Boosting over 200 million sales worldwide, Minecraft can easily be recognized as the most defining game of the last decade. The video game industry has seen time and time again that most games end up having a shelf life of no more than two years at most! 

However, Minecraft still to this day flocks millions of players to its online and offline servers and continually keeps on breaking records a decade after its release. A huge part of Minecraft’s continuous player retention can be attributed to the different varieties of gameplay available for players. 


Moreover, this creative freedom gets more enhanced with the three different dimensions every player can traverse. For most players, the Nether sparks the greatest interest, and here is why.

  • What Is The Nether?
  • Topography
  • How To Gather Resources For The End Portal
  • Portal Creation
  • Mobs In The Nether
  • Nether Portal Restrictions
  • Crimson And Warped Forests
  • Soul Sand Valley
The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
Image Source:  Prowl8413 / YouTube

What Is The Nether?

In September of 2010, during the game's early beta testing, the game's creator, Notch, teased games with an addition of a hell biome that would allow for fast travel in-game. 

The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
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In the following October, Notch reveals new additions to the game via the “hellish biome,” such as a block type, now known as soul sand, that would be included in the new dimension. 


A few days later, a screenshot was released by the man himself depicting what the Nether would look like, and finally, in the Halloween update in 2010, the Nether was released.

Longitude And Latitude

The Nether is essentially 127 blocks high compared to the Overworld's 256 and is also horizontally infinite. In the Bedrock Edition, the build limit in the Nether is 128 blocks, despite it being 256 in all other dimensions. 

However, what most people find fascinating is how the horizontal Overworld distances are scaled down by a ratio of 8:1 for travel in the Nether. 


Because of this factor, one block of travel in the Nether means eight blocks in the Overworld. This makes the Nether portals an extremely useful tool for traveling long distances in the Overworld.


Based on the Biblical depiction of hell, The Nether has no daylight cycle and no weather, and light sources are restricted to just fire, lava, portals, shroomlights, and glowstone. When compared to the Overworld, the shape of the terrain in the Nether is independent of the biome distribution. 

The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
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In addition to this, the biome changes the surface material and adds terrain features to the Netherrack terrain. 

This is depicted through unique cave-like terrains with no sky and areas shrouded in fog meant to lower the player’s visibility.

How To Reach The Nether

To gain access to the Nether, the player must build an End Portal in the Overworld using Obsidian blocks; once built, the player must light the portal up using flint and steel (or any material capable of igniting a fire) to activate the gateway. 

To enter the Nether, the player must stand in the portal for 4 seconds, after which he will be transported to the hell-like biome. The End Portal requires a rectangular frame of Obsidian blocks to be built. This frame needs to have a minimum width of four blocks and a minimum height of five in-game blocks. 

However, players can forgo the blocks in the corner if they wish to save materials. The portal, however, can be broken by explosions and by any other blocks.

How To Gather Resources For The End Portal

To mine Obsidian blocks, the player requires a diamond pickaxe which can be acquired by combining three diamonds and two wooden sticks. 

The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
Image Source: Devian Art

However, Obsidian usually isn’t readily available. A player has to find a lava pool in the Overworld and pour water over it to solidify the lava into Obsidian blocks. 

The player needs a minimum of fourteen Obsidian blocks for the Nether Portal and one iron ingot and flint for the flint and steel required to light the portal.

The Behavior Of The Nether Portal

If a player steps out of a portal before the required 4 seconds, it cancels the transition, and the player has to spend another 4 seconds in the portal before they can teleport. 

However, in Creative Mode, the wait time is one game tick for the player to transfer between the Overworld and the Nether. 

Moreover, multiple players can fit into the Nether Portal simultaneously, allowing many players to teleport at once, a feature that proves to be useful in multiplayer mode.

Portal Creation

Once a portal is created in the Overworld, a matching portal is created within the Nether that corresponds to the one in the Overworld. 

The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
Image Source: WikiHow

Suppose a player decides to build another Nether portal in the Overworld or the Nether. In that case, it is automatically connected to the previous portal if it is within range (about 128 blocks) in the other dimension and the player appears in that portal. 

Portal Destruction

Suppose a portal is deactivated, and the matching portal in the other dimension is used before it is reactivated. In that case, a new portal may be created on the other side, teleporting the player to the new portal. 

An example of such an incident could be when the player dies in the Nether due to a ghast explosion that destroys the portal on the Nether side; thus, when the Overworld-side portal is used, it will teleport the player to a new location in the Nether.

Mobs In The Nether 

Much like the Overworld, the Nether is home to its own share of mobs, most of which are fire- and lava-proof. The Nether, however, does share a few mobs with the Overworld, such as skeletons, chickens, and Endermen. 

The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
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The rest of the mobs include Piglins, Strider, Zombified Piglins, Chicken Jockeys, Endermen, Ghasts, Hoglins, Magma Cubes, Blazes, Piglin Brutes, and Wither Skeletons. 

All of these mobs are hostile besides the Striders, who can be used to traverse the Nether with the help of saddles, and Zombified Piglins, who only attack once the player attacks.

How Do Mobs React With The Nether Portal

As the player, mobs, and other entities can also pass through the Nether Portal if pushed into the portal. This also includes storage mine carts and powered mine carts and Overworld villagers and huge ghasts. 

Moreover, Zombified Piglins tend to enter the Nether Portal and teleport to the Overworld by themselves and bundle up near the Overworld Portal, an occurrence that becomes more common the harder your game difficulty is.

Nether Portal Restrictions

The only mobs that cannot pass through Nether Portals are the Wither and Ender Dragon. Not only that but, thrown items and transportation items such as boats, minecarts, and horses without passengers can’t pass through by themselves either. 

The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
Image Source: Minecraft Wiki-Fandom

Moreover, mobs have a much longer "cool-down" time than the player, so they cannot go back for approximately 15 seconds after entering a Nether Portal and can wander around during that interval.

Nether Biomes

With the Nether update being released in June 2020, Mojang decided to listen to players and add various biomes for the player to explore in the Nether. 

These biomes included the Crimson and Warped Forests, Nether Wastes, Soul Sand Valley, and Basalt Deltas. 

Crimson And Warped Forests

The Crimson Forest is named for its red color and is covered by the canopies of huge, tree-like fungi. This makes it one of the only biomes to have an ecosystem making it one of the more habitable biomes in the Nether. 

The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
Image Source: Shireen Plays

On the other hand, the Warped Forest has the most amount of flora in the Nether dimension and a surreal number of Endermen, making the biome an ideal place to collect ender pearls.

Nether Wastes

This was the only dimension in the Nether before the Nether update and is still the most common biome in the Nether. 

Dominated by Zombified Piglins, this biome is composed of uncovered Netherrack and contains more ores than any other biome in the Nether.

Soul Sand Valley

This desert-like biome is covered with deposits of soul sand which slow the player down, and Bluish-colored soul fire. 

The Importance Of A Nether Portal In Minecraft
Image Source: Minecraft Web

The only vegetation found here are crimson roots and mushrooms, while the only mobs left are skeletons, ghasts, Endermen, and Striders that spawn over the lava ocean.

Basalt Deltas

This terrain consists of steep and spiky basalt formations and the flatter deltas covered with lava and magma cubes, making this one of the most dangerous biomes in the game and ideal for collecting magma cream which can be used for brewing fire resistance potions. 


With exciting gameplay features such as the Nether Portal, different biomes and dimensions, and a colossal variety of mobs, Mojang (the studio behind Minecraft) has never failed to entertain its players. 

The studio always gives its players complete freedom when it comes to playing styles, so the game has retained a huge percentage of its popularity to this day and sees more and more players joining with every passing year.