Minecraft Monday: Exploring the Nether Fortress

Exploring the Nether Fortress is something every Minecraft player has to go through one day. It unlocks so many new things that it turns your game completely upside down. Gone are the days of you running everywhere on your feet. No longer will you have to mine day and night to collect all the gold necessary for your builds. With new potions that allow you to become the strongest being in all of Minecraft, these are just some of the bonuses you will unlock by going to the Nether and exploring the Fortress.

But before you make the trip to the Nether, you should prepare yourself. Nether is full of dangerous challenges, which can prove too much to handle for even the most experienced Minecraft players. Today we will talk about everything you need to be fully ready to make the trip to the Nether and thoroughly explore the Nether Fortress!

Creating the Nether Portal

The most obvious thing you will need to even unlock the door to the Nether is to build the Nether portal. It is not as hard as you might think. All you need to open a portal is at least 10 blocks of obsidian and a flint & steel. Flint & steel is pretty easy to make, just put an iron ingot and a flint on your crafting bench, and it’s ready!

There are 2 ways I usually use to get obsidian for the portal. The first is simple, get a diamond pickaxe and just mine the obsidian you need. The second is by using a double bucket technique! You find yourself a lava source that has enough lava and a bucket of water and you’re all set. Carry lava one bucket at a time to the spot where you want your portal, drop it, and immediately drop the water next to it. That is a quick way to get obsidian without actually requiring diamonds!

Prepare Your Gear and Supplies

Now that you have the Nether Portal ready, it’s time to gather everything that might come in handy on your adventure. The first thing you absolutely must not forget is FOOD. To put it simply, your character gets requires more food when in the Nether, so make sure you bring at least one stack of food that restores a lot of your hunger.

Next is the gear. Make sure you bring at least one axe, shovel, sword, shield, bow, and pickaxe on your adventure. I usually bring 2-3 pickaxes just in case. You will also need a full armor set of at least armor quality to help you survive. If you already set up your villager trading district, then I highly recommend you use them to your advantage and get diamond gear and armor from them. When you have all the gear you will need, make sure you enchant it with all the right enchantments!

There are also some miscellaneous things you should think about before heading off. Water does not flow in Minecraft and beds don’t work either, so don’t worry about bringing that. I recommend you take a stack or two of placeable blocks to help you navigate the Nether easier. You can also never go wrong by having a stack of torches in your inventory. And lastly, make sure at least one of your armor pieces is golden. If not, Piglins will put you in your place.

Exploring the Nether

Finally, you are fully prepared and ready to enter the Nether! Sure, there are a lot of hostile mobs with dangerous lava flowing around everywhere, but exploring the Nether for the first time is always a special experience! New unique biomes full of dangerous mobs that will make it their mission to ruin your day.

The Nether Fortress

The Nether Fortress is a large randomly generated structure, that consists of bridges, towers, and corridors. They spawn in every nether biome and are usually not too far away from your original Nether Portal. They are the only place in Minecraft where Wither Skeletons and Blazes spawn, both of which you will need to fight.

Blazes drop blaze rods, which can be used to create brewing stands and the eyes of ender, which you will need to access the End. Blazes will spawn either by themselves, or you might find some spawners around the Nether Fortress. Wither Skeletons are arguably the most dangerous regular mob in the game. They are taller than regular skeletons and they hit like a truck, as their wither damaging effect is no joke! But they do drop Wither skulls, which can be used to summon the Wither as a side boss!

While exploring the Nether Fortress you might find some chests with loot inside. But be careful while exploring, as it is easy to get lost in the maze of corridors. I recommend you use torches to navigate and mark where you have already been. You will also find Nether Warts, an ingredient essential for brewing potions.

Other than that, the Nether Fortress really doesn’t have that much to offer. It is an essential part of your gameplay, as it is the only place you can find blaze rods, but searching for anything else in there is a waste of time in my opinion. I really hope Mojang decides to update it in the near future.

Final Thoughts

I feel like the Nether Fortress should be more interesting to explore, as it is a large structure that is essential to find. When I went through it for the first time all these years ago, I enjoyed it, but sadly everything remained the same to this day. Even when Mojang did the Nether update, the Nether Fortress didn’t get much love. It’s hard to say which has been more neglected over the years: the Nether Fortress or the End as a whole dimension. I had a lot more fun exploring the Woodland Mansion or even the Ocean Monument compared to the Fortress.

How do you feel about the Nether Fortress? Do you think it is perfect the way it is or should it be updated? Did you make it out of the Nether alive? Let us know in the comments below!


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