Minecraft’s ‘Nether’ Update: Everything you need to know (update)

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Minecraft Nether Update Beta Landscape

Source: Windows Central

Nether Update logo

Source: Mojang

For those who don’t know, the Nether is an otherworldly dimension that players can access in Minecraft by crafting a nether portal out of obsidian blocks. The Nether is far more dangerous than the Overworld, typically, with swarms of aggressive monsters, dangerous nether fortresses, and environmental hazards like lava. Unlike the Overworld, however, the Nether has become a bit outdated over the years, not receiving meaningful content or updates for quite a while. That all changes with ‘the Nether Update,’ which Microsoft and Mojang are aiming to ship before the end of the year.

Related: How to prepare your old worlds for the Nether Update

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Available everywhere you play.

Minecraft is a veritable, inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It’s also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.

What features will be in the Nether Update for Minecraft?

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Landscape

Source: Windows Central

The Nether Update will bring fresh mechanics, mobs, and biome features to the hellish dimension. With the many, many snapshot and beta releases showing off some of the changes we can expect, we now have a better idea of what’s coming with the Nether Update. Mojang may also have some additional changes planned that we still don’t know about, but we’ll tackle that as it comes!

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Here’s what we do know is coming:


The Nether Update is introducing at least three new mobs, complete with new mechanics and features. Other mobs will be getting new homes as well, so that the entire dimension will feel more organized and alive. Here’s what we know so far:

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Piglin

Source: Windows Central

  • Piglins. These guys are a new type of mob that build settlements and can trade with players. They are effectively unzombified zombie pigmen. The piglins are aggressive unless you’re wearing a gold suit of armor since they are — you guessed it — obsessed with gold. You can barter with them for trading, introducing a new economy on top of what you get with villagers.

Related: How to find piglins in the Nether Update

  • Piglin bartering. The system being implemented with piglins is a little different to the one in the game right now, and will be a little more “Nether-y,” and involve throwing items on the ground. Oh, and if you loot their chests, be prepared for some swift retribution. Piglins also hunt some of the new creatures in the Nether, such as hoglins.

Related: How to trade with piglins in the Nether Update

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Zombified Piglin

Source: Windows Central

  • Zombified piglins. This is less a new mob, more an evolution of a pre-existing mob. The zombie pigmen are no more, and have instead been replaced with the zombified piglins, complete with a new model and adorable floppy ears.

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Hoglin

Source: Windows Central

  • Hoglins. New mobs are abound, including hoglins (previously known as piglin beasts,) which are more battle-hardened pig-type mobs that dwell in the Nether. Hoglins will provide, for the first time ever in the Nether, a food source for weary travelers.

Update October 20, 2019: The official name of piglin beasts is now hoglins!

Related: How to find hoglins in the Nether Update

  • Striders. These are the newest addition to the Nether Update, and are the first truly passive mob in the Nether. That means these guys don’t want to kill you, which is a lovely change. You can even saddle these ponies up and ride them like, well, ponies. They’re similar to pigs, though, in that you’ll need to string their favorite food up on a stick to guide them.


One of the most obvious changes coming to the Nether is the entirety of the landscape. A bunch of new biomes of different colors, purposes, and form are coming, and it’s going to make the Nether a very different place from before. As of now, there are four different biomes being added. Here’s what we know:

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Landscape

Source: Windows Central

  • Nether wastes. The Nether you know and love isn’t going anywhere, it’s just being downsized and rebranded. From here on out, the more traditional Nether will be known as the nether wastes, and other biomes will come to spice things up.

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Crimson Forest

Source: Windows Central

  • Crimson forests. Crimson forests are the exclusive home of hoglins, and are a frequent hang out for piglins as well. Vibrant reds and new foliage and vegetation make the crimson forests instantly recognizable.

Related: How to tame and breed hoglins in the Nether Update

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Warped Forest

Source: Windows Central

  • Warped forests. The anathema to crimson forests, warped forests are the second new biome being added. You’ll never find hoglins or piglins hanging out here, instead just more new vegetation and some new colors. You can also find the favorite food of the strider, one of the new mobs being added.

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Soulsand Valley

Source: Windows Central

  • Soulsand valleys. You’re not going to find new friends here, but you may be a little creeped out. The soulsand valleyes are the place to find the new soul soil, as well as the soul sand you’re familiar with. Soul soil is similar to netherrack in that it loves to be on fire, but it burns a cool blue instead.
  • Basalt deltas. The latest addition to the Nether Update, and definitely my favorite, basalt deltas are modelled after volcanic landscapes with a lot of ash, rock, and lava. They’re dark, angry, and the perfect place to build an epic castle unlike any other.

Related: Check out the new basalt delta biome and what people have been doing with them

Blocks and items

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Items

Source: Windows Central

If I included every tiny change and improvement coming in the Nether Update, we would be here for a very long time. Instead, let’s tackle the important points:

  • Target block. This block can be used for hit detection in redstone contraptions. Or to practice your aim.
  • Lodestones. Lodestones are a craftable block that lets you redirect compasses from pointing North to pointing wherever the lodestone is. This will be extremely useful for navigation, and ensuring you can’t become lost.
  • Blackstone. This block will become the Nether’s version of cobblestone, and will be a suitable replacement in crafting recipes that normally require stone. That means tools, furnaces, and all of that good stuff can be crafted with blackstone. It even has multiple variants like gilded, polished, and cracked versions to spice up your designs.
  • Basalt. A new decorative rock that is common in soulsand valleys, and forms the basis for basalt deltas. It’s an igneous-rock-style block formed when lava flows on soul soil next to ice. Looks pretty neat.
  • Crying obsidian. This variant of obsidian retains its durability, but adds some ominous purple glowing and the ability to set your respawn point while you’re in the Nether. That’s right, you’ll now be able to set a respawn point in the Nether by crafting a respawn anchor. Epic.
  • Soul soil. This is a close cousin of soul sand, except it also happens to burn with an intense blue flame. Common in soulsand valleys and basalt deltas.
  • New block variants. Nether bricks and quartz are getting new variants like chiseled nether bricks and quartz bricks.
  • Lots of vegetation The Nether Update also intends to add a huge number of new vegetation and foliage to the Nether. By themselves, they’re not exciting. All together? The Nether just got a lot more lively. This includes crimson and warped stems (a wood-like block,) crimson and warped nylium (a grass-like block that encourages fungi growth,) warped wart blocks, crimson and warped fungi, crimson and warped roots, shroomlights, nether sprouts, and weeping vines.
  • New items. Besides compasses to accompany the new lodestones, and all the things you can craft with netherite (more below,) you also get new soul soil campfires that burn blue instead of red and orange, and new banner patterns.


Minecraft Nether Update Beta Landscape

Source: Windows Central

One of the biggest new changes coming in the Nether Update is indubitably the inclusion of a new ore, one that promises to usurp diamond as the best in the game… Netherite! This elusive ore will be far more dangerous and difficult to obtain, but will return tools, weapons and armor that are more durable, more efficient, more damaging, more resistant to knockback, and able to withstand greater levels of enchanting.

What can netherite do? Well:

  • Netherite can craft all the same tools, weapons and armor you’re familiar with.
  • Netherite items float in lava instead of burn up.
  • Netherite tools are more efficient and more durable.
  • Netherite weapons are more durable and deal more damange.
  • Netherite armor is more protective and has greater knockback resistance.
  • Netherite has better enchantment values than diamond.
  • Finally, to quote Mojang: “…and it looks cool!”

Music, effects, and everything else

Minecraft Nether Update Beta Soulsand Valley

Source: Windows Central

I always love to see an attention to detail in games, especially when it comes to the atmospheric qualities, like the soundtrack. Mojang isn’t letting us down here, with new music to come, as well as a lot of other improvements.

  • New music for the Nether Update. Mojang brought on Lena Raine to compose three new songs that will play in the nether wastes, crimson forests, soulsand valleys, and basalt deltas. Will we see even more? I hope so.

Related: Composer Lena Raine makes beautiful music for the Nether Update

  • New particle effects, sounds, and animations. Mojang has put in a ton of time to make the Nether Update feel a lot more alive, with new particle effects being seen in every biome. This is especially noticeable in the basalt deltas, where there’s a thick fog of ash hovering in the air.
  • Better transitions between biomes. Moving between weather patterns and biomes has always been a little abrupt in Minecraft. Mojang has been working to make everything blend together a lot better in the Nether Update.
  • Accessibility improvements. One thing I’ve noticed is that Mojang is also still improving how accessible Minecraft is, which is awesome. This means things like options to increase how long chat messages stay on-screen, as well as how much spacing there is between different entries.
  • Countless quality of life improvements. I’m bunching a lot of stuff in here, like making the wither spawnable with soul soil as well as soul sand, improvements to older game mechanics, stability, and, well, just a lot. The Nether Update is a massive update not just in the number of features it brings, but also just how much work is going in to make Minecraft a better game.
  • Parity between versions. There’s a huge ravine between Minecraft: Java Edition and Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, and the number of differences between the two games is inumerable and mind-boggling in scale. Every beta and snapshot seems to make some changes to decrease this gap, and version numbers will now be the same going forward to streamline development and make things easier to understand. Good stuff.

There will no doubt be more features as we get closer to launch and we’ll detail further as more information becomes available. Speaking of which…

When will the Nether Update release for Minecraft?

Microsoft says the Nether Update will ship during the first half of 2020, following the Buzzy Bees update, which launched on December 11, 2019. We’ll update this article as soon as we have more information!

Related: When does the Nether Update release for Minecraft?

The timeline for the Nether Update’s development

If you want to follow along with how the Nether Update has changed and evolved over time, here’s all the articles you need.

Are you excited for the Nether Update? What features and changes are you wanting Mojang to make to Minecraft? Let us know in the comments below!

A gaming masterpiece


Available everywhere you play.

Minecraft is a veritable, inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It’s also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.

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