis, and then use an anvil to apply the best books to the armor. Note that the enchants will get more expensive as you add more enchantments to the equipment.


When you enchant an item, a new list of possible enchantments is generated for each item type (every tool/weapon/armor with every material), the list stays until you enchant something else

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