How Do You Make and Use a Shield in Minecraft

Discover how to create and use a shield in Minecraft!

by Kara Phillips

Regardless of how you play Minecraft, whether you spend more time building, mining, or exploring, you’ll inevitably come face to face with some enemies that dwell in the dark. The vast majority of these enemies won’t pose too much of a threat to the player, and a few swings of a sword or whatever tool you have lying around will quickly dispatch the danger, but as you get further into the game and start exploring areas like the Nether and the End, you’ll begin to experience some of the more ferocious villains and need a little extra help to keep yourself afloat. Armor is helpful but can be expensive in terms of materials, so the ability to use a shield is cheap and convenient. So, read on to find out how to craft a shield for your next adventure.

How To Make a Shield in Minecraft


To make a Shield in Minecraft, you’ll need six wooden planks and a single iron ingot. So, they are easy to create from the moment you start a new world. The wooden planks you use can be any wood you come across, so you don’t need to hunt for oak trees if you spawn in a spruce or birch forest. In addition, you don’t need to use six wooden planks of the same type either, so a mix of wood types will also result in a successful craft. Once you’ve acquired all the materials, the image above displays how you need to organize them in the crafting table to create a shield.

The iron ingot must be placed in the top center square, with wooden planks surrounding it and a single wooden plank in the bottom center square. Once set correctly, you’ll see the shield in the crafted box to signify a successful craft.

How to Use a Shield in Minecraft

Once you’ve crafted the shield, you can equip it to your offhand rather than active when you are in the inventory screen. Although you can also have it in your active hand, it’s helpful to have this hand free to draw a weapon, and having the shield in your offhand means you can activate it while fighting. You must crouch to activate your shield on both console and PC. This can be done by pressing shift on PC or pressing the right analog stick on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation. For mobile users, you’ll need to hold the central button on the movement pad to crouch and activate the shield.

Activating the shield in combat will deflect the attacks of oncoming enemies, including the arrows from Skeletons, when timed correctly. A single shield can withstand 336 hits before it breaks, so they’re worth keeping in your inventory if you head out into the open at night or spend a lot of time in the mines. You never know when you’ll need the buffer of a few extra hits.

Minecraft is available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile devices.

- This article was updated on January 12th, 2023

About The Author

Avatar photo

Kara has spent two years as a freelance video game journalist, and many more exploring the weird and wonderful world of tech. Outside of Attack of the Fanboy, she's chewed the ear off Nintendo Life, TechRadarGaming, and Patch Magazine, and basically anyone who will listen to her endless rambles.