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Minecraft Nether portal dimensions and calculator

Find out how to build a Minecraft Nether Portal to take you to the terrifying underworld to find dangerous mobs, beautiful biomes, and precious materials.

How to build a Minecraft Nether Portal: Nether portal in the overworld in the sunshine

How do you make a Nether Portal in Minecraft? This supernatural portal is a gateway between worlds, separating the overworld and Nether (a menacing hellscape full of hostile mobs). If you want to access the Nether, your only way in is through this ominous purple door, so, how do you build and use a Nether portal to travel to the Nether?

After building a Minecraft Nether portal following the requirements below, you can use it to teleport to the Nether by simply walking into its purple haze. Within seconds, you’ll be in a hellish Minecraft landscape full of lava and monsters. Most Minecraft mobs and other entities can enter or exit the Nether portal in Minecraft, with the exception of a Minecraft wither and ender dragon – just as well, you certainly don’t want either of those sneaking up on you. If you’re daring enough, you can also use Minecraft Nether portals to travel through the overworld faster, so keep reading to calculate distances.

Minecraft nether portal dimensions: four by five obsidian frame in the sunlight

Minecraft Nether portal dimensions

You can build a Nether portal as big as you like, but there are some minimum requirements. To build a basic 4×5 Nether portal frame, you need at least ten blocks of obsidian.

To build a portal with the minimum obsidian requirements, follow the 4×5 block shape in the image above, sticking to the portrait orientation and leaving out the corners. This isn’t very pretty, though, so if you want your portal to blend in nicely with your awesome Minecraft builds, try filling in the corners with crying obsidian or a block that matches your surroundings, or even make the portal itself larger – up to 23 blocks square, and sticking to a square or rectangular shape.

To mine obsidian you’ll need either a diamond or Netherite pickaxe – these are the only tools you can use to mine obsidian. Without one, you can find obsidian in ruined portal chests or use the speedrunner method using a lava pool. In a normal survival world though, you’re better of just gathering some Minecraft diamonds .

You’ll also need flint and steel to create a Nether portal, this will activate the portal. Use flint and steel on one of the bottom blocks, the spark of which will expel a gust of translucent, purple ooze – charming. The portal will then make a considerable amount of spooky noise, so bear that in mind if you’re planning to put your portal room next to your bedroom in your Minecraft house. Particles from the vortex will also float around the door, but don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe – it’s what’s on the other side you need to worry about.

Minecraft Nether portal generation

There’s no right or wrong place to build your Nether portal in Minecraft, but it’s not as simple as dimension hopping from portal to portal – Minecraft Nether portal travel has quirks of it’s own. When you enter your brand new portal in the Overworld, you’ll travel to the closest relative portal in the Nether and if there isn’t one nearby, it will create a new portal.

Nether portal calculator

You can use the Nether – if you’re brave – to travel longer distances in the overworld. One Nether block (or meter) is the equivalent of eight overworld blocks, so you can calculate your Nether portal placement to significantly cut your travel time.

To work out where to place a portal in the Nether, divide your overworld co-ordinates by eight. For example, if you want to build a base in a jungle at spawn (0,0) and another in a Cherry Grove biome at x=3,200, z=3,200, you can create a path in the Nether to get between them faster. Using this example, place a Nether portal at spawn, and enter the Nether (don’t forget to take at least ten blocks of obsidian and a flint and steel with you). To leave the Nether in your second location, you would need to build another portal in the Nether at coordinates x=400, z=400, in other words, 3,200 divided by eight. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that 400 blocks is far easier to traverse than 3,000.

Be careful though, if you place your Nether portal at a high altitude, you could find yourself in the clouds when you return to the overworld, so don’t run out with too much aplomb.

A Minecraft ruined portal in a jungle

Minecraft Ruined portals

If you’re lucky, you may also stumble across a ruined portal when exploring the overworld or Nether. These are naturally-generated, part-build nether portals with a chest nearby. If you’re lucky, there may be enough obsidian in the chest to complete the portal – but more likely you’ll still need some to hand to finish the structure.

Ruined portals also contain Crying Obsidian, which can’t actually be used in a working Nether portal frame, so you’ll need to destroy them if they’re in the way. Use a diamond pickaxe to collect the pretty block though, you might want to use it as a decorative block later on!

Cool Nether portal designs

Since you can build a larger Nether portal, and build around it if you’re design savvy, there is so much you can do with your portal design. If you’re like us and you’re not the best at creating incredible designs from scratch, we’ve found a few awe-inspiring designs to take inspiration from.

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Nether portal sword design

This is one of our all time favorite Nether portal builds – and is it any wonder? Look how incredible that design is. And simple, too, because it maintains the standard rectangle shape of the Nether portal. Rather than having to worry too much about the Nether portal structure in this one, it’s more about the blocks you’re placing around it to get this sword-stuck-in-the-ground effect.

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Circular Nether portal

FalseSymmetry might be renowned for her PvP skills, but she didn’t make it onto the Hermitcraft server without some serious building skills too, as demonstrated by this spectacular circular Nether portal. To make a circle look remotely convincing in Minecraft, it has to be fairly big, so you’ll need plenty of obsidian blocks for this one, and if you’ve got more than enough, you can scale this design up as big as you want it!

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Nether portal building

In Mechitect’s tutorial above, you can build a slightly more reserved Nether portal design, while still earning those cool credits. We think build would look particularly good in a Minecraft city or town, and you could alter the design to match your own, unique architecture.

So, that’s how you create a Minecraft Nether portal and travel into the Nether. If your portal is damaged while you’re in the Nether by a rogue Ghast’s fireball, you can always repair it, but for extra protection it’s useful to shelter your portal using a solid material such as cobblestone or stone. If you need a hand protecting yourself in the Nether, check out our guide on obtaining a Minecraft trident, building a Minecraft shield and using a Minecraft anvil to prepare weapons to fight the hostile mobs you’ll encounter.