How to Use Minecraft's Elytra

Now you can fly in Minecraft

Have you ever wanted to fly in Minecraft but could only do it in the Creative game mode? With Elytra, you can't necessarily fly, but you can get pretty close.

What Are Elytra?

Minecraft screenshot

Elytra is an item placed in the chest plate slot that allows you to glide and travel long distances without touching the ground. To initiate the flight, when your character in the game is falling, you must jump while in the air. Elytra can be found in Minecraft’s End Cities. Elytra can also be found hanging in an Item Frame on an End Ship.

If you jump off of a high ledge and go directly down to the ground, you will take fall damage due to the velocity at which you are traveling. If you glide slightly downwards, you will gain speed and be able to travel longer distances.

When you are gliding and heading upward, you will stall and begin to fall, losing your distance and height. You are not able to jump and directly begin flying upwards. The best practice for flying is to jump from a high place to gain distance between you and the ground immediately.

Trying to keep your character in the air for as long as possible by finding your perfect position and direction for flying is no easy task, but practice makes perfect. Learning how to properly fly and stay in the air is very beneficial when using your Elytra.

The Fun and Benefits

Maybe you’re bored, or maybe you’re trying to get somewhere, or maybe you’re in danger and trying to fly out of it.

In our Minecraft single-player world, we generally use Redstone Rails to travel around. After the addition of the Elytra, we have nearly eliminated using Redstone Rails altogether. We’ve found that it’s more efficient to get to the highest place and travel straight to the destination with an Elytra, versus heading through tunnels with twists and turns.

While a walk from one side of your island to the other may take two minutes, if you can get to a high enough place and start gliding in the direction you need to go, you can get to your desired destination much faster.

We’ve found that the Elytra is also a wonderful cure for any potential boredom you may have in Minecraft. Instead of aimlessly walking around in your world, you can now fly and create goals for yourself. The first goal we created that we wanted to complete was to fly from the highest point of my world to an almost equally high point that’s around 150 blocks away. We’ve found that it’s nearly impossible, but we keep trying because we continuously keep getting closer and closer.

Another benefit of the Elytra is the potential for it to save your life in an unexpected situation. Maybe you’re walking on a mountain top and a Skeleton or a Creeper decides they want to be the king of the hill. If a mob were to throw you off a high cliff, all you would need to do is initiate the gliding mechanic of the Elytra, and you’d almost be guaranteed to take no fall damage.


Like most items that are used, Elytra have durability. An Elytra has a durability of 431 points. The durability of an Elytra will decrease by one point for every second it is being used in flight. When the durability of the Elytra reaches 1 point, it will stop working completely. Instead of completely breaking and not being able to be used anymore, the Elytra can actually be repaired.

To repair an Elytra, put two Elytra together on a Crafting Table. The shared points between the two Elytra will be added together and will be combined into one Elytra.

Obtaining two Elytra can be very painful, so this second method is a much better solution to repairing your broken flyer. Combining an Elytra and Leather on an Anvil will also repair the damaged Elytra. Each Leather added to the Elytra will add 108 points of durability.

To completely repair a fully damaged Elytra, you will need to use 4 Leather. Obtaining Leather would be much easier than it would be to get a second Elytra, as you can get it from Cows in the main world versus searching all over the End Cities and End Ships fighting Enderman and other mobs. Players are able to breed Cows and kill them for Leather, allowing for a much easier and accessible solution.

Adding Enchantments

Like most worn items, you may add Enchantments to your Elytra through the use of an Anvil with an Enchantment Book. Enchanted items gain additional properties that will benefit the player upon use. The available Enchantments that may be added to an Elytra are Unbreaking and Mending.

The Unbreaking Enchantment gives the item a longer lifetime until its breaking point. The higher the level of the Enchantment given to the item, the longer it will last. The Unbreaking Enchantment is applied to each point of durability.

The Enchantment Mending uses a player’s own XP to increase an item’s durability. An item with the Mending Enchantment uses XP orbs collected to repair an item. For each orb that is collected while the Elytra has the Mending Enchantment, 2 points of durability will be added to the Elytra if the item is being held in an armor slot, in the offhand, or in the main hand.

While this Enchantment is great for repairing an Elytra, using the Leather to repair your item may be more beneficial. Mending puts all of the XP orbs that you would have put towards your character’s level towards repairing your item instead.


Many players absolutely love the design of their capes from MineCon or their personal capes that have been given to them by Mojang. When wearing an Elytra with a cape, the cape is removed from your character and is replaced with a colored variant designed around the specific cape you have been given. If a player does not have a cape, their default color of Elytra is a grey variant.

You can change the appearance of your Elytra using Minecraft resource packs or Minecraft mods.

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