The Nether

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A view of the Nether.

The Nether is a hell-like dimension, filled with fire, lava, and dangerous mobs.

Accessing[edit | edit source]

Budget version (left), Full portal (right)

To access the Nether, the Player must construct a Nether portal in the Overworld (portals created in the End will not activate). To create the portal, one must first construct a rectangular obsidian frame, ranging in size from a minimum of 4x5 to a maximum of 23x23. Once the frame is constructed, it can then be activated by placing fire within the frame.

An activated portal will allow most entities (with the exception of the wither, the ender dragon, and entities riding or being ridden by another entity) to be transported to a corresponding portal in the Nether. A new portal will be created in the Nether if necessary. The portal can be destroyed by breaking the obsidian frame, by a nearby explosion, or by placing water or lava into it with a bucket or dispenser.

Environment[edit | edit source]

The terrain is largely composed of netherrack that forms complex platforms and niches, with frequent lava oceans, "lavafalls", and rivers of lava. Lava sources hidden in the netherrack are also common, making large mining projects dangerous. Random fires across the netherrack are yet another hazard to the unwary player. The Nether is horizontally infinite.

Bedrock comprises the top (below y=127) and bottom 4 layers in a rough pattern (in the console edition, it can also be found at the sides of the Nether, as world sizes are limited). Glowstone clusters hang from ceilings, and mushrooms grow abundantly on the ground. There are patches of floating gravel and soul sand. Small caverns form in the netherrack, which contain random nether quartz deposits. Near the level of the lava oceans, patches of magma blocks generate within the netherrack, making travel difficult and potentially damaging to armor.

Nether fortresses, the Nether's only naturally occurring structures, provide valuable loot, and are the only places where blazes and wither skeletons will naturally spawn. Nether fortresses are also the only place where nether wart naturally generates (in the console edition, nether wart will naturally generate anywhere on soul sand).

The Nether has no day-night cycle and no weather. The only natural sources of light are fire, lava, portals, and glowstone. Even with a light level of 0, the Nether has a dim ambient light (roughly equivalent to light level 8 in the Overworld). Light otherwise functions exactly the same as it does in the Overworld and the End.

If the player dies in the Nether, they will respawn in the Overworld; any surviving inventory items will remain in the Nether.

Locations in the Nether correlate to Overworld coordinates, but horizontal Overworld distances are scaled down by a ratio of 8:1 for travel in the Nether. Therefore, traveling one block in the Nether means traveling eight blocks in the Overworld.

An image of the Nether with a nether fortress.

Most items and blocks in the Nether function the same as they do in the Overworld, with a few notable exceptions:

  • Beds will explode and cause fires when a player attempts to sleep in one.
    • The explosion is larger than that of TNT.
  • There is no way to place liquid water in the Nether in a Survival game without cheats, besides the usage of a cauldron.
    • Using water buckets will produce steam and an empty bucket.
    • Ice that is melted or smashed in the Nether will also not produce water.
  • Lava flows twice as far (8 blocks) and much faster in the Nether than in the Overworld.
  • Grass blocks and leaves take a dead-looking brownish color, since the Nether is considered a warm biome.
  • Maps will only generate a brown-gray static pattern.
    • The player's direction indicator will spin randomly, although its location is still relative to the players location in the Nether.
  • Compasses are unable to find the original spawn point, as it cannot be set to a single point within the Nether.
  • Clocks are unable to determine the position of the Sun and Moon.
  • Building snow golems is essentially useless, as they will rapidly take fire damage and die, due to the Nether being a warm biome.

Mobs[edit | edit source]

The Nether is home to its own share of mobs, most of which are completely fire- and lava-proof. Skeletons, chickens, and endermen are the only Overworld mobs that can naturally spawn in the Nether; wither skeletons have a 20% chance of spawning as a regular skeleton instead, and baby zombie pigmen may spawn as chicken jockeys. Other Overworld mobs do not naturally spawn in the Nether, but can be teleported through portals.

ZombiePigmanFace.png GhastFace.png Magma Cube Face.png Blaze Face.png WitherSkeletonHead.png SkeletonFace.png Chickenjockey.png EndermanFace.png
Zombie Pigman Ghast Magma Cube Blaze Wither Skeleton Skeleton Chicken Jockey Enderman

Generation[edit | edit source]

I Has a different ID as an inventory item.
D Use the item's Damage field to define its durability.
S Requires additional data from the saved game's Data array to fully define the block.
B Requires additional data in the item's Damage field to fully define the inventory item.
E Requires a block entity to store additional data.
Red Cannot be legitimately obtained. Only available using the /give command or via inventory editors.
Light Blue Cannot be obtained no matter what.(Some can be placed using /setblock)
Blue Available in Creative mode by item list.
Purple Available in Creative mode by block picking.
Teal Can be obtained by trading with villagers or in Creative mode.
Green Only available by having Enchanted tools or in Creative mode.
Lime Green Only available by having Enchanted tools or via use of /give or inventory editors, but unobtainable in the Creative mode menu.
Gray Unused data.

Naturally generated[edit | edit source]

Naturally generated blocks includes those that are created through the world seed.

Icon Dec Hex Name Block
0 0 minecraft:air Air
Bedrock.png 7 7 minecraft:bedrock Bedrock
Lava.png 11 B minecraft:lava Stationary Lava S
Gravel.png 13 D minecraft:gravel Gravel
Brown Mushroom.png 39 27 minecraft:brown_mushroom Brown Mushroom
Red Mushroom.png 40 28 minecraft:red_mushroom Red Mushroom
Fire.png 51 33 minecraft:fire Fire S
Netherrack.png 87 57 minecraft:netherrack Netherrack
Soul Sand.png 88 58 minecraft:soul_sand Soul Sand
Glowstone.png 89 59 minecraft:glowstone Glowstone
Nether Quartz Ore.png 153 99 minecraft:quartz_ore Nether Quartz Ore
Magma Block.png 213 D5 minecraft:magma_block Magma Block

Naturally created[edit | edit source]

Naturally created blocks are created through a combination of events that lead these blocks to be placed by natural causes, not by the player.

Icon Dec Hex Name Block
0 0 minecraft:air Air
Lava.png 10 A minecraft:flowing_lava Lava S
Brown Mushroom.png 39 27 minecraft:brown_mushroom Brown Mushroom
Red Mushroom.png 40 28 minecraft:red_mushroom Red Mushroom
Obsidian.png 49 31 minecraft:obsidian Obsidian
Portal.png 90 5A minecraft:portal Nether Portal

Structures[edit | edit source]

These blocks are generated as part of nether fortresses, but only when the "generated structures" option is on.

Icon Dec Hex Name Block
0 0 minecraft:air Air
Monster Spawner.png 52 34 minecraft:mob_spawner Monster Spawner E
Chest.png 54 36 minecraft:chest Chest S E
Soul Sand.png 88 58 minecraft:soul_sand Soul Sand
Nether Brick.png 112 70 minecraft:nether_brick Nether Brick
Nether Brick Fence.png 113 71 minecraft:nether_brick_fence Nether Brick Fence
Nether Brick Stairs.png 114 72 minecraft:nether_brick_stairs Nether Brick Stairs S
Nether Wart.png 115 73 minecraft:nether_wart Nether Wart I S

Technical information[edit | edit source]

The Nether is saved in the same way normal worlds are, in the following locations by default:




~/Library/Application Support/minecraft/saves/worldname/DIM-1

Note: This Library folder is not the one in Macintosh HD, but the one inside your home folder. The only way to access this is to go to the Go menu, and select Go To..., and type ~/Library, or to go to the Go menu, hold the Option key, and select the "Library" option.



On all systems, be sure to replace "worldname" with the name of your world.

Note that DIM-1 does not contain its own level.dat; the level.dat in the parent folder is used for all dimensions. This means that even if a player changes the level data in the /world folder for a particular save, Nether portals will still take the player to the Nether world originally generated for that save and vice versa.

Deleting the DIM-1 file will reset the Nether, so that all player-made changes and buildings in that dimension will be undone.

Video[edit | edit source]

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Icon Achievement In-game description Prerequisites[until 1.12] Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
PC[until 1.12] Xbox PS Pocket Wii U
We Need to Go Deeper Build a portal to the Nether DIAMONDS! Enter a nether portal, and be teleported to the opposite dimension. Yes Alt Alt Alt Alt
Into The Nether Acquire Hardware Light a nether portal. Alt Yes Yes Yes Yes 40G Silver

History[edit | edit source]

0.31 January 6, 2010
Map preview Hell.jpg
Added a map theme named "Hell". It was a normal map, but with a lava ocean, perpetually dim lighting, and a black sky with dull red clouds. Map themes were later removed in Infdev.
1.1.1 September 18, 2010 Notch mentions the return of the hell biome, and that it will be used for fast travel, based on a transportation method used in the novel series The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Within a dangerous transportation system, "the Ways", people could travel a massive amount of distance in a few days instead of weeks.
1.2.0 October 4, 2010 This announcement poster hinted that the hell world would utilize portals and that distance traveled inside the hell world would be multiplied greatly on the map above ground.
October 8, 2010 Notch reveals a new block type, now known as soul sand, that would be included in the new dimension.
October 10, 2010 A screenshot was released by Notch depicting what the Nether would look like.
October 11, 2010 Notch makes mention of the first mob to be added to the Nether, saying "You will hate the Ghast."
October 25, 2010 Notch tweets that he is working on the second new Nether mob, and says that they are less dangerous but are otherwise "pointless."
October 29, 2010 Notch was conflicted on naming the new dimension; he wanted to avoid "re-using existing religious names", and wanted to use a more creative and original name. He considered both "the Slip" and "the Nexus" but felt that neither felt "minecrafty enough." It was eventually changed to “the Nether” on the day of the Halloween Update release.
A preview of the Halloween Update was sent out to two gaming websites later that day.[1] Interestingly, the name "the Slip" was used in this release.
Halloween Update Added the Nether, including ghasts, zombie pigmen, netherrack, soul sand, glowstone, and nether portals.
1.2.2 Lava was made to flow farther than it did on the Overworld.
1.6 May 02, 2011 Portals were made to function properly in multiplayer, allowing players in servers to teleport between the Overworld and the Nether.
Beds in the Nether were made to explode if used.
Official release
1.0.0 September 16, 2011 Jens Bergensten tweets a teaser screenshot of changes to the Nether terrain generation, including nether fortresses.
September 19, 2011 Jens releases a second teaser screenshot, showcasing the structure of the upcoming nether fortresses.
September 21, 2011 Jens mentions that he is finished with most of the new Nether features, including two new mobs, one of which is a "retexturing attempt".
Beta 1.9-pre1 Many new additions to the nether, including: magma cubes, blazes (as well as blaze spawners and blaze rods), nether fortresses (including nether brick, nether brick stairs and Nether brick fences), nether wart, ghast tears dropped by ghasts and gold nuggets dropped by zombie pigmen.
Beta 1.9-pre4 With the addition of the Silk Touch enchantment, it was possible to legitimately obtain water using ice in the Nether.
Beta 1.9-pre5 The ability to pick up ice blocks with the Silk Touch enchantment was removed.
1.2.1 12w06a Snow golems now take damage in the Nether.
1.3.1 12w16a Added the /give command. Using it to get water or flowing_water blocks allows another way to place water in the nether.
12w17a Ice can now be obtained with Silk Touch again, but ice no longer melts into water in the Nether.
12w22a Rarely, Nether portals will spawn zombie pigmen.
12w27a Growing nether wart is no longer restricted to the Nether – it can be grown in the Overworld and The End.
12w30a Made the Nether less laggy.
1.4.2 12w32a Zombie pigmen can wear armor, and the sword they are holding makes them deal more damage.
12w34a Any mobs and entities can travel through Nether portals.
12w36a Added wither skeletons.
1.4.6 12w49a Added nether brick slabs.
1.5 13w01a Nether quartz ore is added to the Nether, which spawns around netherrack.
1.5.1 Lava flows more quickly in the Nether, and hidden lava can be found in the Nether.
1.6.1 13w18a Chests can now be found in nether fortresses.
2013 Music Update Four ambient music tracks added for the Nether.
1.8 14w03a Added the /fill command which can place water in the Nether.
14w26a water and flowing_water removed from the /give command.
1.9 15w31a Removed the Nether fog.
15w31c Re-added the Nether fog.
15w49a The wither and ender dragon no longer travel through portals.
1.10 16w20a Endermen now rarely spawn in the Nether, and can now pick up netherrack.
Added magma blocks.
Added red nether brick and nether wart blocks, which can be crafted but do not otherwise generate naturally in the Nether.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1 April 22, 2015 Tommaso Checchi tweets a picture of the Nether, showing that it is officially in development.
He later tweets stating that he won't tell how finished it is or what version it will be in.[2]
build 1 Added the Nether.
You can place water in nether breaking ice.
build 6 Lava now spreads faster in the Nether.
0.15.0 build 1 Endermen can now spawn in the Nether, and can now pick up netherrack.
0.16.0 ? You can no longer place water in nether.
Console Edition
TU1 CU1 1.0 Patch 1 Added the Nether.
TU9 Added new music to the Nether.
Added nether fortresses.
Added Reset Nether option to force regeneration of the Nether. This is helpful for older saves that didn't have a nether fortress.
TU43 CU33 1.36 Patch 13 Endermen can now spawn in the Nether, and can now pick up netherrack.
Added magma blocks.
Added red nether brick and nether wart blocks, which can be crafted but do not otherwise generate naturally in the Nether.

Issues[edit | edit source]

Issues relating to “The Nether” are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Upon entering the Nether in singleplayer, the Overworld will essentially freeze, and resume when the player returns. This is due to chunks loading and unloading.
  • Pressing F3 in the Nether will display the biome as "Hell".
  • In the Console Edition, everything in the Nether is renewable due to the fact the Nether can be restarted any number of times from the main menu using the "Reset Nether" button. This can be done on PC only by deleting your save folder's DIM-1 file, which resets the Nether.
  • The numbers for the 3 dimensions are: -1=The Nether, 0=The Overworld, 1=The End. This implies that the Nether is the next dimension over from the Overworld in the "down" direction and The End is the next dimension over in the "up" direction.
  • The Nether — an endless cave filled with masses of air — appears to be an inversion of the End, an endless sky with a central mass of end stone.
  • In the Console Edition, the nether music in the festive mash-up pack is actually different from the original nether music, with some minor differences.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]