Piercing is an enchantment in Minecraft that causes your crossbow’s arrows to pass through objects.
With this attachment, you can pierce through shields and other entities. You can even hit multiple mobs with just a single shot!
So, what does piercing do in Minecraft?
In this guide, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into the mechanics behind this popular combat enchantment. Let’s jump right in.
What Does Piercing Do in Minecraft?
As we touched on above, the Piercing enchantment causes crossbow arrows to pierce through entities. Piercing can be upgraded several times using an enchanting table, up to a maximum of level IV (4).
The level of Piercing affects how many entities a single crossbow arrow can pass through, damaging them all in the process.
The number of pierced entities is equal to the level of Piercing applied to the crossbow (i.e., Piercing III can pass through three entities before stopping at a fourth, damaging all four in the process).
Using a crossbow with the Piercing enchantment is the intended (and easiest) way to complete the “Two Birds, One Arrow” achievement. If you’re a completionist, having a crossbow with at least one level of Piercing is a necessity.
Besides saving on arrows by requiring fewer shots to hit several targets, the Piercing enchantment also keeps your arrows intact.
When firing arrows from a crossbow with Piercing, the arrows will not be destroyed. That means you can pick up your arrows and reuse them in the future.
Piercing passes through shields like butter, making it the perfect enchantment on PVP servers.
Also Read: Best Crossbow enchantment in Minecraft
Piercing is not compatible with the Multishot enchantment—if you have one applied to your crossbow, you will never be shown the option of applying the other.
The Piercing effect only applies to arrows and does not affect firework rockets fired from a crossbow.
Is Piercing or Multishot better?
In most cases, Multishot is the better option. It fires three arrows in a horizontal spreading pattern, which allows a single shot to take out multiple hostile mobs at once. Where Piercing wins out is in arrow efficiency.
Arrows shot from a crossbow with Piercing do not get destroyed, so you can reuse them.
That just about answers the question, “What does piercing do in Minecraft?” It’s an excellent option for when you want to save arrows—they’re effectively infinite with the Piercing enchantment—and can help you win duels in PVP servers.
You’ll need a bit of luck and a lot of preparation to get your Piercing to level IV, but it’s all worth it for how much damage it deals.
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