Genre: Open-World-Survival
Studio: Mojang
Publisher: Mojang
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Rent a server
Genre: Open-World-Survival
Studio: Mojang
Publisher: Mojang

Minecraft Respiration and Breathing Underwater

When it comes to exploring the world in Minecraft, water breathing is one of the most frequent roadblocks in your path. The deep waters of rivers, lakes and oceans contain many different mobs such as guardians and squids, but going into these watery depths bears risk of its own. Just like in real life, remaining underwater for too long costs air and can lead to drowning if done for too long. However, Minecraft gives its players a few tricks to survive a while longer while underwater.

Overview Minecraft Respiration:

  • necessary to avoid drowning
  • can be achieved through potions, enchantments and equipment
  • the conduit is the best option for breathing underwater

The Minecraft Respiration Enchantment

This helmet enchantment extends underwater breathing endurance by 15 seconds per enchantment level. This is especially useful for shipwreck searches, underwater monuments and mining underwater.  Keep in mind that the enchantment has 3 levels which add time to your basic underwater breathing time of 15 seconds. Additionally, the enchantment adds a chance of not taking drowning damage once your air supply runs out. This chance grows with the enchantment level, resulting in a 75% chance of reducing that damage to 0 at 3rd level. 

Respiration is relatively easy to achieve, either through the enchantment table or enchanted books. Also, mobs can drop helmets with respiration already on them. Additionally, villagers and piglins may barter with you for one such helmet. All in all, MC respiration is a fantastic tool for all that wish to explore the watery depths of the Minecraft world, especially since you can use the helmet indefinitely. However, a maximum of 60 seconds before drowning is still a bit short.

Potions that Avert a Minecraft Drowning Incident

For the maximum underwater breathing effect, certain potions are very useful. Naturally, the potion of water breathing (often also referred to as the underwater breathing potion) and its extended variant are the most adept at prolonging your life under water. Even the mob most adept at brewing, the witch, uses this potion when going underwater. Simply combine an awkward potion with a pufferfish and your underwater breathing potion is done. Add some redstone dust if you want to extend the effect. A basic potion allows you to breathe underwater for 3 minutes, while the extended variant gives you 8 minutes. As you can see, while these potions are a bit more cost-heavy, they allow you to stay underwater for much longer.

  • 1x awkward potion + 1x pufferfish = 1x underwater breathing potion


For aquatic mobs, these potions have the same effect while on land. This means that you can save mobs like tropical fish and squids from drowning on land.

Equipment with Minecraft Respiration-like Effects

Besides enchantments and potions, there is a third option for Minecraft water breathing. Minecraft offers some equipment parts that already have the ability to make you breathe underwater. One such part is the turtle helmet. To obtain it, you need 5 scutes, which you can only get from baby turtles that grow into adult turtles. For tips on how to breed turtles, check out our guide on breeding. Once you have enough scutes, you can combine them into a turtle shell helmet:

  • 5x scute = 1x turtle shell helmet

While not being especially defensive, the turtle shell helmet gives you a flat out 10 second time increase for breathing underwater. Minecraft still has some surprises left though.

Unlimited Breathing

The best gear you can bring into the water depths is definitely the conduit. This little device creates a sphere with the conduit effect active for all players inside that are underwater or in contact with rain. The effect not only allows players to breathe underwater indefinitely, it also gives you night vision and increases your mining speed. And that is still not all: the conduit automatically attacks all enemies that come too close. Now, if you want to craft one such item, you will have to put some time and effort into it, although we guarantee that it is worth it:

  • 8x nautilus shell + 1x heart of the sea = 1x conduit

While nautilus shells are easy to get, being dropped by drowned, a heart of the sea is an entirely different story. Hearts of the sea are only found in buried treasure chests, which in turn can only be found by using an explorer map – unless you want to blindly search entire beach biomes to find it. Explorer maps are usually sold by cartographers in your village, provided they are at least apprentice level. So, before you blindly storm into a guardian’s lair, gear up with a conduit to maximize your chances of survival.


When it comes to battle within the ocean, a trident enchanted with impaling does wonders against aquatic mobs.

Conclusion: Minecraft Respiration

While the Minecraft overworld holds many secrets and fantastic locations, the deep seas are often unexplored. The constant threat of drowning is just too much for many players and that is understandable. But if you are armed with the right tools for the job, swimming in the ocean and exploring the seas becomes a fascinating thing to do. All you have to do is to upgrade your Minecraft respiration options and there you go. If you have also become interested in looking at the world from a different angle, you should do so on a Minecraft server from G-Portal. So get to exploring the seven seas and be safe from Davy Jones’ locker!

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