Channeling is a trident exclusive enchantment which will summon a lightning strike when a mob is hit by your trident. Channeling only works in thunderstorms and can be useful for farming mob heads as you can dictate which creeper becomes supercharged with your trident. Otherwise you can enjoy summoning lightning to smite down any mob that annoys you.
Channeling Trident Enchantments
Compatible with Loyalty, Impaling, Unbreaking, Mending Incompatible with Riptide
What does Channeling do in Minecraft?
If there is a thunderstorm, throwing a channeling trident at a mob will cause lightning to strike where the mob is standing. The trident must hit the mob and it has to be a thunderstorm in order for lightning to strike. Oddly enough, I recall playing on a Bedrock edition server where it was regular rain and the lightning would still strike. It seems that this has since been patched and the channeling trident will only spawn lightning if it is a thunderstorm.
You can use tridents during thunderstorms to create charged creepers. If the creeper explodes and kills a hostile mob they will drop their respective mob head.
How to get the Channeling Enchantment
Channeling can be found in the enchantment table, but you can also find it in minecart chests, dungeon chests, librarian villagers, and chests from non-village structures. In the Bedrock edition you can also fish up enchanted books that can contain channeling.
How to Use a Channeling Trident
The payoff for using a trident is either the Riptide enchantment to fly further with elytra, or the Loyalty enchantment to get your trident to return to you. If you want a combat focused trident, Loyalty is a no brainer. If you happen to decide to go with Loyalty, there is no reason not to put channeling on a trident.
Simply hold right click with your trident equipped to ready its throw and release the click to throw the trident. If it is thunderstorming and your trident hits a mob, lightning will strike where the trident landed. In order for Channeling to spawn lightning, the mob has to be exposed to open sky in the midst of a thunderstorm.
Use this on charged creepers to get skeleton, zombie, and creeper heads to decorate your home or scare fellow players. If the blast from the charged creeper kills a zombie, skeleton, or creeper they will drop their respective mob head.
There are multiple accounts of Channeling functioning normally in regular rain, but even viewing the Minecraft changelogs, there is nothing to imply that this was ever the case. Channeling requires a thunderstorm.
Channeling will only work if the mob you hit is exposed to open sky, but there are a few instances where lightning will not strike regardless if all the other conditions are met. In the Java edition of Minecraft, mobs standing in water, lava, cobwebs, soul sand, and honey will not be struck by lightning.
Why won’t my channeling trident work?
Channeling requires a thunderstorm in order to work. However, if it is thundering and your trident still won’t spawn a lightning strike, ensure you are hitting a mob with the ranged throw of a trident.
Why can’t I combine Channeling and Riptide?
Both the Riptide and Channeling enchantment are mapped to the throw of a trident. If you use commands to put both enchantments onto a trident, riptide will supercede channeling and your trident will function as such.
Does it have to be a thunderstorm for Channeling to work?
It does need to be a thunderstorm in order for Channeling to work as intended. I hold many memories of going into regular rainstorms and charging creepers with a Channeling trident, but it seems that this feature of the game no longer exists in any version of the game.