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How to Get Better at PvP in Minecraft

Posted: Jul 21, 2023 in Minecraft

mc head By Kevin Lott


Minecraft is one of those games that thrive in its simple yet masterful design. In almost every facet of the game, it is somehow entirely approachable with no experience yet deep enough that those willing to invest the time are rewarded with a bounty of content. When it comes to the combat of the game, it is no different. While it may seem that Minecraft’s combat is too simplistic for any meaningful progress to be made, that would be entirely wrong! Housing a simple design but a massive skill ceiling, Minecraft combat has a lot of factors to it, all of which require different skills and mechanics to be utilized. Today, we’ll be going over some ways you can up your PvP game in Minecraft.

Minecraft Combat Update

The Version Mismatch

Unfortunately, PvP is split into two categories, which makes a ‘guide’ or useful tips obsolete depending on which version you play. This is because update 1.9 completely reworked combat on a fundamental level, and not necessarily for the better. It’s almost a 50/50 split on whether the community actually likes or dislikes the rework. Because of this, the competitive community has two sides. Pre 1.9 (aka 1.8 Combat) and Post 1.9 (aka Modern Combat). The bulk of this advice should be useful in both versions, but some tips will be exclusive to one or the other. With that out of the way, let’s begin!

Improve your CPS! (1.8)

Okay, despite the acronym, we’re not talking about child protective services. Rather, we’re discussing clicks per second. When playing in 1.8 combat, the game can register roughly two hits per second. This means that clicking a little above two times per second should be ideal for optimizing your DPS (damage per second) when constantly attacking the enemy. 1-3 CPS is considered slow, 4-7 CPS is considered moderate, and anything higher is considered ideal. This is because if you click more times per second than your opponent, there is a higher likelihood of hitting slightly earlier than them, probably by around 1/10th of a second.

Clicking like a madman and landing all of your hits on the player will allow you to begin to get more ‘reach’ on them. This is because sprinting ‘breaks’ when you hit somebody and clicking fast allows you to reengage sprinting and attacking sooner. The reason is that when you click incredibly fast and your sprint breaks you automatically begin to space yourself out from the other player. If you combine this incredibly fast clicking with other PvP techniques, you begin to pull off some very potent combos. Some players use these techniques to exploit positional desync because of how far you can launch the player. While I say all of this, I do not recommend valuing CPS over accuracy, so if clicking fast is at the expense of your mouse accuracy, decide for yourself if it is necessary.

W-Tapping (1.8)

Because of the sprint ‘break’ that we discussed above, you will constantly lose your sprint when fighting in intense PvP. This is because landing a hit in Minecraft while sprinting will stop you from sprinting. To circumvent this, some players have chosen to hold down the sprint button while tapping the forward movement key as opposed to the opposite. While this assuredly leads to slightly slower movement speed, it allows for the constant resetting of sprinting.

But why reset sprint? Well, attacks while sprinting have benefits over normal attacks. With both increased knockback and decreased knockback taken, sprinting in general is super important.

Fishing Rod!? (1.8 & Modern)

Minecraft Fishing Rod

The Fishing Rod is a surprisingly potent tool when it comes to high-level PvP for reasons you may not expect. Ranged combat in PvP is fairly strong, but using a bow requires you to draw the shot preemptively mid-combat, which is extremely dangerous. If you’re ever being pursued or see an incoming enemy that has more momentum than you, a great tactic is to use a fishing rod to apply some base knockback and halt their advance.

The Fishing Rod can be used instantly upon being drawn and has considerable range as well as a fairly large hitbox on the hook. You can then chain the ‘rodding’ attack into a normal attack with your weapon. While this strategy is more effective on 1.8 combat it certainly works in modern iterations of PvP to a smaller degree. This is because in modern PvP, there is a timer before you can perform your max damage attack with your weapon once you draw it, so switching back and forth between different tools is not optimal.

Axes are an option! (Modern)

Netherite Axe

Unlike in 1.8 combat, modern PvP has more than one option when it comes to viable melee. The Axe has some unique aspects to it that allow for it to become an option that has its own quirks and abilities. When using an Axe in PvP, you will have a decreased attack rate with increased damage. Because of how the math adds up, you end up having lower DPS but higher damage per hit.

But if the DPS is lower, doesn’t that mean this weapon ends up weaker in the long run? Well, yes and no. Fortunately, axes have a passive that causes them to disable shields for a brief period. This allows you to get hits in on your opponent that you otherwise would not have gotten. The stun also limits their movement. This ability also leads into some fairly advanced meta-gameplay where the mere presence of an axe in your hand causes your opponent to act in certain ways. At the high level, they are both aware and cautious of the stun and will do their best to avoid it, potentially making them a more predictable fighter when they otherwise wouldn’t be against a sword.

As a final tip, disabling the opponent’s shield allows you to immediately follow up using a crossbow that has been preloaded, or allows for a follow-up from a teammate.


Alright, that’s all I got! Minecraft PvP is surprisingly deep, and pretty much has infinite layers the further you research. Whether you’re playing on old reliable 1.8 or modern PvP servers, there is lots to learn! I am by no means an MLG Pro at Minecraft PvP, but I like to think that I dabble in the bedwars pubs. In any case, I hope you found this assortment of tips useful. With that being said, have a great day!

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