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How to make a Nether Portal in Minecraft (fastest method)

Here's the fastest way to make a Nether Portal in Minecraft

How do you make a Nether Portal in Minecraft? Whether you're a new player just starting to learn the intricacies of interdimensional travel in Minecraft, or you're a seasoned speedrunner looking for the fastest possible way to reach the Nether, you've come to the right place.

To reach the Nether in Minecraft, you first need to build a Nether Portal. These Portals can sometimes be found partially built in the world already, but it's always a good idea to know exactly how to build a Portal when the time comes to venture into the dangerous hell-like dimension in search of Minecraft Potion ingredients, or the ultra-strong Netherite material used to forge the best tools and equipment in the game.

In this guide, we'll walk you through how to make a Nether Portal from scratch either using Obsidian blocks or simply a lava source and some water. But then we'll go a step further, and reveal one of the fastest possible ways to build a basic Nether Portal. Practice this method, and you'll be able to build and activate a Portal from scratch in under 16 seconds!

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How to make a Nether Portal in Minecraft

A Minecraft Nether Portal is made by building a rectangular frame of Obsidian blocks, and then lighting the inside of the frame with a Flint and Steel. The frame can be anywhere from 4x5 to 23x23 blocks in size, so you can choose the width and height of your Portal within these bounds.

If you want to conserve resources, remember that the corner blocks of the frame aren't necessary. This means you'll only need 10 Obsidian to make the most basic Nether Portal, rather than 14 (see the screenshot below).

There are two ways to make a Nether Portal frame in Minecraft. The first is to mine all the Obsidian blocks you need ahead of time, and then simply place them in a frame formation. The second is to use a lava pool and a water source to create the Obsidian in the exact position you need for the Portal.

Either way, you'll need a Flint and Steel to light the Portal once it's created, and you'll also need EITHER:

  • 10+ Obsidian blocks, OR
  • A nearby lava source, a bucket of water, and an empty bucket for the lava

You can also make do with just one bucket as long as you can switch it between lava and water quickly enough.

A Minecraft Nether Portal, with each of the individual blocks of the Portal frame highlighted.
The most basic Nether Portal frame is made up of 10 Obsidian blocks.

How to build a Portal out of Obsidian

To build the frame from existing Obsidian blocks, here's what to do:

  1. Place 2 Obsidian blocks side by side on the ground.
  2. Place 2 Dirt blocks on either end of the 2 Obsidian.
  3. Build a tower of 3 Obsidian atop each of those 2 Dirt blocks.
  4. Top each of those 2 Obsidian towers with another Dirt block.
  5. Connect the top Dirt blocks with your final 2 Obsidian blocks.
  6. Remove the 4 Dirt blocks if you like - they're no longer necessary.
  7. Equip your Flint and Steel, and right-click the top of one of the bottom Obsidian blocks.

How to build a Portal out of lava

If you want to sculpt the Obsidian using lava and water, then it's a little more fiddly. For the simplest possible Nether Portal you should still use the same 10-block formation laid out above, but to actually create each block of Obsidian, here's what to do:

  1. Build a wall of Dirt blocks one block behind where you want the Portal.
  2. Right-click a lava block with an Empty bucket to fill it with lava.
  3. Right-click with the lava bucket to place lava where you want an Obsidian block.
  4. Immediately take your water bucket and right-click the space above the lava you just placed.
  5. Once the lava has been turned to Obsidian, pick the water back up.
  6. Repeat with every other space where you need to place an Obsidian block.
  7. Once finished, remove the wall of Dirt blocks behind the Portal, if desired.

The advantage of building a Nether Portal using lava and water is that you don't need to actually mine the Obsidian by hand. Obsidian is only mineable using a Diamond Pickaxe, so the lava/water option is a good way of building a Portal before you have access to Diamonds in Minecraft. It is, however, far more fiddly than simply placing the Obsidian blocks by hand.

Fastest way to build a Minecraft Portal

There are lots of ways to improve the efficiency of building your Minecraft Nether Portal. Some methods can cut the time down to a ludicrously short 3 seconds, but these methods tend to be very precise and hard to replicate.

Many use this Portal building method, popularised by YouTuber Dream, but there is an even faster method, made by YouTuber TeddyPlayer1, which is still practical and easily replicated - so this is the one I'll explain below.

Here's one of the fastest ways to build a Minecraft portal:

  1. Find a lava pool with a straight edge of lava, and stand four blocks away from the lava, facing the pool.
  2. Part of the process of speed-building a Nether Portal in Minecraft.
  3. Dig a one-deep 2x2 hole in front of you with your shovel or pickaxe.
  4. Part of the process of speed-building a Nether Portal in Minecraft.
  5. Pillar up twice from your current block using Dirt, then place 4 more Dirt blocks in a stair formation to your right.
  6. Part of the process of speed-building a Nether Portal in Minecraft.
  7. Build a one-width 2x2 square out from your current position, ending on the top block furthest from the staircase.
  8. Part of the process of speed-building a Nether Portal in Minecraft.
  9. Pillar out 2 blocks towards the lava, then remove the 2 blocks behind you.
  10. Part of the process of speed-building a Nether Portal in Minecraft.
  11. Place water using your bucket atop the highest block of the structure you built behind you, then jump down.
  12. Part of the process of speed-building a Nether Portal in Minecraft.
  13. Now use the empty bucket to place lava in front of the water where you need it in order to build the portal frame.
  14. Part of the process of speed-building a Nether Portal in Minecraft.

This method takes roughly 16 seconds to complete (from placing the first block to lighting the portal), whereas Dream's method takes roughly 20 seconds. The reason this method tends to be quicker than Dream's Nether Portal building method is that you don't need to drain the water before lighting the portal, saving you precious seconds if you really need to get to the Nether as quickly as possible.

Full disclosure - the inventor of this fast Nether Portal building method, TeddyPlayer1, happens to be my brother! How about that.

That's everything you need to know about how to put together a Nether Portal in Minecraft! If you're looking for inspiration to help make your own Portals a little nicer-looking than the bogstandard 10 Obsidian block formation, then check out our Minecraft build ideas page! Alternatively you can improve your Portal's look with one of the best Minecraft shaders.

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