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Solid Block







Blast resistance





A diamond pickaxe or better is required to mine this block




Yes (64)



First appearances

See History



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 which is created when lava and water meet. It is known for its high blast resistance and strength and one of its most common uses is for creating nether portals for connecting the Overworld with the Nether.

Obtaining[edit | edit source]

See also: Tutorials/Obsidian farming

Mining[edit | edit source]

See also: Digging#Digging speed

Obsidian is known as the sole block which can only be successfully mined with a diamond pickaxe. Without enchantments, the table below shows the mining time of obsidian.

Hardness 50
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 250
Wooden 125
Stone 62.5
Iron 41.7
Diamond 9.4
Golden 20.85
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

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

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.

Lava and water[edit | edit source]

Using a water spring to mine obsidian.

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.

Natural generation[edit | edit source]

Obsidian can be created when a Nether portal is spawned in the Nether or the overworld. This portal can then be mined, providing another way of obtaining obsidian renewably.

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. Solid pillars of obsidian can also be found on the surface.

As of 1.9[upcoming], obsidian also generates as a part of end cities.

Chests[edit | edit source]

Obsidian can be found in 26.0% of village blacksmith chests, in stacks of 3–7, and in 9.3% of nether fortress chests, in stacks of 2–4.

Usage[edit | edit source]

Obsidian can be used to build explosion resistant structures. At 6,000, Obsidian's explosion resistance is the highest you can obtain in Survival mode, other than anvils which have the same blast resistance. Obsidian cannot be pushed by pistons.

Nether portals[edit | edit source]

Obsidian can be used to create a nether portal frame, which can then be ignited using fire. The frame will be a vertical rectangle any size from 4×5 to 23×23. Note that the corners of the frame are not required.

Crafting ingredient[edit | edit source]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe


Obsidian +
Glass +
Nether Star

Ender Chest

Obsidian +
Eye of Ender

Enchantment Table

Obsidian +
Diamond +

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

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 1.8-pre1 Obsidian could be mined with an iron pickaxe (since removed), or 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.
1.7.2 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.
14w30a Obsidian can now be found inside chests in nether fortresses
1.9 15w31a Obsidian now generates as part of the end cities.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.5.0 Glowing obsidian was added, which drops a block of regular obsidian when mined.
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.
0.12.1 build 1 Obsidian can now be used to form nether portals.
Console Edition
TU1 Added obsidian.
Pi Edition
0.1.1 Added obsidian.

Issues[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Obsidian is one of the hardest blocks to destroy in Minecraft. In reality, obsidian is glass-like in texture and quite fragile.
  • In real life, obsidian is an extrusive igneous rock like andesite, meaning that they are both formed from lava that has cooled down.
  • 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. (Unless a potion of water breathing is used)
  • Obsidian cannot be moved by pistons.
  • Lava is most commonly found on layer 10. This also means obsidian is common here, as underground water springs flows onto the lava.
  • 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.
    • Obsidian is one of only three blocks that naturally appear in the Overworld, the Nether, and the End. The others are bedrock and fire.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]