How to build a Minecraft Nether portal

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

Wondering how to build a Minecraft Nether portal and what the dimensions are? This supernatural portal is a gateway between worlds, separating the overworld and Nether dimensions (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 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 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 – they definitely don’t belong in the sunny side of Minecraft.

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

Minecraft Nether portal dimensions

What are the Minecraft Nether portal dimensions? You’ll need to get your hands on at least ten blocks of obsidian to create a Nether portal. 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 travel

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.

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 ned 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!

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. Then, while it might not be adding anything to the Nether, check out what is to come when the Minecraft 1.20 release date rolls around.