This post was last updated on February 1, 2024
Leads are an item in Minecraft used for catching and transporting mobs to any location. They also have a few other handy uses in the game
If you fancy yourself to be a bit of a Minecraft animal farmer, then a lead will be one of your most important tools.
This guide shows you exactly how to make a lead in Minecraft, what mobs they can be used on, and how they work
How to Get a Lead in Minecraft
Leads (also called a leash) can either be crafted, found in loot chests, or obtained from other entities in the game.
How to Craft a Lead in Minecraft
Crafting a lead in Minecraft is simple, and the only required materials are 4 pieces of string, and 1 slimeball – you will need to use a crafting table.
In the crafting menu, place one slimeball in the center of the second row, followed by two pieces of string in the first two boxes of the first row, and one more piece of string in the last box in the bottom row of the crafting area.
This recipe will give you two leads when you craft them on your crafting table! So for four pieces of string and one slimeball, you get two leads.
This image shows the crafting recipe for leads:
Finding the items you need to craft a lead
If you’re not in creative mode then you’re going to need to manually find the items needed to craft your leash.
To get string, either kill spiders, break cobwebs, or find it in dungeon chests. Spiders are usually the easiest way to get the string.
To get slimeballs, you have to kill slimes – a bouncy green mob. Slimes spawn in swamp biomes, or in Slime Chunks, which are found underground, below layer 40.
Slimeballs are the hardest component to find for leads. You can also swap them for emeralds from a wandering trader if you can find one.
How to Make a Lead in Minecraft Without Slime
Unfortunately, you can’t make leads without slimeballs. You have to find one, so check out the options above.
Finding Leads in Your Minecraft World
If you’re struggling to find the materials to craft a Minecraft lead, there are other ways of obtaining them from the natural world.
Finding Leads in Chest Loot
Three types of chests have a chance of containing a lead. Each place has a unique percentage of giving you a lead.
- Ancient City Chest = 16.1%
- Woodland Mansions = 28.3%
- Buried Treasure = 34.3%
(Buried treasure chests are only found in the Bedrock edition of Minecraft, the other types are in either bedrock or java edition.)
Obtaining leads from Mobs
You can also obtain leads from mobs. If you find a wandering trader, they will always be accompanied by 2 llamas. You can take the leads from these llamas in a few ways
- Killing the llamas with a sword (if you’re mean enough).
- Put the llama in a boat.
- Put the llama in a minecart.
- Move the llama far enough from the trader that the lead breaks (over 10 blocks).
Now you’ve got your lead, it’s time to understand exactly how they work.
What are Leads Used for in Minecraft?
Leads are quite a useful item in Minecraft and have a variety of functions. If you remember the early days of Minecraft, transporting mobs in the game was a long and tedious process, without any effective methods.
The lead item was added to Minecraft back in 2013 as part of the Horse Update. Adding the leash was a game changer, and made it super easy to move animals to any location.
Primarily, you can use a lead for leashing mobs, attaching them to the lead, and dragging them to any location you, please. If you want to transport a mob somewhere, a lead is a way to go.
A leashed mob can also be tied to fence posts or walls. If you press the “Use” button (right-click), while looking at a post with a leashed mob, the mob will become leashed to the fence post.
This is useful if you want to keep mobs in a certain area – as the mobs tend to stay around 5 blocks away from the fence post. You can tie multiple mobs to the same fence post too.
There are several other mechanics relating to leads.
More Mechanics of Leads
Leads have a few different related mechanics that are worth understanding.
- A lead gives a maximum distance of 10 blocks between the player and leashed entity.
- You can lead multiple mobs at once, although you will need a separate lead for each mob you want to pull.
- Leads can be used to make a balloon when mixed with other items.
- You unleash animals by hitting the Use Item button (right-click) on the leashed animal.
- A lead won’t prevent mobs from despawning if you travel too far from them.
- If you have a mob on a lead, you can still go to bed and sleep through the night – they’ll still be leashed when you wake up.
- A lead will break if hit by a projectile or explosion, and drop as an item.
What Mobs Can You Leash With a Lead?
There are a bunch of different animals you can attach to a lead. Most mobs that are passive can become leashed, although hostile mobs can’t.
The following animals can be leashed in survival mode.
- Chicken Jockey
- Glow Squid
- Iron Golem
- Polar Bears
- Skeleton Horse
- Skeleton Horseman
- Snow Golem
- Trader Llama
- Wandering Traders
- Zombie Horse
Leads are currently in these versions of Minecraft:
- Java Edition
- Pocket Edition
- Bedrock Edition
- Console editions
Now you know how to make a lead, you’ll be able to transport mobs to your heart’s content. Crafting a Minecraft lead is pretty easy, but gives you a powerful ability for moving mobs, starting farms, or keeping your horses tied close to you.
How Do You Use a Lead in Minecraft?
To use a lead in Minecraft, all you need to do is equip it, aim at a mob, and press the use button (typically right-click). The mob will now be attached to you, and you can drag them around the environment. You can also attach animals to fence posts.
How to Find Leads as Chest Loot?
Leads can be found as chest loot in three locations: Ancient Cities, Woodland Mansions, and Buried Treasure chests. If you manage to find a chest in any of these environments, then you’ll have a chance of finding a lead. You can see the drop percentages higher up in this guide.
How Do You Use a Lead on a Horse?
To use a lead on a horse in Minecraft, simply equip the lead, then right-click (use item control) on the horse. You will now be able to lead the horse around, and attach it to fences if you want to keep it in the same place.