On the left, the player is making a lead with a slimeball and some string on a crafting table. On the right, there are some horses in a wood fence pen.

How to Make a Lead in Minecraft

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As the name implies, Leads are tools that help you guide animals and other mobs around in Minecraft. You can make them from items that drop from certain monsters or even find them as loot in Chests.

Table Of Contents

    What You Need to Make a Lead

    The player using 4 strings and a ball of green slime to make a lead on a crafting table.

    To craft a Lead, you’ll need 4 String and 1 Slimeball. On a Crafting Table, place the String in the middle-left, top-left, and top-middle slots before also placing 1 more in the bottom-right. After that, put a Slimeball in the middle and you will get 2 Leads as a result.

    How to Get String

    You will likely get most of your String as drops from Spiders that you fend off at night. These many-legged mobs drop between 0 to 2 String when they die. The availability of regular Spiders makes them easy to farm for String.

    There are other mobs that drop String, though it’s not nearly as common as Spiders. The similarly named Striders drop between 0 to 5 String in the Java Editions or 2 to 5 in the Bedrock Edition. Furthermore, when Cats die, they drop between 0 to 2 String–though can provide much more while alive.

    A passive and easy way to acquire String gradually over time is to have a pet Cat. If you sleep in a Bed with a tamed Cat nearby, they will sometimes give you a gift in the morning. One of the most common gifts can be a single piece of String.

    Cobwebs are also a decent source of String, as they’ll drop multiple pieces when they’re broken. The tool that breaks Cobwebs the quickest is a sword.

    String can also be found while fishing as a junk item or in trades with Piglins for Gold Ingots. On top of that, String can be found as Chest loot in Jungle Temples, Desert Pyramids, and Dungeons.

    How to Get Slimeballs

    The most common way to get Slimeballs is to defeat the bouncing green Slimes that can spawn in swamp biomes at night or underground where there is no light. You have to fully break down a Slime into its smallest forms to defeat them. Each tiny Slime has a chance to drop between 0 to 2 Slimeballs upon its death.

    Alternatively, you can trade some Emeralds with Wandering Traders for Slimeballs. They aren’t guaranteed to have the trade option for Slimeballs, so don’t rely on this method too much when crafting a Lead.

    How to Find Leads as Chest Loot

    There are 2 kinds of randomly-generated structures that can spawn Leads as Chest loot, however, the spawn rate differs between separate versions of Minecraft. In the Java Edition, 1 Lead can spawn in Woodland Mansion Chests at an appearance rate of 28.3%.

    But in the Bedrock Edition of the game, you can find Leads in both Woodland Mansions and in Buried Treasure Chests. In Woodland Mansion Chests, 1 Lead can spawn at an appearance rate of 27.9%. In Buried Treasure Chests, you have a 34.3% chance of finding between 1 to 3 Leads.

    How to Get Leads From Wandering Traders

    If you spot a Wandering Trader leading his 2 Llamas around, you take their Leads for yourself. If you separate a Llama from the Trader by more than 10 blocks, a Lead will drop at the Llama’s location. Or, if you don’t mind getting blood on your hands, you can kill the Trader or his Llamas to get their Leads.

    How to Use a Lead

    There are 3 horses in a wood fence pen. There are 2 brown horses and 1 black horse.

    You can’t use Leads for crafting any other items in Minecraft. They’re solely used for guiding mobs around. However, they have many mechanics revolving around this function.

    How to Leash a Mob With a Lead

    To snare a mob, simply walk up to it with a Lead in hand and then use the Lead on your target. This will cause them to be enveloped in a loop, which you can use to tow them around. You can leash multiple mobs at the same time, however, they will all need their own Leads. Furthermore, you can unleash a mob by using the Lead on them again.

    Tying Mobs to Fences by Using Leads

    You can attach a leashed mob to a fence post by using your end of the Lead on it. Additionally, multiple mobs can be attached to the same fence post, but, again, require their own Leads. This is useful for preventing mobs from despawning, so be sure to leash your favorite Horses and Donkeys.

    Mob Types You Can Leash With Leads

    It’s possible to leash virtually any non-hostile animal, NPC, and regular monster in the game. As such, you can drag anything around in order to complete your various tasks. This is helpful for gathering animals for breeding, recruiting Villagers, and much more.

    Other Important Tips for Using Leads

    • Leads break if they are stretched beyond a distance of 10 blocks
    • You can attach a Lead to a Boat, but only in the Bedrock Edition of the game
    • You can leash most mobs that are attacking you
    • Wolves are one of the only common mobs that you can’t leash when they’re attacking you
    • Leads can break when transporting mobs through a Nether Portal
    • You can use a Lead to pull a mob out of a Boat