What is the Nether in Minecraft?

Did you know that you can build portals to different worlds in Minecraft? And it is easier than you think!

What is the Nether?

The nether is quite literally Minecraft’s version of Hell. It has completely new blocks, mobs, and structures that you can find! The nether even has its own boss called the Wither.

An example of what the Nether will look like.

How to Get to the Nether

Getting to the nether is simple, all you need is obsidian and flint and steel to make your nether portal! Here’s how to build it. 

First, you will need at least ten blocks of obsidian. You are going to place the obsidian in a rectangle, as shown below.

Obsidian arranged in the shape needed to create a nether portal.

The corners do not have to be obsidian, they can be any block! In this example, I used cobblestone.  After you have placed your obsidian, you are going to take your flint and steel and right click on any of the obsidian blocks. This will start a fire, which is going to activate your nether portal!

An activated nether portal.

You will know your portal is activated because it will have a swirling purple substance in the middle! Walk into the portal to be transported to the Nether!

Blocks Unique to the Nether

There are quite a few new blocks you will stumble across while venturing into the nether.

  • Netherrack: A red stone-like block, the most common block in the Nether. It’s everywhere!
Netherrack example.
  • Nether Quartz Ore: When mined, it will drop nether quartz, which can be crafted into a quartz block! Quartz is a white building block.
Nether quartz ore example.
  • Glowstone: Glowstone is a light-emitting block. It’s a great alternative to torches! When mined, they will drop glowstone dust, which can be crafted back into glowstone or used for potion making!
Glowstone example.
  • Soul Sand: A brown dirt-like block. When walked on, you slightly sink down and walk slower. Can be used to farm netherwart and spawn the Wither.
Soul sand example.
  • Magma: A glowing, solid block that is very similar to lava. When stood on, you will catch on fire.
Magma example.
  • Nether Brick: A dark red brick that makes up nether fortresses.
Nether brick example
  • Nether Brick Fence: A fence made out of nether brick, can be found in nether fortresses.
Nether brick fence example.

Mobs Unique to the Nether

  • Ghast: Large, ghost-like mobs with tentacles. Can fly and shoot fireballs. Drops ghast tears when killed.
Ghast example.
  • Zombie Pigman: A mainly docile mob. They look like a cross between a pig and a zombie. You will see them wielding golden swords. When killed, they can drop gold nuggets, gold ingots, gold swords, or rotten flesh. Be careful, when you attack one, all surrounding zombie pigmen become hostile!
Zombie pigman example.
  • Blaze: Usually found in nether fortresses. They are bright yellow and have rods circling them. Can catch you on fire! They drop blazerods when killed.
Blaze example.
  • Wither Skeleton: Tall, dark skeletons that wield a stone sword. Usually found in or around nether fortresses. These mobs can drop coal, bones, stone swords, and wither skeleton skulls.
Wither skeleton example.

Nether Fortresses

Nether fortresses can be found scattered around the Nether. Mobs such as blazes and wither skeletons will spawn in and around these fortresses. 

Scattered all around nether fortresses, you can find blaze spawners, chests, and netherwart farms. Netherwart is very useful while potion making!

What a nether fortress may look like.

How to Summon the Wither

The Nether would not be complete without its own unique boss! With a name similar to the biome, the Wither is a great boss to defeat with friends. To get the materials needed to spawn the Wither, you need to go to the Nether, but the Wither can be spawned in the over-world as well as the Nether. But, a warning, it destroys a lot of blocks, so I would not suggest spawning it near something important.

To spawn the Wither, you will need:

  • 4 blocks of soul sand.
  • 3 wither skeleton skulls.

First, you are going to want to arrange the soul sand in a T-like formation, with one block on the bottom, and three on top, as shown below.

Where to place the soul sand to spawn the Wither.

Then, you will want to put your three wither skeleton skulls on top of the three blocks of soul sand.

Two out of the three wither skeleton skulls on the soul sand.

Once you place the last wither skeleton skull, the structure will turn into the Wither! Good luck defeating it!

The Wither!