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Not to be confused with Soul Soil.
Soul Sand
Soul Sand JE2 BE2.png



Yes (64)


Blast resistance









No, but burns indefinitely on the top side as soul fire

Catches fire from lava


Soul sand is a block found naturally only in the Nether. Soul sand usually slows down the movement of mobs and players walking on it. It is also used for growing nether wart and for constructing a Wither.


Natural generation[]

Soul sand is found below Y=34 in the nether wastes, generally in four-block-deep layers. It is also found naturally in nether wart rooms of nether fortresses.

Soul sand also generates in hoglin stables and housing unit bastion remnants.

Soul sand also generates in soul sand valleys as part of the surface terrain.

Soul sand can generate in the Nether in the form of blobs. Soul sand attempts to generate 12 times per chunk in blobs of size 0-23, from altitudes 0 to 31, in soul sand valleys. It can replace only netherrack.


Soul sand can be mined with any tool (or none), but shovels are the quickest.

Block Soul Sand
Hardness 0.5
Breaking time[A]
Default 0.75
Wooden 0.4
Stone 0.2
Iron 0.15
Diamond 0.1
Netherite 0.1
Golden 0.1
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools as wielded by players with no status effects, measured in seconds. For more information, see Breaking § Speed.

Chest loot[]

Item Structure Container Quantity Chance
Java Edition
Soul Sand Bastion remnant Hoglin stable chest 2–7 22.8%
Bedrock Edition
Soul Sand Bastion remnant Hoglin stable chest 2–7 22.8%


Piglins may barter 2–8 soul sand when given a gold ingot‌.


Soul sand slows the movement of any mob or player by 50% and causes them to sink 2 pixels into the block while walking on it.

Most blocks that can be placed on full blocks can be placed on soul sand, with the notable exceptions of both types of fungi, both types of roots, and nether sprouts.[1] In addition, gravel falling onto soul sand turns into an item, which prevents gravel from replacing lava if soul sand is underneath.‌[Java Edition only]

Soul sand cannot be used in place of regular sand as a falling block because it is not affected by gravity.

Crafting ingredient[]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe
Soul Campfire Stick +
Soul Sand +
Any Log or Stem or
Any Stripped Log or Stem or
Any Wood or Hyphae or
Any Stripped Wood or Hyphae

Soul Torch Coal or
Charcoal +
Stick +
Soul Sand

Growing nether wart[]

Soul sand is used for growing nether wart, a primary base ingredient for many varieties of potions. Nether warts can be placed on soul sand like seeds on farmland and over time they grow through four growth stages (placing the nether wart on soul sand grants the "A Seedy Place" advancement‌[Java Edition only]). Nether warts can grow in any dimension and do not have any light-level requirements. Nether warts can also be placed only in soul sand (and cannot even be placed in soul soil).


The wither build configuration.

Four blocks of soul sand (or soul soil) are used in the construction of the wither. The four blocks are arranged in a "T"-like formation (similar to the summoning of an Iron Golem) and 3 wither skeleton skulls are placed in a row on top of the "T" to summon the wither.

Bubble columns[]

Placing soul sand under source water blocks creates a lifting bubble column, which causes items, entities, players, and mobs inside the column to rise to the surface. The bubble column extends upward through any number of empty water source blocks (not waterlogged blocks).

A player can restore breath by entering a soul sand's bubble column.

Note blocks[]

Soul sand can be placed under note blocks to produce cowbell sounds.


Fire lit on soul sand becomes soul fire, which burns indefinitely.


Java Edition:

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Block brokenBlocksOnce the block has brokenblock.soul_sand.breaksubtitles.block.generic.break??16
None[sound 1]BlocksFalling on the block with fall damageblock.soul_sand.fallNone[sound 1]??16
Block breakingBlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenblock.soul_sand.hitsubtitles.block.generic.hit0.55?16
Block placedBlocksWhen the block is placedblock.soul_sand.placesubtitles.block.generic.place??16
FootstepsBlocksWalking on the blockblock.soul_sand.stepsubtitles.block.generic.footsteps??16
  1. a b MC-177082

Bedrock Edition: [needs in-game testing]

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
?BlocksOnce the block has brokendig.sand?0.8
?BlocksFalling on the block with fall damagefall.sand??
?BlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenhit.sand?0.5
?BlocksJumping from the blockjump.sand??
?BlocksFalling on the block without fall damageland.sand??
?BlocksWalking on the blockstep.sand??
?BlocksWhen the block is placeduse.sand?0.8

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameResource locationBlock tags (JE)Item tags (JE)FormTranslation key
Soul Sandsoul_sandsoul_fire_base_blocks
soul_fire_base_blocksBlock & Itemblock.minecraft.soul_sand

Bedrock Edition:

NameResource locationNumeric ID FormTranslation key
Soul Sandsoul_sand88Block & Itemtile.soul_sand.name


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Gamerscore earned Trophy type (PS4)
PS4 Other platforms
The Beginning?Spawn the WitherBe within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned.20GBronze


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Resource location
Advancement-plain-raw.pngInvicon Nether Star.gifWithering Heights
Summon the Wither Spooky Scary Skeletonnether/summon_wither


Java Edition Alpha
October 8, 2010Soul sand first appears on Notch's blog.
v1.2.0previewSoul Sand JE1 BE1.png Added soul sand.
Soul sand generates in the newly added Nether dimension.
v1.2.0_01Gravel now generates where soul sand should generate. Some soul sand can still generate.
v1.2.0_02Soul sand now generates where some of the gravel would.
Java Edition Beta
1.6.6The player can now get out of soul sand to another block while sneaking.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 PrereleaseAdded nether warts, which can be grown on soul sand.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 6Shovels now mine soul sand faster.
1.4.212w36aWither skeleton skulls can now be placed on a formation of soul sand to create a wither.
12w38aSoul sand now has new sounds when being walked on.
1.513w02aIn texture packs, soul sand now uses /textures/blocks/hellsand.png.
1.814w17aSilverfish and endermites now take damage if they walk on soul sand.
14w32bOne-way doorways can no longer be made with soul sand.
1.1317w47aPrior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 88.
18w07aSoul sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.
1.1418w43aSoul Sand JE2 BE2.png The texture of soul sand has been changed.
18w46aSoul sand has now lost the ability to support many blocks.[2]
18w47bSoul sand can now support many blocks they could not due to the above bug.
19w09aSoul sand can now be used to play the cowbell, if they are under note blocks.
19w13aSoul sand can no longer support such blocks.[3]
19w14aSoul sand and gravel now generate around lava sea level instead of between y level 60 and 65.[4]
1.1519w42aSoul sand no longer has an increased slowing effect when placed above ice, packed ice, or slime blocks.[5][is this the correct version?]
Pre-Release 2Soul sand now suffocates mobs.
Pre-Release 3Soul sand no longer suffocates mobs.
December 3, 2019Maria Lemón confirms that fire set on soul sand does not become soul fire.
1.1620w06aSoul sand now generates in the soul sand valley biome.
New unique sounds have been added for soul sand.
20w07aSoul sand now has a 10109 (~9.17%) chance of being given by the new piglins when bartering, in a stack size of 1–4, making it renewable.
20w09aSoul sand can no longer be obtained by bartering with piglins, making it no longer renewable.
20w10aSoul sand now has a 40411 (~9.74%) chance of being given by piglins when bartering, in a stack size of 4–16, making it renewable, once again.
20w11aSoul sand can now support many blocks, once again.[6][7]
20w12aFire lit on top of soul sand now becomes soul fire.
20w15aSoul sand is now used to craft soul fire torches.
20w16aSoul sand can now generate in bastion remnants or be found in its chests.
1.16.220w28aNow sea pickles can be placed on soul sand.
Soul sand now has a 40459 (~8.71%) chance of being given by piglins when bartering, in a stack size of 2–8.
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.12.1build 1Soul Sand JE1 BE1.png Added soul sand.
v0.16.0build 4Soul sand can now be used to spawn the wither.
Bedrock Edition
1.5.0beta sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.
1.10.0beta Sand JE2 BE2.png The texture of soul sand has been changed.
1.13.0beta sand can now be used to play the cowbell, if they are under note blocks.
1.16.0beta sand now generates in the soul sand valley.
beta sand now has a 40411 (~9.74%) chance of being given by piglins when bartering, in a stack size of 4–16, making it renewable.
Soul sand is now used to craft soul fire torches.
Soul sand can now generate in bastion remnants or be found in its chests.
Soul sand now generate as a blob in soul sand valley.
Soul sand now have their own unique sounds.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU1 1.0 Patch 11.0.1Soul Sand JE1 BE1.png Added soul sand.
TU19CU7 1.12 Soul sand can now be used to build the wither.
TU69 1.76 Patch 38Soul sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Soul Sand JE2 BE2.png The texture of soul sand has been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Soul Sand JE1 BE1.png Added soul sand.



  • Because soul sand is not as high as a full block, standing near lava while on soul sand sets the player on fire. Standing near water while on soul sand extinguishes the player, though direct contact to fire sources still hurts them.‌[Java Edition only]
  • Soul sand has inner collision boxes every eighth of a block. However, these collision boxes have an effect only if entities are clipped into soul sand.
  • If a water current is pushing the player diagonally against a wall and soul sand is the block adjacent to the player's head when the current ends, it causes the player to jump.
  • If snow or carpet is over soul sand, the effects of it being a partial block are avoided because the player walks on the cover block, not the soul sand.
  • Before Village & Pillage, soul sand used to generate in iconic four-block-deep layers between y levels 60 and 65. It also occasionally generated on the floor of caverns and coasts of lava oceans below, only if it generated in the same column at Y=60 or above. Toward the end of Village & Pillage development, the generation range of soul sand was reduced so that it exists only below y level 34, close to the lava sea level. As a result, soul sand is much harder to find in Nethers that were generated in the 1.14 and 1.15 versions.



Issues relating to "Soul Sand" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.