How to Build a Nether Portal in Minecraft
by Kevin Spence
It's true: There isn't a ton to do in the Nether right now aside from farming glowstone (because it's fun to build with) or blaze rods (for Eyes of Ender). With that said, everybody should brave the Nether at least one time in their Minecraft career. To get there, you will simply need to build a portal. This guide will tell you how to do so.
Step 1: Farm obsidian
To build a Nether Portal, the first thing you will need to do is farm 14 pieces of obsidian.
Obsidian is created when flowing water is added to lava. If you're lucky, you will find some naturally formed obsidian just waiting to be farmed in the world around you, but that's fairly rare and not really worth your time to hunt down (unless you already know of a spot). Most likely, you will need to create it yourself. The good news is, it's pretty easy to do.
One of the easiest ways to farm obsidian is to find a natural lava source and dump buckets of water on top of it. Each bucket of dumped water will produce one obsidian block. Lava can be found both above ground and underground. If you don't have any above ground lava to work with, just dig down. Eventually, you're pretty much guaranteed to come across some.
Note: You will need a diamond pickaxe in order to harvest the obsidian. Also, you will need to be careful when harvesting obsidian. Lava hurts. A lot.
Step 2: Build the frame of your portal
Once you have your obsidian ready, it's time to build the frame of your portal. The frame should be 5 blocks tall by 4 blocks wide (though if you prefer, you can skip the corner pieces). Once it's finished, the frame should look like this:
If you're playing on survival mode, you will need to build a few steps to complete the top of the build.
Step 3: Light the portal
Now that the frame of your portal is built, it's time to light it. The easiest (and safest) way to light your portal is by using a flint and steel (which requires only one piece of flint and one iron ingot to craft).
Use the flint and steel while standing directly in front of the portal, and the portal will activate.
There are alternative lighting methods as well. For example, you can use lava to burn wood, which will also activate the portal. However, this is time-consuming and dangerous (I once burned down most of my wooden house with this method), so unless you're feeling bold and daring, I'd stick to the flint and steel method.
Once lit, your portal should look like this:
You're all set! Head on into the Nether (and don't taunt the Zombie Pigmen).Originally Published Apr. 3rd 2013