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Ancient debris is the second rarest ore in the game; it was added in the 1.16 Nether Update. It is found in the Nether, most commonly from y=22 to y=8, and is the only legitimate source of Netherite Scrap. It floats on lava in item form, cannot be burned, and has the same blast resistance as obsidian but is movable by pistons.


Ancient debris generates in the Nether in the form of veins of one to three blocks.  They are obtained when mined with a diamond pickaxe or better. Ancient debris also generates only with either blocks or lava surrounding all 6 sides, never open to air (although in some rare instances it generates under a twisting vine, making it visible from the surface).

Ancient debris can be gathered quickly in three ways: TNT explosions destroy netherrack, which has a low blast resistance, but leaves ancient debris. However, this process is very expensive. Exploding beds work likewise. This process is cheaper, but it is more dangerous than TNT explosions as its blast range is higher and it sets fire to nearby blocks and players. Another alternative is to branch mine using a diamond pickaxe with Efficency V, but it will break quickly, so it is best to have unbreaking and/or mending on it, too. Ancient Debris is most common on y=15, but if using beds, it is recommended to go a block or two lower to avoid dealing with lava lakes.

The Fortune enchantment does not work on ancient Debris, just like Iron and Gold ore. It also doesn't drop any experience.

An easy and efficient way to look for ancient debris is by digging a very long two block high, one block wide tunnel at y=12-y=15. Then place TNT blocks at 4 block intervals along it. As explained earlier, TNT is a bit costly though, but it is very satisfying to watch, and exposes quite a ton of ancient debris. Credit goes to Wattles.


The only offical usage of ancient debris is for smelting to create Netherite scraps, which can be used to create netherite ingots.


Ancient Debris requires a diamond or netherite pickaxe to harvest; otherwise, it will drop nothing. Ancient debris will not generate in explored chunks of already generated worlds before 1.16.0.

Tool DiamondPickaxe NetheritePickaxe
Hardness 30
Breaking time[note 1]
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.
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