A typical view within The Nether
The Nether is a separate dimension outside of the Overworld, which players can visit. It is also referred to as "The Nexus" in Notch's and Jeb's Blog on Tumblr, sometimes called "Gate to Inferno Fields" and was previously known as The Slip and Hell during the Indev stage.
The Nether was originally added as part of the Halloween Update. It exists in a completely different world from the Overworld. The terrain is dimly lit, full of Lava streams flowing from the ceiling, sudden cliffs, and lava lakes, making it extremely dangerous to explore. The ceiling and the base of the Nether are made of Bedrock. Mushrooms are also commonly found. If the player dies in The Nether, 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.
Maps can be made of the Nether, but they can only be created while there. If a player brings a map of the Overworld into the Nether, it will stay the same, but the marker that represents the player will be absent. Also, sudden bridges and shafts can be found throughout the randomly generated world. You will most likely find the bridge partially destroyed, and the shaft is located near lots of enemies, so watch out. Always carry weapons and bridge repair kits, and useful renewable items with you. Sometimes, the Nether can be classified as useful or exciting, since you can find large quantities of Soul Sand and Glowstone, and you can grow Cacti there. The Nether is also the only place where Nether Quartz can be found.
The portals are made by creating a 4x5 (2x3 on inside) or larger door frame out of Obsidian and then lighting the inside of the frame on fire with Flint and Steel or a Fire Charge. The corners of the frame may be left out, using only 10 obsidian as opposed to the usual 14. When you stand inside the portal for the first time, it will create a portal in its equivalent area of The Nether. A loading screen will appear during the change of worlds.A portal can be shut down if part of the obsidian frame is removed (not including corners), or hit by a Ghast fireball.
When re-entering the Overworld, any distance covered in The Nether is multiplied by 8, effectively making The Nether a fast-travel zone that allows for greater distances to be covered in a short amount of time in the Overworld.
You have to stay in a portal. If not, it will not teleport the player. In order to use them, the player has to stand still inside the purple haze. A recent update allowed Overworld mobs to go through portals and vice versa. Attempting to go through a portal while in a minecart or on a pig will result in the player needing to restart the game to continue because the player can see permanent purple swirls. The same effects happen in the very buggy Far Lands.
A useful way to save obsidian is to create a Nether portal with the ordinary 14 blocks, travel to the Nether, remove the corner bits, then travel back to the Overworld and remove the corners there too.
Mobs and Enemies
Mobs that spawn in the main world do not appear here, the only exceptions are the Enderman, Skeleton, and the Zombie Pigmen, which appear in the Overworld when Pigs are struck by lightning. Instead, there are special mobs that appear only in The Nether (although Ghasts have an extremely small chance of spawning through a portal on the surface world.)
- Ghasts ― Flying, jellyfish-like, 4-meter-cubed-sized monsters that shoot fireballs. They 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). They drop Gunpowder and Ghast Tears. Ghast fireballs cannot destroy Cobblestone. For this reason, many players like to use cobblestone as protection.
- Zombie Pigmen ― Neutral (like wolves), humanoid creatures that turn hostile only when attacked. They now drop Rotten Flesh and Gold Nuggets, and sometimes their Golden sword when killed. A rare drop is a Gold Ingot. It is possible to obtain an Enchanted Gold Sword from them, but it is an extremely rare drop. They wield Gold Swords, and cause 2.5 damage. Attacking one causes all nearby Zombie Pigmen to attack you too, also like Overworld´s Wolves. They are immune to both Fire and Lava.
- Blaze ― A hostile flying mob that appears in Nether Fortresses. They shoot 3 fireballs. Unlike a Ghast, however, they do not cause explosions on impact. They drop Blaze Rods. While Blazes cannot shoot when their Fires are out, they can re-light their Fire eventually or instantly if they touch Fire or Lava.
- 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 1-4 smaller versions of themselves. They are commonly found in lava oceans due to them hopping in a straight line until encountering the player.
- Wither Skeleton ― A variant of the skeleton found in the overworld. These black skeletons are found on or around a Nether Fortress carrying stone swords. They drop coal, bones, and rarely, stone swords and Wither Skeleton Skulls.
Blocks can be brought to and from the Overworld. So far, there are eight block types only found in The Nether:
- Netherrack- This block burns infinitely, 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 like 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 the player and mobs that walk across it and makes them sink down 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. It's slowing effect is doubled if an Ice block is placed under it. Some pixel-souls can be seen on this block.
- Nether Brick- A dark purple stone that superficially resembles bricks. Nether brick can be used to make Nether 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 purple fence. It can be mined in Nether Fortresses or can be created from six Nether brick pieces.
- Nether Brick Stairs- A dark purple stair. It can be mined in Nether Fortresses or can be created from six Nether Bricks.
- Nether Quartz Ore- The only 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.
- Magma - A block similar to lava that deals damage when stood on, except it is solid.
There are currently 5 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, it gives you 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. But you will have no problem placing lava in the Nether, and placing an ice block will have no effect. As of current updates, you are no longer able to have ice melt into water. Instead, the block of ice leaves nothing behind upon breaking.
The Nether's name is derived from the English word "Ether", meaning "In the outer reaches of space or in the heavens", or "nowhere known" + an N. Nether could similarly be derived from a mythical location known as the "netherworld", usually depicted as a place where the wicked go when they decease.
Survival and Tips
- The first rule of survival in the Nether is to keep an eye out on the "skies." If you're near or on a Nether Fortress, Blazes could come flying at you. While their fireballs can't explode, they could lift you off the Fortress and throw you into the lava or abyss. Also, keep an eye (and ear) out for Ghasts. Their fireballs CAN explode.
- The second rule is to keep in mind where you are, and do not run. If you're not careful, you could run off a cliff. If you land in lava when that happens, you will likely lose your items and Experience if you don't get out soon enough.
- Be careful where you dig. The rule of "Don't mine straight down" is key to survival in this hostile, hellish landscape. Never mine Gravel unless you know 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 your head if you can help it. You could end up mining into a Lava source block.
- Always bring Flint and Steel with you in case your portal goes out, as Ghasts can break your portal with their fireballs.
- Make sure to go for Magma Cubes as they can drop Magma Cream, which is essential to Fire Resistance Potions.
- Make sure (if you can) to bring Projectile Protection and Fire Protection armor into the Nether.
- Once you find 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's the only block Nether Wart will grow on.
- 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 key to making Eyes of Ender, which are required to locate and power a portal into The End.
- Don't hit the Zombie Pigmen unless you're prepared to deal with an angry horde. Zombie Pigmen may drop useful items (Rotten Flesh for food, Gold Nuggets/Ingots/Swords), but there's little reward compared to the risk of getting overrun by a horde of Zombie Pigmen or getting shot by a Ghast.
- Never stay any longer than you absolutely have to. Despite the lure of useful ingredients (Ghast Tears, Blaze Rods, Wither Skeleton Heads, and Nether Quartz), the Nether is an incredibly dangerous Biome. Get what you need, and then get out of there before you lose all your items.
- Keep your ears 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.
- If a Bed is placed while in The Nether and is right-clicked on, it will explode with lethal force (unless the player has enough armor) and a huge blast radius, which is comparable to TNT in the Overworld.
- 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.
- It is possible to bring water into the Nether by using Cauldrons, but it can only be used for potions. Using the water bucket anywhere else will cause the water to evaporate instantly unless the water block is hacked in.
- If you go into the Nether before another player, you will see the player flying for about 30 seconds
- It is actually possible to place water in the Nether on the Xbox 360 version. If you go into the Nether in Creative mode and place a block of Ice (recommended near fire or glowstone), the ice will melt, leaving a water source block. If the water is not spreading, place a block next to the source block (not on it). This is ideal for Blaze and Zombie Pigman mob traps.
- Some players like to troll other players by blocking their Nether portal with bedrock/obsidian when they spawn to the Nether.
- Lava travels considerably faster in the Nether than in the Overworld. Lava travels at the same speed in the Nether as Water does in the Overworld.
- In the PS3 edition, 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.
- In the game files, the Nether is referred to as "Hell" because of its appearance.