Minecraft's Elytra Is Awesome!

Have you ever wanted to fly in Minecraft, but you couldn't? Now you can.

Have you ever wanted to fly in Minecraft, but could only do it in the Creative gamemode? With Mojang’s newest update to their game, you’re able to not necessarily fly, but you can get pretty close. In this article, we’ll be discussing why Minecraft’s Elytra is awesome! Let's get right into it!

What Are Elytra?

Minecraft

Elytra are one of Minecraft’s newest items and were recently added into the game alongside the 1.9 Combat Update. Elytra can be found in Minecraft’s new biome, End Cities. Elytra can also be found hanging in an Item Frame on an End Ship. While it may be very difficult to get your hands on, Elytra are definitely worth the fight to gain access to. This new item gives players the ability to do various tasks we only imagined were possible and brings Minecraft’s potential for new and exciting ways to play even closer that we could have thought.

On October 5, 2015, Tommaso Checchi (a Mojang employee who is currently working on the Minecraft: Pocket Edition version of the game) tweeted about this update, comparing it to a similar concept found in Super Mario 64. The concept being referenced is Mario’s cap that allows for flight. Elytra, while not being an item wore on your head like Mario’s cap, is an item placed in the chestplate slot that will allow players to glide and to travel long distances without touching the ground. To initiate the flight of your Elytra, when your character in game is falling, players must jump while in the air.

When gliding, players will use their momentum gained to travel. If a player jumps off of a high enough ledge and goes directly down to the ground, they will take fall damage due to the velocity at which they are travelling. When a player is gliding heading slightly downwards, players will gain speed and be able to travel longer distances. When a player is gliding and heading upward, players will stall and begin to fall, losing their distance and height. Players 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, maybe you’re trying to get somewhere, maybe you’re in danger and you’re trying to fly out of it. This item is potentially the most useful addition to Minecraft yet, giving players many uses while having one primary purpose.

Finding these benefits are generally found by the player on their own while messing around. In my Minecraft single player world, I generally use my Redstone Rails to travel around. After the addition of the Elytra, I have nearly eliminated using my Redstone Rails altogether. I’ve found that it’s more efficient to get to the highest place and travel straight to my 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.

I’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 I created that I 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. I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible, but I keep trying because I 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 decide 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 (provided you’re wearing the Elytra when you fall).

Durability

Like most items that are used, Elytra have a durability. An Elytra has a durability of 431 points. The durability of an Elytra will decrease 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, players may put two Elytra together in a Crafting Table. When the two Elytra are put together in 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 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, players may add Enchantments to their Elytra through the use of an Anvil with an Enchantment Book. When a player gives an item an Enchantment, the Enchanted item will gain new 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 in which the Enchantment is applied to a longer lifetime until it’s 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.

Capes

While many players absolutely love the design of their capes from MineCon or their personal capes that have been given to them by Mojang specifically, Minecraft developers thought of a solution. 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. The image featured was posted by Mojang’s Lead Creative Designer, Jens Bergensten, on Reddit to show players the opportunities with capes and Elytra.

A feature that would be a wonderful addition to Minecraft would be the ability to customize your Elytra the same way that you would be able to customize a skin. Clearly, the opportunity to customize your Elytra through the use of capes is currently available, but the potential to be able to fully design it yourself would be very artistic and have many positives. Players tend to love the ability to customize their characters in video games, so the ability to customize your Elytra (even if you do not have a cape) would more than likely be very accepted and embraced by the Minecraft community.

In Conclusion

Elytra are a great addition to Minecraft. Whether you’re wanting to have fun and cure your boredom, fly to a new place, or show off your already fascinating capes in a new, butterfly type of way, this new item should surely do the trick. As previously mentioned in the article, the Elytra is potentially the most useful item in Minecraft, yet.

The Elytra brings new challenges to Minecraft that have yet to be fully explored. The potential for new and exciting custom maps, mini-games, ideas for projects involving servers and goals for players to set for themselves is much more endless than it already was. Even something as simple as adding a set of wings to Minecraft can completely change the way the video game is played, viewed and experienced.

The Elytra has potential to be an essential aspect of the Minecraft game mode Survival. When players begin to use an item so much that they depend on it for certain aspects of gameplay, you can plainly see why the item will be a necessity. When a player doesn’t use a Diamond sword, when being used to having one, they immediately will search out the resources to craft their hacking and slashing companion. The Elytra has the potential to be sought out by players to make Minecraft not only easier, but more fun.