Block of the Week: Ancient Debris

You’ll nether find it!

Who or what created the soaring, imposing fortresses and bastions of the Nether? Mojang’s foremost archaeologists have been studying this question for years, dodging blaze attacks and ghast fireballs in the process.

Answers have proven as elusive as emerald ore, but we suspect that the secret may lie in an equally rare block, one which also happens to be our block of the week – it’s the mysterious Ancient Debris.

Ancient debris, if you look closely, is actually a cluster of corroded metal plates that contain small amounts of the incredibly strong material Netherite. Netherite tools, swords and armour are the toughest in the game, and well worth seeking out.

To get the Netherite out, you need to go through a multi-step process that involves burning off the impurities in a furnace and then purifying the result again with the addition of gold and heat. It’s a faff, but again – the result is worth it.

The problem comes in finding the ancient debris in the first place. It’s never exposed to the Nether’s corrosive atmosphere, so you’ll need to go digging in the Netherrack. But you might be digging for a while because it’s extremely rare. Even if you do find some, you’ll need a diamond or netherite pickaxe to collect it.

If you do find some, you’ll want to guard it with your life. But this is the Nether we’re talking about – where lives are lost on a regular basis. Luckily, even if you do meet a grisly end in a pool of lava, ancient debris is totally fireproof and will be there for you to collect once you’ve respawned. If you can figure out a way to get it out of the lava, anyway.

A swifter but more dangerous way to amass ancient debris is to play archaeologist yourself – hunting down bastion remnants, where ancient debris is often abandoned in chests. These structures are packed with piglins and hoglins, who won’t be too happy to see you. But if you can survive their onslaught, then you’ll likely head home with a good amount of ancient debris in your inventory.

Oh, and let us know if  you’d like to join the ranks of Mojang’s archaeology team, delving deep into the fieriest, hottest, darkest and most dangerous parts of the Nether, confronting hoglins, ghasts, blazes, wither skeletons and magma cubes in the hope of bringing back some tiny bits of rusty metal. For some reason our archaeologists don’t have a very long life expectancy, so we’re always looking for new victims recruits.

Duncan Geere
Written By
Duncan Geere