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Not to be confused with Soul Soil.

Soul sand is a block found naturally only in the Nether and ancient cities. Soul sand usually slows down the movement of mobs and players walking on it. It is also used for growing nether wart, for crafting soul-related blocks, for creating a bubble column, 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 ore blobs. Soul sand attempts to generate 12 times per chunk in blobs of size 0-23, from altitudes 0 to 31‌[JE only] or 32‌[BE only] , in soul sand valleys. It can replace only netherrack.

Soul sand is also found in ancient cities, making it the only location to find soul sand in the Overworld.


Soul sand can be mined with any tool or by hand, 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.



The slowing and sinking effect of soul sand is canceled depending on the height of the solid block directly above it. (Note: The snow behind the example blocks is only for visual reference. Physically, a block from layers of Snow (as opposed to an actual Snow Block) is always 1/8th of a full block lower than how many layers placed in it, with the first layer having effectively no height at all.)

Movement on or just above soul sand is slowed down for any mob or player that is not wearing boots enchanted with Soul Speed by 50%, and standing on soul sand causes entities to sink 2 pixels into the block. A cover with solid blocks of any non-zero physical thickness prevents sinking, and any solid cover thicker than half a block eliminates the slowing effect, too.

The effect applies to sneaking, walking, sprinting, and crawling (but not gliding[needs testing]), and to both regular and sprint-swimming. It also applies to riding mounts. Traveling by boat is slowed down, too, although this requires water no more than 2/8 a block in depth for the boat to sit low enough to be affected. Furthermore, it does not matter whether the player or mob moves actively or is being moved, like by flowing water.

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, a falling block that lands on soul sand turns into an item,[2] which prevents gravel from replacing lava if soul sand is underneath.

A hopper underneath a soul sand block can collect items that are dropped on it.

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

Striders are slowed down by soul sand underneath a layer of lava.

Crafting ingredient[]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe
Soul Torch 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.

Because soul sand is not as high as a full block, a player is set on fire if standing next to lava while on soul sand.[3] Standing near water while on soul sand extinguishes the player.


Java Edition:

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Block brokenBlocksOnce the block has brokenblock.soul_sand.breaksubtitles.block.generic.break1.00.816
Block placedBlocksWhen the block is placedblock.soul_sand.placesubtitles.block.generic.place1.00.816
Block breakingBlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenblock.soul_sand.hitsubtitles.block.generic.hit0.13750.516
None[sound 1]Entity-DependentFalling on the block with fall damageblock.soul_sand.fallNone[sound 1]0.50.7516
FootstepsEntity-DependentWalking on the blockblock.soul_sand.stepsubtitles.block.generic.footsteps0.151.016
  1. a b MC-177082

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
BlocksOnce the block has brokendig.soul_sand1.00.8-1.0
BlocksWhen the block is placeddig.soul_sand1.00.8-1.0
BlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenhit.soul_sand0.210.5
PlayersFalling on the block with fall damagefall.soul_sand0.41.0
PlayersWalking on the blockstep.soul_sand0.151.0
PlayersJumping from the blockjump.soul_sand0.121.0
PlayersFalling on the block without fall damageland.soul_sand0.141.0

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierFormBlock tagsItem tagsTranslation key
Soul Sandsoul_sandBlock & Itemsoul_fire_base_blocks

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID FormItem ID[i 1]Item tags (JE)Translation key
Soul Sandsoul_sand88Block & Giveable Item[i 2]Identical[i 3]minecraft:soul_fire_base_blockstile.soul_sand.name
  1. ID of block's direct item form, which is used in savegame files and addons.
  2. Available with /give command.
  3. The block's direct item form has the same id as the block.


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Gamerscore earned Trophy type (PS4)
PS4 Other
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-rawInvicon Nether StarWithering Heights
Summon the Wither Spooky Scary SkeletonBe within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the wither when it is spawned.nether/summon_wither
Advancement-plain-rawA Seedy Place
Plant a seed and watch it grow HusbandryPlant one of these 7 crops: Other crops and plants can be planted, but are ignored for this advancement.husbandry/plant_seed



Java Edition Alpha
October 8, 2010Soul sand first appears on Notch's blog.
v1.2.0previewSoul Sand JE1 BE1 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.
1.1217w18bPlacing a nether wart in soul sand now gives the player the "A Seedy Place" advancement.[verify]
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 The texture of soul sand has been changed.
18w46aSoul sand has now lost the ability to support many blocks.[4]
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.[5]
19w14aSoul sand and gravel now generate around lava sea level instead of between y level 60 and 65.[6]
1.1519w41aSoul sand no longer has an increased slowing effect when placed above ice, packed ice, or slime blocks.[7]
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.[8][9]
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.
1.16.220w28aSea 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.
1.19Deep Dark Experimental Snapshot 1Soul sand now generate as part of ancient cities.
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.12.1build 1Soul Sand JE1 BE1 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 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.
beta sand is now a full block, so it no longer sinks entities down into it slightly.
1.19.40beta sand is no longer a full block. It sinks entities down slightly again.
beta sand has become a full block again.
1.19.50beta sand is once again no longer a full block. It now sinks entities down slightly again.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU1 1.0 Patch 11.0.1Soul Sand JE1 BE1 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 The texture of soul sand has been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Soul Sand JE1 BE1 Added soul sand.


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


  • 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.
  • Just like with other blocks of less than full height that can have (flowing) water above it, riding a boat on dry soul sand into an oncoming stream of flowing water leaves the boat itself on the sand while the player character is "carved" out of the boat by the water "blade".
  • 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.



  1. MC-191255
  2. MC-77079 — resolved as "Works As Intended".
  3. MC-1448
  4. MC-139497
  5. MC-146928
  6. MC-152207 Resolved as "Works As Intended"
  7. MC-163952
  8. MC-146928
  9. MC-170836

External Links[]