The End in Minecraft, along with all of its “endgame” content is something everyone strives to reach in the game.
One of the greatest rewards within the End, after defeating the Ender Dragon, is finding an Elytra.
This highly sought after Item is the only Item in the game that can provide players the ability of partial flight. It is rare and hard to find. But once you find it, how do you use an Elytra in Minecraft?
What is an Elytra?
An Elytra is a wearable tool that can be equipped in place of a chest piece of Armor that allows partial flight in Minecraft. They are the only in-game Item that gives such an ability in Survival Mode.
The only other way to fly is by using Creative Mode.
Elytras look similar to butterfly or moth wings when worn. They hang from the player’s back similar to a cape and can even be customized and colored to fit your style.
Because they are such a rare endgame Item it is important to know how to use them properly and keep them fixed. They can also be enchanted to last longer.
The only way to get a hold of the Elytra is by finding the End City in the End, particularly in an End Ship, the only place where they naturally generate. To get there you will have to defeat the Ender Dragon and find an End City first. Luckily, there is plenty of loot on the way.
They can be found inside End Ships, protected by Shulkers. There’s only one per End Ship, mounted on a wall inside an Item Frame.
Using the Elytra
Once you have your Elytra, you can equip it in your Chest Armor slot inside your Inventory.
To use the Elytra you have to first find a spot high enough and press the jump button while you are already falling. This will open up the Elytra.
You will see that rather than flying the same way as you do in Creative mode, you are essentially gliding. This is why I suggest using it from a greater height when learning how to use an Elytra.
While gliding you will find out that gliding downwards will increase your speed, but you can also glide upwards and to the sides. Doing so will greatly slow down your movement speed in the air, but it can save you from colliding with the ground.
Overall, the speed and flying mechanics work very similarly to the mechanics of a real life gliders. They work like physics.
Colliding with any terrain while using the Elytra will result in you taking damage or even death, depending on the speed of flying.
You can land safely though if you allow yourself to slow down by taking sharper turns in a circular motion.
Extending Flight Time
Because you aren’t actively flying, but rather gliding, you cannot really fly indefinitely. Overtime your speed and altitude may decrease enough for you to eventually be forced to land.
In order to fly longer and faster, there are a few tricks you can use.
The most commonly seen way of flying for long distances with an Elytra are Fireworks. Using a Firework Rocket while gliding with the Elytra will increase your speed in the direction of the fired Rocket.
You can use a Trident with the Riptide Enchantment the same way.
This is called powered flight. Keep in mind that if your Firework Rockets are equipped with Firework Stars, they can damage you.
Also keep in mind that the Riptide Enchantment may only be used underwater or in Rain.
Regardless, this is still a very reliable and often used way of transportation in Minecraft.
Enchanting and Repairing
The Elytra on its own is a pretty durable item. It provides over 7 minutes worth of non-stop flying without any Enchantments or repairing done.
This means that in a single flight you could technically cross over 10,000 blocks. It doesn’t seem like a lot at first, but it is in fact quite a distance you can cross in just 7 minutes.
However, Enchantments can be put on the Elytra to make it last longer and keep its durability.
The applicable Enchantments are the Mending and Unbreaking Enchantment. Respectively, one allows the Elytra to repair itself over a period of time by collecting Experience Particles and the other slows the durability from going down as fast.
Curse of Binding and Curse of Vanishing can also affect an Elytra, but they’re not recommended to be put on one.
Additionally, the Elytra, like every other Tool and piece of Armor, can be repaired at an Anvil to restore its durability.
This however, is easier said than done. In order to repair anything in Minecraft, usually you need an identical Item. The Elytra is a bit different.
The Elytra never truly breaks. Instead, when it reaches durability 1 it becomes unusable and takes on a crumpled up look. It never truly breaks.
This can be countered with the previously mentioned Enchantments or Phantom Membranes.
Phantom Membranes can only be obtained by killing Phantoms, which only appear when the Player goes multiple nights without sleep.
It isn’t as hard as finding another Elytra to fix your already existing one, but you definitely have to put in quite a bit of work and there is a risk in fighting Phantoms. You will need a total of 4 Phantom Membranes to fix your Elytra from broken to full durability.
Additionally, there is an extremely low chance that your tamed Cat brings you a Phantom Membrane as a gift.