The Nether was originally added as part of the Halloween Update (Alpha 1.2.0). It exists in a completely different world from the Overworld. The terrain is dimly lit, full of lava streams flowing from the ceiling, sudden cliffs, and lava lakes, making it extremely dangerous to explore. The ceiling and the base of the Nether are made of bedrock. Mushrooms are also commonly found. If a player dies in the Nether, they will be transported back to the spawn point in the Overworld, while their items stay in the Nether for the normal amount of time.
Maps can be made of the Nether, but they must be crafted in the Nether. If a player brings a map of the overworld into the Nether, it will stay the same, but the marker that represents a player will be absent. Also, sudden bridges and shafts can be found throughout the randomly generated world. One will most likely find the bridge partially destroyed, and the shaft is located near lots of enemies, so watch out. Always carry weapons, bridge repair kits, and useful renewable items. Sometimes, the Nether can be classified as useful or exciting, since one can find large quantities of soul sand and glowstone, which can be used for many purposes. The Nether is also the only place where Nether quartz can be found.
- Main article: Nether Portal
A Nether portal is made by creating a 4x5 (2x3 on inside) or larger door frame out of obsidian and then lighting the inside of the frame on fire with flint and steel or a fire charge. The corners of the frame may be left out, using only 10 obsidian as opposed to the usual 14. When one stands inside the portal for the first time, it will create a portal in its equivalent area of the Nether. A loading screen will appear during the change of worlds.
A portal can be shut down if part of the obsidian frame is removed (not including corners), or hit by a Ghast's fireball.
When re-entering the overworld, any distance covered in the Nether is multiplied by 8, effectively making The Nether a fast-travel zone that allows for greater distances to be covered in a short amount of time in the overworld.
One has to stay in a portal. If not, it will not teleport a player. In order to use them, a player has to stand still inside the purple haze. A recent update allowed overworld mobs to go through portals and vice versa. Attempting to go through a portal while in a minecart or on a pig will result in a player needing to restart the game to continue because a player can see permanent purple swirls. The same effects happen in the very buggy Far Lands.
A useful way to save obsidian is to create a Nether portal with the ordinary 14 blocks, travel to the Nether, remove the corner bits, then travel back to the overworld and remove the corners there too.
Most mobs that spawn in the Overworld do not spawn in the Nether. The only exceptions are the Enderman, skeleton, and zombie pigman (which only appears in the overworld when pigs are struck by lightning). Instead, the nether contains an entirely different list of mobs.
- Ghast ― A flying, jellyfish-like, 4-block-cubed-sized monster which shoots fireballs. Ghasts can be damaged by any conventional weapons, but they do not get hurt when on fire. A ghast can fly into lava falls or lava lakes, but even if they burn, they don't get damaged (As of the November 10th Update). The fireballs they shoot can be deflected back at them using a fist or any tool by hitting it just before impact, killing it instantly if it hits (shooting an arrow or using the fishing rod on the fireballs works too). They drop gunpowder and ghast tears. Ghast fireballs cannot destroy cobblestone. For this reason, many players like to use cobblestone as protection. But ghast fireballs can destroy Nether portals, so it's recommended to keep ghasts away from them.
- Zombie Pigman ― A neutral, humanoid creature that only turns hostile if it is attacked. They may drop rotten flesh, gold nuggets, and sometimes a golden sword when killed. Rarely they may also drop a gold ingot. It is possible to obtain an enchanted gold sword from a zombie pigman, but this is extremely rare. They wield gold swords, and deal 2.5 damage. Attacking one zombie pigman causes all nearby zombie pigmen to become hostile as well. They are immune to both fire and lava, and can occasionally be seen swimming in lava.
- Blaze ― A hostile, flying mob that appears in Nether Fortresses. They shoot three fireballs in short succession. Unlike a ghast, however, the fireballs do not explode on impact. They drop blaze rods when killed. While blazes cannot shoot when the fire surrounding their body is out, the fire will re-light after a few seconds (instantly, if they touch fire or lava), allowing them to fire another burst of fireballs. Unlike other mobs, blazes can get damaged by snowballs.
- Magma Cube ― The nether's equivalent of a slime. When magma cubes jump, they will show their layers. Like other nether mobs, they are immune to both fire and lava. When killed, they split into 4 smaller versions of themselves. They are commonly found in lava oceans.
- Wither Skeleton ― A variant of skeletons found in the Overworld. These black skeletons are found on or around a nether fortress, wielding stone swords. They drop coal, bones, and rarely, stone swords and wither skeleton skulls. A wither effect is given when wither skeletons hit the player.
Not yet released Mobs
Blocks can be brought to and from the overworld. So far, there are eight block types only found in the Nether:
- Netherrack - This block burns indefinitely, and is the main block type forming the Nether. Setting these on fire while traveling in the Nether is a great way to save on torches.
- Glowstone - A golden block that acts like a torch, commonly found as stalactites on the ceiling of the Nether. These can be used as a light source underwater in the overworld, and the glowstone dust produced when it is mined is an ingredient in making potions and redstone lamps.
- Soul Sand - A brown block. When walked on, it slows the movement speed of a player and mobs that walk across it and makes them sink down slightly, as soul sand is only 7/8 the size of other blocks. It can be used to create minecart-only passageways and docks, as well as one way doors. Its slowing effect is doubled if an Ice block is placed under it. Some pixel-souls can be seen on this block.
- Nether Brick - A dark purple stone that superficially resembles bricks. Nether brick can be used to make Nether fence and can be broken easily with a stone pickaxe. It is the main building block of a Nether fortress.
- Nether Brick Fence - A dark purple fence. It can be mined in Nether fortresses or can be created from six Nether brick pieces.
- Nether Brick Stairs - A dark purple stair. It can be mined in Nether fortresses or can be created from six Nether bricks.
- Nether Quartz Ore - The only ore that can be found within the Nether. The minimum level required to mine it is Iron. Unlike other ores, instead of the ore being embedded in stone, nether quartz is embedded inside of netherrack. Nether quartz can be used to craft a block form of itself, redstone comparators and daylight sensors.
- Magma - A block similar to lava that deals damage when stood on, and is solid.
- Fire - A non-solid block generated on netherrack.
There are currently 5 blocks that spawn both in the Nether and in the Overworld
- Gravel - A block found in large quantities on the 'beaches' on the Nether.
- Bedrock - An indestructible stone found separating the Nether from the void and the area above the Nether. Breaking the bedrock at the top of the world in creative mode, however, gives one a large space to build, as the only thing that spawns on the roof of the nether are mushrooms.
- Mushrooms - Both red and brown mushrooms spawn commonly in the Nether. They can also be found growing on the roof of the Nether.
- Lava - Unlike the Overworld, which contains pools of lava, the Nether contains massive oceans of lava. This makes for an easy source of fuel for furnaces. Most of the large open areas in the Nether contain a large lava lake/ocean under them.
- Chests - Nether fortresses contain loot chests in the corners of the halls. These chests can contain anything from gold ingots to diamond horse armor.
Water cannot be brought to the Nether, and all water placed will evaporate immediately due to the extreme heat, and will instead turn into steam. However, players can place lava and ice blocks in the Nether, but placing an ice block will have no effect. As of current updates, one are no longer able to have ice melt into water. Instead, the block of ice leaves nothing behind upon breaking.
- Mob Spawners - Generated as a blaze spawner in Nether fortresses.
The Nether's name is derived from the English word "Ether", meaning "In the outer reaches of space or in the heavens", or "nowhere known" + an N. Nether could similarly be derived from a mythical location known as the "netherworld", usually depicted as a place where the wicked go when they decease.
Survival and Tips
- When one first go through one's portal, it is advisable to quickly build a house or a base around it to prevent the mobs jumping through it and coming into the overworld. The base will also serve as a safe area where a player can recover from fights with mobs. If expanded to a proper size and given a dirt floor, the base can be used as a tree nursery, as saplings will grow in the Nether. However, this may result in ghasts spawning in the chamber, so only build to this size if ghast spawns can be tolerated (or appreciated).
- Ghasts can't blow up cobblestone, so using cobblestone for building a base is one of the best choices. It is also useful for building bridges.
- Keep an eye out on the "skies." If one is near or on a Nether fortress, blazes could come flying at one. While their fireballs can't explode, they could lift one off the fortress and throw one into the lava or abyss. Also, keep an eye (and ear) out for ghasts, since their fireballs can explode and destroy blocks.
- The second rule is to keep in mind where one is, and do not run. If one is not careful, one could run off a cliff. If one lands in lava when that happens, one will likely lose one's items and experience if one doesn't get out soon enough.
- Be careful where one digs. The rule of "Don't mine straight down" is key to survival in this hostile, hellish landscape. Mining anywhere is dangerous in the nether since there are lava source blocks under the surface and inside hills. Never mine gravel unless one knows that it won't collapse into the lava sea, and be very careful mining netherrack. Netherrack is one of the most brittle blocks in Minecraft. Never, under any circumstances, mine nether quartz ore or netherrack directly over one's head if one can help it. One could end up mining into a lava source block. Also, do not dig straight up unless placing a torch down (to deal with gravel) and have consumed a potion of fire resistance (which will make one temporarily immune to lava damage).
- Always bring flint and steel in case the portal goes out, since ghasts can deactivate Nether portals with their fireballs.
- Make sure to go for magma cubes since they can drop magma cream, which is essential to fire resistance potions.
- However, these peculiar mobs should be avoided if the player is near a cliff. This is because Magma Cubes break down into smaller Cubes, just like Slimes, and the knockback from their attacks could knock the player off the cliff and into a lava lake.
- Make sure (if one can) to bring projectile protection and fire protection armor into the Nether.
- Once one finds a Nether fortress, immediately begin looking for the Nether wart. This strange plant is the basis of the majority of potions. Make sure to grab some soul sand, as well as that's the only block nether wart will grow on. Keep in mind that nether wart gardens are not the only place where nether wart can be found, as it can be found randomly in chests scattered across the fortress.
- Always keep in mind where the blaze spawners are. Blaze rods are required to make a brewing stand, and the blaze powder that can be made from blaze rods is needed to making eyes of ender which are required to locate and power the end portal into the End.
- Don't hit the zombie pigmen unless one is prepared to deal with an angry horde. Zombie pigmen may drop useful items (rotten flesh for food in an emergency, gold nuggets/ingots/swords), but there's little reward compared to the risk of getting overrun by a horde of zombie pigmen or getting shot by a ghast while one is distracted. One way to avoid this is to build a small 3X3X3 shelter, making sure to place a block at foot level. before hitting a zombie pigman. As long as the zombie pigman isn't knocked out in one hit, any nearby pigmen will attempt to converge on the player, allowing them to harvest large amounts of gold and rotten flesh. This shelter also doubles as a place to hide when tackling endermen, as there is no water in the Nether, and endermen are too big to fit in the shelter.
- Never stay any longer than one absolutely has to. Despite the lure of useful ingredients (ghast tears, blaze rods, wither skeleton heads, nether quartz, etc.), the Nether is an incredibly dangerous biome. Get what is needed, and then get out of there before long so one doesn't lose their items.
- Placing Chests within the player's Nether Base, and using them regularly, should minimize this risk.
- Keep an ear open for ghasts. These floating mobs are possibly the deadliest feature of The Nether, aside from frequent cliffs. A sword or Bow is required to fight these mobs. In addition to this, sending a fireball back at a ghast, and hitting it with the fireball, will unlock the Return To Sender achievement.
- Remember that lava flows very quickly in the Nether, increasing its deadliness.
- Lava flows a full 7 blocks in the nether instead of 4 blocks in the overworld.
- Using a fire aspect sword or a flame bow is completely useless in the nether since every mob, with the exception of the normal skeleton in Nether Fortresses, is immune to fire damage.
- Using ender pearls in conjunction with the consumption of potions of fire resistance will allow for rapid, albeit potentially unsafe, travel through the Nether.
- It is possible to grow trees and breed animals in the Nether, but to do so, one has to be sure they have the proper supplies, which may be unavailable in the Nether.
- It is necessary to bring a bucket of milk when fighting wither skeletons so you can remove the wither effect.
- In case of the lack of food, take advantage of mushrooms around the Nether to create mushroom stew (You must have a bowl to craft it). This is a safer way to gather food rather than killing pigmen, as mushrooms spawn commonly in the Nether.
- If a bed is placed while in the Nether and is right-clicked on, it will explode with lethal force (unless a player has enough armor) and a huge blast radius, which is comparable to TNT in the Overworld.
- Due to how the building height limit of the game was changed to 256, and the top bedrock layer still spawns at 127, it is possible in Creative Mode to get above the bedrock layer and build on top of the Nether.
- It is possible to bring water into the Nether by using Cauldrons, but it can only be used for potions. Using the water bucket anywhere else will cause the water to evaporate instantly unless the water block is hacked in.
- If one goes into the Nether before another player, they will see a player flying for about 30 seconds.
- It is actually possible to place water in the Nether on the Xbox 360 version. If one goes into the Nether in Creative mode and places a block of Ice (recommended near fire or glowstone), the ice will melt, leaving a water source block. If the water is not spreading, place a block next to the source block (not on it). This is ideal for blaze and zombie pigman mob traps.
- Some players like to troll other players by blocking their Nether portal with bedrock/obsidian when they spawn to the Nether.
- Lava travels considerably faster in the Nether than in the overworld. Lava travels at the same speed in the Nether as water does in the overworld.
- In the Console editions, the Nether has a travel-per-block ratio of 3:1 instead of 8:1 when compared with the overworld. This may be because the overworld is smaller than 1000 blocks by 1000 blocks in this game, presumably for a smaller save file.
- When a player travels to the Nether through a portal, the exit portal will always be the standard 4x5 size, regardless of how the player created the portal in the overworld.
- Hell was a precursor to the Nether, which appeared during the Indev stage.
- Until update 1.13, pressing (or ) while in the nether would reveal the biome name "Hell".
- The nether was historically known by a few other names. It was referred to as "the nexus" in Notch and Jeb's Blog on Tumblr; It was also sometimes called "gate to inferno fields" and the slip.