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Solid Block









Blast resistance





A diamond pickaxe or better is required to mine this block




Yes (64)



First appearances

Classic 0.26 Survival Test (October 24, 2009)
Infdev (June 17, 2010)



Data value

dec: 49 hex: 31 bin: 110001



Naturally occurring Obsidian.
Water pouring onto lava springs, forming Obsidian.

Obsidian is a deep purple and black block known for its high blast resistance and strength, used to create Nether portals and Enchantment Tables. Obsidian is the second toughest block in Minecraft (behind Bedrock) and is immune to nearly all explosions, the exceptions being a Wither's blue skull missiles and a Fireball with an ExplosionPower value of at least 278 created with /summon.


See also: Tutorials/Obsidian Farming

There are a number of ways to obtain obsidian, including some renewable methods. Obsidian can also be found in village chests in groups of 3 to 7 and nether fortress chests in groups of 2 to 4, although this is not practical.

Lava and Water[edit]

Using a water spring to mine obsidian.

In the Overworld, obsidian never actually spawns with the chunk, but is created by the environment. Obsidian is formed when flowing water hits a lava source block, and can be found naturally where water from a spring or lake has flowed over a nearby lava pool. Creating obsidian like this consumes nonrenewable lava.

Natural obsidian "lakes" provide a great deal of obsidian, but mining them can be somewhat hazardous, because there is likely to be lava remaining underneath the obsidian surface. However, the danger can be minimized with a bit of forethought. First of all, fence off any water flows so they won't push you around, especially if the water flows to the edge of remaining lava. Then, look for the edge of the obsidian "lake", or at least a convenient point to begin. Dig a one block deep hole on a level area next to the obsidian, or even in it. (If there is lava under the hole, you may lose the block you just mined, but this is minor.) Place the water source in this hole — if there's lava beneath, place it against the side of the hole, and it will solidify the lava. Now mine your obsidian, moving outward from the hole. When you expose lava, the water will quench it so quickly that the lava usually won't even burn your newly mined obsidian. Continue mining outward from the spring as far as the water will travel, after which you can move the water. This method lets you stand on solid blocks rather than in running water.

It is also possible to just place buckets of lava and flood them with water. This can be used to "cast" structures in place (usually in molds of dirt or such), but it is fairly slow and somewhat hazardous because of having to fill and handle many buckets of lava for a large project. There is also the point that lava itself is not renewable, though large quantities can be found even in the Overworld, in addition to the Nether.

End pillars[edit]

In The End, solid pillars of obsidian can be found on the surface. It is one of the few blocks not destroyed by contact with the Enderdragon, along with End Stone, End Portal and Bedrock.

End spawn platform[edit]

When a player enters The End, a platform of 25 obsidian blocks is generated for the player to spawn on. This platform can then be mined, and will be regenerated when the player reenters The End, thus providing a renewable source of obsidian.

Nether portals[edit]

In the Nether, obsidian does not form naturally, but is created when a Nether Portal is spawned. This portal can then be mined, providing another way of obtaining obsidian renewably. This method takes advantage of the fact that a new portal from either dimension, if it can't find an existing portal in the other dimension, will create a new one. This requires 20 or so blocks of obsidian (or 10 and a working Portal) to start with, but those can be used to create from 14 to 18 more blocks on each round. First, build a portal to the Nether (making sure it's the only portal within 150 to 200 blocks), and secure a base on the other side, making sure you can move around safely. Then, move at least 16 blocks in the Nether from the original portal, build another portal, and light it.

At this point, your farm is set up. When you exit the Nether from your second portal, you create a new portal in the Overworld, which you can mine (destroying it). Then re-enter your original portal, and repeat until you have enough obsidian. Note that if you completely mined the new portal, it will be re-created in the same place. If you left blocks there, the next portal will be moved to avoid the blocks.

An alternative way to build a farm is to enter the Nether, wait for a Ghast to extinguish the portal, kill yourself, and then repeat with the same portal. An unlit portal frame won't be detected as a match, so another portal will spawn.

Mining time[edit]

See also: Digging#Digging speed

Obsidian is known as the sole block which can only be successfully mined with a diamond pickaxe. Enchanting the pickaxe with 'Efficiency' will speed up the process (by +30% speed/level). Below are the mining times for each level of enchantment.

Tool Enchantment Mining Time
Diamond Pickaxe None 9.4s
Efficiency I 7.25s
Efficiency II 5.55s
Efficiency III 4.3s
Efficiency IV 3.3s
Efficiency V 2.55s
Other None 4m 10s (no block drop)

This is how the mining time works: Obsidian has a "base" time of 75 seconds to mine. A diamond pickaxe mines at 8 times basic speed, which brings it to 9.37 seconds. But the diamond pickaxe is also the "proper tool" for this block, so without it, mining takes 3 ⅓ times the base time, which is 250 seconds (4 minutes and 10 seconds).

With a Beacon, the Haste and Haste II effects can be used to reduce mining time further. Using Efficiency V without a haste effect, it takes about 2.55 seconds to mine each block, resulting in being able to mine approximately 23.5 blocks of obsidian in a minute. With Haste, this is reduced to around 2.14 seconds per block, or 28 blocks in a minute. Haste II further reduces the time to mine each block to about 1.875 seconds per block, or 32 blocks a minute.


  • Igniting the interior of a vertical rectangle (of size between 4x5 and 23x23) made of Obsidian will create a Nether Portal.
  • Obsidian is often used to prevent griefing due to its long mining time and contrasting appearance against most other blocks. Griefers are deterred because of its long destroying time. On the other hand, since its long mining time can make it frustrating to remove, it is also used by griefers themselves to block paths, chests, furnaces, or even fill a small base with obsidian. As long as the griefer has enough obsidian, this can be done in a matter of seconds.
  • Obsidian can be used to build explosion resistant shelters. At 6,000, Obsidian's explosion resistance rating is second only to Bedrock, End Portal block, and End Portal. It has the same resistance as an Enchantment Table, and twice that of an Ender Chest. It is therefore an exceptionally desirable construction material for making defensive structures, in both SSP or SMP, as it is impervious to Lava, explosions, and Ender Dragons.
  • Building and testing of structures used to set off explosives, such as a TNT cannon, or an explosive defense.
  • Obsidian is used to craft Enchantment Tables, Ender Chests, and Beacon Blocks
  • Since obsidian cannot be moved by pistons, it may be used in Redstone circuits and devices relying on this property. However, chests and furnaces have the same property and are easier to obtain.

As a crafting ingredient[edit]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe


Obsidian +
Glass +
Nether Star

Glass Glass Glass Grid layout Arrow (small).png Beacon
Glass Nether Star Glass
Obsidian Obsidian Obsidian

Enchantment Table

Obsidian +
Diamond +

Grid layout Arrow (small).png Enchantment Table
Diamond Obsidian Diamond
Obsidian Obsidian Obsidian

Ender Chest

Obsidian +
Eye of Ender

Obsidian Obsidian Obsidian Grid layout Arrow (small).png Ender Chest
Obsidian Eye of Ender Obsidian
Obsidian Obsidian Obsidian



0.26 SURVIVAL TEST 9 Added obsidian.
It was generally used for making dark things, or the black lines of Pixel Art. In Survival Test mode, obsidian was extremely tough to break and would drop one or two Cobblestone blocks when broken.
Obsidian was removed.
Obsidian was restored. It was used to mark the positions of the cardinal directions. This created two intersecting planes extending just above the surface of the solid material that surrounds them. (This has long since been removed.)
1.2.0 The Nether Portal was introduced, made using obsidian.
1.8-pre1 Obsidian could be mined with an iron pickaxe (since removed), and moved by Endermen.
1.8 Obsidian can no longer be moved by Endermen.
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre3 The Enchantment Table was introduced, crafted using obsidian.
Beta 1.9-pre6 Obsidian was much quicker to mine (from 15 to 2.5 seconds).
Obsidian mining time was increased from 2.5 to 10 seconds.
1.1 Obsidian can be found in village chests.
1.3.1 12w21a The Ender Chest was introduced, crafted using obsidian.
1.4.2 12w36a The Beacon Block got a crafting recipe using obsidian.
12w38a The Wither's "Blue Wither Skull" projectile was introduced, producing a special explosion which can destroy obsidian.
1.7 13w36a Obsidian can now be destroyed with explosives by summoning a Fireball with custom data.
1.8 14w25a "Infiniobsidian" glitch (allowing conversion of redstone into obsidian) fixed during the implementation of the new block metadata format.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.5.0 Glowing Obsidian was added, which drops a block of regular obsidian when mined. It used to be mineable with an Iron Pickaxe, making it an easier way to get obsidian.
The newly added Nether Reactor structure generates a “spire” of obsidian when activated.
0.6.0 The “spires” generated by Nether Reactors are now made of Netherrack instead of obsidian.
0.7.3 Glowing Obsidian now requires a Diamond Pickaxe.
Console Edition
TU1 Added obsidian.
Pi Edition
0.1.1 Added obsidian.


Issues relating to "Obsidian" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • Obsidian is one of the hardest blocks to destroy in Minecraft. In reality, obsidian is glass-like in texture and quite fragile.
  • Obsidian portals created by the game always have corner blocks, but these can be mined without affecting the portal. If a nether portal is floating in midair, the game will add two blocks of obsidian to each side along the bottom row, increasing the "free" obsidian from the new portal to eight.
  • Destroying an obsidian block with a diamond pickaxe while underwater without standing on solid ground would take 3 minutes and 54 seconds. (Without the pickaxe, it takes 4 minutes and 10 seconds.) Either way, the player will run out of air long before the block is mined.
  • Obsidian cannot be moved by pistons.
  • Obsidian is the only block that can appear naturally in all three dimensions.
  • Obsidian is most commonly found on layer 10, where environmental water flows onto natural lava lakes.
  • It is a common misconception that enough TNT will destroy obsidian. Even though its explosion resistance rating is finite, additional TNT or other explosives will have no more effect on an individual block than only one (it would take 71.25 times the explosive power of TNT to destroy a block of obsidian). It is possible to hack or use /summon an explosion strong enough to destroy obsidian, but no such explosion appears naturally.
    • The "Blue Wither Skull"'s ability to destroy obsidian is a special feature; its explosion is otherwise no stronger than a Ghast's fireball.
  • Notch once planned to make floating masses of land that required obsidian veins to stay afloat. He later stated that he disliked the idea.[1]