What Does “Too Expensive!” Mean in Minecraft?

In a Nutshell

For every enchantment, an anvil can perform the upgrade only when it costs less than 40 XP levels. If the enchantment costs more, the anvil will display the “Too Expensive!” error message and prevent players from enchanting.

Enchanting is one of the most helpful game mechanics in Minecraft. While repairing an enchanted item or applying an enchantment on an anvil, players might face a red message saying “Too Expensive!“.

If you are seeing this message for the first time, you might want to know what the too expensive error means in Minecraft. 

In Minecraft, red texts mostly appear when an error occurs. Most players discover the “Too Expensive” error when they try to repair an item with lots of enchantments.

Do not worry if you see this error, as it is harmless. There is nothing wrong with the game, and the “Too Expensive!” text is an intended feature. 

Why does it say “Too Expensive” in Minecraft?

what is too expensive! message minecraft

At a time, an anvil can only apply enchantments at the cost of less than 40 XP levels. If the enchantment cost increases, the anvil will start displaying the “Too Expensive” error and prevent players from performing the upgrade.

Too Expensive error only appears when working on enchanted items on an anvil in Minecraft. Enchanting anything in Minecraft costs experience levels. Depending on the quality and level of enchantment, the cost can vary. Costs also increase if an item already has multiple enchantments on it. 

Now, you might wonder how you are supposed to know when an enchant will cost 40 XP levels or more. 

In Minecraft, when an item is enchanted, renamed, or repaired on an anvil, it gets a penalty. When the item is used on an anvil more than five times, the upgrade cost will go beyond 40 XP levels. Therefore, players can use an item only five times on an anvil before it becomes impossible to do so. 

Once an item has been used over five times, the anvil will show “Too Expensive” text. At this point, there is no way to use the item again on an anvil in Minecraft Survival mode. 

How to Fix the “Too Expensive” error in Minecraft

Unfortunately, the Too Expensive error cannot be fixed since it is an intended feature. If it weren’t available, players would be able to enchant and repair using anvils whenever they want.

However, the Too Expensive error can be unlucky for players who have an expensive bow having powerful enchantments but without Mending or any other item. 

Luckily, there is a way to bypass the “Too Expensive” error in Minecraft without losing enchantments. But please note that it is considered cheating to bypass the “Too Expensive” error as it is impossible in survival mode.

The trick is that players can switch to the Creative mode and overcome the “Too Expensive” error. 

lan world minecraft

If you have never switched to Creative mode, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Open to Lan and enable cheats.
  3. After enabling cheats, go to the chatbox and enter the following: /gamemode creative
  4. Press Enter to switch to Creative mode. 

In Creative mode, there are no limitations on using anvils. Players can enchant or repair enchanted items by ignoring the cost. When an item with a “Too Expensive” error is paced on an anvil in Creative mode, players will be able to see the actual levels required. 

Though players can see the cost in Creative mode, it is never deducted from the actual XP levels. This is the only way to fix the “Too Expensive” error in Minecraft. 

How to Avoid “Too Expensive” error in Minecraft

The Too Expensive error is encountered mainly by beginners and newbies in Minecraft. Veterans who are used to the game mechanics are most likely aware of the Too Expensive error. If players act smartly right from the start, they can avoid the Too Expensive Minecraft error in Minecraft

The Too Expensive error occurs when an item is on the anvil more than five times. Usually, players use an anvil to repair their enchanted items by combining them with a brand new item of the same type.

Doing so will always add a penalty to that item. Players can avoid this penalty by enchanting the item with Mending. 

Mending enchantment allows players to repair their gear by consuming experience orbs. With this enchantment, players won’t have to use an anvil for repairing items. Thus, the penalty point for repairing can be avoided. 

Another reason players get the Too Expensive error is that they settle for a low-level enchantment in the early game and then upgrade the same item to a better enchantment.

Instead of doing this, players can wait for the highest level enchantment and use it directly. By being efficient right from the start, players can avoid errors like Too Expensive in Minecraft. 

Enchanted Book

Another piece of advice to avoid Too Expensive error is to combine enchanted books before enchanting an item.

Many players use enchanted books and add them to an item one by one, which causes the penalty to skyrocket. Instead, players should combine all enchanted books into one and then apply it to an item. 

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Ali Mahdi

Ali Mahdi is the founder of CyberTips and a seasoned software developer. His expertise lies in programming, cryptocurrency trading, and social media marketing. In addition to CyberTips, Ali has written for other prominent blogs in the past for 5+ years, including iDrop News, Redmond Pie, iPhone Hacks, and iDownloadBlog.