The Nether (also known as "the Nexus" in Notch's blog, and previously, Hell or the Slip) is a hell-like dimension accessible only by entering a Nether Portal from the Overworld. It is home to several hazards, including flames, widespread standing and flowing lava, and Nether-exclusive mobs, as well as exclusive items and blocks.
Locations in The Nether correlate to Overworld coordinates, but Nether distances are scaled down by a ratio of 8:1. Therefore, traveling one block in the Nether means traveling eight blocks in the Overworld. This fact can be used as an Overworld travel shortcut, though the Nether is significantly more hazardous, with more complex terrain, making navigation difficult.
The Nether functions as a second map in a player's world. When it is entered, the chunks from the Overworld map are unloaded and the Nether chunks load instead. Terrain generates infinitely in the Nether just like in the Overworld. If the player dies in the Nether, they will respawn in the Overworld; any surviving inventory items will remain in the Nether.
Nether terrain is largely composed of Netherrack that forms complex platforms and niches, with frequent lava pools, "lavafalls", and streams, and a veritable lava ocean as its floor; it is essentially a complex cave that is hazardous and horizontally infinite. Lava also flows more quickly in the Nether. Bedrock comprises the very top and bottom layers, unlike the Overworld, which has no upper bedrock layer. Glowstone clusters hang from ceilings, and mushrooms grow abundantly on the ground. There are patches of gravel and soul sand, as well as random fires, which are another common Nether hazard. Small tunnels form in the netherrack, which contain random Nether Quartz deposits, but there are no hidden caverns to explore as in the Overworld.
Zombie Pigmen are common, and ghasts can also spawn in any 5x5x5 area. Nether Fortresses, the Nether's only naturally occurring structures, are where the rest of the Nether mobs spawn, and these can provide important dropped items, but present some hazards. Nether Fortresses are also the only place where nether wart can be found.
The Nether has no day/night cycle and no weather. The only natural sources of light are fire, lava, portals, and glowstone. A dim ambient light can be seen throughout the Nether which is actually what light level 0 looks like in the Nether. Plants that usually require a minimum light level, such as flowers and Nether wart, can survive in this light level in The Nether. However, due to a bug, this doesn't work below natural veins of glowstone or below lava source blocks that appear naturally in cave walls. Plants at any level below these formations, even if separated by other terrain, will uproot if not adequately lit. Light otherwise functions similarly to the Overworld: There are 16 levels of brightness; the brightness granted by a light source is reduced by one level with every transparent block it radiates through; and each light source casts the same luminance as it would cast in the Overworld.
In the Xbox 360 edition, world sizes are limited to 862x862 blocks. In the Overworld, the edge of a map generates an ocean and (mostly) smooth shores, whereas in the Nether this limit is formed by a wall of bedrock that abruptly cuts off the terrain. These bedrock walls aren't smooth at all, as they seem to be generated in the same way as the bedrock located at the bottom and top layers of the Nether.
 Nether-affected materials
There is no way to place water in the Nether in a Survival game. Using water buckets will produce steam and an empty bucket. Ice can be picked up using Silk Touch, but will not produce water when broken or melted in the Nether.
Trees grow normally, and their leaves take a dead-looking brownish color like in dry biomes. Care should be taken when planting trees, since the abundance of fire and lava can ignite them very easily.
It is always a good idea to bring an empty map into the Nether and activate it there, as getting lost is easy and can happen frequently. Note that maps do not work as expected in the Nether. Since maps plot down from the top of the region, the scenery will be covered by the Nether's ceiling. The player's direction will be spinning randomly and not provide any use. Nonetheless, maps can still be used to see where the player is in a specific area and can help them backtrack the way they came. For maps to display the Nether, they must be activated there. Alternatively, since the Nether uses coordinates, PC users can press F3. Record the coordinates of the portal you created and find your way back with those.
Compasses and clocks can be brought in freely or crafted in the Nether, but they will not work correctly. As the Nether is in a totally different dimension from the Overworld, compasses will be unable to find the original spawn point, and clocks will not determine the position of the sun or the moon. Their arrows and dials will instead spin and flail madly. Beds will explode when a player attempts to sleep in one. This can be a useful strategy to quickly mine materials in the Nether, but only if the difficulty is set to peaceful.
Lava flows twice as far in the Nether as it does in the Overworld (generally 8 blocks, instead of 4 blocks). Building Snow Golems will only cause them to melt due to the Nether having a very high temperature.
Nether portals are made by creating a frame out of obsidian and then lighting the inside of the frame on fire with flint and steel or a fire charge (fire charges can be launched at the portal frame with dispensers to activate it, preferably right next to it, allowing automatic ignition). The minimum requirement to make a portal is 10 obsidian blocks (4x5 to 2x3 portal frame). When the portal has been lit a purple mist, as shown in the picture, appears inside it which can be selected by looking at it but not mined. It can be destroyed by mining an obsidian block next to it with a diamond pickaxe, a nearby explosion or placing water or lava into it through a bucket or dispenser. Also, the mist can be mined in creative mode and, interestingly creates the same noise made when glass is mined. Doing this turns off the nether portal but does not give the player a block of nether portal purple mist. When the player stands inside the portal for the first time, it will create a portal in its equivalent area of The Nether and transport the player to the Nether. A loading screen will appear during the change of worlds. See the Nether Portal page for more information on portal mechanics.
 Accessing the void on top of the Nether
The "Limbo" area above the Nether is an extremely efficient and safe place to travel since it is flat and there are no naturally spawning mobs. Rail transport is much easier since there are no pigmen to block minecarts.
The ceiling in the Nether is 128 blocks high, but the maximum build height is 256 blocks high. This allows blocks to be placed above the bedrock surface.
There are several ways to access this void:
- Stand just below the bedrock, using pistons to shove the player into the Netherrack, then disconnect from the game and reconnect. On reconnect, the player will be spawned in the next free space above, which is above the bedrock.
- Place one boat on a block with one block of air between it and the ceiling, which needs to be one block thick, and place another boat on the one thick ceiling. Get in the boat, and hold right click to access the void. Sit in the boat on top and reconnect to go back down.
- Throw ender pearls at the bedrock, throwing fast enough to get through. The ender pearls apply a slight vertical boost and repeating this can be used to go up through a block, but does not work sideways or downwards.
- If you have access to creative mode, the easiest method is simply to break the bedrock like any other block. This, however, is not an option to most on servers.
Leaving the void is simple:
- Kill yourself. You will spawn at your spawn point.
- Build a nether portal. Keep in mind that this is a one-way portal; portals in the Overworld will not send you to portals above y=128.
- Use Creative mode to drill a hole in the bedrock.
- Use dark oak Saplings to make a hole in the bedrock, explained in this video.
 File save location
The Nether is saved in the same way normal worlds are, in the following locations by default:
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.
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, as the same level.dat in the upper folder is used for both Overworld and Nether. 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.
 Blocks, structures, and mobs
Entries marked with a D require additional data to fully define the block. Entries marked with a T have tile entities associated with them to store additional data. Items with IDs in red cannot be legitimately obtained in the player's inventory in the game; they can only be obtained by the use of inventory editors or in multiplayer using the /give server command. Items available only in Creative mode are in blue.
 Naturally generated
Naturally Generated includes blocks that are created through the world seed.
|11||0B||Lava (stationary) D|
|153||99||Nether Quartz Ore|
 Naturally created
Naturally Created means a combination of events that cause a new block to be placed by natural causes, not the player.
|10||0A||Lava (flowing) D|
These blocks are generated as part of Nether fortresses. Even if the "Generate Structures" option is turned off, Nether fortresses are still created.
|52||34||Monster Spawner T|
|113||71||Nether Brick Fence|
|114||72||Nether Brick StairsD|
|115||73||Nether Wart D|
The Nether is home to its own share of mobs. Nether mobs are completely fire-proof and can often be seen wandering into lava, where it will take them a while to get out due to the slowdown it causes on movement.
- Ghasts, huge jellyfish-like creatures, will lazily hover around. They are 4×4×4 blocks large, and have 9 tentacles hanging from them. If they spot the player, they will shoot fireballs at them, which can be deflected by shooting arrows at them, punching them or hitting them with any tool. The reflected fireballs will instantly kill the Ghast, if it is hit. These will explode and often leave craters, if the blast-site is weak enough. They make screeching and whimpering noises, something like a purring kitten or an angry baby (actually taken from C418's cat), and can be heard from great distances. Also, they can be killed by firing 2 arrows and hitting the Ghast. If killed, they drop gunpowder and/or ghast tears, used in brewing.
- Zombie Pigmen spawn in groups and wander aimlessly. They will not harm the player unless attacked. If they are, all Pigmen within a 32 block radius become hostile, and will rush the player (sprinting speed) if they move within 16 blocks. This often causes ambushes from behind as the player attempts to attack while fleeing. If killed, they drop rotten flesh and sometimes a gold nugget, and even more rarely, a gold ingot. They may also drop their golden swords, which may have one or two low-level enchantments, commonly Sharpness and Knockback enchantments, though rarely Fire Aspect and even rarer, Looting, may be found. Other golden objects may also drop, like a helmet.
- Blazes are found in Nether fortresses and are primarily spawned through monster spawners found inside the fortresses. They are able to float and shoot 3 fireballs at the player in quick succession. They appear to catch fire just before shooting fireballs, then "cool down" until they can shoot again. If killed, they drop Blaze rods.
- Magma Cubes are spring-like mobs that are the Nether version of Slimes. If killed, they split into 2-3 smaller versions of the original one. Magma Cubes are moderately rare. If killed, they drop magma cream, used in Brewing.
- Wither Skeletons are the Nether equivalent of Skeletons and spawn in Nether fortresses. Unlike skeletons, however, Wither Skeletons use stone swords and are over two blocks tall. When hit by a Wither Skeleton, the player may be inflicted with the "Wither" effect for a few seconds, darkening the health bar and further damaging the player. When killed, the mob may drop coal and bones, and very rarely drop a wither skeleton skull (probability: 0.025) and the stone sword. The skulls are the key items to creating the Wither.
- Skeletons rarely spawn in Nether Fortresses in place of Wither Skeletons. They are the only mobs that naturally spawn in The Nether that are not fireproof.
Overworld mobs like pigs and zombies do not randomly spawn in the Nether, but they can wander or be shoved through a portal. Throwing eggs and constructing golems works as normal (however, Snow Golems will die from the heat). Spawn eggs work normally in the Nether.
 Pocket Edition
 The Nether Reactor
There is no Nether in Pocket Edition. There is however, a structure known as the Nether Reactor. It is built from 14 blocks of Cobblestone, 4 blocks of gold and 1 Nether Reactor Core. It can be seen here: http://www.twitch.tv/jbernhardsson/b/337680976. The alternate Nether is very different from the regular dimension available in the computer and Xbox 360 Edition. The alternate Nether is just a Netherrack room, and items randomly drop. There are Zombie Pigmen, although the hat layer on their texture is missing and they appear to be hostile.
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Prerequisites||Actual requirements (if different)||Version restriction||Xbox points earned|
|We Need to Go Deeper||Build a portal to the Nether||DIAMONDS!||Enter a Nether Portal.||PC||N/A|
|Into The Nether||Xbox||40G|
|October 4, 2010||The Nether was one of the key features to be added in the Halloween Update. This announcement stated that there would be a "hell world" that could be used for fast travel. It hinted it would utilize portals and that distance traveled inside the Nether would be multiplied greatly on the map above ground.|
|October 10, 2010||A screenshot was released by Notch depicting what the Nether would look like.|
|October 29, 2010||When the preview was sent out to a couple of gaming websites, the new dimension was called the Slip to avoid offending religious people and to have a more original name. It was referred to as 'The Nexus' on his personal blog. It was finally changed to “the Nether” on the day of the Halloween update release.|
|1.2.0||With the rest of the Halloween Update's features, such as Ghasts, Zombie Pigmen, netherrack, soul sand, glowstone and portals were added, the Nether was released, and the name - "The Nether" was also changed from the Slip.|
|1.2.2||Lava was made to flow farther than it did on the Overworld.|
|1.6||Portals were made to function properly in multiplayer, allowing players in servers to warp between the Overworld and the Nether.|
|A bug where the player could have menus open while inside portals. When warping, the text on screen would appear totally gray.|
|Beds in the Nether were made to explode if used. This can be used as a mining technique.|
|1.9pre1||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.|
|1.9pre4||With the new "Silk Touch" enchantment, it was possible to legitimately obtain grass and water using ice in the Nether. Because passive mobs and squid spawn in the only place available, it was possible to use this to control the spawning, which allowed the player to make highly efficient passive mob grinder, something extremely difficult to do in the Overworld since passive mobs stopped despawning in Beta 1.8.|
|1.9pre5||The ability to pick up ice blocks with the enchantment was removed in this pre-release. Water also made Nether mob grinders easier as it can transport items without burning them as well as drown Nether mobs that are immune to lava, such as Magma Cubes and Zombie Pigmen.|
|1.2.1||12w06a||Snow Golems now take damage in the Nether.|
|1.3.1||12w17a||Ice doesn't make water in the Nether anymore.|
|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 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 Nether brick.|
|1.5.1||Lava flows more quickly in the nether, and hidden lava can be found in the nether.|
|1.6||13w18a||Chests can now be found in Nether fortresses.|
Issues relating to "The Nether" are maintained on Mojira. Report issues there.
- The idea for the Nether came from a transportation method used in the novel series The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Within this transportation system, the Ways, people could travel a massive amount of distance in a few days instead of weeks. Like the Nether, the Ways has many dangers. Notch also once said that Jake, his co-worker, was a big key to the Nether. It isn't clear exactly what that means.
- One of the level themes in Indev was Hell. It was a normal map, but with a lava ocean, perpetually dim lighting, and a black sky with dull red clouds.
- 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.
- If the player stands on soul sand with lava at the same level adjacent to the soul sand, the player will take damage if he/she steps near the edges of the soul sand. This is due to soul sand being slightly lower in height than other blocks.
- Pressing F3 in the Nether will display the biome as "Hell".
- In the Xbox 360 Edition:
- There is a wall of bedrock surrounding the map to stop the player from crossing the map limit as shown here.
- The only way to enter the top of the Nether is with ender pearls. Even in Creative mode, the top layer of bedrock cannot be broken.
- Everything in the Nether is renewable due to the fact the Nether can be restarted infinitely.
- Water in the Nether instantly evaporates and disappears; placing water from a bucket would only make a hissing noise and smoke.
- It can, however, be placed by /setblock, and would act as it would in the Overworld.
- Despite only able to spawn with golden armor, certain zombie pigmen will be able to pick up any type of armor or tool.
- When you place a grass block, it will appear as a faded greenish-yellow color. The faded color also applies to the dirt block.
- It is possible to complete the game (access the End) without ever entering the Nether, by trading with villagers for eyes of Ender. However, this deprives the player of many valuable resources.
The first screenshot released by Notch showing what the Nether would look like.
View of Nether fortresses
View of Nether fortresses with a Blaze Spawner