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Nether Reactor
Nether Reactor.png
Consists of
First appearances

See History

This page contains content that is no longer in the game. 
In 0.12.1, this feature was replaced with the nether.

The nether reactor was a player-built structure exclusive to the Pocket Edition which, when activated, spawned large quantities of normally rare or unobtainable items. The Nether Reactor was made uncraftable in Alpha 0.12.1 and replaced with the Nether, and could only be created in older worlds that had unused nether reactors or with inventory editors.


The reactor was constructed by placing gold blocks, cobblestone, and a nether reactor core in the 3x3x3 arrangement shown below. Air blocks were required on the middle and top layers. If the structure was incorrect, attempting to activate the reactor resulted in the client message "Not the correct pattern!".

Top layer.
Middle layer
Bottom layer


The 'Nether Spire'

Tapping the core activated the reactor, sending the client message "Active!". Immediately after activation, a massive 35×17×17 structure of netherrack with multiple rooms, unofficially referred to as a "Nether Spire",[1] was generated around the reactor. The bottom room, which contains the reactor, replaced all blocks other than those of the reactor with air, while blocks in the upper levels remained intact.

Items would begin to spawn within the reactor room, including glowstone dust, nether quartz, cacti, sugar canes, both types of mushrooms, bowls, pumpkin seeds, and melon seeds. Zombie pigmen were also able to spawn. It was advisable to empty out one's inventory beforehand so that no items were missed, other than any weapons used to fight the zombie pigmen (unless playing in peaceful difficulty). During this stage, the blocks that made up the reactor were converted into glowing obsidian, and the core adopted a red texture to symbolise activation. If the player mined the active core, all aspects of the reaction froze.

The reactor cycle would end after 45 seconds, damaging the reactor's structure and changing the world to night. The reactor was replaced with a 3×3×3 box of obsidian containing the core, which adopted a darker, blue-black texture to indicate that the reaction has ended. If the player built a new reactor around the burnt out core, the netherrack spire would generate, although the rest of the reaction would not take place.

The reactor could be activated in Creative mode.[1]


  • That all players were in range of the reactor's effects on activation.
  • That the reactor was built within the valid range (Y: 4-96).
  • That the player who activated the reactor was standing level with the structure.


Pocket Edition Alpha
September 5, 2012A image of the Nether reactor is tweeted by Johan Bernhardsson. At that time, it used iron blocks rather than cobblestone to activate.
0.5.0Added the nether reactor. Spire is made of obsidian.
0.6.0The spire is now composed of netherrack.
0.8.0Now spawns pumpkin seeds.
0.11.0build 1Can no longer be activated at bedrock level.
The day/night cycle now continues upon mining the active core.
0.12.1build 1The Nether reactor is made obsolete by the addition of the Nether. While the Nether reactor blocks still exist they serve no purpose.


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


  • The spire was composed of over 25 stacks worth of netherrack.
  • Excluding the core, any part of the reactor could be mined after activation and it would still function. This way, the player could recycle the expensive gold blocks. It was possible to recover all 4 blocks provided the player worked quickly.
  • Because the spire could not replace blocks past the world border, when the reactor was activated near the edge of old worlds the player would be able to see the time set to night.
  • If the nether reactor core was mined out while the nether reactor is active, the glowing obsidian would not turn into obsidian after the reactor deactivates. This also caused the reactor to stop spawning items and zombie pigmen.