Minecraft – How to Use Left Hand for Holding Items & Shield

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Duel wielding is such a useful system in Minecraft that allows you to hold two different items at the same time. Not only does it look cool, but it also provides an advantage in every aspect of the game.

In this article, let’s see how to use the left hand for holding items and a shield in Minecraft!

Recommended Read: Minecraft – Where Can You Find Calcite Block?

To use your left hand for holding items and a shield in Minecraft, you need to place that specific item into the off-hand slot while opening your inventory or press F while choosing that item in your hot bar.

Let’s dive deep in!


Table of contents


How to Use Left Hand for Holding Items and Shield

First, you need to know about dual wielding in Minecraft.

Basically, dual wielding allows the player to hold 2 different items while also retaining the main function of that particular item. This means you can also use the item while holding it in your left hand.

By default, the only visible hand on the screen is your right hand.

This can be indicated by looking at the position of the hand on the screen.

However, you can completely mess this up with the Main Hand setting located in the Skin Customization menu.

If you change this setting to Left instead of Right, your default right hand will be displayed on the left, which satisfies your need if you only need the item to be in your left hand without any special functionalities.

There are 2 main ways to use the left hand for holding items and a shield in Minecraft:

  1. Manually put the item in the off-hand slot: You first need to open your inventory by pressing E, then simply move the item you want to put in your left hand into the slot with the shield icon.
  2. Press the hotkey: By default, F is the key to swapping hands in Minecraft. This means when you press F, the item in your main hand will be moved to your left hand and vice versa.

When you’re done placing the items and shield in your left hand, you can use them by simply right-clicking.

But it’s not that easy! By default, the main hand (right hand) has a higher priority to do any actions in Minecraft, so it overrides the action from the items in the off-hand (left hand).

Let’s say you hold a pickaxe in your main hand and a torch in your off-hand.

When you right-click your mouse, because the pickaxe doesn’t have any right-click functionality, you will place a torch at the block you’re looking at instead.

But this time, you’re holding some cooked fish in your main hand and a torch in your off-hand.

What will happen when you do a right-click? It actually has 2 possibilities here!

  1. Your hunger bar is not full: Because the main hand will override the off-hand and the player can consume the food to refill his hunger, right-clicking will make you eat the cooked fish instead of placing a torch.
  2. You have full hunger: When you’re full, the cooked fish is not usable anymore (for now), so you will place a torch instead.

Remember to test all the possibilities before using your left hand to hold important items. You don’t want to lose them!


What Items Can You Hold in Your Left-Hand Slot?

Depending on the platform you play, the list of the usable items in the left hand may vary.

If you play Java Edition, you can put literally all items in your left hand, even if you can’t use it.

Below is the list of useable items when placed on the left hand in JE:

  • Bow
  • Chicken Eggs
  • Lingering/Splash Potions
  • Snowballs
  • Trident
  • Crossbow
  • Arrow
  • Bucket
  • Ender Pearl
  • Fishing Rod
  • Flint and Steel
  • Hoe
  • Lead
  • Shears
  • Shield
  • Shovel
  • Axe
  • Torch
  • Firework Rocket
  • Potions
  • Totem of Undying
  • Map

In Minecraft Bedrock and Education Edition, the list of usable items on the left hand is limited by a lot! It includes a shield, totems of undying, maps, arrows, and firework rockets.


Frequently Asked Questions

What button do you press to use your left hand in Minecraft?

You can press F to use your left hand. If it doesn’t work, go to the Options setting menu, then go to the Controls and Key Binds setting and find the Swap Items in Hands item. Here you can reset this or set it to another hotkey of your choice.

Can you use both hands at the same time in Minecraft?

No, you can’t use both hands in Minecraft at the same time! The right hand (main hand) will always take over the left hand. Unless it holds non-usable items or the usable items can’t be used at the moment.

In which aspect can you use your left hand?

You can use your left hand in Minecraft to eat, teleport, block, hold ammunitions, cure effect, automatic revival, build, plow dirt, plant crops, carve pumpkins, bone meal crops, feed and breed animals, view map and time, light up cave, pour water, and fly!


That’s all about using your left hand to hold items and shields in Minecraft!

Use it wisely, and you will master it in no time!

Binh Tran

I'm an enthusiast who has played video games for 10 years, as well as other survival/idle/RPG/FPS games. At Gamer Empire, I think, write, and grind for the best content!

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