Minecraft Wiki
This article is about the structure. For the block, see Nether Portal (block). For the block in Java Edition 20w14∞, see Funky Portal. For the naturally generated structure, see Ruined Portal.
Nether portal
Nether portal.gif
Consists of
Can generate in
existing chunks

Yes, when a player goes through a portal and there is no active portal within 128 blocks of the matching coordinate

A nether portal is a manufactured structure that acts as a gateway between the Overworld and the Nether dimensions.


Build schematics
Full version Minimal version

A nether portal is built as a vertical, rectangular frame of obsidian (4×5 minimum, 23×23 maximum). The four corners of the frame are not required, but portals created by the game always include them, resulting in 4 free/extra obsidian. The obsidian can be placed in any manner, e.g. by placing mined obsidian, by completing a ruined portal, or by casting it in place using lava and water. Adjacent portals can share obsidian blocks. A nether portal cannot be built horizontally like an end portal.

Once a frame is constructed, it is activated by fire placed inside the frame. This creates portal blocks inside the frame, resembling a vortex. The fire can be placed in any manner, including use of flint and steel or a fire charge, the impact of a fireball or small fireball, a lightning strike, or natural spread of fire to flammable material adjacent to the portal. Nether portals can be activated only in the Overworld or the Nether; they cannot be activated in the End and customized dimensions.

The fire must be the last placed block in the structure—a fire on an incomplete frame does not result in the portal activating upon the placement of the last obsidian block.

When a portal is used by a player, if no corresponding portal within range exists in the other dimension, one is created there; see § Portal search and § Portal creation. There is an infinitesimal chance of failure for the corresponding portal to generate in the Nether, leaving the player trapped until death or until another portal can be constructed, either in the Nether or by another player in the Overworld.


Main article: Nether Portal (block)

When a player in the Overworld or the Nether stands in a nether portal block for 4 seconds, the player is taken to the other dimension. The player can step out of a portal before it completes its animation to abort the teleport. However, in Creative, the wait time is one game tick (120 second) for the player to transfer between dimensions. If there is already an active portal within range (about 128 blocks) in the other dimension, the player appears in that portal. Otherwise, a portal is created at or near the corresponding coordinates. If a portal is deactivated, and the matching portal in the other dimension is used before it is re-activated, a new portal may be created (unless there is another active portal within range). The usual cause for this is when the player's Nether-side portal is deactivated by a ghast, and then the player dies in the Nether, spawns, and then re-enters the Nether through the Overworld-side portal. However, multiple portals can be exploited to farm obsidian.

Most entities can travel through portals, including mobs (except the wither and ender dragon), thrown items, and transportation without passengers (neither mobs nor player)[1], including boats, minecarts and horses. Unlike players, other entities travel through portals instantly, and once they reach the other side, there is a cool-down time for 300 game ticks (15 seconds), in which they cannot go through any nether portals. Therefore, an entity can only travel though nether portals again, once it is not touching any nether portal for 15 seconds. In Bedrock Edition, a parrot on the player's shoulder prevents the player from going through the portal.[2]

Zombified piglins have a chance to spawn on the bottom frame of the portal in the Overworld in Java Edition if any nether portal block above receives a block tick. In Bedrock Edition they spawn in certain squares adjacent to the portals in the Overworld, not inside them. Zombified piglins spawned in this way have a full 15-second portal cooldown, meaning they can't go through the portal they are spawned in unless they leave the portal for a while. They spawn twice as often on Normal difficulty as on Easy, and three times as often on Hard difficulty as on Easy. No other mobs can be spawned by nether portals in this way, in any dimension.

Active portals also repel hoglins.

Chunk loading[]

Whenever an entity is teleported through a nether portal, the chunk at the linked portal gets load ticket with load level of 30, meaning that it is fully loaded and can process entities. This load level also spreads to adjacent chunks but they get lower for each chunk. This results in 8 more fully loaded "entity ticking" chunks with gradually fewer loaded chunks further out.

These chunks remain loaded for 15 seconds but this timer gets refreshed each time the entity passes through the portal (including mobs wandering through it from either direction). This can be used to permanently load chunks, creating a "chunk loader". Permanently-loaded chunks created using chunk loaders create a considerable amount of lag.

Portal linkage between Overworld and Nether[]

The closest portal to the corresponding location receives the player.

A new portal is generated in the closest empty area if no portal is found in range.

Coordinate conversion[]

Horizontal coordinates and distances in the Nether are proportional to the Overworld in a 1:8 ratio. That is, by moving 1 block horizontally in the Nether, players have moved the equivalent of 8 blocks on the Overworld. This does not apply to the Y-axis. Thus, for a given location (X, Y, Z) in the Overworld, the corresponding coordinates in the Nether are (floor(X ÷ 8), Y, floor(Z ÷ 8)), and conversely, for a location (X, Y, Z) in the Nether, the matching Overworld coordinates are (X × 8, Y, Z × 8).

The Java floor() method used in these conversions rounds down to the largest integer less than or equal to the argument (toward smaller positive values and toward larger negative values), so a coordinate of 29.9 rounds to 29, and one of −29.9 to −30.

Both the X and Z coordinates in this conversion are constrained to be between −29,999,872 and 29,999,872 (inclusive); this affects travel to the Overworld from the Nether at X or Z beyond ±3,749,984.

Portal search[]

When an entity starts colliding with a nether portal block, the game records the coordinates of the entity.

The game then converts those coordinates into destination coordinates as above: The entry X- and Z-coordinates are multiplied if the entity is in the Nether or divided by 8 if the entity is in the overworld, while the Y-coordinate is not changed.

Starting at these destination coordinates, the game looks for all nearby portal point of interest (POI). That point of interest can be within 257×257 blocks in the Overworld and 33×33 blocks in the Nether[3] centered on the converted coordinate and the full map height.

If any candidate portal block is found, then the game selects the closest one as determined by its distance in the new coordinate system (including the Y coordinate, which can cause seemingly more distant portals to be selected), and teleports the entity to the lowest connected portal block (this prevents players from being dropped from the top of tall portals). Note that the calculated distance is Euclidean distance, not taxicab distance. The distance computation between portals in the range is a straight-line distance calculation, and the shortest path is chosen, counting the Y difference.

Portal creation[]

For players, if no portals exist in the search region, the game creates one, by looking for the closest suitable location to place a portal, within 16 blocks horizontally (but any distance vertically) of the player's destination coordinates. A valid location is 3×4 buildable blocks with air 4 high above all 12 blocks. When enough space is available, the orientation of the portal is random. The closest valid position in the 3D distance is always picked.

A valid location exactly 3 wide in the shorter dimension may sometimes not be found, as the check for a point fails if the first tried orientation wants that dimension to be 4 wide. This is likely a bug.

If the first check for valid locations fails entirely, the check is redone looking for a 1×4 expanse of buildable blocks with air 4 high above each.

If that fails, too, a portal is forced at the target coordinates, but with Y constrained to be between 70 and 10 less than the world height (i.e. 118 for the Nether or 246 for the Overworld). When a portal is forced in this way, a 2×3 platform of obsidian with air 3 high above is created at the target location, overwriting whatever might be there. This provides air space underground or a small platform if high in the air. In Bedrock Edition, these obsidian blocks are flanked by 4 more blocks of netherrack on each side, resulting in 12 blocks of platform.

Once coordinates are chosen, a portal (always 4×5 and including the corners) including portal blocks is constructed at the target coordinates, replacing anything in the way.

If a portal is forced into water or lava, the liquid immediately flows into the generated air blocks, leaving the player with no airspace. However, a glitch can prevent this water from flowing into the portal: if the liquid would flow both vertically and horizontally into the air pocket, it instead flows only vertically, so the blocks on the platform's outer corners never become water source blocks.


SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Portal whooshes[sound 1]BlocksRandomblock.portal.ambient[sound 2]subtitles.block.portal.ambient[sound 2]??10
None[sound 3]Ambient/EnvironmentAfter being teleported throughblock.portal.travel[sound 2]None[sound 3]??16
Portal noise intensifies[sound 1]Ambient/EnvironmentStanding in the portalblock.portal.trigger[sound 2]subtitles.block.portal.trigger??16
  1. a b The subtitle refers to it generically as a portal rather than specifically a nether portal: see MC-218020
  2. a b c d The sound event and translation string still refers to this generically as "portal", despite the block being renamed to "nether_portal" in 1.13; see also the bug tracker ticket on this
  3. a b MC-184622


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Gamerscore earned Trophy type (PS4)
PS4 Other
Into The NetherConstruct a Nether Portal.Light a nether portal.30GBronze


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Resource location
Advancement-plain-raw.pngWe Need to Go Deeper
Build, light and enter a Nether Portal Ice Bucket ChallengeEnter the Nether dimension.story/enter_the_nether
Bring summer clothes Enter the Nether dimension.nether/root
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngSubspace Bubble
Use the Nether to travel 7 km in the Overworld NetherUse the Nether to travel between 2 points in the Overworld with a minimum horizontal euclidean distance of 7000 blocks between each other, which is 875 blocks in the Nether.nether/fast_travel
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngUneasy Alliance
Rescue a Ghast from the Nether, bring it safely home to the Overworld... and then kill it Return to SenderKill a ghast while in the Overworld.nether/uneasy_alliance


Note: These videos do not mention that nether portals on the Nether ceiling now link up with Overworld portals.


History of the structure itself[]

Missing Model JE3.png
This section would benefit from the addition of more images. 
Please remove this notice once you've added suitable images to the article.
The specific instructions are: Nether portals during a1.2.0-preview, Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4 nether portals, and Texture Update nether portals (and nether portal block).
Java Edition Alpha
v1.2.0previewAdded nether portals.
v1.2.2aThe player can now create a nether portal by pressing F4 (presumably a developer testing function).
v1.2.2bThe F4 cheat has been removed from nether portals.
Java Edition
1.7.2September 11, 2013Dinnerbone releases images of larger and different shaped nether portals, also mentions the ability to light a portal from any block, not just the bottom row.[4] Both the sign and circular nature of the portal in the second image are references to Stargate, Col. Jack O'Neill was often heard mentioning his hatred for cliches.
13w37aPortals can now be activated from any block within the portal, not just the bottom (when any fire block appears inside the frame).
There are now new nether portal building rules: portals can now be built at a minimum of 4×5, and a maximum of 23×23.
Nether portals now use block data values (later changed to block state) to determine their orientation. Old portals created in 1.6.4 and earlier have a tendency to close when upgrading.
1.1620w16aAdded ruined portals.
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.12.1build 1Added nether portals.
Nether portals can be built at a minimum of 4×5, and a maximum of 23×23.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU1 1.0 Patch 11.0.1Added nether portals.
TU31CU19 1.22 Patch 3There are now new nether portal building rules: Any rectangular shape from 4×5 to 23×23.
If the nether portal in the Nether is big enough, ghasts can now travel through.
Nether portals can now be activated by any fire block within the frame.

Other historical info[]

Java Edition Alpha
v1.2.0October 4, 2010A poster on Notch's blog announced a new "hell world," and hinted that it would utilize portals for fast travels.
October 22, 2010Originally, ghasts were intended to spawn from nether portals (referred to as "gates") in the Overworld. However, this ability has not yet been implemented.[5]
October 29, 2010Notch sent a preview of the Halloween Update to two gaming companies; their articles[6][7] detailed the usage of nether portals, used for entering what was then known as "the Slip".
Java Edition Beta
1.6Test Build 3Nether portals now work in multiplayer. Before this update, nether portals could be created on multiplayer servers, but could not teleport players to the Nether, thus multiplayer servers required modding to access the Nether.
The travel.ogg sound and the screen animation used after traveling through a nether portal do not work in multiplayer.
Standing in a nether portal now forces all GUIs to close, including the pause menu and chat.
The nausea screen animation shown while entering a nether portal is now slower.
Java Edition
1.2.1?The Overworld's height limit has been raised to 256, but portals from the Nether cannot find portals above Y=128.
1.3.112w18aAs a result of singleplayer being changed to an internal server, travel.ogg no longer plays when using a nether portal, and the screen animation after traveling through a portal no longer plays.
12w22aZombie pigmen now rarely spawn from nether portals in the Overworld.
?Portals from the Nether now search the entire height of the Overworld.
1.4.212w34aEntities can now travel through portals.
The screen animation used when entering a portal is now replayed after traveling through, rather than having no animation (as before this snapshot) or a unique animation (as before 12w18a).
12w38aThe Nether now loads faster when traveling through a nether portal in Survival mode and loads immediately when in Creative mode.
1.7.213w41aNether portals, water and ice are now visible through each other.
1.916w02aNether portals now play travel.ogg again.
?The pause menu can once again be opened while standing in a nether portal.
1.1519w36aNether portals in the Overworld now correctly link with portals placed in the top half (128–255) of the Nether dimension.
Search for an existing portal to connect to is now chunk based: the searched area is now 17×17 chunks instead of 257×257 blocks
1.1620w06aTraveling through nether portals is now almost seamless.
20w14aHoglins are now scared of active portals.
1.16.220w28aThe portal search has changed.
Pocket Edition Alpha
?The sounds of nether portals have been updated to match Java.
Legacy Console Edition
TU31CU19 1.22 Patch 3If the nether portal in the Nether is big enough, ghasts can now travel through.


Issues relating to "Nether portal" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.



  • Portals can be placed together in a tunnel-like fashion, though it appears as if the third portal is lit as the first two in a row mimic glass. If more than six portals are connected, the inner portals are completely invisible while in the portal tunnel, however, the particle effects can still be seen throughout. These connected portals also share the 4-second countdown until teleportation, so as long as the player is within a connected portal, they are sent to another dimension.
  • The player cannot open their inventory or the chat window while standing in an active portal, and any other GUI (such as that of a chest or villager) is immediately closed when opened.
  • If 2 portals intersect, and the player lights a fire in the intersection (i.e., in both portals at once) only the portal that lies within the x-axis is activated. Lighting any other block activates whichever portal it is in.
  • There is a splash text referencing the nether portal. It says "Slow acting portals!".