Combat in Minecraft 1.9

Jul 29, 2015

With the first Minecraft 1.9 snapshot due later today, let’s have a look at what we expect to be changing in the way we fight. It is the Combat Update after all!

Dual Wielding?

In the previous post we looked at what people are calling Dual Wielding, which means the ability to hold a weapon in each hand.

However, you won’t be able to leap into battle against the zombies with a sword in each hand. Well you will, but only the sword in your main hand will be any use.


A sword in Minecraft 1.9 has only one action – Attack – triggered by the left mouse button. The old right-button use of swords – Parry – is being removed. So a sword is only useful in the Main hand, and with a sword in your hand, you will be able to use any usable item you have in your Off hand.

What to carry in your off hand then? Food would be useful, or potions, or maybe torches to place as you explore. But how about something a little bit more traditional?


I’ll likely revisit this subject when I can make more pictures, but as this image from Minecon shows, Minecraft 1.9 will allow us to craft shields. What else do we know?

  • shields can be crafted with banners to place your personal design on them.
  • shields will protect you from attacks on the side where you are carrying the shield.
  • you will hear a noise when you successfully parry an attack with your shield.
  • you will be able to carry a shield in each hand for extra protection (“turtling”).


The other main weapon in Minecraft is the Bow, and there are big changes here too. You will be able to craft arrows with potions to add an effect in the tip.

I will at some point have to write about all of the new arrows, but here are some obvious ones to consider.

A potion of harming or poison will make arrows more effective – except against Undead enemies; you’ll want a potion of healing for that! In multiplayer games a potion of healing might be useful for healing your friends.

Another arrow that will be more useful in multiplayer is a Spectral Arrow; if you hit a target with that, they will be surrounded by an outline that you will be able to see, even through walls, even if they have drunk a Potion of Invisibility.

At Minecon, another interesting possibility was discussed; tipping arrows with a potion of Levitation. This would make your enemy fly up in to the air, and they would fall a long way when the effect wore off!

Wait, I hear you say, There’s no Potion of Levitation in Minecraft!

More of that in my next post!