How to Find and Use a Name Tag in Minecraft


  • You can use name tags in Minecraft by right-clicking on nearly any NPC.
  • Name tags for NPCs are different from the name tag you see over players’ characters.
  • Giving certain NPCs specific name tags can trigger unique effects.

If you’ve spent a lot of time in Minecraft visiting and trading with a single village, you might grow attached to the NPCs in the town. Luckily, there’s a great way to both make your NPCs feel special, and help them stand out from other similar characters.

Here’s everything to know about name tags, rare Minecraft items that can help personalize your game — including where to find them and how to use them.

What are name tags in Minecraft?

Name tags are items that, when placed on an NPC, give them a unique name. The name you give will be displayed above their head whenever you get close and look at them. 

Naming an NPC also makes it so they’ll never despawn. This means that if you rename a random zombie in a cave, for instance, that zombie will remain there forever, even if you leave and never come back. However, renamed NPCs can still die, at which point you’ll lose the name tag.

Screenshot of Minecraft with a creeper named Steve.

A creeper with a name tag, renamed to “Steve.”

Mojang


Unlike most things in Minecraft, you can’t actually craft a name tag. You’ll have to find or trade for this one. This can take awhile if you don’t know where to look.  

Fortunately, there’s a few reliable locations to loot a tag, one surefire way to trade for them, and even a method involving fishing — although you’ll need to be lucky.

How to get a name tag in Minecraft

Here are three different ways you can get a name tag:

Treasure chests

In both the Java and Bedrock editions of Minecraft, you can loot chests for a name tag in the Dungeon, Mineshaft, Woodland mansion, or Ancient City structures, which will all spawn in your world. With the exception of Ancient Cities in the Bedrock edition, you have about a 30 to 40 percent chance of finding a name tag in the chests at any one of these locations.

In Bedrock, the console-friendly version of Minecraft, Name tags can also be found in a buried treasure chest with a similar rate of success. Buried treasure can be found with treasure maps, which themselves can be found in underwater shipwrecks.

Screenshot of Minecraft chest.

Certain areas in “Minecraft” will come with treasure chests, full of random items.

Emma Witman/Insider


Fishing

If trekking and searching for treasure chests isn’t appealing, and you have a fishing rod in your inventory, you can also find the closest fishing spot and cast your reel. You can fish in any body of standing water, even if it’s not connected to a river or ocean.

However the chances of getting treasure, much less a name tag, are slim. There’s a five percent chance of catching treasure, and only a 0.8 percent chance of getting a name tag.

Screenshot of Minecraft fishing.

Rain will make fishing go quicker, but won’t improve your luck.

Emma Witman/Insider


Trading

If emeralds are burning a hole in your virtual pocket, your best bet is trading them with a Librarian, who can be found in villages, for a name tag.

Keep trading until the Librarian reaches Master status, and you’ll then be able to trade 19 or 20 emeralds for a name tag.

Screenshot of Minecraft trade interface.

As you trade, the tradesperson’s experience bar will increase and when the bar is filled, they’ll level up.

Emma Witman/Insider


How to use a name tag in Minecraft

To use a name tag, follow these steps: 

Give the name tag a name

Before you can assign a name to a mob creature, you need to write the name you want onto the name tag. Luckily, you can do this with a simple anvil.

1. Place your anvil and use it, which will open a menu. 

2. Drag your name tag into one of the left two slots near the top, and type in its new name in the text box at the top. 

3. When you’re ready, drag the completed name tag on the right back into your inventory.

Screenshot of Minecraft anvil.

Preparing a name tag will take one experience level.

Emma Witman/Insider


Naming a name tag will cost one experience level. If you don’t have enough experience, go out and kill mobs until you level up.

Name the mob NPC

You’re now ready to use the name tag to rename an NPC.

1. Find the NPC you want to rename. Again, this can be any NPC except for the Ender Dragon.

2. Put the name tag into one of your inventory’s nine hotbar slots and hold it.

Screenshot of nametag.

Hold the name tag and use it on the NPC you want.

Emma Witman/Insider


3. Use the name tag on the NPC. This will default to double-clicking on a mouse, or the left trigger on a controller.

Your name tag will disappear, and a name will appear above the NPC’s head.

Although a creature won’t despawn anymore once given a name tag, they can still be killed. Once a renamed NPC dies, their name will disappear.

If you’re not sure what you want to name an NPC, check out some of the easter eggs below.

Minecraft name tag tricks

Try these unique name tag tricks: 

jeb_

Naming a sheep “jeb_” will make its wool rapidly change colors. Unfortunately, shearing this wool will only give you the sheep’s original color.

GIF of Minecraft sheep named “jeb_” changing color.

Placing the name tag “jeb_” on a sheep will yield colorful results.

Kyle Wilson/Insider


Toast

Naming a rabbit “Toast” will give it a black-and-white skin themed after a user’s missing rabbit.

Dinnerbone or Grumm

Naming any NPC “Dinnerbone” or “Grumm” will flip them upside-down.

GIF of Minecraft horse named Grumm that is upside-down.

A horse named Grumm, flipped upside down.

Kyle Wilson/Insider


Johnny

Naming a vindicator “Johnny” will cause it to become aggressive with nearly every other NPC in the game, instead of just players, villagers, traders, and golems.



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