Name tags hold some interesting powers in Minecraft. There are many uses for a name tag beyond just naming your favorite pet or mob. You can prevent mobs from despawning, you can create a rainbow colored sheep, and there are other easter eggs as well. Name tags are a neat addition to the game as it does not offer much on its own, but its creative applications through the game engine are plentiful.
Name tags cannot be crafted. You have to find them throughout the world of Minecraft. There are three locations that you can find name tags in the Java edition of Minecraft, you can find name tags in dungeon chests, mineshaft chests, and woodland mansion chests. The Bedrock edition also has name tags in these locations with the addition of finding them in buried treasure.
Other than finding them in naturally generated structures, you can also find them in master-level librarian trades for 20 emeralds. Finally, you can also find name tags by fishing. I find that fishing with a Luck of the Sea III enchantment is the easiest way to find multiple name tags.
Once you have tracked down a name tag in Minecraft you can now name just about any mob in the game except for the ender dragon and players. To use a name tag, first head to an anvil. Open the anvil UI and place the name tag in the far left slot.
Click on the bar above the name tag to rename the name tag. This should be the name you want to change a mob’s name to. It will cost one level and a bit of anvil durability to name your name tag.
Next right click on the mob you want to name with the name tag selected. Right clicking on the mob will consume the name tag and even killing the mob will not cause it to drop the name tag again. You will have to find another name tag if you want to name another mob.
An interesting feature is if you happen to die to the named mob the name will appear in how you died. Named mobs will never despawn unless it is a hostile mob and the world is set to peaceful.
Use your name tags responsibly!
If you would like to make a rainbow sheep in Minecraft you will need to obtain a name tag. Take your name tag to an anvil and set the name to “jeb_”. The names for the easter eggs are case sensitive to ensure you do not capitalize the names unless specified as such.
Now simply right click on a sheep to create the rainbow sheep. Unfortunately there is no block in the game called rainbow wool and the wool the sheep drops will always be the color of the wool before you named it.
If done correctly the sheep will slowly change colors between all the colors of sheep in the game. There are other easter eggs in the game such as naming a mob “Dinnerbone” or “Grumm” will cause the mob to render upside down.
There was also an attempt to memorialize a rabbit that a fan of the game had unfortunately lost. If you name a rabbit “Toast” the appearance of the rabbit will change to look like the lost rabbit in real life.
Name tags were added to the game at the request of popular Minecraft content creator Paulsoaresjr.
You can rename an entire stack of 64 name tags all at once with just one level. All 64 name tags will have the same name, but if you want a world full of rainbow sheep this is a feasible opportunity.
If a villager has a name tag and is turned into a zombie villager by a zombie without a name tag, that newly converted zombie villager will despawn.
You can give any mob the name “Name Tag” by renaming the name tag into something else and then renaming it back to “Name Tag”
You can name a regular sheep “jeb_” with a name tag and the sheep will begin to slowly change colors. Unfortunately this does not affect the type of wool it drops but makes for a fun addition to any world.
Naming a mob after one of the game’s creators: “Dinnerbone” will cause the mob to render upside down permanently. The mob will behave as normal, but it will be upside down.
Yes, any mob that is named with a name tag will keep its name even if it is tamed. If you happen to come across a wolf, parrot, or cat and you want to prevent them from despawning while you obtain their requisite item for taming you can name them with a name tag to keep them in the world.