What does Respiration do in Minecraft

Hold your breath!

Wearing a Helmet with Respiration in Minecraft

Screenshot by Gamepur

While several Minecraft Enchantments are self-explanatory in their names, some, such as Respiration, can be somewhat tricky to understand regarding their functionality. If you are familiar with terminology from studying biology, then you will likely recognize “respiration” as the process of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. In other words, it involves the simple act of breathing. Likewise, the Respiration Enchantment is related to breathing, but beginners might need clarification about what enhancement their character might need for breathing.

Related: How to get a sponge in Minecraft

How to use the Respiration Enchantment in Minecraft

Swimming underwater in Minecraft
Screenshot by Gamepur

The Respiration Enchantment in Minecraft increases the amount of time your character can hold their breath while underwater. When you dive underwater, you notice a bubble bar above your hunger meter. Every few moments, a bubble will pop. Over the course of 15 seconds, your character will begin to take damage from drowning. However, whenever you are equipped with Respiration, 15 seconds will be added to your default 15-second limit, resulting in 30 seconds of possible held breath. This number increases as you obtain higher levels of this Enchantment. You can refer to the table below for more details:

Enchantment LevelBreath-Holding Duration
Level 1+15 seconds (30 seconds total)
Level 2+30 seconds (45 seconds total)
Level 3+45 seconds (60 seconds total)

It should be noted that only helmets in Minecraft can be enchanted with Respiration. Additionally, wearing a turtle shell with Respiration will increase its enhancement by 10 seconds. While 10 seconds might not sound like a lot, this short amount of time can be the difference between life and death when attempting to surface after exploring an ocean floor ruin

Related: How to use an Observer in Minecraft

Using the Respiration Enchantment underwater in Minecraft
Screenshot by Gamepur

Some players might confuse the Respiration Enchantment with Aqua Affinity, which increases underwater mining speed, or Water Breathing, a status effect that removes the need to hold your breath underwater. For clarification, drinking a Potion of Water Breathing will allow you to explore underwater areas without worrying about needing air. However, once the effect is gone, you must refresh it with another potion. On the other hand, Respiration will be available permanently as long as you are wearing the helmet with the Enchantment.