Dolphins are your best friends when out in the open waters of Minecraft. Not only are they able to grant buffs and perks to players in the water, but they can also lead you to hidden treasure.
With their helpfulness and adorably playful personalities we’ve all naturally wondered: How can you tame and ride them? After all, we know how to ride Llamas, Horses, and even Pigs! So what about Dolphins?
The sad and short answer is: No. dolphins cannot be tamed or ridden in Minecraft.
Though there’s plenty of other things dolphins can help you out with.
Where to Find Dolphins in Minecraft
Dolphins are neutral Mobs that spawn in almost all ocean biomes, with the exceptions being frozen and cold oceans.
They never spawn alone and can always be found in pods of at least 3, to a maximum of 5 dolphins. They don’t spawn in deep waters and exclusively appear between Y levels between 50 and 64, only 14 blocks of depth.
In Bedrock Edition there is also a small chance that there will be Baby Dolphin within the pod (around 10%).
The easiest way to find them is taking a boat to open water. Eventually you are bound to see or hear a couple of dolphins while they swim and leap out from the water.
Friends at Sea
If you get out of a boat in Minecraft close to a dolphin you will be immediately granted a buff, given you are not affected by invisibility.
Dolphin’s Grace is a status effect granted by dolphins that makes any player swim faster if they are sprint swimming. To get the effect you simply have to be in the water and within 9 blocks of a dolphin.
Additionally, while you swim the dolphins will follow you, continuously granting the buff.
This effect makes you move faster than riding a boat and it stacks with enchantments like depth strider.
In Java Edition you can check if the effect is still active by opening up your inventory and looking for the little dolphin icon. In Bedrock you get the same boost, but it won’t show up as a status effect.
Using Dolphins to Find Treasure in Minecraft
Not only are they able to help you swim faster, but dolphins know many secrets of the ocean.
Feeding a dolphin, sadly, doesn’t tame them or help breed them.
It does, however, help you gain their ‘trust’. When a dolphin is fed raw salmon or raw cod you will see it quickly swim off into the distance.
If you follow after it, they will lead you to the nearest shipwreck, ocean ruin or buried treasure.
You can use their help continuously in order to seek out treasures. After being fed a dolphin will be locating the chests inside these areas. So if you break the chests the dolphin will simply lead you off to the next one.
It will also stray away from dangers such as guardians and elder guardians. This means you’ll be safe, but you won’t be finding any ocean temples this way.
Keeping Dolphins as Pets in Minecraft
Dolphins cannot be tamed or bred, sadly, but that won’t stop us from making the best of it!
Just like with polar bears and many other mobs, dolphins can also be lead with a lead and transported. If you read our article on how to build a zoo you can see we have different ways of keeping all kinds of mobs as pets.
We can do something similar with dolphins as well.
For a dolphin exhibit, making an aquarium may be the perfect thing. I love building large aquariums inside my bases and often fill them up with all kinds of coral, fish, and turtles, so a dolphin would be a perfect addition.
The difficult part with keeping dolphins, however, isn’t leading them back to your base, albeit that is difficult enough. Unlike fish they cannot be put inside a bucket.
They are best lead with a regular lead, but the hard part is keeping them inside the aquarium.
Dolphins need to breathe air, but they also cannot be outside of water for long. This means their aquarium has to be open so they can leap out and breathe, but it has to prevent them from jumping out onto land.
If you go with a standard large aquarium or zoo-like exhibit, the easiest thing would be to build walls tall enough to prevent the dolphins from jumping over them.
Alternatively, if that doesn’t suit your fancy, you can place the tank somewhere within a thick wall. Even better if your base is underground.
This way you can see them swim around in your decorated aquarium, probably with whatever other sea life you’ve placed them with, all the while you don’t have to worry about them hopping out and suffocating outside on land.