Nether portal in the Nether

Nether portal in the Nether

Source: Windows Central

The road to completing a Nether portal is long and potentially arduous. When playing survival mode, it’s not as easy as whipping out the obsidian blocks and igniting them. It sometimes requires hours of preparation. Luckily there are two different methods for doing this, depending on how much time you want to invest.

Finally, finishing that Nether portal means gaining access to the hellish Nether, a place filled with hostile mobs, intimidating environments and imposing Nether fortresses. However, it’s also the only place to find a wide variety of unique materials and crafting items, making it a valuable location to have access to. The bad news? Just getting to the Nether is a bit of work, and once you’re there, preparation is even more important.

Getting to the Nether without diamonds

Nether portal steps

Nether portal steps

Source: Windows Central

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to construct a functional Nether portal without harvesting those elusive diamonds. Yes, obsidian, the primary ingredient in building a Nether portal, still cannot be broken or mined by the player with anything but a diamond pickaxe. So while this is a valid option if you want to reach the Nether faster than your neighbor, it does come with limitations. Let’s start with what you’ll need:

  • A water source: Obsidian is formed when water comes in contact with a lava source block. That means you’ll need a replenishable source of water to complete this. You can build an infinite well by digging a 4×4 hole in the ground and emptying a bucket of water into three of the corners. You’ll notice the final corner automatically fills up. As long as you only extract water from one corner at a time, you now have an ever-full well!
  • A lava source: This one is a little harder to come by. You’ll have to find a natural reservoir of lava to draw from, and you can’t rely on having an infinite source. You can import that lava from far away places if you have a plethora of iron buckets, but you’ll want to have at least ten buckets of lava. Fortunately, lava is relatively common in Minecraft, both above and below ground.
  • Iron buckets: Buckets are handy for transporting liquid from one place to another. In this case, from wherever you’re getting the liquid to your Nether portal construction project. You can craft iron buckets with three iron ingots (smelted from iron ore.)
  • Extra building blocks: This can be anything you have access to, like dirt or cobblestone. Make it something easy to work with, and it’ll be easier if the block you choose isn’t affected by gravity (like sand or gravel.)
  • Flint and steel: A fire starter is a necessity for lighting a Nether portal once it’s built, so you’ll need to have flint and steel handy. It’s extremely easy to craft, however, just requiring one piece of flint (found from gravel) and one iron ingot.
  • A tool: That’s a bit vague, I know, but this depends on the building block you chose to use. If you chose cobblestone, use a pickaxe. If you chose dirt, a shovel. This just makes cleaning up afterward (and fixing any mistakes) a lot easier.

Infinite water source

Infinite water source

Source: Windows Central

Once you’ve rounded up all your materials, it’s time to get started. First off, let’s get the basic build of a Nether portal out of the way. A Nether portal is constructed with a minimum of 10 obsidian blocks (although they usually have 14) in a 4×5 rectangle. This leaves an opening of 2×3 as the gateway in the middle. The basic build of a Nether portal is always the same, but it’s up to the player to choose if you want the corners or not (hence the variation of 10 to 14 obsidian blocks.) Right, we’ve gotten all the basics taken care of. Now to the good stuff.

  1. Find a suitable place for your Nether portal. I recommend either building a closed space for it or keeping it separate from everything else since it is possible for Nether mobs to travel through a portal occasionally.
  2. Begin building your mold by placing your building blocks in a 3×6 rectangle on the ground. The secret to building a Nether portal before you have access to diamonds is simple: you make the obsidian, and it just happens to be in the right places to make a Nether portal.
  3. Fill your mold with lava. You should have a single line of lava four blocks long. Each block of lava needs to be full, so you’ll need a bucket of lava for each spot.

    Nether portal mold

    Nether portal mold

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Go to one end of the mold and pour a bucket of water at the end. This will make a bit of a mess, but you can pick the water back up. The water should run over the lava blocks and turn each one into obsidian.

    Nether portal mold with water

    Nether portal mold with water

    Source: Windows Central

  5. On either end, build a column with a 1 block opening directly over the obsidian blocks. This is how we build the sides of the Nether portal.

    Nether portal mold with pillars

    Nether portal mold with pillars

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4. There’s only the one way to make obsidian, so you’ll be doing a lot of that.
  7. Repeat step 5 and 6 on both sides two more times. Each side of the Nether portal needs to be five obsidian blocks from top to bottom.
  8. Now the top! Build a little bridge one block down from the top of your obsidian pillars.
  9. Give the bridge railing. The railing should be even with the top of your obsidian pillars. No reason to let lava spill everywhere.
  10. Repeat steps 3 and 4 one more time. Once the water is cleared away, you should have a fully functional Nether portal!

    Nearly finished Nether portal

    Nearly finished Nether portal

    Source: Windows Central

  11. At least, under all that scaffolding. Clear away all your excess building materials to reveal your Nether portal. Check to make sure your measurements are correct. If something’s not right, you may need to repeat these steps in a different location.

    Nether portal under scaffolding

    Nether portal under scaffolding

    Source: Windows Central

  12. Finally, take your flint and steel and light one of the bottom corners of the Nether portal. If everything is correct, the Nether portal should be filled with an ominous purple glow. That’s your cue to walk into it.

Keep in mind; there’s one major flaw with this approach. While you theoretically gain access quicker than other players, you are unable to build another Nether portal in the Nether. If you get lost and can’t find your way back to the original portal, you’re basically out of luck. Without diamonds, you can’t stockpile obsidian, only make it as you need it. And that doesn’t work in the Nether.

Getting to the Nether with diamonds

A Nether fortress

A Nether fortress

Source: Windows Central

This section will be a lot shorter. If you’ve found diamonds (found near the bottommost levels of the Overworld), then you can craft a diamond pickaxe. Diamond pickaxes are the only tools capable of mining obsidian, meaning you can make/find obsidian however you want, then mine it with a diamond pickaxe. It’ll take forever, but I promise you it works.

Once you’ve mined 10 to 14 blocks of obsidian, you can build your Nether portal literally anywhere you want. More than that, you can bring extra obsidian to the Nether and build additional portals there. No more worrying about getting lost, and you also have an additional option for traveling long distances at a time (every block traveled in the Nether is eight blocks in the Overworld.)

Another thing to keep in mind is how traveling between portals works. The player automatically travels to the closest relative portal in the other world. If there isn’t one nearby, it’ll generate a new one in the opposite world. So if you build a new Nether portal miles away from your first one, you won’t come out of the respective portal in the Nether. You’ll get a new one in the same place relative to the Nether. Fun stuff.

Wrapping up

Now that you know how to build a Nether portal, you can move back and forth as much as you want. Once you’ve mastered the Nether itself, nothing will be able to stop you! Except creepers. Those are still a threat.

Do you have any other tricks for getting to the Nether? What about unique ways of adding a Nether portal to your Minecraft world? Let us know in the comments!

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