Minecraft Nether update – release date, new areas, netherite, more

Brent Koepp
Mojang / Microsoft

Minecraft developer Mojang announced in 2019 that they have a massive overhaul planned for the Nether. Here is everything we know about when it’s coming, what’s included, and more.

Despite originally releasing in 20o9, Minecraft has continued to be a worldwide phenomena in the gaming space. The sandbox title even saw a major resurgence in 2019 with Twitch streamers and personalities like Felix ‘PewDiePie‘ making content around it.

However at Minecon 2019, developer Mojang surprised fans with an announcement that they are finally overhauling the Nether. The update to the iconic dimension brings major changes, and here is everything you need to know about it.

The 2009 first-person sandbox game has continued to be hit.

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Mojang first announced the Nether Update in September 2019 at their annual Minecon event. The reveal was made during the developer’s live stream at the convention where they surprised attendees.

The announcement promised to make the hell-like dimension more “engaging” and “livable” by adding two new biomes, and features that allow players to make a base in the dangerous location.

A video was also posted shortly after on their Twitter account, which gave players a first look at the new areas that are being added. “The next part of Minecraft to be updated is… The Nether! This scary place is about to become a lot more engaging!” they tweeted.

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Three new Biomes

Soul Sand Valley

So far, three Biomes have been announced for the update. Soul Sand Valley is a cavern grotto with lava oceans. The area is made up of soul sand and soul soil, and features blue fog and blue fire as well. There will also be fossils in this location. Ghasts, Skeletons, and Endermen are the only mobs that spawn here.

The ominous area is also full of Basalt pillars. “This is a scary Biome, it’s quite barren. If you place fire on a soul stone, it will turn blue,” Mojang explained.

Mojang / Microsoft
Soul Sand Valley is a dark grotto with blue fog and flames.

Crimson Forest

A stark contrast to the other biomes, the Crimson Forest is drenched in red color. The wooded area is overrun by fungi, weeping vines, and nether wart blocks. There is a new mob type that spawns here called Piglins. The human-like animals are passive towards you if you have golden armor equipped, but attack otherwise.

Most interesting is that you can actually barter with them. Throwing a gold ingot at them will trigger them to give an item in exchange. The forest also contains a stronger aggressive beast called Hoglins. The developer explained, “It’s a very live atmosphere. Swirling particles, dense vegetation. Players should get lost in there.”

Mojang / Microsoft
The Crimson Forest is covered in vines and vegetation.

Warped Forest

This biome is very similar to the Crimson Forest, except it’s warped. Gone is the red colors, with the vegetation and land swapping for a blue hue instead. In this location, mobs do not spawn – except the Endermen. This makes it an ideal location to farm Ender Pearls.

It will feature warped stems and warped fungi. The dense forest is seen as the most “safe” biome out of the three. “It has a very unique atmosphere. Even more weird,” the devs explained.

Mojang / Microsoft
A calmer version of the Crimson Forest.

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With the major overhaul of the Nether also comes the new addition of the netherite. The latest mineral is resistant to lava. This means weapons made up of the stone will actually float in the pool of fire, rather then be lost forever.

To get it, you must use a diamond or netherite pickaxe. You can also make netherite scraps by smelting ancient debris which can be found in the new biomes as well. Four scraps can then be turned into netherite ingot by combining with four bars of gold.

The new ingot allows players to make the strongest material, armor, and weapons in the game. It even surpasses diamond.

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When is the Nether Update releasing?

So far, there has been no confirmed release date. The Microsoft-owned developer has only said that it plans to release the overhaul in the first half of 2020, so that could be any time from February to June.

However, it might come out sooner than you think, given that they recently released a test version of the game which includes the biomes and netherite, meaning the final version should be around the corner. PC players that can’t wait can try it out now – just enable Snapshots in the “Installations” tab in the Minecraft launcher.