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How to use a name tag in Minecraft

Over the years, Minecraft‘s open-world sandbox has grown to encompass hundreds of different gameplay mechanics. While the core experience is still mining, crafting, and exploring the randomly generated world, players can now interact with villagers, go on quests to slay the Ender Dragon, and even create their own farm. One of the more unique additions to the game, however, is the ability to use objects known as name tags to rename the NPCs you come across. They’re a bit tricky to find, but once you’ve found a name tag, they are incredibly easy to use.

Further Reading

What are name tags?

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Simply put, name tags let the player change the name of any NPC in the game, minus the Elder Dragon. One of the most common uses of a name tag is to rename pets, giving them a personalized name. For example, you can rename a wolf after your real-life pet or give all your cattle specific names to help identify them. There is a tangible benefit to using name tags: They help personalize your playing experience and make it easier to keep track of multiple mobs in a confined space.

Minecraft also has several fun Easter eggs tied to name tag use. Here are a few you can easily try out for yourself:

  • If you name a rabbit “Toast,” it will gain a unique skin.
  • If you name a vindicator “Johnny,” it will become hostile towards others.
  • Using a name tag to rename anyone “Grumm” or “Dinnerbone” will invert their character model.

The only mob in the game that can’t be renamed is the Ender Dragon. Beyond that, players are free to make liberal use of name tags.

How to find name tags

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to craft name tags in Minecraft. Instead, you’ll have to either find them in the wild or purchase them from a villager. Name tags are pretty rare objects, but you can stumble upon them in chests scattered throughout your realm. It’s also possible to find them while fishing, although the odds of that are pretty slim.

If you don’t want to waste time looking for name tags, it’s possible to purchase them for 20 emeralds from master-level librarians.

How to use name tags

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Using a name tag is a much easier process than finding one. First, take your name tag to an anvil and rename it — if you don’t rename it, you won’t be able to use it! The cost of this varies between PC and console versions but should cost no more than five experience levels. Once you’ve renamed the tag, simply walk up to the mob you want to use it on and interact with them while holding the name tag. That’s it! Your targeted mob should now display their new name above their head.

Mobs can be renamed as often as you like, so feel free to change things up whenever the mood strikes. Name tags can also be renamed at anvils multiple times before applying them to an NPC, so you’ll never have to worry about picking the perfect name.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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