Minecraft Guide: How to Dual Wield on Xbox One?

Photo of author

Leon Cho

Disclaimer: Dual wield in the Bedrock Edition is a lot more limited than the Java Edition. Also dual wielding has its limitations as both hands cannot be used at the same time. The main hand will always take priority when using any items. 

This guide will go over what is dual-wielding, and how you can accomplish this on the Xbox One (Similar on the PC or PS4).

What is Dual Wield?

As its name suggests, Dual wielding is when a player holds two items or blocks. Similar to what you might see when a knight wields both a shield and sword, the same concept is applied here. A lot of role-playing games have incorporated dual-wielding functionalities into their games for more effective and convenient equipment use while in combat.

While the Dual wielding feature was primarily designed for combat, it does have other uses that you may not be aware of. In addition to combat, you can use dual wielding for mining, building, and even eating. However, as noted above, it does have a lot of limitations — especially if you are on the Bedrock version. Learning how to effectively dual wield can definitely give you a big advantage when it comes to increasing productivity and combat.

How to equip an item on your off-hand

The off-hand that is referred to here would be the slot that is a highlight on the bottom-right corner of your Minecraft character (See image for reference). Once you have located the slot, you can put designated items inside it. A list of what can be used will be provided below (Courtesy of Minecraft Fandom Wiki). Pay close attention to which version those items are available on.


Once you put an item in this slot, you should be able to see it being wielded on your off-hand (left hand). There should also be an extra slot with the off-hand item appear beside your HUD Hotbar.

Weapons that can be used on the off-hand in Java Edition:

Tools that can be used on the off-hand in Java Edition:


How to Use Items on The Off-hand

So now that we know how to equip items on the off-hand, let’s move on to how you use those items.

The off-hand can use the item that you have equipped on the off-hand slot when the main hand is not holding onto anything or if the item is usable at the time (swords, spears, axes, etc). Here are a few instances where you will be able to use the off-hand items for dual-wielding purposes (These are mainly for the Java Edition):

For Combat

As previously mentioned, the dual-wielding feature was created primarily for combat. Whether it is equipping a shield and sword or with arrows, the feature provides a level of convenience for the player when engaging in any battle. Equipping a shield to your off-hand will allow you to block attacks while you strike with your main hand’s weapon.

Equipping arrows on your off-hand will prioritize those specific arrows over others in the Hotbar and inventory. So if you are holding poison arrows on the off-hand, those poison arrows will be the ones that are shot versus the normal ones (or whichever arrows you use).

Tip: If you hold the bow on your off-hand and your arrows on your main hand, you can fire specific arrows by just selecting them with your main hand. 

Additionally, you can equip other weapons such as bows, crossbows, snowballs, or tridents on the off-hand. The use of this dual-wield feature will mean you can deal more damage effectively as you no longer need to switch between a long-ranged weapon and a short-ranged weapon. However, if you choose to equip another weapon, you won’t be able to defend yourself with a shield.

For Using Tools

When you equip a tool that is held on the off-hand with another tool or weapon, it will be used when you use your controls to interact with anything that is relevant to the off-hand tool. For example, if you equip a hoe while you’re on the fields, it will start to work on turning it into farmland.


Dual Wield on the Bedrock Edition

There are only a few selected items that can be equipped on the off-hand slot. Here is a list of the items you can equip on your off-hand slot:

Tools/Weapons that can be used on the off-hand in Bedrock Edition:

Important Note: The main hand is the only hand that can hit or break something. This is true even without any items equipped on your main hands (Yes, these hands rated E for everything). So do not expect your off-hand to do any additional breaking or hitting. 

If you enjoyed this guide, be sure to check out other guides here:

1.Minecraft Hanging Treehouse Build (Instructions & Materials)

2. Minecraft Small Modern Mansion Build (Instructions & Materials) 

3.Minecraft Underwater Base Build (Instructions & Materials)