Obsidian can only be found naturally near Lava beds that are below sea level. It is created when Water touches a lava source block, causing the lava block to turn into an obsidian block. For this reason, it is usually found very deep underground, around layer 10. However, it can still be found anywhere where water and lava meet.
To collect obsidian, a diamond Pickaxe must be used, and it will take 8.5 seconds to mine (quicker if the pickaxe is enchanted with efficiency). It takes approximately 250 seconds to break an obsidian block by hand, and about 50 seconds to break it with a pickaxe weaker than diamond, although neither will yield any obsidian.
Obsidian is a renewable resource, as the spawning platform and Ender Crystal pillars in The End (which are made of obsidian) are regenerated when a Player re-enters the dimension or re-spawns the Ender Dragon. Obsidian is also spawned when Nether Portals are created, as portal frames are also made of obsidian. The four extra corner blocks of a nether portal can be mined and used to create other nether portals, without deactivating the portal.
Obsidian is required to make the frame of a Nether Portal. Prior to update 1.7, a portal could to be built in either a 4×1×5 or a 2×1×3 frame of obsidian without any blocks in the middle of the portal. Currently, the maximum size a portal can be is a 23×1×23 frame, with the middle left open. The corner blocks do not have to be included in the portal. After the portal is complete, lighting one of the bottom obsidian blocks on fire with a Fire Charge or a Flint and Steel (lava will not work) will activate the portal, and grant access to The Nether.
Obsidian is very resistant to explosions (with the exception of a Wither's skeleton skull attack). It is therefore useful for players interested in building near-indestructible rooms, which can either be used for protection against explosions outside, or as a trap for other players caught in an explosion within the room. Obsidian is therefore a common building material for defensive structures on Multiplayer servers.
|Tool||Enchantment||Mining Time (sec)|
|Diamond Pickaxe||No Efficiency||9.2|
|Gold Pickaxe||Efficiency 1–5||20.85|
|Iron Pickaxe||Efficiency 1–5||41.7|
|Stone Pickaxe||Efficiency 1–5||62.5|
|Wooden Pickaxe||Efficiency 1–5||125|
|Enchantment Table||Ender Chest|
|Diamond||Obsidian||Diamond||Obsidian||Eye of Ender||Obsidian|
- While obsidian is a strong block in Minecraft, obsidian in the real world is a fragile volcanic glass. However, it is capable of reaching a sharpness equal to (if not, higher) diamond. It was for this reason that obsidian was a popular material used for arrow heads throughout earth's history.
- Changing the in-game language to "Pirate" will rename obsidian to "Rock o' Tears", possibly a reference to the unimplemented Crying Obsidian.
- Village blacksmiths and Nether Fortress Chests can rarely contain obsidian, although between the two, it is three-times as likely to be offered by a blacksmith.
- In Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Glowing Obsidian (a red-glowing variant), could be created when activating a Nether Core Reactor. However, it cannot be mined or obtained.
- Obsidian is one of only a few blocks that cannot be destroyed by an ender dragon (the others being end stone, air, and bedrock). Instead, the dragon will phase through it, and knock back any player hiding behind one of the obsidian pillars, causing damage to the player.
- Despite being one of the most durable blocks, the wither can still break it with its attacks.