Minecraft Wiki

Obsidian farming refers to methods of obtaining large quantities of obsidian. There are several places obsidian can be found:

The simplest and most common method is to pour water over lava source blocks to "drench" them, either in a naturally-occurring lava pool or transported in buckets. Until recently, drenching lava was non-renewable, but Version 1.17 introduces a new mechanic for farming lava, using pointed dripstone and cauldrons.

Several structures can contain blocks of obsidian: Ruined portals (in the Overworld and Nether), the rare woodlands mansion, and End ships all contain blocks of obsidian. Obsidian can also appear as items in several loot chests, notably in villages, ruined portals, and bastions. None of these are renewable.

Whenever a Nether Portal is created (to or from the Nether), a destination portal can be created. This will be made of at least 14 blocks of obsidian, but the four corner blocks can be mined without affecting the portal proper. If created in midair, the portal can generate with four more blocks as ledges, which can also be mined.

In the Overworld, obsidian technically does not generate with the terrain, but it can appear where natural lava pools are drenched by water. Lava underground or at the base of ravines can be drenched by a natural spring, and lava at the base of an ocean ravine will be drenched by the water above it.

In the Nether, lava is plentiful, but water cannot be used to drench it there. However, piglins can provide obsidian (as items) through bartering.

The End provides huge amounts of obsidian: The obsidian platform at entry is relatively small, but it is regenerated whenever a player enters the End. The End Spikes consist of tall pillars of obsidian, and these are regenerated whenever the dragon is respawned. And again, a few blocks can be found in the rare end ships.

Mining times[]

Most methods of obsidian farming require manual mining. Obsidian is one of the toughest blocks in the game, so you'll need the right tools to take care of it. Enchanting a pickaxe with Efficiency greatly speeds up the farming process. With a beacon, the Haste and Haste II effects can be used to reduce mining time further. Below are the mining times for each level of enchantment.

Tool Enchantment Mining Time Blocks per minute
Without Haste Haste I Haste II Without Haste Haste I Haste II
Diamond Pickaxe None 9.4s 7.85s 6.7s 6.4 7.6 9
Efficiency I 7.5s 6.25s 5.4s 8 9.6 11.1
Efficiency II 5.8s 4.85s 4.15s 10.3 12.4 14.5
Efficiency III 4.2s 3.5s 3s 14.3 17.1 20
Efficiency IV 3s 2.5s 2.15s 20 24 27.9
Efficiency V 2.25s 1.85s 1.6s 26.7 32.4 37.5
Netherite Pickaxe None 8.35s 6.95s 6s 7.2 8.6 10
Efficiency I 6.85s 5.7s 4.9s 8.8 10.5 12.2
Efficiency II 5.4s 4.5s 3.85s 11.1 13.3 15.6
Efficiency III 3.95s 3.3s 2.85s 15.2 18.2 21.1
Efficiency IV 2.9s 2.45s 2.1s 20.7 24.5 28.6
Efficiency V 2.15s 1.8s 1.55s 27.9 33.3 38.7

Lava drenching[]

The simplest way to obtain obsidian is to find lava and "drench" it with water to convert it into obsidian. Before Version 1.17, this was not a renewable method of farming obsidian, since lava was not a renewable resource.

Obtaining lava[]

In order to create obsidian with this method, it is necessary to have a supply of lava. Lava can be found in a variety of locations, including in the Overworld and Nether.

In the Overworld, lava primarily occurs deep underground or at the bottom of ravines. Sometimes part of these pools will be drenched by a natural water spring. However, it can occasionally also be found in small lakes, at or near the surface. It is also possible to find small lava springs, but since these typically only contain a single source block, they are not particularly useful. It also occurs at the bottom of ocean ravines, where it is normally immediately drenched by the water over it.

Lava is much more plentiful in the Nether, but as water cannot be placed there, it is necessary to bring it back in buckets to the Overworld.

As of Version 1.17, there is a new way to farm lava, using pointed dripstone and cauldrons.

Overworld drenching[]

One of the easiest ways to obtain obsidian is to find a lava pool, pour water on it, and then mine with a diamond pickaxe. It is also sometimes possible to find lava pools which have been naturally converted to obsidian by waterfalls.

When mining in this way, the top layer of obsidian usually has lava underneath it. Not only is this hazardous, it can also destroy the mined blocks before they are collected. A solution is to place water next to the obsidian and stand in it. When you mine an obsidian block adjacent to the water, the water should flow and freeze the lava before it has a chance to burn anything. It is also possible to place the water above the obsidian, however this is more likely to get in the way and decrease mining speed. Be careful to periodically move the water, especially if you are standing in it. Otherwise, it is possible that the water will reach its limit of 7 blocks and push you or items into the lava.

Lava casting[]

If you have obtained a large number of lava buckets, it may be more efficient to "cast" the lava rather than drenching and mining it. In this process, the lava is placed as desired and then covered in water to convert it into obsidian. In this way, obsidian structures such as Nether portals can be created in place without the use of a diamond pickaxe.

In order to aid in the process of casting, it is helpful to create a mold or frame.

When using a mold, the obsidian is usually casted one layer at a time. This is done by placing blocks around where the lava should go to prevent it from flowing. It can then be drenched in water.

If the obsidian structure is large, it may be easier to build a frame for the obsidian. The frame should be constructed so the lava can be placed on it. Next, water can be run down the sides next to where the lava will be placed. When lava is placed on the frame, it should immediately freeze without needing extra blocks to keep it from flowing.

This has the advantage of not requiring frequent reconstruction of the scaffolding and movement of the water. Additionally, the water streams can aid in mobility as it is possible to float in the waterfall. Care should be taken to remain clear of the area where obsidian is being created, however, as the solid blocks created can suffocate the player.

Video Tutorial[]

A quick video on how to find obsidian and how to make it.

Portal and End farming[]

Both Nether portals and End Towers are renewable sources of obsidian as they can be mined using diamond pickaxes traded from Villager toolsmiths or enchanted with Mending.

Nether portals[]

When traveling through a Nether portal, a new portal is created at the destination. Breaking this portal yields obsidian and does not affect the portal in the other dimension.

To farm obsidian using Nether portals, first travel to the Nether and build a second portal at least 16 blocks away. Traveling through the second portal will bring you to a newly spawned portal in the Overworld. This portal will be about 128 blocks away from your original Overworld portal. You can then mine the new Overworld portal and repeat the process. Each time after the first should yield 14 obsidian.

If you built the Nether portal too close to the generated one, it may bring you back to the original Overworld portal rather than creating a new one. The Overworld portal may then do the same thing and not generate a new portal. Conversely, if you built the second Nether portal more than 16 blocks from the first, the generated Nether portal may be more than 128 blocks from the original. For this reason, it may be necessary to adjust the location of the second portal in order to find the optimum distance.

Using two players, it is possible to use only a single portal. One player travels to the Nether, and the second breaks down the Overworld portal. The first player then uses the Nether side of the portal to return, generating a new portal nearby.

This can be done in single player by traveling to the Nether, breaking down the portal, storing everything in a chest, and dying. After returning to the Overworld portal, the process can be repeated.

It is also possible to travel through a portal and use a redstone mechanism to deactivate it before traveling back. If the portal in the Nether is not exactly aligned with the Overworld one, a new Overworld portal will be generated in a different location. Note that game remembers portal locations, so it may be necessary to wait up to a minute before returning.

In all cases, be sure to maintain a 4×4 area of flat ground with at least 4 blocks of air above the entire area near the location of the destroyed portal, either by filling in the holes left by mining out the base of the portal each time or by leaving the four base blocks unmined. If this is not done, you may suddenly find the newly created portal is in a cavern underground because there is no longer any valid location for a portal to spawn on the surface.

If the portal search fails to find a suitable location, it will create one with an air pocket and 4 extra pieces of obsidian. By creating the Nether portal so that the Overworld equivalent is over the ocean, it may be possible to use this mechanic.

The End platform[]

When using an End portal to travel to the End, a 5×5 platform of obsidian is generated. If the platform is damaged or destroyed, it will be restored. However, getting back requires either having killed the ender dragon or killing yourself.

The End spikes[]

The end spikes in the End may be mined for obsidian. They are renewable since they regenerate when the ender dragon is respawned. These towers extend quite high and reach down to y=0. This requires being able to handle the Ender Dragon, however.

Automatic farming[]

The biggest problem with obsidian mining is the time it takes; even with the best pickaxe and effects, it takes 1.6 seconds to mine a single block. Various methods can be used to break obsidian blocks automatically. In Java Edition, the wither is usually key in these methods as it is capable of breaking obsidian blocks with its attacks. In Bedrock Edition, piglin bartering is the only reliable and stable way of getting a lot of obsidian automatically.[1]

Nether portals[]

Information icon
This tutorial is exclusive to Java Edition. 

By caging the wither in the Overworld and putting the player in a teleport loop through portals, a Nether portal is repeatedly generated and destroyed.

End platform[]

Information icon
This tutorial is exclusive to Java Edition. 

Another bug not now be fixing...

This page demonstrates the use of a bug to make a contraption. 
Bugs of this nature may be fixed at any time without warning. When this happens, the contraption will cease to work.
Use at your own risk.

By caging the wither using some clever boat placement and indestructible ender crystals, the wither is caged to trap the wither on top of the end platform. [verify]

End spikes[]

Information icon
This tutorial is exclusive to Java Edition. 

A lesser used method of farming obsidian is by caging withers in the lower part of the eastern End spike, causing the withers to blow up the pillar when regenerated, wielding up to 600,000 obsidian per hour when using the pillar completely. Only the lower part of the pillar can be used as the higher part generates air blocks around itself when regenerating, this would cause the withers to escape. After the withers are trapped inside the pillar, the ender dragon summoning ritual is started, causing the pillars to regenerate. The ritual is either aborted before the ender dragon respawns or the ender dragon is killed by a specialized contraption such as a railgun. Such a desing is shown by cubicmetre.

Outdated design[]

Information icon
This tutorial is exclusive to Java Edition. 

One of the first designs used the wither to break portions of the 5×5 obsidian spawn platform in the End, and regenerating it with a sand generator that pushed sand through the end portal situated in the Overworld. This method was patched however when the wither was made to shoot blue skulls that were capable of breaking any block. As such, this method works only in Minecraft 12w36a and several earlier versions. The following video is an explanation of how this method works.

Piglin Bartering[]

Linking a zombified piglin gold farm to a piglin bartering farm gives you lots of loot from bartering, such as nether quartz, gravel, Soul Speed enchanted books and iron boots, iron nuggets, and obsidian, along with many others. You can get a full double chest of obsidian after an overnight AFK session. If one's gold farm is in the nether, it can be linked with a piglin bartering farm fairly easily. If instead, you want to build your gold farm in the Overworld powered by nether portals, you might want to consider getting obsidian in another way first, such as other methods shown on this page, then you can switch to piglin bartering.