Visit the Nether!
Get familiar with the location of our next major update!
Do you ever wish for more out of your Minecraft life than simply mining and crafting? Are you tired of seeing the same picturesque Overworld landscapes day in, day out? Bored to tears by the incessant mooing, bleating and adorable-ing of Minecraft’s cutest animals? Often dream of your relatively safe life suddenly becoming incredibly dangerous? On a scale from 1 to 10, how on fire is too on fire, for you?
Then step right up, for a life-changing opportunity!
Soothe your troubled soul with the trip of a lifetime to the not-at-all-troubled Nether dimension! It’s a treat for all the family (particularly fireproof families) with its heady mix of thrilling vistas, ancient fortress ruins, enthusiastic wildlife, and rich (only slightly hostile) local culture. If you’re looking for a break from the daily grind of the Overworld, then you just found it! Warning: may contain literal break. Of you.
So before we release the upcoming Nether Update, treat yourself to a vacation to the current Nether, and learn more about Minecraft’s hottest holiday destination!
SOUNDS GREAT! FLY ME THERE, FIRST CLASS!
Hold on, friend. Visiting the Nether doesn’t involve a lengthy plane flight or boat trip.. This is actually one of those special holidays where you have to build your own transport. Fun! All you’ll need are a dozen or so blocks of obsidian and a flint and steel, with which you’ll be building a portal.
You can make portals in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but if you’re low on resources then the simplest, smallest portal is a vaguely door-shaped frame with two blocks on both the bottom and top, and three blocks on the left and the right.
Once you’ve constructed your mode of transportation, you’re going to need to light it on fire with the flint and steel. It may seem risky, but a little fire is just what we need to grease the wheels of interdimensional transportation, and you should see a translucent, purple, liquid-like substance filling the portal. Yuck! I mean, yay!
True, you’ll probably hear some, er, unique sounds coming from the portal too. But don’t worry, they could be anything. I like to think of them as a friendly “ahoy-hoy!” from several interdimensional beings that exist outside of time and space, screaming at you through your freshly weakened gap in reality. Ahoy-hoy to you too, friends!
Just step inside the frame, try not to throw up as your vision gets all blurry (all the best holidays start with the nausea of anticipation!), and wait for a moment as you’re violently flung between dimensions. Wheeeee!
WHAT YOU SHOULD PACK
First-time Nether travellers often find themselves ill-equipped to deal with the delights of their new home. They complain about the waterfalls of fire, the precipitous drops into oceans of lava, and the endless screaming/oinking of the local wildlife. But honestly, once you get used to those screamy sounds, you’ll find them more beautiful than birdsong. Possibly.
To fully appreciate the beauty of the Nether, it’s worth bringing a few things with you. Any seasoned traveller/sweater enthusiast knows it’s very important to dress in layers. In this case, I’m talking specifically about layers of iron or diamond armour. They’ll ensure that you’re insulated from at least some of the more deadly exciting experiences that you’ll encounter!
It’s also a good idea to bring a sword, bow, and arrows (in case you attract unwanted attention from the locals), a pickaxe (for collecting souvenirs) some of your favourite foods and a bowl (so you don’t get too homesick), your flint and tinder (to ensure your return ticket is still valid if for some strange reason you ever want to leave), and a stack or two of cobblestone (in case you fail to secure accommodation and need to build something in a hurry). Leave the rest of your possessions - especially anything valuable - in a chest at home. Or with me. Giving you a tour of this paradise doesn’t come cheap, y’know.
A common complaint we get from first time visitors to the Nether is “arghhh! My extremely flammable body!”. The other common complaint we get is that it’s not easy to find your way around. Nonsense! It’s easy to navigate the Nether, so long as you keep a few lifehacks in mind. Mark your path by placing down blocks of cobblestone pretty regularly as you explore, so it’ll be easy to retrace your steps if you get lost (just like Hansel and Gretel! And it’s not like anything bad ever happened to them).
If you’re feeling fancy, you can even make cobblestone arches that point you in the right direction. Some previous guests I’ve taken to the Nether have even built signs like GO THIS WAY and DO NOT TRUST THE TOUR GUIDE and SERIOUSLY, THE NETHER IS A DREADFUL PLACE AND HE’S LURING YOU INTO A TRA—actually, let’s move on.
Another handy tip for exploring the Nether is that if you hold down the “walk” key, you’ll never fall off a cliff. Sure, you don’t get anywhere very fast, but it’s nice to slow down once in a while, take a deep breath of the sulphurous air, and gaze across the beautiful fiery hellscape before you! It’s also a handy, if terrifying, way to build bridges over lava seas.
My final piece of travel advice for the Nether is to take care while tunnelling through netherrack. Lava in the nether is a bit more, er, free flowing than in the Overworld, and sometimes you’ll come across a seam of molten rock that gets a little too friendly. Avoid this by always digging tunnels two blocks wide, walking on one side and making sure that there’s a gutter on the other. That way, any lava you uncover will flow into the gutter and not into your shoes.
THINGS TO SEE
A myriad of exciting local flora and fauna await you on your adventures through the Nether. The first species that you’re likely to encounter are the zombie pigmen (now known as the zombified piglins). What could be the mysterious origin of these undead oinkers? Mojang refuse to tell me, but I have my own theory:
I believe a zombie and a pig wandered into a Nether portal at the same time. The resulting fusion of the zombie’s tenacity and the pig’s natural inquisitiveness proved remarkably successful in the harsh environment of the Nether, and the species proliferated into the huge populations that it exists in today. I tried to recreate these conditions to prove this theory, by shoving a pig and a zombie into my portal, but I just ended up with a hot dog that groans a lot : (
Travellers should be aware that family ties among zombie pigmen are strong, and hurting one will likely attract the attention of other nearby pigmen. You have been warned!
Another common sight are magma cubes, which are rarely aggressive, but are extremely hot to the touch. We advise caution when walking near them, and especially when attacking them - chop them in half and the pieces will retain a mind of their own.
What’s that? You’re not enjoying this holiday tour? You’re bored of being on fire and attacked by cubes, and wish you’d booked that fancy high-tech spa weekend instead, the one with the ASMR? Buddy, we’ve got all the ASMR you’ll ever need down here!
Close your eyes for a moment in the Nether, and you’ll get to experience one of its most exquisite delights. The soundscape is unlike anything you’ll hear in the Overworld - a glorious blend of lava bubbling, zombie pigman chatter, and the occasional childlike shriek of one of the Nether’s most charismatic denizens - the Ghast.
Ghasts have been the undoing of many a traveller. They may look like just big, fluffy sad clouds, but they have a bit of a temper and have been known to spit fireballs at people they dislike. Give them a wide berth, and if you do attract their ire then the best approach is simply to hide behind something until they get bored and wander off. I use similar tactics when tourists demand refunds.
SEE THE SIGHTS!
The main hotspots in the Nether are its ancient, imposing fortresses. The stunning architecture of these fortresses makes them well worth a visit. But such a visit is not without danger - today, due to the ravages of time, the fortresses are filled with unexpected drops, dead ends, and a few unique, noteworthy creatures.
The most dangerous are Wither Skeletons, which gave up the bows of their Overworld cousins long ago in favour of swords coated with a toxic substance that can continue to cause pain for some time after a strike. You did get your shots that I never mentioned before entering the Nether, right? Oh dear.
The other hazard of Nether fortresses worth mentioning are the Blazes, which are sentient beings made of pure lava that fling fireballs at intruders. It’s theorised by scholars that the Blazes were created as guards by the original inhabitants of the fortresses. Some speculate that the builders lost control over their creations, and as a result were destroyed by them.
But don’t be put off by that! You’ll probably be fine. Probably. Where’s that form you had me sign, promising that you’d be perfectly safe on this trip? Er, I think the Blaze got it, sorry.
Where to Eat
The Nether’s up-and-coming culinary scene is still in its infancy, and as a result it can be hard for travellers to find a good place/anything to eat. It’s best to bring food with you, but in a pinch, it’s possible to harvest edible mushrooms and turn them into mushroom soup (with the aid of a bowl brought from home).
This hearty dinner has saved many a hungry traveller attempting to find their way back to their portal. Give me the rest of your soup, and I might even remind you where that portal is.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Here, at the Nether Tourist Board, we’re working hard to entice hoteliers to set up shop. Total amount of hoteliers persuaded so far? Pessimists would say ‘zero’ but as an optimist, I prefer to say ‘slightly less than one.’
So travellers may be tempted to bring their own bed, but we would strongly recommend against this. For some unknown reason, beds prove explosive in the Nether. Our scientists are working flat-out to understand why, but working flat-out is very tiring, and they inevitably put a bed down to get some rest and then they get to enjoy some very, er, permanent sleep.
THAT’S IT, I’M GOING HOME
Wait, really? But we were having so much fun! OK, OK, put down the sword, I’ll show you out. When the time has come to travel home to the Overworld, it’s a simple matter of just stepping into your portal again, enduring the wobbly vision for a few seconds, and then stepping out on the other side. Home sweet home! Who removed all your emeralds from your chests while you were gone? This tour is over, bye!
Want to learn more about how the Nether will be even more cuddly and cosy in our upcoming Nether Update? Let Jens and Agnes take you through it in the video below:
We hope you enjoyed this surprisingly expensive tour of the Nether and hope to see you agai... hey, who smashed up my portal?
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- Duncan Geere