When it comes to combat in Minecraft, most players jump straight to talking about swords, bows, and even axes. Tridents are rarely brought up, often being dismissed as just a gimmick of the game and not viable in serious combat. Are they right though?
The trident, arguably, is actually one of the best weapons in Minecraft if you know what you’re doing with it. Sure, its base damage isn’t super high compared to enchanted swords and bows, but it has a lot of other cool features that some would say make it even better than the standard Minecraft weapons. It can prove useful when adventuring on OneBlock, or decorating your character on Minecraft creative servers. If you’re eager to know more, be sure to stick around, as we’re going to jump straight into talking about this unique weapon and all its quirks.
Obtaining a trident
Tridents can only be obtained as rare drops from drowned, and their scarcity is perhaps why you don’t see them used very often. Even though drowned have a 6.25% chance of spawning with a trident in Minecraft Java Edition, only 8.5% of them will actually drop the trident on death, making the process of obtaining one quite time-consuming. Believe us though, it’s worth it.
Melee and ranged attacks
One of the best things about the trident is that it can be used for both melee attacks and ranged attacks, making it an incredibly versatile weapon. A melee attack that strikes an entity will deal 9 points of damage (13 if it’s a critical hit), and a ranged attack will do 8 points of damage.
These values are on par with the base damage values for diamond axes, so they’re actually really good. You may be wondering then, why are tridents not used very often? Well, it’s because of the lack of power-enhancing enchantments. Swords and axes can both be enchanted with Sharpness, while bows can be enchanted with Power, boosting damage output dramatically against any and all mobs. Simply put, the trident falls short here, which is why it’s often overlooked.
Tridents actually have a bunch of really cool enchantments that may just make up for the lack of Sharpness and Power. Everyone’s opinion is different, so let’s go over them, and we’ll see what you think.
Impaling is a fantastic enchantment that causes a trident to deal extra damage to aquatic mobs. At enchantment level V, Impaling does 12.5 points of extra damage per hit, which is just incredible. Sure, this won’t be useful for oneblock skyblock PvP encounters, but if you’re exploring an ocean monument and want to take down those pesky guardians more easily, a trident with Impaling V is going to be so much more useful than an enchanted sword or axe.
A big issue with standard tridents is that you have to go and pick them up after they're thrown, but the Loyalty enchantment removes that problem entirely. It's perhaps one of the most important enchantments to put on your trident, as it causes the weapon to always come back to you after being thrown. Pretty cool, right? The speed at which the trident returns also depends on the level of enchantment, so make sure to get as high a level as possible so you’re not waiting around for ages.
Channeling is a unique enchantment that causes thunder to strike down on a mob hit by a thrown trident during a thunderstorm. It isn’t hugely helpful in standard combat because of how situational using the enchantment is, but when things line up just right, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
On top of the 8 points of damage dealt by a thrown trident, lightning strikes deal 5 points of damage, and even set targets on fire, making the channeling enchantment super lethal in the right hands. If anyone claims the trident is weak, challenge them to a fight in a thunderstorm and see what they think after you absolutely obliterate them.
Riptide is another one of the trident’s unique enchantments and offers a means of fast transportation for players. When you throw a trident with the riptide enchantment whilst in water or in rainy weather, you get launched with it, flying across the sky basically as if you were the trident yourself. If you have an elytra on, you'll even be able to propel yourself through the sky without having to worry about fall damage! The functionality is limited here though because as soon as you reach an area where there's no rainfall, your enchantment won't work.
Though the Riptide enchantment may only seem helpful for travelling around your Minecraft world, it's actually really useful for closing the distance between you and a target. Also, if you collide with your target after flying through the air, the trident will deal damage to them, and you'll be able to follow up with a quick melee attack if you're fast enough. It's not the easiest trick to pull off, but with enough practice, you'll be able to do it consistently.
Unbreaking and mending
Because tridents have relatively low durability, it’s recommended that you put the Unbreaking and Mending enchantments on yours to keep it battle-ready for longer. Unbreaking will reduce the rate at which the weapon deteriorates, while Mending will repair it slightly every time you gain experience points. Without Mending, the only way to repair a trident is to combine it with another trident, so it’s definitely an enchantment worth getting to make your life easier.
So, is the trident worth using?
Though tridents may not be the objectively best weapons in Minecraft, it’s undeniable that they will dominate in particular situations. Aquatic mobs will be no match for you any time of day, and if you get into a fight during a thunderstorm, you’ll have an incredible advantage. If you have a spare inventory slot, it’s always a good idea to take a trident with you wherever you go, as you never know when it might come in handy and help you annihilate unsuspecting foes.