Around the Block: Basalt Deltas

You’ll lava trip there

Many of the new biomes featured in the Nether Update are designed to make the old fiery dimension feel more alive. The two forest biomes, Crimson and Warped, add many different kinds of flora and fauna to the Nether, while still fitting right into its gloomy, oppressive aesthetic. 

But what would you get if you made the Nether less alive? You’d get our biome of the week – the Basalt Deltas. Java developer Felix Jones explains its origins:

"I remember being approached by the team with a question that came completely out of the blue: 'Do you want to work on a biome?'. At that point, we only had four Nether biomes and I had no idea that a fifth biome was in development. 

Unlike the other Nether biomes, the Basalt Delta had no visual guide or design planned for it. It was a scrapped biome and the Nether Update was, at the time, intended to only introduce the Soul Sand Valley, Warped Forest, and Crimson Forest biomes.

 The only thing we had for this biome was code for a prototype that had been worked on by pretty much every member of our Gameplay team and it was not guaranteed that this biome would make it for the Nether Update."

- Felix

It made it. Basalt Deltas were added in the eleventh snapshot, released in April 2020, to fill a hole in the collection of existing biomes. Felix adds:

“I believe the community at the time felt the same thing that the team did: that the Nether Update was missing something and it just needed one more thing to make it feel complete. We also had a new stone material to introduce, blackstone, and no biome for it to naturally appear in.”

- Felix

The landscape of Basalt Deltas is mostly made up of craggy mountains, with rivers and springs of lava running through them. Basalt is more common, but as Felix promises you’ll also find seams of blackstone here – which can be used to craft stone tools or build stone structures.

It’s not easy to get around in Basalt Deltas – the spiky landscape and hidden pits of lava can prove dangerous to the incautious traveler. But careful miners will find plenty of rich ores and resources here, thanks to the biome’s volcanic origins. You’ll also find rare patches of Netherrack, gravel, magma blocks, glowstone clusters and the occasional nether quartz ore.

Not a lot lives here – a few mushrooms scrape out a living on the rock, foraged upon by magma cubes and striders that live on the shores of the lava sea. Instead, the craggy peaks of the Basalt Deltas are haunted by Ghasts that count these bleak environs as their territory, defending it against intruders.

That said, the ample building materials and low population make Basalt Deltas a reasonable place to live. You’ll need to bring in food supply, but with a small farm and some sort of defence against Ghasts you can make a surprisingly comfortable home here.

Have you set up camp in the Basalt Delta? Share your top tips for #deltalife with us on Twitter at @minecraft!

Duncan Geere
Written By
Duncan Geere