Taking Inventory: Chestplate

Protect your vitals!

Wow, Minecraft has a lot of different bits of armour, doesn’t it? In other games you just have one thing called “Armour” but in Minecraft there are helmets, leggings, boots, shields, and my favourite of all–turtle shells. Thank heavens that horse armour is a bit simpler. But there’s one key piece of player armour that we haven’t covered yet – and it’s finally time. Introducing our item of the week–the chestplate.

Like most of the other bits of armour that you can make, the chestplate was added very early in the game’s lifespan – in February 2010, before we started giving updates clever names like “The Update Aquatic” or “The Update That Changed The World”. This update was called “Java Edition Indev 20100212-1”. Glad we got better at that. This update, incidentally, also added the Sun and the Moon to Minecraft – presumably so that people could finally see the fancy armour that other players were wearing and want some of their own.

Want some of your own? It’s easy! Grab eight bits of leather, gold or iron ingots, or diamonds, and fill up a 3x3 crafting grid with a gap in the middle at the top to shove your head through. Then just use the resulting chestpiece to put it on. Told you it was easy. If you can’t find any ingredients, you can also sometimes steal a chestplate off a zombie, skeleton, vindicator or pillager, or find one in a chest. Villagers sometimes sell chestplates too.

The point of a chestplate is to protect you from damage. You get three defense points for a leather one, five for gold or chainmail, six for iron, and eight for diamond or netherite. A netherite chestplate also provides 10% resistance to knockback.  Defense points stack with those given by other armour items, and reduce the damage you take when something bad happens.

But every hit that the armour takes will damage it, and different types of armour can take different amounts of damage before being destroyed. Leather has a durability of 80, gold has 112, chainmail and iron are at 240, diamond at 528, and netherite at a whopping 592. If your chestplate is damaged, it can be repaired in an anvil with the same material you used to craft it (and iron for chainmail).

Finally, we should quickly talk about enchantments. Chestplates can be enchanted with many of the same things that other armour pieces can – protection to boost defense, as well as specific blast, projectile or fire protection – which are all mutually exclusive. Thorns, Mending, Unbreaking are options too. As well as the curses of binding and vanishing if you’re unlucky.

In the real world, body armour dates back to before humans started writing things down. The first mention of it that we’ve found in history is in the Stele of the Vultures – a monument from about 2500BC, which depicts battle scenes with soldiers wearing armour. 

Armour became more important in battle as weapons technology improved, all the way up to the Middle Ages when Medieval and Renaissance knights would ride into battle clad in full plate armour, atop their armoured horses. But eventually, guns were invented and no armour could fully protect the user, so most soldiers began to value mobility over protection, wearing less armour so they could get out of a bad situation faster.

Today, chestplates are still worn in some circumstances – sometimes for merely ceremonial reasons, where the chestplate is valued for its appearance over its protection. But modern bulletproof vests are also worn by soldiers, police officers and security guards. So chestplates are very much still in fashion among those who value a little extra safety in a dangerous situation.

In Minecraft, players are often in a dangerous situation. So we recommend you wear the best chestplate you can obtain at all times. Better safe than sorry, right?

Duncan Geere
Written By
Duncan Geere