How to breathe underwater in Minecraft

Don't hold your breath for the answer.

Image via Mojang

Breathing underwater is a useful tool to have in Minecraft. Some of a world’s greatest treasures and deepest caves might be locked underwater beyond the range of normal breathing.

The ocean presents an excellent exploration opportunity for those who can brave the deepest depths. Before you start on the epic world conquest you’ve planned, you’ll want to be able to face the water with no fear.

It’s not as easy as simply jumping in and holding your breath, though. If you want to prevent yourself from taking damage or even dying under the water’s surface, you’ll need to increase the time you can stay underwater. Thankfully, there are a few ways in which enterprising players can better equip themselves to take on the waves.

Method No. 1: Potion of Water Breathing

The most obvious way to increase your time spent underwater is to craft and use a Potion of Water Breathing. It’s not the easiest method, but it does grant the longest uninterrupted extension of underwater breathing time. (Note that you’ll need to have access to the Nether to make Potions of Water Breathing.)

First, make or find a Crafting Table out of Wood Planks. From there, combine one Blaze Rod (obtainable in the Nether) and three Cobblestones to create a Brewing Station, another type of crafting block that allows you to brew potions.

Once you’ve placed the Brewing Station, turn another Blaze Rod into Blaze Powder to power its brewing powers. Place a Water Bottle in any of the three potion slots at the bottom of the mechanism, then put a Nether Wart in the top box. The resulting mix should be an Awkward Potion, which should be left alone in the Brewing Stand. Placing a Puffer Fish in the top box and waiting for it to brew will result in the transformation of the Awkward Potion into a Potion of Water Breathing. Players who want to stay underwater for as long as possible can add a Redstone to the completed potion to extend its duration.

Simply drink the potion before entering the water to prevent yourself from taking breathing-related damage while under the water for three minutes (the regular Potion of Water Breathing) or eight minutes (the extended Potion of Water Breathing). This doesn’t stop you from taking damage from mobs or other underwater forces, however.

Method No. 2: Turtle Shell helmet

Equipping a helmet called the Turtle Shell enables the player to breathe underwater for 10 seconds longer than the normal duration. The timer can be refreshed instantly by surfacing or breathing air. To craft a Turtle Shell, you’ll need five Scutes, a mob material that’s only dropped by baby turtles when they grow into adult turtles. Turtles are passive and can be found in beach biomes.

After collecting five Scutes, place them in the usual helmet formation on a Crafting Table to turn them into a Turtle Shell. Equipping the Turtle Shell as a helmet grants the effect instantly.

Method No. 3: Conduits

A conduit is a special type of block that grants huge buffs to any players within its radius and attacks nearby hostile mobs. Conduits can only be placed underwater in Conduit Housing, but they give players underwater night vision, increase their underwater mining speed by 16.7 percent, and, most importantly, grant unlimited underwater breathing.

Crafting a Conduit requires eight Nautilus Shells and one Heart of the Sea, all of which are found underwater. Drowned can potentially spawn with a Nautilus Shell in their hand, which they will drop on death. Nautilus Shells can also be found while fishing or from wandering traders. Heart of the Sea can only be found in buried treasure, which can be located in ocean ruins or shipwrecks with the help of a treasure map.

Once you’ve obtained eight Nautilus Shells and one Heart of the Sea, simply use a crafting table to place the Heart of the Sea in the center area and surround it with the Nautilus Shells. The resulting item will be a Conduit, which can then be placed within Conduit Housing and will grant its unlimited underwater breathing buff.