The Nether is a hell-like dimension that is linked to the Overworld via Nether portals. It is filled with rugged terrain, fire, seas of lava, columns of lava, Netherrack, unique ores, and unique hostile mobs.
The Nether was added as part of Java Edition Alpha's 1.2.0 Halloween Update and exists as a completely different world from the Overworld. It is a dimly lit craggy environment filled with lava, fire, and hostile mobs. Mushrooms and other fungus-based flora are commonly found. Bedrock comprises the top and bottom four layers in a rough pattern, making the Nether only 127 blocks high as opposed to the Overworld's 256. There is no day-night cycle and no weather in the Nether.
Traveling one block in the Nether equates to traveling eight blocks in the Overworld, making for an 8:1 ratio. This makes portals a useful tool for traveling long distances in the Overworld.
If a player dies in the Nether and does not have a charged respawn anchor, 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. Beds cannot be used to set a spawn point because they will explode when used.
Lava flows twice as far and six times as fast in the Nether compared to the Overworld, and there is no way to place liquid water without the use of commands and any attempts to use water buckets will fail, since it will turn to steam instead of water.
Maps do not work in the Nether and will generate a brown-gray static pattern with the player's direction indicator spinning randomly.
The Nether was first added in Java Edition Alpha 1.2.0 (Halloween Update); however, a similar map theme from Indev named "Hell" existed: it was a normal map, but with a lava ocean, dim lighting and a blackened sky with dull red clouds. Map themes were removed entirely in Infdev.
The name for the Nether was decided by Notch after considering naming the dimension "the Slip" and "the Nexus", among other names.
- Main article: Nether Portal
A Nether Portal is used to access the Nether and is created by building a rectangular obsidian frame with a minimum size of 4×5 blocks. The Nether Portal can be up to 23×23 blocks in size. The corners of the frame may be left out
The portal can be shut down if part of the obsidian frame or the portal block is removed or caught in an explosion.
- Ghast ― A flying, jellyfish-like, 4-block-sized monster which shoots fireballs and emits its trademark whispers and screams.
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). This will unlock the achievement "Return To Sender".They drop gunpowder and ghast tears. Ghast fireballs cannot destroy cobblestone. For this reason, many players like to use cobblestone as protection. Ghast fireballs can destroy Nether portals.
- Zombified Piglin ― 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 zombified piglin, but this is extremely rare. They wield gold swords and deal 2.5 damage. Attacking one zombified piglin causes all nearby zombified piglins 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 2-4 smaller versions of themselves. They are commonly found in lava oceans. Unlike regular Slimes, the smallest version of the Magma Cube can still damage you.
- Wither Skeleton ― A Nether variant of skeletons found in Nether Fortresses.
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.
Hoglins will attack the Player by charging forward and flinging them in the air--similar to an Iron Golem. Piglins will attempt to hunt and kill hoglins. Hoglins will also be hostile towards piglins. They can breed like other animals, they can be bred with crimson fungus. Hoglins avoid warped fungus.
- Piglin ― another humanoid pig semi-neutral mob, unzombified version of Zombified Piglin.
Piglins will be aggressive to the player as long as they are not wearing any armor made out of gold. They wield swords and crossbows as weapons. If not angered, they will barter with the player. They will also attack wither skeletons and hoglins. Even if the player wears gold armor, piglins will become aggravated towards the player if they open a chest containing any item crafted with or related to gold near the piglins.
- Strider - A passive, ridable mob in the nether.
This mob is similar to a pig because you can breed them and ride them. You can breed them with warped fungus and control them with the Warped Fungus on a Stick. They are immune to lava/fire damage and they can also move faster on lava compared to land.
This mob will attack any mobs in sight excluding creepers and other zoglins. Zoglins have the same health as hoglins and do the same damage as hoglins. Zoglins drown and sink in lava and water even though they are undead mobs.
Blocks can be brought to and from the Overworld. There are many 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 as 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 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, and it burns blue when lit on fire.
- Soul Soil - A brown block similar to soul sand and is only found in the Soul Sand Valley biome. It does not slow down players nor mobs, and any fire lit on it becomes blue soul fire.
- Nether Brick - A dark maroon stone that superficially resembles bricks. Nether brick can be used to make Nether Brick 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 maroon fence. It can be mined in Nether fortresses or can be created from six Nether brick pieces.
- Nether Brick Stairs - A dark maroon stair. It can be mined in Nether fortresses or can be created from six Nether bricks.
- Nether Quartz Ore - An 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.
- Nether Gold Ore - A Gold ore that spawns frequently in the nether. It will drop 2-6 gold nuggets when broken. It can be mined with any pickaxe.
- Magma Block - 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 six 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 not affect. As of current updates, one is 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.
“Nether” means “lower” or “lying beneath.” It is derived from the Old English “niþera” which is ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European prefix “ni-.” It is unrelated to the word “ether,” which comes from the Latin “aethēr,” which is derived from the Ancient Greek “αἰθήρ.” The fact that these two words have similar features and one is seemingly the negation of the other is a coincidence.
Survival and Tips
- When one first goes through one's portal, it is advisable to quickly build a house or a base around it to prevent the mobs from 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 a cliff and into a lava lake.
- Make sure (if one can) to bring projectile protection, blast 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 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 zombified piglins unless one is prepared to deal with an angry horde. Zombified piglins 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 Zombiefied piglins or getting shot by a ghast while one is distracted. One way to avoid this is to build a small 3×3×3 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 Piglins 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. Obtain what is needed, and then quickly depart from the Nether 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.
- Lava also flows at a rate almost equal to water, so quick reflexes in placing blocks and retreating are key to surviving an encounter.
- Prior to 1.16, using a fire aspect sword or a flame bow was completely useless in the Nether since every mob, except the normal skeleton and the endermen in Nether Fortresses, was immune to fire damage. However, since 1.16, piglins and hoglins also take 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 recommended 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 piglins, as mushrooms spawn commonly in the Nether.
- Be sure to bring at least one stack of cobblestone with you, to allow a quick shield from ghast attacks if one isn't confident in their reflexes in deflecting ghast attacks, to protect you from blazes, allow you to make quick 2 block tall ceilings to block wither skeletons, and making paths that are ghast-proof.
- Remember that exploration, memory, and pathmaking are key to surviving and escaping, as well as marking waypoints. A stack of 5 netherrack and one quartz block make a good path for you to follow to your portal in case of getting lost.
- If a player decides to mine here, try to avoid being directly on or in front of the blocks they are mining, as lava can easily appear above, below, beside, or in front of the player. Try to stay at least 2 blocks away from the end of the mineshaft while mining.
- Bring a bow, as well as keep your most valuable items in the Overworld, as the threat of lava, getting lost, the fire found everywhere, or ghasts can easily destroy them.
- Wear at least one piece of gold armor to prevent Piglin aggression.
- 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.
- Some players like to troll other players by blocking their Nether portal with bedrock/obsidian when they spawn to the Nether.
- 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.
- 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.
- The regular nether title was changed to the Nether wastes in the 1.16 - Nether Update.
- The Nether Wastes have a music soundtrack named Rubedo, composed by Lena Raine.
- In the nether players will see Bastion Remnants in all biomes except in the Basalt Deltas.