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The best Minecraft Xbox 360 enchantments

A mage's guide to the next Minecraft Xbox 360 update

The next Minecraft Xbox 360 update, title update 7, adds enchantment tables to Minecraft's eternally burgeoning inventory. With the aid of these handy repositories of magical lore, you'll be able to apply a range of bonus effects to the weapons, armour and items in your possession. Fancy a quick guide to the process?

Enchantments are fuelled by experience points, which are obtained by killing enemies, mining certain materials, smelting coal, cooking food and breeding animals. The more experience points you spend when casting an enchantment, the greater the number and power of the effects.

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Assuming the console version takes the same approach as the PC original, enchanting is performed by interacting with an enchantment table, slotting an item into the resulting window, then picking one of three, increasingly XP-intensive options, each of which applies a given number of randomly selected buffs. You'll also be treated to some meaningless text randomly bolted together from the Standard Galactic Alphabet, elsewhere seen in the Commander Keen series. Good old Minecraft in-jokes.

The enchantments themselves range from spells which help with basic resource gathering to spells which procure you a significant advantage in combat. You can increase the efficacy of each enchantment table by surrounding it with bookshelves, as in the picture. I've rounded up a few of the boosts I think will help me more than others - feel free to pick your own favourites from the Minecraft wiki page.

Blast Protection
As the name suggests, this armour enchantment comes in extremely handy when you're caught at point-blank by a Creeper. Some sort of early warning system against impending explosive doom attacks would go nicely with this, 4J. Perhaps you could cobble together a few Xbox-exclusive features with that in mind.

Thorns
Anything that hurts you gets hurt too. Simples. Sadly, there doesn't appear to be a bespoke visual effect for this one.

Knockback
Nobody likes getting bludgeoned or bitten when they're navigating a cliff or walking the high wire over a lava pit, so go right ahead and equip this helpful spell, which increases the distance an enemy travels when you smack it in the kisser. Down you go, Cave Spiders.

Efficiency
Boosts the rate at which you mine materials by up to 250 per cent, given appropriately gigantic handfuls of XP, allowing the industrious craftsman to tunnel straight through a mountain in seconds.

Silk Touch
If you want to collect Ores, Grass, Mycelium, Ice or Huge Mushroom blocks, you'll need Silk Touch. It forces the block you're mining to drop itself as a pick-up, rather than a derivative item. Ergo, mining Stone produces Stone, rather than Cobblestone. Bear in mind that casting Silk Touch on something makes it impossible to enchant the same item with Fortune, which multiplies the drop rate of certain ores.

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Punch
Like Knockback, but for bows. If some Skeleton Archer's giving you bother, use this to punt the meddling beast out of range.

Infinity
An essential enchantment that allows you endlessly reuse one and the same arrow, at least till the bow you're armed with breaks. Couple it with Flame, which sets the target alight, and you'll be able to put down normally arrow-proof Endermen with relative ease.

Read our Minecraft Xbox 360 update guide for more about the next few Minecraft updates. Sounds like we'll need those enchantments down the line - title update 8 introduces the enormously tough Enderdragon to the proceedings.

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