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Armor refers to a set of items which increase the player's defensive abilities when worn. Armor can be made with leather, gold, iron and diamonds (and fire too, but fire is unavailable without the use of an inventory editor or using cheats) and consists of chestplates, helmets, boots and leggings. The player's current protection is visually reflected by the armor meter, containing 10 total bars, with each armor bar giving 8% damage reduction for a total of 80% wearing the best armor.
 Player armor
Helmets, chestplates, leggings, and boots can be crafted out of leather, gold, iron, diamond or fire*. Chain armor can not be crafted legitimately, but can be obtained through trading with villagers or as rare drops from mobs that can be found wearing them.
While worn, each piece of armor adds to the player's total defense points, which serve to reduce certain kinds of damage to the player. Whenever a piece of armor absorbs damage for the player, the armor itself is damaged. After taking enough damage, the armor piece is destroyed. Each individual combination of armor type and material gives a different amount of defense points and has a different level of durability. Diamond gives the highest defense along with the most durability, and leather gives the least defense and least durability.
When the player takes damage of a sort that is not affected by armor (see Effects below), any armor that they are wearing does not take damage.
A player can wear a pumpkin as a helmet. Although this will (partially) block the player's view and not provide protection from attacks, it will prevent enderman from becoming aggressive towards the player when the player looks at them. The player will still be attacked if they physically attack the enderman, even if they are wearing a pumpkin. Pumpkins do not help to reduce damage.
A player can wear a head as a helmet, changing their appearance. Heads do not help to reduce damage.
The following types of damage are reduced by armor and, consequently, damage the armor itself:
- Direct attacks from mobs
- Direct attacks from other players
- Getting hit with an arrow
- Falling (only for Pocket Edition)
- Getting hit with a fireball from a Ghast or Blaze
- Touching a block of fire or lava
- Touching a cactus
- Drowning in water (Only for Pocket Edition)
The following types of damage are not reduced by armor and have no effect on the armor itself:
- Ongoing damage from being on fire
- Suffocating inside a block
- Drowning in water (except in Pocket Edition)
- Falling into the Void
- Poisoning; e.g., from a cave spider attack or a Potion of Poison
- Instant damage from a Potion of Harming
- /kill command
- Wither potion effects
- Fall Damage.(including Ender Pearls) (except in Pocket Edition)
- Getting struck by lightning.
Protection enchantments protect from types of damage that armor doesn't protect against without an enchantment, like falling damage. Armor durability still doesn't decrease when protection-enchanted armor takes environmental damage.
 Defense points
Defense points are each signified by half of a shirt of mail in the armor bar above the health bar. Each defense point will reduce any damage dealt to the player which is absorbed by armor by 4%, increasing additively with the number of defense points. Different materials and combinations of armor provide different levels of defense. A full suit of diamond armor protects the player from 80% of damage, whereas a full suit of iron will provide 60% protection and a full suit of leather will provide 28%.
The following table shows the amount of defense points added by each individual piece of armor, as well as the total points added by a full set of armor for each material.
The following table shows the number of defense points () per unit of material. Thus, a pair of iron boots () provides 50% efficiency-4 ingots to 2 points of armor, whereas a diamond chestplate () provides 100% efficiency-8 diamonds to 8 points of armor.
Thus, a full set of diamond armor gives .833 defense points per diamond, whereas a full set of leather armor gives .292 (65% less) defense points.
Enchantments can improve armor's capability to reduce damage, or add other capabilities.
An armor's material determines how enchantable it is. The higher a material's enchantability, the greater the chances of getting multiple and high-level enchantments (see enchantment mechanics for details).
 Armor enchantment effect calculation
Armor can get protection enchantments such as "Protection III" or "Fire Protection IV". The maximum level of a protection enchantment is IV (4). Protection enchantments from multiple pieces of armor stack (up to a calculated maximum).
Each protection enchantment protects against specific types of damage. The amount of damage reduction depends on the Enchantment Protection Factor (EPF) provided by that enchantment.
|Enchantment||Damage reduced for||Type Modifier||EPF
|Fire Protection||Fire, lava, and blaze fireballs||1.25||2||4||6||9|
|Projectile Protection||Arrows, ghast and blaze fireballs||1.5||3||5||7||11|
|Feather Falling||Fall damage (including ender pearls)||2.5||5||8||12||18|
The EPFs for each enchantment and level are the result of the following formula:
floor ( (6 + level * level) * TypeModifier / 3 ).
When the player (or a mob in armor) is subjected to damage, the EPFs of all applicable enchantments are added together, capped at 25, multiplied by a random value between 50% and 100%, rounded up, and capped again at 20. The damage is then reduced by 4% per point of total effective EPF (for example, a total effective EPF of 20 reduces damage by 80%).
Because of the caps in the calculation, it's possible to max out protection against specific types of damage with only three pieces of armor. For example, two pieces of armor with Blast Protection IV (EPF 11 each) and a single piece with Protection III (EPF 3) would give a total EPF of 25 versus explosions (before the remainder of the calculation). Any additional EPF would be wasted against explosions (but might be useful against other types of damage, if applicable).
If the damage is of a type that armor protects against normally, this reduction applies only to the damage that got through the armor. For example, a full suit of diamond armor reduces damage from melee attacks by 80% -- if each piece of armor also had a Protection IV enchantment (EPF 5 each), the enchantments would further reduce damage by 40% to 80% each time, for a total damage reduction of 88% to 96% (i.e., 80%, plus 40%-80% of the remaining 20%).
The following table shows the amount of damage each piece of armor can absorb before being destroyed.
Any "hit" from a damage source that can be blocked by armor will remove one point of durability from each piece of armor worn. Damage taken that armor doesn't protect (such as falling or drowning) will not damage the armor, even if it is enchanted to protect against that type of damage. The following chart displays how many hits each piece of armor can endure.
The following tables shows the durability per unit of material of each piece of armor, compared to that of the boots. Note that the durability per unit does not depend on the material.
This means that for the same number of leather/iron ingots/gold ingots/chain/diamond, boots can take 1.5 more damage than leggings.
Thus, chestplate and leggings offer more defense points per unit, but have a lesser durability per unit.
- Main article: Dyeing
Dyeing armor is accomplished by crafting leather armor with any type of dye. Dyes can be mixed together (e.g., orange dye + bone meal + leather cap = beige leather cap) and armor can be dyed multiple times (e.g., blue leather shoes + rose red = purple leather shoes.) Zombies and Skeletons can wear dyed armor. It is impossible to get a color darker than #191919, leaving fewer than 12326391 (231 x 231 x 231) colors available. Current estimates put the realistic upper boundary of available colors at just over 4 million. Leather armor can be "washed" by right clicking a full cauldron to remove all the dye.
It takes 24 units of material to make a full set of armor. Although it is not necessary that all of your armor is the same material, each individual piece must consist of only one material. This means that you could wear a leather cap with an iron chestplate, but you cannot craft leggings out of both iron and gold.
Note that chestplates (tunics) provide the most protection per unit of material, followed by leggings (trousers). For Iron and Diamond, boots are then followed by helmets, but for other materials, the helmet (cap) is more efficient. (However, boots are always more durable.)
As with other items with durability, armor can be repaired by placing two pieces of the same type (e.g., iron helmets) in a crafting grid. The resulting item will have slightly more durability left than the original items combined, but will be unenchanted. Armor can also be repaired on an anvil, which not only preserves enchantments, but can combine the enchantments from two different items. Anvils can also repair a piece of armor using units of that armor's base material (leather, gold or iron ingots, or diamonds). Chain armor can be repaired in this manner by using iron ingots.
Armor is not stackable.
|Name||Ingredients||Input » Output||Description|
Gold Ingots or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or
Iron Ingots or
Gold Ingots or
Iron Ingots or
 Data values
The following are the data values for each armor piece:
|Alpha 1.0.8||Before this update, wool armor was the lowest tier of armor, rather than leather armor.|
|1.9pre1||Before 1.9pre1, all helmets gave (0.30 efficiency), all chest armor gave (0.50 efficiency), all leg armor gave (0.43 efficiency), and all boots gave (0.38 efficiency). Armor's effectiveness was linked to durability, with lower tier materials less durable than higher tier materials. Leather armor was as protective as diamond armor when undamaged, but leather armor quickly lost durability to attacks, thus its defense power would more rapidly diminish. Likewise, if you put on almost fully decreased boots when you had other armor on, it lowered your armor protection.|
|Also before 1.9 Prerelease 1, specific types of damage were reduced by a certain amount based upon the effective armor points of the player. Each point of armor reduced the damage you took by 8%, up to the maximum reduction of 80%.|
|1.9pre4||Armor can be enchanted.|
|1.0||There was a bug that caused all armor to be twice as effective at reducing damage as intended. This was fixed in Minecraft 1.1.|
|1.1||Iron armor naturally generates in NPC village chests.|
|1.2||Zombies can now drop iron helmets on rare occasions, and Zombie Pigmen can drop golden helmets.|
|1.3.1||12w15a||Jeb mentioned that shift-clicking armor into armor slots was "on the list of things to do.", and it was later added in weekly snapshot 12w15a.|
|12w21a||Chain armor is now obtainable legitimately in survival mode through trading with blacksmith villagers.|
|1.4.2||12w32a||A partial or full set of any armor is sometimes worn by zombies, skeletons and Zombie Pigmen, likelihood increasing with difficulty.|
|Jeb and Dinnerbone tweeted pictures of dyable leather armor.|
|12w34a||Leather armor can now be dyed. The dye can be removed by right-clicking a full cauldron.|
|Leather armor texture is changed to a darker one, and has been modified in the inventory tooltip.|
|12w34b||Leather armor texture slightly changed again. Leather armor sleeves are extended by one pixel. Their item texture has been changed to match the new texture.|
|12w36a||Leather armor now uses two overlayed textures, one being the color.|
|12w37a||Leather armor now has a non-dyed base layer.|
|12w41a||If you wear any helmet, an anvil can fall from any height and you will always take 6 () health points of damage.|
|1.4.6||12w50a||Protection isn't as effective on armor as the other protection enchantments combined.|
|Thorns can be enchanted on chestplates.|
|1.5||Armor in your hand can be put on by Right clicking.|
 Mob armor
In Survival Test, certain zombies and skeletons could be found wearing armor; a chestplate or a helmet. Zombies had the potential, although extremely unlikely, to wear both a chestplate and a helmet at the same time. Skeletons could also be found wearing armor, albeit extremely infrequently. Mob armor was purely cosmetic; however, it is possible that it was a planned feature to increase hostile mob difficulty. The armor was soon removed.
However in 12w32a, mob armor was reintroduced. Zombies and skeletons sometimes wear armor in Normal or Hard, increased likelihood in Hard. This can be any tier of armor, including chain armor. Zombie Pigmen can wear armor too. The armor can be dyed, or enchanted rarely.
Other mobs do have armor values built in. Sheep have wool unless they are sheared. Pigs can wear saddles, which is also "armor". Snow Golems have pumpkins worn on their heads as helmets. When a creeper is struck by lightning, it will become a charged creeper. Charged creepers have an electric glow around them, which provides no health, but makes the creeper's explosion twice as big in diameter. The wither will develop a shield when it is about halfway defeated, which will make it immune to arrows. A tamed wolf's collar is considered armor, and will still be seen even with invisibility potions, like all armor.
The most armor a mob can have without using MCEdit or another external editing program is 88%, unless the armor is enchanted.
 Leather-chain armor
The leather-chain armor is a sprite from Indev 0.31's items.png file. In this version, all of the armor seen are only sprites. Usable and craft-able armor were added later, but leather-chain armor never made it to release versions.
- You need 24 of a material to make a full set of armor from it. Having 24 different potential materials does not necessarily mean you can have a full set, because you can't make armor from, for example, 2 iron and 2 leather.
- Helmets, chestplates, and leggings have different names when they are made of leather. Helmets are called caps, chestplates are called tunics, and leggings are called pants. Boots do not change.
- In the armor folder inside minecraft.jar, leather armor is called cloth armor. This is because leather armor was initially made from cloth (later renamed to Wool).
- Mobs that burn when exposed to sunlight will be unaffected by day if they have a helmet of any type.
- There is a texture file for armor labeled "Power", a faint blue energy used by Creepers when struck by lightning (becoming a charged creeper).
- The chain chestplate has slightly longer sleeves than all other chestplates.
- Chain armor is unique in that it is the only default armor with large amounts of transparency within the armor. Every other pixel is transparent, except for the front of the head, which has a clear space for the face, and other areas which have no covering.
- The chain helmet covers all sides of the head completely except the face unlike most helms where the face has a nose guard and covers the sides of the head partially.
- The leather armor design, armor 'mannequin' outlines, and apple and iron sword sprites, were also used in Notch's RPG Legend of the Chambered.
- If you are sitting in a boat or minecart with armor leggings on, and press E (for your Inventory), or press F5 (for third person view), your legs will be in a sitting position, but your armor will be a standing position. This can be fixed by un-equipping any bottom piece of armor and then re-equipping them.
- There was a popular rumor stating that chain armor absorbs all damage done (so instead of losing .5 armor and .5 hearts you lose 1.0 armor), but this is not true.
- In the Xbox 360 Edition and the Pocket Edition, drowning or falling will cause all equipped armor to take damage due to them being built off beta and alpha stages of the game, respectively.
- A pumpkin can also be worn as a helmet, but provides no defensive protection. It does prevent Endermen from becoming angered by looking at them and reduces visibility for the player.
- On Halloween, zombies, skeletons, zombie pigman, and wither skeletons have a relatively large chance of spawning wearing a pumpkin, and a smaller chance of spawning with a jack-o-lantern.
- In Pocket Edition, armor was not legitimately obtainable until version Alpha 0.6.0. The illegitimate armor would crash the game when tapped on, regardless of being in the player's inventory or a chest. If a chest containing it was broken, and the armor picked up, the game would crash. The illegitimate armor still crashes the game in 0.6.1, and looks exactly like normal armor except for the red background.
- In Pocket Edition, armor is sometimes not lost when the player dies.
- In Pocket Edition, leather armour was released with the old texture, even thought the new texture was released for PC before it.
- In Pocket Edition, chain armour exists but is unobtainable.
- Gold armour is the only type of armour that can't be obtained from villager trading.
- Even though chain armour is not as protective as diamond armour, it is rarer to get in trading.
A zombie wearing a chestplate in Survival Test
A zombie wearing a helmet in Survival Test
Dinnerbone's first screenshot of dyed armor